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July 2021 at City Hall: Budget and Responsibility

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

Last night may have been the toughest vote I've had to cast since being elected to City Council. It all had to do with one of the three positions the City Council is responsible for appointing, the City magistrate. I, like my fellow council members, felt to be in an ethical dilemma of sorts. On one hand, I have issues with the contract for the City Magistrate as well as the process in which some of its elements are established. On the other hand, as a council, we have an obligation to make sure that judicial services continue to be provided in our city and to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer money. Voting the way I wanted to would result in major interruptions to operations since all current alternatives would require at least another year or two to implement and would have a significant impact on our general fund. Although voting in favor of the contract is not ideal, I ultimately decided it was the better option to move forward with ensuring services and prudent use of our funds. With the contract approved we can now use the next year and a half to pursue avenues that will keep us from ending up in this situation ever again.

I don't disagree with any of the points raised by my fellow council members. We just came to different conclusions on how best to move forward at this time. The co-location agreement was approved unanimously, and the magistrate contract came to a 4 to 3 vote. Mayor Rick Mueller, Mayor Pro Tem Rachel Gray, myself, and Council Member Angelica Landry voting for it. Council Members William Benning, Gregory Johnson, and Mark Rodriguez voted against it.

On Tuesday, July 20th the City Council will be having a special meeting to approve the FY 21/22 budget. I'll be leaving a section below to add the video of that meeting to this post after we take a vote. For now, you can review the proposed budget here. The budget is a public hearing item, so those who wish to speak to the City Council before the final vote may do so at the special meeting.


Work Session for Tuesday, July 6th

Agenda with video timestamps:

  1. Call to Order

  2. Presentation and Discussion:

  3. July 8th, 2021 Council Meeting Agenda Items: Call to Order Roll Call Invocation Pledge of Allegiance Item 1: Acceptance of the Agenda City Manager’s Report: Upcoming Meetings, Bid Openings, and Bid Awards New Business Item 2: Approval of the Regular City Council Meeting Minutes of June 24, 2021 Item 3: Resolution 2021-049, Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement with Cochise County for Court Co-location and Operations through June 30, 2022 Item 4: Resolution 2021-050, Judicial Services Contract with Kenneth J. Curfman, Justice of the Peace, Precinct V Call to the Public Comments and Requests of the Council Adjournment

  4. Report on Recent Trips, Meetings, and Future Meetings

  5. Future Discussion Items and Council Requests

  6. Adjourn


City Council Meeting for Thursday, July 8th