Sat, Nov. 16

Clarkdale election: Wiley re-elected; Home Rule and override approved

Jerry Wiley has been re-elected to serve another four-year term on the Clarkdale Town Council. Write-in candidates Greta Schiegg and Curt Bohall received the majority of the write-in votes and will head to a runoff election in May to determine the other vacant council seat.

Proposition 300 (Home Rule Option) and the Clarkdale-Jerome School District 10-percent budget override were also on the ballot and were approved.

"I'm very happy Jerry was elected," said Mayor Doug Von Gausig. "I have enjoyed working with him. I don't think we could ask for a better council member."

Wiley said he is focused on water issues and growth for the new term.

"Water is a big issue," said Wiley. "Before water is gone, we better have good water conservation efforts in place."

Wiley said the acquisition of the water utility by the town was a positive step in controlling the future of Clarkdale. He stressed the importance of constructing a new wastewater treatment facility to accommodate for the growth. He said this is one way the town can grow in a responsible way.

Wiley said he will continue to focus on trails, parks and recreation as well. He said he will strive to "keep people feeling comfortable in the town."

Wiley is a long-term member of the council. He moved to Clarkdale in 1985. 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

Wiley was elected outright with 53 percent of the votes. Schiegg, Bohall and Felix Rocha were the write-in candidates. Town officials finished counting write-in votes around noon Thursday.

Town Clerk Joyce Driscoll said 864 total votes were cast. Bohall received the most votes with 210, Shiegg received 188 and Rocha came in at 93. A candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the total votes to win outright. Therefore, since Bohall did not receive more than 50 percent, he and Shiegg will head for the General Election May 16.

Bohall 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.

The Home Rule Option, an alternative expenditure limitation, was approved by 68 percent of the voters. It gives town officials the freedom to determine the town's own expenditures based on local, state and federal revenues. Otherwise, the state would impose a limitation on spending, and that limitation may not meet the town's needs.

Home Rule must be approved every four years. Clarkdale residents have voted in favor of it every time it has been on the ballot since its implementation in 1980.

The Clarkdale-Jerome School override was approved by a 475-260 margin. Because the 10-percent budget override was approved, the school will receive an additional $181,916 initially and continue over a seven-year period.

I am really happy that Home Rule passed, and I am glad the override passed," said Von Gausig. "I appreciate the support from the community with this election."

The election did not see as good of a voter turnout as in years prior.

"We usually have 60 to 65 percent," said VonGausig. "This was pretty low -- especially for mail-in ballots."

The election had a 43.8 percent turnout.

"It really surprised me," said Driscoll. "It is a little disappointing."

Driscoll said she does not know the reason for the low turnout.

General Election:

o April 13: Sample ballots available

o April 17: Last day to register to vote

o April 24: Ballots mailed out to voters

o May 16: General Election Day. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Town Hall will be open until 7 p.m.

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