Question 1: Clarkdale will hire a new town manager in 2019. What experience and attributes are most important for the person selected to fill this position? Should Clarkdale continue a tradition that is at least 30 years old of filling the town manager’s position from existing staff, or is it time for a new person not presently affiliated with Clarkdale Town Hall to assume the manager’s job?
Finding and hiring someone of current town manager Mabery’s competence and dedication will be a monumental task. We are currently soliciting proposals from national recruitment firms specializing in executive recruitment. Experience and proficiencies important to this position include communication skills, human resource management, staff facilitation, strategic planning, financial analysis, and technical literacy. A commitment to and adherence of the ICMA Code of Ethics will be very important in my estimation. Existing staff members who believe they possess the required skills and experience will be welcome to apply. The value of hiring from within when appropriate is understood. Clarkdale will stay true to its vision statement and do what makes the most sense for the Town.
Question 2: What should be the future priorities of the Verde River @ Clarkdale Initiative project, and how should they be paid for? How has the Town of Clarkdale benefited from the Verde River @ Clarkdale Initiative?
First, sustaining the operation of the two existing river access points (RAPS) and the River Ambassadors Program. Currently the funding comes from outfitter permitting fees, voluntary parking fees, and Yavapai-Apache Nation Prop 202 gaming funds. No Clarkdale general funds are used. Additional sources of revenues derived from enhanced services, grants, licensing or something we haven’t thought of yet will be needed to ensure the on-going viability of the parks. Second, to continue the Verde Front collaboration of Verde River communities in the development of a regional sustainable recreation plan of river access and trails. Other priorities are re-opening the Upper TAPCO RAP and dear in the hearts of Clarkdale residents to negotiate a management and funding plan to re-open Peck’s Lake. Clarkdale has benefited from entrepreneurial opportunities, increased tourism traffic to local businesses, and the satisfaction of providing its residents with clean and safe access to our beautiful stretch of the Verde River.
Question 3: The next big infrastructure/water management project for Clarkdale will be developing and implementing a plan for sustainable use of the town’s reclaimed water. What do you believe should be the priority water resource management practices for Clarkdale? What are the best uses for the town’s reclaimed water? Why?
Clarkdale’s recently constructed wastewater treatment plant has the capacity to produce 350,000 gallons of A+ treated effluent every day. Some if it is sold to building contractors for dust control, but like other Verde Valley communities, much of it is sprayed over land and allowed to evaporate. We recently purchased the previously leased disposal site along Bitter Creek Wash and are developing plans for more sustainable disposal methods such as recharge wells, constructed wetlands, low water use vineyards, and possibly greenhouse based locally grown food production. Our first priority is to return water to the Verde River. I would also like to see a portion of this water used for low water use vineyards, local greenhouse based food production, and perhaps a community garden. I am committed to maintaining a continuously flowing Verde River and believe that access to locally grown food is healthier personally and ensures some access to food sources if traditional supply methods are interrupted.