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2/20/2013 9:45:00 AM
Three candidates for Dewey-Humboldt mayor talk about town
D-H mayor candidates Chris Berry, Terry Nolan and David Nystrom.
TribPhoto/Sue Tone
D-H mayor candidates Chris Berry, Terry Nolan and David Nystrom.
TribPhoto/Sue Tone

Sue Tone

All three mayoral candidates expressed their affection for Dewey-Humboldt in opening statements at Monday night's candidate forum at the Community Activity Center. The Highway 69 Chamber of Commerce and Yavapai County Supervisor Tom Thurman sponsored the event presented by the League of Women Voters of Central Yavapai County and moderated by LWV member Sandra Goodwin.

Incumbent Mayor Terry Nolan said he would like to see consistency play a part in town governance, citing five mayors and six town managers since incorporation in 2004.

Candidate Chris Berry wants to "see the town become all it can be." And candidate and former council member David Nystrom wants to find a balance between the town's rural lifestyle and future opportunities that could provide an improvement in residents' quality of life.

The three men fielded questions submitted by the audience - collected and reworded by a committee at the back of the room - that ranged from mayoral duties and roads to water and the town's Superfund site.

When asked about the best use of grant money, Nystrom said the town cannot depend on grant money as a guaranteed source of revenue, and named several grants the town used for community development, sign replacement, and the Butte Street Park. Berry wants the money to go for roads, infrastructure and a water system. Nolan said he would like to see grants pay for chip sealing roads, and said grant money is available for water and sewer projects, but the town has neither water or sewer districts and so can't apply for those grants.

On the issue of water, Nolan said he thinks the town should acquire the local private water company, and use grant money to put filters on the system and improve the quality.

Nystrom talked about the diversity of water sources that supply residents - private water company, private wells, and those who have to truck in their water. He would like to see the defunct Groundwater Advisory Committee return with interested residents so that the town can participate and "have a seat at the table" with local, county, and state interest groups.

Berry acknowledged the drought conditions and wants to look into a possible reservoir near Cherry and also to build a water storage system for fire suppression.

On the question about the Superfund site, Berry said he would like to see the town become more involved with the Environmental Protection Agency, which is cleaning up the contamination at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter sites. He mentioned looking into reparations for the town.

Nolan said EPA has transitioned through three project managers since the town asked it for help, and that's why there has been no recent report from the agency. He said a meeting with EPA representatives would take place next month.

Nystrom said the town has no jurisdiction with the EPA, but wants to make sure the town holds them responsible for what the federal agency is tasked to do.

Maintaining private roads came up in two questions - Old Black Canyon Highway and Prescott Dells Ranch Road. Nystrom, who lives on the latter road, said, according to Arizona law, the town cannot repair or maintain private roads, but the town does have a process where residents can donate the road to the town, and once the town has a clear title, it can work on the road.

Berry wants to find some kind of alternative, such as creating an improvement district, that would work for everyone involved. Nolan said since the county used to maintain the roads, the town now has a responsibility to at least grade them twice a year for safety.

After the candidates answered the chosen ten questions, Goodwin thanked the 40 or so people who showed up for the forum, saying, "This is what good government is all about."

Most residents received their ballots in the mail this week.Four candidates also are on the ballot to fill four council seats. Ballots must be returned by March 12.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Larry T

To: Russ Ahrens My wife tossed hers first. Her statement was this election is a joke. We both agree not one person is worthy of our vote. When the vote count is done I think it will make a statement about who was running for office. I will bet less then 25% will vote.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Dewey-Humboldt voter

I think Chris Berrys sign that calls the town council ...inmates in charge of the asylum is the most insulting and derogatory campaign statement on our short history as a town. How on earth can Mr. Berry expect the very same elected officials to respect him and work with him if he is elected mayor? I mean we can disagree on issues, but these volunteers who are elected by the community deserve respect and Mr. Berrys sign indicates he lacks that basic respect. This tells me how poorly he will work with the officials he is disrespecting. Mayor Nolan has not done a good job. Only Nystrom has the professional qualities to work best with the other elected officials which is essential for a functional government.

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: Russ Ahrens


Your 2/26 comment is short-sided. Surprised your wife didn't hit you over the head with some common sense. The only true candidate is David Nystrom, an independent thinker and not a part of your so-called, Old Boy's Club. Be an American, be a supportive resident of D-H and go vote.

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tom :

I see Chris Berry has a sign referring to the present group on the town council as the inmates in charge of the asylum. This town is domed if this is the best group of people willing to serve. The three vacant council seats are a done deal. No one wants to run to be part of this three ring circus.

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Berry

To Larry T,
I really wish that you had taken the time to either ask me directly my stance on Dewey vs Main St./Humboldt or come to the candidate forums with your concerns. If you had, you would have heard me say repeatedly that not only is the name of the town
"Dewey-Humboldt" and not just Dewey or Humboldt but that more needs to be done not only in the Dewey part of town but to bring the two towns together in a unity of purpose.
When I was gathering nomination signatures I made it a point to not only talk to the folks from Dewey but also to get most of my signatures from there. You can verify this by calling the town offices and asking.
Just because I had a business on Main St. doesn't mean that was the only area I ever cared about. You just couldn't be more wrong.
For awhile now I have been working on a water improvement and storage plan, a plan to bring a reservoir and equestrian park to the Green Gulch area, a road improvement plan for roads west of the highway and a plan to bring more small businesses, a park and other amenities to the "west" side of the Hwy and along the Hwy 69 corridor. I'm really sorry you threw your ballot away, (even if you had decided to vote for someone else), as now you have assured yourself of not being properly represented. I guess the bad guys win again, huh?.

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

For Mr. Goodwin
I am new here- so NOTHING is common knowledge for me. That the P&Z is supposed to be revising all the residential town codes is also news to me. I was told by one candidate that the urban-style residential codes now on the books would be addressed soon so as to respond to the rural residential uses of the town's residents who live on acreage. Hence my question.
In my opinion, the atmosphere in town is such that P&Z is now seen as a part of the problem, a part of the government which our residents seem to distrust greatly. Therefore P&Z's ability to address any of the town codes' short-comings in the eyes of residents will always be viewed as confrontational. And therefore is doomed to failure, as we saw in July 2009.
The elimination of my LandUse Task Force question and the censoring of my other two questions defeats the purpose of allowing candidates to address issues of concern to voters. I am not the only one whose questions were compiled (censored).
I can arrive at no other conclusion than that the questions that were submitted were deemed threatening to special interests in the area. That is why they were censored. The most active and informed citizens in town politics were there. Censoring the questions prevented the voters present from being exposed to information and ideas which might suggest to them a better way to influence elected officials in the redress of their grievances. It is a method of dividing and conquering which is oh so common in government now.
If the pro-growth group is fighting with the slow growth group and they are all fighting with the factions for and against the historic Humboldt district , well then- people aren't fixing the problem in town which is the influence of outside special interests.
There is no excuse for controling information (censoring voter question cards) at a candidates' forum. I view it as a way to try to influence the election beforehand. I don't think I am alone in that perception of the situation..

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

On the issue of Land Use group needed-
As to Mr Nystrom's reference to the General Plan- it was taken from a section dealing with planning of land uses, such as amendments necessitated by large parcels, or a conglomeration of smaller ones into a larger parcel which would result in changes in density or intensity of use. 30 acres being the bench mark. As well as other large scale changes.
In the three General plan processes I have seen in other towns, the General Plan is, well general- and is a vision statement dealing with long range planning. It is not a document that needs to be amended in order to be able to change the town's code's. Was it amended to allow for the changing of the sign code?
I read the 2008 Plan, I have not read the 2009 Plan, but I doubt it is meant to be used as a replacement for town codes, such as lot coverage, set backs, what types of home businesses are defined as industrial, landscaping requirements, fence heights, ect.
I will read it, it is on my to-do list.

As to P& Z - my experience with P&Z functions in other (larger) cities is that they review applications for use permits (like liquor permits), and zoning changes from one classification (agricultural) to a different classification (commercial), for instance.
The voters rejected the General Plan twice. Public testimony at the July -09 P&Z proves that our residents view the town code as a boot heel on their necks. In my 15 years of experience in dealing with several municipalities, the town codes are REGULATORY in nature. The General Plan is a broad statement of POLICY.
The D-H town codes are incomprehensible. Please compare them to user friendly codes like Chino Valley. They need to be simplified. The D-H town codes need to fit the people who live here. They clearly fail that test, so much so that the part dealing with outside storage is in a sort of limbo. One candidate for council told me that it was suspended until the economy improves.
Land Use Task forces I have been involved with before in other towns dealt with things like what size a horse property would need to to be to allow for paid boarding or riding lessons. As well as other rural concerns after county horse properties were annexed into a city.
These bodies were used not to determine long range planning policies but to involve residents in changing the regulations under which they have to live on a day to day basis, as well as to get input from the whole neighborhood as to why they favored or opposed regulation changes.
I know things in small towns are done differently.
A Land Use task Force is an information gathering body.
Which town codes (regulations) in the residential part of the code do people want to change?
Why do they want to change it.?
Why do others oppose it changing?
What is the middle ground?
It is a much less confrontational format than a governmental body (P&Z) handing down rules to homeowners. That has failed and will continue to fail. Everyone goes in angry, and comes out angry.
D-H town government, from what I have read over the past 5 or so years, is seen by many of its residents as being preditory, unresponsive, disorganized, and pandering to and being controled by special interests .
That is why you need to involve residents in a task force to change town codes.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Larry T

My wife and I got our voting package last week. Tossed it right in the trash can. This election is a joke. All three only care about Main ST. in Humboldt. Not one thing has been done on the west side of 69. Terry will win he is part of the good old boy club.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Earl Goodwin

Some people who submitted comments about the D-H Mayoral Forum criticized the question process handled by the question organizing committee.

I was a member of the QOC and represented both the League of Women Voters as a member, and as a knowledgeable person about Town issues. I am a former D-H Mayor. The other members were Pat Rummer, representing the Hwy 69 Chamber and June Thurman representing the other sponsor, County Supervisor Tom Thurman.

Some questions were not asked I.e. “Will any candidates here agree to implement a Citizens Advisory Land Use Task Force to help tackle the revision of the Town’s Land Use Codes?” It wasn’t asked because that describes exactly the job of the citizen, volunteer Planning Commission that meets in public once a month for specifically that task which is common knowledge.

My phone number is 632-8490. Call me and I will provide you with wording of all the audience cards and how each one was treated –which moderator question the card was used on. If a card was not used, what was the question and why was it not used.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: David Nystrom, Nystrom For Mayor

In reviewing the Reader Comments, the concept of a Citizen Based Land Use Advisory Group or Committee has been raised. I’ve even been asked directly via comments, if I would support such a measure. The reader and individual asking the question deserves an answer. By way of reply, I first have a couple of questions...

1) The Town’s General Plan, under the section “How to Use This Plan”, it simply states Residents, owners of local businesses, prospective developers, and interest groups should refer to the Dewey-Humboldt General Plan as a statement of Town planning, preservation, and land use policy. So, our General Plan sets overall land use policy (in addition to other functions). The General Plan allows for Major Amendments (on an annual basis) with public participation. Minor amendments with public participation only require one Planning & Zoning Commission hearing and may be submitted at anytime of the year. Perhaps someone (either an individual or group) believes a modification of land use policy should be proposed. To change land use policy, an amendment must be done to the General Plan.

2) In reviewing the duties and responsibilities of a Planning and Zoning Commission as outlined in Planning & Zoning Handbook from the Arizona Department of Commerce, I don’t understand how the task of a Land Use Advisory Group or Committee would significantly differ from that of the current Planning & Zoning Commission?

Answers to these two questions, will guide me in determining if the proposed Land Use Advisory Group or Committee has a unique purpose separate from Planning & Zoning or if it is duplicated effort making our governmental processes even more complex than need be. You may contact me directly at should you wish to comment.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Not seeing this through rose colored glasses

I really think it was a big mistake that the question were combined in the back room by whatever group sponsored the forum. A third un related party should have been the one to decide which questions should have been asked of the candidates. I know of at least 5 people who's questions were not even addressed let alone mentioned.
This is typical of what goes on here in the town of Dewey Humboldt.
Yet, it still keeps going on and on and on and on...and it will continue to go on and on until more public voice is present-more people need to get involved with whats happening here otherwise, the same people will stay in the town council, past council members will run for mayor and we will continue to be the laughing stock of arizona. Personally, its embarrassing that even on the smallest issues the answer from the government is usually NO YOU CANT DO THAT or SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT.
Why cant it ever be "Well, lets see what we can do to HELP FIX THAT?
It makes me wonder..who is doing anything good for our community? can you think of more than one or two in that government?
Change needs to happen...lets vote in some fresh ideas and some fresh people here...this is ridiculous..

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Berry

For Lynn & Dennis:
Lynn, I totally support having a citizen based land use advisory group or committee, (Key words being citizen based). What I was trying to say was that all of this has to start with community involvement. I agree with you but there are probably others who don't. So how do you arrive at the proper balance?
My opinion is that The Mayor and Town Council are bound to represent the majority of the constituency with all members of the constituency having an equal opportunity for input. Town government should not be arbitrarily making up laws based on one particular persons likes or dislikes. If no one gets involved or gives input then we are left with the few who do complain and they end up being the only ones who get response, (The squeaky wheel theory).
Again, my opinion, but the best way to accomplish your goal is to find others who agree with you, form a group and lobby your
representatives. I would be happy to help. Meanwhile, I can assure you that the goal of the Planning & Zoning commission is to make our current town codes "easier and less restrictive" but we need you and people like you to help to do it right.
Mr. Repan hit the nail right on the head and boy am I glad to hear him ask those types of questions. For a number of months now I have been working on a plan for economic revitalization that will bring money and business to our community and create jobs without involving bringing in big developers. It is too lengthy to print here but anyone who wishes can contact me through my email address of: and I'll be happy to send them what I have so far, (I also have a plan for Historic Preservation, Water Improvement, Superfund Cleanup and fixing our roads).

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: Len Marinaccio

To Lynn Cee: It is not true that no mayor wanted to take on the problems with our residential zoning. I have long had an issue with our "one size fits all" model and *still* want to see it changed. However, every time you propose to loosen regulations to make the laws fit a more rural town, a big fight starts between those who want it that way and those who want much more stringent rules like Scottsdale. The Council does not want to ignite this political fire because it is often fruitless as well as damaging. So I took a different approach. At a Council retreat, I proposed developing our RCU zoning. RCU is rural zoning but by definition in our town code, it is identical to residential zoning. I proposed that looser restrictions much more like you are asking for could be allowed under RCU zoning. This way, we would not be stuck with "one size" for everybody. However, for various reasons (including the Council being very turned off by land issues at the time due to a large angry constituency at a P&Z meeting shortly before), the Council decided not to pursue this. I still believe in it but there are two important lessons to realize: No good idea takes hold when the atmosphere is not ripe and one person can't do it alone. If you really want to see our laws changed, you have to learn what is effective and what isn't. Contact me. I'd be glad to lend a few pointers on how you can be most effective and the common mistakes that must be avoided. The reason lobbyists (and developers) often get what they want is because they know what works. So should you.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

Bless you Dennis Repan.
I would have loved to have heard answers to any and all of what you mentioned, as well as questions we weren't allowed to hear.
Unfortunately- I had to be out of town during the other forum.I was relying on this one to help me to educate myself.
Mr. Repan, in my opinion, during a candidate forum there is no such thing as a question which is too politically charged.
I wish I could vote for you more than once.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: Dennis Repan

I too, submitted a number of questions to the “League” for the forum. In retrospect, I believe mine were too politically charged to be asked and instead we heard the same old questions in which all candidates had pretty much the same “kind” of answers. Was the question asked as to how we would bring any business into the area, in a bad economy to support our endeavors, which by the way, in a town still viewed as an EPA hot site? Did we hear exactly what kind of business(s) they as leaders could bring in and what those businesses would look like, where located and of what nature, to keep the money in our town as opposed to going to PV? Was the question asked about any new programs or plans for our kids, the elderly or the less fortunate in our community? Was the question asked about how to stop tourists by-passing us on the way to Prescott? Was the question asked how to enhance the image of our community? Was the question asked about a larger role in creating a historic center for our area? These aren’t even the questions I really wanted to ask., but would have settled for in order to give us all, insight into the mayoral leadership function.
In fairness, the candidates weren’t given much time to answer and the questions appeared to me, to be front loaded….just my take. In those circumstances, I am not sure that I could have answered much differently. I was disappointed with this forum. Not enough tough questions and more time given with more insight as to what their “leadership” role would be. I actually believe that the forum held at the legion, had a little more substance to the questioning and at least there was no back room politico deciding for me, what was the question I wanted to ask, and whether it was “politically” correct.

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