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5/15/2013 9:09:00 AM
Grossman, Zurcher bring different perspectives in Prescott Valley council race

Ken Hedler
Special to the Tribune

Two men 29 years apart with first names starting with the letter "M"- one never married, the other a new father - are vying for a two-year seat on the Town Council in the May 21 runoff election.

Marty Grossman, 63, is a retired letter carrier from New York City who has become active in the community since moving to Prescott Valley in 2009 - and regularly attends council meetings. He is the past president of the Prescott Valley Police Foundation, and is active with the Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity.

The other candidate, Matt Zurcher, 34, moved to Prescott Valley from Simi Valley, Calif., eight years ago, and is an assistant manager at a cellphone company. He chairs the Government Affairs Committee of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, and belongs to the Prescott Area Young Professionals and Prescott Valley Early Bird Lions Club.

Zurcher and Grossman are facing each other because neither candidate received a majority of the votes in a three-way race with Craig Arps in the March 12 primary. The successful candidate will join another new member of the council, Stephen Marshall, who was elected to a four-year seat, in June.

Like the March 12 primary, voting is by mail only. Voters may mail or drop off their completed ballots to the Yavapai County Voter Registration Department at 1015 Fair St., Prescott, or deposit their envelopes in the county drop-off box in front of the Civic Center, 7401 E. Civic Circle.

As of Monday, 20,226 Prescott Valley residents were registered to vote, Town Clerk Diane Russell said.

Grossman and Zurcher answered identical questions to educate the voters about their credentials and to give an idea about how they will govern the town if elected.

Their answers to questions appear as follows:

What makes you the best qualified to serve on the council?

"I've put in the time to learn how the council works by attending the workshops, the work studies and the Town Council meetings.

"This time the time is right (to run). I've gone through enough cycles of the council meetings and the work studies. I know the projects and I know how the money is being spent."

Zurcher: "I believe I bring a unique blend of experience between government and business. I'm the only candidate right now, between myself and Marty, with any business experience. I feel that would serve me well.

"Aside from my business experience if I get elected, our daughter (Amelia) will be a year old. I don't think anybody on the council has any kids (still living at home). Most of them have grandkids. There are a lot of people in this community that have kids. I believe having somebody on the council that has that demographic is absolutely important."

What are the top issues or concerns that you plan to tackle?

"It is not so much that there is a single issue to tackle. The major issues continue to be jobs, public safety, home ownership, and the one that is perennially in there - our water issues."

Zurcher: "Number one, I think photo enforcement is going to be an issue. Council has not decided anything. The consensus is it is going away. ...

"I think the water issues is contentious. I am not going to go out there and say I know everything about water. ... Let's take a look at the Big Chino (Ranch) aquifer. A lot of money has already been invested in that (project). I think we all would like to see it come to fruition."

Do you favor the phase-out of photo enforcement?

"Yes, photo enforcement was originally put in there to reduce the number of accidents. I have done some research. Between 2006 - when photo enforcement was installed - and 2011, the traffic accidents in Arizona state went down 26 percent. Yavapai County went down 24 percent. Prescott Valley was 28 percent. Prescott was 31 percent. Chino (Valley) was 16 percent.

"Of all those areas, (only) Prescott Valley has photo radar. Based on those statistics, (the area as a whole is) getting the results without the need for photo radar.

"Also, since the photo radar has been installed, we now have a median strip on (Highway) 69. ... The speed limit has been reduced from 55 to 45 (mph)."

Zurcher: "I feel we should eliminate it. I believe it affects tourism and it affects economic growth. Business owners and customers tell me they refuse to come to Prescott Valley because of the cameras. ...

"Photo radar has just given us a bad image, a bad rep. That is not what I want for this town."

What qualities do you see as most important in selecting the next police chief?

"I'm not qualified to answer that question. We have a human resources (department). Those are the professionals. Let the professionals do their jobs."

Zurcher: "In (my) eight years (in town), you have four chiefs. We've got to count (Interim Chief James) Edelstein. It's not good for stability ...

"I think that (former chief Bill) Fessler was good at improving morale. Ultimately, if a new chief were to come in, he needs to improve morale.

"We're going to continue to grow. A chief needs to make sure it is up (in hiring) in that department. We are going to need more police officers."

What are your thoughts on the financial situation at Tim's Toyota Center?

"Right now, I'm keeping my arms distance. I have no opinion. I'm not in the middle of the fracas yet. I have not gotten into the statistics of it yet."

Zurcher: "I believe the events center is in good hands. Would anyone have foreseen that the economy is going to take a dive?

"They are not going to let that place fail, and they are going to do everything in their power to make sure it does not fail.

"I am going to study it. I am going to read up on it. I don't know everything. I know (General Manager) Gary Spiker. I know a lot of the players."

Related Stories:
• Grossman wins Prescott Valley runoff election
• Deadline today for Prescott Valley election

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Article comment by: We are in TROUBLE,

BIG trouble, when we are getting answers from someone like,
I'm not qualified to answer that question.

It is not so much that there is a single issue to tackle.
Right now, I'm keeping my arms distance. I have no opinion.
I have done some research.

Yep, just what you want from a new Town Councilman. Thankfully Mr. Skoog is back as our Mayor so lets pray that Grossman won't be able to do much damage in 2 yrs.

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Shawn Nelson

Oh ok So this canidate that obviously only knows how the board is ran from attendance is the perfect choice,.. WOW! thats pretty ignorant to to even endorce such a self admitting ignorant candidate,..this man doesnt even know whats going on in town, What is he going to do just sit back collect a check and let whats proposed ride just like the rest of the board?

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: Marty Grossman is defintely the pick here....

Marty Grossman is, by far, the best pick here. Marty has the best interests of the community in mind and a lot of local experience through his involvements. I have spoken to both men in person and have decided that mr. Grossman is best suited for the job.

If you want an arrogant, young, inexperienced "kid" in Zurcher that will do nothing other than act on everything Tarkowski tells him, then he is your man.

Do your homework folks! Too bad a lot of you didn't research Mr. Whiting and we are stuck with him a few more years. if you could only see how he acts at non-PV meetings he attends, you would understand that he was a horrible choice to represent us.

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