Local News

The Power Structure is Challenged

January 16, 2012

Fire Chief Robert Evans and local businesswoman Clarinda Vail have put their names in the hopper for the March 13th recall elections. Evans is challenging Mayor Greg Bryan and Vail is challenging Al Montoya.

Evans has lived in Tusayan for 20 years and he has been chief of the fire district for 12 years, taking it from an organization with a handful of volunteers to a roster that has more than two dozen people.

Evans, who has gone on countless calls for service says he understands what the needs of the community are, "I think I am more in touch with the families and workers  and what types of social services are needed."  Evans, unlike his opponent, is not employed by Stilo or its business partner, Elling Halvorson. Nor has Evans received any free trips to Italy.

Evans also expects Stilo to unleash it's fury on him just as it did to councilman Bill Fitzgerald. Evans says Stilo's tactics trouble him, especially as its lawyers target Councilman Fitzgerald for speaking his mind, "That's one of the reasons I ran, because I don't think that's right. Bill is a good man; he's been here forever."

Clarinda Vail is a lifelong resident of Tusayan and has led the fight to preserve the community from Stilo's dangerous land use plan. She faces Al Montoya, who collected an $8,000 win bonus from Stilo allies and initially neglected to report the bounty.

Vail is troubled by Montoya's actions, "I am sure Al earned every penny of the win bonus he received from the pro-incorporation forces. However the fact that voters were not aware of this payout when Mr. Montoya was elected means that the electorate didn't get the whole story. Was Al's omission intentional or accidental? It's pretty hard to forget about an $8,000 win bonus."

Vail is also troubled by the fact that Montoya is an employee of Stilo business partner Elling Halvorson, "Al didn't declare conflicts of interest as he voted in the Stilo land use plan, even though his employer would profit substantially. Instead of voting for the good of the community and siding with the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park, Montoya sided with the person who signs his paycheck."

Vail is a current member of the Grand Canyon School Board which she has served on for years. She is also active in   the Grand Canyon Rotary Club, and  the Kaibab Learning Center. She served on the Committee for the Tusayan Fire District (and Kaibab national Forest) which wrote the Tusayan Community and Wildfire Protection Plan. She also served on the first Tusayan Town Council. 

Vice Mayor Cecily Maniaci  has resigned. Craig Sanderson has already been named as her replacement.