Clarkdale recently opted to co-locate its municipal magistrate court with the Verde Valley Justice Court. Would you support such a merger between the Cottonwood and Magistrate Court and local Justice Court?
I would support a co-location of the Justice Court and Clarkdale into our facility however the reverse is not possible as there is not enough physical room at the Justice Court. I would not support a consolidation as this would require all three court systems merge personnel, use the same software etc., which is a very complicated process. Co-location is merely locating the courts in the same facility and allowing them to continue to use the majority of their own staff, software, billing system, etc. The benefits of co-location would be using a single Judge/Magistrate and single Court Administrator to serve all three communities, sharing those expenses, as well the cost savings by combining resources (i.e. physical location/electricity, etc.)
Are there other Cottonwood municipal services that should be contracted through the county or provided as a shared service with another area municipality? Please explain your answer.
In researching this topic I found where consolidation of services would benefit others but not necessarily Cottonwood. For example, I understanding Clarkdale PD does not have an active graveyard shift and is contracted with Jerome PD for all other times. It also takes additional time for an officer to respond from Jerome. As Cottonwood PD already handles all PD emergency calls after 2 a.m. for Clarkdale, they could benefit from a faster daytime response time by contracting with Cottonwood. Combined dispatch is another service, where some agencies currently contract with Camp Verde, but being dispatched from a single, geographically closer location makes more sense. We are also working on partnering with Sedona to expand our transit services. Though to my knowledge, the County has not chosen to participate in this expansion, customers in the county will still benefit because this expanded service becomes available to patrons between the two cities.
Do you favor an annexation of Verde Village and/or Verde Santa Fe into the City of Cottonwood? Why/Why not? What role should the city play in a proposed annexation?
I’ve found the best way for the City to approach annexation of an inhabited area, such as those mentioned, is to participate in an advisory role only.
I am not interested in pursuing annexation of these areas however, if residents wish to annex, it is their right.
That being said, if we annex Verde Village, it would have to be a phased annexation, bringing in only a portion of the units at a time, such as Units 7 & 8, with others to follow. This would be necessary in order to provide needed infrastructure.
Residents would have to vote in an “improvement district” to pay for that infrastructure, however they would no longer be required to pay a Fire District tax as our Fire / EMS services are covered through sales tax.
Therefore, an “Improvement District” wouldn’t necessarily be an additional tax but rather trading one district cost for another.