Paxman acknowledges conflict of interest after vote was cast

By Nathaniel Smith

The Times-Independent

The Grand County Council approved the final bond release for the Courthouse Wash Subdivision Planned Unit Development during its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19. After the vote, Council Member Rory Paxman realized that he had been “asleep at the wheel” and should have recused himself from the vote because he has a “vested interest” in the project.

A final bond release is granted to developers of a subdivision once all the necessary infrastructure is constructed and is shown to perform as expected. Community and Economic Development Director Zacharia Levine noted that the PUD, which is located at 1861 N. Main Street, was checked by the county engineer and proved to be up to standards. The final phase required some “minor improvements,” which the developer addressed, Levine said. “We are ready to give this developer their money back,” he concluded.

Council Member Curtis Wells motioned to approve the final release of the 10 percent warranty bond. Paxman seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.

About 20 minutes later, after the council had moved on in the agenda, Paxman said, “I didn’t realize what we were voting for … I would like to go back and recuse myself.” The council then voted to reconsider the bond release. When the council voted on the bond release a second time, it passed with five votes and Paxman abstained.

“Message for the kids at home watching on YouTube: Don’t fall asleep in class,” said Wells.