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Tue, May 26

Hoffman, Ryan square off for District 3 supervisor seat

Hoffman seeks county board seat

Jim Hoffman, an Arizona native who has lived all his adult life in Coconino County, has been very active politically in northern Arizona. He served as Williams' mayor from 1974-77, 1984-92, and again from 1996 to 2000. In addition, he served on city council and was past chairperson of the Northern Arizona Council of Governments.

"I am running for office because as a long-time public servant, I know the challenges of today are similar to those of the past," he said. "I believe my experience will be valuable in facing the future with enthusiasm and confidence, in striving for a better quality of life for all citizens of Coconino County."

Hoffman said his 30 years of community involvement have prepared him for the county supervisor seat.

"I understand how an elected official should set an agenda," he said. "To me, it has always been simple.

"I meet with and listen to diverse groups of constituents from all economic levels, with many different issues which concern them, and often, conflicting opinions."

Hoffman said he will utilize consensus building to encompass the wide variety of residents he will encounter in District 3.

"I will listen intently to try to identify common threads which can be agreed upon to bring people together on specific issues," he said. "I believe consensus building is the best way to unite people and make good things happen in our district."

Hoffman said he is not seeking office with any set agenda.

"There are many critical issues facing Coconino County which must be identified, prioritized and dealt with," he said. "I believe identifying and prioritizing issues and finding solutions to problems must be done by the people who reside in Coconino County.

"Citizen input is critical."

Hoffman was emphatic about the need to address water issues on a regional basis.

"Water is a countywide problem," he said. "As regional growth takes place in places like the Sedona region of the Verde Valley, new wells continue to draw down the aquifer."

In addition, Hoffman listed other areas of priority such as:

• Protecting the environment, especially scenic areas of our county, including the Red Rocks of Sedona, the San Francisco Peaks, the Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado Plateau.

• Protecting the scenic and culturally significant areas of our state for future generations.

• Controlled and managed growth through area plans, citizen input and voter approval. "Growing Smarter Plus" and Proposition 202 both use these methods.

• Quality education of our children is a top priority.

Incumbent Ryan seeks 2nd term

Matt Ryan said he is seeking re-election to the Coconino County Board of Supervisors because he "cares about people."

"I think we need to address the concerns of today yet be visionary and look to the future so we don’t mess it up for our children," Ryan said. "That’s why I go out to the communities and do listen to the people and incorporate their ideas into the county process."

Ryan estimates he averages 50 hours a week on the job as supervisor for District 3.

"If one got out into the district, one would see how much I get out into the district and understand how much I respond to the communities and the people," he said.

He went on to address what issues are critical to the county.

"Growth is a runaway train bearing down on us," he said. "We need to plan wisely or we won’t have a positive outlook.

"That encompasses water, land use and planning."

Ryan put youth and elderly programs as a "close second."

"Internally, citizen outreach, space needs, retention and training of employees and technology are tops," he said. "We are doing well to address these."

In the past five years and over the next two years, Ryan pointed out the county will have brought 15 buildings online, either renovated or newly constructed.

"We created a citizen outreach position four years ago, improved our internet site, we traveled to communities and expanded our services to communities," he said. "In terms of retention and training, we’ve given pay raises making our salaries competitive.

"We are continuing to provide training for (staff) supervisors."

Ryan said the county has come a long way in terms of technology.

"Seven years ago we had typewriters," he said. "We’ve established a Global Information System to help with mapping, assessor maps, planning and community development.

"We’re leasing equipment and bringing online new software and computers."

Ryan stressed the need for objectivity and wise budgeting throughout the county.

"We cannot provide services if we do not do this wisely," he said. "This is the essence of the position.

"People do not like high taxes and we at the county are tight."

He pointed out Coconino County currently has the lowest property tax rate in the state.

"We do well at using a frugal, wise approach," Ryan said. "We objectively use five-year projections.

"The county court/sheriff substation in Williams would be an impossibility if we did not do this. We increased our investment to compensate for deficits created by the loss of partnering in the building."

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