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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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• Nolan retains mayor seat in Dewey-Humboldt

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

For: Time to Move On.
I know the council is dysfunctional. I know that none of the past mayors or the current one seem to have done anything about any of D-H issues that matter to homeowners and residents.
But maybe that is because some of them answer to outside influences. Why are they not as angry as me about special interests hi-jacking the election forum? Believe me- I would be just as mad if it was some uber-lib group like PETA or something instead of the pro developer faction..

I agree with you 100% percent that D-H is broken. That a house cleaning is in order.
But I am not sure anything will change until residents take control.

I lived in a place where each time a Walmart, or a gas station, or a name your poisoned project got submitted everyone turned out in protest. They never tried to fix the machinery put in place by special interests which enabled the problem to fester. They didn't even want to try to understand it. And it got so bad that they virtually lost the right of referendum when the council and mayor there, in direct response to one very large land user, nearly tripled the number of signatures needed for a referendum.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Time to move on

We have lots of problems in dewey-humboldt and I don't think any of them are going to get fixed until we fix the council which isn't doing any good. All I hear is that they argue a lot and not much else. They address dumb things and not what should be talked about. Lyn Cee is right about how we are allowed to use our land and we should have more rights. She's wrong about the council though. It is the biggest problem because it is getting in the way of everything else. Reading these comments, I think the first thing to do is change out the mayor because he not helping. Only causing more arguing.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

For Nancy Wright-
The issue in town, as of the July 2009 P&Z hearing, is NOT that some people do not want the codes enforced. The issue is clearly that a rural character Dewey-Humboldt CAN NOT survive with the overly urban town code it has.
You seem to be aware that the code is unintelligible.
Have you looked at other cities' codes.? I have been shopping for properties in this area for over a year,. Nearly every Chino Valley realtor uses CV's liberalized animal code as a selling point when marketing the horse property up there. That is bad for D-H horse property owners. D-H sells lower and slower.
Why, please, I beg of you, are city council and Mayor so opposed to protecting land values here? Why are Mayor and council afraid to let residents determine the types of codes they are willing and able to live with?
And why are none of the candidates demanding an explaination for the censorship of VOTER questions during the forum. Do all of you fear the outside special interests that much. Or are some or all candidates happy that they "got off easy". Do you, Ms. Wright, care that they hi-jacked our forum? It ended a full thirty minutes early- I have no doubt there was time for it. Obviously time constraints were not what "necessitated" compilation.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

Mr. Berry-
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!?!
Obviously, as of July, 2009 -EVERYONE who is not living in a lead lined box now knows that the D-H residential codes are directly opposite from what is needed to foster community involvement, prosperity, and harmony.
As to a regular citizen putting anything on the agenda thru normal channels, that is not needed now. Mayor and council already know this is problem and they should involve the resident's in the solution to the problem.
Instead of re-hashing the 2009 P&Z meeting on home businesses and outside storage, the best constructive path is to fix the code in line with what residents want and need. The one we have now is definitely NOT what residents want and need.
I suspect that many folks didn't even know how bad it was until 2009. Most people don't read municipal codes. I do because I have been a rural property rights organizer for over a decade. D-H's town code is almost impossible to understand.

As to there being a dearth of volunteers- why bother. As I have read over the years- these committees are not listened to.

No- my question is not answered, which Chris Berry is running for Mayor? The one who told me outside the post office that the town codes adopted at incorporation needed to be fixed to fit the rural character here?
Or is it the Chris Berry who told the forum attendees that everything is fine and no code repairs are needed?
I discussed the idea of a citizens land use task force with Mayor Nolan- he said he would favor that.
I didn't get to talk to Mr. Nystrom- so if one of his confidants (Ms. Wright maybe) on this comment page could ask him and post the answer that would help, since the most important issue in D-H was censored from the forum questions by the Highway 69 Chamber and the LWV.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Berry

To Lynn Cee:
In the abscense of dialogue and input from concerned citizens at the Planning & Zoning meetings as well as Town Council Meetings and in the abscence of complaints we are left with a choice of "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" or add another potentially harmful law, (I generally favor less government involvement). Also, We don't know there is a problem if no one tells us.
Anyone can request an item be placed on the agendas for discussion and possible action at either of these meetings and I would be happy to assist you if that is what you want to do. If you recall, at the forum I mentioned that the Town has a dearth of volunteers, (not enough people getting involved in either the committees or in helping make needed changes in our community).
I don't blame people for having such a distaste or disgust if you will for "politics". Unfortunately, the greedy and dishonest politicians have built that negative image out of repetition and stone. The problem is that when good people don't want to get involved the bad guys win. They can get away with their nefarious plans because no one seems to care.
For a long time I too was one of those folks who didn't want to get involved until finally I got so fed up and disgusted that I had to do something and I also realized that "the buck stopped with me".
I really have no political aspirations and would much rather have gone about my regular "quiet" life. At some point though, you either have to take a stand or let things continue on the way they always have.
Unfortunately, right now there is the huge potential for a generally malignant and special interest slanted quorum among the Town Council. This is the main reason I decided to stay in the race. This quorum needs to be broken so that all issues are dealt with in an equal, fair and impartial manor.
I hope this answers your questions and I hope that when you cast your ballot it will be because you made an informed choice for the best person suited for the job at hand.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Jackie Mattheis

Saying the water company only has 320 hook-ups is overlooking 320 households that would like to feel safe about their water supply! Maybe if anyone on the council would acknowledge that we are overstaffed at town hall paying wages that are not necessary to some who have little to nothing to do would let us spend more on what is really needed. Dave Nystrom is an intellegent, experienced man and if you can overlook that sometimes he talks to much, he knows what he is talking about and has a reputation for being honest and knowledgable in what he is talking about.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Wright

In response to "not seeing through rose colored glasses", I did not say anything about Mr. Nystrom's vision but that his answers to the questions were clear and concise. Neither my questions nor those of some others that attended were asked by the moderator. I think it was unfortunate that the questions were not asked. Also, this forum did not allow any follow-up questions that would have allowed false statements to have been corrected or challenged. I did appreciate that neither Mr. Nystrom nor Mr. Berry made false statements. I might not agree with their suggestions but at least they did not "twist the truth".

The issue regarding leadership is that the Mayor is the chair of the meeting and can control the meeting by not allowing others to freely express their views without interruption or debate. The Councils Work Sessions do not allow the free flow of ideas. Like kindergarten children we must raise our hand and ask permission to speak. Our current Mayor would like to run the Council and Town Hall like a dictatorship.

I believe in representative government and the idea of “those who govern least govern best”. The problem is, some in the community want high density development for the old Young's Farm property and some don't. Some want paved roads and some don't. Some want town codes enforced and some don't. Some want the Mayor to run the town and others don't. This is why when you run for office you tell people what your platform is. If you have no platform it becomes a popularity contest. With a platform you can hold the officer holder accountable.

I originally ran on a platform to keep Dewey-Humboldt rural, to keep taxes low, to protect property rights, to live within our budget and to provide street and road maintenance. I’ve tried to true to that platform so those who voted for me know I’ve kept my promises to the best of my ability.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

For Mr. Berry-
I am not ranting at candidates for how the "forum" was structured-you got screwed just like every voter in the room.

Obviously there is an extremely powerful and abusive special interest group in town who are actively trying to influence the outcome of this election by censoring a vital forum.

I spoke with you when you were gathering nomination signatures and briefly discussed the bad rap D-H has gotten in papers for the town codes. You told me that council had just tackled the sign code and that the rest of the codes that were adopted clearly didn't fit a rural town like D-H and the next order of business was to address that.

The one (censored) question dealing with that was to do with animal limits. Your reply was that you were just peachy with SOP as is and saw no reason to change. That the only action taken is upon complaint of a neighbor. That is selective prosecution (which I hope died in the 60s and 70s).
The question I submitted to the farce forum was that nearly all of the Chino Valley realty ads for horse properties exploit CV's no limit animal policy. Dewey's code is causing harm to horse property values.
Obviously-liberty is always the best policy. NOT selective enforcement.
D-H has such a massive problem with it's capricious, intrusive, unnecessary town codes that nearly 300 enraged residents came out a couple of years ago to speak on the issues of outside storage and home business.
Job-one needs to be to address the code, so D-H residents can stop living in terror.

So, Mr Berry- Because one of my questions was purged from the forum, you were denied the right at the forum to answer my question about a Citizen's Advisory Land Use Task Force. Unlike everyone else on this comment page-I have no idea who I will vote for, But my husband is favoring Bozo the Clown.
Do you favor citizen involvement in changing the code (as you told me in front of the Post Office), or do you like SOP (standard operating procedure) as it is now so that nothing needs to change.

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Not seeing this thru rose colored glasses

oh Nancy Wright..clear and concise vision? more like greased down political rederick from what I see...the usual political stance from Mr. Nystrom is pretty vague and vision-less!!
A whole lot of saying what you want to hear which is pretty much NOTHING!...

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Berry

"And Now" misquoted me in that I did not say that "The town wants to start an improvement district" or that I even do for that matter. I broached the subject as just one possible alternative and I thought I made it clear that it was just one idea. We need to look at all ideas and alternatives to find the ones best suited to the area and issue at hand.
What I said was that the people effected could band together and start their own improvement district. They would or could assess their own fees or taxes. It doesn't have to be at the mercy of town government. They could also incorporate as a non-profit and seek State and/or Federal funding. Another idea would be for the property owners to get together and take up a collection to get the road bladed. Again, these are just some ideas among many of "how to get the job done". Ideas are the road to solutions, (pun intended).
As regards the forum itself, I fully expected the questions to be a lot tougher than they were and I came prepared with my answers. None of the candidates had any control in what and how they were asked. We could only do our best with what we were given.
One other thing I did say at the forum was that it is important to look at the past performance history of the candidates. Both Nystrom and Nolan have been involved in Town government for quite awhile and you need to ask yourselves before casting your vote "What have these fellows accomplished during their time in office?
Is it time for new and fresh ideas or just more of the same?

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Dennis Repan

I always appreciate the fairness and objectivity in which Sue writes her articles. I enjoy the comments and hopefully, the writers who responded, also show up at our meetings.
I am saddened that I was not polled by former mayors or council as to whom I thought best for mayor. I think however, there is a misconception about the Mayors position and his “leadership role”. Against what has been suggested by other comments, I do not need a leader. I have been around the block enough times and done enough successfully, in my life, both personally and in business, to be able to think on my own. In the type of government that everyone here voted to have in this town, I need a platform and/or mechanism in which I can pass along the feelings, wants and needs of the constituents in this community. If those wishes are in line with the other, well intentioned members of council, great. If they are not, give us, and us is the key word, the opportunity to air our differences without political or personal prejudice, and to work out the details. Maybe moderator is the better term to be used here. If additionally, anyone wants to be a ribbon cutter, wave at parades and go to meetings that thus far, have done little for this community, while wearing a little badge that says mayor, please go for it.
For us that have been in the military, you can go to school to be a leader, but only experience and the respect of others can give you the title of “leader”, whether it be in the military or in the political (Mayor) arena. With leaders there are followers. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Dewey-Humboldt Voter

Asking people who have worked with all 3 candidates who they think would be the best mayor dosent mean they are in total agreement with the candidates positions, it reflects their view of the candidates capabilities, and current council members who offered an opinion prefer David Nystrom apparently as do I.
When running for public office, no candidate will know the inside workings of the government processes, nor will they have studied every resolution or page of code. Not being 100 per cent up on every matter of concern is less important during the campaign. What matters is their values, work ethic, the confidence you have in their intelligence, capacity to work with others in a productive way and in the case of a mayor, leadership skills and ability to represent the town regionally in a professional way. David Nystrom has far superior skills and abilities to fulfill the duties and responsibilities our next mayor faces.

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Lynn Cee

In response to Mr Marinaccio-
I am so glad you polled the council members on who they want. The last thing I want is a mob rule from a council and mayor who are all buddies.
And you are dead wrong about D--H main problem being the functionality of the council.
D-H has a history of selective code enforcement. NONE of the candidates, including candidate Nystrom even know what is in the town code. That was obvious after one (censored) question was asked about horse properties.
Until D-H updates it's whole code , we are just a laughing stock.. You will not attract businesses here with the nonsense going on now.
The council and Mayor don't have to learn to play nice with each other. They need to learn to respect thier residents. The only time I hear about big crowds at council meetings is when the council trys to enect new or enforce more unneccesary, stupid codes.
In the past, one city bureaucrat said they needed to change the code to make it easier for D-H 's small staff to enforce.

Gee- maybe you have too many damn stupid rules. Fewer rules need less staff. Oops! Job security is the opiate of city/town and county staffs who justify their existance by passing such things.
Job one for D-H council members needs to be REPRESENTING D-H residents not governing them into the poor house.
The government which governs least, governs best.

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Ms In The Know Casey

How Mr.Nolan can say in his campaign brochure that he has been a calming influence defies reality. Watch the Town Council meetings! He shows no respect for the other council members and he is a terrible leader. His re-election will be a continuation of disfunctionality. He says the "counsel is not erotic as it used to be". I am sure he meant the council is not as erratic as it used to be but I haven't a clue as to what he means.

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Dewey-Humboldt Voter

David Nystrom has the intelligence, experience with leadership, and level headed disposition that we need to move forward and prosper as a community with a good governing body. Its time for a change and he has the best potential of the 3 candidates to bring out the best in people and situations we face. Lets give him a chance.

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