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Live Update of the Prescott City Council: July 10, 2012

10 July 2012  

It's the live update - starts at 3 pm!

The following Agenda will be considered by the Prescott City Council at its Regular Voting Meeting pursuant to the Prescott City Charter, Article II, Section 13. Notice of this meeting is given pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 38-431.02.



INVOCATION President Todd Bertoch, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints



  • Mayor Kuykendall
  • Councilman Arnold
  • Councilman Kuknyo
  • Councilman Blair
  • Councilman Lamerson
  • Councilman Carlow
  • Councilman Scamardo

Link to Full Agenda




A. Approval of the Minutes of the Prescott City Council Special Meeting of June 19, 2012 and June 26, 2012.

B. Authorization of payment for Lucity Annual Technical Support and Software Maintenance Agreement in the amount of $16,621.20.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: MOVE to approve Consent Agenda Items I- A and I-B.

Motion passes.


A. Public Hearing and consideration of a liquor license application from Jana Lynn Harris, applicant for The Big Easy, for a Series 07, Beer & Wine Bar, license for The Big Easy located at 125 North McCormick Street.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: (1) MOVE to close the Public Hearing, and

(2) MOVE to approve/deny Liquor License Application No. 07133001, for a series 07, Beer & Wine Bar license, for The Big Easy located at 125 North McCormick Street.

The Public Hearing has been continued due to a technical issue.

B. Adoption of Resolution No. 4141-1301 establishing Campaign Sign Free Zones(s); and adoption of Ordinance No. 4839-1302 amending City Code Sections 8-2-3 and 8-2-4 to limit campaign signs in certain public rights-ofway.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Council’s pleasure

Lamerson asks if the City is a municipal corporation - and whether or not they can be forced to allow this signage as a Charter City. 

Why, how can the state come in and tell the City what/how to use the city owned property?

Matt Podracke agreed that the City's rights have been preempted, but they are say that this is of the best interest of the state.

Lamerson asks if it's been challenged in court, that answer is no.

"It's our property, not the State's property... telling us how we can use our property, that's a taking."

"I find it pretty strange that the state would take this particular posture... never once did they discuss this issue with us before they impaled us with this..." Lamerson said.

The Mayor asks similar questions, but along a different tack. "We have to leave a political sign there, but remove someone's sign that has to do with [a yard sale]..."

Regarding a sidewalk ordinance, etc.

"This fundamentally is a question of first Amendment rights, we're dealing with political speech, the most highly protected of all speech rights..." Podracke said. 

He notes that the Supreme Court agreed that cities and states can regulate signage in public rights of way. But, the State has pre-empted the city here. 

"Anything you can get on the record if you are planning to adopt campaign-free zones, would be very helpful," Podracke said.

"All you have to do is drive down Willow Creek Road and see the impact..." Arnold said.

Note: If you were to declare it an emergency, it takes a 75% vote of the council ie: 5/7.

"Peace, health and safety..."

Arnold asks what to do with signs that are pre-existing? It should be considered, recommended that those who have signs are up, should be allowed to keep them up.

Declaring an emergency is a legislative decision.

"There are certain ramifications of free speech," Lamerson said. "You do not really have free speech, but as an attorney, you know that as well as I do."

Kuknyo doesn't want a sign put in front of his house that he doesn't want to support. He's willing to get into a fight over this.

Wonders if there could sign-ok zones?

Scamardo thinks that the exception in the law should be utilized to the fullest extent. 3 square miles is 1920+ acres. Let's expand the region, he says. The options from the staff is only using .75 miles. 

Arnold doesn't think that this is an emergency - perhaps should do this after November. "Doing something before the election isn't going to result in positive or easy to resolve options."

Blair points out sight visibility for motoring traffic for the large signs. 

He wants additional discussion, "I think a vote today would be premature."

Scamardo isn't in favor of an emergency clause, but does not think a delay is wise, because he thinks the longer it goes, it will create a precedent. Wants to pass the ordinance for the moment, and lets it go into effect in 30 days.

Lamerson thinks it should be expanded as much as possible... 

"We're in the middle of tourist season, and look at our town, it looks like a garbage dump. Maybe that's ok in Phoenix, I don't like it here."

Blair wonders who would be the enforcers... Code Enforcement.

McConnell said that the City should not place itself in a position of passing something that is not enforcable. "Beyond that, to achieve that, some ways are better than others to set up this law..."

Carlow wants to challenge the legislators to change the law (actually, they all do).

Daniel Mattson: Contiguous - can't we connect sections via crosswalks. Let's use 3 square miles plus a square yard. "Our best defense is to act as rapidly as possible. ...dare them to challenge us on it."

"What right do they have to put a sign in my front yard advertising a candidate that I would rather die than see in office... take advantage of every square inch that we can," Mattson said. Wants 6th Street to be included, plus his own street. "How about Fair Street? ...Cover Whipple... Any one of us can need streets that should not have signs."

"Section 131 says it costs them $50 a sign." 

He supports it being called an emergency, "We're going to have our whole town uglied up if we don't do it now."

Sandra Smith: She is pointing out a safety aspect - she uses a skooter, and it is very difficult to see around the signs. People all over town are using them. Plus there is a distraction to drivers. 'Tourists are already distracted,' she said."We need to do something and we need to do it fast, there is a safety issue involved."

Dick Buzby points out that he called and asked about the signs being put up so quickly. "I'm following the rules that were put out there, trying to follow everybody's rules - I feel like I'm being punished now, based on what the City Attorney told me was legal."

Craig Brown - supports the cultural area of the community, as he said last council meeting. "What I hear today, is far different from what I heard then [two weeks ago]." 

He points out that the law includes a legal offense for removing signs. "I would urge the council to think about the first amendment and what it's all about... even when all of you are running, you have signs."

"I will remove mine around the lakes, but if anybody takes my sign down, I will take them to court on a first amendment basis," he said.

Mattson again, "Keep it off the rights of way, and don't let the state dictate what we do."

Rep from Prescott Lakes wants to have the sign-free zone included in Prescott Lakes too.

Tom Atkins is wondering whether the signs were in public places, or on private property. 

Lamerson points out that he had his signs all over the place, but they were all on private property. "That showed my public support," he said.

Bob Backrath (?) is offended by the number of signs. 

Notes that Tobin, Fann and Pierce, next to Hanna and Klein have the largest signs in the community. 

He thinks that if they don't deal with it, it will never get resolved. "I see this as being no different than graffiti," he said. He supports the emergency clause. "I think we can use the health clause, Mr. Lamerson's blood pressure will surely go up if this doesn't get taken care of."

Dennis Duval: wonders how they could enforce this since they cannot enforce the noise ordinance. He said that they put a sign about 2 feet square on the corner of 'Protest Corner'. and said he was forced to remove a sign from the corner of Cortez and Gurley."

Marlin Kuykendall thinks that the Staff should do a little more work, and points out that they can call a meeting with just 24 hours notice.

Blair wants emergency clause, and wants to use the full 3 square miles. Scamardo agrees. 

Arnold: asks if an unsafe sign in an unsafe place can be removed. 

"If we allow this campaign to go through, and put in a new ordinance after November, does that set precedence?"

"If we change the rules mid-stream, we're saying to one group of people, you can put up the signs, but not this other group..." 

"We're Johnny-come-lately to this election."

Attorney Neil points out that there needs to be a dialog as to how it fits into the emergency clause. He said that the emergency clause will need 6 of 7 votes, not 5 of 7.

Blair points out that in August, this election is over - the signs could be removed at that time.

Losers have 15 days to remove the signs after the primary, the winners could stay up.

Kuknyo agrees with the idea of utilizing the 3 square miles.

Lamerson - agrees with them on maximizing the options. Now, they're complaining about consolidated elections, too. Wants another meeting, and still supports the emergency clause. "I have no problem using the emergency clause, just so you know, Mr. Attorney."

McConnell said they will need a couple of days... 'Are we talking about continuing the meeting, with ribbons or rightaway, or areas of right away."

Tentative meeting scheduled for Friday at 1. 

"That was painfully long," Blair muttered. This discussion took about 1.25 hours.


C. Approval of a professional services agreement with Carollo Engineers Inc., for the 2012 City Potable Water System Model Update in an amount not to exceed $230,000.00.

They are describing the technical issues which require this. Looking for efficiencies, safety, zones, integration, redundacies. Apparently they are very qualified. Will be completed in April 2013.

Lamerson asks about changed conditions. "I think it's important to take a look at those sorts of things," he said. "A current look... an accurate evaluation."

Scamardo clarifies that it is an Not to Exceed amount.

Kuykendall asks if it is a Pay as you go? yes.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: MOVE to approve a contract with Carollo Engineers, Inc., for the 2012 Potable Water System Model Update in an amount not to exceed $230,000.00.

Motion passes unanimously.


D. Award of bid and contract for the FY 2013 Pavement Rehabilitation Project to Asphalt Paving & Supply, Inc., in the amount of $1,689,376.85.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: MOVE to award the bid and contract for the FY 2013 Pavement Rehabilitation Project to Asphalt Paving & Supply, Inc. in the amount of $1,689,376.85.

Gurley, Prescott Lakes Parkway, Montezuma, Willow Lake Road, much more... will remove by milling the top 3 inches of ashphalt and replace with hot mix. No immediate need for water lines, Unisource says all is fine with them, too. 

60 day calendar contract. 

Funded with 1¢ sales tax.

How to notify businesses? Contractor will provide the information. Shouldn't be a long term impact with any one location.

Carlow asks about prioritization of projects. Condition, traffic.

Motion passes unanimously. 

E. Approval to perform night work on Prescott Lakes Parkway between State Route 69 and State Route 89 associated with the FY 2013 Chip Seal, Pavement Preservation and Various Pavement Repairs Project.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: MOVE to approve night work on Prescott Lakes Parkway between State Route 69 and State Route 89 for work associated with the FY 2013 Chip Seal, Pavement Preservation and Various Pavement Repairs Project.

Wants to avoid business disruption with this project. 

Arnold wants WalMart to be informed that their ingress/egress will be closed for about 2 hours. 

McConnell said that at no time will all entrances and exits be closed.

F. Ordinance No. 4838-1301 setting the Fiscal Year 2013 City property tax levy.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: MOVE to adopt Ordinance No. 4838-1301.

The Secondary Tax Rates will be going up, but it is only a little bit, and then in 2013, it drops. 

Prescott has the lowest tax rate in the quad city area.

Arnold reiterates:

Not raising the primary tax rate.

Secondary primary tax rate, based upon the bonds voted on. It fluctuates based on property values. 

Secondary taxes pay debt service only, it doesn't go into the general fund at all.

Primary taxes generate $1,095,856 to the general fund. That amount pays for only 3 weeks of police and fire and infrastructure. 

Sales tax provides $11.5 million.

Primary taxes only make up about 8% of sales tax revenues.

Motion passes unanimously.

A gift was given to Liz Burke for her years of service. Presented by the Mayor, Lamerson also thanks her, I appreciate you, and I'm going to miss you, Lamerson said.