|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:00|
Bob Burnside will serve another two years as the mayor of Camp Verde after edging out challenger Steve Goetting by 51 votes in the March 8 primary election.
Three people were elected to the Camp Verde Town Council. Incumbent Carol German receiv-ed the majority of all votes cast with 1,503, according to unofficial results from the Yavapai County Elections Office. Challengers Alan Buchanan and Bruce George won with 1,357 and 1,266 votes respectively. Incumbent Norma Garrison lost her bid for reelection by only garnering 991 votes.
Voters were able to vote for mayor and choose three of the four candidates running for regular seats on the council.
Because of the way state law is set up for nonpartisan elections, the winners received enough votes to clinch the contest; there will be no general election for mayor and council in May and the winners will be sworn into office in June.
According to Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin, the only issue on the ballot for May will be consideration of a continued franchise deal with APS, the power company.
Turnout was low compared to what Camp Verde usually sees, with only around 36 percent of the town’s more than 5,000 registered voters returning their ballots by mail.
“I’m pleased to serve for another two years, since the people asked,” Burnside said. “And I’m happy to do it.”
Burnside said he knows the next year is going to be tough for the town financially, and while the economic situation may not have reached the bottom, he thinks it’s within sight and he’s prepared to start his second term as mayor.
As for his opponent, Burnside said he was extremely impressed by Goetting’s showings in the polls.
“He made one hellacious move for mayor,” Burnside said. “I really hope he stays in town and continues to contribute.”
Goetting is a local event organizer who has most recently been responsible for pulling off the annual Pecan, Wine and Antique Festival since the town dropped sponsorship.
German, who was appointed to fill a vacancy two years ago, now has the clear support of the electorate.
“I do have to say I was surprised,” German said. “I’m confirmed to do the best I can for the entire community and try to live up to the faith the people have put in me.”
George, a former member of the town’s now-defunct Parks and Recreation Commission, said at a recent candidate forum that getting the town-owned parkland purchased from the U.S. Forest Service was one of his top priorities.
George, who campaigned in part by walking around town picking up litter while wearing a sandwich board, said he also wanted to focus on bringing more dollars into the town’s economy.
Buchanan has served on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission where he said he’s seen a lot of problems that can only be fixed from the council level.
Economic development is also a concern for Buchanan.
Garrison, elected to the council in 2006, originally hadn’t planned to run for reelection. Garrison said she decided to throw her hat in the ring again in order to give people a choice.