When I heard of the job as the first Town Manager for the Town of Star Valley I was excited about the challenge of starting a brand new town. However, I was also concerned about being overwhelmed by all the work and small details involved. Boy, was I surprised.
The many, many people involved in our community had worked very hard and did a great job of getting things off to the right kind of start. Plans were in place, projects started, funds obtained, contacts made, and I found that this town is on the move.
Each of those who were involved deserves kudos for the donation of their time and money. I would thank each of them publicly, but there are so many, in the public view and many silently working in the background, that I would surely miss many names.
When I was hired, I think some of the community thought they could now rest a little and let me take over the work. I'm sorry to tell them, Star Valley is now going to need them more than ever.
We need to adopt a zoning ordinance, town codes, develop the budget, establish a Planning and Zoning committee and a Board of Adjustments. Well, the list goes on and on. We will continue to ask for help on the many committees, and hope that everyone gets in involved in our town.
It is a very busy time in Star Valley. With the generous help of Gila County, we were able to pass $50,000 to the Diamond Star Fire District in order to begin work on a firebreak around the Town. This fire protection effort will be in conjunction with many others, including the Town of Payson, Tonto Apache Tribal Council and several subdivisions in order to provide fire protection to all in our community.
Our present Town Hall offices are now located in the Star Valley Baptist Church, through their very gracious help, but we are looking for a more permanent home.
We have contacted the U.S. Forest Service and it appears we may be able to obtain land for government use. A great location has been identified and we are beginning the process to obtain this land.
We are also working hard to get the word out about Star Valley. A Web site is being developed and will be online very soon. The Web site address is: www.starvalley-az.gov
The Arizona Department of Transportation has ordered signs that will be placed at our town limits. The process has started to have a new zip code assigned to Star Valley. And we are now asking for help in designing a town logo and town seal.
Now a personal note: Moving to a new town is always difficult, but I have to say the move to this part of Arizona was a great decision. While the weather is a little cooler than where I came from, the people are lots warmer. Everyone has been wonderful to me and I can see why they all love this special place. I really like my new home.