PV Councilman wants to fire police chief
Upset over comments about the election
Ballots must be received by 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30 to be counted.
Prescott Valley, Civic Center
Dewey-Humboldt, Town Hall
Prescott Valley voting centers
Prescott Valley Event Center, 3201 N. Main Street
Robert Road Baptist Church, 5100 N. Robert Road
Central Yavapai Regional Training Center, 9601 E. Valley Road
Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dewey-Humboldt voting center
Gateway Baptist Church, 12900 Prescott Dells Ranch Road
Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On the ballot
In addition to voting for federal, state and county offices, voters will decide Town Council elections and the Home Rule Option.
Prescott Valley Council candidates
Lora Lee Nye
Council candidates that receive more than 50 percent of the vote will be elected. If not enough candidates reach that threshold, then candidates advance to a run off in November’s general election.
Prescott Valley Councilmember Steve Marshall called on Police Chief Bryan Jarrell to be dismissed at the body’s Thursday, Aug. 18 meeting because of his comments in last week’s Tribune about next week’s election.
“In the state of Arizona, we have laws that prevent employees from trying to influence elections. We also have a town code that explicitly prohibits town employees from trying to influence the elections,” Marshall said.
He said that the candidates could “sue the town if they lose, because the police chief went in the paper and told people not to vote for them.”
Noting that he holds the same views toward taxes as the challengers, he said, “my police chief is telling me and the people of this town my views are dangerous.
“I believe in my heart that I have to ask that the police chief be fired.”
Jarrell is being criticized for comments he made in last week’s Tribune calling the challengers in this year’s Town Council race “ignorant” of the realities of government and policing, and saying that their stated plans to repeal the town’s half-cent sales tax would devastate the police department.
Jarrell said that, as things stand, with the town giving him the funding to add staff, he’s able to stay about even with the growing population.
“Granville is starting four new homes a week,” he said, and 108 new businesses began operation last year.
He’s also hired civilians who shoulder much of the burden that previously took up the time of the sworn officers and lets them get back on the street.
The problem, Jarrell said, is the challengers “are running on these platforms that are dangerous to the future and security of this town, as far as a safety perspective.”
The major problem he has with their platforms is their total objection to sales taxes.
“It scares me when I hear people saying … ‘the tax rates are too high, we’ve got to roll them back,’ because then all of us are going to suffer greatly,” he said.
Town Manager Larry Tarkowski said that, “There is a … violation of the town’s personnel rules and there’s been a disciplinary action.”
Marshall said that wasn’t enough.
“This is very big,” he said. “If something doesn’t happen, I’m going to drive to the attorney general’s office in Phoenix and I’m going to file a complaint myself.”
No action was taken at that meeting.
Jarrell said on Friday, Aug. 19, that he wasn’t campaigning “for or against any candidate.
“The only thing I am campaigning for is a safe community,” he said.
Four incumbents are running against five challengers for four seats on the council. Marshall is not running in this election.
Some of the challengers have not advocated repealing the half-cent sales tax increase that was approved last fall.
Councilmember Michael Whiting, who is also not up for reelection this year, wrote a letter in this week’s Tribune supporting Jarrell (Page 4).
Jarrell pointed to only one specific candiate, pointing to Joey Cilano’s claim that “we already pay the third-highest sales tax in the state.”
Prescott Valley is 39th out of 78 municipalities in Arizona.
Cilano said that he believes there is enough room in the town’s $82.2 million budget to ensure the police department has what it needs, but he did not specify where he would make cuts to other town services.
“If the council had given it a second look, then they could have found the money somewhere without increasing taxes,” Cilano said. “We need to have a new conversation about what everything is being spent on.”
Jarrell said repealing the half-cent sales tax would have an immediate impact on Jarrell’s department.
“If that were to happen, I would have to lay off 12 people the next day,” he said. “And we go back to being a strictly reactionary police department, with, many times, the inability to respond to simple, non-emergency type calls,” like minor traffic accidents.
But candidate Craig Arps said Jarrell was making an assumption.
“What he’s saying is false. None of the candidates have ever suggested cutting the police budget,” Arps said. “We want lower taxes, but it’s not accurate to say he would have to cut the police budget for that to happen.”
Arps said he was concerned that Jarrell was taking a political position.
“It’s not part of the police chief’s duties to be commenting on politics, especially elections that affect his office. It’s certainly not ethical and not professional …that’s not part of what we pay him to do.”
Councilmember Mary Mallory said on Friday, Aug. 19, “(Jarrell) is a good man. He didn’t do anything wrong. It’s really gone off the deep end.”
Arps read a statement from Cilano at Thursday’s meeting, calling for Mayor Harvey Skoog and the Town Council to issue a public reprimand and ensure such a violation never occurs again, which Arps said he wished to echo.
“We can’t have town employees trying to influence town elections, especially when that person is the one we entrust to uphold the rule of law,” Arps said. “We can’t have questions about the impartiality of our police chief.”