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12/12/2012 10:44:00 AM
Arlene Alen secures vacant Dewey-Humboldt council seat
Arlene Alen
TribPhoto/Sue Tone
Arlene Alen
TribPhoto/Sue Tone

Sue Tone

Six Dewey-Humboldt council members found themselves twice voting 3-3 to fill former council member John Dibble's seat this past Tuesday. Facing a third vote after again debating the merits of candidates David Nystrom and Arlene Alen, council member Denise Rogers decided the matter by switching her vote from Nystrom to Alen.

"After it went by twice, and we were talking about how to resolve (the tie), nobody wanted to flip a coin and they were talking about calling for more applicants, I thought how much longer that would take," Rogers said Thursday. "I thought both candidates were well qualified, and I thought, "Well, let's just get this settled today.'"

The appointment will run for six months when the position becomes available with the results of the March election in which Alen is running for a council position and Nystrom, a former councilman, is running for mayor.

Alen has lived in D-H for seven years and currently serves as vice chairman on the D-H Planning and Zoning Committee. Two other residents applied for the vacancy, Chris Berry and Zona Hays.

In addition to Roger's votes the first two times, Nystrom garnered ayes from council members David Hiles and Nancy Wright. Alen received three votes from Councilman Mark McBrady, Vice Mayor Dennis Repan and Mayor Terry Nolan.

Several council members spoke to Nystrom's previous term on the council, his training, budget experience, and ability to smoothly step into the position.

"His experience is quite valuable," Hiles said. "He is easy to work with, articulate, intelligent, and thinks things through."

Council members also said they were impressed with Alen's community involvement, social outreach, and her valuable background in working with non-profits.

McBrady objected to Nystrom based on Nystrom's appearances and comments before the council as a private citizen on issues debated by the council, saying Nystrom had a "predetermination" for some of the issues.

Wright said that because Alen didn't come to meetings didn't mean she had no opinions.

"I think he's (Nystrom) as unbiased as anybody on this council," Wright said.

McBrady acknowledged that while he likes Nystrom, he doesn't always agree with what Nystrom stands for, and that's why he chose Alen. He was impressed with her, and the six months on board would give the council and the public a chance to know her, he said.

In the town's short eight-year history, the council has used a tiebreaker three times by drawing straws or flipping a coin. Roger's change-up vote the third time around made a tiebreaker unnecessary. Alen will be sworn in at the Dec. 18 council meeting. She attended her final P&Z meeting this past Thursday.

At the end of the council meeting, Nystrom offered his congratulations to Alen, who was not present, and said he thought she would do an excellent job representing the town.

"I had been encouraged to run for a long time," Alen said on Thursday. "I'm excited to start work."

Alen's experience includes her current position as executive director and CEO of Neighbor to Neighbor. She is the marketing director of Horses with HEART and sits on its board as well as the Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding International board of trustees. She also is on the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation board, and has served on other local boards. She earned a bachelor's degree in architecture and design, and completed post-graduate studies in business, law, marketing and technology. She has been nominated for an Emmy several times as production designer in television and motion pictures.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Article comment by: David Nystrom, Nystrom For Mayor

In addressing comments on Dewey-Humboldt Property Tax, please be aware that the Town of Dewey-Humboldt collects no property tax. You continue to pay taxes to the County, Fire District and School - but that's not revenue directly payable to the Town. So it is not a matter of one portion of Town paying more Town property tax than the other - no one pays. Town revenue comes mostly from Arizona Revenue Sharing, as well as HURF (used only for roads), some Sales Tax and Town Fees / Permits. Of course, any Grant Funding received has very specific targets for spending. BTW - per the commitment to Town, I hear the HIstorical Society Museum will open at the end of the month, hope to see you there supporting your community!

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Chris Berry

I know Arlene Alen well and the last thing she is, is a yes woman. In fact, one of the things I like best about her is that she is always independant, fair and impartial and will always consider every angle of every issue before forming her opinions. I spent some time with Arlene talking to people particularly in the Dewey part of Dewey-Humboldt. I observed her listen closely and take note of the various things the Dewey folks brought up. Assumptions are just that and we all know what the word assume spells. The smartest thing anyone can do is to get out and actually ask your government officials and those running for office where they stand instead of spreading false rumor. I think Arlene is going to be great for our town. She has repeatedly donated her time to help local folks that need it and up till now has wisely stayed out of the political circus that is our current town council. She feels like I do that the lunacy in our local government has got to stop now. She also feels like I do that its not Humboldt or Dewey but Dewey-Humboldt together as one entity. I think she's going to surprise you. Its about time that we're finally beginning to get some people on board who really care about the people and their issues. You go Arlene!

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: A Dewey Property Owner

Just another yes person to fit in with this council. One more vote to waste money in Humboldt. It is amazing how the area that pays the smallest portion of property taxes get the most service from the town. We need to pay a small salary to council members to get people to run for office. At one of the meetings Sandra Goodwin said people need to get off there butts and volunteer. How about doing something for other parts of town. Why would people volunteer for something when it has no value to there section of town. Now you will have the ones who say get involved to make changes people have. They all say the same thing you can not work with this group it is like hitting your head on the wall. The only people who run now have friends with a personal agenda or have a financial interest in the Humboldt area. That is why they want to buy that dump they call town hall. People are still waiting to see something come out of the museum other then talk about what they are doing. If this council wants to do some good work on getting something in the old Young farm. As a farm it makes no taxes to the school district or property tax for the town. The 2% the town collects of the sales tax at Mortimer’s operation is nothing. They only leased it to them for Penney’s to keep the property taxes from going up.

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