|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Thursday, 14 July 2011 12:00|
The 2010 Census revealed what everyone had already suspected: Yavapai County’s population is now large enough to require five county supervisors under state law instead of three.
An independent committee came up with four options to define the new districts based on a strict set of guidelines that take into account population and contiguity in an effort to provide fair representation for all county residents. The proposed district maps have been designed with an effort to keep each of the new districts as equal as possible in terms of population at around 42,000 residents each.
The option that seems to be popular among some residents of the upper Verde Valley as well as with Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis would separate Camp Verde from the rest of the Verde Valley.
The map would put Camp Verde into a newly created District 5, a proposal that would put the town in with Sedona, the Lake Montezuma area and out to the edges of Prescott Valley and Dewey-Humboldt to the south of State Route 89A over Mingus Mountain.
The newly redrawn District 3 would put Cottonwood together with Clarkdale, Jerome and unincorporated areas like Cornville and Page Springs.
Other proposals included putting Sedona with Cottonwood and putting Camp Verde in a district that stretches south to Black Canyon City; putting Cottonwood in a district with Sedona; or putting Camp Verde and Cottonwood together, but leaving Clarkdale in a separate district.
No people in downtown Camp Verde who were asked about the plans had strong opinions one way or the other, but some local business owners had definite ideas about who they’d rather be lumped in with.
“I’d rather have Cottonwood,” said Ramona Aldridge, owner of a Main Street store and cafe. Aldridge said she felt the people of Camp Verde had more in common with the people of Cottonwood as opposed to Sedona, adding that Cottonwood in her opinion was more business friendly. Sedona, Aldridge said, has a more liberal population that might want to push for things that aren’t in Camp Verde’s best interests.
Just down the street at a local gun shop, David Jonas felt the other way about the issue.
“I think Sedona has more little shops like us,” Jonas said, adding that Sedona would be a better match for Camp Verde in terms of matters of county political interest.
Either way, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a plan next month. There is still one more public meeting on the issue where residents can give their opinion, scheduled for Tuesday, July 19, at the Village of Oak Creek Association Clubhouse, 690 Bell Rock Blvd.
To see all four proposals drawn up by the redistricting committee, visit the Yavapai County redistricting website.