Camp Verde Town Council Q&A Round 3: Carol German
In the Verde Valley, Camp Verde and Jerome are the only municipalities with a residency requirement for employment of the town manager and town marshal/police chief. Is this a policy you support?
Yes, I definitely support this policy. Why is this even a Question? Camp Verde is Camp Verde. It is very reasonable to expect the Top Law Enforcement Official and the Town Manager to reside in the community that they serve so that they have a vested interest in their own town, for themselves and their families. Just a few years ago this was a very contentious topic and citizens clearly stated that they wanted the residency requirement to remain in the 86322 zip code. No applicant should make the final cut for one of these positions that is unwilling to comply with the Town Code. These positions are the two highest paying positions in Camp Verde and if they live in Camp Verde, they enroll their children in local schools, attend church, and pay taxes here that help support the community. If researched, you will find that many cities and towns in Arizona have this requirement.
The Camp Verde Town Council recently approved a 5-year contract for its town manager. Do you agree that there should be an employment contract between the town and its manager, and do you agree it should be for five years? Please explain your answer.
A contract in and of itself is not something to oppose, but a 5-year contract, with built in performance bonuses, is excessive for any public employee, and it is inappropriate for the current council to grant a contract of this duration. Most Town/City Managers have a one or two-year contract, subject to annual review. The Town Manager answers to the Town Council and it is the Council that conducts the annual reviews that should decide if any bonus is warranted. The mayor and three council seats change every two years. By granting a five year contract, the current Council has tied the hands of the next three councils, limiting their right to effectively supervise the Town Manager and their ability to govern. This 5-year contract is not in the best interest of the community.
The Camp Verde area is served by three private water companies. Do you believe water delivery should be a municipal service in Camp Verde? Please explain your answer.
I’m not opposed to municipalities owning utilities, but I don’t want to place an undue financial strain on the community. The Town has investigated buying the Camp Verde Water Company for a number of years. However, the cost has always been more than the Town could afford. At this time, it has not been announced, in a public meeting, what that cost would now be, and if the other two private water companies are also included in the negotiations. In light of the fact that the Town currently has such a large debt ratio due to some large loans over the past couple of years, it would not be feasible to try to get another large loan to buy a water company at this time. In addition, will it benefit the community or increase the rates for citizens and also raise taxes to pay off yet another debt? When Cottonwood bought the water company, citizen’s water bills increased more than 100%.