8/20/2014 9:56:00 AM Candidates are preparing the voters Water, rural, business, animals - hopefuls make their views known
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Sandra Goodwin, left, moderates the Aug. 13 League of Women Voters of Central Yavapai County candidate forum for Dewey-Humboldt mayoral and council candidates. From left are Goodwin, Jack Hamilton, Mark McBrady, Terry Nolan, Dennis Repan, Walt Statler, Doug Treadway and Sonya Williams-Rowe.
About 60 residents filled the folding chairs and stood at the back of the room Wednesday evening to hear from Dewey-Humboldt mayoral and council candidates at the Cherry Creek Ranch Event Center.
"This is what we strive for, a big turnout. Your being here tonight is good government," said Sandra Goodwin, moderator of the candidates forum with the League of Women Voters of Central Yavapai County.
Running for mayor are incumbent Terry Nolan and current council member Dennis Repan. Voters will select three council candidates from a list of four: incumbents Jack Hamilton, Mark McBrady and Sonya Williams-Rowe, and challenger Doug Treadway. Write-in candidate Walt Statler also was present.
Candidates answered questions from the audience's written submissions, the first was a question regarding water contamination.
Nolan reminded people that the town does not own the small water company in Humboldt, and said the federal Environmental Protection Agency is aware of the contamination but is doing nothing to help. "The town isn't interested in owning a water company, but we've got to get involved."
Repan is not in favor of the town getting involved in a water company and said residents need to be proactive, and that the state is involved in the issue. McBrady suggested that residents "be aware of what is happening and then do what we can."
Statler said he's been drinking the water his entire life. "If there is (contamination), the private business should take care of it."
Treadway said the problem has been here for a while and won't go away overnight. He suggests finding "the right arm to twist" within state, federal and local governments. Williams-Rowe reiterated the company is privately owned and the town buying the company is not the solution.
Hamilton explained the EPA is the agency working on the Superfund site; the State Department of Environmental Quality monitors water companies, violations and compliance issues. He wants D-H to stay involved in the Prescott Active Management Area.
A question about whether there should be water meters on private wells brought strong opposition from every candidate. Hamilton said it may be out of well-owners' control as the issue has been in the court for 40 years now. Goodwin stressed to the audience the importance of paying attention to what is happening in Phoenix on this issue.
Economic development, job creation and business in downtown Humboldt elicited several viewpoints that it's not the government's job to create jobs, but the town could certainly encourage or work with potential businesses to locate in D-H.
McBrady said the town has enough commercially-zoned land for new businesses. Nolan said the town should encourage rather than fight new business, and suggested changing the zoning on some properties to help people put in businesses. Repan said many businesses look for high traffic areas, something D-H doesn't have, and he prefers manufacturing companies locate in Prescott Valley.
As to bringing businesses to historic downtown Humboldt, Treadway - a big history buff - said he would favor low-key businesses that could meld esthetically into the town's historic area. Williams-Rowe said, "To get businesses to move in, they need to know who we are."
Hamilton mentioned the high turnover rate in McBrady's Main Street properties, and said the area is not really viable for businesses to survive. Statler called it a niche market and said maybe a restaurant could work out there.
McBrady talked about being an authentic mining town and the possibility of more tourism-based companies. Nolan wants to see a steakhouse, dance hall and bands, similar to the former Reata Pass Steak House, as a start to bringing in more businesses.
Repan acknowledged the success of the Historical Museum and wants to look at moving the Town Hall nearby. "It would serve as an anchor to the downtown area," he said.
Old Black Canyon Highway
Asked what their vision is on Old Black Canyon Highway, some said it was a private road and the town should (or should not) continue to fill potholes. Hamilton said OBCH is not a private road; it was built by the government and maintained by the government without noting rights-of-way on deeds, thus making it difficult to determine whether the road belongs to the town or not.
Until the ownership is studied and determined, McBrady said let the people who live on the road maintain it. Nolan said, "The road is there; we patch it. That's the issue for now."
Statler said he doesn't think the town owns the road, but regardless, it becomes a "full-blown race track" on Saturday nights, and he'd like to see speed bumps put in. Williams-Rowe said the town doesn't own the road and should leave it alone. Repan said, "Just show me who owns it and we'll work with that."
The newest town resident, Treadway, said to laughter, "I just got an education on Old Black Canyon Highway."
Candidates were asked the definition of rural as it relates to animal control.
Statler said he has a hard time with animal control laws. If his dogs run loose and get run over or shot, he figures it's his problem. Repan said he's used to living next door to horses and cows and likes it, but others may not. Treadway likes the sound of roosters crowing at 5 a.m.
Williams-Rowe questioned why some people who don't like living next to cows would move here. McBrady said he has a problem restricting the enjoyment of one's animals. Nolan said when a dog barks at night, you get up to find out why.
Hamilton said it's a balancing act between the rights of animal owners and rights of neighbors to peace and quiet. Owners have a responsibility to their animals, and neighbors need a way to seek recourse.
What issues would the candidates work on if elected to council? Williams-Rowe wants the council to work together and not against each other. Hamilton would like council support on town-ownership of OBCH. McBrady wants the council to listen to each other with respect.
Nolan said there are seven people with seven different ideas and one person will always say no. Repan wants to see better negotiating skills among council members to bring them together and get more things done.
Statler wants a ball field for the D-H Little League. Treadway would like more recreational opportunities for young people.
Ballots have been mailed out. If anyone has not received a ballot, Goodwin suggests they call the Registrar of Voters at 928-771-3248. Ballots must be dropped into the ballot box outside Town Hall by 7 p.m. on Aug. 26, Primary Election Day.
For Janie Fisher--The scotsdale groupies- those are the people who influenced the 2008 council, as well as those who were on the council at that time, who saw fit to invade the personal privacy of every D-H homeowner when they passed the code restricting any combination of housepets to a limit off 6. I read the code on line in the packet for the 5-13 council meeting- it says that any combination of everything from dogs and cats and birds and any other domesticated pet is not allowed to exceed 6 w/o being classified as a "kennel" in town law. And that will trigger excessive use permit requirements. This is a confiscation of previously existing allowed land uses. The mayor in 2008 was Earl Goodwin (his wife ran the candidate forum). One councilmember was Nancy Wright. I fact checked the one newsletter I was lucky enough to get and found no misleading facts. What makes these neighborhood newsletters "fake" or misleading to you? Is it because you don't agree them? Do you oppose freedom of speach? Information is power and these newsletters seem to have empowered the rural residents here. And I have a barky dog for a neighbor. She is very old, and very blind. And she is very, very precious. Perhaps you are just to self-important or sensitive for country living.
Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014
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What groupies are you talking about? Animals have never been a major issue in DH except when people sent out fake newsletters with false information. It is a balancing act. When dogs bark continuously so that you cannot sit on your patio and enjoy your property, it is a problem. No one is talking about dogs that bark when there are intruders or trespassers or a coyote passes by at night. Some people neglect their pets and let them outside alone for hours on end and they bark at everything because they need exercise and are bored.
If working in your garden caused your neighbor's dog to continuously bark, you would not enjoy working in your yard. Most responsible neighbors would try to work with you to resolve the problem but unfortunately many won't. There has to be a happy medium between both sides.
Posted: Saturday, August 23, 2014
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In this world of "it's someone else's responsibility." Everyone feels that they have the right to get whatever they want. This includes moving into a rural neighborhood, then harassing the residents who bought property for the purpose of owning animals. When a person looks into purchasing a property they have the duty to perform due diligence, making sure that the neighborhood they are moving into meets their standards. They do not have the right to ignore their responsibility, then expect the town to change ordinances in order to change the tone of the area... except in Dewey-Humbold that is. Everyone has things they don't like, things that bother them about their neighborhoods and neighbors. A reasonable person recognizes that this is a failing in themselves much of the time, and either learns to live with it, or moves elsewhere, chalking it up to failure to adequately investigate the area. Others start agitating, demanding that the community adopt this person's standards and tastes. Years ago incorporation was sold to the residents under the promise that we would be allowed to continue to live our lives as we been living them. This promise was hot air. It may be time to unincorporate.
Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Candidates have varying qualities. Mr. Nolan is polite, however has a less potential to think beyond the current status quo. Mr. Repan delves into details of current issues with more enthusiasm.
I am insulted by the veiled threat that Supervisor Tom Thurman made to the candidates during the meeting with the candidates. He told a truly awful joke and used it as an excuse to tell candidates "don't make any promises you can't keep". We all know one of the big issues in town now is the animal laws/6 pet limit. The question about animals during the meeting drew the loudest response from the audience. Mr. Thurman-how dare you!You might as well have slapped us all in the face. When are YOU up for re-election? Mr. Hamilton stated that he lives in a area of homes on nearly two acres. If that man is bothered by anything going on inside of anyones home on that size lot-he is simply not minding his own business. Obviously, if Hamilton and his Scotsdale groupies are so sensitve about livestock, noise, odors-they never should have bought here. He made a bad investment and now wants to punish all of the rest of us for his lack of due diligence. There is no "balancing act" here. If someone on a 2 acre lot is offended by cow poop on the 2 acre lot next door-well they aren't reasonable. These people need to form their own HOA so they can tell each other how to live. Some of my friends in town HAVE TO grow some of their own food. This evil town code bans that.