Meet the candidates running for Prescott Valley mayor, council
Two candidates, Kell Palguta and Michael Whiting, are running for Prescott Valley mayor for the seat vacated by Harvey Skoog. Skoog is not running for re-election, having served the town as mayor from 1993-1998 and 2005-2018.
The two vacant council seats have two uncontested candidates on the ballot: Don Packard and Kendall Schumacher.
Here are brief biographies and questions and answers, submitted by the candidates in alphabetical order, for voters to look over before the Aug. 28 election. Each candidate had a 50-word limit with which to answer the last three questions.
Name: Kell Palguta
Age: 40, turning 41 by election day
Length of time in Prescott Valley: 22 years
Occupation and professional background: Retired police officer from Prescott Valley Police Department; Administration of Justice instructor at Yavapai College since 2003; real estate professional/Realtor; volunteer Little League Baseball/Softball, president for six years.
Educational background: Associate degree in Criminal Justice from Andover College; Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University; Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from New Mexico State University.
What made you decide to run for mayor? I have spent my entire adult life dedicated to helping the community of Prescott Valley either as a police officer, community volunteer or educator. As mayor I want to continue helping the citizens of Prescott Valley any way I can as a full-time mayor creating full-time results.
What are the three main issues facing Prescott Valley in the coming term? Three issues in Prescott Valley are creating and attracting higher paying manufacturing jobs to allow families to keep up with the cost of living. Slowing and controlling residential growth in order to keep up with infrastructural demands. Finally, making sure water resources are accounted for and available for the future.
What are your goals and priorities as mayor? To make Prescott Valley a place where you can be born, grow up, go to school, raise a family and retire. To also ensure that EVERY voice is heard in the community and make it is clear that the mayor and council work FOR the people of Prescott Valley.
Name: Mike Whiting
Age: 70, turning 71 by election day
Length of time in Prescott Valley: 12 years, Arizona native
Occupation and professional background: Recently retired from the Prescott Veterans Administration Hospital. Public sector oriented for 25 years. Currently serving on Prescott Valley Town Council since April 2012. I am an Air Force veteran. Other leadership positions include: federal regulatory agency executive for health and medical facilities in central Arizona; planning and development executive for large medical holding company for hospitals, nursing homes, sports medicine, congregate housing, medical offices, shopping center and construction projects in the Phoenix Metro area; community research organization executive involving collaboration with 40 physicians and nine hospitals; resource development director for national and local nonprofit organizations raising over $2 million, including the United Way of Yavapai County; administrative support staff authorizing contracted medical services for Prescott Veteran’s Administration Community Managed Care department at NAVAHCS.
Educational background: Masters of Public Administration degree, University of Arizona; Bachelor of Science degree, University of Arizona; Personnel Administration, USAF Technical School certified; graduate of Prescott Valley Citizens Academy; graduate of Prescott Valley Citizens Police Academy; and graduate of Prescott Area Leadership.
What made you decide to run for mayor? I have a true passion to help people. I have 25 years of public service experience and five years on the town council. I want to continue to improve Prescott Valley in a way that will work better, guide our town through managed growth, and capitalize on our community assets.
What are the three main issues facing Prescott Valley in the coming term? Growth: Voter approved 2025 General Plan is blueprint for current/future growth. Continue to monitor growth/development regarding available/needed infrastructure. Water: State of Arizona confirms sufficient long-term water supplies considering expected growth. Will support Big Chino water project. Partnerships: Must collaborate with cities/towns, schools, county to coordinate education, transportation, water resources.
What are your goals and priorities as mayor? Focus on efficiencies that improve services for Prescott Valley residents. Exploit our assets as a regional hub for medical services, higher education, youth sports/recreation. Maintain sustainable level of resources/services including public safety, streets, parks, including water conservation and managed growth. Improve citizen involvement through quarterly or semi-annual Town Hall meetings.
PV CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES
Name: Donald Charles Packard
Length of time in Prescott Valley: 14, 18 in area
Occupation and professional background: Retired Air Force Master Sergeant, 20 years; retired AT&T technician/engineer, 17 years; and retired Congressional liaison, six years.
Educational background: Associates degree in Digital Electronics (USAF); Professional Management certificate, University of Alaska, Anchorage.
What made you decide to run for council? As a Citizens Academy graduate, I learned about the opportunities to serve in our community. I have volunteered for town projects, served on boards, and currently serve on the MPC Commission. In 2017 I applied for the council appointment; while not chosen, I now seek the position by the ballot process.
What are the three main issues facing Prescott Valley in the coming term? 1. Economic development (jobs and bringing new businesses to our area). 2. Infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, water needs and sewer). 3. Public safety.
What are your goals and priorities as council member? 1. Monitor and ensure the financial stability of town government. 2. Support our public safety so they are adequately funded and equipped. 3. Action plan for our street repair.
Name: Kendall Day Schumacher
Length of time in Prescott Valley: Four years
Occupation and professional background: Currently I am Human Resources/Payroll/Account Payable administrator for Arizona Highway Safety Specialists, owned by Karen Fann, our state senator, located in Chino Valley. I am also a licensed real estate agent with Arizona Prime
Real Estate; my Broker is Steve Irwin. Formerly I was a licensed general contractor, our specialty was designing and building log homes, stick frame and commercial steel buildings. The construction industry is what I know best, but I have also worked in the retail industry and briefly owned a restaurant.
Educational background: Attended college (ASU and community colleges) but do not hold a degree. I am self-taught in most areas.
What made you decide to run for council? I have always been involved in my community and want to be a part of it however I can serve. I have always stepped up to a challenge and feel we need great leadership and representation, a voice for the people.
What are the three main issues facing Prescott Valley in the coming term? Needing more businesses to replace lost revenue with the exit of Sam’s Club, Albertsons and K-Mart, which will bring more jobs to support our economy. I believe property taxes do not support our town’s government, retail does. Red light runners need to STOP! Supporting police officers, keep crime rates low.
What are your goals and priorities as council member?
To work with a great team to accomplish what is needed for our community. I think “outside the box,” and hope my contributions will be valuable. This is my first opportunity for serving on the council, but I need your support. Please vote, our elected officials need your continued encouragement.