Four more years of 'Mayor Ruben'

File photo

RUBEN JAUREGUI

But a customer sitting in the mayor's Cottonwood business, Wild West Haircutters and Hair Stylists, spoke up fast.

Jackie Enders shouted that he's an accessible mayor who is easy to talk to.

While his modesty won't allow him to admit to that, Jauregui will admit that he loves his job. He has served as Cottonwood's mayor for the past six years and now he's ready for four more years.

"If I told you I didn't love it, I'd be lying to you," Jauregui said. "I've enjoyed myself, been received well by the public, most of the public."

During his term, Jauregui says he has seen a lot of the council's goals met. One was expanding the borders of the city, which the mayor says gives Cottonwood room to grow.

"The sky's the limit as far as I'm concerned," he said.

He continued by saying that the small town atmosphere, that so many are concerned with keeping, has nothing to do with how big or small a community is.

"One of the things that's going to dictate our growth is water," Jauregui said.

He said that it's important for the water companies to be in municipal hands, saying that residents will see some immediate benefits, including fire hydrants that will come with city ownership.

The water companies have been cooperative with the city so far, he says and according to Jauregui, the city will be ready to make an offer soon.

The mayor said he is glad that Cottonwood is actively looking for water sources, but says the city needs to know how much water is available in order to plan for the future.

Studies will have to be completed, but because of the state's budget crunch, Jauregui says money could be tight in Cottonwood too, making water studies difficult to pay for.

He says the state's budget hasn't had much of an effect yet, but it will become an issue in time.

Currently the city is trying to watch costs by not hiring any new employees, said Jauregui. While it is important to brace for tougher times, he says maintaining a high level of service is also a top priority. He calls it a balancing act. One area he says he would not consider cutting though, is public safety.

The mayor doesn't believe that Cottonwood will be hit as hard as other areas, something he credits to the area's large retiree population.

"That's the area that keeps us stable," he said.

Jauregui said many of the council's goals have been met, including the construction of the public safety building and the recent land purchase for the Mingus Avenue extension project.

He says there are many more goals he would like to see the city accomplish in the next four years, including a municipal cemetery. A community member presented the idea to him years ago, but for one reason or another it hasn't come to fruition.

"I'm hoping we can pursue that," Jauregui said.

When Jauregui speaks of both the past and the future of the city, he is quick to credit the city's staff and the council members and his love for the city shines through.

Jauregui likes to say that Flagstaff is his hometown by birth, but Cottonwood is his hometown by choice.

"You'd like to leave the place a little better than you got it," Jauregui said.

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Ruben Jauregui

Age: 54

Education: Trade school

Years in the Verde Valley: 25

Occupation: Hair stylist

Board/Commission Experience: Parks and Recreation Commission

Club/Civic Affiliations: VFW, American Legion, Moose and Elk Lodge

Comments

Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.