Letters to the Editor, November 4, 2005

We need a politically savvy supervisor

Editor:

Finally some good ideas and a worthwhile debate stemming from the County Board of Supervisors' public argument over the needs report for Yavapai County.

The Verde Valley secedes from Yavapai County is a good idea until you think it through. What would we name the new county? Can you imagine the years of debate and name calling that one issue would cause. Let's assume we in the Verde valley secede and we all figure out what to name it. We are all happy campers and cheerfully pay our sales and property taxes. Will things improve? Maybe?

The whole reason we are in this mess is because our supervisor Chip Davis woke up one morning a of couple weeks ago and thought to himself, "Hey, you tricked me." Mr. Davis wasn't tricked, but outclassed. He had some say long before the two new board members were sworn in and approved the county needs study. Chip has been our county supervisor for nearly 10 years and with all that "on the job" training he should have seen this issue coming. Chip was out-maneuvered again by the two county newbies who, unlike Chip Davis, are willing to fight for their constituents.

I live in Beaver Creek and I feel no sympathy for our Mr. Davis. With a population of roughly 7,000 and rapidly growing, Chip must feel what we feel in our area, ignored and not important. Maybe instead of going through the expense of more studies, a debate in Phoenix over seceding and a expensive ballot box battle, we should consider a new supervisor for the Verde Valley and do so for the following reasons.

Chip Davis failed to explain why the state pulled the plans and funding for the Cornville/Beaver Creek interchange improvements. Isn't it funny how Prescott was able to divert those funds for its own use. Mr. Davis did not represent us at all on that important issue, maybe they "tricked him." The interchange issue was a big account he lost and would have been fired for if he worked a job in the real world. The state bypassed him and spoke to community directly on this issue. Thank you for your newspaper's fine reporting on the interchange matter so Chip could catch up.

The new jail in Camp Verde sat empty after it was built because of incompetence on his watch. Why? The board of supervisors failed to figure out how to fund it after it was built. I believe it was reported that the coveted road tax will be diverted to staff our much-needed jail. When we need a new county building, maybe we should figure out to pay for its use. Chip Davis did not.

Finally Mr. Davis has access to all county records and that place is called the county Web site. All the data he was requesting is easily assessable to him and everyone else in the world on that Web site. What a waste of time and money filing FOI requests when all you have to do is point and click.

The Verde Valley has changed a lot in 10 years and is squarely moving forward into the future. Its time we had a supervisor who is equipped with skills to do the job he was elected to do. The ranch-hand days in the Verde Valley have long left us and we need a thoughtful representative and a politically savvy supervisor who will fight for us.

William Dwyer

Lake Montezuma

Verde Valley rises to the cause once again

Editor:

Once again the House of Ruth Pregnancy Care Center owes the citizens of the Verde Valley a huge thank you.

The center's annual fundraiser, the Walk for Life, was held Oct. 1 and was very successful. There was a large turnout of 201 enthusiastic walkers, along with family members and dozens of volunteer workers.

Many local businesses donated prizes, which were awarded to walkers in three age categories. Walkers represented 26 churches and seven youth groups. The local chapter of Thrivent for Lutherans provided much volunteer labor and encouragement at the Walk itself as well as during the many months of preparation.

Thank you to everyone who donated money or lent support in any way. It is always a blessing to see how the Verde Valley cares for its young families.

Merrilyn Jones, Director

House of Ruth Pregnancy Care Center

Bill Lee an asset to Camp Verde

Editor:

After watching Camp Verde Town Manager Bill Lee under attack these last few months, I feel compelled to respond. Mr. Lee is among the hardest working, most personable people in the town organization. He is always the first one in and the last to leave the office every busy day. He makes every effort to maximize each day to its most productive benefit for the Town of Camp Verde, with a can-do attitude and straightforward approach that people appreciate.

Anyone who has lived here for the eight years Bill has served us knows firsthand how much positive energy, and complimentary public relations he has brought to Camp Verde. Yes, he is a busy man. Most hard-working productive people are. Would this council rather him be a negative thinking stereotypical bureaucrat who sits in the office all day doing nothing but cruising the Web and drinking coffee to stay awake.

That's not to say Bill, or the mayor and entire council are beyond constructive criticism. Certainly there will be issues, policies, and procedures that require consistent effort to achieve efficiency, and having one's feet held to the fires of accountability goes with the territory.

But that's not what we've been witnessing here. This has been more like an attempted tar and feathering. A well-led, well-managed organization would address such operational issues internally thus maintaining public confidence and employee morale. The purported shortfalls of Mr. Lee appear to be little more than personal grumblings and not really worthy of front-page headlines.

Bill Lee is not the one who has changed here. For the past two years under the majority of this council, Bill worked diligently and successfully to accomplish many aggressive goals that you yourselves had set. After nearly 20 years of bureaucratic stalemate, the growth pressures facing this town had to be dealt with in an assertive manner. Bill has done that without losing his feel for people, or his heart for doing good.

One year ago, Bill was given a solid positive review by all, including Mayor Gioia, and a modest increase in his pay. The only difference this year is a new mayor, who obviously has a personal agenda to get rid of Bill Lee. Tony immediately set his sights on Bill Lee, drew some blood, and now the rest of the council, except one or two, have jumped in like hungry wolves on a winter kill.

How sad that with all the obvious good work Mr. Lee has done for this town, that we now have such shallow leadership, taking meeting after meeting to beat up Bill Lee. It's really disappointing to me that the cancer of B.S. politics is back in town hall again. We really do have many, many critical issues facing this town. I believe a majority of us are quite comfortable with Bill Lee carrying the burden of leadership in these endeavors.

Remember Tony, the 300-plus people who came to the gym in support of Mr. Lee when your majority-held council tried to fire him over the John Roberts fiasco three years ago. You couldn't do it then. You shouldn't do it now.

Come on, Tony & council, let's be done with this nonsense. If you let Bill Lee go, you will have shot off your two best feet just below the belt. Is this how it's going to be with you guys for the next two years? Stumbling around creating chaos and confusion where none existed, and wasting valuable time, money and energy while the real issues wander past without competent council input.

Mitch Dickinson

Camp Verde

Newspaper, volunteers great friends to concert association

Editor:

The Verde Valley Concert Association wishes to thank Verde Valley Newspapers, Inc., for the great publicity they offered to the community this past season. Each concert was well attended because the public had a glimpse of what the concert was about. Also thanks to all of our volunteers, we couldn't do it without you. See you at our upcoming events.

Linda Lee Chambon-Gay

VVCA Vice President

Valley comes to rescue of flood victims

Editor:

We the members of the Clarkdale/Jerome Lions Club would like to thank the people of Clarkdale and the Verde Valley for their attendance at the Sentimental Journey Concert recently. Over $400 was gathered from the audience, which then the Clarkdale/Jerome Lions Club matched and the money was sent to Lions Clubs International Foundation to be disbursed among the flood victims.

Lion Linda Lee Chambon-Gay

Clarkdale/Jerome Lions Club Secretary

Community aided in big way to our success

Editor:

We, the Mingus coaches, swimmers and divers, would like to thank the many people who made this season such a success. We would first like to thank our enthusiastic parents for supporting us and making even our away meets seem like home. Teams like to come to Cottonwood and compete because -- thanks to our parents -- our meets run like clockwork.

We'd like to single out Dan Fradenberg and Joe Settanni who raised money so we could eat well at Regionals and State.Thanks to Nancy Futral and the rest of the Cottonwood Clippers Swim Board for helping out in so many ways. Sally Raber handled all our suits and T-shirts ­ a huge job. Thanks to Linda Ward for always supplying drinks for us on bus trips.

We want to send special thanks to Joe and Jamie at the Arizona School of Integrative Studies. They get us loosened up for Regionals and State by giving us massages. A big thank you goes to Ron and Richard at Parks and Recreation; we know it takes a lot of money to keep the pool warm and clean. Without your support we'd be swimming in the river with wet-suits.

Rick Heisley

Mingus Swim & Dive Team

Under Bush, America has never been so divided

Editor:

Another huge disappointment from the Bush Administration. Following the Miers fiasco and the CIA indictment of Mr. Libby, he had a golden opportunity to nominate a minority or woman conservative with a moderate record of rulings in her background, similar to Justice O'Connor.

This choice most likely would have been approved by the Senate without the bitter fight that is now not only possible, but likely to occur.

And this man ran on the platform that he was a "uniter, not a divider! I think not. America has never been so divided.

Karen Schmitt

Sedona

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