Last Of 3 Fire Board Candidates Profiled

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The leaves have begun to change into fall colors and some of the trees are already losing their leaves, along with the ponderosa pines shedding their needles. Get your rakes out, folks, it’s that time of year again. I don’t mind the work, I love all the wonderful colors that nature shares with us.

ADOT Rim Country construction updates

State Route 260 Little Green Valley widening: The hauling of materials continues with increased truck traffic.

ADOT crews will continue the hauling of materials the week of Oct. 18. Truck traffic will be particularly heavy during work hours as 20 additional trucks have been added to the schedule.

The increased volume will require momentary flagging of traffic to direct vehicles and machinery to the work zone. Motorists can expect brief delays, in some instances from 5 to 10 minutes. Please allow extra time to reach your destination.

If you need more information, the project hotline is 877-521-1118 or you can e-mail PrescottDistrictUpdates@azdot.gov.

Hellsgate Fire Department

At this month’s Hellsgate Fire Board meeting, Fire Board Chairman Richard Pinkerton gave out awards to the following firefighters for their years of service:

John Wisner, 17 years; Cris Lecher, 12 years; Bobbi Fuller, six years; and John Lacey, three years. The following firefighters have one year of service: Jeff Plante, Benike Doss, Zach Hornung and Mike McWilliams. Congratulations to all of you.

There are still some pink T-shirts left for sale, but hurry and get yours before your size is gone. The cost is $15 and part of the cost will be given to the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

The “Friends and Family” CPR class has room for a few more people. The class will be held at the Tonto Village station on Nov. 16. Call Karen at the station in Star Valley, (928) 474-3835.

The following profile is the last of the three candidates running for the two positions on the Hellsgate Fire Board. All three names will appear on the ballot Nov. 2.

There will be a public forum for the three candidates at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Tonto Village station.

Profile of candidate for Hellsgate Fire Board

My name is Phon Sutton and I am running for one of two seats on the Hellsgate Fire Board. I am a retired physician and I have lived in Bear Flat for 11 years with my wife, Dara.

My hobbies are hiking, fishing and being an environmentalist as best I can. I have served two years on the Tonto Watershed Improvement Group (TWIG),

I have served as a volunteer firefighter for the Tonto Village Fire District and participated in the fire school training. I and many others helped to incorporate the Tonto Village Fire District with the Diamond Star Fire District and to persuade the Bear Flat residents that it was in their best interest to join the newly formed Hellsgate Fire District. I am a staunch supporter of Fire Chief Gary Hatch. He has spent his lifetime taking care of us when we had an emergency. That said, we are in tough economic times and I would like to search high and low for any way possible to take the load off the taxpayers for at least the next two years.

My reason for running for the fire board has nothing to do with the excellent service we receive. I would just like to see if we can save a dollar or two and strive to lower our tax rate.

Here’s a question I would like to look into and may show who I am and where I’m coming from: We make 475 calls per year of which 130 of them are to Payson in the golf course areas. They pay the fire department $160,000 or $1,230 per call. There are 345 calls in our own district for which we pay on our tax bill, $917,000 or $2,658 per call. My question is: Why do we charge our own folks over twice as much for the same service as we do the people of Payson?

If we charged ourselves the same price we give Payson, we could cut our tax rate in half!

If you vote for me, I will do my best to look into any way possible to save the taxpayers some money. There may be good reasons for these discrepancies, but if you do elect me, I will for sure ask questions.

Birthdays and anniversaries

The new secretary for the Fireflies, Karen Fausz, and her husband Bill, will celebrate their anniversary on Oct. 23. Happy anniversary to a wonderful couple.

Joe Desrochers of Tonto Village III will celebrate his birthday on Oct. 28.

Darlane Leonard also of Tonto Village III will blow out candles on her birthday cake on Oct. 30.

Mae Jones of Bear Flat will add another candle to her birthday cake on Oct. 31. Mae doesn’t need any help from ghosts and goblins either.

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