Phoenix mayor airs frustration

PHOENIX — A special City Council meeting ran for nearly three hours on Monday when an executive session, called to discuss a personnel issue, took twice the 30 minutes allotted and ended with an abrupt exit by the mayor. Mayor Carlos DeBritto, citizens said following the executive session, left the meeting stating he planned to end his term as mayor.

"He said 'I'm resigning,' " said planning commission chairwoman Sandra Christiansen. "I don't know what it was about but he looked pretty angry."

While the agenda was called to discuss the city's ongoing financial issues, including a budget shortfall and pending Regional Problem Solving decisions, the executive session portion was set to, according to the agenda, "consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent who does not request an open hearing."

Contacted after the regular meeting portion of Monday's agenda, DeBritto confirmed he had stated to audience members outside the special session that he would resign, but declined to make an official announcement.

DeBritto conceded he left the meeting as a result of the executive session, saying, "I can't work with people I can't have full confidence and trust in."

Council president Bruce Sophie, who told audience members during the public portion of the meeting that DeBritto had left due to illness, stated he had spoken with DeBritto following the meeting and that the mayor had not made a final decision.

DeBritto, Sophie noted, had been sick in recent weeks, which could have caused additional frustration during Monday's meeting.

"Carlos was frustrated and is strongly considering the possibility of resigning, but he's spending some time reflecting on it before he makes a final decision," Sophie said.

In other news, discussions during the regularly scheduled agenda included an opportunity for council members to weigh in on the Regional Problem Solving process.

Nearly all councilors had concerns about areas of growth designated for the city. In addition, most felt growth areas being designated would take longer to develop than other potential areas.

As for budget issues, which city manager Joe Wrabek said was closely related to RPS because of the city's need to develop areas of land that will broaden the city's tax base, Wrabek said the city's financial issues could be improving due to better than expected revenues from an urban renewal district.

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