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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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The Latest from District 3...

County Approves $15,000 for Verde River Recreation Master Plan

In May of 2017, Chairman Thurman suggested to the Verde Front Leadership Council that the County write a Verde River Recreation Master Plan to cover unincorporated areas not included in the Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Camp Verde River Recreation Master Plans – the Leadership Council approved this suggestion. A National Parks Service “Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance” grant proposal was submitted by, and subsequently awarded to, Yavapai County to provide assistance in funding the creation of the master plan.
On Wednesday November 15th, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a not to exceed amount of $15,000 to hire a consultant to write the Yavapai County Verde River Recreation Master Plan.  This money will be added to the $15,000 contribution from a National Parks Service grant.  Chip Norton, President of the Friends of the Verde River also spoke at the meeting and said, “the Friends of the Verde would be willing to add an additional $10,000 to the project.”
The Verde River Recreation Master Planning will cover the unincorporated areas in the Verde Valley and seamlessly integrate with the three current community River Recreation Master Plans as well as law enforcement and safety efforts across jurisdictional boundaries. 
Chairman Thurman said, “No planning is bad planning.”  He went on to explain that “Creating sustainable recreation in the Verde Valley is the best way to serve those who live in the area as well as those traveling from outside the area, who use this great resource.”
A few of the things that are expected from the Master Plan could include, finalized maps of the river, suggestions on future access points, and mile markers along the river.  In reviewing the map, it appears the scope of this work would begin up river from Clarkdale in the Sycamore Creek area, and go all the way down to ten miles south of Camp Verde in Beasley Flats. 
A map of the area has been posted, as well as the scope of work document, and several similar plans, at

Recognition of Veterans

The hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.
On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans:
A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with - solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.
The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since.
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors invited and personally greeted many veterans at the November 1st Board of Supervisor meeting.  Each veterans was given a copy of the proclamation.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors attend 13th annual Legislative Summit

This past October the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors met with other Arizona County Board members at the 13th annual County Supervisor Association’s (CSA) Legislative Summit.  At the event, county supervisors, representing all 15 Arizona counties, established CSA’s policy agenda for the upcoming 2018 state legislative session.
Chairman Thomas Thurman said, “Meeting once a year about County concerns and future directions with our Arizona Legislators and fellow County Supervisors, not only helps us frame the future for the betterment of the public but also helps us understand and benefit from the issues as well as the solutions, other counties are working on.”
The County Supervisors Association was honored to welcome Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to deliver the keynote address at the Summit on Wednesday, October 25.  During his remarks, Governor Ducey discussed the importance of a strong partnership between the state and the counties to provide efficient, responsive constituent services.  He spoke of the positive economic opportunities occurring across Arizona and of the shared commitment among state and county elected officials to continually look for opportunities to support business development and job creation.
Counties are also requesting the permanent discontinuation of the use of Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) for purposes other than road activities and seeking to secure lottery appropriations for rural counties.
HURF restorations to local governments will help, but only addresses a fraction of the infrastructure demands.  Recognizing a growing crisis that will impede economic development and threaten public safety on roadways, county supervisors endorsed a policy statement urging state lawmakers to identify and enact revenue enhancements for the existing HURF distribution system and to pursue policies that improve efficient utilization of transportation resources.

New Public Works Director

Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Chairman Thomas Thurman said, “The Board of Supervisors were impressed with Dan’s efforts while he was in Public Works several years ago and especially now as the current Director of the Yavapai County Flood Control District.  We are pleased to see him move into this new position and know that he will do very well.”
Dan Cherry has been the Director of the Yavapai County Flood Control District since 2014, and is the current Chair of the Arizona Floodplain Management Association. He lives where he grew up, in Prescott, Arizona, with his wife Cathleen, and two daughters, Madeleine (17) and Arden (14). Dan graduated from the University of Arizona in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hydrology & Water Resources.
Dan has worked for Yavapai County in both the Public Works Department and the Flood Control District since 1997. Prior to that, he was employed by the Arizona Department of Water Resources in Phoenix. Dan is a Professional Engineer (Civil) registered in the State of Arizona, with an emphasis in transportation, as well as a Certified Floodplain Manager.
Dan Cherry said, “I am looking forward to the new challenge, and to be working alongside my colleagues in Public Works. I have built strong relationships with many of the staff during my previous stint in the organization, and I appreciate this opportunity and the trust the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has given me to provide the department leadership for the future.”

Yavapai Lions appreciate the help of Yavapai Library District

On Wednesday November 1st, 2017 the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors received an update from Paul Chastain, a member of the Prescott Noon Lions and representing the Lions of Yavapai organization, on the work they do to bring corrected sight back to those in Yavapai County that find it difficult to travel or pay for these services.
Paul said, “the reason for the eye care van is because the patients can’t always come to us, so we bring the van to the patients. The Lions have provided over 400 people this year with eye care and glasses, and many of them are homeless Veterans.”
Paul went on to explain that due to the lack of entertainment options in the Seligman area many people visit the local libraries where Amanda Hume and Trish Perez work.  Paul said, “These two young ladies have been critical to our operation in Seligman and Ash Fork.  When we come into town, these ladies help us find many of the people that need vision care and assist us in setting up appointments.”  
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Craig Brown arranged to have these two ladies invited to the Nov 1st Board of Supervisors meeting so that the lions could present them with a plaque recognizing their remarkable efforts.  Supervisor Brown read the plaque, “The Lions of Yavapai would like to thank Amanda Hume and Patricia (Trish) Perez for helping Lions help others in need.  They are heroes to so many in Yavapai County that have vision problems.”  Supervisor Brown went on to say, “these two employees are relatively new to the County, and I am very proud of the work they have done.”
Yavapai County Free Library District Director Corey Christians said, “The Library District’s Amanda Hume of the Ashfork Branch and Trish Perez of the Seligman Branch Libraries have dedicated their time and expertise to aid in this effort.  Their hard work, professionalism, and community-mindedness make them outstanding employees.  The work done by the Lions Club, Amanda, and Trish truly improve the lives of those living in their communities.”   


Members of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors got involved in this year’s Annual Water Festival, along with staff from the Yavapai County Flood Control District, the Recorders office, Human Resources, Facilities, Fleet, Public works, Development Services, and County Administration to support the efforts of the 2017 Verde Valley Water Festival.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Chairman, Thomas Thurman said, “We get the opportunity to teach fourth graders about water conservation, watershed maintenance and the importance of keeping our water pollutant free.”

Arizona Water Festivals instill a deeper understanding of water in the earth system and Arizona’s water resources through a community water festival event, teacher professional development workshop, and extensive volunteer and community involvement.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisor – District 3, Randy Garrison said, “I really enjoy watching kids learn, to see their faces when they see a concept they learned inside a classroom come to life, right in front of them, during the hands-on demonstrations. It’s that “oh yeah” moment that makes all the hard work and effort worthwhile.”

Participating teachers bring their students to the Water Festival Community Education Event, a one-day celebration of Water located outside of school. At the event, trained volunteers engaged nearly 450 children in an interactive and fun exploration of the groundwater system, watersheds, water conservation, and the water cycle. The Festival event has also been adapted to field days, after-school programs, and family science nights.

After attending the workshop, teachers implement a standards-aligned curriculum that prepares students for the water festival and then deepens their investigatory learning after they return to the classroom.

After a day of teaching fourth graders about the technology we use in everyday life to conserve water, Yavapai County Board of Supervisor, Jack Smith – District 5 said, “This has been a great day teaching the kids, and I really enjoyed seeing them grasp these important concepts.”


Clarkdale, AZ: Closed since July 1st, Clark Memorial Library (CML) will once again open its doors to the public.  A grand three-day celebration kicks off on Thursday, October 19, at 10 am with a book sale that is epic, even by CML standards.  The Grand Re-opening Ceremony starts at 1pm, and features the Jerome Ukulele Orchestra, Mingus Union Honors Choir, guest speakers, and ends with the ribbon-cutting, birthday cake and ice cream. 
Library District Director Corey Christians stated, “This grand re-opening and 90th anniversary is the culmination of many months of work between the Yavapai County Free Library District, the Town of Clarkdale and the Friends of the Clark Memorial Library.  District 3 Supervisor Randy Garrison played a key role in making this proposal a reality. Partnerships such as this one are a keystone of effective government.  The public demand to reinstate library services played the key role in reinvigorating this community landmark of 90 years.  The community of Clarkdale should be proud of their civic commitment and participation.”
Fun and exciting activities for kids, book lovers and the whole community include:
•             Thursday 10am – 8pm: Book Sale in the auditorium
•             Thursday 1pm – 3pm:  Grand Re-Opening Ceremony & Birthday Celebration
•             Thursday 4-6: Meet the author
•             Thursday 7pm:  Grand Raffle Prize Drawing
•             Friday 10am: Pre-School Storytime
•             Friday 3pm:  Fun with Music, Movement, and Rhythm Instruments workshop with Cynthia Strom
•             Saturday 10am: Kids Create Cartoons & Comics cartooning workshop with Michael Gallagher
•             Saturday 3pm: Library Games for the Young at Heart treasure hunt for the whole family
The Yavapai County Free Library District (YCFLD) operates fourteen branch libraries in mostly unincorporated communities.  The YCFLD also partially funds individual municipal libraries and fully funds the Yavapai Library Network (YLN) operations, supporting a consortium of more than 40 public, academic, school and museum libraries in Yavapai County.
YCFLD was established in 1987 by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors.
For More information contact: Kelly Roberge
Yavapai County Free Library District

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Proclaim Mediation Week

On Wednesday October 4th, 2017 the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors declared the week of October 16-20th as Mediation week.  Along with the Board of Supervisors, Heather Seets, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program Manager AZ Superior Court in Yavapai County was on hand to receive the proclamation.
Heather stated, “We are so appreciative that the Board of Supervisors has made this proclamation. Our amazing mediators have helped people navigate the areas of dissolution of marriage, civil disputes, landlord/tenant, neighborhood disputes as well as victim-offender mediation.
The mediation programs in Yavapai County have been around for almost 20 years and between the Superior Court and Prescott Justice Court have helped thousands of Yavapai County residents resolve their disputes.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, Chairman Thomas Thurman said, “As a former expert witness for the constitution industry and now a country supervisor I've been involved with many court cases and mediation is always the best route not just for costs but time saving and to reduce stress on the courts is a huge benefit the mediators provide.
Heather concluded by saying, “I am so proud of the mediators in this County and the fact that their professional skills as well as their dedication to the process of mediation has led to not only thousands of dollars saved in court services and trial time, but most importantly has led to healed relationships and a more civilized community. We are very fortunate in Yavapai County to have such strong support for mediation from our Judges, the local Bar Association and the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. “

POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony

Members of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors were on hand for the National POW/MIA Recognition Day event held at the Northern Arizona VA facility on Friday 9/15/2017.  Master of Ceremonies, Alisha Pestana of Prescott High School JROTC, led the audience of nearly 100 people through the event including a Color Guard, Student Address, Musical Salute and a key note address from Mr. Walter ECKES, FPOW, U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran. 
Mr. Eckes is a United States Marine Corps Veteran who served in the military from 1964-1970 as a radio operator. After being deployed to Vietnam in 1965 he was captured as a FPOW in 1966. He returned to his unit after a harrowing escape, eluding his captors for 4 days, before finding refuge. After his tour in Vietnam, Mr. Eckes remained on active duty unit 1968.  He then served in the Marine Corps Reserves for two years before he was Honorably Discharged in 1970.
Honored POW/MIA guests present at the event included:
Ronald Byrne
John Cathey
Wayne Daniels
Ammi Miller
Gregorio Oliva
Daniel Roberts
Walter Eckes
Peter Marshall

Public Input Needed

The Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) is seeking public input on traffic safety concerns in Coconino, Yavapai, Apache, and Navajo
Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians may contribute their perspectives through an interactive mapping survey available online at
The survey is part of a regional Strategic Transportation Safety Plan, a cooperative effort between NACOG, and the Flagstaff and Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning
Organizations. The goal of the Plan is to reduce crashes by implementing solutions for safer travel in the region.
“Transportation users’ first-hand experience is important to identifying high-priority safety concerns. Public input, along with an evaluation of crash data, will be
instrumental in reducing fatal crashes,” said Jason Kelly, NACOG Planning Director. 
In addition to survey input, the project team welcomes additional comments via email at or by mailing comments to GCI, 67 E. Weldon, Suite
103, Phoenix, AZ 85012.
Burgess & Niple, Inc. is the design firm developing the Strategic Transportation Safety Plan. For more information, please contact the NACOG project manager at 928-213-5245.

Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team - 1st Place in Statewide Competition

On August 5, 2017, the Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team (YCSRT), Backcounty Unit, competed in the Annual State swiftwater rodeo. The event was held at Saguaro Lake Ranch in Mesa, Arizona. The YCSRT team had a total of 10 members represented in this competition.  Team one consisted of Josh Schmidt, Dan Hughart, Curt Freeman, Tim Wielinski, Scott Mahon and Ryan Viscket.  This team took first place for the second year in a row.  6 agencies competed.

Team two consisted of Tip Schmidt, Dan Dravis, Michael Priniski, Martha Ballard and YCSO Detention Officer Russ Dodge. This team took 3rd place overall.

Events in the competition included several ‘real world’ scenarious such as the rescue of multiple persons trapped in floodwaters, medical based rescues, raft and kayak handling skills, knot tying, and a technical rescue.

Sheriff Mascher is very proud of both team’s efforts in the event and appreciates the devotion to training and selfless service of all YCSRT members. The Swiftwater team has proven invaluable in the recent past regarding river and flooding based rescue operations. 

Back Left – Tim Wielinski , Back Right – Dan Hughart, Left Front – Josh Schmidt,   Center Left – Scott Mahon ,Center Right – Ryan Visket, Front Right – Curt Freeman. The two seated subjects wearing yellow helmets are role players. 


Two New Yavapai County Public Fiduciary Licensees

Fiduciary from the Latin fiducia, meaning "trust," a person who has the power and obligation to act for another, under circumstances which require total trust, good faith and honesty.

Pamela Bensmiller, Yavapai County Public Fiduciary, just got two new licensed fiduciaries and said, “having two of our current employees, Janet Wells and Kathryn Blair, become licensed Fiduciaries is a tremendous help to our office and to the people we serve.” The Yavapai County Public Fiduciary office now has four licensed fiduciaries and one more in the process. The Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts oversees fiduciary licensure. A fiduciary is licensed only after passing a rigorous exam and extensive background check as well as meeting specific educational requirements and completing statutorily-proscribed periods of training, typically ranging from one to three years, with a currently licensed fiduciary.

The Public Fiduciary is appointed by the Superior Court for those persons or decedents’ estates in need of guardianship, conservatorship or administration and for whom there is no other person qualified and willing to act in that capacity. As a guardian, the Public Fiduciary ensures that the basic needs of an incapacitated person are met. Some of these needs include, personal, medical, psychiatric and housing needs. The Public Fiduciary is not a direct-care service provider, but rather, ensures that the persons for whom it is appointed have access to needed care, benefits and resources. As court-appointed conservator the Public Fiduciary manages and conserves those assets for the benefit of the protected person.

Janet Wells said, “we make sure adults who were born developmentally disabled, or older adults who have dementia and no one to care of them, are taken care of and not being taken advantage of.” Janet worked for Yavapai County Long Term Care for several years before coming to the fiduciary office, where she was required to work for three years before she could apply to be officially licensed. Janet went on to say “One of my favorite parts is seeing that those in our care are getting the benefits they’re entitled to, and making their lives a little easier.”

The Yavapai County Public Fiduciary handles primarily indigent cases when there are not sufficient funds with which to pay a private fiduciary and the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has directed the Public Fiduciary not to compete with private fiduciaries whenever possible.

For more information you can go to or call 928-771-3153

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