Council appoints Pedroza new City TreasurerBy Francisco Barrios
The City of Douglas Mayor and Council regular meeting took place February 8 in which three agenda items stood out.
Among those being the decision to table the two appointments to the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) for consideration by a future council; the approval to initiate an immediate employment recruitment process for the replacement of City Manager Curtis Shook and the designation of Interim Finance Director Luis Pedroza as the new City Treasurer.
On the first agenda item two interested Douglas residents, Frank Ambris and Florencio Lopez Jr., expressed their interest in filling out the IDA position that was vacant after former member Lawrence Blaskey presented his resignation. The decision of Council and Mayor was to table this item and leave that decision to the incoming council which will take place after the general election.
The next agenda item of the meeting was the approval of Luis Pedroza as the new City Treasurer. Shook said that he recently recruited the position of Finance Director/City Treasurer for a period of one month and only one application was received, that coming from Luis Pedroza, who was working for the City as the Interim Finance Director until the day of the meeting.
According to Shook, Pedroza has been an outstanding addition to the Finance Department and meets the qualifications of the position plus has recently completed his MBA from Arizona State University.
To approve the appointment, an executive session was needed in order for the Mayor and Council to receive legal advice from City Attorney Juan Pablo Flores on this issue after Mayor Michael Gomez expressed his concern because according to him, the City Charter says that only Council and Mayor have the authority to appoint administrative officials.
“This position is not an employment position you (referring to City Manager) have authority over it; it is the Council and City who have the administrative jurisdiction over it,” Gomez said. “And Council should be informed about what is happening; Friday afternoon you want us to blindfold everybody and stamp it?”
City Manager Shook answered the following “With all due respect Mayor Gomez, I have kept you informed through memorandums in other meetings of the recruitment process.”
After the executive session, all council members voted “Yes” for the appointment while Mayor Gomez voted “No” on the item.
In other action, the Mayor and Council decided to approve the initiation of an immediate employment recruitment process for the replacement of City Manager, Curtis Shook due to an employment contract expiration date of June 30, 2012.
City Manager Shook said in a statement letter that back in January 2010, he accepted a one-year extension of his contract as City Manager, but that contract ends this year.
“After 27 years in the City Management profession, it has always been my intention to retire at the conclusion of my Douglas service. … Sylvia and I will continue to maintain a home here,” Shook said.
After the discussion of the item, Council and Mayor approved the motion to initiate the recruitment process immediately to give the City the chance to find a replacement to soften the transition due to the upcoming election process.
In other actions, Mayor and Council approved: to classify the Finance Director position as a range 36 on the City’s classification system and salary schedule. Range 36 will have a fiscal impact of $68,134-$95,872. Funds are available in the City’s current operating budget; expenditures for the month of January 2012, totaling $1,623,215.02; meeting minutes for December 14, 2011; approval of a special event liquor license application for a fundraising event on February 25, 2012, by the Rotary Club of Douglas.
The Council also approved a City of Douglas Police Department vehicle list and an auction date of February 25, 2012 with a backup date of March 24, 2012.
They also passed the second reading of ordinance no. 12-1006, an ordinance of the Mayor and Council of the City of Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona, repealing ordinance no. 815; redistricting the city’s wards; establishing severability of components of ordinance and establishing an effective date thereof.
The Council also approved the second reading of ordinance no. 12-1008, an ordinance of the Mayor and Council of the City of Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona, amending the official zoning regulations, rules and guidelines of the City of Douglas by amending article 7, section 705(i) pertaining to temporary political signs, establishing severability of components of ordinance and establishing an effective date thereof.
Resolution no. 12-871, a resolution of the Mayor and Council of the City of Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona, approving the application to the state of Arizona Governor’s Office of energy policy for an energy efficiency and conservation grant (EEECBG) in the amount of $50,000 was also approved by the Mayor and Council.
The next regular City Meeting will be held on March 14 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.