Local News

Too LEGIT to Quit

July 13, 2011


The Tusayan Town Council is making an end run around attempts to make sure the Council operates by a code of ethics.    A measure appears headed for the ballot that would prevent a single business owner from gaining a controlling interest of the Town Council. The town attorney doesn’t like the set of rules proposed by the group called LEGIT or Leaders for Ethical Government in Tusayan.  Signatures to place the item on the ballot were handed in Friday July 8th
That’s not a big surprise given that the mayor and two council members work for out-of-state millionaire Elling Halvorson and the Vice Mayor rents business property from Halvorson. Halvorson is also in partnership with Stilo on a massive land use plan that would make both parties millions of dollars if they can get the Town Council to rezone some major acreage.
Tusayan’s Town Clerk, retired Judge Bill Sutton has been tasked with writing a code of ethics, he got some ideas from the LEGIT initiative however, “Sometimes you have to look at things differently in a small town situation. I tried to take that into account that we are not Phoenix or Tucson, we’re Tusayan and it’s gonna be slightly different. On the other hand I looked at extensively under what’s called conflict of interest because there is a really big potential in a place like Tusayan where you have a limited amount of employers for there to be some conflicts of interest.”
The timing is certainly curious. All of a sudden a code of ethics has become important because a group of concerned citizens wants to hold local government accountable. And while Sutton has a solid reputation, having the town Council in charge of approving a code of ethics is like getting sensitivity training from the Kardashians.
We put in a public records request for what Judge Sutton has so far. He says it’s still in the draft stage.