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Cliffs, tribe relations define hopefuls
Written by Staff Reporter   
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 14:02

The Camp Verde Journal asked Camp Verde Town Council candidates these two questions regarding housing and regionalism.

1. Are you in favor of Community Land Trust houses on the
“Cliffs” site or of the town being involved with affordable housing?

2. What do you suggest to foster coordination with the Yavapai-Apache Nation and with other towns in the region?

These are their answers.

Norma Garrison

1. “Five or six houses at the Cliffs is even more than what we can hope for.
“There’s been a great big misunderstanding about this 5 acres. The Housing Commission right now, all we’re doin’ is lookin’ at every direction that that 5 acres could possibly be used to get the most money out of it that we possibly can.

“All we do is gather up all the facts and take it back to town council; they make the decisions. We’re looking at land trust — we don’t even know if that’s a possibility for us, ’cause we have to get a developer to come alongside and be willing to work with us with the land trust.

“All this right now is a big ‘What if?’
“The dream situation right now would be if we could get two or three houses out of it.

“A developer will buy that land, put in 40 houses. We’re just trying to get 20 to 25 houses on there, so the density isn’t as great as it’s zoned for.

“And then if we could get two or three houses, they will look the same.

The only difference is, it’s gonna be workforce housing. The land will not be sold, only the house that sits on the land. That’s what makes it affordable, but the house will look the same.

“And then we’re gonna look at, the very last thing is just outright selling it. And then if a developer buys it, they’ll put the 40 units on it, because that’s what it’s zoned for. And they won’t have to ask anybody their opinion. They will just do it.

“I know the neighborhood would like to leave that open space, but that’s not an option. It has to generate funds for the library, one way or another. And that’s not our decision — that was Mr. [Scott] Simonton’s and Town Council’s decision.”

2. “Until we clean up our political mess, no one’s gonna trust us.
“You can’t even handle your own household, how are you gonna get involved in somebody else’s?

“We have not always done what we said — that’s with the Native Americans and with other towns.

“We’ve gotta back up. We’ve gotta look at our town codes, our code of ethics, and live up to them.

“We have to fix our town codes and quit just adding things to them, which just makes things worse. But we have to absolutely start somewhere with dealing with the problem when we find it, instead of saying, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a problem,’ and then we walk away from it, and we don’t do anything with it.”

Jackie Baker

1. “I’m totally supportive of a land trust and have really tried to, as much as I could, be knowledgeable on that.

“As I’ve said many times, affordable housing certainly is a national issue. I think this is our opportunity, and council has taken those steps by pursuing what we need to do to set up a land trust.

“If the housing can be built there on that donated land, and we can create a land trust there for four, five houses in a group, absolutely I’m supportive of that — whether we are able to do that there and/or another location — because there is such a need for this all over.

“I would like to see us promote a regional aim or goal for affordable housing.

“With any kind of smart growth, you really need to address higher-density housing in your main part of your town where you can do infill.

“That helps with your infrastructure because much of it is already there or can be easily expanded. That also helps you to avoid sprawl, and you don’t want that. Then in your outlying areas, you can have your larger lots.

“Down in the main part that’s where your little shop was, your stables or your general store and that kind of thing. So as we expand out in that downtown redevelopment as time goes along, maybe that could be a mixed use in those blocks around Main Street, so that you could have some residential and small business. Maybe your retail shop in the bottom and living quarters above — like it used to be in old-time days.”

2. “Now, granted, the [Yavapai-Apache] Nation moves on some different time frames.

“For the longest time, they’ve been working on getting their trust land, and then they have housing to build, so they really have been busy with so many things, but they have always extended a hand, been willing to cooperate with most anything.

“Both councils would like to have periodic work sessions together. They are wonderful citizens, and I look for that cooperation to continue from now on. I have nothing but thanks to give the Nation and appreciation for what they do.

“I think transportation needs to be a goal for the entire Verde Valley — Cottonwood and Sedona have partnered to address that.

“We’re a relatively small land area, but we’re figuring approximately 70,000 people in the Verde Valley, and we have all these tourist spots people want to come to, not to mention serving our workers, the elderly that need to be able to get to doctors and hospitals.

“So we really need to have a regional, solid transit system that serves at least our three main communities, and, that way, I think it could also serve some of the ones along the way.

“It will probably be, I’m sure, a money-losing proposition.”

Harry Duke

1. “The land trust idea — I think it needs to be explored further.

“I think that town staff is working hard in that area, and I think that they need to be commended for their effort.

“As to the site in the Cliffs, I’m not convinced that that’s the place to start the land trust, but I remain open.

“I stand behind anything that we can do to acquire the funds that will help the library.

“From what I understand, the land trust idea is a feasible one — whether it gets done there or anywhere else, I’m not sure.

“The real problem being that land at $100,000 an acre or more is just not affordable housing land.

“I mean, you have to have some density, I think, when you start talkin’ affordable housing land.

“We definitely need the money from the proceeds for the library because I think it’s gonna be quite some time before impact fees raise anywhere near the money that they’re gonna have to have to start a library project.

“Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned kind of a guy, like I am on taxes. I kinda think that the more government gets involved, the bigger screw-up we have.

“We definitely need some affordable housing in town.

2. “Communication and trust — and I’ll tell ya what, we have not fostered the trust at Town Hall. With the things that are goin’ on down at Town Hall. It does not foster communication. It does not foster trust.

“They look at us like, ‘You can’t even take care of your own matters — what do we want to deal with you?’

“We’ve tried to shaft the [Yavapai-Apache] Nation several times on different issues. On that [Yavapai-Apache Sand and Rock] issue quite a few years ago, we were in a lawsuit with them, and they don’t trust us one bit. And so they look back and say, ‘Hey, we’ll do what we want to do.’ And, believe me, they’ve got the power, the money and the wherewithal to do it. And they’re gonna have the land, along Hwy. 260, out there past the jail, to do it with.

“If we don’t get movin’, we’re gonna be in the same situation as when Prescott gave Wal-Mart and Home Depot so much grief. Where’d they go? To the Indian reservation. The tribe has all that property out there on the highway. Believe me, we need to work with the tribe, because, as far as economic development, it’s gonna benefit them, it’s gonna benefit us and it’s vitally important that we tie in with them — they’ve got a sewer system out there we could tie into.

“We are kind of a divided community right now, and I don’t think it does us any good when do we do business with anybody, ’cause they’re not sure who has the upper hand at the time they’re talkin’ to us.

“Actually, what we wind up doin’ is shootin’ ourselves in the foot, and the other communities are takin’ advantage of it.

Mike Parry
1. “I’m not sure new housing is the way to go.
“As I’ve mentioned in the past, I think we have a two-fold opportunity to explore the Verde Lakes area as a potential of being one of the most beautiful portions of our town.

“We, the town, should invest in individual properties, one at a time, or as finances will permit, clean them up and place workforce families in them with low- or no-interest loans.

“A regular review of the homes with respect to maintenance and improvements will beautify and stabilize the area.

“I think it’s a win-win situation — we put families in housing that will appreciate in value in the area and appreciate in beauty in the area.

“The other method that I’m hearing about, which is good and fine and dandy, tends to really have the people’s investment stall or not keep pace with the rest of the market.

“This situation will still work in the town core, too.

“My point of it is that people are helpin’ themselves right out of the gate, and we’re just getting ’em started, and otherwise they fly on their own. And they make money on their own, and they do well on their own.
“So in five years, they could step up and buy another house, ’cause they’ve not made $5,000 — they might have made $40,000 or $50,000.

“What bothers me is the mindset of everybody that has to have new. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a new home until I built it, and I was 45 years old when I did it.

“We’re tellin’ people that we need to recycle, but our society is throwin’ away everything. We have to build new homes, we have to have new cars. Everything’s gotta be new, new, new.

“I don’t want these folks to have to be hooked onto some government agency — we want ‘em to fly on their own and be successful on their own.”

2. “Let me first address the [Yavapai-Apache] Nation — it’s a tough question.

“From time to time we do discuss some infrastructure things with them.
“They donate funds to our educational and our economic concerns, such as the high school programs and social events. They’re very, very generous people.

“Yet I feel they’re a separate nation, and this may be a barrier between us because of their past years of their oppression.

“And I feel strongly that we still need to earn their trust. I don’t believe we have it. I truly don’t believe we have it.

“So, I want to get over these hurdles. It goes pretty deep. We have not been a trustworthy society with them for a long time, and I think a lot of the elders still feel that way.

“And I really hate going to the Yavapai-Apaches with our hand out — I’m at the end of my rope with that. I’d like to go take somethin’ to them. We tried to, and we do from time to time, but it’s minuscule compared to what they do for us.

“And I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like a good neighbor when I do that. To be interested in your neighbor, you should get to know ’em, and with all the functions I’ve been at, I still don’t feel I do.

“We do work with our other municipalities — I just went to a meeting with the new mayor of Cottonwood.

“I think the biggest nut I’d like to crack is I’d love to see our neighbors sit down with us and tell us what they think. I think our channels of communication are open and they’re getting better.”

The Camp Verde Journal asked Camp Verde Town Council candidates these two questions regarding housing and regionalism.

1. Are you in favor of Community Land Trust houses on the
“Cliffs” site or of the town being involved with affordable housing?

2. What do you suggest to foster coordination with the Yavapai-Apache Nation and with other towns in the region?
These are their answers.

Norma Garrison
1. “Five or six houses at the Cliffs is even more than what we can hope for.
“There’s been a great big misunderstanding about this 5 acres. The Housing Commission right now, all we’re doin’ is lookin’ at every direction that that 5 acres could possibly be used to get the most money out of it that we possibly can.

“All we do is gather up all the facts and take it back to town council; they make the decisions. We’re looking at land trust — we don’t even know if that’s a possibility for us, ’cause we have to get a developer to come alongside and be willing to work with us with the land trust.
“All this right now is a big ‘What if?’

“The dream situation right now would be if we could get two or three houses out of it.

“A developer will buy that land, put in 40 houses. We’re just trying to get 20 to 25 houses on there, so the density isn’t as great as it’s zoned for.

“And then if we could get two or three houses, they will look the same.

The only difference is, it’s gonna be workforce housing. The land will not be sold, only the house that sits on the land. That’s what makes it affordable, but the house will look the same.

“And then we’re gonna look at, the very last thing is just outright selling it. And then if a developer buys it, they’ll put the 40 units on it, because that’s what it’s zoned for. And they won’t have to ask anybody their opinion. They will just do it.

“I know the neighborhood would like to leave that open space, but that’s not an option. It has to generate funds for the library, one way or another. And that’s not our decision — that was Mr. [Scott] Simonton’s and Town Council’s decision.”

2. “Until we clean up our political mess, no one’s gonna trust us.
“You can’t even handle your own household, how are you gonna get involved in somebody else’s?

“We have not always done what we said — that’s with the Native Americans and with other towns.


“We’ve gotta back up. We’ve gotta look at our town codes, our code of ethics, and live up to them.

“We have to fix our town codes and quit just adding things to them, which just makes things worse. But we have to absolutely start somewhere with dealing with the problem when we find it, instead of saying, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a problem,’ and then we walk away from it, and we don’t do anything with it.”

Jackie Baker

1. “I’m totally supportive of a land trust and have really tried to, as much as I could, be knowledgeable on that.

“As I’ve said many times, affordable housing certainly is a national issue. I think this is our opportunity, and council has taken those steps by pursuing what we need to do to set up a land trust.

“If the housing can be built there on that donated land, and we can create a land trust there for four, five houses in a group, absolutely I’m supportive of that — whether we are able to do that there and/or another location — because there is such a need for this all over.

“I would like to see us promote a regional aim or goal for affordable housing.

“With any kind of smart growth, you really need to address higher-density housing in your main part of your town where you can do infill.

“That helps with your infrastructure because much of it is already there or can be easily expanded. That also helps you to avoid sprawl, and you don’t want that. Then in your outlying areas, you can have your larger lots.

“Down in the main part that’s where your little shop was, your stables or your general store and that kind of thing. So as we expand out in that downtown redevelopment as time goes along, maybe that could be a mixed use in those blocks around Main Street, so that you could have some residential and small business. Maybe your retail shop in the bottom and living quarters above — like it used to be in old-time days.”

2. “Now, granted, the [Yavapai-Apache] Nation moves on some different time frames.

“For the longest time, they’ve been working on getting their trust land, and then they have housing to build, so they really have been busy with so many things, but they have always extended a hand, been willing to cooperate with most anything.

“Both councils would like to have periodic work sessions together. They are wonderful citizens, and I look for that cooperation to continue from now on. I have nothing but thanks to give the Nation and appreciation for what they do.

“I think transportation needs to be a goal for the entire Verde Valley — Cottonwood and Sedona have partnered to address that.

“We’re a relatively small land area, but we’re figuring approximately 70,000 people in the Verde Valley, and we have all these tourist spots people want to come to, not to mention serving our workers, the elderly that need to be able to get to doctors and hospitals.

“So we really need to have a regional, solid transit system that serves at least our three main communities, and, that way, I think it could also serve some of the ones along the way.

“It will probably be, I’m sure, a money-losing proposition.”

Harry Duke
1. “The land trust idea — I think it needs to be explored further.

“I think that town staff is working hard in that area, and I think that they need to be commended for their effort.

“As to the site in the Cliffs, I’m not convinced that that’s the place to start the land trust, but I remain open.

“I stand behind anything that we can do to acquire the funds that will help the library.

“From what I understand, the land trust idea is a feasible one — whether it gets done there or anywhere else, I’m not sure.

“The real problem being that land at $100,000 an acre or more is just not affordable housing land.

“I mean, you have to have some density, I think, when you start talkin’ affordable housing land.

“We definitely need the money from the proceeds for the library because I think it’s gonna be quite some time before impact fees raise anywhere near the money that they’re gonna have to have to start a library project.

“Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned kind of a guy, like I am on taxes. I kinda think that the more government gets involved, the bigger screw-up we have.

“We definitely need some affordable housing in town.

2. “Communication and trust — and I’ll tell ya what, we have not fostered the trust at Town Hall. With the things that are goin’ on down at Town Hall. It does not foster communication. It does not foster trust.
“They look at us like, ‘You can’t even take care of your own matters — what do we want to deal with you?’

“We’ve tried to shaft the [Yavapai-Apache] Nation several times on different issues. On that [Yavapai-Apache Sand and Rock] issue quite a few years ago, we were in a lawsuit with them, and they don’t trust us one bit. And so they look back and say, ‘Hey, we’ll do what we want to do.’ And, believe me, they’ve got the power, the money and the wherewithal to do it. And they’re gonna have the land, along Hwy. 260, out there past the jail, to do it with.

“If we don’t get movin’, we’re gonna be in the same situation as when Prescott gave Wal-Mart and Home Depot so much grief. Where’d they go? To the Indian reservation. The tribe has all that property out there on the highway. Believe me, we need to work with the tribe, because, as far as economic development, it’s gonna benefit them, it’s gonna benefit us and it’s vitally important that we tie in with them — they’ve got a sewer system out there we could tie into.

“We are kind of a divided community right now, and I don’t think it does us any good when do we do business with anybody, ’cause they’re not sure who has the upper hand at the time they’re talkin’ to us.

“Actually, what we wind up doin’ is shootin’ ourselves in the foot, and the other communities are takin’ advantage of it.

Mike Parry
1. “I’m not sure new housing is the way to go.

“As I’ve mentioned in the past, I think we have a two-fold opportunity to explore the Verde Lakes area as a potential of being one of the most beautiful portions of our town.

“We, the town, should invest in individual properties, one at a time, or as finances will permit, clean them up and place workforce families in them with low- or no-interest loans.

“A regular review of the homes with respect to maintenance and improvements will beautify and stabilize the area.

“I think it’s a win-win situation — we put families in housing that will appreciate in value in the area and appreciate in beauty in the area.

“The other method that I’m hearing about, which is good and fine and dandy, tends to really have the people’s investment stall or not keep pace with the rest of the market.

“This situation will still work in the town core, too.

“My point of it is that people are helpin’ themselves right out of the gate, and we’re just getting ’em started, and otherwise they fly on their own.

And they make money on their own, and they do well on their own.

“So in five years, they could step up and buy another house, ’cause they’ve not made $5,000 — they might have made $40,000 or $50,000.

“What bothers me is the mindset of everybody that has to have new. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a new home until I built it, and I was 45 years old when I did it.

“We’re tellin’ people that we need to recycle, but our society is throwin’ away everything. We have to build new homes, we have to have new cars. Everything’s gotta be new, new, new.

“I don’t want these folks to have to be hooked onto some government agency — we want ‘em to fly on their own and be successful on their own.”

2. “Let me first address the [Yavapai-Apache] Nation — it’s a tough question.

“From time to time we do discuss some infrastructure things with them.
“They donate funds to our educational and our economic concerns, such as the high school programs and social events. They’re very, very generous people.

“Yet I feel they’re a separate nation, and this may be a barrier between us because of their past years of their oppression.

“And I feel strongly that we still need to earn their trust. I don’t believe we have it. I truly don’t believe we have it.

“So, I want to get over these hurdles. It goes pretty deep. We have not been a trustworthy society with them for a long time, and I think a lot of the elders still feel that way.

“And I really hate going to the Yavapai-Apaches with our hand out — I’m at the end of my rope with that. I’d like to go take somethin’ to them. We tried to, and we do from time to time, but it’s minuscule compared to what they do for us.

“And I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like a good neighbor when I do that. To be interested in your neighbor, you should get to know ’em, and with all the functions I’ve been at, I still don’t feel I do.

“We do work with our other municipalities — I just went to a meeting with the new mayor of Cottonwood.

“I think the biggest nut I’d like to crack is I’d love to see our neighbors sit down with us and tell us what they think. I think our channels of communication are open and they’re getting better.”

 

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