Over the past several months of surprising elected representatives’ actions and votes, many Yavapai Republican voters have expressed skepticism about the true character & values of local, state and federal candidates. Therefore, the County Committee decided to develop, learn and perfect over time a candidate questionnaire process to further help our GOP constituents vet their options. We decided to jumpstart our learning with a local ’21 race, with a questionnaire emailed on May 17th on our behalf by City Clerk Sarah Siep, to ALL candidates running for elected office in the upcoming 2021 City of Prescott Non-Partisan elections. As you will see, we had several unique questions that we expected answers to, in order to help our GOP constituents make a fully informed decision. We learned a lot through this process (see Editor’s Notes) and plan to take our learnings towards new questionnaire’s helping GOP constituents with the ’22 AZ State and Federal GOP primary elections.
We would like to thank the following candidates for returning their responses to our questions: Phil Goode, Eric Moore, Brandon Montoya. We believe those who took the time and effort in fully answering a unique questionnaire have demonstrated their commitment to informing our GOP constituents of their positions. Mayor Greg Mengarelli did reply to ask us to direct folks to his website for information. The remaining candidates chose not to reply at all: Steve Blair, Jessica Hall, Jim Lamerson, Grant Quezada. We hope you find this questionnaire and responses valuable!
Note: YavGOP does not endorse candidates running in contested primaries. This info is provided as a courtesy.
Letter to the Candidates:
Dear Candidate, May 17th, 2021
In keeping within the values of the Yavapai County Republican Committee and our support of the mission “America First”, all candidates for Prescott Mayor and Prescott City Council are being asked to complete the following Candidate Questionnaire in an open, honest and transparent fashion regarding where they stand on specific issues which affect the citizens of Prescott and that our Republican voters care about.
Answers to any and all of these questions will be posted on the YavGOP.org website. The failure of any candidate to provide answers to these questions will be so noted on the website. All candidates have been provided with a copy of this Questionnaire. Please return the completed Questionnaire on or before Monday, May 31, 2021.
Thank you for your cooperation in providing the answers to these questions. We welcome, if you choose to, your submission of a professional headshot photo to be posted on the YavGOP.org website. Please contact Robert Davis of the Yavapai County Republican Committee with questions regarding the Questionnaire.
Lois Fruhwirth, County Chair
Robert Davis, Campaign Expertise & Candidate Development Chair
Please provide information regarding the following basics:
Eric Mitchell Moore
Seat Running For:
Mayor of Prescott, AZ
Prescott City Council
Prescott City Council
Date of Party Registration:
No Party Affiliation
Resident of Prescott since:
May 1998 (approximately)
Q: 1. Explain your involvement (if any) with the Yavapai County Republican Committee? What positions have you held and contributions made to the Committee?
Elected Precinct Committeeman (PC) 2015-present
Elected State Committeeman (SC) 2015 - present
Member YAVGOP finance committee 2015 - 2018
Chairman YAVGOP finance committee 2016-2018
First Vice-Chairman YAVGOP 2016-2018
AZGOP Executive Committee member 2016- 2018
Trunk and Tusk (TNT) member for 5 years
Kept committee from becoming insolvent. During tenure on finance committee, grew 2 months of operational funds on hand to 16 months of funds on hand.
I have never had any involvement or held any positions with the Yavapai County Republican Committee.
I am a registered Independent. I have held no positions with the Republican or Democratic parties. However, I have served for the past three years on the board of directors for Prescott Frontier Rotary Club, including as President of both the club and foundation board. I also was on the board of directors for the Prescott Farmer’s Market for two years. I graduated from Prescott Area Leadership program in 2016.
Q: 2. How would you best describe a Conservative Republican? What are your personal positions with Conservative values and Why?
As a life-long Republican and Conservative, I support low regulation, limited government and taxation, individual responsibility, holding government staff accountable for spending taxpayer dollars, strong public safety, and traditional family values. I am a constitutional conservative, which means I am unbending in my defense of the Bill of Rights and particularly defend the 2nd Amendment. I believe in the equal protection clause of the Constitution and equal application of law for everyone. These same principles can be applied to public policy—not choosing winners and losers in the business community, strong enforcement of city ordinances, traffic and parking regulations, supporting taxation only if it applies to a broad segment of the city’s population and meets the requirements for good tax policy.
A Conservative Republican accepts and adheres to the Constitution of the United States as the rule of law. I believe our government was founded on the basic principles of moral agency, personal accountability, self-governance and a belief in God. I grew up in a home where conservative values were taught, and these are the same values that I taught my children. These principles have stayed with me throughout my whole life. I believe individuals should strive to be self-reliant, independent, law-abiding citizens and contribute to the benefit of the overall society. Why? I believe a person will experience greater happiness and fulfillment when he lives a life based on Judeo-Christian principles of doing good, and doing unto others as you would have done unto you.
I would describe a Conservative Republican as an individual that believes in following and protecting their Faith, Family, and Country. I believe at the heart of Conservative values is the desire to uphold and protect the United States Constitution. I would say that for me, a deep appreciation and respect for the Constitution is at the heart of my value system as well. I have a deep religious faith, and I love my family and my country.
Q: 3. How would you best describe a Traditional Republican? What are your personal positions with Traditional Republican values and Why?
I view myself as a Traditional Republican—one who believes in originalism when it comes to the Constitution, meaning the Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it. The Republican Party today, in general, has lost its focus on the Constitution and instead is succumbing to popular concerns. I’m a big supporter of federalism, meaning only those rights granted specifically to the federal government belong to the federal government and ALL other rights belong to the states. This is also happening at the state level where state government is encroaching on local government authority.
There are a number of core values dear to a ‘Traditional Republican’. Some of these are (this is not an all-inclusive list) freedom, limited government, a strong national defense, limited taxes, balanced budgets, conserving the environment, capitalism, and being a leader in foreign policy. I hold all of these values near and dear to my heart. I think this is the greatest country in the world, and I’ve traveled to a lot of foreign countries. Our Constitution is the model for the free world. I love this country and I am grateful to live in this country. I embrace the core values of a Traditional Republican. Why? Because of my own personal experience. Like the Horatio Alger story—I came from a poor background, with little chance for ‘worldly’ success, and I have been blessed to enjoy tremendous success due to the freedoms and opportunities this country provides.
I would describe a Traditional Republican as someone who believes in Freedom, Limited Government, support of the Rule of Law, quality education, limited taxes, a balanced budget, conservation, and free markets. These are values at the bedrock of our country, and I am a supporter of these values.
Q: 4. What is your opinion on the following GOP Platform position: “Government is accountable for maintaining sound money policy and a responsible economy”? How would you approach this GOP platform position on the Prescott City Council?
The city of Prescott has no monetary policy. The city is responsible for a balanced budget with limited debt and adequate but not excessive financial reserves. What we can do is create an even playing field for economic development and investment. The city doesn’t create jobs, but we do foster an environment that encourages job growth and innovation. We don’t pick winners and losers when it comes to small business; everyone should be given equal treatment.
I wholeheartedly agree that all levels of government—whether they be city, county, state or national—should be “accountable for maintaining sound money policies and a responsible economy”. Our government should serve the needs of its citizenry, not the other way around. We need lower taxes, and less government. If I am elected to City Council, my Republican values will influence my decisions on how the city should be managed, including the budgeting process and the expenditure of funds. I believe governments should be held accountable for their fiscal policies and should work to lessen the burden of taxation upon the people.
My experience in financial services as a wealth advisor has given me a strong sense of the value of fiscal prudence. I would describe myself as a fiscal conservative. I think that with regards to Prescott City Council, there needs to be a critical analysis of every single line item of the budget with the simple question, “Is this a want or a need?” Elected officials must exercise strong prudence when it comes to stewarding taxpayer dollars.
Q: 5. What is your opinion on the following GOP Platform position: “Individual rights, liberties and property rights are continually eroded when citizens are oppressed by excessive taxation”? How would you approach this GOP platform position on the Prescott City Council?
I agree with this GOP platform position. As I have in the past, I’ll continue to vote for NO increases in city taxes, advocate for a level payment for our Proposition 443 Public Service Pension Retirement System (PSPRS) annual required contribution, and all additional taxes being added to Prop 443. This is how we can eliminate this onerous tax as rapidly as possible.
The city’s general fund must be diligently managed for police and fire protection, library services, and general government obligations (pension payments for public safety and city staff). City employee benefits should not exceed what’s generally available in the private sector.
I believe the statement that “individual rights, liberties and property rights are continually eroded when citizens are oppressed by excessive taxation” is partially true. I do believe our taxation is excessive. However, I do not believe this is the primary reason “our individual rights, liberties and property” are being “continually eroded”. I feel a more accurate statement is that is that our rights are continually being eroded by legislative action, particularly at the national level, and especially by decisions made by the Supreme Court. I believe we are witnessing an unparalleled time in history when our rights are being infringed upon by legislative action.
I think that when it comes to excessive taxation, nowhere do we feel the erosion of our individual rights more acutely than on the local level. For example, if you look at the new jail, this represents a potential black hole for tax dollars. The community voters twice voted down the sales tax increase to fund it, yet the jail moves forward. What is more, it was not clear that the $80 million would fund just for the first phase. When the voters make their will clear about tax dollars, leadership should listen.
Q: 6. If elected to the position of Prescott Mayor or Prescott City Council, will you be for or against increasing, decreasing or maintaining the same city taxes on the citizens of the City of Prescott during your term in office and why? Please share your prior votes in office which increased, lowered or maintained taxes. If not a current official, what previous city tax votes do you strongly agree with and/or strongly disagree with?
I stand for maintaining or decreasing city taxes. I will not support tax increases. I want to ensure the Proposition 443 PSPRS taxes sunset as quickly as possible, and decrease city taxes levied upon the citizens of Prescott.
I opposed Proposition 443 as a candidate for City Council because of how it was structured. It did not meet standards for good tax policy since it allowed tax shifting which we are progressively seeing in subsequent budgets. Once elected to Council, I was the only councilman to pledge to NOT reduce annual required payments below the agreed-to $6M per year, and supported funneling all Proposition 443 tax proceeds into additional payments to reduce PSPRS debt. I was also the only councilman to advocate for using Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) money to reduce the Proposition 443 liability, accelerating the effort to sunset the tax sooner than claimed.
I think good government will always equate to lower taxes. Personally, I am against increasing city taxes on the citizens during my term in office. As a small business owner, I am in favor of lower taxes. Taxes stifle growth and innovation. Taxes hurt individuals too, not just corporations. The more we are taxed, the less control we have over the money we earn and we have less money to use at our discretion. As a voter, I did support the PSPRS tax, as this liability was going to eventually bankrupt the city if we did not solve this problem. I can support a tax for a specific purpose, which sunsets in a reasonable amount of town. For example, I supported the bond issue to purchase Willow and Watson Lakes. I have supported taxation for the acquisition of Open Space. I would not support increased taxes for roads.
Our current sales tax rate in Prescott is 9.1%. I think we ought to take necessary measures to bring that rate lower. I support paying down PSPRS unfunded liability as quickly as possible to sunset the ¾% sales tax. I was not in favor of this tax increase, and I worry about the tax burden that the new jail might represent to the community of Prescott.
Q: 7. Where do stand on the current issues of conservation and environmentalism regarding the City of Prescott and Yavapai County and why? What personal leadership plans have you made on these issues?
Sound water policy and water resource allocation, with conservative use of potable water, will promote landscaping with drought tolerant plants and turf removal, publicly advocated water-conserving appliances and fixtures, rainwater harvesting, and tiered water rates.
Prescott has some septic systems that degrade water quality in our reservoirs; a well-designed water policy could identify the most likely contributors to this degradation and support financial conversion for homeowners. One size does not fit all. I stopped the overreach of city government in mandatory septic system abandonment and connection to city sewers, as it did not consider what was efficient and environmentally supported.
I support the general position of “Save the Dells” and the creation of a regional park in that area, to the benefit of Prescott residents. I want to find a way to support wildlife corridors sufficient to maintain the movement of wildlife throughout our most threatened areas.
The City needs to be a leader in Yavapai County on both land use and water conservation policies. Land and water are finite resources, but I don’t feel our current council respects the need to protect either. We are in the middle of a long-term drought. Our city is growing too rapidly, and we are drawing down the Big Chino Aquifer. We are not achieving safe yield, placing our city in a precarious situation. The development that is occurring in the Deep Well Ranch area shows a blatant lack of respect for the land, bulldozing and removing 100% of all native habitat to put homes so close together. We need to slow the growth down. We need to look at our current growth rate, not what the average growth has been over the last twenty years. I will be a strong advocate for sustainable growth.
Our quality of life is dependent on many factors, one of which is the preservation of our natural beauty. Ecotourism is a critical economic driver for all of Arizona, and especially Prescott. I support our Open Space Policy and the position of Save the Dells. Providing water and sewer to our customers is also a crucial job of the City. We must keep our Creeks and Lakes clean. We must keep our aquifer from being contaminated. We must not waste water as our aquifer level is dropping, there is a drought, and we are in overdraft. We need to have a strategic plan around water conservation to preserve our quality of life.
Q: 8. What are your positions and any concrete plans about the future growth of Prescott (including Infrastructure, Water, Health & Safety, Prescott Traffic, Transportation Planning and Downtown parking)?
I support well-managed, modest, absorbable growth that doesn’t overwhelm Prescott transportation, traffic, health and safety, and water resources. We need legitimate planning—in advance—for large developments, so we’re not trying to fix the problems they create after the fact.
This is a complex question to answer in 150 words. I think instead of trying to answer this question here, I would refer you to my website, ericmoore4citycouncil.com, for more information on these issues. There is no way I could even attempt to do justice to this question in 150 words.
I believe that growth needs to be managed to be within the constraints of 1-2% annually. As it relates specifically to downtown parking, I think the recent example of the public works department budgeting for a redesign of the sidewalk on the north side of the library is one example of how we can continue to modify our existing infrastructure to increase parking in our downtown area. I think the City of Prescott needs to continue to work closely with Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO) to find ways to leverage state resources to manage transportation needs and problems as they arise.
Q: 9. Since becoming a candidate for Prescott Mayor or Prescott City Council, have you, or will you accept campaign contributions from developers, builders, realtors, or others associated with industries committed to the expansion and growth of the City of Prescott, and Why or Why not?
I have taken NO financial campaign contributions from any of these groups. I have not taken nor will I take any contributions from developers and builders because I don’t want even the appearance of impropriety and conflict to create suspicion or distrust in the community’s mind when it comes to future development that may take place. Every proposed project will be decided purely on its merits.
I have made a commitment that I will not accept any campaign contributions from developers or builders. Why? I believe it is important to not be influenced by individuals or corporations that are determined to over-build Prescott, using excessive amounts of our finite water supply, and destroying the native habitat that we call home. I think the issue of growth (uncontrolled vs. managed growth) is the primary issue of this campaign. Growth is good. Growth is inevitable. However, it needs to be managed. It needs to be sustainable. How is growth measured? Is it roof tops? Is it economic growth? Is it high tech jobs? Not all kinds of growth are ‘good’. There are plenty of examples of bad growth happening in Prescott right now. We need to respect the land and the environment.
I am not taking any campaign contributions from developers or builders because I feel this represents a significant conflict of interest for City Council members. The City Council has a fiduciary duty to the whole community to make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone. I believe accepting campaign donations from those who will come before the City Council is inappropriate and unacceptable.
Q: 10. What is your position on the current and future Prescott Water Policies, and any changes to the current Policy you would seek?
(Editor’s Note: We learned questions 10 and 11 should have been combined)
I would restore most of Prescott’s previous water policy, restrict or deny water applications outside city limits, support greater enforcement of water use policy and implement more steeply tiered water rates.
For example, the previous water policy had an allocation of 0.35 acre feet of water per new home vs. today’s policy of 0.17 acre feet of water per new home, which enables greater density of homes and more rapid development.
With respect to commercial development: a water allocation budget is set to start with, but actual water usage is not measured until five years afterward, too late to revise water allocations to reflect a reality of overuse.
I think the city should not provide water to any new subdivisions without coming into the city through an annexation agreement. I think areas that are currently outside of the city limits, such as Mountain Club, that are receiving city water should be annexed into the city. Annexation of existing subdivisions into the city does not result in ‘growth’, as the growth is already completed in these areas. I believe there are several benefits to the city to have areas that receive city goods and services in the city limits. We should probably enact a ‘harsher’ (if that is the right word) graduated charge for water use, with a much higher rate for those consuming the most amount of water. Incentivize people to use less water by charging lower amounts for those who conserve water.
I think the change to the Prescott Water Policy was a mistake. We need to have a long-term strategic vision regarding how we manage our water. This doesn’t mean that we can’t have growth, but it does mean that we should ensure that the growth that we have is quality and within the resources of a water supply that is rapidly declining in the midst of a severe drought.
Q: 11. What is your position on assuring long term, regional water availability and supply for Prescott citizens via regional planning cooperation from all the involved elected County and City officials?
I want to create a legitimate regional water-policy working group, and establish a consistent water conservation policy that all of our neighboring municipalities can agree on. I intend to develop a 10-year water conservation plan with measurable benchmarks to achieve “safe yield” (safe yield defined as not withdrawing more water from the aquifer than is recharged), as required under the AZ Department of Water Resources. The Verde River must protect its perennial flow not only for its wild and scenic river status but also to avoid legal entanglements due to the Salt River Projects (SRP) legal reliance on the Verde’s flow to SRP’s customers downstream. If Prescott and all of our neighboring municipalities and the County can work together on this effort, we can truly have a sustainable future for everyone.
My position for long-term regional water availability and supply for Prescott is that is it absolutely necessary. However, I don’t believe this can be achieved without regional planning and cooperation with all of the other municipalities in Yavapai County that are vying for and using the same limited supply into which we are tapping. We have to protect the Verde River. We can only do this by lowering the demand for water in Prescott, Chino Valley and Prescott Valley. If the Verde River stops running, it will be a black eye for Prescott and Prescott Valley. We need to tap into the expertise and knowledge of hydrologists. It is unconscionable that a majority of four people on council can set water policy for this region. Politicians are not qualified to make water policy. We need the best minds and the best science available to help us to make these decisions.
We are in the grip of a 30-year drought. We did not get our monsoons last year, and the forest is dying. The City of Prescott pumped 1,000 Acre Feet of water more in 2020 than in 2019. We returned 2,000 AF less than 2019. The aquifer is dropping 1 ft/year. We are at a critical tipping point. The whole state is in Exceptional/Extreme drought. The City of Prescott needs to take the lead and work with our regional partners like Yavapai County, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley to have a consensus on how we will move our area back into safe yield.
Q: 12. Explain your plans and positions on Prescott’s Business Development and Why?
I’ve supported the Center for the Future since it was just an idea, and it’s now starting to become a reality. Some businesses have been able to occupy startup locations. We want to transition them to a more substantial workspace in a multi-level physical Center for the Future complex located near the airport. The center will support new startups and the expansion of existing small businesses, in the high tech, cyber security and other developmental areas. This is an example of how we can create an environment for high-quality, high-tech successful businesses, and satellite operations in our community.
The private sector can innovate and succeed when government gets out of the way.
Prescott Business Development needs to focus on maintaining a vibrant downtown district, and not allow commercial growth (shopping centers) to get further and further away from the downtown area, as we’ve seen in the past. Costco, the mall, Wal-Mart, and the car dealerships out on highway 69 are ‘in’ the city limits, but from far from the city center. We should incentivize businesses to locate ‘in’ town, not on the fringes of town. We need to keep our city center vibrant and robust. We need to focus on technology industries and capitalize on having the regional airport. We need to attract light, commercial industries that will provide sufficient income for employees to live in the community where they work, instead of working in Prescott and living elsewhere.
Supporting local businesses is vital for maintaining a vibrant economy. The recent airport terminal expansion is poised to be an economic driver. By supporting the airport, we can also support Embry Riddle and its growth. However, the continued residential home growth in north Prescott is quickly encroaching on the airport and its ability for future expansion. Expansion of our infrastructure to accommodate economic growth is crucial. For example, the City is starting on a major infrastructure water/sewer main expansion on our Highway 69 corridor for future businesses before the widening of Highway 69. Prescott works with the Governor’s office to attract new employers, such as CP Technologies. Our new Hilton Garden Inn is a wonderful example of a Public/Private partnership to revitalize a blighted area. Ensuring that our growth doesn’t outpace our infrastructure will make it so that we don’t have blight and decay that will harm local businesses.
Q: 13. What is your position on Prescott Public School Education vs. Charter schools and Why?
(Editor’s Note, we learned we need to consider the particular race’s scope as to whether an issue area is controllable or influenceable by the role)
This is completely out of the realm of city government’s responsibility. Charter schools are public schools; they are simply not district schools. I believe in school choice and that parents have the right to choose the best school for their children.
I served three years on the Prescott Basis Charter school advisory council, and also served three years on Yavapai County Education Foundation Teacher of the Year panel, selecting the best public high school district teacher. I support quality education.
Beyond this, city government does not have a role in determining public education policies.
I am a strong advocate of the public school system. Growing up, I went through the public education system. When we raised our children (in Prescott) they all attended the public schools here—Washington Traditional School, Mile High Middle School, and Prescott High School. I’m sure charter schools can provide a similar academic experience for their students as a public school, but there is more to education than academics. I think public schools provide a more ‘well-rounded’ education with orchestra, jazz band, marching band, and all of the different sports programs. In my opinion, charter schools lack the ability to provide a full, well-balanced educational experience compared to public schools.
As a parent of two school-age children, I understand that every child should have the opportunity to access good quality education. I support our local public schools. In fact, the Rotary Club that I belong to, Prescott Frontier Rotary has been helping fund the PUSD summer school program for years. I also know that public school is not always the right solution for every child. At various times both of my children have been in Private or Charter schools and public schools. The ability for parents to decide what works best for their kids is important.
Q: 14. What actions will you take to ensure the City of Prescott has a plan to address any probable impacts of the new County Jail and the crisis at the US Border?
The decision to build the county justice center has already been determined and the first phase of 144 beds is under construction. It’s the responsibility of the city to monitor and manage the impact of this new center to ensure any negative impacts are minimized as much as possible. It would be preferable to keep the justice center focused on offenders requiring mental health treatment, vs. bringing hardened criminals into our community.
The U.S. border is far beyond city government’s direct influence. However, knowing that we may see serious impacts to our community, it’s important that our police, fire, and county leadership coordinate a planned response. The fact that we see a growing migration of illegal immigrants north of the border means we need a strong community and county wide public safety plan rather than trying to figure out how to deal with the dangerous consequences once they occur.
I am confident that our Prescott Police Department and our Yavapai County Sherriff’s departments are more than capable of handling any possible impacts from the new County Jail and the crisis at the border. From a law enforcement standpoint, I have no concerns. Where I do have concerns is with increased demands upon those sectors of our community that provide resources for individuals with addiction, mental illness and homelessness. I see a greater threat of individuals being released into our community that are not a threat to the community in the sense of being violent offenders, but I fear a greater need to help individuals with substance abuse and mental health issues. The city will need to partner with West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and other mental health organizations to ensure we have the resources to help individuals with these needs.
I do not support Prescott becoming a “Jail Town.” I support the diversion programs to treat substance abuse and mental illness to decrease the crime rate and the jail population. However, we must be wary of the proliferation of rehab homes from overwhelming our neighborhoods once again. There are already 2 Supervisors who do not support the jail, all we need is one more vote, and we can limit it to 150 beds instead of 600. Our current City Council is silent on the Jail. Even though we are a border state, the border is under the jurisdiction at the Federal level and must be fixed by Congress.
Q: 15. Explain your personal contributions to the citizens of Prescott regarding Volunteering, Board Positions, Committees. Clubs, other Organizations and any other personal contributions you have given to the citizens of Prescott.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 541 Bucky O’Neill - senior vice commander two terms, judge advocate two terms, legislative affairs chairman.
American Legion Post #6 Ernest A. Love - judge advocate for two terms, legislative affairs chairman
Vietnam Veterans of America - Life Member
DAV Chapter 16 - Life Member
Northern AZ Veterans Advisory Council - Founder and Current President
All Veterans Memorial Plaque Rededication Committee - Co-Chair, 2014-2016
Sunup Rotary Club - Member since 2015
Yavapai Republican Men’s Forum - Director since 2015
AZ League of Cities and Towns - Budget, finance and economic development committee member, 4th term
Mayor Oberg’s Structured Sober Living Homes Committee - Co-chairman 2015-2017
AZ Dept of Health Services State Rules Formation Committee - Member of committee creating statewide sober living homes regulations
Southview Community Firewise Committee - Past volunteer
In the 30 years I’ve lived in Prescott, I’ve volunteered in a variety of ways. For example, I served as the adult Student Council representative at Washington Traditional School, and as a judge for the annual Science Fair. I have helped with the Granite Creek cleanup, and I have donated my time and resources to community non-profits such as Prescott Creeks, Prescott Audubon Society and the Highlands Center for Natural History. As a business owner, I have partnered with Yavapai Exceptional Industries to provide meaningful employment to adults with disabilities. For almost ten years now, we have worked with YEI! so their clients have a job to go to each day. As a business we have donated thousands of dollars over the years—either in product or monetarily—to fund-raising events for scores of non-profits, whether it’s the Lion’s Club, Rotary, Kiwanis, Cowboy Poets, etc.
In 2016 I participated in the Prescott Area Leadership program and learned the value of “servant leadership.” It was the same year that I became involved with Prescott Frontier Rotary. I first served as a co-chair to our fundraiser “Grapes for Grades,” which raises more than $15,000 for Prescott Unified School District. In 2019-2020 I served as the President of the Frontier Rotary Club as well as its foundation. I have been on the board of directors for the club for three years. I also served on the board of directors for the Prescott Farmer’s Market for two years. I have been active in volunteering in the community, primarily through Prescott Frontier Rotary Club.
Q: 16. If elected as Prescott Mayor or to the Prescott City Council, please share your vison and goals for the citizens of Prescott.
(Editor’s Note: We learned Questions 8 and 16 could be combined due to similar content and responses)
Respect Public Input and Ensure Transparency
No public policy made behind closed doors
Welcome and acknowledge public opinion
Restore “Call to the Public” at city council meetings
Protect Our Water, Land, and Small-Town Culture
Create a regional water resource working group to establish consistent, conservative water management policies
Manage water resources conservatively, which includes not providing additional water contracts outside Prescott City limits
Slow down the out-of-control growth and unplanned development
Preserve Prescott's friendly, small-town atmosphere and our western heritage
Provide Experienced Executive Leadership
Research, develop, and implement plans to solve congestion and traffic problems impacting our citizens and the small-business community
Maintain low taxes and limited government
THE MAYOR WE NEED
THE MAYOR WE DESERVE ™
My goal is to preserve our past and to protect our future. I think it is ironic that one of the slogans for Prescott is “Everybody’s Home Town”. The way developers are building houses—practically stacked right on top of one another—that slogan is about to come true. Pretty soon this will be Everybody’s home town. We need to slow down the growth, we need to protect the quality of the life we enjoy here. We need to reduce the demand for more infrastructure. We’ve marketed Prescott so well that we are growing at a rate that is not sustainable based on our limited water resources. We should focus our economy to be more eco-tourism based, where people come here to spend their money and enjoy all of the outdoor amenities we love and then have them go home, instead of moving here and adding to our growth.
If I should have the privilege of serving Prescott on the City Council, I would be dedicated to preserving the Prescott that we all know and love. Among my goals would be to champion the return of a “call to the public” to the City Council agenda. I would demand that we do less of the city’s business behind closed doors and in executive sessions. I would also work with my fellow council members to establish a target date for bringing our water supplies back into safe yield and establish a strategic plan for water conservation in our community. I would advocate that we adhere more closely to the target growth numbers in the general plan of 1-2% instead of the 4% annual growth that we have averaged since 2018.
Q: 17. Have you participated in any past primary and general election cycles? How Many? Please Explain.
(Editor’s Note: We learned we poorly worded this question, which caused disparate answers)
Ronald Reagan gubernatorial campaign in 1966, primary and general
City Council (non-partisan) candidate campaign in Torrance CA, 1984
Republican presidential primary general campaign, 2008
CA state assembly for Republican state rep campaign, 2012
CA Republican state senate campaign, 2014
Republican presidential primary - led pledge of allegiance for Candidate Trump, 2016
Elected to AZ state Republican presidential nominating committee, 2020
For the last forty-plus years, I have participated as a voter. I did serve as a treasurer several years ago for an individual who ran for the Prescott School Board. I’ve never been involved in ‘politics’ other than voting. I don’t consider myself a ‘political person’, but rather a concerned citizen who wants to get involved in my community because of my concerns about uncontrolled growth.
This is the first time I have sought public office, but I did submit my application for Billie Orr’s seat in December of last year.
Q: 18. The Prescott General Plan was adopted in April 2015. What aspects of the Plan do you most support and why? What aspects of the Plan do you want to see amended/changed and Why? When would you support the General Plan being renewed?
The plan is 113 pages long, plus exhibits and maps; I’ve read it many times. I respect the community’s development and adoption of the 2015 plan, including work in directing the city’s growth and development. I consider it a roadmap for where the city should grow over the next 10 years, until 2025. When projects are proposed outside the scope of the plan or in contradiction to it, I oppose them. I support the development of a new general plan committee, to work on the next plan to be implemented in 2025. The plan must be approved and voted upon by the citizens of Prescott.
I basically agree with all of the elements of the General Plan. It is a well-thought-out document, and is exhaustive in the topics it covers. If there is anything that I think should change in the City of Prescott, it would be adopting term limits, but I don’t believe this would fall under the General Plan, but under a resolution of the Mayor and Council. I don’t believe individuals should be ‘career politicians’. I don’t think our Founding Fathers ever intended for this practice. I think the maximum time anyone should be allowed to serve either as Mayor or on the City Council is eight years. I think the General Plan should be renewed at a minimum every ten years, in spite of the amount of time and work that goes into this process.
The General Plan of 2015 is actually an “update” of the 2003 plan. One omission is the lack of a comprehensive plan protecting the airport from residential growth and compliance with FAA rules and regulations. Also, the water element needs to be updated to reflect our current drought conditions. The general plan is not a legally binding document. One example of the plan being ignored was when the Council was ready to annex Stringfield Ranch even though it was outside the boundaries of the plan area. It was outside the water service area also, but Council went ahead and supplied water and sewer to it anyway. The vote was 5-2.
Q: 19. Please explain your position and rationale regarding the recent appointment to replace Councilwoman Billie Orr with an appointee for a 33 month term, instead of having an interim appointment and allowing the citizens of Prescott to choose their Council representative through a city-wide election in 2021?
Prescott city charter allows two options for appointing a replacement to an open Council seat, 1) until the next election, or 2) for the entire remaining term. I voted against the 2nd option, making an historically long 33-month replacement appointment to a 48-month total term. To allow someone to represent the citizens, who have never heard his views, is a slap in the face to our representative government. For the mayor and some Council members to claim an obligation to appoint someone with “the same views as the outgoing member” is just plain wrong.
A list of applicants for the replacement term was submitted to Council on Jan 27, 2021, and the appointee selected on Feb 16, 2021. That same month, other candidates announced their runs for upcoming open seats in the August election…plenty of time to elect a new council member to replace Billie Orr.
While the City Charter allowed the option for the Council to fill Billie’s seat for the remainder of her term, I don’t think the Council should have chosen this option. They simply should have appointed someone to fill her seat until the next election, ensuring that our local government has duly elected council members that were chosen by the people, for the people, and not by the Mayor and Council. I disagree with the appointment process—but not who they chose—to appoint for the whole term. Let the voters decide who they want to represent them.
The way City Council leadership handled Billie Orr’s replacement appointment was the most undemocratic thing that I have seen happen in Prescott since I moved here more than 25 years ago. Every city councilperson who supported appointing a replacement to fill the remainder of Billie Orr’s term should feel shame for silencing the voices and votes of the citizens of Prescott. Had I been on the city council at that time, I would have joined Cathey Rusing and Phil Goode in opposing a replacement to serve out the full term. What is more, when I am on City Council, I will advocate that we change the rule to serving out replacement terms until the next election, not the full term.
Q: 20. Please provide a background and experience bio (including political history, association with political groups or petition advocacy groups, etc.).
Decorated U.S. Army Vietnam War combat veteran, 1970-1977, honorable discharge
American Legion Post 6, 30-year member
Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 541), life member
Bachelor’s degree, Biological Sciences, Sacramento State University, with honors; post graduate degree in business, Management Research Institute
35-year career in healthcare industry reaching senior management positions
Commissioner - City of Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission, 2015 – 2017
Co-Chairman - Mayor Oberg’s Sober Living Home Committee
Prescott City Council Member since 2017
Central Yavapai Hospital District Board of Directors, 2015 – 2017
Member - Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) Public Policy Committee, since 2016
Board of Directors - Yavapai Republican Men’s Forum
Member - Citizens Tax Committee (Yavapai County’s taxpayer watchdog)
Past member - Yavapai County Teacher of the Year panel, Prescott BASIS School Advisory Council
Member - Sunup Rotary Club since 2015
See #17 for political association/ advocacy
My background and experience is one of hard work, personal responsibility, and self-sufficiency. I have worked since I was ten years old. I have always paid my own way. Even when I went to college, my family did not pay for that privilege. I worked for over 20 years in the grocery industry, I worked as an employee for the Town of Chino Valley, and for the last 18 years I have been a small business owner. My wife and I own and operate Jay’s Bird Barn, Hallmark and Arizona Field Optics. I have no political history, and I haven’t actively associated with political groups other than being a life-long, voting member of the Republican Party. I’ve been affiliated with groups that have advocacy groups on the national level, such as the Audubon Society, but nothing on the local level that would be considered a ‘petition advocacy group’.
I am a newcomer to the political process and, in many ways, felt the pull to run for City Council because I felt called to serve my community. I have lived in Prescott since I was eleven. I attended public schools here and have worked in this community since I was a teenager. I started my business in Prescott in 2016 and own two pieces of property in Prescott. I want to give back to a community that has provided so much to my family and me. I am a member of the Citizens Tax Advocacy Group and Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG).
Q: 21. Have you ever had or been: 1) Convicted of any Misdemeanor or Felony, 2) Delinquent in Taxes, 3) Forced Resignations, 4) Employment Terminations, 5) Insufficient Residency, 5) Judgments, Liens or Bankruptcies? Please Explain.
3) and 4) With over 30 years in corporate management, both public and private, impacts by reduction in force, reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructures were common, and still are today. I was affected by several corporate reductions in force throughout my career.
The answer is simply NO. I have never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, I have never been delinquent in my taxes, I have never experienced a forced resignation or employment termination, insufficient residency, nor have I ever had any judgments, liens or bankruptcies.
I have never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. I have never had tax delinquencies. In 2016 I was terminated from my employment at Merrill Lynch over a disagreement with management related to internal policy regarding bonus compensation. I have never had insufficient residency. In 2010 I filed for bankruptcy, largely due to medical debt that I incurred without insurance. After my bankruptcy, I have never missed a payment to any creditor, maintained a 765-credit score, and currently have a home and commercial mortgage.