Cottonwood City Council Election Q&A: Jackie Narin
Cottonwood has had three city managers in the past 30 years and all were promoted from within. Has Cottonwood’s program of succession training served the city well? Should the city continue that course with the selection of its new city manager? Or is it time for a new, outside set of eyes be brought in to manage the city? Why?
Most companies/agencies have policies of promoting from within so it is not surprising that the last three city managers were promoted from within. For upper level positions in any agency, including city government, I believe that is it prudent to conduct a broad search for the right candidate which would include current city staff interested in the position but also opening the search up to individuals from outside the city staff to ensure that the person who best meets the job qualifications and best fits the community and the vision of the city council is the one who is hired for the position.
The current city council is looking at using an outside recruiting firm for this purpose which I agree is the right approach to filling this impending vacancy.
With housing development back up and running in Cottonwood, what is your philosophy on development standards and the city’s role in regulating growth?
We do need more affordable housing in Cottonwood especially for low-income individuals and families. I think that the city should monitor any growth to ensure that this growth does not happen too rapidly for the city to keep up with in terms of having adequate resources, services, and infrastructure to support the increased population.
There are some housing developments that have been started but not completed at this point; these are communities that are being built in phases. There have been some housing developments recently approved by the current council to proceed with development that has not quite started yet.
I think the city should allow these developments that have been started and approved to be developed before looking at any other new housing development to ensure that the city does not grow too rapidly.
How would you rate Cottonwood’s success with economic development? What kind of commercial development is appropriate for Cottonwood and where should it be located, and why? What is the role of the city council in the economic development of the city?
Economic development has been growing slowly in Cottonwood since the recession. I would like to see the city attract more businesses to the community especially out around the airport where there is a commercial development center.
This area is not too close to residential areas and in close proximity to the airport which can be utilized by company’s coming in and out of the city.
I would also like to continue to see businesses come into the city that are not chain or big-box businesses.
The feel of Cottonwood is of a small town/city and I would like to see that feeling maintained which may not happen if the city grows too quickly.
The role of the city council is to ensure that the city makes decisions that are in the best interests of the citizens so the council’s role regarding economic development is to ensure that such development is in the best interests of the citizens. People live here because of how they feel in Cottonwood which is a small city.
If there is too much growth, that small city feeling goes away and so may many of our citizens who left big cities to live here.