Councilmembers Glendale Meeting Conference Discussion Working

"Council appointed councilmembers Ian Hugh (Cactus District), Ray Malnar (Sahuaro District) and Lauren Tolmachoff (Cholla District) to serve on the new audit committee, but not without contention."

Pursuant to city council guidelines, councilmembers discussed at a recent workshop which committees they would sit on during the upcoming fiscal year.

There are currently three council committees that require representation: the government services committee (GSC), a new audit committee created on May 14 and a pay increase committee.

Council appointed councilmembers Ian Hugh (Cactus District), Ray Malnar (Sahuaro District) and Lauren Tolmachoff (Cholla District) to serve on the new audit committee, but not without contention.

Earlier this year, Barrel Councilman Bart Turner questioned a recommendation to create the audit committee because the city had used an internal auditor for years.

Staff’s original proposal had the city manager and budget and finance director as voting members of the new committee, but Turner was quick to criticize that decision in May.

“I am concerned we have more councilmembers than public members on audit committee, and I believe it should be the opposite — more qualified and experienced members of the community than councilmembers,” Turner said at that meeting.

While city staff said the goal is to perform 17 to 18 outside audits each year, Turner said he had not been contacted about changes regarding the internal auditor.

“All expert input and community members at large have been recommending against making this change, which is why I (voted against it),” Turner said.

Turner also said he believes city leaders have not given councilmembers enough information to make changes to the audit process.

But when the subject of appointments came up during a June 12 workshop, Turner made a request to be one of those who are appointed.

“I also believe it would be beneficial to the community to have someone who was skeptical and would be looking at it on a critical point of view,” he said.

But with the appointment of Hugh, Malnar and Tolmachoff, other councilmembers ignored his request.

In other committees, Ocotillo Councilman Jamie Aldama, Tolmachoff and Vice Mayor Joyce Clark (Yucca District) were appointed to the government services committee.

As for the committee to review council pay, created earlier this year, Hugh indicated his intention to nominate Glendale citizens John Crow, Tom Traw, Vern Crow, Dianne McCarthy and Jack Rose. It will be voted on at the June 25 council meeting.

This committee will review and make recommendations regarding the pay levels of the mayor and other councilmembers. Any possible council pay increase must be approved by voters.

Turner also questioned this committee, claiming it needed more discussion before requesting appointees.

“I am concerned that this committee was not part of communication in workshop, and I was not sure we were doing this right now or that there was notice to the public that this committee would be taking recommendations,” Turner said.

City Attorney Michael Bailey added, “After reviewing this, we did get direction to create this committee, and you are providing a general overview. There is nothing binding to these recommendations, since it will come back in two weeks (for a vote).”

While Turner said he has no problem with the citizens recommended, he argued about the measure possibly being pushed through.

“I have no objection to any of the recommendations, but I have not had a chance to analyze if they are a good cross section of our community,” Turner said. “What I would rather do is state that I am disappointed that councilmembers apparently spoke about this, spoke to (the city attorney) about doing that and didn’t have the courtesy to (let) every councilmember know that is was going to be subject of discussion at this workshop. They could have done that easily with a memo or amending the agenda.”