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8/1/2012 10:37:00 AM
Three men vie for Yavapai County Supervisor Dist. 5 seat

Three men are running for the newly-created Yavapai County Supervisor District 5 seat: This geographically small district is right in the center of Yavapai County, and includes Prescott Valley and Groom Creek.

Name: Jack Smith

Age: 43

Party: Republican

Running in: District 5

Years in Yavapai County: 5

Occupation: Transportation manager, Ace Hardware Corp.

Political experience: Prescott Valley Planning and Zoning Commission

Why he wants to be on the board:

"For many years, I have been interested in politics, wanting to be involved and help with the process of making our community a little bit better," he said.

Top issues Supervisors must address:

Jobs and economic development are Smith's top priorities. He said that the main problem Yavapai County faces is a lack of good-paying jobs.

He advocates private-sector job creation supported by government action. "Maybe the county can drive (job creation) by supporting it through x amount of dollars for so many years," Smith said, "maybe the county can drive that to the local level - to the towns and the cities - to help entice jobs to come into the area."

Smith worries that young people coming out of high school and college are leaving the county because they can't find work.

"There's really not a lot out there," he said. "We need new people in these (supervisor) seats, so they can look at it from a fresh perspective and say, 'What can we do to get government away from you, yet support you in your everyday lives?'"

Smith also puts a priority on budget issues; he wants to bring a "business sense" to county government.

"I think it's important that we look at everything, whether it be salaries, pay increases, or projects outside the scope of what the community needs," he said. "Absolutely, I think we should pay (employees) what whatever their value is, but on the flip side, I don't think we should be hiring new people if we don't have the revenues" to pay for them.

"You've got (private) companies out there that are still not doing raises, so it's hard to take tax dollars to do that, he said.

Name: Bill Williams

Age: 57

Party: Democratic

Running in: District 5

Years in Yavapai County: 4

Occupation: Journalist & paralegal

Political experience: None

Why he wants to be on the board:

"County taxpayers need a new voice in government, and I think that a lot of the same old folks are going in and out of office and I think I can bring a fresh face and fresh ideas," Williams said.

Top issues Supervisors must address:

Water for the future is a major concern, Williams said, but knowing how much water we actually have is important, he said. "The problem is, we're all looking at different models and estimates (of water supplies)," he said, "and, to this day, I am firmly of the belief that we don't know how much water is in the Big Chino aquifer.

"So what I would do, as a county supervisor, is press the appropriate people to determine how much water is there," he said.

Williams said protecting open space is a priority and that, while development will happen, adequate planning is critical. "If we begin with a mindset that we have to respect open space and understand that development is going to happen because it's so beautiful in Yavapai County, then we really have to work" to plan for the required infrastructure.

Toward that end, Williams said he's spoken to county leadership which has been working on the new Comprehensive Plan. "I have read the plan and I agree with what they're doing," he said. "What didn't make it into the plan was problems that I have been openly critical of in the county courthouse."

Williams, long a critic of the county's legal system, which he said is rife with nepotism, said he wants to see it investigated.

"If I'm elected, I would motion the Board of Supervisors to do some sort of audit or investigation of the courts, the public defender, and the county attorney."

Name: Harold Wise

Age: 70

Party: Republican

Running in: District 5

Years in Yavapai County: 27

Occupation: Retired; owned several small businesses

Political experience: Prescott City Council, 1995; Prescott Valley City Council, 2005

Why he wants to be on the board:

"A county supervisor needs to help those people help themselves," he said. "A supervisor is, I believe, a facilitator."

Top issues Supervisors must address:

Like nearly all of the candidates for Supervisor, he's a Republican. To Wise, that means smaller government is better.

"People that live in the county have a certain amount of independence," he said, "and that's why they live there. The less government involvement as far as controlling their lives is a better thing."

Wise said he would look to eliminate "old ordinances" that serve no real purpose, to give people "the freedom to do what is reasonable on their property."

A fiscal conservative, Wise said keeping an eye on how taxpayer dollars are spent is a priority.

He said he'd keep the county's current austerity measures - such as holding the line on salary increases and the hiring freeze - until the economy truly makes a comeback.

"We need some more good news before we start hiring more people," he said. "I think its going to be a few years" before the economy returns to past conditions.

Wise strongly supports the new jail plan. "(The Prescott jail) was closed because state and federal law requires certain things in jails, and it was unable to be changed over to accommodate them. If they'd remodeled it, it still wouldn't be able to be brought up to federal standards."

Wise believes it's important for a Supervisor to advocate for residents in the more rural parts of the county. "The people in Walker, the people in Groom Creek, when their roads need to be fixed, they need to be fixed more seriously than in Prescott Valley, because Prescott Valley does its own infrastructure."


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Article comment by: Ken In Groom Creek

RE: Harold Wise. Finally a Supe candidate that makes sense. An added plus is that he even knows about Walker and Groom Creek. How we ended up in the same district as Prescott Valley is still a mystery to us. The other 2 candidates for Dist 5 have only been here a short time and seem to be running based on what they would do in a metro area. Continued growth and development have a law of diminishing returns, especially as it relates to quality of life. Please support Harold Wise for District 5.



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