Five Cottonwood residents are running for the three City Council terms that expire this year. Three are incumbents: Karen Pfeifer, Linda Norman and Tim Elinski.
Two other citizens will also seek election to one of the available seats. Darold Smith has been seated on the council in the past. Randall Garrison has been active on local school boards.
To vote in the Cottonwood election, one must be registered to vote in Cottonwood. For the March 12 Primary, a person must be registered by April 11.
Originally raised in West Florida, Karen Pfeifer is a 40-year Verde Valley resident. Pfeifer and Roger Pfeifer have seven children, 15 grandchildren and five great great-grandchildren. All seven children were educated in the Verde Valley and six served in the military. One son remains in Army Special Operations. Four of the seven have raised their own families locally.
Pfeifer was a bookkeeper before entering the insurance business for 20 years. Today, Pfeifer works part time as office assistant for the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce.
Pfeifer is a long serving member of the City Council, having been elected first in 1991 and again in 1995. She was defeated in a 1997 attempt at mayor and was re-elected to the council again in 1999. She was appointed to an uncompleted council term in 2003 and re-elected in 2005 and 2009.
Pfeifer has served on a number of public boards, including Design Review, Personnel and the Verde Valley Regional Solid Waste Coalition, NAMWA and on the steering committee for the county's MATForce substance abuse coalition.
Active in the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, Pfeifer has been a member since 1976, served on its board and as its president twice. For 8 years, she was a member of the Christmas Parade organizing committee.
Linda Norman is a native of Texas who settled in Cottonwood in 1985, helping her family to open a business. Linda also worked in the local school system for 13 years as a bookkeeper and secretary. She went to work for Yavapai County as secretary for Supervisor Chip Davis working there for five years. In 2004, she retired and was elected to the Cottonwood City Council in May 2005.
Norman has two grown sons living in Cottonwood and Clarkdale. She has four grandchildren, three grand-daughters and a grandson. Her grandson is currently serving in the U S Air Force. In addition to her duties as a Council Member, she enjoys reading, golfing and spending time with her grandkids.
Born in Payson, Tim Elinski is a native of Arizona who was taken with the Verde Valley after spending his summers swimming and fishing in the Verde River. Elinski spent several years in Oregon, but eagerly returned to the Verde Valley, buying a home in Old Town Cottonwood where he resides with his three dogs.
He has been in the building trades for many years, the last three as a licensed general contractor doing restoration and new home construction.
He spends free time camping in his vintage Happy Home Trailer. He says aspirations remain to be kind to his fellow man, to eat canned tuna at least once a month, and to never sit in a La-Z-Boy recliner.
Married 30 years with three children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren, Darold Smith is a veteran of both the Korean and Viet Nam wars. After he was honorably discharged, Smith joined the United States Coast Guard from 1964-74 and rose to become Warrant Officer. After service, he worked as businessman in Lynnwood, and Bellevue, Wash., until 2000 when he retired to Cottonwood.
Smith is a member of the Clarkdale-Verde Valley Kiwanis Club and Friends of Cottonwood. He served as a Cottonwood Planning and Zoning Commissioner and was appointed to an uncompleted Cottonwood Council term from 2009-2011.
He enjoys golf.
Randall Garrison comes from a long Verde Valley family line. His family formerly owned the water company that served both Cottonwood and Clarkdale since 1800. The service was sold to the municipalities seven years ago. He worked in that business for years.
Garrison recently stepped down after serving 10 years on the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board. Prior to that position, he held a two-year term on the Mingus Union High School Board. He has also been a member of a number of other committees and boards over the years.
Garrison says it was time to do something new. His father, Chuck, had been a member of the Cottonwood Council and served as its mayor.
Since the water utility was sold to the cities, the family business has become one of property holding, management and development. The business owns property in Old Town Cottonwood and has enjoyed being part of the community's revival.
Garrison spent a number of years on the Cottonwood Economic Development Council and has been its chair supporting businesses and making them stronger
His wife operates a specialty keyboard sales business, which handles 550 products.
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013
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We need quality people for this quality city. We have two incumbents who have been there for way too many years and offer nothing for goals. We have another incumbent who's only claim to fame is that he never sat in a recliner!? Another retread is running because he is opposed to everything! Mr. Garrison is the only person with any background and specifially stated goals. So, I will be voting for Mr Garrison only. While I can vote for 3, I do not have to vote for anyone else because I do not see them as quality candidates.