Letters to the Editor

Gioia has answer to promote positive town growth

Editor:

This is the first time I've ever written to a newspaper opinion page, but I feel I must express my feelings before everyone completes their ballots for the Camp Verde mayoral race.

When folks hear or read the word "tax," well, "them's fighten words." I think Mr. Dickinson and his ad agency are taking advantage of that fact.

Impact fees are not new taxes ‹ or taxes at all. They are fees on new housing and the people who are building those homes. Impact fees are a logical way to help pay for some of our town's growth by those who are causing the growth, and without additional taxing of citizens in general.

At the current price of new housing, the fees proposed by our current town council are a drop in the bucket compared to other towns in the area. My wife and I lived in Prescott Valley for more than eight years, where we owned our home. Five years ago, impact fees on new housing were as high as $7,000 per new home. And remember, it cost half as much to build a house then as it does now. People wanting to move into our community probably know they are getting a bargain, so this fee will not slow many of them down.

We have had many new homes built over the past years ­ during Dickinson's term as mayor, I might add. However, little was done with the infrastructure of our town to support that new housing. Not a good way to run a business, let alone a town. That may be one of the reasons why he was voted out of office. Why would we want him back?

My final thought: Tony Gioia is concerned for Smart Growth. There is a need for new businesses that will give Camp Verde more job opportunities and fair share tax revenues. I believe Mr. Gioia has a better idea on how to make this happen and to promote positive town growth that will be fair for all citizens.

Thank you for letting me share my opinions.

T.B.Thorson

Camp Verde

Respect for Mr. Detwiler's opinion

Editor:

I have never written to the Editor before, but I feel compelled to respond to Ms. Carole Adelsman's letter.

My wife and I are supporters of the Old Town Mission and feel that Bryan Detwiler has done an amazing job there. We feel that this attack on his personal integrity is uncalled for. No mention of the Old Town Mission or Bryan's position was made in his endorsement letter.

Like you Ms. Adelsman, Bryan is a private citizen, and has every right as such to endorse whomever he chooses. I am not sure that your letter would have been written if Bryan had endorsed your candidate. There is no place in this campaign, or in this community, for these types of personal attacks. I think you owe Bryan Detwiler a public apology.

I have attended some of the candidate forums and would like to commend the three mayoral candidates for the respect they have shown for each other and for the citizens in attendance.

Please vote on March 13 for the candidate of your choice.

Neal Clark

Cottonwood

Memo to Joens: There is no I in team

Editor:

I have had the pleasure of being a Cottonwood City Council member for many years now and just have to speak out on a couple of council issues and candidate comments.

We've had excellent mayors in the past. Some had other jobs and some were retired. I have seen no difference in their effectiveness or ability to do the job they were elected do, and they did it well. Apparently, they were able to multi-task and still had time for their personal lives.

Our current mayor has juggled his hours at his business, with help from his wife. The vice mayor takes vacation time or personal time to take care of his duties out of town. My boss, Kelly Cathcart, has donated many, many hours so I can do what I have to do as a council member. As I see it, the job of the mayor and council has been covered by people who can do more than one thing at a time.

I don't think the position of mayor needs a full-time person micro-managing City Hall. We have an excellent staff and they don't need anyone in the office with little or no experience in the many fields they deal with daily, telling them how to do their job.

I have listened to Diane Joens pat herself on the back for three years now and tell anyone that will listen how she is the only person on the council that cares about the residents in our city or the surrounding area. Maybe with some special interest groups this is true, but the rest of the council takes the entire picture into consideration and that is what we are elected to do.

Both of the other candidates served on City of Cottonwood commissions because they cared and they sure do not serve on the council because they have a personal agenda. One is a hair dresser and one is in maintenance, very noble professions, and aren't on the council for the money.

I am not telling you how to vote but it takes more than one person to make up a city council and team work is valuable. There is no "I" in team.

Karen Pfeifer

Cottonwood

Don't put the muzzle on Mr. Detwiler

Editor:

I just read the letter from Ms. Carole Adelsman in the March 7 edition of The Verde Independent and find it hard to believe that a person could pen such a missive.

Can one really believe that Brian Detwiler should be muzzled and denied his right of free speech because he is the executive director of The Old Town Mission? I suppose that she also objects to his being an elected member of the Mingus Union High School governing board; not to mention having run for the State Legislature and losing by less than 50 votes in the entire First District.

Brian Detwiler's opinion and support for Mayor of Cottonwood and Camp Verde (Ruben Juaregui and Mitch Dickinson) should certainly be more meaningful to most than that of Ms. Adelsman whose credentials are totally unknown to me.

It is incomprehensible that a person would try to silence or denigrate another when they exercise their First Amendment right of free speech. As an aside, I would remind all the passionate partisans that the world will not end no matter who wins.

Ken Miller

Cottonwood

Thank you for the compliment, Mr. Schmidt

Editor:

On behalf of the Committee to Re-Elect Tony Gioia, I accept Mr. Schmidt's congratulations on our well-run campaign on very little money (compared to the other side) with almost all of our donations coming from citizens of Camp Verde and the Verde Valley.

It truly was a grass roots campaign; built on many Camp Verde citizens who volunteered their time and what money they could donate. We had a door-to-door campaign, people who spent their weekends repairing and replacing signs, volunteers who passed out literature at Bashas', local citizens who did radio ads, and people who hosted parties in their homes, etc.

I agree with Mr. Schmidt, our letter writers were prolific; many of them, unknown to the campaign, stepped up and voiced their support of our mayor. They were people with no ties to Mayor Gioia except their support of him.

This campaign has enabled me to meet some of the best people that Camp Verde has to offer, people who are committed to our town and way of life, people who care enough to get off the couch and do something. It has been my privilege and pleasure to get to know and work with these people.

Mr. Schmidt, thank you for the compliment. We deserve it.

Robin Whatley

Campaign Chairman

Committee to Re-Elect Mayor Tony Gioia

Camp Verde

Joens just what Cottonwood needs

Editor:

I urge the voters of Cottonwood to elect Diane Joens as our next mayor. I have known her for eight years and have never met such an active dedicated person who truly has the knowledge, training and background to take our city through this sensitive time of rapid growth.

She will be able to devote all the time necessary to take care of the numerous demands of the position- and she will be aware and responsive to the concerns and needs of everyone in our community.

Sally Davidson

Cottonwood

Bring the 'pig farm' into compliance

Editor:

Regarding the "pig" problem. It is time for everyone to sit back, take a deep breath, and seriously consider what is really going on here. I do not live in that area but sympathize with all concerned

The complainants are not against 4-H. It is a wonderful program for children to learn responsibility. At the council meeting on Feb. 28, it was clear that the 4-H adults have convinced the children that someone is out to prevent their participation in 4-H. The children who spoke did a good job. I felt particularly sorry for the little girl who nearly broke out in tears because she believed someone is trying to do away with her ability to be in 4-H.

Consider, there are two 1-plus acre parcels, each allowed eight pigs by ordinance 108 but only two by ordinance 109. The owners admitted they have 23 pigs at this point putting them in violation of both ordinances.

How many are pregnant and capable of birthing as many as 18 piglets? Read Ordinance 108(D)(3). "The provisions of the Ordinance are not intended to authorize the keeping of animals, regardless of number, size or type, in a manner which constitutes a nuisance and which impairs the enjoyment or use of nearby properties or violates other legal restrictions the properties are subject to."

Perhaps a restriction on the proximity of animals to the neighbor's living/eating area would help.

We live in a wonderful area where keeping of animals is a rare privilege and should not be changed. However, when someone takes advantage and breaks the ordinances it puts a strain on the entire area and threatens the well-being of the entire town. Outdoor entertaining is a big part of our lives here but cannot be enjoyed with too many animals in close proximity.

After hearing both sides I believe the "pig farm" should be brought into compliance and only one-two pigs per 4-H child registered allowed. Don't continue to use this as an attack against 4-H. Stand up to your responsibility in this problem and don't continue to attack neighbors who have far less animals on their properties.

4-H is mostly about the children learning responsibility. Obeying the law and the responsibility to neighbors should be foremost and when as at least two children admitted they don't have time to clean up after their animals because of other commitments, a decision should be made as to which commitment possibly should be dropped. Let's not overstress our children in our zeal to keep them busy and out of trouble. I fully understand the pressures, having raised three children in Phoenix (they were also in 4-H) but we must be careful to know where to draw the line.

Please be reasonable, law-abiding citizens.

Shirley Brinkman

Camp Verde

Entire Verde Valley will benefit if Joens is elected

Editor:

I have known Diane Joens for several years, in the context of the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee as well as the Verde Watershed Association.

There are few people I know who have as much competent and tireless dedication to the immediate and long-range issues of her town and greater community -- the Verde Valley -- than Diane Joens.

Her quiet demeanor and willingness to listen to all sides are underwritten by a strong will and the determination to do what is right for her community.

She also has an extraordinary work ethic. One look at her web page: www.dianejoens.com makes you think "how could any one person do all this?" That's what makes Diane stand out: Not only does she do it, but she does it extremely well. Diane thinks clearly, she writes well (her informative articles and photographs have been published for years in this newspaper), she is organized, patient, well-spoken, a great listener, and she has great heart for the people she serves and for all she takes on.

I believe that the whole Verde Valley, as well as Cottonwood, is lucky to have Diane Joens' leadership. None of our towns exists in a vacuum, and all of us are deeply affected by the quality and direction of leadership in this beautiful valley around us.

For this reason I write this letter to support Diane Joens' candidacy for mayor of Cottonwood.

Doree Christensen

Jerome

Joens has laid right foundation to be mayor

Editor:

Diane Joens is my candidate of choice for Cottonwood Mayor. I would like to give several reasons why.

Diane has been invited to walk through the Main and Mingus Neighborhood Association on several occasions to discuss issues and she has always made time in her busy schedule to hear our concerns, and then she will take the time to try and get us in touch with the proper department to address those concerns. She has even arranged a sit-down meeting with several city departments and then moderated the meeting.

She is cofounder of the Stewards for Public Lands a group of volunteers and public officials that do monthly trash cleanups on the desert around the Verde Valley. While she was busy starting this regional group she didn't forget the local neighborhoods and supported our efforts at doing neighborhood trash cleanups as well.

She has spent countless hours learning about issues that are important to Cottonwood. As part of her AZ CENTRL class she developed the Verde River Almanac which is a great introduction to the history of the river and the issues that affect it. She has continued to learn about the issues concerning the river and other topics her entire tenure on the City Council. Diane is very concerned with sustainable growth and preserving our natural resources.

She is involved with the Yavapai County Drug Task Force, MAT FORCE a group to get rid of methamphetamines from the Verde Valley. Diane has become a certified presenter for the Task Force and has offered our Block Watch a presentation.

When she runs out of things to do you can find her at the Dead Horse Ranch Trails Coalition trail workdays helping to cook or serve for the volunteer lunch, even helping to build trails.

As you can see from the examples Diane is very concerned about all aspects of the quality of life in Cottonwood. I urge all voters to get out and vote; now it is our turn to help her for her continued dedication to the City, vote Diane Joens for mayor of Cottonwood.

Donna F. Castillo

Cottonwood

Intergenerational agenda sets Joens apart

Editor:

I'm voting for Diane Joens

I have lived here for many years, and as a single mom, I appreciate the things Diane has done and has pledged to do to help children.

Diane is a past co-chair of Youth Count, an organization that was instrumental in the creation of the Cottonwood Youth Advisory Commission and is now working on a Cottonwood youth development plan. She also serves on the Yavapai County Methamphetamine Task Force, the organization that fights against use of methamphetamines in our community. We need these programs to promote safety and well being among the children in our town. She is one of those officials who cares about our youth and realizes their importance in our community's future.

Diane also supports organizations that advance an intergenerational agenda. She believes in changing attitudes and building capacity of communities to more effectively utilize the resources of youth and elders.

Please join with me in supporting Diane Joens for Mayor and whoever you support, please get out and vote March 13 at the Cottonwood Civic Center in Old Town Cottonwood.

Susan Sherman

Cottonwood

Joens will be excellent leader for Cottonwood

Editor:

Having worked with leaders and residents within the Verde Valley for the last 10 to 15 years, I feel an understanding of the people and their challenges.

Although I live in Sedona, I have worked with many citizens of the Verde Valley and share a loyalty to all, as we must work together toward common interests.

Because of this experience, it appears very logical for me to recommend Diane Joens for mayor of Cottonwood. Her broad vision, astute assessment of issues and willingness to work hard for those she represents are trademarks most deserving and admirable.

I'm confident she will be an excellent leader for Cottonwood and urge your support.

Dick Ellis

Former Mayor of Sedona

Joens has the experience and the commitment

Editor:

Diane Joens is the best choice as the next mayor of Cottonwood. She has the time to be a full time mayor of Cottonwood as well as the commitment that is needed.

She is a strong advocate of keeping the Verde River flowing through her membership and strong participation on the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee, Verde River Basin Partnership, Verde Watershed Association and the Verde River Citizens Alliance.

Through these organizations, as well as others, she has gained a vast knowledge of water issues that affect Cottonwood. As a full time mayor she will act in our behalf to work with our legislatures to design water laws that will give municipalities more control over their water assets and lobby the legislature for their passage.

As growth increases, it is imperative that water availability and assurance for the long term become a priority for the next mayor. Diane Joens has the experience and the commitment to work in behalf of the citizens of Cottonwood.

Dr. and Mrs. R.D. Richards

Clarkdale

Randy Lowe will 'make a difference'

Editor:

Randy Lowe has a very special and important trait in seeking your vote for mayor. He does not have a personal agenda. His wish is to do the best for our community and the citizens of Cottonwood.

Randy knows how to "make a difference" for his community. He is always completely informed and very dedicated to any issue that comes before city council.

You may remember a couple of years ago when Randy worked on the pseudoephedrine restrictions to stop "meth" production in our neighborhoods. After guiding that ordinance through the Cottonwood Council, he worked with communities throughout the state to help them create their own laws to do the same. Now almost half the cities and towns in Arizona, representing more than 80 percent of the population, have this law.

Please join us in voting for Randy Lowe for Cottonwood mayor and elect a new mayor for changing times. Be sure and make a difference for yourself and your community. Vote on March 13, 2007.

Mary Smith

Cottonwood

What part of 'memorial; don't they understand?

Editor:

The governor and her hand-picked 9/11 Memorial Commission are trying to do a smoke-and-mirrors act. I wonder what part of "Memorial" they don't understand.

According to the AP, the commission decided to add "introductory panels to 'explain' the terrorist attacks and the memorial itself."

No. 1, I don't care what excuse terrorists have for murdering innocent Americans and other nationalities going about their normal lives!

No. 2, the memorial should not need explaining.

It should be a tribute to those who died, the heroes who saved so many, and the heroes who are now trying to protect us from another such event.

The commission has decided to remove the reference to an "erroneous" U.S. air strike that purportedly killed 46 Afghan civilians. This unfortunate incident was not an "erroneous" air strike. It was a friendly fire accident and its occurrence had nothing to do with 9/11.

The commission said "circumstances of the U.S. air strike are still in question." Wrong. There was never a doubt that it was a tragic accident. It's inclusion on the memorial was an insult to America and our armed forces.

All reference on the memorial which assign, or insinuate, blame to the United States for the slaughter of 3,000 innocent people should be eradicated. The commission should leave any other agenda at home.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

Vote for Tony and the independent thinkers

Editor:

We encourage Camp Verde voters to consider carefully the candidates running for office who will bring this town forward in the future in a stable, sensible, slow-moving growth pattern.

As 12-year residents, we are active and volunteer in community and local events. We've had a 40-plus year love affair with this town and community as visitors, participators in town events and enjoyed hunting and fishing in the surrounding mountains, rivers and lakes. Long before we retired here, we knew this was the "promised land" -- serenity at it's best in a rural setting and the place we wished to call home.

We encourage voters to insist that our town governance guide the growth with data to back sufficient infrastructures, now and in the future. Water is very important. Roads are very important, as are additions to the sewer district. We need parks -- in particular, ball fields for our young people. We would have already benefited financially had the impact fee issue been voted in several years ago. We urge a YES vote on Proposition 401.

The past two years have seen a semblance of unity within the town council members and our mayor as they've put their heads together to bring forth good decisions. Our vote is going to Tony Gioia for mayor who has done an excellent job. His re-election will ensure that Camp Verde continues to grow in a smartly manner.

Let's keep moving forward with people who think independently, who make decisions based on citizen's input and who become "the team" after all the votes are counted. Growing slowly can avoid the chaos and frustrations that abound in the Queen Creek, Higley and East Valley areas as grid-locks at four and two-way stop signs, 1/2 mile backups, or longer, at intersections and hours of driving time to get to places of employment are common and are horror stories.

Don't be fooled that this will not happen if the "sea of rooftops" are launched in our local land developments without stable infrastructures not in place. One need only to drive in the Queen Creek areas in the east valley of our State to see the truth that comes with fast growth, lack of needed infrasturctures and limited roads to move the people in vehicles out of our town to places of employment elsewhere.

Steady, sensible and slowly -- vote for Tony and the independent thinkers on March 13th -- it's the only possible choices.

Hugh and Sharon Massey

Camp Verde

Camp Verde voters should approve development fees

Editor:

Developmental fees are onetime payments to make improvements needed to accommodate development.

Both state and federal courts have recognized development fees as a legitimate form of land use regulation. To comply with the U.S. Constitution, development fees must be shown to advance a legitimate government interest. In the case of Camp Verde, Parks and Recreation, Marshal's Office, Municipal facilities and equipment and the Library will all benefit from development fees.

Can the town set high fees in order to make more money? No Arizona laws strictly regulate how much may be charged.

Are development fees fair? Yes, they are some of the fairest assessments we have. They make sure that the people who put the burden on public services are the same people who pay for them. A good example is the new library. Without a major increase in population, we could get by with a much smaller library, but with additional people expected to come here in the next 15 years we need a library two to three times its current size.

Does development need to pay for itself? Yes, most Arizona cities have development fees or hookup fees. The Arizona legislature, a conservative body has decided that development fees make sense in a state with fast population growth.

Why does the Camp Verde Town Council feel we need increased fees or taxes? The town needs a new town park, a new library, to buy the Camp Verde Water Co. and to give $2.3 million to the Sanitary District to stretch the sewers out past I-17 to serve new commercial growth.

Are developers against Development fees? No, Scott Simonton, developer of the Views and Simonton Ranch said, "Camp Verde is behind the times in not having impact fees. Development does have an impact and it should bear the cost of the impact."

I urge the Camp Verde voters to approve the development fees.

Robert D. Johnson

Camp Verde

Diane Joens will be a hands-on mayor

Editor:

I have worked closely with Diane Joens for the past three years as part of the Stewards of Public Lands, and other organizations, and I know first-hand how hard working and honest she is.

She knows how to bring people and resources together to solve problems and does it without creating conflict. In addition to the Stewards, she also works with many other worthwhile organizations that also benefit from her involvement.

Diane will be a hands-on mayor who will lead this community by being actively involved in it.

Please make your voice count and vote.

Debbie LaFrance

Cottonwood

It is the town that the Hausers' corn is promoting

Editor:

I just returned from the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. It is the largest farm equipment show in the world. You leave with the knowledge that agriculture, big or small, is important to us all.

Upon my return, I had the pleasure to read a letter to the editor dated Feb. 2, 2007, written by Mary Jane Dickinson. The letter started off innocently enough and the content was what you would expect from a mother protecting her son from the rigors of the campaign trial.

However, the direction and content quickly changes from defense to offense. The first person in her crosshairs Š the Hausers.

She emphatically states, "Mitch never profited, not even once, from any vote concerning development in Camp Verde."

The writer carefully pulls the trigger and out comes a sentence more unbelievable than the first.

Her quote, "I am very much in favor of the Hauser corn promotion the town does, but at the same time, isn't this a double standard?"

A perfect shot right below the belt.

I quickly grab my pen before I bleed to death. And I would like to say this Š

The annual Camp Verde Corn Festival is exactly that. It is not the Hauser's Corn Festival. We have no involvement or governing powers concerning the event except for that one little thing. We, the Hausers, donate all the corn. It is not the Hausers' corn the town is promoting, but rather the town the Hausers' corn is promoting.

In closing, I would respectfully ask that you not use our name or fictitious circumstances as a stepping stone for your son's developer-funded campaign.

Kevin Hauser

Camp Verde

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