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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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4/27/2013 9:55:00 PM
PV mulls waiving fee for fire district meeting room rental
Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Town Council supports waiving a proposed fee for the Central Yavapai Fire District to conduct monthly board meetings in the council chambers and for town staff to videotape the meetings for broadcast.

Council members said they support waiving the proposed fee of $2,000 a year in the interest of government transparency.

If the council chambers in the library auditorium are unavailable because of a scheduling conflict, the fire district board could meet elsewhere, with the Channel 15 crew from the town videotaping the meetings for delayed broadcast and web streaming.

The issue came up Thursday during the "comments/communications" portion of the council agenda because the fire district board considered an intergovernmental agreement with the town for $2,000 a year for use of the library auditorium and for videotaping/broadcasting the meetings. However, such a proposal died for a lack of a second at the April 2 meeting of the fire district board.

"We have offered this particular facility" to the fire district board, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski told the council.

Fire district board member Steve Rutherford said he did not attend the April 2 board meeting.

Mayor Harvey Skoog said, "We do want the meetings to be transparent."

Councilwoman Patty Lasker said, "I feel this is a service to the community. We should not let that (proposed fee) be the deal-breaker."

Lasker said she is willing to waive the fee.

"I think we should do it," she said. "We should stop our whining."

Tarkowski said he has not received requests from other municipalities for use of the library auditorium for meetings.

Lasker said, "This is not just for us. This is our fire department."

Prescott Valley residents should be able to "see and hear what is being done" at the fire district meetings, Councilman Rick Anderson said.

The town has waived the fee for the Humboldt Unified School District, Tarkowski said.

Councilwoman Lora Lee Nye asked, "Is this conversation moot? Is this (issue) going to come up again?"

Rutherford said he would be happy to bring the matter back to the fire district board.

Referring to a reception for a police promotion earlier during the meeting, Lasker quipped, "You have to provide your own cookies."

Tarkowski said he will follow the direction to drop the proposed fee and offer to send the Channel 15 crew to other locations if fire district board cannot meet in the library.

Links to the videotaped meetings could appear on the websites of the town and the fire district, Rutherford said.

"In my opinion, that is the best way to view the meeting," he said.

Vice Mayor Don Tjiema said, "The issue is not who's got cable. It is transparency."

The issue will come back for council approval after the fire district board takes action, Tarkowsk said.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ d b

To quote an old REO Speedwagon song, I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend that the real resistance was coming from the chief. You know, they guy who thought he'd just build himself a new communication center and was almost able to pull it off since no one had any idea what he was up to. This should resolve that problem nicely. Why would anyone who didn't have something to hide object to this? Transparency is a good thing, well done PV council!

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: db Copper

@ good job

Did I miss something? Where in this article did it say that the "Fire Chief" said "no" to changing venues. ...


Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Good job!

Way to go Prescott Valley Council! We should always be privy to how our tax dollars are being spent and this is the best way for PV citizens to be able to follow the actions of the CYFD board. The fire chief surely won't be able to say no to this generous offer! Thanks PV council for helping make the business of the fire district transparent. I for one appreciate this above and beyond offer.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

Sounds like a plan. As for those of us not on cable, we can watch on the internet over the town's web site or possibly the CYFD can also provide this service. Good job!



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