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9/27/2012 2:22:00 PM
Final Q&A with Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Candidates

Independent Alan Buchanan is challenging incumbent Republican Tom Thurman for a seat on the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, representing the new District 2.

They will meet in the general election in November. Early voting begins in October.

Here are some final questions.



Alan "Buck" Buchanan

Question: What do you think is the county supervisors' responsibility and authority when an approved project's stipulations are not being met by the applicant and the county department in charge is not enforcing those stipulations?

Answer: "The Board of Supervisors' top staff is the County Administrator. It's the administrator's role to keep Supervisors informed on planning and completing projects.  My opponent has developed a "wink and nod" approach to project completion with political cronies. Part of his campaign is based on how tight he is with department heads. I am not a career politician.  I want the department heads to focus on how well they serve the public, not how friendly they are with me. When a problem arises, like what happened in Lake Montezuma, I favor an outcome which honors the community, not the developer."

Question: A 5-year-old state law (Senate Bill 1575 from 2007) allows counties and municipalities to require all new subdivisions to prove to the Arizona Department of Water Resources that they have adequate 100-year water supplies. However, the law forces counties to get unanimous Board of Supervisor approval to enact the new requirement. It has never been done in Yavapai County. Do you favor passage? Why or why not?

Answer: "No, I do not favor passage.  It's another way of the State meddling in the County business.  Way too much of what happens in the state Legislature is unfavorable to rural Arizona.  Home rule is the best approach.  We need a well-designed regional approach to water, not a subdivision-by-subdivision "100 year promise" which no one can really prove."

Question: Yavapai County has expensive items on its to-do list. Residents continue to struggle economically. In implementing the Cost of Development element of the county's new Comprehensive Plan, how will the Board of Supervisors prove to taxpayers that they are being fiscally responsible while providing up-to-date services and infrastructure?

Answer: "Per state law, this element supposedly makes "cost of development" pay a fair share.  That's a hard concept to argue against. But it's been applied through impact fees that simply pad government budgets at the expense of homeowners.  A developer doesn't pay the impact fee.  Ultimately, the new homeowner does.  As a new supervisor, I'm coming on Board with the Comprehensive Plan already approved. Government works best at the local level. People choosing to live in the County often want a lower level of taxation and services than those who live in Towns or Cities.  That's a choice I respect."

Question: Why should the voters of District 2 vote for you?

Answer: "I want to serve Yavapai County the same way I've served my local community. By putting people first. Small business is the backbone of Yavapai County.  I get that, and I'll work for that.  We have the best place in the world to live, and each community in District 2 has special character.  Chip Davis is one of my role models in choosing public service.  I have small town values, and will bring that approach to County government.  I'm not a career politician, and I don't believe politics bring about many great solutions.  I want to work for you."



Tom Thurman

Question: What do you think is the county supervisors' responsibility and authority when an approved project's stipulations are not being met by the applicant and the county department in charge is not enforcing those stipulations?

Answer: "First line of enforcement on any county approvals is zoning enforcement. If the permit holder is not meeting the responsibility of the permit we give them 30 days to come into compliance. If that fails, then they are fined $100 and must appear in court. If that fails then the Hearing Judge has the power to fine literally as much as they want. I am not here to be a push over but on the other side of the coin we are local government and I try to work with folks on their situations. We must be professionals in our jobs."   

Question: A 5-year-old state law (Senate Bill 1575 from 2007) allows counties and municipalities to require all new subdivisions to prove to the Arizona Department of Water Resources that they have adequate 100-year water supplies. However, the law forces counties to get unanimous Board of Supervisor approval to enact the new requirement. It has never been done in Yavapai County. Do you favor passage? Why or why not?

Answer: "This Bill was passed to make sure that any new subdivisions have stated to the buyer, that the Arizona Department of Water Resources has approved a 100 year supply or has not. Disclosure is imperative, but as I have said in the past, when bills like this are law, they sound good but they actually promote lot splits! I wish sometimes the Legislature would understand the unintended consequences of their actions. Lot splits are completely legal, if we make it to difficult to subdivide we will never get reduced home numbers, re-use of the effluents, tiered water rates so high water users will pay more, dirt roads versus pavement. Lot splits is a not the answer."

Question: Yavapai County has expensive items on its to-do list. Residents continue to struggle economically. In implementing the Cost of Development element of the county's new Comprehensive Plan, how will the Board of Supervisors prove to taxpayers that they are being fiscally responsible while providing up-to-date services and infrastructure?

Answer: "I am very proud of staff and the public of the creation of the new Comprehensive Plan. This was a mandate buy the State and last time we spent over a quarter of a million dollars to hire an out side contactor. This time we did it in house with our own staff and private individuals, many public meetings all over this county and this time, only 5,000.00 in staff time and fuel was spent. Cluster housing is a must for new subdivisions in the plan, with this, we will cut costs for staff and create new jobs, save water, etc."

Question: Why should the voters of District 2 vote for you?

Answer: "My past in this county goes back to high school and my wife family lived in the Verde and Prescott side. We lived in Dewey where I and a friend started the Dewey Humboldt Little league. I have given of myself ever since. Since elected I have served on over 17 boards and given most of my time to the betterment of this county and my district. I have been and always will be a hands-on Supervisor and now with going to 5, I can back off some of those boards and give even more time."



Editor's Note: "Other" candidate Wes Lance did not respond to these questions


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Wow! A candidate who actually reads and answers comments. How cool is that!

Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Article comment by: Buck Buchanan

I appreciate the comments of everyone who cares enough to weigh in on our local issues, and our local election. Mr. Babbit, I'm sorry I failed to clarify the importance of the water issue. But, yes, in a nutshell, AWD has pissed on the carpet. Conventional thinking, and convention water managment is at risk. You can stick your head in the sand (without risk of drowning), but you still risk suffocation. State water law is a mess. Local water management is meaningless in the face of state law. Let's work together to fix this situation.

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@Nusto Fasst

What are you talking about? There is nothing undefined about Buck Buchanan.

He's a retired home inspector and contractor.
He has lived in Yavapai County for 16 years.
He served as a town councilman and sat on the Camp Verde Planning & Zoning Board.
He espouses moderate growth, conservation of resources, and local control.
He has no special relationships with County departments and commissions or their friends.
He will have Chip Davis's help working with said departments, commissions, and friends.

What more do you need to know?



Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Article comment by: You're right itsy bitsy

There's a tip sticking up into Page Springs, but District 2 is the I17 corridor from Camp Verde (with half of Cornville) to Black Canyon City.

Sorry, I would have sworn I read Sedona and Camp Verde were lumped together, but I guess that's a congressional district.


Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: nutso fasst

For Verde River lovers this may be a choice between the demonstrably disingenuous and the decidedly undefined, but at least it's a clear choice. With top-two, this race could easily have been between two Republicans.


Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: Slater slater

You go for it Buck.It's about time a politician
can explain all the answers are'nt in a sound bite.

Enjoyed you challenging all opponents to match
your $200 donation to the Mission.Its about
time someone put up to help a neighbor.


Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Speakers wouldn't have to travel quite that far, Mr. Voting Isn't The Only Way. County District 2 only extends north to Cornville/Camp Verde - I think.

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: T. Hearn

That's a really good point. I wish someone had made it a couple of months ago.

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

@Buck Buchanan
"AZ rural groundwater management is a mess. "
How is it a mess?
"I don't want Yavapai County to stick another thumb in the dike of AZ's bad law."
Did it pee on the carpet?
" I want to clarify my answer to the water question."
Your clarification is gibberish.


Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: Voting is just one way

to support a candidate, Ms. Hartman. I'm sure Buck Buchanan could use some help distributing flyers and lawn signs, calling District 2 voters to remind them to vote. And if you're really into this, you could speak to civic, professional, and religious groups from Sedona to Black Canyon City. An independent candidate's greatest disadvantage is the fact he can't be everywhere at once.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@Itsy Bitsy Spider
There must be more registered voters in the Upper Verde than there are developers in Prescott. But I don't care. Tom Thurman split the Verde Valley. We should all have a chance to vote him out.


Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Don't be a twit, Ms. Heartman. That would just bring all the developers in Prescott Valley running in to save Thurman's seat.

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

I think we should have "open county" general elections - all voters in the county can vote in the district of their choice. It's truly unfair residents of Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, and half of Cornville have to sit on the sidelines yelling "Go Buck Go!" We should have a say in the District 2 Supervisor race.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: concerned for Verde Valley

I would hope after reading this article the people in the Verde Valley get out and vote for the right person to represent them in the County. That person is someone who knows the Verde and will take care of this side of the hill. Support Buck Buchanan. He has our best interest at heart. Don't stay home and complain, VOTE

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: Buck Buchanan

Tying to answer questions on complex issues within the 100 word newsprint limit is difficult. I want to clarify my answer to the water question. AZ rural groundwater management is a mess. Addressing this issue requires significant updates to AZ water law. Verde Watershed is leading the state in research and dialog. Is it difficult? Yes! Can we do better? Yes! Am I an expert? No! But I am willing and able to develop County tools to improve water management in non-AMA areas. In the meantime, I don't want Yavapai County to stick another thumb in the dike of AZ's bad law.



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