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2/7/2012 10:29:00 AM
Guest column: Escrow agreement a big step forward

Greg Bryan
Tusayan Mayor

Hello Tusayan and Grand Canyon Park Residents,

Over the last week or so it has been a real confusion about whether its winter or not, with snowstorms then great sunshine and hiking weather. While we like the warmth, we will need the moisture for this summer. I'm sure we have more snow coming our way over the next few months.

Tusayan had a landmark event last week as we received the escrow agreement from the Stilo Group which put the title and deeds for the town's 40 acres of land into an escrow account. Once placed into that account, Stilo has taken a major step in providing the town with the "promised land" for affordable housing. The title and deeds will remain in the account until certain other benchmarks are met over the next few years. Once those are met, they property will be turned over to the town for ownership.

For those who have worked hard to get the community incorporated and for a pro-active council moving Tusayan forward and supporting the Development Agreement, this is a day we all have been looking forward to coming. While we can celebrate this big step, we must bear in mind that it all can be lost unless the voters approve all five of the referendum ballot measures at the special election May 15, which supports the town council's actions. We look forward to the silent majority speaking out for their own future.

This last week we had some other lows and highs, as we accepted the resignation of the Vice Mayor Cecily Maniaci and appointed the first four Planning and Zoning Commission members. Cecily has chosen to focus on personal matters after spending well over a year of serving our community. She was an active council member and we wish her well. The council will soon discuss how we want to fill the vacancy. On a high note, we had five residents apply to serve on the P&Z Commission and, after interviews, Sandy Angat, ClayAnn Cook, Rob Gossard and Charles Townsend were appointed to serve two year terms. The fifth applicant was sick at the time of the interviews and will be rescheduled. The new P&Z Commission will join the council for a workshop tonight on revision to the P&Z ordinances.

Also taking place tonight is a Town Hall hosted by Elling Halvorson to discuss his commitment to place $250,000 in a trust account to help Tusayan residents make a down payment if they want to buy a house, when affordable housing becomes available. Mr. Halvorson is a fifty-year businessman and landowner in Tusayan and he, and his wife Barbara, feel it is time for residents to become land and homeowners and want to help. They will host a town hall at 7:30 p.m. tonight upstairs in the Squire Inn for all residents who want to learn more about their offer. This is an awesome gift from a couple that have been supporters and givers to Tusayan for many years. No doubt there will be naysayers, there always are. My question would be what are they willing to do to help employees become residents and homeowners? Words lacking action are pretty hollow. I encourage residents to come out and ask questions and become informed.

Our next regular council meeting will be Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Squire. Hope to see you there.


Greg Bryan


Town of Tusayan



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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Webb

I have been following this proposed development for some time and was pleased to see that the voters of Tusayan had gotten a referendum vote to the issue.
However, this letter seems to be a flagrant attempt by the Mayor and the developers to "buy" the votes necessary for defeating the referendum.
I thought there were voting laws that prohibit elected officials from buying votes or endorsing outcomes as an "official". Likewise, I thought the old concept of living in "company housing" and owing your soul to the "company store" was long dead. Sorry to see this rearing its ugly head in our neighborhood. The merits of a project should be decided honestly, not by bribery.

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