Ironman competitor (copy)

Baron Smith competes in an Ironman Ice Competition in Bisbee in 2016. Andrew Laws recently petitioned to city council regarding use of a bullhorn and other issues surrounding the annual competition, which Laws said hurts his business.

BISBEE — A Bisbee businessman and several Bisbee residents presented a petition to the mayor and city council requesting bull horns or amplified announcing be prohibited during the running of the Ironman Ice Competition, an event organized in conjunction with the Bisbee 1000 Great Stair Climb.

The Mayor and Council discussed the petition as required.

The Ironman is run on the staircase between the building owned by Bisbee Vogue, Inc. (BVI), and Andrew Laws’ business, Czar Minerals. Laws alleges BVI’s use of the bull horn and the gathering of spectators and racers in front of his business prevent customers from entering his store.”

“I have no chance of making money that day,” he said.

Also, the petition requested the council to discuss removal of the murals and signage indicating the Ironman stairs painted by local artist Judy Perry.

Laws told the council he is continually bothered by people taking photos on the staircase, of his home above his shop and of he and his wife while they are in their yard. He also objected to the continued announcement of sponsors of the event.

BVI attorney Jana Flagler pointed out the Ironman has been held for years on the stairs and reminded Mayor David Smith and Council members Anna Cline, Joan Hansen, Leslie Johns, Bill Higgins and Loius Pawlik all the permits for the Bisbee 1000 Great Stair Climb, the Ironman and the beer fest were all approved back in May. She stated firefighters and Fort Huachuca military personnel run the Ironman in full gear making the challenge even more difficult.

“We’re just 32 days away from the Bisbee 1000,” Flagler said. “We need the bull horn to maintain safety and crowd control.”

Laws said, “To claim there’s a safety issue is ridiculous.”

Police chief Albert Echave was brought into the disagreement and he said BVI was willing to use a microphone and a speaker set up on the deck above the non–profit’s headquarters to assuage Laws. “BVI is willing to stay away from the front of his business,” he said.

Smith pointed out he knew of instances of the use of the bull horn to “aggravate the situation.”

Laws objected to the move of amplified equipment to the second story deck and said it would make things worse. He asked the council to make BVI announce information only from the County Court House on Quality Hill, a few hundred feet away, where the awards ceremony for the Bisbee 1000 is held.

Johns suggested a compromise on the use of the bull horn and suggested BVI announcers stay away from the front of his business. “I don’t know if we need to get involved in a disagreement between neighbors,” she said.

BVI board member and treasurer Linda Moore told the council sponsors have to be recognized during the event. “It puts money into the health and wellness of the community.”

Smith agreed, “We promote the stairs for health and as an attraction for tourism.”

Moore said she was not sure BVI could get the sound equipment for the deck as they did not reserve it, since the board of BVI thought the use of the bull horn was agreed upon.

Higgins declared it was all too loose and he wanted a definite answer on whether or not BVI could get the sound equipment. “In the past, I’ve witnessed first–hand abuse of the bull horn. I hate to turn you guys loose when I don’t know what you plan to do.”

Smith explained to Flagler and Moore he was required to bring the petition before the council for discussion, and asked if they could come back on Tuesday, Oct. 1, the next regularly scheduled meeting of the mayor and council, with a definitive answer about the sound equipment.

The mayor and council voted unanimously to table the discussion until the Oct. 1 meeting.


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