Rim Well Represented By County's Republican Candidates

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Northern Gila County Republicans have several choices to make in the primary election. They also have an opportunity to create a strong presence for the Rim country in Globe since most of the GOP candidates for county office are from this area.

There are three Republicans vying for District 1 County Supervisor's seat being vacated by Ron Christensen: Dan Haapala, Tommie Cline Martin and Gene Mawby. Two GOP candidates are seeking election to the District 3 Supervisor's post, Dominic Faletti and write-in Bill Fogle.

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Republicans running for office in Gila County gathered last week at a public forum where voters had the chance to meet the candidates. Clarice Christensen of the Republican club gives the candidates some last-minute instructions before the forum.

Kim Pound and Richard Shaw are competing for the chance to face John Armer in the race for Gila County Sheriff. Another two GOP candidates want to be elected Payson area constable, Gail Palmateer, the incumbent, and Sam Brewer.

Other Republicans seeking election are County Attorney Daisy Flores, who is running unopposed, and Linda O'Dell, who is running against County School Superintendent Armida Bittner in the General Election.

Most of the candidates shared their goals and differences at a forum Aug. 5, hosted by the Gila County Republicans. All three Dist. 1 Supervisor candidates attended, as did the hopefuls in the sheriff's and constable's races, along with the Republican making a bid for county school superintendent.

Introductions

Dan Haapala came to area in 1987. He said the first change he will make if elected is to get information on issues that affect the district to residents in a timely manner.

Tommie Martin is a life-long resident of Northern Gila County. She said she sees some tough problems that need to be addressed including water, forest and grassland health

Gene Mawby has had business in area since the late 1970s and moved to Pine in 1981. He said he has found, "we all have something in common, we need to be good examples, we need to lead."

Linda O'Dell has lived in the area for about four years. She said she is running because there's a need for someone to take the lead to make Gila County schools the best they can be. She wants to improve academic achievement, reduce the drop-out rate, and increase available resources for educators.

Gail Palmateer has lived in the area for nine years. She was appointed to serve as constable earlier this year after the retirement of Eddie Armer. She has been with the office for two years and served as a clerk in the justice court for two years prior to that. She said she has several goals for the office, some of which she is in the process of putting in place: upgrading computer software, getting a full-time deputy assigned to the office, add the office information to the county website.

Sam Brewer has been in Payson for 31 years. He has 10 years of law enforcement experience, including seven with the Gila County Sheriff's Office. He also has worked for the county's road department. He said with this background, he is familiar with the area, the law enforcement people he will be working with and many of the residents he will serve.

Richard Shaw has lived in Gila County most of his life, graduating from Globe High School in 1978. He has 25 years of experience as a law enforcement officer: serving from 1978-1982 in the military police with the U.S. Marine Corps, which included duty on the security detail assigned Vice President Walter Mondale; the Gila County Sheriff's Office, 1983-1996, in various capacities; and currently with the Globe Police Department as a police officer, general instructor, firearms instructor and defensive tactics instructor. One of his primary goals is to create a work detail with prisoners in the Gila County jail.

Kim Pound lives in the Payson area with his wife and daughter. He has 20 years in law enforcement and has set several goals if elected sheriff: fiscal accountability and responsibility, with an annual report to the public to show how their tax dollars were spent; employee retention; improved customer service with a resident deputy program and citizens advisory board.

Questions

What expertise do you bring that will benefit the citizens of Northern Gila County?

  • Haapala: "For the last four years I've been preparing for this job, attending hundreds of meetings and studying the issues, making contact with our representatives in Phoenix and Washington, D.C."
  • Martin: "I can put people together and get them to work together. I have knowledge of this area and its problems and I have worked with the county for years. I'm a ‘big picture' person."
  • Mawby: "I've lived in the county and talked with its citizens. I value their opinions. I have also served my community on the Pine-Strawberry Fire District's board of directors."
  • Brewer: "I have 10 years of law enforcement experience and I know the people (in law enforcement in the area). A lot of the job needs someone with a law enforcement background."
  • Palmateer: "I've prepared all my life for the job and have done the job for two years, taking over for former Constable Eddie Armer after he had a stroke. I can meet the challenge and I love the job."
  • Pound: "I have experience with personnel, budgeting, developing strategic plans and I'm a motivator."
  • Shaw: "I have a law enforcement background that includes working in the Gila County Sheriff's Office, so I know what to fix and what not to fix."
  • O'Dell: "All my working life in education has been preparation for this position."

What will be the most critical issue in District 1 in 2014?

  • Haapala: "In 10 years, we will be screaming -- with the federal government on the forests; about getting water; and why cattle are not in the forests helping restore its health."
  • Martin: "I hope we will have come together and decided the direction we want to go together. If we don't, we will see no change. We need to get re-energized in the government process."
  • Mawby: "We will have a lot of senior citizens in Gila County then with a lot of needs. There will be a need for money for county projects. We should be seeking industry to improve our tax base to meet the needs."
  • Brewer: "There could be a lot of problems in the future with more people here. We need to get our manpower and equipment up to par in law enforcement to deal with these problems and keep the constable's office moving forward."
  • Palmateer: "District 1 is only a portion of the constable's office service area, there are 52 small communities we serve. I am concerned about where we will be to provide this service. We have just a small space now, so I hope we will have a bigger office to better serve our residents."
  • Pound: "Homeland security -- we will need a plan in place. We're probably on the low end of crises targets, but we will be responsible for the people who might flee the Phoenix area. We need a plan to take care of them, protect them, house them."
  • Shaw: "I agree with Lt. Pound, but I am also concerned about the level of drug abuse throughout the county. It will be getting worse as more people come here. We need to get the task force moving more quickly (on the problem)."
  • O'Dell: "Education has to be our No. 1 priority. We need to get the dropout rate down and academic achievement up and resources for our teachers in place."

O'Dell also was asked what she plans to do to keep students in school.

"We need to provide programs to keep kids active and motivated," she said. "We can work with the community college to develop job training opportunities. And we must get parents involved with their students."

Election information

Primary Election

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Early voting started Thursday, Aug. 5

Last day to request Early Ballot be mailed is Aug. 27

Last day to vote an Early Ballot at polling site is Sept. 3

General Election

Tuesday, Nov. 2

Registration closes Oct. 4

Requests for Early Ballot accepted from Aug. 1 through Oct. 22

Last day to vote an Early Ballot at polling site is Oct. 29

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