11/8/2012 1:03:00 PM Editorial: Thurman has work cut out to bring Verde unity to county
Our first test in the new five-supervisor experiment in democracy shows that not much has changed in Yavapai County.
Mingus Mountain is much more than a geographic dividing line between the eastern and western portions of Yavapai County.
It remains an us-against-them barrier.
That was obviously apparent in the first-ever election in the new District 2 supervisor territory that included portions of the Verde Valley, but even larger portions of the Prescott area. According to the vote count from each of District 2 voter precincts, Verde Valley challenger Alan “Buck” Buchanan led in every Verde voting district and incumbent Tom Thurman won in every district outside the Verde Valley.
To enhance Thurman’s margin of victory, voters in the Prescott area precincts turned out in higher percentages than the Verde Valley, about 75 to 65 percent.
Thurman himself acknowledges the huge divide between Verde and Prescott sentiment. “I have believed all along that I was the best choice to heal and mend some of the differences we have had on both sides of the mountain … I am wiling to try my hardest to make that happen.”
No doubt, easier said than done. Perceptions, independent of how firmly rooted they are in fact, are hard to change. Further, a lot of folks are going to have a hard time letting go of the fact that Thurman went outside the redistricting process and personally drew the boundaries for the district to which he eventually was elected. And just this week, Thurman certainly did not improve his stock in the Verde by voting in support of the controversial Yavapai Ranch development, even though he himself said, “It’s like approving a town out in the middle of nowhere. That’s why I have concerns.”
No doubt, Mr. Thurman has his work cut out for him in his desire to “heal and mend some of the differences we have.”