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Thu, Oct. 17

Chino Valley mayoral candidates state their case
Croft highlights business experience

Darryl Croft is running for mayor of Chino Valley in the Aug. 30 primary election.
Photo by Ken Sain.

Darryl Croft is running for mayor of Chino Valley in the Aug. 30 primary election.

When Darryl Croft was first elected to the Town Council in 2011, he said the town was dealing with the impact for the worldwide economic downturn.

“The main issue that I have is financial stability for the town,” Croft said. “Right after I took office we almost went bankrupt. … Now, we’re starting to build up some contingency money and we’re looking at building up the rainy day fund, and that’s going to be important.

“Economic downturns come periodically, so we need to build it up so we don’t put the town in the same position again.”

Croft is one of two candidates on the ballot running for mayor in the Aug. 30 primary election. The deadline for any official write-in candidates to file and have their votes count is Thursday, July 21.

If either Croft, or his opponent, Robert McCaullay, earn more than 50 percent of the ballot they will be elected and not have to run in November. All seven seats on the Chino Valley Town Council are open this election.

Croft served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years, including in Vietnam during the war. Since then, he has been a human resources trainer and official for companies in California. He retired and moved to Chino Valley in 2006.

He has continued to be involved in business, serving on the board of the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce in addition to his role as vice mayor.

“Having known Darryl for over five years, I can truly say that he is a public servant, rather than a politician,” Mayor Chris Marley wrote in an email. “He is a proven leader, and his experience in both the public and private sectors make him an excellent candidate for the mayoral office. It has been an honor to serve with him these last two terms.”

Croft said the key to improving the town’s financial stability comes down to utilities.

“We have two issues we need to solve, and that is the sewer issue and the water issue,” Croft said. It was hoped both would pay for themselves through utility payments, but to date neither has and it has required money from the general funds to keep them afloat.

“We’re looking pretty good on the sewer fund,” Croft said. He said the additional customers from the new sewer line down west Center Street to the Mollie Rae subdivision will help. Plus, the waste water treatment facility can bring in additional revenues once it begins accepting raw sewage from other customers.

To address the water problem, Croft said the town is hoping to purchase some smaller water systems while they continue to negotiate to buy the City of Prescott’s system in Chino Valley.

Marley chose Croft to be his vice mayor and the two are friends. When Marley told Croft that he was considering not running to pursue opportunities in his ministry, Croft said the thought running would be a natural progression for him.

“I’m not Chris,” he said. “My background is a lot different than Chris, I’m a businessman. I think I’m more business oriented than Chris. I’m looking at the financial side more than Chris did.”

One of the major differences in the mayoral candidates is the amount of money the town has borrowed to refinance bonds at lower rates, and add sewer lines to Mollie Rae and Old Home Manor.

“Are we borrowing money, or are we making an investment in the future?” Croft said. “I believe in making investments … if the money is cheap enough.”

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