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Goetting challenges Camp Verde mayor for seat
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 00:00

Camp Verde Mayor Bob Burnside plans to run for reelection to another two-year term.

So far, he’ll be facing at least one other man looking for the job, resident Steve Goetting.

Goetting and Burnside both pulled packets from Town Hall last week, but their candidacies won’t be official until they return them before the deadline.

Burnside was elected in 2009 defeating incumbent Tony Gioia.

Camp Verde Mayor Bob BurnsideBurnside said he originally wanted to serve one term, but since getting into office, he’s had several people call him and encourage him to run again.

He wants to continue serving with the goal of eventually expanding the town’s park land, purchased earlier this decade before the economy bottomed out, Burnside said.

In addition to developing the 118 acres of land just across the White Bridge, Burnside said he wants to see the end result of the town’s substantial code rewrite, a process the town has undertaken since the original codes, adopted from the county when the town incorporated, started to create problems with landowners.

Burnside said while the learning experience of being mayor has been “absolutely marvelous,” it’s also been humbling. Leading a town requires the ability to listen to other people.

“You need to be able to listen,” Burnside said. “And you need to be able to change your mind. Sometimes you hear someone speak and you think, ‘Whoa, I’ve never thought about it that way.’”

Burnside said learning how to deal with and listen to other opinions is the key to being in a position of leadership.

He also had confidence in Russ Martin, the new Camp Verde town manager, to get things done, he said.

Goetting hasn’t held public office before, but has had experience as a public event organizer. His group, Verde Entertainments, has been responsible for organizing the annual Pecan, Wine & Antique Festival, and more recently, the “Kingdom of the Spiders” movie reunion. Goetting belongs to several civic groups that stepped up when the town decided to stop sponsoring events when the budget dried up.

Goetting is also the vice president of a ditch company. Along with his experience organizing events in the Washington, D.C. area, Goetting feels he’s prepared to step into Camp Verde’s top leadership role.

“We need fresh new ideas for tough times,” Goetting said. “And there are tough times coming up with the town’s budget.”

Goetting was speaking about the local government’s discussion of the upcoming fiscal year, which promises to be one of the most challenging since the town was incorporated in late 1986.

Goetting also said he wanted to focus on a new town library.

“Some people find a library a frivolous thing,” Goetting said. “But I think it’s absolutely critical.”

To that end, Goetting said he wants to explore all avenues of funding to build a new library, taking into account a private group has already started raising money for the construction. He’s a big believer in private-public partnerships, as well as the idea of using common sense to advance a project that could be beneficial.

“Ask any farmer,” Goetting said, “You either grow, or you die.”

Goetting is also involved in several other local organizations, including the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce and the effort to build an archaeology center in the Verde Valley.

Both candidates said they have nothing but respect for each other and will run a campaign that reflects those values.

As of press time, Carol German and Alan Buchanan were also running for seats on the council. German won in a write-in effort in the last election; Buchanan, who serves on the town’s planning and zoning commission, ran for council in 2007 and lost.

Four seats on the council are open this election season, including the mayor’s.

Potential candidates must return paperwork to town hall by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8.


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