First of all, I wish all of our readers a Happy New Year. With the return of our traditional holiday events and gatherings, Prescott is Arizona’s Christmas town once again. As we look into the New Year and my first full year in office, City Council has many priorities.
I want to congratulate Cathey Rusing, who was elected by the Council, to be. the Mayor Pro TemThe main responsibility of Mayor Pro Tem is to lead meetings and represent the city when the mayor is not available to do so. I look forward to working with Mayor Pro Tem Rusing in this capacity over the coming year.
One of my first duties as mayor is to appoint council members to act as liaison officers to city councils and commissions. These Council Liaisons play an important role, connecting Council with our other important governing bodies in the City. The mayor also appoints council representatives to seven outside organizations.
Another important task for the newly elected mayor is to establish ad hoc mayor’s commissions and committees. These bodies, also made up of volunteers, exist only during the mayor’s mandate, and can be very specialized. I decided to form three of these organizations and keep three. The Mayor’s Commissions will include: Airport Terminal Art, FOPU, Veterans, Water Policy Advisory Committee, Charter Amendments Advisory Commission, and General Advisory Commission.
There are currently 27 municipal councils, commissions and committees. All are volunteer-based, and I encourage all citizens to consider serving in one way or another. The City accepts nominations for boards and commissions throughout the year.
As I have stated since my campaign, I have been involved in several critical issues for our city, including the management of our water resources, the transparency of government and the maintenance of responsible growth. The Water Policy Advisory Committee is separate from the Water Issues Subcommittee, which is made up of board members only. This advisory committee will be made up of citizens who will provide feedback to Council to monitor our water policy and its impact on our community.
Regarding the issue of transparency, I have set up a call to the public at all Council meetings. This agenda item will allow citizens to comment on an issue that is not already on the agenda, for consideration by Council. Those who comment will not be able to ask specific questions or receive Council comments at that time. Rather, it is an opportunity to voice concerns for future consideration.
I’m happy to report that the transition, including our three new board members, is going smoothly. I look forward to a very productive year ahead.