Candidate Essay: Charlie German

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I am Charles C. German. I was born in Flagstaff and moved to Camp Verde in 1951 with my parents and five siblings. My residence has been here for more than 65 years but was absent during my college preparation, four-year military service in the U.S. Navy Security Group, and for short periods working construction and retail before returning to finish my educational preparation at Northern Arizona University. My wife Linda and I raised our three children, now adults who live elsewhere.

This covers most of my training and work experience: Farming and handyman repairs; handling, storage and use of classified military communications in the Navy; wildfire prevention and suppression training with the U.S. Forest Service; crew member in housing construction for framing and finish work; retail management program with the McCrory Corporation. My retail employment was interrupted by the call for military service. I spent more than 33 years in my educational profession as a classroom teacher and administrator.

My volunteer service to the community is in excess of 30 years. This service includes volunteer fireman, elected fire chief and other leadership positions for more than 10 years. I also have service with the library on the library endowment board; was elected as school board member and served as clerk and president several times during a separate period of 12 years. Other leadership experiences also include lay leadership positions within two of our local churches from 1972 onward, and finally, I have been currently serving as mayor for the past five years.

As the mayor, I am one of seven policymakers and the town policy and procedures provide no special powers for the mayor over any other council member. However, there are certain administrative duties assigned to the mayor, and that includes running the council meetings and serving as a signatory/chief spokesman for the Town of Camp Verde. Any other powers must be granted by the Town Council through their duly called meetings and official actions.

A matter of policy and ethical governance for me as mayor is to be committed to the General Plan, which was originated and ratified with the vote of the community. This plan maps out the direction for the Town Council and the staff and is required by the state of Arizona to be established and reviewed every five years. Camp Verde’s plan was recently reviewed and modified by the voters, and I believe it has generated greater interest by potential residents and investors due to the improved clarity as to land uses and through the designation of character areas. The general plan has helped bring certainty for the current residents as well as those looking to join us in their investments with businesses.

In essence, it is developing political stability for the community, which is absolutely necessary for any community to develop sustainability and add to the quality of life.

It is the responsibility of the mayor and Town Council to ensure there are appropriate polices in place to create an institution which is effective, responsive to the community and demonstrates professionalism and is committed to its service to the community. This includes making sure that financial planning is careful and deliberate and does not exceed what is statutorily allowed, or exceed the parameters of acceptable standards or best practices within the profession. The town’s expenditures must be closely tied to the revenues. Reduced revenues means reduction in expenditures. Policy must include strengthening checks and balances, and providing ongoing training to prevent malfeasance or fraud and to raise professional standards. Training of staff, volunteers and elected officials in professional ethics, appropriate applications of dealing with requirements of open meeting law and its applications is critical.

There absolutely must be clear communication to our community. However, communication must be two-way. The citizens of the Town of Camp Verde must do their part, which is to become informed on the issues. Please call town offices to ask your questions. Evidence shows the town provides ample information and opportunity through postings in public and online, articles and reports of council actions and declarations of public hearings for the citizens to attend. Often, there is little response and too often, response is last-minute and is not conducive to good planning or executing any plan with maximum effectiveness.

I ask for your vote because I have proven my ability in leadership and management to assist my fellow council members in providing the political leadership and expertise to govern our community

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