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Sunday, January 22, 2017

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The Latest from District 5...

Supervisor Jack Smith to head County Supervisors Association Medium County Caucus

I was selected on January 19, 2017 as Chairman to the County Supervisors Association (CSA) Medium County Caucus, which aims to address issues impacting the state’s medium sized counties.

CSA is a non-partisan, non-profit research and advocacy organization representing the 61 county supervisors from Arizona’s 15 counties. The Medium County caucus is composed of the five medium sized counties, based on population and includes Cochise, Coconino, Yavapai, Yuma and Mohave counties.

I am very excited to Chair this caucus as we address issues and concerns which impact our like sized counties. I value my fellow Supervisors’ support and confidence in my ability to lead the Medium County Caucus.

The caucus meets regularly to discuss important issues facing constituents and serves as a forum to deliberate legislative proposals and to share best practices across county lines.

 


Current sandbag locations as well as important links that can help reduce the risk of flooding.

Anywhere it rains, it could flood. Even if an area hasn’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean it can’t happen in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history; it can also be based on rainfall, topography, flood-control measures, river-flow and changes due to new construction and development.

Current sandbag and sand locations within Yavapai county: (Must fill your own – Please bring a shovel)
– Yavapai County Public Works yard in Prescott – 1100 Commerce Drive, Prescott
– Yavapai County Verde Valley Public Works yard – 4000 West Cherry Road, Verde Valley
– Prescott Fire Station – 333 White Spar Rd, Prescott
– Prescott Fire Station – 1980 Club House Drive, near the airport, Prescott
– Prescott/Central Fire Station – 1700 Iron Springs Road, Prescott
– Central Arizona Fire Station – 4125 W. Outer Loop Rd, Prescott
– Central Arizona Fire Station PV – 8555 E Yavapai Rd, Prescott Valley
– Central Arizona Fire Station Chino Valley – 1133 West Road 3 North
– Central Arizona Fire Station Paulden – 250 West Sweet Valley Drive - Paulden
– Williamson Valley trailhead 308 – 347 across from Granite Oaks Dr. 7 miles North of Iron Springs Rd
– Yarnell Presbyterian Church – 16455 Table Top Way
– Mayer Fire Station – 10001 South Miami Street, Mayer
– Black Canyon Fire Station – 35050 Old Black Canyon Hwy, Black Canyon City
– Ash Fork – Church off Bullock Rd., Ash Fork
– Seligman Fire – Hwy 66 and 2nd Street
– Verde Valley Fire St 31, 2700 Godard Road, Cottonwood
–Cottonwood Public Works Yard – 1480 W. Mingus Ave
– Verde Valley Fire St. 36 at 895 First South Street, Clarkdale
– Verde Valley Fire St 32, 1120 S. Page Springs Road, Cornville
– Lake Montezuma – Sycamore Park
– RimRock – Beaver Creek Gas Mart – 3675 E. Beaver Creek Rd.
– Sedona Fire – Sedona Red Rock High School – 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona
– Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road
– Sedona Uptown Public Parking Lot, 260 Schnebly Road
– Sedona United Methodist Church, 110 Indian Cliffs Road
– Sedona City Maintenance Yard, 2070 Contractors Road

Please view the links below for more flooding information in Yavapai County. Along with safety tips and a sandbagging handout on how to stack sandbags properly to increase their effectiveness.

Sandbag Document – Sandbagging Handout

Yavapai Flood Control – http://www.ycflood.com

Flood insurance information, Flood Smart – https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

Flood Preparation and Safety Handout – In English English FloodPreparationSafetyBrochure_F684_062014
In Spanish  - Spanish f684s_preparacion_08_08

NEVER drive through flooded roadways. STOP! Turn Around Don’t Drown.

  • Vehicles can be swept away by less than 2 feet of water.
  • The roadbed may be washed out.
  • You can lose control of your vehicle in only a few inches of water.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Turn around and go another way!
  • Other tips – BEFORE A FLOOD TIPS

To prepare for a flood, you should:


We highly encourage residents to sign up with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Emergency Notification System to be notified during emergency situations at: http://www.ycsoaz.gov/community/emergency-preparedness/ens/

 


2017 Legislative Bills

There have been 498 Bills proposed for adoption in the 2017 Legislative Session.

The following are bills we are currently watching; I have provided links to the full bill.

Extend the Waste Tire Program and the fees and fund associated with the program from December 31, 2017 to December 31, 2027. (Pinal)

 Refer to the ballot an increase in the state gasoline tax to pay for road building and maintenance. (Santa Cruz)

Grant an intergovernmental public transportation authority (IPTA), which has the same boundaries as the county in which it resides, the same authority as a regional transportation authority (RTA) to levy a one-half cent transportation excise tax if approved by the voters. (Yuma)

Employees of "political subdivision entities" (defined in statute) who are hired on or after the effective date of this legislation are excluded from membership in the Arizona State Retirement System. (Ugenti-Rita)

If a political subdivision increases its revenue for a specified time period through a vote of the people and that revenue is dedicated to pay unfunded accrued liability under the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, the expenditure of revenue to pay that liability is excluded from the political subdivision's expenditure limitation established in the state Constitution for the duration of that time period. (Coleman)

Persons convicted of a violation of aggravated driving under the influence may serve their sentence in a county jail. Municipalities and counties are authorized to establish a medium security facility for the confinement of persons convicted of driving under the influence. (Shope)

Continues the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) for 10 years. (E. Farnsworth)

County ordinances regulating home-based businesses are prohibited from restricting a business from generating traffic, parking or delivery activity that does not cause on-street parking congestion, from having more than one client on the property at one time, or from employing a list of specified. (D. Farnsworth)

It is a defense to any action under public records law that the request for access to public records is unduly burdensome or harassing. (Kavanaugh)

A public entity or public employee is liable for an injury arising out of a plan or design for construction or maintenance of highways, roads, bridges or rights-of-way where the entity or employee did not give a reasonably adequate warning of hazards only if the entity or employee was grossly negligent. (Burges)

Contracts for construction, reconstruction or maintenance services of any street, road or bridge that involve an expenditure of $25,000 or more, including materials and equipment, must call for bids and use the procurement process. Projects cannot be artificially divided or fragmented to circumvent the prescribed limits. (Leach)


Legislative Priorities


Advancing Justice Together

Fair Justice for All was the topic of discussion for the meeting at the Supreme Court Building in Phoenix.Key points included Court-Ordered fines, Fees, and Pretrial Release Policies. Thank you to the task force for all their hard work on this incredibly complex issue. I am looking forward to further discussions and reforms in the near future.


Coffee Chats

I will be hosting a series of Coffee Chats as an opportunity for you to discuss the important issues facing our community. The next Coffee Chat will be January 11, 2017. 

The Coffee Chats will be held from 8am to 9am at the Step One Coffee House located at 6719 E 2nd St, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.

I remain committed to being open, accessible, and responsive to my constituents.  Whether it is at a Coffee Chat, on the phone, via email, or out in the district, I want to encourage everyone to share their ideas. 

All are welcome to attend.

 



Fry’s Food Stores Donates $8,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness

For the eighth year in a row, Fry’s has donated funds from the Sharing Courage Campaign to Community Health Center of Yavapai (CHCY). This year’s donation of $8,000 will be used to provide breast diagnostic services for uninsured and low-income patients throughout the county.

I just want to say thank you to the Fry’s organization for the donation of $8000 to the Community Health Center of Yavapai for mammograms and diagnostic testing.We rely on the community, businesses, and different entities who step up and donate their own time and money to provide a better community for all of us and support the fight against cancer.

Funds raised by the 2016 Sharing Courage Campaign go to assist dozens of local organizations in fighting breast cancer in communities across the country – supporting research projects, funding mammograms, and educational outreach, and assisting local support groups for women and families. All of the funds are spent in the communities where Fry’s customers and associates live and work.


Winter Preparedness Information

 

As winter approaches, it’s time to check your supplies and add to your emergency kit:

 

  • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency  for a complete list of recommended products.
  • Sand to improve traction.
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency, especially when phones are down or closed roads.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle. Stock up on food & supplies beforehand bad weather so you don’t have to travel during a storm.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Winterize Your Home

  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

 

Preparing for Loss of Power:

Primary concerns are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day.

  • Extra food and water such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra prescription medicine
  • Baby items such as diapers and formula
  • First-aid supplies
  • Heating fuel: refuel before you are empty; fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm
  • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove, space heater, properly ventilated to prevent a fire
  • Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets
  • Snow can be melted for an additional water source.
  • If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets.
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms once a month to ensure they work properly.

After an Outage

  • Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or moved downed lines. Keep children and pets away from them.
  • Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches or fences. Always assume a downed line is a live line. Call your utility company to report any outage-related problem such as downed wires.
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

Vehicle checklist

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! Fully check and winterize your vehicle before a winter storm.  Carry a Winter Survival Kit:

  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Cutting device
  • Back up if phone is down - Compass and road maps
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Full tank of gas
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • New wiper blades
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tow rope
  • Tool kit
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Make sure all vehicle lights are working
  • Top off antifreeze levels 

YCSO Award $250,000 to address Mental Health Issues in our Local Justice System

Sheriff Mascher, "Should the jails be the de facto mental health treatment centers? I don't think we should be. Are we criminalizing the treatment of mental health? Remember, mental illness isn't a crime. But if you get charged with a crime because of your mental health, it falls onto a criminal institution to provide treatment. As a result, the Detention Center has become the largest mental health treatment facility in the County. This must change.”

The Yavapai County Sheriffs’ Office is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, for the Mental Health Collaboration Program: Planning and Implementation. The Sheriff’s Office has been working with partners throughout the Criminal Justice Community for some time now to address law enforcement approaches to mental health concerns. One of the major goals is to prevent revolving door incarceration involving someone who may be delusional, or seriously depressed, suicidal, and making threats. In many cases, deputies have no alternative except to arrest the individual who then comes to jail, gets stabilized on medication, and is eventually released back into the community with few, if any, follow-up treatment options. In many cases, the treatment options available are too costly.

Many critical needs are met by this funding which include supporting law enforcement response programs including mental health courts, pre-trail services, diversion/alternative prosecution and sentencing programs, treatment accountability services, specialized training for law enforcement and detention officers, and reentry services to create or expand mental illness/substance abuse disorders support services. This broad reaching grant provides significant opportunities to move forward several goals identified in the Sheriff’s Mental Health Task Force comprised of justice system and community partners in Yavapai County.

Oversight of the program has been assigned to Chief Deputy David Rhodes. In the application to request this funding, it was noted that YCSO partners with community mental health providers to identify incarcerated persons in need of mental health services and ultimately offer access to a mental health provider and treatment plan. Over the three-year period of this project, the Sheriff’s Office hopes to provided mental health evaluations and partnership services to over 1,000 inmates.

Mental Health First Aid training is a priority for all first responders and detention staff. Uniformed personnel will be trained to recognize the presence of a potential mental health issue and how to interact with mentally ill offenders. This education is expected to result in an increase in safety for both officers and offenders, and a reduction in crime and criminal charges against known mentally ill offenders.

Additionally, the application noted that within 72 hours of booking, an inmate is screened by the Public Defender’s Office to identify persons needing mental health support. Based on the results, an assessment by a community mental health provider is performed resulting in a treatment plan specific to the individual. The plan will include a coordinated release to pair the inmate with a mental health provider who will provide treatment and report progress to the public defender and the courts. The goal is to achieve resolution/settlement in the case. Treatment will result in less risk of recidivism and enhance public safety.

Sheriff Mascher is very grateful for this critical funding which is expected to have a considerable impact on addressing mental health issues in Yavapai County.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

 


2017 County Legislative Proposals

The 2016 CSA Legislative Summit held in Flagstaff at the NAU campus ends today. All counties have voted on the up coming 2017 legistative priorities. Each one is highlighted and detailed below. 

1. Decrease Default Speed Limit on Unpaved Road: Establish that speeds in excess of 45 MPH on unpaved roads are considered unreasonable.

2. Public Road Maintenance and Primitive Designation: Allow counties to designate substandard roads as “Primitive Roads” for roads opened prior to June 13, 1990. Allow counties to maintain roads laid out, opened and constructed to
adopted county standards and without cost to the county, regardless of whether or not the road is part of a platted subdivision.

3. County Transfer of Juvenile Parole Function:Transfers the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections parole functions to county probation departments, combined with alleviations of county financial burdens.

4. Disproportionate Uncompensated Care (DUC) Payments: Eliminate the county Disproportionate Uncompensated Care (DUC) payments to the state.

5. Resources for Juvenile Dependency Representation: Allocate financial resources to impacted counties to assist with providing mandated attorney services for indigent defendants in juvenile dependency matters, due to recent increases in costs associated with these cases as a result of the overhaul of the child protective services system in Arizona.

6. Waste Tire Disposal Fee & Fund: Extend the Waste Tire Program and the fees and fund associated with the Program from December 31, 2017 to December 31, 2027.

7. Fuel Tax Ballot Measure: Refer to the ballot an increase in the state gasoline tax to pay for road building and maintenance.

8. Property Tax Appeals: Require a property owner to submit an affidavit of valuation in a specific time frame in order to expedite court proceedings during a property tax appeal case (on properties valued at more than $4 million, which are not handled in a small claims division of tax court), where the property tax owner is claiming the
property tax assessment is inaccurate.

9. Intergovernmental Public Transportation Taxation Authority: Grant an intergovernmental public transportation authority (IPTA), which has the same boundaries as the county in which it resides, the same authority as a regional transportation authority (RTA) to levy a one-half cent transportation excise tax if approved by the voters.

 

 


Sunset Lane Improvements

After nearly two years of planning and study I am Proud to announce an Intergovernmental Agreement between Yavapai County and the Town of Prescott Valley is nearing the home stretch. The Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved its nearly 4 million dollar portion of the safety improvements on Sunset Lane in District 5 including sidewalks, storm drains and gutters and a middle turn lane. These improvements will greatly enhance the safety of motor and pedestrian traffic on this roadway. Project completion is still about two years out but engineering of the improvements shall begin soon. Prescott Valley is expected to sign their portion of the Intergovernmental Agreement next Thursday.

 


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