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Tue, May 21

Skoog, Steele prepare to take office next week

PRESCOTT VALLEY – Mayor-elect Harvey Skoog and Town Council member-elect Tom Steele will be officially seated only 29 days before the deadline to turn in applications for the town's 2005 election.

Town Clerk Diane Russell said the council members will be seated during a special Nov. 10 meeting. The town will canvass the votes and make them official before seating the council members. The new council also will select the town's new vice mayor during a Nov. 18 meeting.

Skoog and Steele both said they are undecided as to who they want to see as the town's vice mayor.

One of the town's largest voter turnouts in Prescott Valley history occurred on Tuesday as more than 80 percent of the town's registered voters decided the fates of the recall candidates, Russell said.

Council candidate Eunice Conner said the presidential election definitely brought more voters to the polls than the town's standard spring elections. She is one of several recall candidates who plans to run for office again in the spring. Conner lost to Steele in the recall election by about 3 percentage points.

"Nomination packages will be available on Nov. 8," Russell said. The packages include campaign finance documents and signatures of support. They are due on Dec. 8.

Russell said the town's primary election for the office will occur on March 8. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote during the primary election, then the top two candidates from each race will run in the town's May 17 general election. She noted that a large number of candidates during the spring election could bring on that situation.

Conner, Steele and Skoog all confirmed that they will run for office in the 2005 election.

Sue O'Grady, a mayoral candidate in the recall election, said on Wednesday that she needs to talk to Skoog before deciding whether to run for office in 2005. On Tuesday, she said that she shares many similar viewpoints with Skoog and noted that if she did run again, she would probably spend more than $500.

Steele said shortly after learning the election results that he and Skoog had spoken to O'Grady about running for a council seat in the 2005 election.

"Harvey and I have not talked about that," O'Grady said. "Tom had mentioned it to me in the past … I think Tom is thinking about a while back … That does not mean that it is not on my radar, it just means that I have not quite decided yet."

Skoog said he wants to see O'Grady run for a council seat in 2005. He said she is well prepared for the position and mentioned that she has the potential to be an excellent vice mayor. Steele also said he would like to see O'Grady run in 2005.

Conner noted that she did not spend very much money on the election and that "I never have for any of them." She said she would consider spending more money in the upcoming election, however.

Voters have until Feb. 7 to register, Russell said.

Looking ahead

A tired Harvey Skoog said he woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday and went to several local restaurants frequented by seniors and developers. Later in the day, he dropped by town hall to talk to town staff.

"Today I just popped in," Skoog said. "I do not intend to be a micromanager."

He said the town has lost some 22 to 26 employees since the departure of Anthony Mortillaro, former town manager.

In the afternoon, Steele and Skoog both met with Interim Town Manager Larry Tarkowski for approximately three hours. Tarkowski briefed the duo about the town's major issues, such as the JWK Ranch purchase and negotiations with Global Entertain-ment.

Contact the reporter at jkamin@prescottaz.com

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