Heated Prescott City Council meeting on new Hotshots

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 9 at 10:43 AM

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- It's been more than a month of mourning the loss of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. With hearts still heavy, life goes on, and in Prescott that means looking to hire 19 new firefighters.

Tuesday night, the City Council met for a workshop where leaders spoke about bringing on a new crew.

"How do we restore the Hotshot crew was certainly an issue that the mayor and council feel strongly about," said city spokesman Pete Wertheim. "What is the timing of that? What steps need to be taken? That was really the main point of the discussion."

But now, much of the attention is on how this discussion ended. It was a back-and-forth between the council and Amanda Marsh, widow of the Hotshots leader.

"I'm one of the widows and I would really like a chance to speak for two minutes," she asked of the mayor. 

The city told her she couldn't share at this meeting and they adjourned as others in the crowd yelled their displeasure at the council's actions.

Wertheim said public comment was never on the agenda. We've since learned that Marsh wanted to say she was glad the Hotshot team her husband created will go on.

Still, the emotion in the crowd is proof that the pain of what happened makes city business difficult if it's in any way tied to these 19 men.

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