Good Governance

Ethics in government is the single-most important aspect needed for maintaining public trust.  When elected officials refuse to acknowledge input from others and use tactics that are belittling and dismissive toward citizens who voice valid concerns it borders on a violation of a citizen's right to redress of grievances without fear of retribution.

In an email dated December 7, 2023, the Board of Directors for the Prescott Valley Citizens Alliance called on the Town Manager and Councilmembers to establish a Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy for elected leaders. 

We are still waiting for a response. In fact, our request was never even acknowledged.

Without an Ethics Policy, there is no accountability.

Goals and Objectives

Good governance ensures that citizens' voices are included in the decision making process and that it is responsive to the current and future needs of society. 

Prescott Valley Citizens Alliance advocates for the adoption of a Code of Ethics for elected leaders and the appointment of a Citizen Review BoardWe seek truth, transparency, appropriate conduct and integrity in local government.

PVCA advocates for public policies that reflect a forward-looking vision to enhance our quality of life with respect to desired population levels, essential services and all supporting infrastructure.  We will explore the establishment of a charter government that benefits residents.

TRENDING TOPIC:  Affordable Housing Trust Funding


THE TOWN’S PROPOSAL

At the May 2, 2024, Town Council Study Session, Vice Mayor Lori Hunt suggested that a “Trust Fund” of $250k to $500k be added to the budget for fiscal year 2025 for the purpose of helping developers of attainable housing projects meet construction costs in order to keep “each door more attainable.” 


At the May 23, 2024, Town Council Meeting, $150,000 was subsequently added to seed the FY 2025 budget for “Affordable Housing Trust Funding.” The fund is anticipated to grow throughout the years. Town Manager, Gilbert Davidson, explained that new policies not yet adopted will set the parameters for how these funds will be accessed. Davidson stated that these funds will be used to reduce development costs, such as impact fees, for new affordable housing construction projects.


Arizona’s Development Impact Fee (DIF) law is among the nation’s most restrictive. Arizona State Statutes authorize municipalities to collect development impact fees to fund infrastructure necessitated by growth and to cover costs for public services made necessary by new development. DIFs are paid by developers and calculated based on the benefits received. They must be administered in a nondiscriminatory manner, which means fees cannot be waived for some developments and not others.  DIFs were instituted so that Arizona could provide capital infrastructure for new developments without raising taxes.


As Councilwoman Schumacher states, the issue of available housing for lower income earners is a nationwide concern. Schumacher explained that establishing a Trust Fund for the construction of more new housing is the way that the Prescott Valley Town Council is addressing the issue.


ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

It is questionable whether funding for more new construction projects - subsidized with tax-payer money - is really the best solution.


It is important to remember that since 2020, this Town Council, including incumbent Council Candidates Hunt and Dickinson, have approved over 3700 new construction housing units, many of which were presented as affordable housing but have yet to materialize.


Why hasn’t the Town considered a program that will ensure that funds go directly to the potential homebuyer or renter who needs the assistance? And what about state and federal funding programs that are already available for homebuyers and renters, as well as for eligible non-profit and for-profit housing developers? Instead, the Town’s proposed Trust Funding concept seems to guarantee more profit for the builder.


Another big part of the equation is whether or not the Town’s existing employment opportunities offer a living wage for low to middle income families. Any conversation about housing affordability must also include and address this issue.


Bottom line…who REALLY benefits from this Development Trust Fund?

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Charter Government

The state constitution provides that cities with a population of more than 3,500 may frame and adopt their own charters. The purpose of charter government is to give cities a greater degree of self-determination. Thus, it applies the principle of self-government in its most ultimate sense at the local level.  Click here to learn more about the advantages of, and the procedures for, adopting a Charter.

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