Sun, Nov. 17

Q&A: Randy Garrison, Candidate, Yavapai County Supervisor District 3

Question 1: What level of service should Yavapai County provide to urbanized non-incorporated communities such as Verde Village and the Village of Oak Creek? Is it the responsibility of the county to provide urbanized services to such areas?

Garrison: As a strong supporter of individual rights and self-determination, these are important questions to consider. Our District is fairly unique in the fact that the majority of residents live within incorporated entities, but what we are talking about is our "urbanized" areas, like Verde Village, Village of Oak Creek and Verde Sante Fe. These areas are under the jurisdiction of the County because the residents have chosen against annexation or incorporation.

If I choose to live in an area with less government, have I also made a decision to expect fewer County resources? No! Yavapai County collects taxes and should return that money back to our communities, because we all need Public Safety, Emergency Services and Roads.

I understand why you made the decision to live where you want. County services will be provided to all residents of District 3, regardless of that choice. Services will be accessible, and the roads you travel will be just as good.

Question 2: Does the oft-heard claim of a Prescott-Verde Valley divide exist with Yavapai County Government? How can Yavapai County better serve the Verde Valley?

Garrison: You bet it has historically, and it rarely worked in our favor. Mingus Mountain has always been a political barrier, but Yavapai County government is currently doing a good job of distributing resources through an established culture of cooperation.

This did not happen by accident or through goodwill, but through persistent and dedicated effort. Supervisors Davis and Thurman demonstrated repeatedly what regional cooperation looks like, and the Verde Valley has benefited. Together they have been great advocates, and the results are evident, even with competition for precious and shrinking resources.

The most important question to ask now is, Who is the best person to continue working with Supervisor Thurman, and the rest of the Board, to maintain or increase County resources coming to the Verde Valley? My track record on regional issues such as economic development and education clearly demonstrates an ability to think and act effectively while representing our entire Valley. It is crucial that the person you elect demonstrates the ability to work cooperatively with officials and administrators from other jurisdictions. I have that record.

Question 3: What are the growth challenges/opportunities in the Verde Valley and how can the county do a better job of weighing environmental and water concerns about growth with the rights of property owners to develop their property?

Garrison: Government works for the people, not the other way around. If you want to infringe on my property rights, you better be prepared to make a really good case for it. My family has been here for 5 generations, which has given me a deep respect for place and has taught me the importance of protecting what we have.

We all benefit by living in this beautiful Valley, and we want to see it stay that way. Growth is a given, and stress will be placed on our natural resources. We are learning how to develop our land using smart growth and sound water conservation practices, and we also understand how to correct some of our current use concerns.

Through sound planning and a strengthened commitment to protect our resources, we have the ability to enjoy a high quality of life, while still supporting growth and sound economic development. We must respect ownership, yet commit to higher standards and continue to pursue a sustainable future.

Age: 53

Years in Arizona/Verde Valley: 5th Generation Verde Valley Resident born in Flagstaff, 45 years in the Verde Valley

Occupation: Self-employed, Small Business owner in Old Town Cottonwood

Education: Mingus Union HS graduate, 2 Associate Degrees from Yavapai College, Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University College of Business - Summa Cum Laude

Elective and Advisory Experience: City of Cottonwood Council Member, Cottonwood Oak-Creek School District Governing Board member and Chair, Mingus Union High School Governing Board member, Yavapai College Governing Board Advisory Committee, Northern Arizona Council of Governments Regional Council Member, City of Cottonwood Economic Development Council member and Chair, Arizona Backflow Association Board member, City of Cottonwood Public Safely Personnel Boards for Fire and Police, City of Cottonwood Judicial Review and Appointments Advisory Board, City of Cottonwood Subdivision Ordinance Development Committee, Yavapai County Viticulture Sector Strategy Committee, Town of Clarkdale Water Advisory Committee

Civic Affiliations: Verde Valley Wine Consortium Board and Founder, City of Cottonwood Thunder Valley Rally Committee, Yavapai College Foundation Greater Verde Valley Chapter, Yavapai College Southwest Wine Center Founder, Executive Board Clarkdale-Verde Kiwanis, Clarkdale-Verde Kiwanis Foundation Board, City of Sedona Citizen Police Academy, City of Cottonwood Citizen Police Academy, NRA Lifetime member, Cottonwood Old Town Association, Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Mingus Mountain Republicans, Arizona Farm Bureau Yavapai County
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