Editorial: Ignoring status quo a step in right direction for Cottonwood
Status quo seems to not exist in the vocabulary of still-new Cottonwood City Manager Ron Corbin.
His latest re-shuffling of the City Hall deck of cards has seen Corbin close down the city’s Business Assistance Center and re-invent the economic development director position soon to be vacated by soon-retiring Richard Faust.
In the process, Corbin plans to relocate the city’s finance and human resources divisions from its current location to the former BAC building and sell the finance/human resources facility.
The reinvention of the position held by Faust over the past year will see the city double up on the economic development director responsibilities with a new emphasis on tourism. Selling the city as a great place for job growth will be complemented with its appeal as a weekend getaway.
Further emphasis on the selling of Cottonwood will be achieved through a new marketing and public information position Corbin has created with council blessing. With all of the above, Corbin has manipulated the bottom line to the city’s benefit salary-wise, and selling off a piece of city-owned real estate will certainly brighten the fiscal outlook.
These moves by Corbin are just the latest in several innovations the manager has brought to the city. A few weeks ago the manager orchestrated the sale of 2.2 acres of city-owned land that is expected to pave the way for an 85-room Springhill Suites by Marriott hotel at the corner of State Route 89A and Sixth Street.
Corbin also was responsible for putting teeth into the city’s $230,000 annual bed tax allocation to the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce. In the past, the city’s financial contribution to the chamber was more a matter of tradition than business agreement. This year, the chamber is required to provide a quarterly report to the City Council detailing how it is fulfilling the city expectations detailed in a six-page agreement. Corbin also has said future city allocations to the chamber may be based on a flat percentage of bed tax revenue as opposed to a set amount of money.
Corbin used a similar approach in the city’s annual contribution to non-profit organizations that serve Cottonwood and the Verde Valley. Instead of making those contributions based on the emotional effectiveness of the non-profit sales pitch, Corbin formed a committee to analyze the agencies making the requests and devise a scoring system to prioritize the service provided by the agencies and the amount of money each should receive.
In hiring Corbin, Cottonwood broke with a 30-plus year tradition of filling the manager’s position from within.
At the time, the conflict over hiring someone from outside Cottonwood’s government framework was with the lack of institutional knowledge they would bring to the job.
The benefit, others surmised, was that Cottonwood was long overdue for a new set of eyes; someone who would not be locked in the mindset of “this is how it’s always been done.”
Hiring Corbin was obviously a wise decision. His “new set of eyes” has resulted in innovation and accountability to the way the city does business.
Status quo has been tossed out the window at Cottonwood City Hall thanks to Mr. Corbin.
And the city is obviously better for it.
Click Below to: