BY LINDA BENTLEY | MAY 29, 2013
Durkin lies and fails on transparency
Instead of wasting the time of three busy men for an hour, Durkin could have called Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek to address his question
CAVE CREEK – The slate of council candidates, which included Councilman-elect Mike Durkin (l), repeatedly accused the town of lacking transparency.
When Durkin asked to meet with Mayor Vincent Francia and Town Manager Usama Abujbarah last Thursday morning, apparently neither transparency nor honesty was an objective.
Durkin wouldn’t say why he wanted to meet, said he might be bringing people with him and asked that the town attorney be there.
Without knowing why Durkin wanted to meet or if a quorum might be present, the town posted and noticed the meeting as open to the public.
Because Town Attorney Marlene Pontrelli was unable to attend, Attorney Gary Birnbaum filled in.
After Francia, Abujbarah and Birnbaum shook hands with Durkin and congratulate him on his election to council, Durkin said, “I want her to leave,” referring to me.
When Abujbarah told Durkin the meeting was properly posted and noticed, Durkin said he looked online and didn’t see the meeting posted.
Even though Durkin was assured the meeting was properly noticed, he was adamant about not wanting the press there.
When Francia asked Durkin if the meeting was regarding a personal matter or town business, Durkin said it was personal.
Abujbarah then asked if I would excuse them.
When I attempted to take a photograph, Durkin stepped behind Birnbaum and hid from the camera.
I left, as asked, but as it turns out, Durkin lied.
Durkin apparently called the meeting to ask about placing the town code on the agenda, which sure sounds like town business no matter which way you slice it.
Instead of wasting the time of three busy men for an hour, Durkin could have called Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek to address his question regarding placing an item on the agenda. Dyrek could have answered his question in just a few moments on the phone.
Before being sworn into office, Durkin may need to take some lessons in transparency, honesty and time management.