Local News

Tusayan Town Council Ignores Advice and Approves the Stilo Land Use Plan

November 6, 2011

By Mike Scerbo

The Tusayan Town Council has given Stilo want they want. A land use plan that includes three million square feet of commercial space, RV parks, parking garages has been approved. The plan could also add eight thousand new residents to the community. Mayor Greg Bryan, Vice Mayor Cecily Maniaci, and Councilman Al Montoya voted yes. Newly appointed Councilman Bill Fitzgerald voted no on the key components and Councilman John Reuter re-cused himself. 

Throughout the negotiations, Stilo has been unwilling or unable to say where it plans to get the water to fuel this unprecedented growth; a fact that seems to be ignored by the Town Council. The Grand Canyon National Park and the Havasupai Tribe fear that if Stilo decides to drill wells, the springs that feed the Tribe AND THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK will dry up. 

Stilo's Scottsdale based front man Tom DePaolo pulled out all the stops at the November 2nd Council meeting. He brought over his boss from Italy, Federico Pellicioli. The Italian investor told the council, "I am fully prepared to deliver what we promised. He also promised to "listen to the concerns of the community."

Despite the fact that the plan is administered by Scottsdale-based Stilo and Pellicioli's Italian based company, Gruoppo Percassi, backers keep making the bogus claim that the development has the support of the local community. Well it does have the support of the list of influential Tusayan residents who received thousands in win bonuses from Stilo and its allies following the incorporation vote. Here is a link to that list.

One of the people on that list is Councilman Al Montoya, who collected an $8,500 win bonus. Montoya made all of the motions to approve the pieces of the land use deal. Montoya has also tried to get his wife appointed to the Town Council and he says council members ought to be paid. Perhaps that win bonus wasn't enough?

In supporting the plan Mayor Greg Bryan noted he opposed Stilo's Camper Village project from the 1990's. He says what made the difference this time is that Stilo reached out to the community. "We created the opportunity and they heard us."

What Bryan failed to mention is that his boss, Washington state millionaire Elling Halvorson became a business partner in this new venture. Halvorson employs Bryan, Montoya and Reuter. He rents business property to Maniaci. The only council member who is not dependent on Halvorson is Bill Fitzgerald who voted no.

Fitzgerald's major concern is the lack of a water supply, "To this point the developers have not answered adequately where they are getting the water and they have not mentioned why they can't answer that question." Fitzgerald has challenged DePaolo in the past on the water issue. Over the summer Fitzgerald questioned DePaolo at a public meeting on the land use plan. DePaolo's reply at the time was, "You want to be antagonist, you've got your day coming."  Here is a link to DePaolo's threat. Given Fitzgerald's votes, it appears he's not someone who can be bullied or threatened.