Letters to the Editor, Feb. 14, 2007

Mayor's track record speaks volumes about the man

Editor:

Please let me tell you about my husband, Mayor Ruben Jauregui.

Ruben is a loving husband, father, son, brother and friend. Together we raised our two daughters Theresa and Ramona, to be self reliant and independent thinkers.

Ruben was always supportive of whatever sports our daughters wanted to play and he involved himself in their lives, protecting and nurturing them and instilling values and ethics that served them well into adulthood.

Ruben has always been a generous and caring man. When my father passed away, he helped me take care of my mother, as she had Alzheimer's. Also, when my father-in-law passed away, we took in Ruben's mother and cared for her, too.

In addition to serving our country as a veteran of the Viet Nam War, Ruben continued giving back to the community by coaching girl's softball for seven years. Some of those same girls, now women, stop by occasionally and thank Ruben for his friendship.

Although Ruben devotes a lot of time to the various boards and commissions he serves on, he still maintains an open-door policy. Whether it is Cottonwood City staff or the public, he always makes time to listen and talk.

Yes, Ruben has been doing the same full-time job of styling hair for the past 28 years but he always makes time to serve our city and our citizens.

Because the position of Mayor is a part time job, Ruben will talk to you at our place of business (Wild West Haircutters) or in our home. We have received Cottonwood Citizens in our home as early as 5:45 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m.

Ruben is a progressive and caring mayor who loves Cottonwood and treasures the wonderful citizens that make Cottonwood special.

Ruben takes pride in staying abreast of current events and the changing dynamics in our city's environment.

Ruben keeps a tight rein on our city budget and finances, thereby eliminating the need to impose a city property tax, while maintaining a healthy budget and monetary safety reserve.

He fully supports our vibrant Senior Citizen and youthful population, through assisted funding of senior projects and the creation of a youth council.

Ruben also does a great job networking and building alliances with Federal, State and County officials to achieve efficient progress in our city projects such as the construction and maintenance of our roads and bridges; the Mingus Road extension and the widening of SR260 on the Cottonwood side were great achievements.

Ruben is a proven leader, a caring mayor and a wonderful husband.

Please vote for my husband, Ruben Jauregui, for mayor.

Veronica Jauregui

Cottonwood

We've got a good mayor, and we need to keep him

Editor:

I'm glad Tony Gioia is taking a strong stand to impose development fees on these out-of town developers. The town of Camp Verde can use this much-needed revenue to help cover those expenses brought on by the growth. You need look no further than over the mountain to Prescott Valley's unplanned, disorganized sprawl and the resulting confusion and expense dumped on the town's infrastructure (roads, water, etc) by the departing developers. Growth for growth's sake can ruin a town. Tony knows this stuff. He's not anti-growth ‹ he just wants the town to manage the growth. He is also very well informed regarding the water issues.

It's important that we elect the right council members. John Wischmeyer, Alan Buchanan, and Mike Parry are not "yes" men. These guys are independent thinkers, have a solid understanding of the issues, and possess the cooperative spirit needed to make things run smoothly for the town.

Seems like Camp Verde's town government has taken a turn for the better these last couple years. Do you remember all the petty argumentative backbiting (and generally asinine antics) that made our town government such a joke a while back? Well, that's all pretty much behind us now cause we've got a good mayor, and we need to keep him in there.

Robert Shawley

Camp Verde

We support and stand by Mitch Dickinson all the way

Editor:

I am so tired of reading how my brother-in-law gets picked apart in every Letter to the Editor.

Camp Verde does need economic development and with economic development you get residential development.

There are no good jobs in Camp Verde for the kids getting out of school, unless they want to say "Do you want fries with that" for the rest of their lives.

From what I read about Tony Gioia, he has not fulfilled any campaign promises he used during his run for mayor, like the bridge to nowhere over Clear Creek. You don't have to be an engineer to see it was never possible.

I do read the Bugle every week to see what is going on in the town. My husband and I are from Camp Verde and all I see is elementary school yard bickering.

You people are the reason I live and will keep on living in Alaska. There are no good-paying jobs to make us go back.

You might say that I have no say in what is going on in town, but I do own property and pay taxes so I do have an opinion.

We support and stand by Mitch Dickinson all the way.

Randal and Kaidie Dickinson

Anchorage, Alaska

What kind of message is being sent now?

Editor:

I am a little confused about the selective anger and indignation coming from some of Camp Verde's Town Council members.

A short time ago, there was a lot of anger and indignation concerning the minor traffic tickets a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission had, and the really bad message this was sending to the people.

Shortly after that there was a lot of anger and indignation concerning town employees spending their own money on a Christmas Party at the wrong business, and the really bad message this was sending to the people.

Now that a member of the Council, who by the way was not even elected to his position, commits a federal offense by stuffing private mail boxes with flyers, something any high school kid should know better than to do. The only sound coming from those Council members is the sound of silence.

Well, I suppose that sends its own message to the people. A message of selective anger and indignation. The silence is almost deafening. I would have to say Mr. Parry did not deserve to be appointed to the Town Council, and he certainly does not deserve to be elected to the Town Council. Not unless he takes some classes on how an elected official should act. Just so no really bad messages get sent to the people.

Beck Hubbell

Camp Verde

Sheriff's plan needs second look

Editor:

I was shocked to read in the Feb. 4 Camp Verde Bugle that Sheriff Steve Waugh will disband the Senior Resource Officer from the Beaver Creek School District at the end of the school year, May 2007.

You say you are starting a new program "Doing Right by Kids." This program should be phased in during 2007-2008, before you remove the current SRO deputies. I spoke to Karin Ward, principal and superintendent of Beaver Creek School and some of her staff about this new approach. They have not been briefed on what the concepts and responsibilities will be upon staff regarding "Doing Right by Kids."

School personal need to understand the pros and cons of this new approach. Will it work at Beaver Creek School? How much responsibility of time and commitment will be expected from each teacher and office staff beyond their current workload? What hands-on experience and contact will the children receive? It is unthinkable for the sheriff to increase school pressure upon teachers and staff when they are already working beyond what they should be.

Our present SRO, Shonna Willingham, has had an amazing effect upon many children at Beaver Creek School. It takes time to gain the confidence of children to respect and trust law enforcement. Until your new program can be established effectively, schools will need to call 911 when they have a situation requiring law enforcement assistance. This will mean bringing deputies who have very little training in understanding elementary school children compared to the specialized training the SRO have received. When deputies respond to school emergencies you are defeating your objective -- keeping law enforcement personal on the streets to patrol our communities.

Our Kiwanis Club is an organization committed to helping children in the Beaver Creek area. We assist Beaver Creek School in many of its programs. Shonna Willingham has proven to be an outstanding SRO. Her removal will mean years lost in building continuity of our children in respecting and believing in law enforcement and bring immediate encouragement to children in need.

I urge you to rethink and delay removing SRO from the schools in Yavapai County until the "Doing Right by Kids" has been tested and found effective.

Don Rotta, President

Beaver Creek Kiwanis

Top-notch medical professionals in Verde Valley

Editor:

On Jan. 16, I had a life-threatening situation and my wife called 911. We can not thank the Verde Valley Fire District paramedics and firemen that rushed me to VVMC enough for their fast response and skill.

I would also like to give special thanks to everyone from the emergency room doctors and nurses to all at VVMC where I spent three weeks.

To all the nurses in all departments from Med Surge, Trans Care, ICU and OR. I was in all of these areas and they did a wonderful job in aiding my recovery. I cannot thank them enough for their skills and caring support to get me through this ordeal

We in the Verde Valley should be thankful that we have such excellent medical facility and well-trained and caring doctors, nurses and staff.

Again, my thanks to all and may God bless them.

Gary Almada

Cottonwood/Bridgeport

Bessler had the responsibility of choosing her opportunities

Editor:

To my dismay and chagrin, your reporter, Jon Hutchinson, stated in his article in the Feb. 7 Verde Independent that Brittany Bressler was "the young 20-year-old Cottonwood girl..."

When did our laws change? The last time I looked, one was legally of age at 18 years old.

At this age of responsibility young men and women are given the opportunity to choose - without parental consent - to vote, to buy their own homes, to start their own families, to own their own businesses, to run for their local and state governments, and to defend their country with their lives.

According to the Defense Manpower Data Center as of April, 2002 - 38,292 young men and women - 20 and under - had made the choice to protect those opportunities and more for their friends and strangers.

I grieve for all of those involved in the choices that Brittany Bessler made that placed her, and all of those in her path, in peril. I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to see a young woman that I'd raised from birth taken away for eight years.

I cannot imagine what I would feel facing that same young woman after her actions had been part of the death of my child.

Your reporter was incorrect to call her a "girl." She had the responsiblity of choosing her opportunities. Now she will face the consequences of those actions.

Pam Dummermuth

Clarkdale

Let's not bankrupt our beautiful little city in the process

Editor:

I have been moved by the astute observations of Mr. Kevin Ordean of Cornville about the proposed development of Bella Montana (thousands of new homes) and those of Mr. Brian Keele of Cottonwood about the sales tax. It is hard to disagree with them.

It is becoming abundantly clear that an Arizona city cannot survive on the revenue coming from a sales tax alone. Or from plunking down of dozens of new homes in a development. The troubles facing Mesa and Fountain Hills, which rely only on sales tax revenue, and allowed thousands of homes to be built within them, should be a warning to any city that believes it can operate only on a sales tax while permitting almost out-of-control growth. Even Sedona's mayor has cautioned that Sedona's city government may not be able to run forever on sales tax revenue.

Building more houses within a city may generate short-term income to the city coffers but in the end, the new homes only escalate the problems of finding the money to support the operation of a city. As Mr. Keele has observed, a sales tax may cover "essential services . . . but not [a city's] infrastructure."

Cottonwood's present mayor is on record as believing that you can support a city solely on sales tax and apparently continues to support unchecked growth (he was a leader in approving the Mesquite Hills PAD). It may be good election rhetoric, but it evidences a complete lack of vision. It's simply fanciful thinking, especially in view of the debt the city is getting ready to incur over the next few years.

If you take a careful look at what's currently happening in Cottonwood, you will see that sales tax revenues are being mortgaged for years. For example, on Feb. 20, the mayor and council will most likely approve purchasing a $20 million dollar bond to be repaid over the next 20 years for the new regional recreation center and three other projects. Annual funding for those bonds comes directly from sales tax revenue. Once the regional recreation center is up, Cottonwood citizens will be annually paying off the bond at around $1.6 million a year and an additional $250,000 to $300,000 (and even more in the first years of operation) to fund it. Meanwhile, the city is facing the possibility of expending another $25 million to $40 million on a new wastewater facility, possibly located near Arizona 260. What does that leave for city staff salaries or the upkeep of the streets and sidewalks in this city? Granted the regional recreation center was voted in, more or less, by the voters. But, does this mean that Cottonwood will have a terrific regional recreation center, a new sewer plant, and little else over the next two decades?

And then there's that graph the city circulated before the November election with the information about the regional recreation center. The graph seemed to make pretty clear that in four to five years the city will have to increase the sales tax to cover these expenditures because it will run out of funds to pay back the debt. Does this mean, like what has happened in Mesa, that there will be large lay-offs of staff? Or a big increase in the sales tax?

If there was ever a time in Cottonwood's future where it needs a new vision, strong leadership, and someone to take serious control of the city budget, it is now. It is time for a change in the mayor's chair. Of the three candidates, it is clear that Diane Joens is the most qualified to take that position and give Cottonwood new, responsible leadership. I like her slogan "let's move Cottonwood Forward."

Only, let's not bankrupt the beautiful little city in the process. I don't believe she will.

Darold Smith

Cottonwood

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