9/3/2013 10:03:00 AM Dist. 4 Supervisor Brown to conduct Town Hall meeting at Paulden
Review file Jane Anderson presides over a recent Paulden Area Community Organization meeting.
Kathi Sabot Chino Valley Review
Many people move to the unincorporated Yavapai County area of Paulden to be left alone, free of government interference. But sometimes the need for municipal services trumps the need for independence.
This means that residents must deal with the county government directly, or form a citizen group to negotiate for their services, said Jane Anderson, president of the Paulden Area Community Organization.
"(People) want services from the county, they expect actual roads. There's an area out here by the railroad tracks that people refer to as 'the island.' Williamson Valley Wash is on one side and Big Chino Wash on the other. In 2004 people had been stranded there for a week, and there were people who couldn't get home. They had to bring in the National Guard."
PACO is the organization that residents have formed to work out their problems and provide community support. Contentious arguments are sometimes common fare, but so are solutions. So far, a long term solution to access roads has eluded them, because the county does not own the roads.
"People move out here and don't know that they are responsible for their roads," Anderson said. "Most of the roads in Paulden aren't county roads. They are private easements that the developer put in. If 51 percent of the landowners agreed to a road improvement district then they could petition the county for improvements to their roads. But that would increase their taxes. People have gone and hired their own grader. Like Jose' Sanchez has graded roads for some people, he charges a reasonable amount, and people will go in on the cost together."
While road maintenance, and lack thereof, routinely aggravates Paulden's residents, not being in a fire district perturbs them too.
"There was a big fire that burned a three-story house down. It was not in the fire district, so the Chino Valley Fire Department did not respond," said Anderson, adding that property owners can annex into the district with a 51 percent vote, or contract for fire services. "People come up from Phoenix, or California, and buy a house and do not know that they are not in a fire district."
PACO acts like a liaison between concerned citizens, and specific offices or departments of the county government that may be of assistance to the growing community.
"We're like a conduit between the people of Paulden in general, and the government," said Jerry Franklin, previous president of PACO. "If PACO were not here, there would be no way to coordinate the people with the government, except to call and complain one-on-one. We bring them together as a group, so basically they have a place to go if they have a concern or grievance that they want to air. We meet every month so they can do just those things."
PACO's general meeting is the first Thursday of each month, and the board meets the third Thursday. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. This Thursday, Sept. 5, will be a Yavapai County Town Hall meeting with Craig Brown, county supervisor.
"Craig Brown comes to 90 percent of our meetings. He's the only supervisor who's ever done that," said Anderson. "He actually comes and listens to the people of Paulden and what their concerns are."
Lifeline Ambulance also will be present and residents can purchase subscriptions for services. Pizza will be served.
PACO also is planning a Well Water Seminar on Saturday, Sept. 14, a Salute to Veterans on Nov. 9, and a Holiday Dinner at 1 p.m. on Dec. 14.
For more information visit http://pauldenarea.info/ or email email@example.com.