Jan 092013

By Naomi Hatch
The towns of Snowflake and Taylor will hold municipal elections on March 12.
The Arizona Legislature passed a law consolidating elections during the last session which states, in part: “The legislature finds and determines that for the purposes of increasing voter participation and for decreas-ing the costs to the taxpayers it is a matter of statewide concern that all elections in this state be conducted on a limited number of days and, therefore, the legislature finds and declares that the holding of all elections on certain specific consolidated days is a matter of statewide concern. This section preempts all local laws, ordi-nances and charter provisions to the contrary.”
The officials of many cities, towns and counties do not agree with the state setting local election dates, which would be held in conjunction with state elections in the fall of even years.
An opinion from the Arizona League of Cities and Towns requested by the Town of Snowflake notes that the legislature will not be able to shorten a term, but when the new law goes into effect, terms will be adjusted to it.
“We have been advised to go ahead as if it has not been changed,” said Snowflake Town Clerk Barbara Flake regarding the March 12 primary election for one two-year term and four four-year terms on the town council. The seats are currently held by Vice Mayor Jason Whiting, Tom Poscharsky, Chris Brimhall, Kerry Ballard, who was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Larry Matyas, and Stuart Hensley, who was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Lorri Davis resigned to relocate.
Whiting is the only candidate for the two-year term. Those running for the four-year terms are Council-men Kerry Ballard, Stuart Hensley and Tom Poscharsky, Jeffery Brimhall, Joseph Holland, Lynn Johnson and Roger Morgan.
Four seats on the Taylor Town Council will be filled by election. They are currently held by Alan Ram-age, Jane Lee, Mark Reed and Jared Hatch. Lee and Ramage will be on the March 12 ballot, along with Erin Amos, Ron Bish, Jason Bruebaker, Carl Cosper, Lynn DeWitt and David Smith.
Candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary election to be elected outright. If all of the seats are not filled in the primaries, the general elections will be held on May 21.