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 How does the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors affects your life?

The Board oversees a budget of a quarter of a billion tax dollars, including state and federal grants, covering roads and bridges, health services, public safety and other vital needs. I worry that people do not know the Supervisors exist or what they do. The Board helps determine local and property-tax rates. It’s like the U.S. Senate of the County. The long-range plans that the Supervisors shape and administer have huge implications for the shape and character of our urban and rural communities.

 

How my education and experience has prepared me to serve on the board.

“Four decades of experience in the retail business on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott sharpened what I learned in management and business at NAU. Running a retail business gives me a solid knowledge of the people and decision-makers in our area. I know the character of our community and what matters to our people. My Degree is a BS in Forestry from NAU, which taught me a lot about systems integration. An environmental education teaches how everything in our world interacts with everything else, and no action is unto itself. Understanding perennial challenges like water are supported with a science-based view of how our natural and man-made systems interact.

How I would support these issues:

Animal wellness, adoption, and protection:

 The level of sprawl-type developments seems to be ignoring animal corridors, and that affects our wildlife in adverse ways. That needs to be considered, and the way we develop should consider the impact on wildlife, including antelope, coyotes, red-tail hawks, and all other species. The way we approach this locally affects the world. I am a big promoter of animal adoption. My wife and I have always adopted from the shelters and pounds.

Public safety from disease:

The County health department should coordinate the response to disease. It should be encouraging the wearing of masks. I am concerned that our County budget will need revisions upward for pandemic preparedness. We need to be prepared for the future, and we need to be prepared at County Health Services.

Ensuring immunizations are given to low income and homeless citizens:

County Health Services should be in charge of overseeing this important function as a way to protect the whole population from the spread of disease.

County Libraries:

Where other Counties offer extensive parks-and-recreation systems and libraries, Yavapai has neglected this area as our population has grown. Expanding the parks-and-rec budget and putting it to sensible use is an initiative I’d like to have the Board consider.

Veterans Services:

The Prescott VA Center has a great reputation and our Veterans services are extremely well received. My wife’s career as a nurse at the VA has brought home to me the need to always care for our Veterans. and as County Supervisor I would continue to advocate for the support our local VA Center needs.

Safeguarding waste, recycling, and sanitation:

 The County needs to get a better handle on the issue of wells and septic systems. One of the biggest issues in Yavapai County is the unregulated use of over 11,000 wells, most of them paired with septics. As long as that is the case, we will have a problem with clean, safe water. Another issue is the burying of garbage waste and the lack of regulations, especially when the waste becomes toxic, and threatens leaching into our aquifers. We should be more carefully regulating our landfills.

 Infrastructure:

Our people feel that the County is spending money on infrastructure to promote growth and the kind of sprawl that does not help current residents. People don’t want to sit in traffic looking at a sea of rooftops. They want the openness, and infrastructure that promotes the safety and well-being of the people already living here. That’s where they want to see their tax dollars go in reference to infrastructure. The largest spending project that the current County board is going with is a $65-million incarceration facility. On April 1 they approved it, in full knowledge of the economic downturn we have to anticipate with Covid-19. They should have delayed the project until they knew how far sales-tax revenues would fall, as well as declining property values. County voters turned down proposed sales-tax increases for the jail in the last two election cycles. In voting down the sales tax, they felt they were turning down the jail. Instead, the Supervisors increased the property tax by 18 percent without the voters’ approval, and this is upsetting voters. It does not sit well with them.

When elected I would like to pursue:

I would like to pursue responsible, forward-thinking stewardship of our shared resources, especially water. We have been treating our groundwater as more or less a fixed accounting problem rather than a vital and diminishing resource as our population grows. This needs to change. Uncontrolled urban sprawl is eroding our quality of life. We need a clearer vision for what we want the County to become long-term, and be willing to fight for that vision.

Dedication and investment in our community:

My wife and I have made Yavapai County our home for four decades. We should preserve the best parts of our way of life for future generations. My daughter and her family live here, and I think we should preserve the treasures of Yavapai County such as the Verde River, the Granite Dells, and the Courthouse Square that we all cherish.

John Lutes

for Yavapai County Board of Supervisors

PO Box 4415 • Prescott • Arizona • 86302

info@Lutes4YCbos.com

www.Lutes4YCbos.com

Paid for by Lutes for Yavapai County Board of Supervisors

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