Feb 252011

Six candidates have filed their packets and will be on the ballot for Holbrook’s primary election, which will be held on Tuesday, March 8. Mayor Jeff Hill is unopposed in his bid for re-election. Candidates vying for three council seats include incumbents Phillip Cobb, Charles Haussman and Richard Peterson, and Melissa Prather and Robert (Bobby) Tyler. Each was asked to provide a photo and candidate statement. Their submissions follow.

Council Candidates

Phillip Cobb

My name is Phil Cobb (known locally as the Balloon Man) and I am running for a second term for Holbrook City Council. My wife Nancy and I have been living in Holbrook for over 18 years, and work for various school districts in our county.

We have no children at home, and so we volunteer a great deal of our time on community events and civic responsibilities. We also have Dusty River Antiques, a shop on Bucket of Blood Street open when time allows.

I am a veteran of the Vietnam era, past exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge, former state chaplain of the Arizona Elks, former candidate for state senate, former board member of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Bucket of Blood Street Re-enactors, the Friends of the Holbrook Library and the Holbrook Historical Society.

I am honored to serve the community and citizens of Holbrook, whom I consider an extension of my own family.

I have managed to make it through four years of city council. I must state this, it has been a learning experience and an honor to be elected to serve the City of Holbrook.

We face again this year unknown budget cuts from both the state and county, and so among my primary concerns will be staying within the fiscal constraints that our city will be subjected to. I personally believe that this downturn in the economy will turn to prosperity in a short time, remember what our country has survived in the past–the Great Depression and numerous wars, two encompassing the world. We are still here and will be.

I also believe in simply common sense. Keeping city service at maximum, working together, council, staff and citizens, to solve our difficulties, economic development that is proper for Holbrook, as well as working together with county, state, schools, businesses, reservation, civic, religious and law enforcement organizations to bring this wonderful city and its people the best possible lifestyle and ensured stability.

Please do not forget your responsibility to vote, and thank you.


Charles Haussman

Charles Haussman has lived in Holbrook since August 1996. He has been employed by the Holbrook Unified School District since that time. He is currently serving as the assistant principal at Holbrook High School. His wife Lona, is also employed by the school district as a registered nurse. He has two children who attend Holbrook Junior High School. Haussman was appointed by the city council to fill a vacancy in November 2005. He was elected to serve a four-year term in 2007. Haussman is a graduate of South Dakota State University, Minnesota State University at Moorhead and Northern State University.

Holbrook has been my home for more than 15 years. In spite of the challenges that our community faces, I remain optimistic about the future. Holbrook has assets that few communities can match. A short list includes the convergence of multiple automobile and truck transportation routes, including the immediate proximity to Interstate 40, access to strong and productive railroad services, abundant land, an ample supply of water, access to a wide variety of tourist and recreational destinations, the Holbrook Unified School District, which has a track record of success, Northland Pioneer College, moderate weather and great people.

I will not accept the idea that our sole purpose as a community is simple survival. My vision includes a Holbrook that is positioned for healthy growth. As a member of the Holbrook City Council I will continue to advocate for the future of our community.


Richard Peterson

I have now lived in Holbrook three times. I was a child when my father taught at the high school, and I attended seventh grade and my freshman year of high school here. I then returned to the high school in 2002, but this time as a teacher of economics and government. In between times, I have had many experiences in many places. I served in the Army, starting as a private and finishing my career as a major. My most rewarding assignment was as a company commander. My previous elected position was as a member of the Sonoita School Board.

I believe that Holbrook has many advantages and positive attributes that make this an outstanding community in which to live, work and raise a family. As a council member I believe that I can be effective in enhancing and promoting those characteristics. One of our strengths is our people and particularly those multi-generational families that have built this town throughout the years. Another strength is our location along the interstate highway, the railroad and the best route to the White Mountains, and, of course, there are the many attractions that bring tourists to this area. I believe that we can take advantage of these things to grow Holbrook in a way that will maintain our character while allowing more of our children to stay here and have meaningful and well-paying careers.


Melissa Prather

I moved to Holbrook in November 2004. I worked for 40 years for the City of Seattle Lighting Department. I served as a director for a Catholic parish, where I was in charge of hiring teachers for the school and also served on the parish council.

Soon after I arrived here I got involved with the Navajo County Historical Society, the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and I am also involved with the Holbrook Senior Center, the Bread of Life Mission and the petroglyphs at the city’s Hidden Cove site, where I did some research. I have joined the Route 66 Gearheads Car Club and the Bucket of Blood Re-Enactors. At the Navajo County Historical Society I search the past history of Holbrook. I have seen in the past the same type of problems with the city that the council could not solve.

As a candidate for council, I would work to help the city council to improve the affairs of the city and go foreword on improving the city for the people. There are things that need to be improved to make the city to run and function better as a small city. Improving the looks of the city and helping to keep some of the historical places will help to attract more tourists to town and to entice new businesses to the town of Holbrook. I will fight for the senior citizens and the low income to make sure that we don’t put a burden on them. I will also fight for the rights of all who live in Holbrook. Right now the money is tight and needs to be spent more wisely on the things that we really need. I also would like to see more different people on the council; we now have two from one business and also three from another. As a council member I would do my best to help make this town run smoothly and become a better place to live.


Robert “Bobby” Tyler

Bobby was raised in Holbrook, and is the son of Don and Jonnie Tyler. He has three brothers, Don Jr., Jeff and Michael, and two sisters, Deborah and Lynn. He is the father of three children, Erin, Sean and Kandice. He attended Holbrook public schools and graduated from Holbrook High School. He went to work right after graduation and has been in the power industry for 33 years. He works at Springerville Generation Station, but continues to reside in Holbrook. He was a volunteer at the Holbrook Volunteer Fire Department for several years and the Holbrook Police Volunteers. He also volunteered as a coach in basketball, baseball, football and soccer for the youth of the community. As a third generation resident of Holbrook, he is thankful for the opportunity to live in such a great community.

He has seen Holbrook as a booming city and would like to see it thrive like that once again. With the resources in the community such as the railroad, airport, highways and the famous Route 66, Old West Days and Pony Express, he would like to see these utilized in a way that would provide opportunities in new jobs for the citizens and youth. It would be a great opportunity to bring in a trucking company or to step up the tourist attractions as far as promoting and advertising Route 66 and the Petrified Forest.

He can’t do this by himself; it will take everyone’s involvement and ideas to make this work. He would also like to see more activities for our youth to help keep them focused in the right direction and as they grow to, hopefully, keep them working in our community.

Bobby feels that given this opportunity as a city councilman it would be a great honor to serve the people of Holbrook. He is committed to Holbrook and to keeping the pride alive.