A look back at the year that was in Jerome
From an almost entirely new council to a beloved radio station sounding of, here are some top Jerome stories of 2018
New mayor and council
Jerome saw an almost complete turnover in council during the August primary. Incumbent Alex Barber was the top vote-getter beating Hunter Bachrach by just one vote. Bachrach ended up stepping down from council despite having enough votes to keep his seat.
Former Mayor Frank Vander Horst did not receive enough votes to keep his seat and as a result, did not return to council. Jay Kinsella and Lew Currier chose not to run again this past election.
Jerome also approved staggered terms during the August primary.
Barber was appointed Mayor in November and Sage Harvey was appointed Vice Mayor. New council members Mandy Worth and Jack Dillenberg also took their place on the dais.
Longtime Jerome resident and former mayor, Jane Moore, was appointed to fill Bachrach’s empty seat by unanimous council approval.
Charlotte Page appointed long-term zoning administrator for Jerome
Jerome has a long-term zoning administrator again.
Charlotte Page was appointed to the position Monday, Oct. 29 during a special meeting. She was lauded with applause by members of the public following unanimous approval by Jerome Town Council.
Page was already filling the in roll as interim Zoning Administrator after Kyle Dabney resigned in June.
Unlike some past zoning administrators, Page is a local. One sentiment shared among members of council Monday is wanting to keep someone long-term.
“We’ve seen what happens,” said former Jerome Mayor Frank Vander Horst. “We get maybe a year and then have to start the process all over.”
Gulch Radio sounds off … then back on
Over the summer, Jerome’s Gulch Radio went off the air after owner Richard Martin announced that they needed to move their antenna to a new location at the end of their lease.
The antenna was originally located at the old Jerome High School. Martin said they had to move their antenna because their landlord opted to not renew their lease.
In August, Jerome Town Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit during a special meeting Wednesday, allowing Gulch Radio to build its antenna at a new location.
The station is currently being streamed online at gulchradio.com.
Jerome tackles drone problem
Last spring, former Council Member Hunter Bachrach sponsored and agenda item on proposed signage notifying drone hobbyists to follow State law.signage
The regulation of drones by towns, cities or counties is prohibited by ARS 13-3729. Drone operators looking to fly over Jerome do require authorization from the Cottonwood Airport.
The Council gave Town Staff to move forward with purchasing signage stating along the lines of “Unauthorized Drone Usage Prohibited” displayed with the Cottonwood Airport’s phone number.
Jerome weighs parking kiosks on Hull Ave.
As Jerome Town Council weighs options for different streams of revenue, one solution they are considering is paid parking on Hull Avenue.
Right now, parking in Jerome is free – but also limited.
One sentiment most in council chambers could agree on: they like seeing tourists pay for things.
According to the last U.S. census, Jerome has a population of 455. Jerome also receives the second-most amount of tourism in the Verde Valley, according to a Northern Arizona University-sponsored Verde Valley tourism survey.
“This is something no one wants to talk about,” said former Vice Mayor Jay Kinsella, during a July council meeting, “I like seeing visitors pay for things – we’re outnumbered folks.”
Jerome approves general plan
Jerome adopted its general plan – almost three decades behind schedule.
Jerome was operating under a general plan established in 1981. Arizona law requires that a municipality’s general plan be updated every 10 years.
A General Plan Committee wrote the drafted new plan over a span of two years. Last year, shortly after Planning and Zoning Administrator Kyle Dabney was hired, the Town held public meetings to receive feedback on the drafted plan. Concerns raised included the language regarding tourism and the matter of water usage.