If campaign signs and flyers seem a bit more intense this year than usual, the amount of money going into the 2017 Prescott City Council election campaign is likely the reason.
Overall, more than $130,000 in contributions were reported in the first several months of the campaign, leading up to the Aug. 29 city primary.
That compares with about $94,000 collected by 2015 candidates by about the same point in the campaign.
Much of the increase can be attributed to Proposition 443, the city’s ballot measure that will ask voters for a 0.75-percent sales tax increase to help pay down the more than $78 million in debt with the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).
While 2017’s overall candidate contributions were somewhat less than the 2015 level, the difference is more than made up for by the nearly $52,000 collected by the pro and con camps on Proposition 443.
‘Stand for Prescott’ contributions
And much of that total is going to the effort that is advocating for the tax. Financial disclosures that were filed this past week show that “Stand for Prescott - Vote Yes on 443” had total receipts of $46,915 by June 30 (the end of the past reporting period, for which reports were due to the city by July 15).
That total is significantly higher than any of the individual candidates’ totals, and it compares with $4,645 raised by the “No on Proposition 443” effort.
The filing for Stand for Prescott shows about 40 contributions ranging from $100 to $10,000 by area residents, officials, and business people.
(The Arizona Secretary of State’s website states that individuals and partnerships are allowed to contribute as much as $6,350 to local candidates, while contributions to Political Action Committees (PACS) are unlimited).
Top contributions (of $500 or more) to the “yes” effort include: $10,000 from Tempe developer Jim Chamberlain; $8,000 (separate contributions of $3,000 and $8,000) from Bradley Christensen of Ponderosa Hotel Management; $5,000 from contractor Michael Fann; $4,500 (separate contributions of $2,000 and $2,500) from physician Hojat Askan; $3,500 (separate contributions of $1,500 and $2,000) from contractor Charles Arnold; $2,000 from consultant Jim Lee; $2,000 from retiree Nancy Price; $1,050 (separate contributions of $500 and $550) from restaurant owner Barry Barbe; $1,000 from Yavapai County Attorney Shelia Polk; $1,000 from retiree Ben Andre; $500 from health care consultant Pam Jones; $500 from self-employed local resident Jason Gist; $500 from author Michael Broggie; and $500 from attorney James Musgrove.
By June 30, Stand for Prescott had spent about $14,000 of its contributions on a variety of campaign costs, such as car magnets; T-shirts; website design; buttons; design and printing of flyers; yard signs; street sign installation; and radio ads on KYCA and KPPV. The bulk of the money initially went to the Helken & Horn Advertising Agency, which made the various expenditures.
‘No on Proposition 443’ contributions
The “No on Proposition 443” effort shows total receipts of $4,645, and disbursements of $2,918. Top contributions to the effort include: $2,000 from owner/manager of the Comfort Inn (and Arizona State Representative) David Stringer; $1,000 from tax preparer John Stevens; $500 from retiree Nettie Lamerson; and $500 from retiree John Lamerson.
So far, the “no” effort has spent its money on magnet signs, banners, signs and sign installation, and advertisements through Valpak of Northern Arizona.
Among the candidates running for mayor and City Council, mayoral candidate Greg Mengarelli is leading significantly in contributions. By June 30, he had raised $32,245, compared with fellow mayor candidates Jean Wilcox ($15,976), and Mary Beth Hrin ($9,770).
• Mengarelli collected about 70 contributions of between $100 and $1,000. His top contributions of $500 or more included: $1,000 from Stephan Rutherford of Rutherford Investments; $1,000 from retiree Jim Lee; $1,000 from Bradley Christensen, owner of Springhill Suites; $1,000 from Ronald Ketner, owner of AZEX Pest Solutions; $1,000 from Ron Fain, sales director at Fain Signature Group; $1,000 from Brad Fain, CEO of Fain Signature Group; $1,000 from Marc Van Wormer, owner of Aspen Homes; $1,000 from retiree Jan Simmons; $1,000 from David Everson, owner of Mandalay Homes; $1,000 from Sarah Wells, controller at Mandalay Homes; $1,000 from retiree Linda Lee; $1,000 from retiree Nancy Fain; $1,000 from Sanford Williams, owner of Quality Plastics;
Also, $750 from Matt Holdsworth, CPA at Holdsworth Chadd CPA PC; $520 from retiree David Hess; $500 from real estate agent Sheila Mengarelli; $500 from healthcare consultant Pamela Jones; $500 from retiree Jan Simmons; $500 from JD Blocker, owner of Door & Window Store; $500 from Dane Beck, manager of KIBO, Inc.; $500 from retiree Eugene Polk; $500 from attorney Thomas Polk; $500 from Jeffrey Wasowicz, property manager with Fain Signature Group; $500 from Realtor Brad Bergamini; $500 from homemaker Shelly Bunger; $500 from Kevin Lollar, owner of Lollar Electric; $500 from Edward Walsh, general manager at Lamb Chevrolet; $500 from Realtor Mary Jo Adams; $500 from Brad Desaye, owner of J&G Sales; $500 from Realtor Geoffrey Hyland; $500 from attorney Krista Carman; $500 from retiree Nancy Barrett; $500 from retiree Malcolm Barrett; $500 from Drew Stoddard, owner of Lifestyle Homes; $500 from Lori Kelly, owner at Engineering Consultants; $500 from Matt Koehler, owner of Koehler Enterprises; $500 from physician Brian Schilperoot; $500 from retiree Daniel Preble; $500 from Michael Taylor, owner of Taylor Architects; and $500 from Gary Kelly, owner of Kelley Wise Engineering.
Along with the contributions of $500 or more, Mengarelli also received contributions from a number of local officials, including: $100 and $300 from Prescott City Councilwoman Billie Orr; $200 from PUSD Superintendent Joe Howard; $200 from Prescott City Councilman Steve Sischka; and $150 from State Sen. Karen Fann.
By June 30, Mengarelli’s campaign had spent about $15,000 on expenses such as: Frontier Days Parade entry fee; Cableone advertising; postage; campaign materials through Helken and Horn Advertising Agency; printing through Action Graphics; printing through EMI Printworks; magnetic signs through Helken & Horn Advertising; advertising through RAXX Direct Marketing; graphic design through Helken & Horn; yard signs through Helken & Horn; note cards and envelopes; radio ads on KYCA and KPPV; advertising design through Helken & Horn; lapel buttons and car magnets through Helken & Horn; T-shirts; and signs through Helken & Horn.
• During the same time period, fellow mayoral candidate and current City Councilwoman Jean Wilcox had about 40 contributors ($15,976 total), most of which were less than $500.
Wilcox’s top contributions included: $2,500 from the Prescott Firefighters PAC; and $1,000 from Marci Golden & Tony Winkelman, owners of Golden Insurance Services.
By the end of June, Wilcox’s campaign had spent about $9,500 on expenses such as: web and social media design/operation with DW Consulting; banners; graphic design for print media with Dina Ponder; rack card and campaign business card printing with A&E Reprographics; ads on Facebook; T-shirts; campaign signs and stickers with Custom Sticker Makers; and web and social media design with Drew Tracy LLC.
• Through June 30, Mayoral candidate Mary Beth Hrin had received about 45 contributions (totaling $9,770) of between $50 and $2,350. Her top contributions were: $2,350 from attorney and State Rep. David Stringer; $1,500 from State Rep. Noel Campbell; $750 from retiree Kathleen McIntyre Kelly; $600 from Joe Lohmeier, restaurant operator of Far From Folsom; separate contributions of $514, $628, and $748 from retiree Brenda Dickinson. Hrin also listed contributions of $595 and $280 from the Mary Beth for Mayor committee.
Hrin’s campaign expenses through June 30 totaled $3,399, and included costs such as: a fundraiser at Far From Folsom; a campaign meeting at Cuppers Bistro; campaign buttons; car magnets from Mammoth Graphics; campaign signs with Sign King; and a Frontier Days Parade entry fee.
• City Council candidate Phil Goode reported contributions of $8,675 and expenditures of $5,300. He reported about 15 contributions of between $50 and $250. None of Goode’s contributions totaled $500 or more, except for the $4,000 that he contributed to his own campaign. He also received a $200 contribution from State Rep. David Stringer.
• Candidate Connie Cantelme reported contributions totaling $5,730, and expenditures of $4,939. Her top contributions included: $1,000 from pilot Cameron Renter; $1,000 from Brad Christensen of Ponderosa Hotels; and $600 from Mike McCormick of Asphalt Paving & Supply.
• Candidate Alexa Scholl reported contributions of $4,159, and disbursements of $2,434. She reported nine contributions of between $100 and $500. Her top contribution was for $500 from San Diego handyman Mike Burnett. She also lists two $2,000 loans from Mardi Read.
• Candidate Joe Viccica lists total receipts of $3,302, and total disbursements of $1,084. He reports about 30 contributions of between $35 and $750. His top contributions: $750 from Vincent Iacopella, executive vice president of growth and strategy for Alba Wheels Up International Inc. of Los Angeles; and $600 from psychiatrist Edward Gogek.
• Incumbent council candidates Steve Blair and Greg Lazzell did not file campaign finance reports, and City Clerk Maureen Scott said candidates are exempt from filing the reports if they raise less than $1,100, which was the case with Blair and Lazzell.
The next disclosure round – the pre-election report – will end on Aug. 12, and reports will be due to the city clerk’s office by Aug. 19. Ballots for the city’s Aug. 29 primary are scheduled to go out in early August.
Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034.