Fri, Oct. 18

Four for the road
Verde Valley man files papers to become the last candidate for Clarkdale's upcoming election

Clardale's last write-in candidate filed papers just in time to be a candidate for Town Council. Felix Rocha, a resident of the Verde Valley off and on for 33 years, has been a barber, air-borne ranger, national guardsman, teacher, marathon runner and musician.

"My grandfather cut hair in Jerome in the late '20s," said Rocha.

Rocha was an air-borne ranger during the Vietnam era and was in the National Guard for 10 years. He obtained a music education degree from Mesa Community College in the 1970s and went on to get a bachelor's in elementary education at Northern Arizona University. He taught for eight years and is currently working on his master's at NAU.

He has lived in Clarkdale off and on for 10 years. He spent most of last year with the VA in Prescott and moved back to Clarkdale in November.

Town Manager Gayle Mabery said Clarkdale follows state statutes that require a candidate to live in the town for at least a year to be considered a candidate.

Rocha played guitar and sang throughout the Verde Valley for 20 years, playing old rock 'n' roll, Spanish music, jazz and country. He said he runs 10K races for fun.

The growth of the Verde Valley prompted Rocha to want to be on the council.

"All this growth motivated me to do something," said Rocha. "I want to see the growth be more controlled."

The focus on growth is shared by another candidate, Clarkdale resident Greta Schiegg.

"I am most interested in structured growth with community preservation," said Schiegg. "We need a fine balance with everyone in mind."

She added that she is also interested in having land available for public use.

Schiegg filed her paperwork on Wednesday to become an official write-in candidate along with Curt Bohall.

Bohall has spent some time focusing on development and growth as well. He has been a planning commissioner for the Town of Clarkdale since September 2004. He has lived in Clarkdale for 14 years and the Verde Valley since 1985.

After retiring from the Navy in 1972, Bohall worked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He has also worked in Jerome and part-time at Bent River Machine in Clarkdale.

Schiegg has been a resident of the Verde Valley on and off for 23 years. She attended Clarkdale/Jerome Elementary School where her daughter goes now. She was the youngest EMT, Firefighter and CPR instructor at the Sedona Fire Department when she was 19. She contributed to the community through the fire department for four years.

Schiegg, 33, has been a manager at a ladies boutique store in Sedona and was the executive personnel Administrator at L'Auberge de Sedona.

These three write-in candidates will run against incumbent Jerry Wiley.

There are two council seats open for the upcoming election. Tim Wills and Vice Mayor Jerry Wiley are currently serving terms that expire in June.

Wiley is a long-term member of the council. He was mayor of Clarkdale from 1994 to 1996 and has served on the water conservation group, Northern Arizona Council of Governments and the Board of Adjustment. He was born in Minnesota and has served in the Army Air Corp. He moved to Clarkdale in 1985 after retiring as a manager of a specialty gas plant.

Primary election day is March 14. All ballots are mail-in ballots and will be sent out Feb. 20.

The last day to register to vote is Feb. 14.

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