Four council members were sworn-in during the Miami Town Council’s regular meeting, leaving former Councilwoman-elect Patty Warden in the cold.
The new council is made up of Donald Reiman, Dan Moat, Darryl Dalley, Jose Medina, Mike Black, Sammy Gonzales and Patricia Bringhurst, who was sworn in during the council’s Oct. 22 regular meeting.
Bringhurst was appointed during the council’s Oct. 8 regular meeting to take the place of Councilman Ruben Mancha, who had stepped down two weeks earlier for personal reasons.
Incumbents Susan Hanson and Rosemary Castaneda did not run for re-election, while two other incumbents, Dalley and Medina, received sufficient support to return during the Aug. 28 primary election. Dalley received 173 votes, or 18.91 percent and Medina had 170 votes or 18.58 percent of the vote and were sandwiched between newcomers Moat and Warden.
Moat received the largest number of votes with 200, or 21.86 percent and Warden received 153 votes, or 16.72 percent of the vote.
Reiman did not qualify on the original canvass, receiving 120 votes, or 13 percent of the vote, but that had changed in the wake of the legal action by council to deny Warden.
The resolution denying Warden’s seat was approved at the Oct. 22 regular meeting.
Gonzales abstained from voting and Black had an excused absence that evening. All others, including Bringhurst who was sworn in moments earlier, voted to approve Resolution No. 1214, determining that Warden “is not qualified to serve on the Town Council and prohibiting her from being seated.”
Prior to the council’s vote, Gila County Attorney Bradley Beauchamp said if it refused to seat Warden, she has the option to go to court and file a petition for a writ of mandamus, which is known as “a lawsuit against the government.”
Also, at the Oct. 22 meeting, Beauchamp told the council it could have prevented Warden being on the ballot to begin with and then could have acted five days after canvassing the election, but that neither one of those things had happened.
At the beginning of the Nov. 26 meeting, council members Dalley, Medina, Black, Bringhurst, Hanson and Castaneda – went into executive session to consult with Town Attorney Susan Goodwin regarding an amendment to the Sept. 10 canvass of election and the seating of Reiman, “who received a majority of votes cast at the primary election,” the agenda stated.
After emerging from the 15-minute session, the council voted 6 to 1 approving Resolution No. 1215, amending its Sept. 10 canvass and issuing Reiman a certificate of election.
Black cast the lone nay vote, while Gonzales was absent for that portion of the Nov. 26 meeting.
After the vote, Miami Town Clerk Karen Norris handed Reiman the certificate of election.
Moments later, Miami Town Magistrate Rebecca Baeze administered the oath of office to Reiman, Moat, Dalley and Medina.
Once seated, the new council then selected the mayor and vice mayor, re-appointing Dalley as well as Gonzales, who had arrived at the meeting by that time.
Prior to the votes, Medina had nominated Dalley for mayor while Bringhurst seconded. There were no other nominations and the council’s vote for Dalley was unanimous.
As for the vice mayor post, Black had nominated Gonzales and Dalley nominated Medina.
The council then voted 6 to 1 for Gonzales, with Dalley abstaining. Since Gonzales had received a majority of the votes for vice mayor, the council did not hold a vote for Medina.
The terms of mayor and vice-mayor are each two-year terms.
Prior to the start of the meeting, Hanson and Castaneda had presented a spray of flowers for the dais “for the new council” from Miami Genesis, as well as a bouquet for Medina’s wife, Louisa, “because she feeds us,” Hanson said.
The next Miami Town Council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in council chambers, 500 W. Sullivan St.
David Abbott contributed to this report.
Councilwoman Patricia Sjolin Bringhurst was sworn in by Miami Mayor Darryl Dalley during the Oct. 22 Miami Town Council regular meeting.