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Live Update of the Prescott City Council July 1, 2014

01 July 2014  

Today is the day that the Council must decide about whether to appeal the PSPRS Board decision to grant full time benefits to the Ashcraft family. Starts at 3.



INVOCATION Reverend Kimball Arnold, St. Luke's Episcopal Church




  • Mayor Pro Tem Lamerson
  • Councilman Kuknyo
  • Councilman Arnold
  • Councilman Lazzell
  • Councilman Blair
  • Councilwoman Wilcox



A. Acknowledgement and appreciation of volunteer service by Nancy Nesbit

Nancy has helped the City save about $10K over the last 2 years. 

B. Wreaths Across America fundraiser, presented by Jessica Crowl of the Scottish American Military Society

The Scottish American Military Society is hoping to raise funds for about 700 wreaths for the Veteran's Cemetery. 

Each wreath is $15.

To donate:

Scottish American Military Society, Post 1297

Put in Memo: Cemetery ID AZPNCP Group ID AZ0004

Mail before November 20, 2014 to:

Scottish American Military Society Post 1297

PO Box 2245

Prescott, aZ 86302-2245

Attn: Jasmine Crowl/Larry Lamper



C. Transient Merchant Sales in Downtown Business District, by Kevin Scheevel

They are concerned about transient merchants that take the tourism dollars and hurt local merchants. "We think it's a bad business model for the City of Prescott," Scheevel said. 

They say it is detrimental to downtown merchants and not int he best interest of the community as a whole, and "therefore must be rebuilt." 

"It steals our tourism season, and without the tourism season, we cannot survive," he said. "They're not getting the support from the city or the county."

He points out that the Phippen show benefits everyone in the City. 

Mission Statement:

"To create positive change in the Prescott downtown business district by developing and furthering the idea, collective understanding and agreement amont all that the same ole economic model of downtown Prescott is dedtrimental to downtown merchants and not in the best interest of the community as a whole, and therefore must be rebuilt.

"To assist in developing a new economic model for downtown Prescott that is mutually beneficial to the community as a whole and best positions all downtown Prescott businesses to prosper well into the future."

"People aren't going to come downtown if all there is are bars, restaurants and real estate agents," Scheevel said.

He claims that people are selling illegal items on the square.

He claims that the PDP is taking $60K to manage the Square, but they aren't doing so.

"We're here to appeal to this Council," he said. "Let's entertain the tourists," he suggests.

"Kevin, thanks," said the Mayor. He noted that there are also members of the Downtown Partnership who might want to respond. 

We need to find a way to get the tourists to shop in our downtown stores, not on the square.

Lamerson said that he thinks the events in general are good for the City of Prescott. 

"Government pandering to events every week definitely has an impact. "[This issue] doesn't belong to your council or to your county, it belongs to the Downtown Partnership or the Chamber," Lamerson said. 

Sheevel asks that the City not contract with the organizations, which he says is not holding up their responsibilities.

Alex Vacula and Kendall are here to speak in behalf of the Prescott Downtown Partnerships. 

Vacula said that their vision is to promote the downtown area for everyone, not just one particular business. "We are open to positive, constructive options and opportunities in how to make this better," Vacula said.

"We are looking for constructive comments, we are looking for ideas... We do want more crafts," Vacula said.

Prescott is a Main Street organization. Kendall said they are "...the Poster Child for downtown, and our job is to keep it that way."

Maurer: Sales tax is collected at these shows. 

Arnold points out that every event has consequences. 

"Do I think there's room for improvement? Absolutely," Arnold said. "Is it the end all answer for everybody? I'm sure it's not. At the end of the day, there will be people who benefits from the event and those who do not. Should we look for ways to improve it? Yes. But at the end of the day, this will be year 30 of looking for ways to improve it, and everybody will never be happy."

2. 10 days in the year when the chamber has an event at the square. 

The Chamber collects about $10K in tax revenue for the City. 

"This year, we have tightened up our restrictions," Maurer said. He said they didn't allow the merchants to bring resale merchandise this year. 


D. Prescott Chamber of Commerce – Introduction of new businesses

Yavapai County Meet-N-Greet on July 24. 16 confirmed candidates, at the Prescott Resort. The chamber has 843 members now. 


A. Proclaiming July 4, 2014 as Independence Day for All

Chris Kuknyo is reading the Proclamation. 


Jean Wilcox Library Advisory Board: Wants to support key access to all people. 

Hopes there will be no user fees. 

Implementing book deposit in several areas around Prescott. 

Preservation Commission takes their job very seriously. 

Wilcox has been to 2 NACOG meetings. She learned there is a formula for distributing Title 3 monies to states for seniors. It puts AZ at a disadvantage. The sequester last fall hurt the head start programs. 

Blair: Meetings for Upper Verde Watershed and WAC meeting - half amounts. His goal is not to duplicate processes in meetings. 

Arnold is looking at various water/wastewater 

CDGB distributed funds this year. New grading system on how it gets distributed. 

Airport Users Group looking forward to working with new manager.

Parks and Rec continues to do a lot with not a lot. 

PDP new Christmas event. Parade will be different. Will increase parade pull.

General plan is coming along. 

Blair points out that the TDML's of the lakes and reservoirs - is  hoping the County can help, too. He thinks they may need to dredge lakes and put in silt catchment drains to prevent lake from filling with silt.




A. Discussion/Possible Action, Appeal of City of Prescott PSPRS Local Board Notice of Decision in re Application of Juliann Ashcraft RECOMMENDED ACTION: Council to determine motion, if any, following discussion, or provide other direction.

Pat McGroder is representing the Ashcraft family, and he wants to speak to the Council. 

"My purpose here today is not to persuade or dissuade," McGroder said.

"First of all, we came here a month or so ago with our obligation to seek due process... We presented 2 days of testimony, we presented over 1000 pages of documents... That board was riveted to the testimony... The witnesses, whom you should be very proud of... The Board's questions were perceptive... Was the decision emotional? Certainly, how could it not be?..." McGroder said.

"The idea that Andrew Ashcraft was something other than a fulltime employee... fulltime employee has been defined under the statute," McGroder said. "He averaged 50 hours a week on a 52 week basis in the 2 1/2 years he worked here."

"If this Board agrees not to appeal, let John and I agree on an effective date," he said.

"I received an email from the Assistant Director from the State Board," McGroder said. "From what was provided, it seems pretty clear that Andrew Ashcraft should have been provided the PSPRS benefits and we should perhaps provide more training to the City of Prescott." 

"We have elected not to file a claim against the City of Prescott for the wrongful death, because we don't have a claim for the wrongful death against the City of Prescott," he said. 

"We believe that the independence of this board was sacrosanct," he said. 

The Council votes to enter into Executive Session. 

 5:14 - Executive Session Complete.

Paladini tells them that at this point it is decision time. 

"You need to make a decision as to appealing or not appealing," Paladini said.

"The question is, did we mis-classify?...I"m worried that we don't make the same mistakes over and over again? If we were wrong, are we making the same mistakes all over again?" Kuknyo asks.

He points out that several firemen are still in ASRS... some are even in no retirement program at all.

"We've got to seriously think about what we are doing here... I think we need to go to a third party," Kuknyo said. 

"This isn't about should we or shouldn't we, this is too much for this Board. We need to send this off to an independent third party and live with the decision. If Miss Ashcraft deserves the benefits, then she deserves the benefits. We need to know what is right," Kuknyo said.

Wilcox is stating that she didn't think she should appeal last week. "My concern after reading the entire transcript and reading all the exhibits, the process is flawed. We as a council and the PSPRS board cannot make all the unprecedented legal decisions for this case. I think the Court of Law needs to instruct us..." 

"We did have a new development which Mr. McGroder didn't mention. He did file a lawsuit, he didn't serve it yet, but that's of concern to me. We need a higher review..." Wilcox said. She doesn't think that they will get an unbiased view from the PSPRS. "So, I have changed my mind."

With that, Wilcox moved that the City appeal the Board's decision.

Arnold concurs. 

Kuknyo asks to direct staff to look at current firefighters are fully informed as to what benefits they have. 

Lamerson says, "Government at all levels bothers me, the bureaucracy bothers me."

Lamerson Votes yes. 

Blair and Lazzell votes no.

The Council will appeal.




Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.