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Scott Overton

Scott Overton

What is your educational/professional background?
I graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1996 with a B.S. degree in Industrial Technology Education and in 2002 with a Masters degree in Educational Leadership. I taught in two Secondary High School public school districts. Payson High School from 1996 to 1998 and at Flagstaff High School from 1998 to 2004. I taught vocational trades courses in both schools. I have operated SR Overton Construction in a full-time capacity since 2004. My construction company provides full service residential building methods and skills focused on high customer service with a small team of dedicated employees. I was elected to the Flagstaff City Council in 2006 and served as the Vice-Mayor. I was re-elected in 2010 and continue serving today.

How long have you lived in Flagstaff?
I am a Flagstaff native, 39 years.

Why did you decide to make Flagstaff your home?
Flagstaff has always been home for me, growing up in Flagstaff has provided me a sense of home I simply cannot find anywhere else when I visit. I have enjoyed my working career here and have strong ties to many people in Flagstaff. Many residents share similar values and I find it a great place to live with my family. Weather it is the outdoors, mild and varied climate, great activities, friends, family or sense of place. The totality of all make Flagstaff my home.

Why are you running for city council?
I have had great success and have thoroughly enjoyed representing the community on the City Council since 2006. I have worked hard at gaining the respect of other community members and am thankful the community has entrusted me in making decisions on behalf of Flagstaff.

In the economic downturn, Flagstaff was not spared and the difficulties still continue in many sectors. I think as a City we navigated the recession with realism, made difficult decisions and tried very hard to have service delivery and community expectations change very little. Our community is stronger for it and the City is positioned well in the coming years.

I believe I provide a realism to the discussions and that the issues are still difficult in the community. The economics and realties of many businesses are that they still operate on very slim margins and are working harder than ever to continue to move in a positive direction. I want to provide the voice of reason in all decisions made with your City Council, I have a dedicated work ethic, proven record of leadership and have never lost sight of the values that I share with many community members.

How do you think as a member of council you can help improve our community’s economic outlook?
The Flagstaff City Council members must have a keen understanding of the local economy and sectors that make the community thrive and recognize we have a long way to recovery for others. I have encouraged and believe that a collaborative effort has been beneficial. A Councilmember that expects better communications, streamlined processes and clear expectations are working to not only address what the community treasures but also allows us to grow as a community. The City must continue to foster and support not only existing business but welcome emerging ideas and innovators to our market working hard at establishing a strong foot hold.

In the past we have written an improved zoning code, developed a purchasing manual and have streamlined the permitting and development process. All good examples of great effort for a better Flagstaff. The work is not done and will likely always continue, having a seasoned member on the council directly impacts the future policy and direction the City will take. I hope the community values the commitment I have made and will entrust in me the opportunity once again to work hard on your behalf.

What do you see as being the biggest hindrance to strengthening Flagstaff’s economy? How would you fix it?
Existing businesses still need to be a focus. Fostering effort on the microbusiness of our community is a sector I still believe so much more can be done. For many the simple access to resources and costs associated are stifling growth and hindering performance. If we can but emphasize to the businesses that are already in our community and recognize what the obstacles to them are I think it will be a very wise investment and brilliant strategy.

Access to labor force and the connection to our local community education services is a continued concern. Many young people leave our community, if we can connect them to the employment opportunities I would like to try and see this as a win for all.

Products and materials availability locally. This one is difficult from an inventory standpoint, but I sense we still have significant market leakage to products and service that are brought in from other communities. An effort to make better product availability may also help create some efficiencies and opportunities.