Who will draft Tusayan enforcement codes?

Bill Sutton's contract renewal discussed by town council May 4

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - The future of Tusayan's enforcement codes and Bill Sutton's contract with the town as law enforcement consultant were discussed during the Tusayan Town Council's regular meeting May 4.

Even though the council is still bound to their contract with Coconino County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) until Jun 30, 2012, council member Bob Blasi said he wants to be prepared to move forward when the contract expires. To that end, he added the extension of Sutton's contract in order to draft Tusayan's enforcement codes to the agenda.

According to Town Manager Enrique Ochoa, there is nothing in Judge Sutton's contract that provides for the drafting of enforcement codes. He offered to meet with Sutton to discuss the possibility of amending his contract.

Blasi said he was aware that Judge Sutton has expressed interest in providing the service to the town, adding he favors hiring Sutton to draft the town's codes.

"He also stated to us that he is running out of work, and that if we don't move in the direction that he has invested in us for the last six months that we may find that all the work he has provided for us will be moot," Blasi said.

Originally hired as a law enforcement consultant for the council, Sutton reported to the council during their April 6 regular meeting that out of the 91 incorporated cities and towns in Arizona, 80 have their own law enforcement departments. Based on his review of those contracts, Sutton said Tusayan currently has the most expensive contract in the state. The council is paying $30,000 a month to CCSO for their law enforcement services, which were free before the town incorporated.

Mayor Greg Bryan said he appreciates the work Sutton has done, but reminded the council of their fiscal responsibility.

"We are not here to keep him employed," he said. "We have to use our funds wisely and be specific in the way we spend them. We did have a time frame on him, and I would like to see a specific package in terms of the cost and take a look at the value for us."

Blasi went on to praise Sutton's work and urged the council to keep him employed. To do otherwise, he said, would be a waste of time "for him, for the council and for the taxpayer's dollars," adding Sutton was a critical part of the team for Tusayan.

"He is by far not one of the entities that has gouged this town and this council," Blasi said. "To say that we are not obligated to keep him employed, that is somewhat of an insult in my opinion."

Bryan went on to say his intention was not to demean the work Sutton completed for the council, but to "quantify and qualify" every expense and to define what the specifics to his contract will be before they take action on it.

"I do not want to give any of our residents the feeling that we are just going to keep paying somebody to be here," Bryan said. "I think if we want to expand our contract with him, that is perfectly fine."

The council has directed the town manager discuss with Sutton the potential for amending his contract, and to bring it to an action item for tomorrow night's meeting.

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