Print It’s official: Young named fire chief
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 00:00

Clayton Young is the newest fire chief for the Camp Verde Fire District after his recent appointment to the job by the newly-formed Camp Verde Fire District Governing Board.

Young, who first started his career as a volunteer firefighter with the district in 1975, served for years as deputy fire chief under former Fire Chief Phil Harbeson.

Clayton Young takes over as the fire chief for the Camp Verde Fire District. He was formerly the deputy fire chief, but took over as the interim fire chief after Phil Hardeson retired July 30.“I’m official,” Young said. “I’m ready to keep on working.”

The district board voted to offer Young a contract for the post. It won’t take much for Young to get adjusted, because it’s work Young has already been performing for months anyway.

When Harbeson retired late last year, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors appointed Young as interim chief.

While previous chiefs were elected to four-year terms, Young said things are working a little different now that the district has an elected governing board for the first time.

For years, the district operated with a two-person system with the chief, and a secretary and treasurer in charge. That system isn’t common these days among fire districts and voters went to the polls in November and decided the district would be run by a five-member board elected directly by the people.

The new arrangement now means fire chiefs essentially serve at the pleasure of the board.

“It’s different,” Young said. “But it’s just the nature of how the system is set up.”

Sitting on the new board are district residents Gwen Gunnell, who serves as chairwoman, Steve Darby, the board clerk, Jack Blum, Theresa Cochrane and Mike Wingate.

District spokeswoman Barbara Rice said the new system of board governance seemed to be working out well.

“Of course there’s a learning curve,” Rice said. “But they are taking their new role very seriously.”

Rice said the new members have been working to become acquainted with what it means to serve as an elected official, including everything from their actual duties to making sure things like Arizona’s open meetings law is followed.

“It’s all new,” Rice said. “We’re all working to get adjusted.”

The board holds regular meetings every third Thursday of the month at 2:30 p.m.