It's an exciting time to live in Cottonwood
Did you notice all the campaign signs popping up around our city? Early voting starts Feb. 8, just a few days away.
It's an exciting time to live in Cottonwood. We are witness to a small town grass roots election campaign.
As the Cottonwood landscape becomes more populated with campaign signs, we should think about how the candidates have performed in the past and what their vision is for our future.
Mayor Ruben Jauregui believes we need to keep up the pressure to reduce and eliminate the exposure of methamphetamine to our citizens and children.
Mayor Jauregui also believes that currently, our airport is undervalued but has a huge potential for use by Corporate CEO's and others. As an example, if Senator John McCain were to get elected as President of the United States, his entourage and media corps would be using our airport services and contributing to Cottonwood's businesses and tax coffers. Additionally, there is a waiting list of people that want to rent hanger space at our airport, which would generate more revenue for our city.
Mayor Ruben Jauregui also states that our city has commissions/boards for the Library, Water Works, Planning and Zoning, Parks and Recreation, but no commission for our Airport. The mayor believes the creation of an Airport Commission would greatly help Cottonwood maximize the useable airport space and streamline its operations.
High on Mayor Ruben Jauregui's radar is to move forward with the creation of a City Cemetery near the edge of the Cottonwood Airport property.
Mayor Ruben Jauregui has been a stabilizing influence throughout his term, heading three different groups of council members. This election will place even more new City Council members on the board and again Mayor Ruben is prepared to assist them in their new roles as productive board members guiding our city's future.
Don't forget to vote!
Short-sighted decision by Sheriff Waugh
I am appalled at the news that our Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh will discontinue funding in May 2007 for our School Resource Officer for Dr. Daniel Bright, Oak Creek, and Beaver Creek Schools, not to mention other SRO's in the county.
Has Sheriff Waugh ever been to these schools to see the impact our SRO has had on our students, parents and staff?
Even though sometimes we may only have her for a couple of hours a week, the effect she has had on our children and community has been immense.
I have witnessed her work one on one with children who have reported abuse at home. I have witnessed her work with students in the DARE program and make an impact in their decisions whether or not to do drugs. I have witnessed her going to students homes to check up on them as to the reason why they are not attending school regularly.
I have witnessed her on chilly school mornings standing outside the school in the drop-off area warning children and parents of the dangers of not wearing seat belts.
Most of all, I have witnessed her lend a shoulder to a crying teenage girl who is confused about life and does not want to continue on. I could go on and on as to the impacts that our SRO Shonna Willingham has had on so many lives, but apparently Sheriff Waugh does not see this impact because he has not been to these schools to witness it.
It is truly a shame that something as valuable and precious as our children will no longer have the influence of a School Resource Officer to help shape their lives and to show these children that police officers are there to help. What better place can a police officer bond with children than at a school?
I speak as a parent and employee at Beaver Creek School, and I hope I am speaking for the other schools in Yavapai County who will be losing their SRO.
And to think, I voted for Sheriff Waugh. Sir, you will not have my vote next election.
Road less traveled should stay that way
A recent article regarding increased funding for the I-17 traffic corridor mentioned the possibility of paving the portion of Beaver Creek road from Montezuma Well north to the intersection with road 618. This road is under the jurisdiction of Yavapai County and has been in the planning process for years to be "improved." It was supposed to be done in conjunction with the work on Beaverhead Flat road but for some reason ‹ perhaps funding ‹ was never done.
Thank God for that. The paving of this road would do irreversible harm to the environment in the vicinity of Montezuma Well.
Reasons given for the need to pave this road are improved safety and convenience for residents living in the north Beaver Creek area.
The issue of safety is misunderstood. I travel that road almost every day and have for years. Although I know there have been accidents on this road I have never seen any problem except for large construction vehicles barreling down the road pushing everyone out of the way. These vehicles should be banned from this road.
Look at the situation at Beaverhead Flat Road. Since the road has been paved, it has become a death trap. There have been many, many accidents and several fatalities. This situation would be exaggerated on Beaver Creek Road as almost everyone would be pressing the speed limit on this stretch as they get a jump on their day or are racing to get home after a long day, especially after coming off the freeway where they were just used to going 75. I predict that, if paved, this short stretch would produce record accidents.
As for the impact on the Well, how could anyone imagine that literally 100 times as much traffic, travelling at much higher speeds will not produce a major noise component? We will have big rigs with their air brakes coming down the hill right next to the Well.
No one would ever again be able to stand at the edge of the Well and experience the "feel" of what it was like for the native peoples who lived at this site.
Many of us who live in this area feel that we are entrusted with protecting a significant sacred place from the ravages of development. Development is inevitable but must be respectful of the assets of our community. Montezuma Well is not just a quaint tourist attraction- it is a holy place. It is our sacred duty to protect it.
I know that development interests would love to see this road paved. Money, money, money! I also realize that it would be convenient and economical for some people to have this happen. Paving and connecting this road would create a racetrack through our community. Who volunteers to be the first person to be run over? Where do we find balance in our culture?
What is our system of values that we would risk destroying a holy place to save a little gas money?
I intend to get a copy of the environmental impact statement that was done for this project in 1999. I am certain that it must contain flaws as the almost total insensitivity of government institutions toward cultural assets seems to be exaggerated when it comes to Montezuma Well. I will analyze the document and if it does not address the impact on the Well I will, if necessary, file a lawsuit to have it redone. I am glad that this issue has come up. It reminds me once again that we must be ever vigilant in protecting this Sacred Site. I intend to start a movement right now to have this road permanently removed from any future road building plan.
Friends of the Well
Norma Garrison a wise choice for council
Norma Garrison is running for office. She wants to be elected to the Camp Verde Town Council. I do not know her; she does not know me. So it is not on the basis of friendship that I am urging people to vote for someone who would be very good as a councilperson.
Remember back a couple of years, the matter of the Townsite Rehabilitation study? Well, something seemed fishy-phony to her, and she undertook an investigation that would do credit to a professional reporter, and her subsequent report to the Town Council was met with a standing ovation, as I recall. And the council voted not to pursue it.
As a consequence, Norma agreed to serve on the Town's Housing Committee. Now she has agreed to run for the council. And we would be lucky to have her. Incidentally, she is the only one of the present candidates not on the Council who regularly attends Council meetings, and she thinks other candidates should to the same, to stay abreast of developments.
Norma has no signs around town. She sees destruction and expense that way, she said when I called her. She says, "I'll be elected the old-fashioned way, knocking on doors and talking to people ‹ or I won't be elected." She is passing out about 600 flyers. She has no campaign funds, no "war chest"
For heaven's sake, let's elect this straightforward, conscientious person.
Please share your Arnold stories with us
The family of Arnold Kester wishes to express our deepest gratitude to the many beloved friends who have kept us in their thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time.
He was such a special man, and although the world is simply not the same without him, Arnold's legacy lives on in those who loved him, as evidenced daily by the many cards and phone calls that continue to come in.
As were his wishes, there were no services, but we want to honor him the best way we know how. We will be holding a potluck Memorial Celebration of his Life Feb. 17, at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All who knew Arnold are welcome to come by. Feel free to bring a side dish or dessert, and any "Arnold stories" you may have. We won't let heaven have them all just yet.
The Kester Family
Cottonwood and Dewey
Jack will never leave Cottonwood
Jack Seitz has been a fixture in commercial development and building in the Verde Valley for 30-plus years.
It is easy to look at the high-profile items he was involved in, the Chamber of Commerce, the airport and associated industrial park, creating the Cottonwood Design Review Board, to name just a few, and see and person who played a major role in shaping our community.
I think that is a flattering but superficial assessment of what Jack really did. There are literally hundreds of buildings that Jack designed in Cottonwood. Every designer has his good ones and those "others," his fans and his detractors, but the point is that all of Jack's structures were designed by someone who had no other interest than to produce good workable projects.
It is certain that many of those buildings would never have been built without Jack's input. More would have been built from half-baked plans cooked up by owners, builders, real estate agents: scrapped together to just "git-er-done."
Jack took all of those projects up several notches in quality to the permanent betterment our town.
Jack will never leave Cottonwood.
Jack Seitz leaves a strong legacy of caring and accomplishments
I recall meeting Jack Seitz 21 years ago when I moved to Cottonwood. Through the years, I observed Jack's leadership, work ethic and success stories at Cottonwood's Industrial Airpark and on numerous design projects within the city.
Jack worked hard to advance economic development projects that enhanced Cottonwood's economy. No one ever doubted Jack's devotion and commitment to his community.
Jack was also a very private individual committed to helping those less fortunate. When I administered housing programs for seniors and disabled persons in Cottonwood, I observed first-hand how Jack and his family adopted a young man and cared about his comfort and well-being. There were also food packages at Thanksgiving or Christmas for those in need. Although he embraced the entire community with his successful professional work, he also lived a quiet philosophy of giving back to others.
Jack Seitz leaves a strong legacy of caring and accomplishments.