COTTONWOOD – Mayor Tim Elinski led his first City Council meeting Tuesday.
The meeting kicked off with introductions from new councilmembers Deb Althouse and Tosca Henry - and reintroductions from Vice Mayor Karen Pfeifer and council members Kyla Allen, Linda Norman and Ruben Jauregui.
One Person, One Night
Council approved a $2,500 donation to the Old Town Mission to support the One Person – One Night program.
Last year, Council approved a one-time expenditure of $2,000 to Catholic Charities and the Old Town Mission to assist with their efforts to develop safe housing for the homeless during the cold winter months. The One-Person One-Night program provides a motel room to homeless individuals for at least one night to prevent someone from being exposed to freezing temperatures.
This year, the Old Town Mission has agreed to administer the program, as Catholic Charities did not receive funding this year to support it.
Council approved resolution to appoint members to the Cottonwood Youth Advisory Commission.
Staff and the CYAC respectfully requested that council re-appoint for the 2016-2017 term the incumbent youth commission members. Staff and the commission also requested to seat new applicants to fill open positions.
Staff and the commission are currently seeking applicants to fill the seat of adult representative as Jen Mabery will not be able to take on the role due to scheduling conflicts.
Now in its eleventh year, CYAC continues to grow in service and impact for the community through a dedicated group of young leaders. Due to the departure of commissioners and the expiration of terms, the commission sought to re-appoint current youth commissioners and fill remaining vacant seats.
Council approved resolutions to reappoint Bill Wade and Jim Money to the Airport Commission. Both are current commissioners.
Their three-year term seats expired. The open seats were advertised in June, and four applications were received for the two vacancies.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)
Council approved the acceptance of the Department of Public Safety Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant.
The Cottonwood Police Department’s proposed Victim Assistance Program and its dedicated full-time victim assistant position are a combined start-up strategic initiative designed to help bolster and alleviate deficient services to the victims of crime in Cottonwood and surrounding areas of the Verde Valley.
The victim assistant will provide many services to victims of crimes, who oftentimes feel isolated and confused. This role will provide immediate assistance with obtaining emergency monetary aid, transportation, repair and security services, and medical and counseling services, plus more. The assistant will help victims through such complicated matters like paperwork, and the judicial process. The victim assistant will be the liaison between the victim, agencies, and local service providers.
$65,830 will be funded by the VOCA grant, and a $16,458 match amount, for a total contract of $82,288.
Strategic Planning Retreat
Council approved hiring Jeannie Duncan to facilitate their two-day strategic planning retreat at the cost of $3,200. The retreat will be held Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, and will possibly take place at the Cottonwood Recreation Center. The retreat will be open to the public.
Day one will feature presentations, and question and answer sessions from area agencies. Day two will focus on team building, strategic planning, and takeaways from the day prior.
For the retreat held in 2015, the Council contracted with Holly Yeager to facilitate the retreat. She has since moved out of state. Three professional facilitators were requested to provide a proposal to facilitate the Council retreat.
Council approved the modification of the structure of meetings. Mayor Elinski proposed a “pre-meeting” to be held at 5:30 p.m., prior to the 6 p.m. regular meeting, to read proclamations, present awards, and introduce new employees. Mayor Elinski said this will help to streamline the business portion of the meetings. He also suggested there be an estimated time set for each agenda item, so people will have a better idea of when their agenda item will be discussed.
High Five Hangars
Council approved the consent to the proposed assignment of tenant rights to Unit #3 of the High Five Hangars Condominiums in Cottonwood Airpark from Backus Family Investment’s, LLC, to Tough Times Outfitters, LLC, doing business as Kestrel Aviation Services.
By prior action, both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Council approved the conversion of a 5-unit hangar development located on Lot 135 of Cottonwood Airpark Tract One, Parts B and C into a condominium-style development.
The project was constructed by the Backus Family Investments. BFI was allowed to transfer its leasehold rights to the common areas of the project to an entity known as the High Five Condominium Association, which has a Board of Directors that manages the development in a manner that is similar to a residential condominium.