When Central Yavapai Fire District (CYFD) Board Director ViciLee Jacobs resigned for family reasons in December, her seat became vacant, needing to be filled.
During their January, 2019 meeting, the Board voted to accept applications for the vacancy. All in all, they received 7 applications for the position, which they interviewed on March 5:
- John Aten
- Michael Ellegood
- Cynthia Gentle
- Kathryn Giles
- Chris Kuknyo
- Jacob Smith
- Michael Whiting
The applicants came with a wide variety of experience from previously serving in elected positions, to having firefighting service education and experience. Cynthia Gentle has an inside view of how government works, as she is the Executive Assistant to Yavapai County Supervisor Jack Smith.
Afterwards, the entire CYFD Board interviewed all the candidates while in Executive Session. After returning to a Public meeting, Board Director Jeff Wasowicz nominated Cynthia Gentle.
“My question to the Board would be whether this is a stepping stone to further ambition, or whether it’s a service to this organization,” said Board Director Dane Beck.
Darlene Packard responded to Beck’s concerns. “I will say, for Cynthia, she has shown an interest, shown up at regular meetings, if you will… She does show up at events, not only for the fire district, but also for events in our community. She is a visible person, whether she has political aspirations, I can’t speak for that. But I do know that she has shown an interest, has come to our Board meetings.”
In the final vote, Director Beck voted nay, but the other Directors voted in favor of Gentle’s nomination. It passed 3-1.
Afterwards, when asked if she were surprised that she was chosen, Gentle responded, “Yes, I am. There were a lot of great candidates."