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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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7/19/2014 2:28:00 PM
Jerome Council Elections: Vacation rentals issue spurs candidate Freund's campaign
Douglas Freund
Douglas Freund

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter

JEROME - Jerome Town Council candidate Douglas Freund collected 111 signatures from residents to get the vacation rentals ordinance placed on the Aug. 26 primary ballot.

"We've been doing this for the last year and a half or more," he said.

A stakeholders meeting at the fire station in December of 2012 was a crucial moment, he said.

"Then I began speaking out about this issue and talking to people," he said.

Freund said the ordinance passed by the council strictly regulating vacation rentals doesn't represent the balance that could be achieved between residential and commercial interests.

"The vacation rental issue can be more generally rolled into defending our existing ordinance," he said. "We should defend our town code and enforce it."

Recently elected chair of the steering committee for the town's new comprehensive plan, Freund said he'd like to see greater cooperation among departments and an emphasis on Jerome's rich mining history and art community.

"The plan is what we want Jerome to look like in 25, 30 years from now," he said. "Jerome has accomplished a lot since the first plan came out in 1981."

He said the next council will have to deal with protecting the town's water resources.

"We're in for drier and hotter times, and our visitor rates keep going up and up," he said. "We have to improve our water and our sewer to improve our water handling in town."

The last day to register to vote in the Aug. 26 primary is July 28.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Article comment by: Myra Gold

Most of the vacation renters are moochers who contribute nothing to the community while depleting our resources. We have a volunteer fire dept. that leaves the comfort of their homes to aid the dizzy and fallen. The FD incident report reflects this alarming trend.

The habits of city folk renters are not congruent with our ancient sewer system and limited water supply. Only to mention fashionable footwear with 4 inch heels on cobblestone is an incident waiting to happen.

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