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|City Council votes down mayor's pick|
|Written by Michelle A. Monroe|
|Tuesday, 17 April 2012 04:33|
Tombstone’s City Council was locked in a clear power struggle during its meeting on Wednesday.
Phillip Korte, Mayor Steve Schmidt’s favorite candidate for the public works director position, was shot down by a 3-2 vote.
“This is the third meeting to get this appointment done,” Schmidt said. “The public works employees all feel Phil (Korte) will be the best case. He’s not afraid to work and not afraid to get dirty. He has the respect of the public works employees.”
Schmidt said one of his main priorities after he won the recall election was to reinstate the public works director position.
“I’m not sitting up here because I won the lottery. I’m here because the majority of the voters in Tombstone put their trust in me,” he said. “I don’t plan to go away. A lot of people put their trust in me and I don’t plan to let them down.”
The City Council must approve the mayor’s selection, and some council members preferred Kevin Rudd over Korte.
“My decisions are based on my experience of hiring on a professional level over a course of several decades,” said Councilman Steve Troncale. “I deal in business and what I believe is best for the City of Tombstone, which is Kevin Rudd for the position.”
Korte was the public works director prior to 2010, but the position has been empty since he resigned that year.
“It is my appointment and I’m the one who will have to work with him,” Schmidt said. “Why would you stick me with someone that I wouldn’t be able to work with?”
Councilwoman Stacey Korbeck-Reeder was the only other vote in favor of Korte.
“There are four members here that when Phil (Korte) was nominated at the beginning of our terms, every one of us voted yes,” Korbeck-Reeder said. “We supported him knowing exactly what he was. He had issues that could not be resolved. I think we need to pull together to give Mayor Schmidt someone he can work with and someone he has chosen.”
After the motion failed, Schmidt said he did not know who else he would recommend or when he would propose another candidate.
“Now they’ve made a battle of it,” Schmidt said.
Korbeck-Reeder was disappointed in the vote.
“I can’t even compare Kevin and Phil, they’re apples and oranges,” Korbeck-Reeder said. “Honestly, I don’t know what will happen next. I’m disheartened for Tombstone.”
In other council news
Schmidt requested that the Marshal investigate the possibility of random drug tests for city officials.
“They deal with the public all the time,” Schmidt said. “It’s never a bad idea.”
Gravestones from Boothill Graveyard will not be sold to raise funds for the city. Several councilmembers noted that they were morally against selling items from a graveyard.
“It’s sacreligous,” Korbeck-Reeder said. “It came to represent the remains of someone in that graveyard. I have an issue of selling something that represents the memory of a person in that graveyard.”