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Opinion: Growth and Success for Prescott
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18 October 2017   Connie Contelme

Why I am running for Council.

My name is Connie Cantelme and I am running for City Council because I have a vision for the future of Prescott. I come with unique qualities that I learned from my 35 years in business. I am an entrepreneur. I have started and grown 4 businesses in my professional life. I ran my successful construction and design company, that catered almost exclusively to lawyers and doctors, since 1983. And if you think handling millions of dollars for lawyers and doctors isn't a difficult task, I invite you to try it!

I think I am uniquely qualified to help Prescott grow and be successful going into the future. I understand about economics. 

I understand about all of the pieces of the puzzle that it takes to move forward and enhance our success as a city. 

Prescott also has some unique qualities. I believe these qualities need to be protected and enhanced. 

I spent most of last year on the prescott Economic Advisory Committee. I was able to meet several major stakeholders in this city. What I confirmed is that almost every member of the Advisory Committee wanted the same things that I wanted. (In fact, so did every other Economic Advisory Committee since 1983.) So why aren't we there? I think we are missing some pieces. 

Here are a few of those pieces we want and need: 

1. We want to attract and retain high value business to this area. We need the tax base. 

2. We want to enhance and develop more tourism to the area, again for the tax dollars. 

3. We want to keep our kids here, they are our future. I have four brothers and a sister, three of my brothers worked and raised their kids here. My nine nieces and nephews have all left, there is no future for them here. We need to change that! 

4. We want to get our neighborhoods back to the safe place it used to be for our families. 

5. We understand that in order to attract quality companies that employ our local kids, we need to give them something in return. That is the promise of an upwardly mobile city with lots of promise for their future and that of their employees. Not an important city core that is starting to be run down, complete with too many Sober Living homes, drug rehab facilities and a rising crime rate. 

In order to do this, we must recognize our strengths and our weaknesses. 

Our strength is the fact that 67% of our tax dollars come from tourism. We need to clean up, fix up, take care of our roads as infrastructure and protect the very thing the tourists come here to see – that is our history. So why haven't we been able to attract the economic growth that we desire? I contend that the Prescott's reputation has gotten in the way. 

1.We have the reputation of a difficult city to work with. (Just recently I have seen some changes, I have high hopes for that.) 

2. We have a national reputation for drug rehab and all that comes with that world. (Just recently some good things have happened in that regard as well.) HB2107, new city ordinances, the Sober Living Home ad Hoc Committee. 

3. Our inner city and historic area has been allowed to blight in many areas. This is not a good thing for our city. (Even though many people such as myself are taking the risk and coming back into the historic areas and rehabilitating these adorable bungalows.) 

4. We need to expand our airport so that businesses can ship and deliver their goods. We need a longer runway for our firefighters and the slurry bombers that help in these devastating fires. 

5. There is competition. We have some big big competition close by, it's Prescott Valley, the differences are evident. Just look at the growth in that community. While I don't want the sprawl, I think we can enhance what we do have… infill and smart growth through planning and zoning and incentives. 

6. We need a nice mix of businesses to add to what the millennials want. 

7. We need state of the art schools. 

8. We need our services like police and fire to be secure. 

9. We need our city leaders to have the ability to see what trends are hurting us and stand up and do the right thing. 

But most of all we need people in those places of leadership to be looking forward, out the front window and not back or in the rear view mirror. We need people that are capable of envisioning the future and what it is going to take to get there. Someone that is capable of thinking outside of the box. That is what I have been successful at and what I can and have been doing here in Prescott for some time. I have renovated and restored 8 properties that had been neglected for some time. I have contributed two new businesses to the downtown. These homes and businesses are now owned by families that pay taxes and contribute to the over all wellbeing of Prescott. 

I hope you will elect me to help move our city forward. Remember Experience Does Matter! 

Please vote for Connie Cantelme for Prescott City Council.

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This article paid for by the Connie Cantelme for Council committee.