MESA -- The Mesa City Council wants to settle a long-running lawsuit with former Mayor Donna Zink.
The council hoped to talk to Zink and her husband Jeff at a council meeting this week about the city's latest offer to resolve the matter.
The council discussed a settlement offer Tuesday in a closed-door session with the city's attorney, Ramsey Ramerman of Everett. Later on the meeting's agenda, the council listed the issue as a possible action item.
"But we didn't discuss it during the public meeting," Mayor David Ferguson told the Herald. "I don't feel right doing that before the Zinks get to see it."
Ramerman said he's trying to get in touch with either the Zinks or their lawyer, Ron St. Hilaire of Kennewick.
"If I can't by phone, I'll send them a letter," Ramerman said.
Donna Zink said Wednesday that she never intended to go to Tuesday's council meeting. And she has instructed her attorney not to talk to Ramerman.
"It costs me," she said. "If they want to send me something in writing, that's fine."
Zink's dispute with the city began in 2002 when she and her husband sued the city for withholding public documents she requested.
She was awarded a judgment of $246,000 in 2008. Both Zink and Mesa appealed the court's judgment.
Zink didn't feel the penalty was steep enough. Mesa wanted the court to consider the city's size and annual operating budget of $1 million in setting the amount.
Since then, the case has bounced back and fourth for years between the Court of Appeals in Spokane and Superior Court.
The case last was argued before the Court of Appeals on March 23, 2011, but there's been no decision. And the city hasn't paid the judgment pending a decision.
Zink said in a phone call Tuesday, "The last hearing took away all the attorney fees I'd been awarded."
Those fees she estimated are about $78,000.
Zink told the Herald she is "not going to settle."
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org