Local News

Councilman Montoya Says He Won’t Be Supporting Tusayan Fire

December 28, 2018

 Tusayan Town Councilman Al Montoya emailed the Tusayan Fire Department saying he will no longer be supporting Tusayan Fire. The email came after Fire District Administrator Chrystal Schoppmann expressed concern following revelations exposed by the Watchdog’s story about council comments made following a July council meeting when internet streaming was mistakenly left running. 

The tapes outline the methods to keep certain communications outside the public record. They also reveal a disdain for opponents of the Stilo development plan, advice from Stilo project manager Tom DePaolo on how to counter bad publicity and remarks by DePaolo about concocting a harassment claim against Kaibab National Forest Manager Heather Provencio. Here is a link to the original story. Those captured on the recording were Mayor Craig Sanderson, Vice Mayor Becky Wirth and Councilmember Al Montoya.

Schoppmann expressed concern about the recordings in a statement to the Town Council as well as in an editorial to the Watchdog.

That drew an angry response from Montoya in an email to the Fire Department. Montoya wrote, “I will not be endorsing the fire dept. any longer. Due to its position to lies and innuendos presented by its staff.”

Schoppmann has made it clear she was addressing the Council as a Tusayan resident and not as a Tusayan Fire Department employee.

At the December 12th Town Council meeting she replied, “This kind of bullying behavior and retaliation was exactly what I spoke about. First, that statement to Council had not one lie - it was facts that can be backed up. Second, I was very clear that I was not on my employer's time during my statement. Mr. Montoya has proven the opinion that he is incapable of doing what is best for the Town of Tusayan; to put in writing that he will no longer support the Fire Department because I invoked my 1st Amendment Right shows Mr. Montoya has complete disregard for the well-being of the citizens and visitors alike in Tusayan.”

Montoya did not attend the December 12th meeting. The other members of the Town Council at the December 12th meeting did not echo Montoya’s sentiments.