Orientation time

Clarkdale Town Council members appointed to local boards and committees

Elections are over. Curtis Bohall has taken Tim Wills' seat on the town council and Vice-Mayor Jerry Wiley was re-elected.

Pursuant to a practice established in 2004, following the completion of a normal election cycle, the Clarkdale Council holds an orientation process to discuss procedures and roles, and appoints council members and officials to various boards and commissions. The orientation took place at Tuesday night's town meeting.

Specific topics discussed included Arizona open meeting law, executive session requirements, conflict of interest laws, public record laws, meeting procedures, mayor and town council roles, council/manager/staff relationships, town manager duties and communication with the public.

These topics can be referenced further in documents such as State Law, the Clarkdale Town Code and Clarkdale's Public Service Handbook.

The council then appointed members and officials to the various local boards and committees. The following representatives and alternates were appointed to the following boards and committees.

• Coconino Yavapai Resource Conservation and Development Program (COCOPAI): Representative Pat Williams. Williams was the previous representative. COCOPAI is made up of local citizens "representing community leaders, business leaders and representatives of government that coordinate economic development projects utilizing natural resources in communities throughout the nation." Its intent is to "get people on board" to identify and solve environmental, economic and human problems.

• Cottonwood Area Transit System (CATS): Representative Pat Williams. Williams was the previous representative. Representatives meet quarterly to discuss this local public transit system.

• Non-Profit Application Review Committee: Representative Jerry Wiley and Frank Sa. The purpose of this committee is to review applications for funding from nonprofit organizations and make recommendations to the council. The council budgeted $30,000 this year for the funding of qualifying nonprofits.

• Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG): Representative Jerry Wiley (Alternative Pat Williams). Wiley was the previous representative. NACOG serves local governments and citizens by dealing with issues that cross city, county and state boundaries. www.nacog.org

• Northern Arizona Water Users Association (NAMWUA): Representative Doug Von Gausig (Alternates Jerry Wiley and Town Manager Gayle Mabery). Mayor Von Gausig was the previous representative. Meetings are held four times per year at Flagstaff City Hall. Two alternatives are needed after NAMWUA experienced difficulty having a quorum at a recent meeting.

• Prescott and Coconino National Forest Management Plan Amendment Process: Representative Pat Williams. This is a new assignment for a council member due to an initiative to revamp how the Coconino and Prescott National Forests are managed.

• Verde River Basin Partnership: Representative Doug Von Gausig. Mayor Von Gausig was the previous representative. This organization was recently formed to address federal requirements regarding the Yavapai Ranch Land Exchange.

• Verde River Sub-Flow Adjudication Committee: Representative Doug Von Gausig (Alternate Gayle Mabery): The mayor and town manager were the previously appointed members. The Verde River Sub-Flow Adjudication Committee, made up of representatives from Cottonwood, Jerome and Clarkdale, gives direction regarding a unified position in the sub-flow adjudication.

• Verde Valley Land Preservation Institutes (VVLPI): Representative Pat Williams. Williams was the previous representative. The VVLPI is a nonprofit corporation focused on the implementation of strategies to preserve, acquire, manage and enhance the local natural open space. www.verdevalleylpi.org

• Verde Valley Transportation Planning Organization (VVTPO): Representative Curtis Bohall (Alternate Steve Burroughs, public works director). Position has been vacant. Burroughs was covering. The VVTPO discusses and prioritizes regional transportation issues.

• Water Advisory Committee (WAC): Representative Doug Von Gausig (Alternate Jerry Wiley). The mayor and Vice-Mayor Wiley were the previously appointed members. WAC, made up of representatives from the county, cities, towns and local Indian Nations, advises the Board of Supervisors on water-related issues.

Now that members have been appointed, Clarkdale town staff will draft a resolution that can be adopted in a future meeting. The resolution will identify all the appointments.

National forests revising management plans

The Coconino and Prescott National Forests are currently in the process of revising their national forest plans. Forest service plans provide a broad direction for managing the land and resources.

National forests began developing plans to conform to the National Forest Management Act of 1976. The current Coconino plan was developed in 1986. Even though there has been a few changes addressed through amendments, many of the social and resource changes have not been recognized or incorporated.

"This process involves revising the entire plan," said Raquel Romero, Coconino National Forest public affairs officer. "Nearly every national forest in Arizona is going through a revision process."

The Coconino plan will be revised under the 2005 Planning Rule, which, according to the Coconino National Forest Web site, "calls for a comprehensive review every five years."

Coconino's revised plan will have five major components: desired conditions (what people want the forest to look like), objectives (activities, projects and programs to help achieve the desired condition), guidelines, suitability of areas ("assessment of where uses can occur including roads, livestock grazing, timber harvest and utility corridors) and special areas ("assessment of areas for special designations").

"This [revision process] is going to take a lot of public input from the area," Clarkdale Deputy Clerk Walt Good said.

Forest officials are well aware of the need for public participation. They are in the process of figuring out how to work with the public during the revision. Romero said they will be holding open-house style meetings so people can give their input. In addition, the Clarkdale Town Council recently appointed Council member Pat Williams to be their representative to the revision process.

"It's very smart that they want to be engaged in the process," Romero said.

Romero said since Coconino, Prescott and Kaibab National Forests are all on similar timelines, many of these meetings will be held jointly so representatives such as Williams can obtain all the information at one time.

For more information or to make comments regarding the plan revision contact the Coconino National Forest by following the contact link on the forest's Web site, by mail (Coconino National Forest ATTN: Plan Revision 1824 S. Thompson St. Flagstaff, AZ 86001), or by phone (928-527-3600).

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