Allan Affeldt said it's time for a change in Winslow's government. Seeing no one else step in to run against Jim Boles in the Nov. 8 recall election, Affeldt announced he is a candidate to oust the mayor. As of Sept. 2, he was the only candidate to file nomination papers for the mayoral recall election.
When Affeldt first came to Winslow in 1994, it was to clean up La Posada. Now he said it's time to clean out the mayor's office and restore the trust between the city and downtown merchants that has been lost in recent years.
"The last couple of years, there's been deterioration in Winslow's government. City Council meetings have become uncivilized," Affeldt said. "The momentum we had in this town and this community and the goodwill we had has been squandered by the mayor."
Affeldt said he and Boles were friends for several years, but when he started criticizing the administration for its handling of the Renaissance on Route 66 project, the friendship crumbled.
That was followed by a series of public events throughout the past year during City Council meetings in which Affeldt and Boles became openly critical of each other.
The criticism hit its peak in January when Affeldt told Council that then-City Administrator John Roche was trying to undermine his ability to restore the famed hotel gardens. The gardens were being restored through a federal TEA-21 grant administered through the Arizona Department of Transportation. The grant money was given to the city, and through a mutual agreement, was administered by Affeldt.
In January, Affeldt said a project manager within ADOT said someone in the city administration was criticizing the arrangement between him and the city.
Boles also said at the Council meeting that the ADOT representative overseeing the city's TEA-21 grant for Phase II of the Renaissance on Route 66 project raised the issue that the state agency was holding the city and Affeldt to different standards. Boles said the argument was between two ADOT project managers and that he had no objection to Affeldt overseeing the project.
Affeldt was one of 14 members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) for the Route 66 project. He and a few other members accused Roche and Boles of altering the project's plans after the JTF had reached a consensus. Boles' and Roche's critics also accused them of mismanaging funds for the project when the First Street Pathway became Phase I of the three-phased project.
"The money was supposed to be spent on Route 66," Affeldt said.
Affeldt also criticizes Boles for not being more proactive in involving the city in the cleanup of the J.C. Penney/Rasco building site and for not ordering a more thorough analysis of the impact a Wal-Mart Supercenter would have on the local economy.
Affeldt also said Boles has reneged on promises to him personally.
Affeldt said Boles has showed "a lack of leadership" in each of these incidents, which has led to a loss of trust between some of the downtown business owners and the city administration.
"He has lied to the public to get his way," Affeldt said. "Something needs to change."
The two are "civil" to each other, according to Affeldt, but no longer friends.
Affeldt has previously served on the Historic Preservation and Airport Commissions. He also owns the Winslow Theater but has sold many of his properties in Winslow due to the negative relationship he has with the administration.
If he wins, Affeldt said he would serve out the remainder of Boles' term through May 2006, but he would not run again. Affeldt said he has received encouragement from many people in the community, some who told him that they would run in the regular election.
Potential candidates have until Friday to file for the recall election. The deadline for write-in candidates to file is Sept. 29.