The Citizens Tax Committee (CTC) has announced that it will host a Candidate Forum for the five finalists for the Prescott City Council vacancy at their regular monthly meeting at 1 pm Wednesday, February 10th, at the Rowle P. Simmons Adult Center, in Prescott. Last week the City Council announced that it had reduced the list of 25 original applicants to five finalists. A public comment period is currently open with a selection scheduled for later this month.
Several of the candidates have been active in local affairs and are known to the public. But others are less well known and appear to be relative newcomers to civic work. The CTC Board has organized this event as an opportunity for the public to meet the candidates and hear their positions on the key issues facing the City of Prescott. CTC’s Candidate Forum is believed to be the only forum open to the general public that is scheduled before the City Council votes to fill the current vacancy. Members of the public are invited to attend.
The five finalists are former City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, Jim Lamerson, who served on the Council from 2004 to 2020. He is known for his fiscal conservatism and advocacy of “smart growth” policies. Connie Cantelme has been active in downtown redevelopment and has served on various city boards and commissions. She was recently involved in the effort to stop the construction of a new jail in Prescott. Clark Tenney taught at Prescott High School for a number of years and now serves as an Assistant Principal. He has been an advocate for higher teacher pay and has helped organize support for PUSD school bonds and budget overrides. Andre Carmen is a local attorney and is married to Superior Court Judge Christa Carmen. If selected, he would be Prescott’s first council member of African descent. Eric Moore is a local businessman and owner of Jay’s Bird Barn on Miller Valley Road.
The Citizens Tax Committee is one of Prescott’s oldest and most venerable civic organizations. Since its founding in 1977, it has served as a taxpayer advocate, promoted fiscal accountability in local government, and been a focal point for opposition to wasteful government spending and excessive debt. Over the years a number of local political and civic leaders have been associated with the organization.
Although CTC does not endorse candidates or play a direct role in partisan elections, they have weighed in on local tax and spending issues with high profile voter education campaigns on ballot initiatives such as school bonds and budget overrides and funding levels for Arizona’s Public Safety Personal Retirement System. In recent months CTC has helped raise public awareness about the costs and environmental impacts of the proposed new jail in Prescott and the Verde Connect project.
The Citizens Tax Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 1 pm at the Adult Center, 1280 E Rosser Street, Prescott, Arizona. This month’s meeting on Wednesday, February 10th, is free and open to the public.