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Truth vs Myth Series

by Suzette Conrardy

The move to recall Prescott Mayor Phil Goode publicly began in November 2023 with a slew of wild claims that have shrunk over time as they have been proven untrue. In a series of posts, I’m going to dissect each claim one by one. This specific post is the introduction to the series.


There are, in effect, two overlapping sets of accusations being levied against Mayor Goode. First, there is the recall petition itself (viewable at https://www.mayorphilgoode.com/petition-example) which is a legal document and the wording cannot be changed, even if incorrect.  In my view, anyone who signs this petition based on the stated recall grounds has been defrauded. Do not sign the petition.


Second, there are additional or recycled claims being made on social media and no doubt, in personal conversations. These accusations should be given even less credence; they’re not the legal basis for the recall. My approach here is to provide the larger picture and link to resources so you can see and think for yourself.

Why the recall, and why now? Stay tuned….

Lamp

Post #1

Breach of City Charter - 24 Jan 2024

Two sitting council members (Brandon Montoya, Eric Moore) and two outgoing members (Steve Sishka, Clark Tenney) made complaints about Mayor Goode breaching the City Charter during the Special City Council Meeting on Nov 7, 2023.

Their claims were mostly based on hearsay as none were party to key conversations. Eric Moore shared his complaint letter to the city attorney (see city website https://prescottaz.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1403/files/2552, download document marked “Other"). At the Council Executive Session on December 19, 2023, results of an independent investigation stated that Mayor Goode did not violate the city charter (see city website https://prescottaz.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1472/files/2708, download document marked “Minutes”).

Did the recall team wait to learn the results of the independent investigation prior to filing their recall documents on November 26, 2023? No, they did not. Today, recall supporters continue to refer to a breach of the city charter as though it were true; no recall claims have been officially retracted and no apologies have been offered. That’s a form of deception.

 

I attended the November 7 council meeting and found the supposedly independent and spontaneous agreement of four council members - on the serious topic of charging the mayor with wrongdoing - impossible to believe. My thought at the time was that if those four council members coordinated together to make this happen, then they violated open meeting laws. Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

Post #2

Lack of Transparency - 27 Jan 2024

The recall team claims a lack of transparency on the part of Mayor Goode, citing “too many executive sessions.” Exactly how many is too many? Executive sessions are defined by Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) - certain topics such as employee performance or contract negotiations are candidates for closed door

Eye Glasses

executive sessions. The Prescott City Attorney validates that an executive session is required before each session and this is documented in Executive Session meeting notes. The recall challenger’s boast to have only 0-5 executive sessions per year equates to pure ignorance of the law and city council operations.

 

The agenda for executive sessions contains the following standard statement: “Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.02, notice is hereby given to the members of the Prescott City Council and to the general public that the Prescott City Council will hold a Meeting at [time] on [date] in the Executive Conference Room for the purpose of deciding whether to go into executive session. If authorized by a majority vote of the Prescott City Council, the executive session will be held immediately after the vote and will not be open to the public.”

 

This is a transparent process, one that is guided by specific, documented statutes. The recall team is trying to make an uninformed public believe the mayor has unilateral decision making about when to hold an executive session, which is completely untrue. Their claim about a lack of transparency is disingenuous, as the same Executive Session guidelines apply to any mayor.

 

Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

Knot or NOT

Post #3

Wrongful Demand for Resignation of City Manager - 29 Jan 2024

In Prescott’s city government infrastructure, all city employees - except for the City Clerk and City Attorney - report to the City Manager. The City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk are appointed officials who serve at the pleasure of the Council.

Contrary to claims, it is not illegal or against the city charter for any member of the city council, including the mayor, to ask an appointed official for their resignation. Link to current city charter - without the November 2023 amendments, which are still awaiting approval of Arizona governor: https://www.prescott-az.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Prescott-City-Charter_2012.pdf

 

Prescott City Council members  - comprised of the mayor plus six members - may ask for the resignations of these officials at any time, who are free to resign or not. A council majority is required to fire individuals in these three positions.

 

Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

Post #4

Malfeasance in office - 30 Jan 2024

This is a truly uncivilized claim, with legal ramifications. The recall team offers ZERO proof or examples of what Mayor Goode has done to deserve a malfeasance accusation, that usually suggests criminal activity. 

 

This claim “Mayor Goode's actions constitute malfeasance in office” reads like a wishful conclusion made by the recall team. In some instances the recall team has stopped with this particular claim, presumably to avoid legal charges of slander or libel being filed against them.

Judge and Gavel

Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

Compass on map

Post #5

Hostile Work Environment - 1 Feb 2024

During Mayor Goode’s first term in Prescott city government, there was one such claim - by an employee who had resigned; an independent investigation cleared Mayor Goode at that time.

The recall team alludes to poor morale in city offices as though the work environment were solely under the mayor’s control. This is particularly odd as all city employees report directly to the city manager; it is the city manager who is responsible for employee morale, motivation, performance, work environment and any work related issues. Former City Manager Gregory directed all contact with city staff had to be channeled through her, which Mayor Goode honored.

 

Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

Post #6

Violating city policies against harassment and discrimination - 5 Feb 2024

This is another unfounded and unproven claim as there is no objective evidence of any harassment or discrimination with respect to Mayor Goode (see investigation results from POST #1). The recall team continues to promote these false claims.

Business Meeting

My own observations about Mayor Goode; he is a serious and focused individual, and I’m confident he expects others to behave similarly in the workplace. City employees might not be used to a mayor who works as many hours as Mayor Goode, nor one so dedicated to fulfilling his promises to the community. As a long time manager in my own career, I know employees can be unsettled about high expectations from the top, or different-from-the-norm leadership. But, it is the city employees who need to be flexible and adapt to a new mayor and council members every few years - the rolling changes in executive management is an inherent component of their government work environment. 

 

I have personally worked with and/or for local, state and federal government entities - private industry is quite distinct from a government work environment. Individuals must decide what suits them best.

Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

Signing a Contract

Post #7

Failure to Adhere to Contractual Obligations, Impending Multi-million $ Lawsuits (last post in this series) - 7 Feb 2024

Although only one singular notice of claim has been recently filed, no other civil lawsuits have been filed as of the time of this post, and there are ongoing discussions regarding contracts negotiated during previous mayoral terms. 

 

The current claim filed concerns the Arizona Eco Development (AED) agreement, for which negotiations began in 2020; key negotiators were then Mayor Mengarelli, then City Attorney Palladini and then City Manager Lamar. The City Manager is responsible for managing these development agreements, which means former City Manager Lamar would have passed his responsibilities to (now) former City Manager Gregory. 

 

The original AED contract, according to the January 23, 2024 city council study session, contained multiple land exchanges, entitlements for water, and other mutual promises. It included 3rd party performance elements, parties with no incentive to perform to the contract. The session also revealed that both AED and the city had some tasks completed and others not completed per the contract timeline, in other words, neither party has fulfilled all their obligations on time. Full video of this discussion including the presentation by the City Attorney, can be seen on the city website - https://prescottaz.portal.civicclerk.com/, look for the video icon  under “City Council Study Session” for Jan 23, 2024.

 

The current city council is actively working to resolve these inherited issues, once and for all. 

 

Do NOT sign the recall petition - Keep Mayor Goode (https://mayorphilgoode.com)

See Nextdoor posting with comments HERE

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