Jackie Baker seeks election as Camp Verde mayor
Primary Faceoff: Q&A with Camp Verde mayoral candidates
Jackie Baker bio
Age: Did not provide
Years in Arizona/Verde Valley: 35
Professional (and military) history: 20-plus years as a property and casualty insurance agent.
Education: Required Courses for Insurance Agent Certification
Elective and Advisory Experience: Camp Verde Town Council Member 17 years. Liaison for Camp Verde Council to Northern Arizona Council of Government. Past Secretary Treasurer and Vice Chair of Northern Arizona Council of Governments. Elected Trustee for Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool
Civic Affiliations: MatForce, Volunteer Camp Verde Promotions, Previous Chamber of Commerce, Focus Future Committee
Question 1: Now that the race for the Camp Verde mayor is down to two candidates, how do you feel about another public forum be held for the candidates to restate positions and to dispel any mistruths that are inherent in the political process? Please explain.
Baker: I am grateful to the Verde Valley League of Women Voters for sponsoring the upcoming Candidate forum on Sept. 27th; it will give Charlie and I an excellent opportunity to state our ideas and goals. This kind of opportunity to meet with citizens and listen to their questions and concerns is invaluable to candidates for public office.
Question 2: When council votes on a matter in one of its meetings, each vote counts the same. This means the mayor has no more authority than any of the other council members. But the mayor is still the face of the town. As mayor, what would you do – or continue to do – to build those necessary relationships with the outlying and partnering communities?
Baker: Regarding the Mayor’s role as a member of our town council, I view it as one member of a team. The Mayor, as well as all council members, has a definite role in building relationships with all our other peer groups. As Mayor I will continue with the good, working relationships that I’ve already established with our neighboring communities in the Verde Valley. In addition to these, I’ve been fortunate to establish these same kind of working relationships with other council members around the state and in the Prescott/Prescott Valley areas. Good and ongoing communications and the sharing of issues faced and resolved can help all of our communities.
Question 3: Back in 2014, the Camp Verde council voted to approve an increase in the town’s sales tax. It was not a popular decision, but the increase brought additional revenue to the community. Do you believe that it is your duty to make tough decisions regardless of their popularity as you serve the short- and long-term needs of all your 11,000-plus constituents? Please explain.
Baker: The duty of the mayor, as well as all council members, is to research, review and make the decision that you believe is the best for all of the citizens in our town. If your vote/decision affects your “popularity”, you will simply go on to the next issue; if you’re doing the very best you can for our citizens, you’ll be able to face whatever comes along.
In closing, my view is that, while the Mayor does have the leadership role in council, the Mayor is simply 1 of 7 on a team. As a team we do our best for our town to provide the public health, safety and services that our citizens need and expect. As we’ve taught our children, do your best and the rest will follow.