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home : opinions : opinions May 24, 2016

2/21/2012 10:06:00 AM
Tusayan Mayor dismayed over last week's events

Greg Bryan
Tusayan Mayor

To the editor:

Well it has been an interesting couple of weeks in Tusayan politics. We have had lawsuits, threats of lawsuits, offer of funds to help residents be able to buy a home, national news stories about Tusayan politics and unfortunate quotes by our new Park Superintendent. So much going on for such a small town trying to make a better life for its residents.

Yes, more lawsuits and this time from the Stilo group. Maybe they are tired of being brow beaten or challenged on every turn by incorporation opponents and have decided to fight back. Now Ms. Vail in her letter last week is trying to sound like an incorporation supporter and working to build a town. I find her words and actions confusing to say the least. When you sue to stop incorporation, file petitions to prevent anyone from serving on the town council, work to overturn the opportunity for residents to own their own home, criticize a longtime supporter of Tusayan who is willing to put his own money up to help residents buy a home, and yet through it all, do not present any options using her money or land, I find her words rather hollow. When other landowners have invested substantial funds over the last ten years into housing, what have they put into it? When she criticizes the owners of Camper Village for not putting housing on that land since it is zoned for housing, one has to ask why her family never considered it when they owned the same land for many years. They had plans to do a very similar development of their own as is being planned by Stilo. They are the largest owner of undeveloped land in Tusayan, yet they have produced no plans to provide any residential housing development that give ownership opportunities. Why? Because they understand the higher value of their land if it is used for commercial purposes or leasing rather than used for residential development. I understand and don't fault them for that value protection. I just ask that they allow others to choose a different path that makes home ownership a possibility.

We were dismayed this week to hear our new park Superintendent negatively quoted about Tusayan's development plans. When we heard quotes like, "my worst nightmare" and "it's all about the almighty dollar" in reference to our efforts to provide affordable housing for not only Tusayan, but Park residents as well, we worry about where our community relationship is headed. The National Park Service does have a different mission than our town, yet we need to find ways to work together rather than take very public shots when the other is trying to do something for its constituents. The Town Council is very aware of the environmental concerns of not only the Park Service, but our own residents and neighbors. We put into the development agreement a number of benchmarks that will serve to ensure these concerns are addressed. Water is a key issue and the impacts that potential new wells might have on the aquifers. We wonder why no one mentions the millions of gallons of water that is put into the South Rim aquifer every year from water piped over from Roaring Springs. Far more water is being put into the aquifer than is being taken out, yet this does not seem to be considered in these discussions.

As we look at recent lawsuits filed to stop residents from expressing their views by voting, we feel they should be able to vote, yet should have the correct and legal information on which to make a decision. The courts will have to make that call. We trust our residents to make good decisions when given correct and clear information.

Greg Bryan


Town of Tusayan

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Article comment by: R S

History shows that the Halvorsen's and Stilo don't take "NO" for an answer. They are relentless in their quest to develop Tusayan. They clearly have the patience and the money to continue to bribe, pressure and use local citizens as their puppets until they get their way. So, citizens of Tusayan, at least hold out for a better deal. The amount of land they have promised you for housing is a spit in the wind. If anybody thinks they are going to be given an affordable house...think again. Costs of construction are now roughly $100 per square ft. While a generous offer, Mr. Halvorsen's $250,000 isn't going to go far. Citizens of Tusayan be sure you pressure them to give you the details about what kind of housing, how much it will cost and who is eligable. Also, all the "puppets" doing the bidding of their master's, should ask yourselves where you will be when all the development is done. You will be a used up, has been when all the new GM's and executives show up to take your place as the mover's and shaker's! Oh and by the way...they will be living in those houses you were promised! Remember..they control the town council.

Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Lowe

Harry, read some of the other comments. It's time for the workers to rise up and unite. Take charge of the situation. It's called forming a union. Someone needs to step up and be a leader. How about you Harry?

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Harry Homeowner

Mary, I am willing to try something new - whether it is Stillo or something else. Why would we expect anything different from the current power structure then they have delivered for the last 20 years - low paid jobs and crappy housing

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Lowe

Harry go ahead and let the Italians run you. They have lots of experience controlling most big cities in America.

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Harry Homeowner

By all means lets vote Stillo and the Town Council out and then spend the rest of our lives living in temporary housing with low page jobs that we have to compete with J visa people for. I want to see an alternative proposal before I say no to the Stillo one...Thurston's step up for change. Don't be the party on NO

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Mike Jones

Mayor, I don't think you're dismayed as much as feeling the pressure from your italian controllers who were expecting faster results from you. With all the money they spent buying off the politicians and election in tusayan, they must have felt their takeover would have been completed by now. This is what happens when you mix with the wrong elements... Good luck!

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: K W

First of all Mayor, you don't seem to know that we are all your constituents. We will vote and we are not stupid. Italians are building houses? Have you ever been to Italy? I have. They build cheap houses. They don't finish what they start and they are ugly. Next, they have no sense of blending with the environment. So, you have it. Why did you not have Americans build your housing? I will never vote for you.

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: Park Employee That Cares

Mr. Bryan how does your wife contend living with you and wearing the green NPS uniform? You don't care about Tusayan or the Grand Canyon you care about your employers pocketbook.

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: Bess Foster

WOW !!!! What Bias comments from the Town Mayor.. sounds like you are on the payroll of the developers...."Maybe they are tired of being brow beaten or challenged on every turn by incorporation opponents" REALLY REALLY ... thanks Mayor... love to know you feel for Italian Developers with more money than God

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: John Conner

I agree with Keith Wilmot. The workers of Tusayan should start a union and force all of the business owners to provide better working and living conditions for employees. That will stop the fighting between the rich land barons. And, Mr. Mayor, call Stilo what it is - the Italian mob trying to run our town. You should be ashamed of yourself for taking their campaign money!

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: flag resident

First of all, Tusayan should not have been allowed to incorporate. I predict that the special law enacted to allow places like Tusayan to incorporate will be eventually overturned.

None of the major land owners in Tusayan should be patted on the back. This includes STILO or CFV or whatever they are calling themselves nowadays. The Thurstons should be ashamed of themselves for being again'st developing "private land". Why should they be the only ones who can use well water? The rest of the private land owners who acquired their land through unscrupulous business practices should'nt parade around as if they are any better.

The whole place is a mess, and the Mayor doesn't know what he is talking about when it comes to water.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Smith

A lot of very good points in this letter, while I am not wild about the Halvorsens I am tired of the Thurstons playing hollier-then-thou, while not helping one bit to build residential options in the community or improve jobs

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