Last month, Darryl Dalley, Miami’s mayor for the last six years, surprised many by submitting his resignation after finding himself locked out of the town hall.
At issue was the recent action by Town Manager Joe Heatherly to limit access to town hall in response to growing concerns over cases of Covid-19. In addition to limiting access to individuals not assigned to work in the building, sanitizing the lobby several times a day, and restricting occupancy to no more than three people, Heatherly said he also changed the locks.
Dalley, who said he usually stops in to the offices several times a day, says he felt disappointed about what he sees as the disrespect of being locked out of town hall. After a failed email exchange, in which Heatherly said he tried unsuccessfully to reach Dalley to discuss the matter, Dalley offered to take a “leave of absence until the covid threat had passed.”
The Town’s attorney, Sue Goodwin, weighed in, saying that state law did not allow a council member to take such a leave of absence, and should Dalley not discharge his duties for three consecutive months, his seat would become vacant.
Dalley, who said he was not aware of the ruling by Goodwin, nonetheless chose to submit his resignation several days later.
The resignation came as a surprise to both council members and Heatherly, who praised the work Dalley has done in his six years as mayor.
Heatherly said he respects what Dalley has done as mayor and his involvement in the community, but explained that issues surrounding doors and locks had been on the table for more than two years. With the new policies to limit access going into effect, the timing seemed right to address the issue of locks, Heatherly explained.
“Over the years, the town did a poor job in monitoring the issuance and tracking of who was issued keys for all of our buildings and facilities,” said Heatherly. During that time, several town buildings were re-keyed to regain control over access, he said.
The Town accepted Dalley’s resignation at their April XX meeting, and Vice Mayor Sammy Gonzales moved up to mayor. Councilman Dan Moat was appointed the new Vice Mayor.
Dalley says he plans to return to his career with the Arizona Department of Corrections and will remain in Miami.
“Darryl did everything from picking up trash and painting over graffiti to delivering water samples to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in Phoenix,” Councilman Don Reiman said.
Both Reiman and Councilwoman Bringhurst praised Dalley for giving so much of his time to better the community, including his work bringing the Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day Parades to Miami, creating the memorial wall in Miami Veteran’s Park, and being a proud representative and supporter of Miami schools.
“He spent a lot of time on the business of trying to help the town, which we will miss,” Reiman said.
Award winning journalist with over 18 years experience in covering local news and issues affecting rural communities. Married 37 years, my life has taken me from Phoenix to Willcox to Globe. My husband and I are both overjoyed to find ourselves in Globe-Miami, with its rich history and sense of community. This is truly home.