County Supervisors Association Weekly Update
New Supervisors Spotlight: Supervisor Randy Garrison, Yavapai County
With the county elections that occurred across Arizona in 2016, 18 new supervisors were elected to office. With the large number of new faces added to the roster of county supervisors, we would like to take the opportunity each week to introduce one of them, in alphabetical order by county, then district number.
Name: Supervisor Randy Garrison
County: Yavapai County
Birthdate: November 13
Education: Supervisor Garrison is a graduate of Yavapai College, and earned his degree in business from Northern Arizona University.
Family: Supervisor Garrison and his wife, Debbie, were both born and raised in Arizona, and have a long family history in the Verde Valley. They have a beautiful daughter, Shelby, who will turn 20 soon.
Length of time in Arizona: Supervisor Garrison’s lineage and connection to Arizona dates all the way back to the founding of Cottonwood in the late 1870’s, and his family has played an integral role in the establishment of many important public/private community programs and buildings across the city.
Civic organization involvement: Supervisor Garrison has a very long list of civic organizations that he has been involved with over the years, including his service as a Cottonwood City Councilman, and member of Cottonwood’s Economic Development Council. As a very big supporter of and advocate for education, he has spent most of his years in public service as a member of various school governing boards, and as a committed member and Executive board member of local Kiwanis organizations. Supervisor Garrison stated that he has gained many new perspectives and ideas, as well as community ties, from each one of them.
Best piece of advice received: For Supervisor Garrison, his grandfather played a very influential role in his life. On his 13th birthday, his grandfather (a self-taught pilot and the first in the northern Arizona area to own a private airplane) began teaching him how to fly, and shared with him some life lessons along the way. His grandfather used to tell him to “step on the ball” (referring to one of the plane’s navigation instruments), and explained that with all things in life, “you fly the plane, it doesn’t fly you.” From his grandfather he also learned the importance of a person making their own way in life, not letting circumstances dictate one’s life course, and that one would do well by relying on their own sense and life experiences to guide them in life.
Inspiration to run for county supervisor: Supervisor Garrison discussed a wide variety of motivating factors that inspired him run for a seat on the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. He comes from a long line of local government servants, including his grandfather who served as a county supervisor back in the 1950’s, and his father who served as city mayor and councilman for many years. His family was always serving the community in some way, and he knew that was also his future career path. Supervisor Garrison’s passion for service, and commitment and dedication to the Verde Valley, as well as his involvement in the local business industry, were also motivating factors for his campaign and ultimate election to office. His overall goal is to provide Verde Valley residents a strong voice in local government, to protect natural resources, while maintaining, recognizing and celebrating the unique and diverse communities that make up the region. He is passionate about increasing economic development, especially through promotion of the burgeoning wine community, and bringing all communities together (even those that are literally divided by mountain peaks) to foster vibrant and sustainable growth throughout the county.
Do you have a favorite book?: As with many county supervisors, he finds there is often very limited time to read for pleasure. He did note that he is a big fan of Stephen King novels, and that enjoyed reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, and it contained numerous life lessons that have stuck with him.
Favorite place in Yavapai County: With his office views of Jerome on one side and Sedona on the other, and the great development that is occurring in the city of Cottonwood, it is very difficult for Supervisor Garrison to choose one particular area of Yavapai County that he would call his favorite. Though he has had many chances to leave the Verde Valley, it has always been home for him and his family, and always will be.
Most admired political figure: Barry Goldwater has always been a politician appreciated by Supervisor Garrison, but Theodore Roosevelt takes top billing as a political figure he admired. Supervisor Garrison explained that President Roosevelt was the type of politician who, if he saw something he wanted, went after it and didn’t let the system get in his way. No matter the obstacles, he would figure out how to get the job done and get results. Supervisor Garrison appreciates that kind of “moxy” and the importance of serving and protecting all constituents and not just the vocal majority.
Spring Fire Safety Reminder
PRESCOTT, AZ (April 21, 2017) - Summer is just around the corner and more people are heading outdoors to enjoy the season. The Prescott National Forest would like to remind visitors and residents in communities adjacent to the forest to be extra cautious while engaging in activities that have the potential for starting a wildfire. Weather conditions have been changing in the past couple of weeks with consistently higher temperatures; periods of wind; and decreased humidity levels, resulting in drier vegetation that is more prone to the spread of wildfire. This past winter’s precipitation has contributed to increased grass growth (fuel). The abundant grasses, on top of grass growth in place from last summer’s monsoon rains, will dry out and cure in a few weeks and may contribute greatly to the occurrence of fast moving fires. Spring months bring an increase in temperatures and windy days drying fuels and increasing fire danger.
Pay attention to your surroundings; be aware of wildfire conditions; and think clearly before conducting any activity that could cause an unwanted fire. Unwanted fires can occur at times when conditions are at their worse and in undesirable locations threatening lives and causing severe damage to the things we value: homes; trees; wildlife habitat; scenery; or entire watersheds. We all have a role to play in preventing human-caused wildfires; a little extra care takes only a few minutes of your time and could prevent a wildfire. Below are a few reminders about fire prevention and safety on your national forests:
- One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire Campaign - Often times, wildfires are started by sparks from things we take for granted or don’t usually give much attention. Note the conditions of the vegetation around you as you do yard work with lawn mowers or trimmers and if you are welding or working on metal objects. Look for rocks to cause sparks against your equipment and dry vegetation close to your work area. When towing, ensure your safety chains are securely attached to your vehicle and that they are of the proper length. Many wildfires have been caused by dragging chains behind vehicles. In many cases, multiple fires have been started on the edge of a road for miles – often never noticed by the driver.
- Campfire Safety and Responsibility – Choose your site for a campfire wisely. Look for areas free of forest vegetation and not under low hanging branches or tree-tops. Gently clear away debris on the ground within 3 to 4 feet around your campfire, but remember you can’t cut trees and shrubs to make room for your campfire. Find another location if there is live or dead vegetation in your way. Keep your fire size to a reasonable level to meet your cooking and warming needs. Most importantly, never leave your campfire unattended until you are certain that there is no heat left in the fire: even if you are only leaving your campsite for just a few hours to enjoy the Forest. Be sure to leave enough time and have extra water to mix into your fire and remaining coals – stir with a shovel for several minutes. Try a fire fighter’s trick of holding the back of your hand near the mixed coals to see if there is any remaining heat. Careful however, not to put your hand into the coals and wait until you’ve stirred water into the extinguished fire before slowly lowering the back of your hand toward the remnants.
- Recreational Shooting – Target shooting is allowed on national forest lands unless otherwise posted, but it is your responsibility to ensure you are not on other lands where it is not allowed. Ensure you’re shooting against a backstop unlikely to cause a ricochet and most importantly ensure you are not shooting toward or across trails and roads. Please keep your public lands clean by taking your paper targets and bullet shells with you when you leave. Although target shooting is allowed on the national forest, tracer rounds, exploding targets, incendiary devices, and fireworks are always illegal on Forest lands, State Trust Lands, and in most City Limits. Be sure to check laws and regulations in your area.
- FireWise and Defensible Space - Creating defensible space around your property such as clearing brush, dense trees, and grass reduces the potential of fire spreading to your home and reducing the possibility of a spot fire from an ember of a nearby wildfire starting on your property. FireWise mitigations and creating defensible space around your home and property won’t guarantee that it will survive a wildfire without damage. However, such efforts increase the odds of your property withstanding the damages caused by wildfires. Often overlooked is the fact that by creating defensible space around your home, you increase the safety margin and options for your fire fighters to take action in defending your home from the threats of wildfire.
- Burn Permits – Before you plan your yard work projects that may involve burning the debris, be sure to contact your local fire department to ensure you are properly permitted and armed with good information. Treat burning debris with caution as you would a campfire: clear other vegetation away; keep the debris pile small and add to it as it burns down; have water nearby and ready; and completely extinguish any remaining coals with water and a shovel (use the fire fighter’s trick of sensing heat with the back of your hand).
- Be Vigilant – Report fires and suspicious activity. If you stumble upon something or someone that concerns you, do not take action yourself. Make notes of any important information such as the location of the concern, vehicle descriptions, license plates, and a description of what you saw. Do not stay at the scene; rather, ensure you are out of harm’s way and call for help: Call 911 or if you see a fire on the Prescott National Forest call 928-777-5700 or on State and private lands call 623-582-0911.
Roadway Reclamation work in Yavapai County
Please be advised that Yavapai County will perform construction work beginning Monday, April 17, 2017 and continuing through June 29, 2017, in the following areas:
- Long Canyon Road, from Boynton Pass Road to the end of County maintenance. Work consists of milling and overlay. Day-use parking in this area will be limited to designated trail head areas.
- Saddle Horn Road, starting at Bell Rock Boulevard and tying into Saddle Horn Court. Work consists of full-depth reclamation of asphalt and roadway reconstruction.
One lane of traffic will be open at all locations at all times. Travelers in these areas should expect a short delay.
For additional information, please contact the Yavapai County Public Works Department at (928) 771-3183.
Free Slash Drop-Off
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors is pleased to announce the annual free slash drop-off program at county transfer stations beginning April 1 through June 1, 2017. County transfer stations are located in Black Canyon, Camp Verde, Congress, Mayer, Paulden, Seligman, and Skull Valley. This free slash drop-off program will assist residents in creating defensible space around their homes and other structures. Cutting away vegetation 5 to 30 feet from all structures and removing all debris and dead vegetation from roof, decks, and the ground can reduce the potential of wildfire spreading to your home. Flyer
Arizona Wildfire Academy
The Board of Supervisors give a $19,000 check for scholarships to Arizona Wildfire Academy in memory of the Granite 19.
Randall blesses Supervisors
"It's good just to get things cleaned out, " Garrison said, adding that he wanted to also pay respect to tribal traditions. Randall began the blessing by separating Supervisors and staff according to gender, with the men standing to the left and the women to the right. Randall asked through prayer "that this place will only involve good thoughts and good words that uplift with a good heart and love for all people." Full article ran in the Cottonwood Journal Extra February 22, 2017
Pavement Preservation Project
Yavapai County and the City of Sedona have partnered on a pavement preservation project that includes portions of Dry Creek Rd, Boynton Pass Rd, and Boynton Canyon Rd within the City of Sedona limits and Yavapai County. The project is budgeted for construction in fiscal year 17/18. Information flyer