Local News

Chamber of Commerce and the Tusayan Fire District are Under Fire Over a Small Campfire

July 13, 2011

By Mike Scerbo

Prior to the corporate takeover of Tusayan that put three Elling Halvorson employees on the Town Council, Tusayan looked to the Tusayan Fire District and the Chamber of Commerce to promote the community and keep it safe.
That was then. Now that Tusayan’s Town Council is calling the shots it’s targeting these two groups over a small campfire that was lit during the community’s 3rd of July Celebration because a fire was lit during a fire ban. Never mind the fact that it was an incredibly small fire on private land and it took place after the area got some rain. Here is a picture of the scene of the crime.
Just who will be accused of committing this crime of the century remains to be seen. After the executive session of the Town Council meeting July 6th, the Council met in open session and gave Town Manager Enrique Ochoa his marching orders. Ochoa says he has been instructed to “Undertake an investigation to determine if the fire ordinance was violated and take appropriate action, which would be to report it to the proper authority.”
Ochoa says three people brought the matter to the Town’s attention including Council Member Bob Blasi.
A lot of people went through a lot of trouble to help the community celebrate the holiday. In fact in open session, the council thanked those who lent their time and talent. In executive session it was a different story. 
The Chamber of Commerce and the Fire District have strived to remain neutral over issues surrounding Stilo’s corporate takeover of Tusayan. Both entities have continued to show class in working with the new regime. The Chamber has tirelessly worked on a marketing study, while the Fire District lends its expertise on issues such as flood studies. It seems odd that the council would return the favor by ginning up these charges. Perhaps they see The Chamber and the Fire District as a threat. After all, neither Stilo nor Halvorson have control over them.