News from Lake Havasu City, AZ

September 19th, 2005


My little bro’ David moved to Lake Havasu City years ago.


I thought it was all about a move from car sales to bridge sales, but apparently not, he’s settled in at a job at a resort, Islander RV Resort and sets up cabanas, puts boats in the water, digs up and fixes water system pumps, installs mood lighting in the gazebo, chases coyotes with a golf cart, and gets paid for it — he was overdue for a change and deserves it!

David’s as apolitical as apolitcal can be, striving for balance in the family, I guess. But now and then I get a photo of a beautiful transmission line through the desert, or an article like this:

—– Original Message —–

From: Dave Overland


Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 8:26 AM

Mayor-elect urges condemnation of English Village, other sweeping changes

By Brian DiTullio

Thursday, September 15, 2005 10:30 PM MDT

In a letter and a meeting with the city manager on Wednesday, Mayor-elect Harvey Jackson proposed sweeping changes to city government, several of which might be illegal, according to City Attorney Matt Podracky.

Jackson also informed Today’s News-Herald through his secretary on Thursday that, until further notice, he no longer would be speaking to Today’s News-Herald. No reason was given for this decision.

A major platform of Harvey Jackson’s campaign was a more open city government.

The first page of the document asks for several changes, some of which City Manager Tim Ernster said violate city codes and the duties of the city manager position.

In the six-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by the News-Herald, Jackson proposes the elimination of two positions, city public information officer, a job now held by Charlie Cassens, and the proposed cable TV position. He also requests all promotional advertising for the city cease immediately.

Cassens declined to comment on the letter at this time.

Councilwoman Cindy Aldridge said she was very concerned over the letter and that she has been an advocate for open government.

“I’m deeply concerned on how we can communicate information without a (public information officer),” she said.

Jackson accuses department heads Kevin Murphy, Mark Clark, Stan Usinowicz and Ted Swendra of developing reputations of “being disingenuous, untruthful, rude, arrogant, contemptuous of ideas, questions or suggestions by community members and employees, have a reputation for terrorizing employees who feel supervisors or the City should be told about inefficiencies or misdeeds, and have fostered an atmosphere of secrecy and arrogance.”

Jackson also asked that those four individuals no longer be allowed to represent their departments at City Council meetings.

Usinowicz, Clark and Swendra all were in Phoenix for transportation-related meetings on Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Murphy said he had seen the letter and felt it was best he not comment on the situation at this time.

Jackson also questions Ernster’s desire to execute any of the proposed changes around City Hall, proposed having a City Council member serve as city manager, and asked for a special meeting to discuss the termination of Ernster’s contract.

“The evaluation will include the handling of the four department heads or assistants, the willingness to cut operation and maintenance spending and to address sewer issues and open government policies,” said Jackson in his letter.

Jackson also states in the letter his desire to have City Council advise and give consent to the hiring and naming of department heads.

Ernster said he was shocked by many of the items Jackson had in his letter.

“It’s essentially illegal,” said Ernster, referring to the firing of department heads. “He’s asking me to do something illegal, or he’ll fire me. That’s a first for me.”

Ernster said that his job description states that he handle all personnel matters within City Hall without interference from City Council.

“That’s my responsibility, not City Council’s responsibility,” said Ernster.

Podracky said that some of the proposals were “clearly improper,” and that he would be preparing a more formal response to all the issues raised in the letter.

“I have serious concerns,” said Podracky. “Several items appear to be illegal under state law and city code.”

Podracky also said part of the education process for the new City Council members would involve explanation of what is legal, what can get them removed from office, arrested and jailed and what might potentially involve Lake Havasu City in several lawsuits.

Jackson goes on to propose condemning the English Village and developing plans for a convention center over two levels of underground parking next to a performing arts center at that site.

Jackson also proposes a complete re-evaluation of the sewer expansion project and a new look at the city budget.

Ernster said he had no problem with the last two requests, adding that a meeting with City Council to do an in-depth explanation of the city’s finances was something that needed to be done.

“It’ll help them get up to speed on the issues,” he said.

In a related note, Councilman Bob Crabtree, in an e-mail to Ernster, insisted the new City Council members be installed immediately or he would recommend terminating Ernster’s contract.

Aldridge provided a copy of Arizona Revised Statute stating the election canvass cannot be held any earlier than “six days nor more than 15 days following the election.”

Crabtree could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Councilman-elect Bruce Hinman said he had not seen the letter yet and declined to comment on it.

“It is something that we’ve been discussing together prior to the election discussing what would be good for the city,” said Councilwoman-elect Margaret Nyberg. “There are some things I have questions about.”

Nyberg said she would be having her own meeting with Ernster about the “nuts and bolts” of city operations.

“There’s a lot of things that need to be done,” said Nyberg.

Councilman Vall Striyle said he had not seen the letter yet, but pointed out that everything must be heard in public before it can be voted on.

“There’s seven people on City Council last time I heard,” said Striyle. “It has to come before us.”

Today’s News-Herald was unable to contact Councilman-elect Allan Sturtevant on Thursday afternoon.

To review the complete report, go to CLICK HERE

You may contact the reporter at

Click that link and read the emails there — BIZARRE! And this new mayor is a lawyer!

And if ya think those are good examples of civic leadership, my bro’s got this bridge…


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