Heartfelt Thanks to the Citizens of Yavapai County
May 15, 2018
To the citizens of Yavapai County:
On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, the voters of Yavapai County overwhelmingly authorized extension of the ¼-cent jail district sales tax by a margin of 3-1. On behalf of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, please allow me to express our heartfelt thanks for your vote of support for public safety in our county. Your “yes” vote has ensured that this county will have the jail funding necessary to provide a safe and secure community for the coming decades.
The Board is truly humbled by this enormous display of trust by the citizens of Yavapai County. We pledge to use these funds wisely and effectively for the safety of the citizens of our great county.
Rowle P. Simmons, Chairman
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors
Az Sonshine 4th Annual Event in Prescott Valley June 14-15 **Free Health Care Event**
Memorial Run Saturday. June 2, 2018 in Yarnell - Drivers should expect delays from 5:30 am to 12 noon
Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for lane restrictions on SR 89 in Yarnell on Saturday, June 2nd while the Yarnell Memorial Run is underway. Lane restrictions are scheduled to occur from 5:30 am to 12 noon between mileposts 276 and 278.
Southbound SR 89 will be reduced to one lane (right lane will be closed) Speed limit will be reduced from 45 to 35 mph
Allow extra travel time and plan your route in advance to avoid delays.
For more information, please call Deborrah Miller, Community Relations project manager at (928) 777- 5986 or email: http://Dmiller5@azdot.gov
Prescott National Forest Partial Closure June 1 Thursday, May 31, 2018
Prescott National Forest Partial Closure June 1, 2018
Due to increasing drought conditions, very high fire danger and public safety concerns, the Prescott National Forest will implement an area closure on the Bradshaw Ranger District Friday June 1st, 2018 at 8:00 AM. Areas outside of the closure will remain in Stage II Fire Restrictions.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Rowle Simmons said, “I have worked closely with the highly professional staff of the Prescott National Forest and I completely support this decision.” Pete Gordon, Fuels, Fire and Aviation Staff Officer said, “We weigh all the economic and safety measures carefully before making decision like this one.”
According to the Press Release sent out from Debbie Maneely, Public Affairs/FOIA, Forest Service, Prescott National Forest:
The Prescott NF reminds concerned citizens that forest closures are not taken lightly, as they affect many people, businesses, partner agencies, important restoration and other work on the forest, and the public. When forest closures are in effect, the public is prohibited from entering the closed areas. Exceptions may be made for Forest Service personnel conducting official business, certain contractors, and permit holders.
The Forest Service cannot deny private landowners access to their land, which may include access through the Forest. Fire Managers ask our neighbors to be vigilant and careful as they access private land.
Visitors and neighbors to the Forest can play a critical role in decreasing activities that may cause a wildfire by being vigilant and watching out for violations and reporting wildfires immediately. The Prescott National Forest particularly requests the assistance of those who live within or adjacent to the Forest boundary to redeem your responsibility that comes with the choice to live within the Wildland-Urban interface: be vigilant, be careful, and be prepared to evacuate. It is important for all citizens, neighbors, and visitors to recognize that fire restrictions and forest closures cannot prevent deliberate illegal conduct, carelessness along roadways or on private lands, or fire ignitions caused by non-human factors (e.g. downed powerlines).
Closures and fire restrictions will be lifted when sufficient precipitation is received to adequately reduce the risk of wildfire, and hot, dry weather conditions are not forecast to continue.
The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:
Arizona Fire Restrictions: http://https://firerestrictions.us/az
Public Lands in Arizona: http://www.wildlandfire.AZ.gov or call 1-877-864-6985
Prescott National Forest Web Site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/
Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121
2018/19 Budget Hearing Process begins April 23-26
Attached is the link to the Agenda for the Special Public Meeting regarding the budgets for 2018/19.
Proposal to Extend the 1/4 Cent Sales Tax Publicity Pamphlet
Proposal to Extend the ¼ Cent Sales Tax Publicity Pamphlet
During the week of April 16th the Publicity Pamphlet and Text of the Ballot for the proposal to extend the ¼ cent sales tax will be mailed out to every registered voter in Yavapai County. If you do not receive your copy in the mail, please be sure to contact the Voter Registration Department at 928-771-3248.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Rowle Simmons said, “It is important to remember that this is not a new tax and is not to build a new jail.” Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman, Randy Garrison said, “Operating our existing jail must be paid for. I would rather have those visiting the area share in that burden than to have the residents of Yavapai County pay for 100% of it. This sales tax does just that.”
The text of the ballot question reads (in part):
The Board of Directors of the Yavapai County Jail District asks the voters of Yavapai County for approval to extend the existing Jail District excise (sales) tax of up to ¼ of a cent per dollar ($0.0025) for an additional twenty years to continue revenues necessary to support the county jail system.
In 1999, the citizens of Yavapai County approved the Jail District Board of Directors to levy a jail district sales tax of up to ¼ of one cent ($0.0025) for a period of twenty (20) years. The jail district sales tax authorization was approved by 70% of those voting. Since approval all funds collected from the tax have been used to fund the operations of the county-wide jail system. The jail district sales tax is used for operation and maintenance of the county-wide jail system.
The jail district sales tax revenues are restricted by state law and may only be used for purposes related to the county jail system.
Jail District sales taxes pay half of the jail system’s costs. Currently, the annual cost for operation and maintenance of the Yavapai County jail system is $18.1 million. Approximately half of that cost ($8.8 million) is funded by the current ¼ cent jail district excise (sales) tax.
The Board of Supervisors, Sheriff and other county criminal justice officials have worked together to reduce the jail population, cut jail operating costs, and increase efficiency in jail operations. These include the following:
- Pre-arrest mental health diversion strategies for all Yavapai County law enforcement such as Mobile Crisis Response Teams and the formation of a Crisis Stabilization Unit developed in partnerships with mental health providers
- Early Disposition Court (EDC) to promptly resolve criminal cases and reduce the number of inmates awaiting trial
- Pre-trial release and diversion programs to expedite the release of inmates where release would not threaten the community
- Innovative prosecution and sentencing programs to reduce recidivism
- 287g programs to promptly identify and transfer illegal immigrants to Federal custody
- Privatization of jail medical services to reduce costs
- Use of less costly civilian staff and volunteers to perform routine tasks previously assigned to certified detention officers
- Inmate “co-pay” programs to partially offset costs for food and medical services provided to inmates
- A dedicated Behavioral Health Unit to facilitate the release of arrestees with mental health issues to treatment facilities and reduce recidivism
- Implementation of Veteran’s Courts to facilitate the release of veteran arrestees and reduce recidivism
- Coordinated release program linking offenders with mental health treatment providers upon release
There were over 40 letters received in support of the measure and none in opposition. Letters came from Sheriff Scott Mascher, County Attorney Sheila Polk, all five of the Board of Supervisors, Senator Karen Fann, Steve Pierce, Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli, and many others. For more information on the ballot measure, please visit http://www.yavapaijail.com/ To see a short video on what it takes to put together 2,888 ballots in six days, go to http://www.facebook.com/YavapaiCounty
Yavapai County Has a New Emergency Services Manager
On April 9th, 2018 Ronald (Ron) Sauntman will become the new Yavapai County Emergency Services Manager. Dan Cherry, Public Works Director, said, "Ron has a wide range of experience working in Yavapai County as both a first responder and in the Emergency Operations Center. He and I share the same goals for improving communication among the many stakeholders associated with emergency management here in the County and around the State. His addition to the Emergency Management Division team in a leadership role is welcome, and I look forward to working with him.”
Ron worked in the Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management from July 2015 through July of 2017 as the Emergency Management Planner. He moved to College Station, Texas to take a position as an instructor for Texas Engineering Extension Service but when the Emergency Services Manager position opened up, he jumped at the opportunity to come back to Yavapai County. Ron said, "Yavapai County is my home, I was born and raised here, and my family resides here to this day. I look forward to continuing the good work and service to Yavapai County I began several years ago.”
Ron attended Yavapai College where he received his Associate of Science in Fire Science in 2012. He went to Grand Canyon University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management in 2014 and an M.S. in Leadership and Disaster Preparedness in 2016.
Ron was awarded the Firefighter of the year in 2002 from Camp Verde Fire District and received two citations from the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors in 2017 for work done in Emergency Management during the Goodwin Fire.
April - Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April - Distracted Driving Awareness Month
On Wednesday March 21st at the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors meeting in Cottonwood Arizona, Chairman Rowle Simmons, signed a proclamation declaring April as "Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Yavapai County."
According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015, with more than 40,000 people killed in 2017. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features, all digital distractions pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all it takes to change a life forever.
Board of Supervisors Jack Smith read the proclamation and Craig Brown made the motion to approve. Supervisor Brown, who is also the current Chair of the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO), took the official proclamation to the CYMPO meeting later that day and made a presentation to its board.
CYMPO has been working with CableOne to create a series of videos to support the safe driving campaign and to combat distracted driving. CYMPO and their board supports the efforts of the Board of Supervisors and encourages everyone to see and share the videos located at: https://www.cympo.org/dont-drive-distracted-campaign/
For more information from the National Safety Council go to http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving.aspx
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors would like to encourage everyone on the road to hang up their cell phone, focus on what you are doing and, #JustDrive.
Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign
Click on the link to learn more about the 'Don't Drive Distracted' campaign......http://www.yavapai.us/Portals/8/Distracted%20Driving%20Press%20Release_Feb_2018%20%28002%29.pdf
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Donate $19,000
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has for the past four years, donated $19,000 to the Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy (AWIMA). The County made the donation as a remembrance of the 19 firefighters lost in the Yarnell Fire on June 30, 2013. The money will provide scholarships to the 2018 Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy.
Tony Sciacca, AWIMA Executive Director, was on hand to receive the check and said, “With the money the county is donating, and what we have been able to raise, the total going towards scholarships this year is $39,000.” Tony went on to say, “We have seen over 11,000 students come through this academy since it was created in 2003 and this year nearly 200 firefighters will benefit from these donations.”
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Rowle Simmons said, “This is a great organization and very much worthy of the money the county donates. The training AWIMA provides is a major contributor to the safety of this county.”
Mr. Sciacca said, “It has been great to see students that went through this training years ago, get promoted up to the current Incident Management team.”
For more information about the Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy (AWIMA) go to http://www.azwildfireacademy.org
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Supports County Wide Broadband Initiative
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Supports County Wide Broadband Initiative
At the February 7th Board of Supervisors meeting, Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter presented the award of a $1.8 million Broadband Initiative Grant, to the Yavapai County Education Technology Consortium, which will be complimented by the e-Rate program. The program will be paying for up to 100% of the construction costs to bring high speed, low cost, fiber-based internet access to Yavapai County public and charter schools and public libraries.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Rowle Simmons said, “This project is very important and the board completely supports the important work that Schools Superintendent Tim Carter and the entire technology consortium is doing.”
The Yavapai County Education Technology Consortium (YCETC)—made up of school districts, charter schools, and libraries, facilitated by Tim Carter, Yavapai County School Superintendent, and led by Stan Goligoski, Executive Director of Yavapai County Education Service Agency (YCESA) and Frank Vander Horst, the e-Rate Manager for the agency—have taken advantage of a program offered by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and supplemented by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to provide high-speed internet to rural schools.
The FCC is offering to pay for construction of new Fiber optic lines if the state is willing to provide funds to cover 10% of the cost. Working with Andy Tobin, a member of the Corporation Commission, the Consortium was able to find the funds necessary to cover the required 10%.
There are 61 schools in Yavapai County that will be receiving high-speed internet in the next year to 18 months because of the work of the consortium has done. Schools Superintendent Carter said, “There are at least three schools that had no access, and several that have slow access and are paying far too much for it. With e-rate when the Consortium spends a million dollars we will get about 90% of that back.” The Consortium can then savings the next year and get 90% of that back. A one million dollar investment ends up returning almost 14 million dollars in value.
Stan Goligoski, Executive Director, Yavapai County Education Services Agency said, “About five years ago, when we stated this consortium, we knew there was a huge problem with high speed internet at our rural schools. There just was not anything we could do about it. Teachers would have to start a download the night before so the kids could see the educational video the next day.”
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Randy Garrison said, “Currently none of the schools in Yavapai County meet the FCC recommendations for bandwidth. The work this consortium is doing will support our local schools and the entire community in our efforts to prepare the next generation of community leaders.” School districts that will be receiving the new high-speed internet service will become anchor sites within the community, allowing vendors to provide much faster and more cost effective broadband to local citizens and businesses, and presenting significant economic development opportunities throughout the county.
Renewing the 1/4 Cent Jail District Tax
Renewing the 1/4 cent sales tax
During the months of January and February, March and April Yavapai County Board of Supervisors will be holding meetings with organizations all across Yavapai County to discuss and answer questions about the ballot issue coming to a vote in March of this year. The issue at hand is the extension of the ¼-cent sales tax that funds nearly 50% of the current Yavapai County Jail system. Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Rowle Simmons said, “This is not a new tax, this is simply the extension of the current sales tax that has been in place for nearly twenty years.”
State House Representative Noel Campbell attended one of the meetings hosted by the League of Women Voters on Saturday 1/6/18 to show his support in favor of a “Yes” vote on this issue and said, “This is not a partisan issue. The government has three essential things they have to do and they are Public Education, Transportation and Public Safety. The Jail system is part of Public Safety and that is why I am endorsing it. Please tell your friends that we need to have this jail tax pass.”
State House Representative David Stringer was also on hand in support of this issue and said, “I am also here to endorse the extension of the quarter cent sales tax and I do so for three reasons. The first being that it is needed. This tax provides for a large percentage of the funding for operating our jail. The second is because it is a sales tax that supports a vital part of public safety that we all benefit from equally and it is only fair that we all contribute equally. The third is because it is an existing tax already in place. Yavapai County is not asking for anything new.”
A little history: In the year 1999 the Yavapai County Jail District was established and in 2000, nearly 70% of those voting on this issue agreed that a sales tax to pay for the jail was the right way to fund the state mandated jail system. Now twenty years later, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors are asking the residents of Yavapai County to renew this tax for an additional twenty years.
For more information on upcoming meetings, or to schedule one for your organization, please visit
www.YavapaiJail.com or David McAtee at 928-442-5509.