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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : commentary May 24, 2016

1/5/2012 1:11:00 PM
Commentary: New City Hall needs to be top priority for Cottonwood

Dan Engler

A new City Hall building has been on the priority list for years now in Cottonwood -- just never very high up on that list.

But in 2012, it’s time to see the City Council get off the dime on this project and make something happen.

Here’s why. Cottonwood’s present City Hall is hardly representative of a centralized administrative center for the city government. In fact, City Hall departments are spread out over 13 different properties in the community.

Just this past week, Cottonwood officials announced that it had moved the city clerk’s office across the street from City Hall. So, whenever a face-to-face meeting is required of the clerk, city manager and mayor to discuss agenda items for upcoming council meetings, there is always the prospect of playing musical chairs to get every one at the same place at the same time.

Granted, in this day and age of instant electronic communication, such problems are easily overcome. Also, there are some strategic advantages to having certain properties specifically situated to carry out specific functions of town government. The police and fire stations, library, recreation center, municipal court and public works departments all serve Cottonwood well, for example.

But there is also the convenience issue for the public to be considered here. When someone goes to City Hall to take care of city business, or to ask for help on some issue, it’s just lousy customer service when they’re told they can’t be helped. They have go elsewhere. And when elsewhere involves 13 different city properties, are the folks at City Hall even sure themselves where to properly direct people?

When it takes 13 different properties to properly house all the employees and functions of city government, that’s a sure sign that Cottonwood has outlived the usefulness of its present City Hall.

It’s time to move this project to the top of the city’s priority list.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Article comment by: Gary Chamberlain

Dear Mr. Engler,

Truly a great idea but just a bit too late, about 4-5 years or more too late.

Too bad this reasonable idea had to come from the editor of the Verde Independent and not responsible city leaders. The leadership of Cottonwood demonstrates yet another example of poor planning and spending.

If only this idea had been proposed by the city leaders of the "Cottonwood Empire" before they purchased and spent money remodeling 13 properties spread all over Cottonwood.

If a new City Hall is built what will happen to the existing 13 properties occupied and maintained by the City of Cottonwood? Can anyone imagine selling these properties in this economy and at what cost and loss to the tax payer?

But don't worry about the funding to build a new centralized city hall if it should happen. The funding will come from the existing over-taxed businesses and residents of Cottonwood plus the "Golden Goose" is on its way to save the day and the City of Cottonwood.

The Golden Goose will lay the “golden egg” when Verde Santé Fe is annexed into the Empire of Cottonwood.

Where are responsible city leaders to be found?

I can hardly wait to be annexed into the City of Cottonwood .... Gag .... Gag

Gary Chamberlain
Cornville, AZ

Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Article comment by: at it again

All Cottonwood needs is another BOND. They all ready owe tons on the rec center and library so why not another loan? They seem to get grants and loans for buildings for them but not for schools, clinics or what the people really need. Guess they are waiting to see if they annex VSF and get more money from the state by having a growing population that they now need to support. Thanks Dan for opening our eyes to the excess spending of Cottonwood

Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Article comment by: Maggie Holt

I don't live in Cottonwood, as most of you know by now (and perhaps you even thing it's none of my business), but in reading this for the first time now out of curiosity, the first thing that strikes me is that Mr. Engler keeps talking about the 13 departments in his arguments to consolidate town government.

Yet he admits that 6 of the 13 arguably need their own space and do very well in their own space (police, fire, library, rec center, municipal court, public works). If the town clerk is the only member of Cottonwood's government who has been displaced (along with some staff probably?), then maybe what Cottonwood could use instead of a new town hall is a much simpler and less costly addition to the current town hall?

Fear breeds fear, and fear is not a good thing to be spreading among the voting public unless one has an ulterior motive as someone was wont to suggest. So why continue to talk up the need to consolidate 13 departments when 6 are apparently totally out of the picture because their spaces would not consolidate into town hall anyway?

Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Looks like the recession is over.Time to make
Government comfortable with new toys.Don't
forget it's for our own good and the voters in
this area should never be trusted to make gov
We must buy new furniture also and perhaps
a garage to put the Free Hummers in.Dont
forget the roundabouts,asphalt streets,hire
400 new police for our safety,consolidate all
schools,hire 50 teachers,30 crossing guards
all so the votes will be swung in the right direction etc.Get the picture.I'm positive this will
lower Taxes.Genius

Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012
Article comment by: WRONG For Cottonwood

I can not believe that you are espousing MORE spending on MORE buildings! Ok, so I need a permit. I go to Development services or wherever I need to go.
In today's technological world, most of the permitting should be available electronically anyway.
Mr. Editor, your wish for one centralized location is a dream from the past that is no longer valid. We don't need ONE place to do business with City Hall. In fact, most of us just need a good server and we can do our business from home.
Are you related to a developer?

Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012
Article comment by: nutso fasst

"This would be the THIRD huge project that the city would be undertaking this year, in what could arguably be called a depresion."

Shouldn't the Keynesians be supportive?

Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012
Article comment by: blm blm

How about lowering the 10.9% tax and property tax/school tax......NO spending until then.

Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Spend, spend, spend . . . and I thought this was a CONSERVATIVE town.

You all need to get your LABELS straight!

I agree we NEED a City Hall . . . but we DID NOT need a new wastewater treatment plant in a FLOOD zone, near a public park and fragile RIPARIAN area.

Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012
Article comment by: Chase Crosby

Are you insane? This would be the THIRD huge project that the city would be undertaking this year, in what could arguably be called a depresion.

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