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Coconino Voices: Pressman gives response to the Flagstaff community

Coconino Voices: Pressman gives response to the Flagstaff community

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To the citizens of Flagstaff and Flagstaff City Council:

First and foremost, let me tell you all that I am truly sorry for my offensive language and behavior. In my frustration and my inability to inspire positive change and community momentum, I lashed out at good people like an angry child.

I have lived in Flagstaff for a long time and care deeply about this city, its people and its environment. In the past few years, I have noticed a large uptick in the amount of trash alongside streets and through the city. I reached out to several city officials with suggestions about how much of this could be alleviated. When these calls went unheeded, I initiated my own actions. I organized two communitywide cleanups, picked up a significant amount of trash on my own or with my workers, and earlier this year I began paying homeless people to pick up trash.

The homeless people to whom I offered this exchange felt so good about someone offering them work and did an amazing job in the areas they cleaned up. For a very nominal amount I think we could have one of the cleanest cities in the U.S. and in turn help people who badly need it. I felt that this idea could be of great benefit to the community and I let several city councilmembers know of the idea, to no avail. I am such an advocate of this I would pay half the cost if the city would be willing to implement it.

I recognize my behavior and actions were inexcusable. Demeaning and derogatory language has no place in Flagstaff or anywhere else. This is not the way I speak to people in my daily life and I will carry the regret of that behavior with me forever. In our current time, the world has too much division and heated language and I am deeply ashamed that I have only added to that chorus. It was wrong. It was offensive. It will never happen again. I sacrificed good behavior for good intentions.

I would appreciate the opportunity to begin to make up for this behavior to the community. For the last several years, I have had the thought of renovating backyards for those in need free of charge. I think there would not be a better time than now to get started. I hope to renovate two free backyards a year with the first completed before the end of the year. Additionally, I will continue my own trash cleanup efforts.

If anyone would like to call me with potential candidates for my backyard offer, to help with a trash cleanup, or even just vent your frustration at my behavior, my cell phone is 928-600-0187.

You have seen my worst. I hope to show you my best.


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