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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 26, 2016

1/5/2013 1:07:00 PM
Editorial: Election season is here again in Cottonwood

Didn’t we just finish up with an election?

It doesn’t seem right that it’s already time to go through all the political rigmarole again, but the Cottonwood City Primary is just around the corner.

This very well could be the last time we see city elections contested during a March-May cycle. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law requiring that municipal elections be held in even-numbered years in conjunction with the state and national elections. The law is aimed at increasing voter turnout and saving cities money. It will take effect in 2014.

The dust has yet to settle on this new law. Municipal governments contend their political races will get lost in the shuffle when bunched together with city national, state and county races. More to the point, cities and towns don’t like the state mandating municipal policy.

In Cottonwood this year, we have five candidates chasing three jobs. Three are incumbents. One is a former council member. Another is a former school board member.

If history repeats itself in Cottonwood, this will be a ho-hum political season and low turnout once the final votes are counted.

And that’s really a shame. Folks in Cottonwood like to get all hot and bothered after the fact over such things as the dog park, roundabouts, the location of a sewer transfer station and the need and/or location for a new City Hall. Seldom do you see these same people being part of the process to make such decisions before the fact. Nor do you see them at political forums quizzing candidates on their positions on the key issues facing the city. You can’t help but wonder is these people even vote.

Beginning today, we begin a series of news stories that will offer bios on each of the five candidates. That will be followed with Question-and-Answer profiles for each of the candidates. You can be part of that very process by emailing suggested questions you would like posed to the candidates. Email your suggestions to dengler@verdenews.com.

Finally, take part in the candidate forums offered by such organizations as the League of Women Voters. Be respectful, but ask the candidates tough questions.

Finally, please vote.

And … enough with the Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013
Article comment by: wondering if 'first take' is.. .

having 2nd thoughts?

look into the facts folks... don't buy into the hype... review votes and long held positions.

tracks records show that mr. smith was all for bringing in the big box stores to serve an 'anthem like development' ... just ask him...perhaps he will tell you.

seems to contradict what was mentioned... review the votes folks... review the votes.

Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Article comment by: make no mistake 'first take'... .

attending one of the several state trust land meeting the city had would have let you see that the mayor and city staff have been working to get the density as low as possible given the 'highest and best use' limits the state puts on the process. the last numbers were down in the 12,500 range... 25% of your stated number.

as for mr. smith... you might want to review his votes... while he rails against the riverfront sewer system now... he voted for it every time it came up while he was on council. public record... look it up please. just because a council person makes a fuss and provides a good show... does not change their votes.

readers... do your own research, use the public record... don't take hearsay as gospel.

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013
Article comment by: First Take

I think one reason Cottonwood residents are so notoriously apathetic is because the town has historically been so well managed. People trusted, and with good reason, the business of the community would be taken care of competently. And historically it has been.

Now we are starting to see more breakdowns like the 50 foot woman and the dog park fiascoes.

The dog park should have never been approved in its current location, obviously, and its amazing that no one on staff, at the P&Z commission, or at the council level could see this coming.

That tells us we need to elect good independent thinking people who will not merely rubber stamp everything staff recommends.

So far the only candidate I know of who will do that is Darold Smith. His track record shows he will not rubber stamp or be intimidated by staff.

A much larger future issue to reckon with is the disposition of the 10 mile block of state trust land.

Unless you want another Prescott Valley or Anthem out there, we must have leaders who understand and have a vision for sustainable development (particularly water conservation) in a way that protects Cottonwoods small town character.

We had previously seen Mayor Diane Joens propose an Anthem-like development of up to 50,000 people out there, which would change the character of the entire Verde Valley region into a large sprawling metropolis.

So these would be good litmus test questions for candidates. What is your position on the trust land? What would you be willing to do, if anything, to protect Cottonwoods small town character and quality of life?

Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Henry

Dan, excellent editoriral.

Let's use the news media to keep a watch-full
eyes and ears on our elected officials (fed,
state, local). If you spot the officials in any
unconstitutional activity please alert your readers.

Thanks and Good Luck.

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