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Council Candidate Discussion: What's On the Agenda?

04 October 2017  

In a regular council meeting, there aren’t a lot of surprises. The council agenda is provided in advance to both the Council members and to the public. 

For this particular Council Candidate Discussion, we created an agenda with four items, plus a list of items to ask the Legislative District 1 representatives to present and support in the legislature. 

Remember, the purpose of this Council Candidate Discussion is not necessarily to see how the candidates answer the same questions that everyone else is answering. The purpose is to see how they interact with one another in a council-like setting.

  • Did they read the agenda in advance?
  • Are they prepared?
  • Can they work together in a group?
  • Can they think outside the box and come up with creative solutions?
  • Who will show leadership skills?

At this point, all of the candidates except for Jean Wilcox have confirmed their attendance. Unfortunately, Jean has a scheduling conflict and is unable to attend, much to her regret and ours. Her presence will be greatly missed. 

Please note: 

We were asked not to use items that might actually be voted on in the near future. Therefore, NONE of these items are real agenda items likely to be taken up by council between now and the election. But, they do reflect similar discussions that have taken place in the past. 

Especially pay attention to Item #2, there is no Horseman Hills development or annexation being proposed or likely to be placed on a future Council agenda. This is a totally fake item and the maps are also fake, created solely for the purpose of discussion. Development projects and annexations are being considered in other locations of the community. So, what are the candidate thoughts about annexations and developments? What questions will they ask? What are their main areas of concern? What do they want most to see in a development or annexation? During this discussion, there will, of course, be no Tom Guice or actual developer to ask questions of. But the purpose is to discuss the broader concept of growth and development amongst the candidates and clarify their standards regarding development. 

Finally, at the end, there is a proposed Legislative Agenda. What items in that list do they support? What items do the candidates wish were there that aren’t? What items would be removed?

If You Go:

What: Council Candidate Discussion
Who: Candidates running for Prescott City Council
When: October 4
Time: 5:30-7
Where: Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez, Prescott
Cost: Free

Okay, here are the items sent to the Council Candidates.

Regular Agenda for Discussion:

1. A. Discuss whether to support an expenditure of not more than $30,000 to do an economic impact study specifically for the Golf Course? B. Should the Golf Course continue to receive a subsidy from the General Fund?  What should happen with the Golf Course “loan” from the General fund? Should the “loan” be forgiven? Is there a way to make the Golf Course self-sustaining?

The golf course is a recreational facility, just like parks, ball fields, and pickleball courts. While charging greens fees  and golf-cart rentals to users is entirely reasonable and expected, and should continue, is it realistic to expect the golf course to be entirely self-sustaining? The track record for total self-sufficiency is not good; but it does bring in tourists, and may possibly even pay for itself through its economic impact. 

Every year, as the City examines its budget, it considers the loan from the General Fund to the Golf Course. This agenda itemis to determine the actual economic impact of the golf course to the City. Does it balance out loan, when considered in it’s economic totality?

This proposal would approve expending funds for an economic impact study regarding the Golf Course. It also opens the discussion to what should happen to the ‘loan’?

Council is being asked to decide what information it needs and how to account realistically for the golf course in the budget.

 2. Approve the annexation of land along Senator Highway, up to, but not including, Upper Sky Terrace Drive. 

NOTE: Please remember, this is an imaginary project. There is no development called Horseman Hills. 

The developer for Horseman Hills, which lines up along both sides of Senator Highway, wishes to be annexed into the City of Prescott. The nearby and adjoining Haisley Development is already in the City limits, but the city/county border has been carved out, leaving a large portion in the County. This annexation would create a more logical city/county borderline, and also ensure that the water and sewer is managed appropriately. 

The development would consist of 55 single family residences, and one 12-unit apartment building. An estimated 19 AF of water would be needed. 

See enclosed maps. 

3. Convert the Ernest A. Love Airport into the Ernest A. Love Regional Airport, by asking neighboring communities to bring investment dollars as part of their 'buy-in.'

There are several large and expensive issues regarding the airport, including the runway expansion, security and the terminal, which is old, outdated and inadequate for modern air travel. A new terminal alone could easily cost $4M or more, and this is an expense not likely to be shared with the FAA. However, a new terminal and an extended runway could improve the functionality of the airport, as well as encourage other airlines to bring services to the community. 

This item considers converting the Ernest A. Love Airport into a regional airport, which would open the door for communities in the region to contribute to the expense of the terminal and other needed upgrades.

Expanding the airport into a regional airport could help bring needed investment from nearby communities, the County and possibly even the state. However, the City of Prescott has paid the expenses of managing the airport since it existed - how much should neighboring communities contribute in order to be part of the Ernest A. Love ‘Regional’ Airport? Should other entities, such as Embry Riddle, be asked to contribute? If so, how much and under what terms?

With larger and added air services, comes additional noise issues, too. What kind of planning would be required to abate noise challenges? 

Finally, how would management be established if multiple parties have a say? Should Prescott retain veto authority?

4. Approve setting aside a $100,000 fund to be used for a downtown 'business incubator” and/or to encourage economic development and business-related tourism. 

In order to create high-tech jobs and encourage large corporations such as Microsoft or Google to open satellite offices here, it will require an investment from all stakeholders. This agenda item would create the seed money for a fund to use in support of business development and related tourism activities. Should this be a regional effort? Should other stakeholders in the community also contribute? How should continuing funds be raised?

Legislative Agenda

Items to ask the LD1 Representatives to present and support in the upcoming Legislative Session.

1. Legislation that would allow the City of Prescott to charge a sales tax on items purchased from a non-profit thrift store. 

2. The ability for Charter cities to add fees to water bills to create a steady source of revenue to support Fire and Police.

3. Legislation that would allow the City to publish Public Notices online, instead of requiring costly print publications. This could save the City thousands of dollars every year. 

4. Have the State stop sweeping Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) and other shared revenues. 

5. Adequately fund and reform state Pension Plans. Consider allowing State Treasurer to manage the Pension Plan investments. 

6. Support legislation that allows the City to protect and maintain the City’s established alternative, surface and ground water supplies. 

7. Other items? 


Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.