Newly elected Flagstaff Mayor suing his own city

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by Michelle Molison

Video report by Carey Pena

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 8:41 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A newly elected Arizona Mayor is suing the city he will soon be in charge of.

"The lawsuit is not about money, let me clarify that. It's about this ordinance and whether it's valid," said Jerry Nabours.

The 2009 lawsuit stems from a broken sidewalk in front of the apartment building that Nabours co-owns with a business partner.

Nabours has pictures proving the sidewalk was broken, cracked, and badly deteriorated. He said it became a danger to pedestrians so he contacted the city to fix it. The City of Flagstaff deemed the sidewalk city property, but they told Nabours he was the one who had to repair it.

"The city told us, yes it is dangerous and you need to fix it. We said 'why should we fix it? Isn't it your sidewalk.' The City said 'we agree it is our sidewalk, but we have an ordinance that says if you have property next to the sidewalk, which we do, then you have to fix this sidewalk'." said Nabours.

However, Nabours and his partner refused to pay out of pocket to fix the sidewalk so the city went ahead and made the repairs. Then Nabours said he received a bill for $5,000 and the city put a lien on his property.

"We're thinking, if you live next to the park, would you have to mow the grass in the park? Or if the street is in bad shape, would you have to repave the street in front of your building?," said Nabours.

The City of Flagstaff said they can't comment on the matter because it's pending litigation.

The lawsuit to have the ordinance deemed unconstitutional and get the lien removed from the building is pending before the Arizona Supreme Court.

"This is one example of how the city is just not friendly toward its citizens," said Nabours.

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