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Tue, Oct. 15

Chino Valley's mayoral candidates make their case
McCaullay wants to see more deliberation

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

Robert McCaullay is running for mayor of Chino Valley in the Aug. 30 primary election.

Robert McCaullay says the Town Council doesn’t ask enough questions and spend enough time exploring alternatives. In his view, too often the council acts as a rubber stamp for any request that comes from staff.

If he is elected mayor next month, he says that will end.

“I’m doing [this campaign] on the frugal and this is the way the town should be doing things too, rather than being extravagant in some areas,” McCaullay said.

For example?

“All the advisors and consultants [the town has hired],” McCaullay said. He pointed specifically to hiring a consultant, Dan Jackson of Economists.com, to advise council on purchasing the City of Prescott’s water system in Chino Valley, despite the face that he was also working on behalf of Prescott.

“When you go to a council meeting and everybody is saying, ‘That packet was great, I got all the questions answered,’ they’re not doing their research.”

The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 30 and Chino Valley voters will be selecting members for all seven council seats. In addition to McCaullay, Vice Mayor Darryl Croft is running for mayor. Since there are only two candidates, it is likely the winner of the August election will be the next mayor (if they receive more than 50 percent of the vote).

If for some reason the winning candidate doesn’t receive more than 50 percent of the vote, then there will be a run-off election in November.

McCaullay moved to Chino Valley in 2013 after working mostly as a sheet metal worker and rural postal carrier. He is a veteran, having served a year in Vietnam during the war there. He was a member of the Chino Valley Planning and Zoning Commission and on the town’s Water and Sewer Committee.

He has been married to Pat McKee for 33 years. McKee was elected to the Town Council in 2013, but resigned in July 2015. McKee moved to Chino Valley ahead of her husband to set up their retirement home.

“He’s open minded, he’s concerned about what’s good for the town, not what’s good for him or for us personally,” McKee said. “He believes the town’s people should have a choice in who they’re voting for, and that’s why he’s running.

“He has good, sound ideas and he does the research necessary to find out the whole picture.”

McCaullay said that the major issues he has heard from residents are the conditions of roads, the amount of debt the town has assumed, and the town’s high sales tax.

Chino Valley’s share of the sales tax is 4 percent and is the major source of revenue for the town. By comparison, Prescott’s share is 2 percent and Prescott Valley just raised its share to 2.83 percent in January.

McCaullay said that residents should realize that even though they are paying about 1 percent more in sales tax, it’s a good deal because Chino Valley does not receive any funds from property taxes.

He mentioned that when the current tax rate was approved, it was supposed to be a temporary measure to deal with shortfalls in water and sewer revenue.

“The one issue we have here that they don’t in Prescott, is that we don’t have a property tax,” he said. “We don’t want a property tax in this town. I would rather see the 1 percent [sales tax] stay on … [than homeowners] having to pay the property tax.’

McCaullay said that if businesses want water and sewer infrastructure built on Highway 89, then they should form a business improvement district and pay for it. He does not think citizens should pay for it.

“When you’re betting that the town will prosper because of all the investments, you’re gambling,” he said.

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