TUSAYAN, Ariz. — Following an October meeting after which conversations between council members and representatives of the STILO development group were recorded and posted online, the Tusayan Town Council will no longer stream live audio of its meetings for the public.
Town Clerk Bruce Northern said his instructions were to not stream meetings any longer, but that audio recordings of every meeting would be made available upon receiving a records request.
South Rim-Tusayan Multimodal Transportation Plan
During the meeting, council members also discussed the South Rim – Tusayan Multimodal Transportation Plan, which calls for a cohesive plan to ease traffic congestion on the South Rim, as well as promote alternative recreation activities in both Tusayan and the surrounding Kaibab National Forest.
According to a report provided by the town, the National Park Service, Kaibab National Forest, the South Rim Chamber of Commerce and Paul Revere Transportation, suggestions for the plan include increased shuttle service with more stops, pedestrian improvements in Tusayan and a communication plan for extreme congestion days at the park. The plan also includes the Chamber’s ambassador program, which made contact with about 5,000 visitors in a three-month period this summer, and efforts to promote biking into the park and surrounding areas rather than using a vehicle.
Although the council was asked to approve of the plan, council member Al Montoya said the council should consider the cost of each of the proposed actions before giving final approval.
Resident addresses concerns with council
Tusayan resident Chrystal Schoppmann addressed the council to express some of her concerns, including the governing body’s relationship with the STILO development group. Schoppmann said the while she was pro-growth, she felt the town’s involvement with STILO was not responsible growth.
“The totality of the STILO Development Group’s concept is so far out of the realm of what I, and many others, consider to be responsible growth and progression for Tusayan and the Grand Canyon National Park,” she said. “The Town of Tusayan is being used by the STILO group for no purpose other than getting their commercial development project moved forward.”
Schoppmann also expressed her concern that some town residents were being intimidated into not voting or stating their varying political viewpoints. She stated some residents feared they may lose their jobs if they disagreed with their employers.
She also called for the council to take heart in feedback from town constituents.
“It’s going to take a lot of work on your part to mend some of the fences, but it’s not impossible,” she said.
Chavez, Schoppmann bid farewell at last meeting
Mayor Craig Sanderson thanked outgoing council members David Chavez and John Schoppmann for their service to the town. Incoming council members Brady Harris and Robb Baldosky will be seated at the December council meeting.