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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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8/2/2012 10:01:00 PM
District 4 supervisors' debate marked by humor
Scott Orr/The Daily Courier
The six candidates for the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors District 4 seat look on during a public forum Wednesday. Pictured are, from left, Bill Blankemeier, Craig Brown, Walter Burcham, Dick Busby, Lynn Duke and Gary Warren.
Scott Orr/The Daily Courier
The six candidates for the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors District 4 seat look on during a public forum Wednesday. Pictured are, from left, Bill Blankemeier, Craig Brown, Walter Burcham, Dick Busby, Lynn Duke and Gary Warren.
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The six candidates for the District 4 seat on the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday for the second time in three days in a public forum.

All of those running - Bill Blankemeier, Craig Brown, Walter Burcham, Dick Busby, Lynn Duke and Gary Warren - are Republicans, so the Aug. 28 primary election will decide the race. The contenders appeared Monday for a similar forum in Chino Valley.

Wednesday's event was held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The third and final one sponsored by the Yavapai County Contractors Association, its format was like the YCCA's District 1 event Monday; Moderator Mal Barrett Jr. would ask a question, then draw a name to see who would answer it. Other candidates could then choose to answer the same question if they wished.

Barrett asked some of the same questions he'd posed previously, most notably, one that tripped up the District 1 candidates: how much federal stimulus money did Yavapai County receive, and on what was it spent?

The question went to Busby, who said, "I have no idea. (But) I'm sure it was wasted," he said, to laughter and applause from the audience.

This time, though, Duke was ready. "It's over $1.5 million," she said, correctly noting that it went to the Sheriff's Office for Kevlar vests and drug-testing supplies, the Health Department for a new facility in Cottonwood and to support dental and medical services there, and Fleet Management for new hybrid vehicles.

The question of building a new jail in Prescott was met with varying degrees of support. Warren answered first. "There is a need for it," he said. "Do we have the money to pay for it? That's to be determined," he continued, adding that he was unsure "which is more cost-effective, busing (inmates from Camp Verde) or getting the jail back over here."

Brown spoke in support of the proposed jail. "That jail will save a lot of money," he said.

Blankemeier said the jail should never have been moved, a sentiment Busby echoed.

"We don't have the money (to build a new jail) now," Busby said. "We're looking at a few more years, I hope, until this actually takes place."

Barrett asked some hot-potato questions, like, "Do you support commercial development along the Williamson Valley corridor?" which drew audience laughter.

Burcham was selected to answer that one. "Thank you, Mal," he said, to more laughs.

"That's the way it works," Barrett said, smiling.

"I'm not really a big fan of supporting commercial building," Burcham said. He added that he was on the Williamson Valley planning committee in 2005, and "commercial development was not high on the list, to say the least."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2012
Article comment by: Cori Gunnells

I was there, too. It is very clear that there are some cowards
out there, under alias names, trying to create a smear campaign. Lynn Duke was not the only prepared candidate at the forum(s). The winner of the DIstrict 4 BOS seat should win on their own merit, and not via schoolyard bullying tactics. If there is a truth to report, then put your name on it. The Internet has made it all too easy to generate anonymous bashing and false reports.
I have a favored candidate. I also had the goodwill to introduce myself to another candidate after the forum and tell 'him' although I am voting for another, I thought he did a fine job.
Be kind and be ethical. Your track record is forever yours. Another person's merits should not be your threat, unless you are weak in your own constitution.


Posted: Friday, August 03, 2012
Article comment by: cracker jack

I was there as well. I liked the forum. I was impressed with Bill, Dick, and Lynn. They were sharp and down to earth. The other TWO were from the twilight zone. I have been trying to compare the written bio's with the verbal. Seems like Mr. Brown has some severe integrity problems. Made himself sound like he ran LA. How many did he directly supervise, and military service ?? Walter seems like he would make a good newspaper delivery guy.

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2012
Article comment by: Solving Problems

We all need better information about the future impacts of growth, and what kind of economy will best sustain the high desert environment in District 4. To do that, we need a Board of Supervisors Team that works together for the best interests of the citizens, not the deep pockets. Craig Brown has experience negotiating with all constituencies in District 4, and he knows where to get the correct information to make the right decisions.

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2012
Article comment by: I was there

Lynn Duke had done her homework and could correctly answer what the others could not. In this round pen of candidates, she is the trainer surrounded by geldings.

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2012
Article comment by: Williamson Valley Resident

Craig Brown is clueless about anything related to the position he is running for. He only has one agenda if elected, and that is to try to prevent the widening of Williamson Valley Rd. since he lives there. Typical California mentality, him moving out Williamson Valley along with all the other Californians is what causes so much traffic on that road making it hard to navigate for the long time residents. Do not vote for this guy, there are other duties that the job will require that he will not fulfill.



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