By Jeanie Hankins
As promised, a referendum-pulling resident is working to block the Town of Wickenburg’s purchase of the empty bank building and property on the northeast corner of W. Wickenburg Way and N. Vulture Mine Road. Town Council voted unanimously on Sept. 25 to approved Resolution 2247, a purchase agreement between the Town and Vulture Peak Properties. According to the agreement, the purchase price of $1 million includes the 5,140 sq. ft. building on three acres, with the sale expected to close within 29 days. (Read more details in the Sept. 25 edition of The Sun, or at WickenburgSun.com.)
In a closed-door session on Sept. 16 Town Council instructed the town manager to negotiate with the seller, with the intention of purchasing the building and relocating the police department from town hall into the building. Subsequently, the purchase agreement was approved Sept. 25 during a specially scheduled public meeting.
During the public comment portion of the Sept. 25 meeting Wickenburg resident Casey Hanna referred to a letter he had emailed to council on Sunday which accused Council of violating Arizona’s Open Meeting Law and various other critiques.
In his letter, Hanna – who orchestrated the recent referendum, which sidetracked a hotel and retail development downtown – said, “If this resolution is approved, it will become referable immediately,” and also during his comments to Council he threatened to report the Council’s recent actions to the attorney general.
On Sept. 26, Hanna obtained from the town clerk’s office an application for referendum of Resolution 2247. In order for the referendum to be considered, it must contain 264 valid signatures and be returned by Oct. 24, according to Town Clerk Amy Brown.
Town Attorney Susan Goodwin reviewed Hanna’s complaints and concluded the requirements of the open meetings law were met, and the motion approved by Council was properly executed. Further, she maintains Resolution 2247 is not subject to referendum, according to a statement issued to The Sun last week by Town Manager Vince Lorefice.
Lorefice said the Town is going forward with the purchase of the building and invites residents with questions or concerns to attend an information session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at Town Hall.