QUESTION: As you consider both the short term and the long term, what is the most responsible way for council to be caretakers of the community’s tax dollars?
From a short term perspective, Camp Verde already has an excessive debt ratio. At this point we cannot afford to take on more debt. Most people know that you shouldn’t spend more than you make, and if you do take out loans, you are careful to only borrow what you can afford to pay back. With the Town, we need to get our spending under control. We need to focus on paying what we have already borrowed and complete our current projects before we take on more. As we all know, economic cycles fluctuate, sometimes they prosper and other times they decline. With the current ratio of debt to assets in Camp Verde already at 52percent, Camp Verde needs to consider very carefully before they incur any more long term debt. To put it succinctly, it bothers me to gamble with taxpayer dollars at this time.
QUESTION: With the cancellation of Cornfest, please explain the importance of Pecan and Wine Festival, as well as Fort Verde Days, and what you believe the Town’s responsibility is in keeping those events alive?
The importance of the Pecan and Wine Festival, Cornfest, and Fort Verde Days is that they all promote tourism. The Pecan and Wine Festival promotes the rapidly growing wine industry in the Verde Valley and our large pecan growing community. The Cornfest helps to promote our local agriculture. Fort Verde Days is an important part of our western heritage, and it showcases Fort Verde State Park, and our nationally known Camp Verde Cavalry. All of these events bring focus to the many State and National parks in the area, as well as Out of Africa, and the Yavapai Apache Nation’s beautiful new resort. These are truly community events that require a tremendous amount of volunteers and Town support. Without both the Town’s assistance through event promotion and facilitation and the community’s volunteerism, these events will cease to exist. Camp Verde needs to market itself as a destination point for all of the Verde Valley and Sedona.
QUESTION: For some, Camp Verde is a community on the verge of significantly growing its economy. For others, Camp Verde is a bedroom community and needs to stay that way. Please explain your desire for Camp Verde’s future.
Camp Verde does need economic development that would provide better job opportunities for citizens as well as to provide much needed revenue. We have several commercial and industrial corridors where our economic growth can be located without interfering with the residential areas within Camp Verde.
In order to promote economic growth, Camp Verde needs to improve its infrastructure and needs more affordable housing.
However, as we look at Economic Development, we always need to consider our historical and western heritage as well as water and environmental impact.
A strong Economic Development Director should know what types of business opportunity will complement the community while providing services and employment opportunities for residents.