Prescott Valley mayor running unopposed in primary election, details goals for 2nd term
Incumbent Schumacher, candidate Greer, write-in candidate Leyva on Town Council ballot

Prescott Valley Incumbent Mayor Kell Palguta, far left, is running unopposed in the 2022 primary election. From middle left to right, candidate Michael Greer, incumbent Kendall Schumacher and write-in candidate Lucy Leyva are vying for two seats on the Town Council. (Courtesy)

Prescott Valley Incumbent Mayor Kell Palguta, far left, is running unopposed in the 2022 primary election. From middle left to right, candidate Michael Greer, incumbent Kendall Schumacher and write-in candidate Lucy Leyva are vying for two seats on the Town Council. (Courtesy)

Editor's Note - This article has been updated to correct the majority vote formula, and that the winners take office Dec. 8.

Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta is running unopposed in the Primary Election Tuesday, Aug. 2, but three candidates are vying for two seats on the Town Council, including incumbent Kendall Schumacher, candidate Michael Greer and write-in candidate Lucy Leyva.

Palguta will be serving his second, four-year term as mayor.

Candidates in the Town Council primary must receive the majority of votes cast, per the state’s majority vote formula (the total votes cast divided by the number of seats open, divided by two), to be declared winners. If no Town Council candidate receives a majority of the votes cast in the primary, a runoff election would be conducted during the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, also using the majority vote formula.

Incumbent Town Council member Don Packard chose not to run for another term in 2022.

Mail-in ballots for the primary were mailed to registered voters on Wednesday, July 6.

Palguta and the two winning Town Council candidates are scheduled to be sworn in at the Dec. 8 Town Council meeting and take office that same meeting. Town Council members serve four-year terms. What follows are biographical summaries for Palguta, Schumacher, Greer and Leyva in the nonpartisan election.

Prescott Valley Mayor

• Kell Palguta

Age: 44

Occupation/relevant experience: Retired Prescott Valley Police officer; Realtor; college instructor; full-time mayor since January 2019.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University; master’s degree from New Mexico State University.

How long have you lived in Prescott Valley? Almost 26 years.

What made you decide to run for mayor again and what strengths can you continue to bring to the office? “I decided to re-run for mayor to help build off of and continue what myself and council have been able to get started since being elected in 2018,” Palguta stated via email. “We live in an amazing community that we all need to be proud of and I want to continue my vision that all citizens need to be represented. Prescott Valley needs to be the place where you can be born, grow up, get an education, fall in love, raise a family and retire. As mayor I know that we can all work together to make sure that becomes a reality. My vision has always been to leave politics out [of] Prescott Valley. And by being the ‘Party of Prescott Valley’ and looking out for our neighbors and the people we go to church with, our community will become stronger.”

What are your Top 3 goals in your second term as mayor and what is your top priority for the town? “My top goal for Prescott Valley is to make sure Prescott Valley works towards preserving and protecting our most precious resource, which is water. By working with other communities and utilizing outside resources, the Town of Prescott Valley can establish themselves as one of the most water-conscious communities in Arizona. We must look at water conservation and preservation not as a 5- or 10-year plan, but as a generational plan so our grandchildren’s children have a place to grow up and enjoy. Second goal is to make sure that our town government works for the citizens of Prescott Valley and recognizes that we are in the customer-service industry and each and every citizen and visitor to our community is a customer. By looking at town government this way, the quality of life for each and every citizen will continue to improve — whether it is creating more parks and open space or working with private industries to bring more grocery stores and medical-service options to our area. Third, fourth, [and] fifth goal is to make sure that the Town of Prescott Valley continues to grow at a healthy, controllable rate. Every successful community in the country grows and we should be no different. Since I have been elected, Prescott Valley has grown at or below 2% each year, which is certainly a lot different than the double-digit percent growth of the early 2000s. We also need to make sure our Police Department has the necessary tools and personnel that have made us the fifth-safest city/town in Arizona [in 2022, according to security research company SafeWise]. We need to make sure that our community is top notch in every way so we can attract and entice medical specialists to relocate to Prescott Valley and bring their families. We need to work with our community partners to make Prescott Valley a sustainable community through all of the ups and downs of an ever-changing national economy.”

Is there anything more the public should know about your background? “I want the citizens to know that I take the role of mayor very serious and that each and every day I strive one way or the other to make a positive impact on our community. Prescott Valley has been my home for practically my entire adult life and there is no other place I would want to live and raise my family. I welcome each and every citizen of Prescott Valley to get involved and be a part of this amazing journey to raise the Town of Prescott Valley to the next level.”

Prescott Valley Town Council

• Kendall Schumacher

Age: 62

Occupation/relevant experience: Self-employed bookkeeper/notary; Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services; Prescott Valley Town Council member; graduate of Prescott Valley Citizens Academy and Prescott Valley Police Academy; Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce member.

Education: Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Class of 1977.

How long have you lived in Prescott Valley? Since 2014.

What made you decide to run for Town Council again and what strengths can you continue to bring to the office? Schumacher, an Arizona native, stated in her candidate bio that she “understands firsthand the importance of the local employment opportunities for our working families to be able to stay in this beautiful community and raise their families.” Schumacher added that she enjoys working closely with local government officials to bring jobs to Prescott Valley and being part of helping the town grow and develop. “Our local businesses are the mainstay of our community,” Schumacher stated in an email. “We all work alongside the Economic Development Foundation with the future growth of our town.”

What are your Top 3 goals for the town if you were re-elected, and what is your top priority for the town? Schumacher wrote in her candidate bio that, as a concerned citizen, she understands residents’ worries about water and property rights. Schumacher said crime prevention, including fighting against fentanyl; long-term water supplies; children’s and victims’ rights; the homeless; solutions for affordable housing/home ownership; economic development and managed growth; healthcare, including battling COVID-19; transportation; emergency preparedness; and budget planning are all important issues.

Is there anything more the public should know about your background? Raised in a family that served in the military and in community outreach, Schumacher wrote in her candidate bio that she learned early in life to see both sides of an issue. “Our family would debate a current event at the dinner table, and halfway through my father would calmly say ‘switch sides,’ so that we would see another point of view,” Schumacher stated.

Schumacher also served on a building committee for 12 years, which helped design and build a Catholic church. Schumacher sings in a choir, plays the flute, and enjoys the outdoors. Schumacher has two grown children and three grandchildren and has been a leader in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. “Advanced Scuba Diving and photography are my favorite past-time activities, as well as boating/jet skiing and swimming,” Schumacher added. “I enjoy riding my Quad, bicycle riding and, of course, leisure walks.”

• Michael Greer

Age: N/A

Occupation/relevant experience: Retired casting director of 30 years; vice president of a nonprofit called American Freedom Alliance, which focuses on education.

Education: Stephen’s College in Missouri.

How long have you lived in Prescott Valley? Since 2019.

What made you decide to run for Town Council and what strengths can you bring to the office? “I cast over 100 television series, movies of the week, mini-series and feature films,” Greer stated via email. “This involved finding talent, developing working relationships and negotiating contracts. Casting is very high pressure and requires one to develop skills that are also helpful in holding public office. I was very involved in California politics trying to stop the destruction of a state I loved. I discovered a great deal of California’s policies came from international programs. I do a great deal of research and travel to learn firsthand how international programs get imbedded in local government. I think I am uniquely qualified to help keep them out of PV.” 

What are your Top 3 goals for the town if you were elected, and what is your top priority for the town? “I want to see future growth in PV to be thoughtful and responsible. I want to keep international programs like ICLEI (International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives; there are four ICLEI cities in Arizona), SEL, ESG Scores, etc. out of PV and I would like to attract appropriate new businesses and tourism. Water is, of course, always a concern for us; however, it is the state that determines water policy. Town Council implements state policy and can help find alternative sources like capturing groundwater, rainwater and reclaiming water.”

Is there anything more the public should know about your background? “I’m first VP of Prescott Valley Republican Women and a charter member,” Greer stated. “I care deeply about keeping PV’s rural, small-town identity.”

• Lucy Leyva

Age: N/A

Occupation/relevant experience: Businesswoman; established Prescott Maid to Order in 2005.

Education: N/A

How long have you lived in Prescott Valley? Since 2000.

What made you decide to run for Town Council and what strengths can you bring to the office? Leyva wrote in her candidate bio that she “knows how important it is for families to have a stable place to work and a workplace to call home.”

What are your Top 3 goals for the town if you were elected, and what is your top priority for the town? N/A

Is there anything more the public should know about your background? Leyva stated in her election bio that she is a single mother of two children, who “are her greatest achievement.”

Leyva added that she started from scratch two cleaning companies in northern Arizona, Prescott Maid to Order LLC and MTO Janitorial LLC. She recently opened The Warehouse Event Center in Prescott Valley, which offers families a place to host gatherings, such as weddings, showers and quinceañeras, as well as classes, community events and public and private meetings.

Leyva is a member of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, Prescott Chamber of Commerce, Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation, Yavapai Country Contractors Association, Prescott Area Association of Realtors, and the Republican Nation Hispanic Association of Yavapai County, among others.

Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Email him at [email protected] or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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