Clash with Jeppsen led to Cave's resignation

The main item on the agenda at Tuesday's 6 p.m. meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission was recommending a replacement for Commissioner Mike Blair, who resigned Feb. 12 due to his wife's terminal illness.

But before the commission could consider the eight applicants to finish Blair's term through December 2009, Chairwoman Dorian Trahan read a letter she received earlier in the day from Commissioner Jim Cave:

"I regretfully wish to submit my resignation for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Unfortunately, my honesty and integrity (have) been questioned by the director of Developmental Services (Gary Jeppsen). I would not be able to work with these people and have the mutual trust needed to effectively serve our city.

"Thank you, and I wish you all well. Sincerely, Jim Cave," Trahan concluded.

Following the reading, Trahan said she was very disheartened to have received the letter and hoped the city would issue Cave some kind of commendation recognizing his six years of service on the commission.

Returning to the task at hand, the commission agreed to recommend two applicants to the City Council for Blair's seat: Amanda Kaufman and Patrick Key.

Amanda Kaufman owns Brown Drilling in Kingman and previously worked for the Department of Defense. She is also a member of the Kingman Chamber of Commerce. Kaufman was the only applicant to speak before the commission Tuesday night, expressing a strong desire to be involved in the community.

"Kingman's my home, I'm not going anywhere," she said.

Patrick Key is an architectural and commercial designer in Kingman and Bullhead City.

The applicants not chosen to fill Blair's seat would likely be considered for Cave's at next month's meeting. Cave's term lasts through December.

The specter of Cave's resignation weighed heavily on the agenda's only other new business - the Manzanita Baptist's Church's application for a conditional use permit.

The church at 2040 Golden Gate Ave. sought a CUP for a residential property it owns at 2022 Golden Gate that would allow it to be used as an overnight house for visiting missionaries and pastors, as well as a venue for Bible study and occasional luncheons.

What might have been a routine application became heated when Trahan brought up Cave's previous troubles dealing with the CUP annual review process for the Cornerstone Mission - troubles that were the eventual cause of his resignation.

Cave had ongoing issues with homeless men from Cornerstone trespassing and vandalizing his business. When the city failed to conduct an annual review of the CUP for five years, Cave formally complained to the Planning Department, but even then his complaints failed to appear on the Feb. 12 P&Z agenda.

"He's complained and complained and complained, and it's only now that it's being revisited," Trahan said.

Commissioner Matt Ladendecker agreed, saying any complaints made about CUPs should be immediately reviewed by city staff and then brought to P&Z's attention if valid. Commissioner Michael Schoeff questioned exactly what "valid" would mean from one case to another, but voted with the commission to approve the application with Ladendecker's suggestion added as a condition. Another condition called for the church CUP to be reviewed every year.

Gary Jeppsen said he planned to consult with City Attorney Carl Cooper to prepare alternate drafts of how to amend the statute on the revocation of CUPs. He said he hoped to have the drafts ready for Council consideration by May.