Election 2016 Q&A: Cottonwood Mayoral Candidate Tim Elinski
Question 1: What was your incentive for running for this position?
Elinski: The reason I am running for Mayor and the reason I have served Cottonwood for the last 11 years is rooted in deep concern for my community.
My grandfather arrived in Arizona by boxcar during the depression and worked for the CCC, my father was raised in the then-farming community of Glendale and their stories of how Arizona used to be instilled in me a real passion for my community, and a sense of urgency for good policy and strong leadership.
I was raised in rural Arizona north of Payson and recall the last whistle blowing at our sawmill and how it forever changed the community, a story I will pass down to my kids.
This is what motivates me to work hard to ensure we have a stable economy, and we prepare for growth which remains respectful of our community's past.
Question 2: What are your goals as Mayor for the term; are there things you want to change?
Elinski: My four main priorities:
Engage the community: I'll work proactively to connect with all members of our community, including collaborating with neighboring towns and unincorporated areas.
Increase government efficiency: As a business owner, I must be focused on long-term goals and short-term necessities. I value efficiency and accountability, and will apply my proven leadership skills and public service experience to the Mayor's office.
Prepare Cottonwood for a new economy: We have the resources we need to create and attract industry which will have a positive, lasting impact on our economy and region. I will focus our branding efforts to entice entrepreneurs to our area bringing jobs with them.
Promote and preserve our natural and historic resources: Part of what will attract jobs and dollars to our economy is the great resources we have in our historic and natural amenities. I will leverage existing resources to move Cottonwood forward.
Question 3: On the issue of public participation; how long should speakers be given to address the council?
Elinski: Typically speakers have 3-5 minutes to address council during a public meeting, this allows everyone an opportunity to speak and the meeting moves along at a reasonable pace. Based on the discussion at hand, I will continue that tradition.
However, if a majority of the public feels the 5 minutes allotted them at a public meeting was the only chance to effect change, then we as a council have failed to do our job.
My main priority is to engage the community. I plan to foster a more proactive process where public engagement occurs during the planning portion of any impending ordinance or action of council by inviting stakeholders to the table.
This will ensure that we, as a community, have crafted policy that has been well vetted before it hits the chambers for vote.Age: 37
Years in Arizona/Verde Valley: Arizona born, 15 years in Verde Valley
Occupation: Self Employed General Contractor and HVAC Contractor specializing in historic restoration
Education: Graduate and Fellow of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership Flinn Brown Academy, 2013. Vocational experience/education: Obtained B-Gen General Contractors License from Arizona Registrar of Contractors, 2005. Obtained L-39 HVAC-R License through Arizona Registrar of Contractors 2014. Completed coursework from University of Oregon and College of the Redwoods 1997-99. Obtained vocational training from College of the Redwoods 1998.
Elective and Advisory Experience: Cottonwood Planning and Zoning Commission, Commissioner 2005-2006; Cottonwood City Council, Council Member 2006-2016; Cottonwood Historic Preservation Commission, Founder and Chair 2011-2016; Cottonwood Historic Home and Building Tour, Co-Founder and Organizer 2014-2016; Cottonwood Building Community Grants Committee, Member 2015-2016; Tilted Earth Planning Committee, Member 2016
Civic Affiliations:Member of the Clemenceau Heritage Museum/Verde Historical Society; Member of Local First Arizona; Former Appointee Member of Verde Valley Land Preservation Institute