Election 2016 Q&A No. 2: Randy Garrison Candidate, Yavapai County Supervisor District 3
Question 1: With every development project that is proposed in the Verde Valley, the question invariably comes up: "Where are we going to get the water?" Is this a no-growth scare tactic, or is groundwater sustainability a real problem for the Verde Valley?
Garrison: Growth means jobs. Jobs mean income. Income equals local spending. Local spending means an increase in economic development. All this means more use of water. Water for houses and water for businesses means more ground water pumping.
Ground water pumping means less water in the Verde River. Less water in the Verde River means:
a weaker local economy
and a less attractive place to live.
It also means a significantly diminished ecosystem, unless we figure out how to use less water elsewhere.
If you only want growth, then open the gates. But, if you are like me and want:
a strong economy
a beautiful place to live
and a continuously flowing Verde River
then we must figure out ways to save water elsewhere.
This is Arizona, water sustainability is always going to be a problem. We have to be smart about growth.
Question 2: In the past year, there has been friction and conflict between the county supervisors and the Yavapai County Assessor. What is the healthy balancing act between budget oversight and allowing elected officials such as the assessor, treasurer, sheriff, etc., to carry out the statutory provisions of their respective offices?
Garrison: This "friction" between the County Supervisors and other elected officials is an unfortunate or fortunate, depending on how you look at it, byproduct of keeping our county running lean.
We have an election system that provides the public a voice in determining who manages some of the counties most demanding departments, and that voice must be heard. Highly technical and skilled jobs are best left to those with the training to produce results within their departments, and they must be given the opportunity to do so.
Our system also elects the Board of Supervisors who is responsible for oversight, and makes sure the public receives what it is paying for through an established process of accountability and consequences.
Let's replace "friction" with "respect." As your Supervisor, I will continually look for ways to provide the highest level of service with the lowest possible burden on our taxes and our citizens.
Question 3: Is there "fat" or duplication of service in the Yavapai County government structure? What areas of Yavapai County government need to be streamlined for efficiency of service and how do you propose that be accomplished?
Garrison: Over the past 10 years, the county has been vigilant in pursuit of efficiency. They have kept their pencil sharp, streamlining departments and budgets in pursuit of being responsible to the tax payer.
If there is "fat" then it is not obvious like some of our local municipalities, who have let spending and debt accumulation run amuk.
As an clected official, I have been the constant voice of "NO" because like the County, the dollars were just not there. This is the same fiscally responsible leadership I will bring to the position of County Supervisor.
Serving as a guardian of public money, I have worked through the process of cutting budgets in a manner that did not negatively impact our duties or obligations yet continued to provide opportunity and support.
That is the balancing act that comes with this job. I have the leadership and track record to back it.Age: 53
Years in Arizona/Verde Valley: 5th Generation Verde Valley Resident born in Flagstaff, 45 years in the Verde Valley
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