BISBEE — Though the primary election decided the seats for District 1 and District 3 on the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, District 2 is up in the air as three women vie for the seat.
Incumbent Ann English (D), Lori Kilpatrick (R) and Anna Eickenbrock (I) hope to win the vote to represent the large rural district which encompasses much of the southeastern part of the county. The district runs west from the border with New Mexico and includes the cities of Bisbee, Douglas and Tombstone and the unincorporated county area in Sierra Vista.
In the primary, Republican Kilpatrick received 3,184 votes and Democrat English had 3,156 votes on the way to securing the nomination for their respective parties. Another Democratic candidate, Jerry Curfman, garnered 1,010 votes which could go to English in the general election. Eickenbrock, a write-in candidate, did not appear on the primary ballot.
English, 78, has lived with her husband on the family ranch in Double Adobe for 55 years.
Kilpatrick, 54, lives in Tombstone and has a small business.
Eickenbrock, 39, lives in Sierra Vista and is the executive director of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).
They provided the answers to the following questions from the Herald/Review.
Why should people vote for you?ENGLISH: I believe my work history shows my commitment to serving Cochise County as a County Supervisor. I have conducted my work with caring, integrity and knowledge. Every issue brought before the Board gets my attention and I look for information to help me make a good decision.
Balancing the county budget and enacting policies for efficient government are the two main responsibilities of the Board. I have been frugal with your tax dollars as you can see from years of balanced budgets with savings for emergencies.
I have been a leader in staff development, implementing competitive salaries and hiring talented managers. Every constituent call is answered or returned quickly and if you ask for a meeting it is scheduled.
I work to develop cooperative relationships with other government entities in order to serve the county better. My participation with the cities and other counties is respected. I know experience on the job is not everything but having someone effective and experienced is a plus. I am willing and able to serve you because I care for my county and my constituents.
KILPATRICK: I bring new energy, new ideas and common sense to issues that have been plaguing our county for decades. Issues such as tourism growth, the two-port border crossing, high taxes, water, protection of both our rural way of life and support of our ranchers.
I will help implement a leadership style that is vastly different from the present Board. A leadership style which will include the people in decision making; but more importantly, one that does not pass the buck to administrative positions with limited accountability, thereby shirking the responsibility.
I will always take responsibility for my actions openly and proudly.
EICKENBROCK: My hope is that the wonderful people in my district know the great efforts I have made in helping our community over the years.
I started and run two nonprofits, Operation Toothbrush for Homeless Veterans and Our Heart for Children. My two nonprofits help homeless veterans in need.
I help provide personal hygiene items for our homeless veterans and last year and this year I will have and be providing the entire Thanksgiving feast for our homeless veterans and their families in Southern Arizona.
I set up Care Cabinets at Joyce Clark Middle School and Buena High School filled with personal hygiene items for our students in need and have eliminated school lunch debts in our community under my Our Heart for Children nonprofit.
These efforts along with my role as Executive Director for the National Alliance for Mental Illness/Health is a direct reflection of how I value the health, care, consideration and involve the in our community’s positive growth.
My Family/Juvenile Law Degree, Military Families Degree, Cochise Leadership certification and other valuable certifications will help aide me in making lawful effective decisions WITH not for our valuable communities
What do you expect to accomplish in the next four years?ENGLISH: What can be accomplished in the next four years is dependent on the new board establishing a good working relationship based upon our mandates and responsibilities to our constituents. It is dependent on extending and creating the working document called the Strategic Plan.
This document is a Board agreement which defines the financial and action priorities of the Board. It tells the other constitutionally elected officers, the staff and the public where we are interested in improving and sets benchmarks.
Creating and maintaining a balanced budget in uncertain times will be a challenge. The federal funds from the Coronavirus program are helpful and we are thankful since our other revenue is uncertain. It will be my hope to maintain staff without furloughs. It may require not filling some positions until our revenues are consistent.
The public can help with funding by completing the census forms. All cities, counties, states and many programs benefiting the public based upon the census information for the next ten years. If this funding is cut the county will not be able to offer many services we now offer.
KILPATRICK: I plan to see that the two–port of entry in Douglas is completed.
I plan to work toward a viable solution to the massive debt from the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) program.
I plan to work with economic groups to increase job opportunities that will protect our culture while helping our small businesses to again flourish.
I plan on mending the divides between our communities and the tourism council so that our greatest economic revenue can be even better and stronger.
Our problems are in our communities and that is where we will find the right solutions.
EICKENBROCK: I plan accomplish effective change in which our communities present issues for.
It is hard to be specific due to not being presented with the communities upcoming concerns.
One topic which will be addressed is the concern on proper lighting in the tunnel going to Bisbee. I believe this project is one of importance due to the sadness of lives lost and persons injured to the inadequate lighting in the tunnel.
I hope to be able to make the change that is best suited for what our community members expect. My personal opinions on what changes need to be made to better accommodate the communities will not be presented without the support of the communities first. I plan to do my best to be “The People’s Voice.”
What will you do to ensure transparency in county government affairs?ENGLISH: I will continue to assure the public all work sessions and formal meetings are posted in a timely manner with agendas and related documents. All minutes and recordings, except executive sessions, will be posted in a timely manner for the public to see and hear.
As a three-member board, you can be assured we will not have side meetings because the Open Meeting Laws do not allow them. We only talk with each other in public or through written documents which are public documents.
We are continually looking for more services and information the public can access from home and do business with the county. We are very aware of the limits we can give the public before our system is compromised. Our IT Department is recognized statewide as being very cyber secure and we want to keep it secure.
At this time, we do not have a Public Information Officer on staff and this was a very effective way to continually let the public know what was happening through the newsletter and the frequent articles.
KILPATRICK: I will continue with what I have been doing for the last many years in preparing for this position. I will be in the community, working and communicating with the people, as well as all levels of government (local, state and federal) to find viable sustaining solutions for our issues.
I will work tirelessly every day to continue to reach the citizens of District 2 through new and out of the box ways of communication.
I will work to continue community outreach, especially with young adults, so that our next generations are excited about working with representatives towards action-oriented solutions which will enrich our communities.
EICKENBROCK: This question is one in which a system should already be in place for transparency in county government affairs for our community members. Recorded meetings should be a must. Availability of minutes from every meeting should be accessible to the public.
Big decisions which effect our communities should be presented prior to action. Our community members should always have a working knowledge of all activities which effect them in any way.
We know sometimes certain decisions have to be made for the safety of our communities, but any and all other decisions should be made with our community members.
A healthy transparency is one in which we, the board members include and share with our amazing community members.