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Fri, Feb. 21

Criticism doesn't end with Beecher

It was as if Paul Beecher hadn't yet been fired. The tension in the packed Council Chamber was evidenced by expressions of shock on the faces of those in attendance as the mayor and several Council members went back and forth with their critics.

Kingman businessman Scott Dunton continued his critiques of local government affairs Monday night, just 10 days after City Council voted to fire the man who many considered the source of recent controversy: former City Manager Beecher.

Dunton has become a regular speaker during Council's call to the public at the bi-monthly meetings, and he had called repeatedly for Beecher's termination.

"I'm sure you folks are probably sick of hearing from me by now," Dunton said. "But I'll tell you what: I'm glad that you fired Mr. Beecher, but you all had all the information - more than enough information - to fire him before we got into two lawsuits."

He gave kudos to Councilwoman Janet Watson for being the only one to oppose keeping Beecher. Dunton then railed others, calling for more firings of department heads and the resignations of several Council members. The mayor and Acting City Manager Jack Kramer were included in Dunton's list.

Dunton cites e-mails

Dunton referenced and handed out to Council an e-mail about the Golden Valley well sites. On March 30, Beecher wrote and asked Kramer to call a Rhodes representative: "Tell him Tom Carter thought that maybe they should give us our choice of 4 well sites prior to us going back out to bid as a gesture of good-will ... "

Kramer wrote to say he'd make the call, adding that he had talked to Carter and Mayor Les Byram, who, according to Kramer's e-mail, had "changed their mind" about having Rhodes Homes donate four well sites to the city prior to the city selling its four well sites to the Las Vegas company.

"They think it would be a good public gesture from Rhodes if they would donate them after they purchase the cities (sic) 4 sites. It would not look like a deal was made prior to the sale?" Kramer wrote.

"Jack Kramer should not be our city manager," Dunton said. "If you look at these sentences, it says in here that Jack and Kirk (Brynjulsen) and some of the Rhodes people are corresponding on how to make sure that no one finds out about the well sites until after - after the well sites are sold to them; then we'll talk about donating property to the city. That way it won't look like a deal was done beforehand."

Dunton referenced a statement Carter made Aug. 10 that people should resign out of honor when confronted with the types of situations Beecher was involved in.

To the mayor, Carter, Kramer and others who knew about the four acres Rhodes had offered on top of a cash bid for the city's sites, Dunton said, "if you guys are complicit and you feel like you have something that's been wrong, then resign. That's all I've got to say."

Carter responded to the accusations later in the meeting, when Council discussed the security of the four city-owned well sites, which sit in the middle of Rhodes' master-planned community.

"Since the righteous Mr. Dunton was in earlier, (and he) talked about some of the e-mails, I thought I'd speak to those. One of them was an e-mail from Beecher to Kramer," Carter said before reading the e-mail aloud.

He continued: "Often times in the conducting of city business, things are told, things are mentioned ... I don't recall who might have told me or might not have told me, but you know, I thought about it and I thought, you know, kind of off the cuff, if we can get our choice of sites and we can get something from them for the city, then that would be great," Carter said.

"Then the mayor and I talked about it, which is the next e-mail," he said, reading Kramer's reply to Beecher.

"Well obviously, I didn't say those things, but ... obviously that couldn't be a consideration in the bid.

"And as it turns out, and everybody knows, we didn't sell the wells sites and nobody bought them. But what was failed to be included in this packet was one of my e-mails to the city manager which said '3 o'clock is 3 o'clock, and bids that came in before 3 o'clock are the ones that should be honored.'

"And those that might have paid attention at a City Council meeting, I made the comment that the high bidder should have been awarded the well sites, which is, in fact, Mr. Dunton's son. That's my comment."

When Dunton finished speaking, the mayor had some of his own questions.

"Is it a factor that you've been coming in here, doing just what you're doing tonight, that you have a big lawsuit that you supposedly won and (Rhodes is) appealing ..."

"Well 'supposedly,'" Dunton said. "Do you know that they're appealing? I didn't know that."

"Let me ask you a question, you listen to me," Byram said.

"Is that a factor that you wanted those well sites that just happened to be in the middle of Rhodes' development to give you leverage in your lawsuit against those people? Was that your interest? What other interest did you have in four well sites in Golden Valley?"

Dunton said, "I didn't bid on those well sites, Les, my son did and his Earth 2 Home group. I told him not to. I don't have any use for those well sites other than they're by my water company, but I have no use for them. It has no bearing on my lawsuit at all, whether I got the well sites now or later."

Dunton then threw the issue back onto Byram, "And the fact that you would meet with them and you would conspire to have him buy those well sites instead of being upfront about it, you ought to resign."

"Thank you," Bryam said.

The confrontational tones continued between mayor and resident regarding a roadway through the Rattlesnake Wash property.

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