Local News

The Maniaci mystery

January 4, 2011

By Michael Anthony Scerbo

It’s not illegal to have a business in Tusayan and not live in Tusayan. Elling Halvorson lives in the state of Washington. His buddies at Gruppo Percassi are based in Italy. The author of this article lives in Phoenix. But the residency of Tusayan Town Council member Cecily Maniaci is kind of a mystery. While she may be renting a residence somewhere in Tusayan, she and her husband own a million dollar home in Paradise Valley according to the Maricopa County Assessor. A link to the property is here.

Tusayan is a wonderful place to live, but it does seem odd that someone who owns a palatial home in Paradise Valley would chose to establish residency in a humble rental in Tusayan. Maniaci’s campaign disclosure form (here’s a link) shows she doesn’t own any land in Tusayan. Given the lack of available real estate, it’s understandable that she has to rent land owned by Eliing Halvroson to do business.

Maniaci owns a business called Grand Tracs which is apparently involved in food service in town. But the business headquarters are in Maricopa County. Here is a link to the Arizona Corporation Commission. It was last updated in September of 2009 and it lists Maniaci’s business address in Paradise Valley. The statutory agent for the business is an attorney whose office borders Paradise Valley. According to the Corporation Commission website, Grand Tracs annual report was due in August of 2010 and it is late.

The last annual report we could find is from August of 2009. Nowhere does it indicate Maniaci moved to Tusayan.  Here's a link. There is one statement of change that notes Maniaci’s attorney moved to new digs near Paradise Valley.

Attorney Paul Eckstein had some questions about this situation in February of 2010 when he sent a letter to the Coconino County Recorder’s Office. Here’s a portion of that letter:

1- 2: Cecily and Anthony Maniaci own a home in Paradise Valley,
and Mr. Maniaci has never been seen in the area to be incorporated, let
alone having an actual, physical presence in that area as required by A.R.S.
§ 16-101(B).

If the incorporation election is about local control, why is a Paradise Valley home owner who owns a corporation based in Paradise Valley serving on the Tusayan Town Council?

It’s not unusual to own a business or two in one town and live in another. It’s not unusual to hold public office in a community and not own property. But it sure is unusual to own a million dollar home in the most exclusive community in Arizona, while claiming to be a resident living in a rental home near a national park.

We have a message out to Ms. Maniaci. When she responds we will update this article.