After the November election, the longest serving member of the Flagstaff City Council, except for the mayor, will have only served for two years.
All three incumbents for the council whose seats are up for reelection -- Eva Putzova, Scott Overton and Celia Barotz -- confirmed either over the phone or by e-mail they did not intend to seek reelection this year. Overton, the longest serving member on the city council, was originally elected in 2006. Barotz has served on the council since 2010 and Putzova has been on the council since 2014. A council term is four years.
Mayor Coral Evans has announced she will seek reelection for mayor, which is for a two-year term. Evans was first elected as a councilmember in 2008 and was elected mayor in 2016. So far, no one has formally announced a candidacy to oppose her.
The council, which for the last four years has had a female majority, will likely switch to a male majority in 2018, as no female candidates are listed as having taken out paperwork to run for office.
So far, Austin Aslan, Art Collum, Paul Deasy, Alex Martinez, Adam Shimoni, Dennis Lavin and Benjamin Forstie are listed on the city’s website as possibly circulating petitions to run for the three available council seats. However, Forstie said he is undecided as to whether he wants to run for mayor or council.
Aslan, a 22-year resident of Flagstaff, said he has 10 years of experience working in city government in California, and said his vision for Flagstaff is “to become a national leader in sustainability, even as we continue to grow and thrive.”
Martinez is a former public school superintendent and captain in the Naval Reserve. He serves on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and worked for 36 years in public education.
Deasy, who grew up in Flagstaff, said, “I am a professional policy analyst and data scientist, and serve as a board member with Coconino County Advocates for Human Services. My wife and I grew up in Flagstaff and are now raising our four children here.”
Collum, a fourth-generation Flagstaff resident, said, “I believe in creative solutions and a holistic approach to municipal government. My interests are sustainable growth of our community, economy and ecosystem.”
Shimoni ran for city council in 2016 and narrowly lost. Shimoni has been involved with various community groups, including one he organizes called Flagstaff Speak Up, aimed at getting citizens involved in local politics.
Forstie said he is undecided on whether to run for mayor or city council. He owns and operates The Barn Bros, an estate buyer and resale shop.
Lavin did not respond to attempts to reach him by phone.