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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 24, 2016

8/1/2013 2:43:00 PM
Editorial: Excellent choice in naming Joe Butner Superior Court Judge
Joe Butner
Joe Butner

For many in the Verde Valley, there has always been this misplaced perception that we are the neglected stepchild of Yavapai County government.

Their rallying cry is that "it's all about Prescott."

You wonder where it all comes from when you look at the county administrative services located in Cottonwood and the jail and judicial complex in Camp Verde. Those facilities, and services, are superior to what you'll find in the actual county seat in other Arizona locales.

Most recently, there was another textbook example of Prescott sensibilities toward the Verde Valley. Presiding Superior Court Judge David Mackey appointed Joe Butner as the newest Yavapai County Superior Court judge.

Mr. Butner's judicial qualifications are no doubt impressive. He previously served with distinction as Judge-Pro Tem of the Superior Court, as judge of the Verde Valley Justice Court and as Chief Judge for the Yavapai-Apache Tribal Court.

In addition, he developed a reputation for being equally hard-nosed yet fair as a Deputy Yavapai County Attorney from 1992 to 1999 and again from 2003 to 2011.

But the icing on the cake with this appointment is that Joe Butner is one of us. He's a Verde Valley guy through and through. He serves on the Board of Directors of Verde Valley Senior Citizens' Association and is one of those guys who puts on an old U.S. Army Cavalry uniform and rides a horse down Main Street in the Fort Verde Days and Cottonwood Christmas parades.

Again, based on Butner's judicial qualifications alone, Judge Mackey's decision is to be applauded.

The fact that he also selected an all-around great guy is reason to stand up and cheer.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013
Article comment by: Genuine Information

Congratulations are in order for Mr Butner. However, I am personally still concerned with his actions during the DeMocker trial, especially those actions revolving around improper viewings of ex parte communications.




Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013
Article comment by: Good for Butner but Verde consistently gets shortchanged

Agreed on the good choice for Butner, but that hardly changes the fact that the center of political power and money that runs Yavapai County is and always will be in Prescott.

And the Verde Valley consistently gets the short end of the stick. Unfortunately for us, this reality is far from a "misplaced perception."

There are numerous ongoing examples of the Verde getting shortchanged, far more than what is outweighed by the jail and justice facility being in Camp Verde.

Funding, roads, political representation, economic clout, you name it, Prescott's got the edge over the Verde.

Consider just one egregious example, the ill-fated Ruskin land trade. The County teamed up with the Prescott National Forest, also hq'd in and dominated by Prescott, to ram this thing down our throats. Took big chunks of public land from the Verde to give to the Prescott side for open space and we got nada in return.

One of the biggest ongoing problems we face of course is Prescott and Prescott Valley pumping water from the Big Chino. Even though this is an existential threat to the Verde River, they literally changed State law to do that, despite the protestations of Verde representatives. Again we got crushed.

Whenever there is an inter-county dispute, you can count on Prescott coming out on top. That's why so many people for so many years have clamored for an independent Verde county.

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Elaine Farr

I worked with him for several years, while he was a County Attorney, then as a JP. Joe is tough but fair, and I know he'll do a great job. Congratulations Joe!

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Anyone who rides in the Christmas Parade on
a horse gets my vote.
But only if he has a pistol in his holster.

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