Local News

High Country News Exposes Corporate Takeover of Tusayan

June 13, 2011

High Country News, a respected publication about issues surrounding the American West is just out with a story that outlines Stilo’s engulf and devour approach when it comes to getting its way.

The story, by respected Arizona Journalist John Dougherty tells how Stilo and business partner Elling Halvorson appears to have spent a small fortune to buy an incorporation election and a friendly town Council. Here is a link to the article. You have to subscribe to the publication to get the full story, but it’s worth the effort.

One of the interesting sections of the article is that fact that no one questioned about United for Tusayan’s win bonuses knew anything about them, including United for Tusayan’s Chairwoman Cecily Maniaci.

Here is an excerpt from the High Country News story:

United for Tusayan's chairwoman, Vice Mayor Maniaci, said in an interview she couldn't explain why the bonus payments were made and who ordered them. "I don't know the answer to that," she said. "It's probably a very relevant question, but I did not (participate in granting or receiving the bonuses)." Halvorson, in a phone interview, also denied any connection to the bonuses, saying he "didn't know anything about it," despite the fact that eight of the 10 people receiving bonuses, including the two who later won council seats, were his employees.

Just in case you forgot who got the bonuses, here is a link that tells you who in town made a tidy profit from the incorporation vote. That list includes Council Member Al Montoya who got more than $8,500; Councilman John Reuter got $2,000; and former Town Clerk Pam Parsons and her husband, Montgomery, each collected $2,000.

This story represents a milestone for Tusayan. At first this publication was the lone voice on Tusayan’s troubles. Then, Flagstaff’s Arizona Daily Sun took notice. Now, a national publication, The High Country News is taking notice. It will be interesting to see who is next to take notice.