Mayor and Council

resize doug picuteMayor Doug Von Gausig
Originally Elected 2004
Re-Elected 2008, 2012 and 2016

Contact:
Office Phone:  (928) 639-2432
Cell Phone: (928) 300-6603
Email:  Mayor Von Gausig

I was born in Safford, Arizona in 1948. When I was a teenager I spent summers with my grandparents in their home in Cottonwood, where my grandfather built and ran a Western Auto Store that was on the corner across the street from where the Tavern Grill is now. I grew to love the Verde Valley and its small-town atmosphere and values, and especially the Verde River during those summers. My deep roots in Arizona and the Verde Valley give me a valuable connection with the state and its issues.

In 1966 I graduated from Prescott High School and in 1970 from Arizona State University with a degree in biology. The Vietnam War interceded in my plans for a continued education, as I was diverted by the country's needs to the US Air Force, where I spent 6 years as a pilot. I was flying C-130s when I left the Air Force as a captain in 1976. I then became an independent biologist in Arkansas. My two daughters, Krysta and Kara, were born while I was in the Air Force, and they still live in Arizona. Soon the necessities of family life and a yearning to return to Arizona brought us back to the Verde Valley. I worked briefly with my father in his insurance and real estate agency, and after a few years I bought the company and converted it to an insurance agency which I sold eight years later. It has since become the Butler-Leavitt agency on Main Street in Cottonwood. As a commercial specialist in the agency, I handled the insurance for the Towns of Clarkdale and Jerome. My son, Douglas was born in 1981 and attended Clarkdale elementary from Kindergarten through 8th Grade, then graduated from Mingus Union High School.

I am currently an environmental consultant and professional photographer, specializing in Industrial, nature and portrait photography. My consulting company, Riparian Systems Consulting, works on environmental issues, concentrating on conserving southwest rivers. I have been a Clarkdale business owner for more than 20 years. For 10 years I operated a manufacturing business which made tourist-oriented items of copper, glass and steel in lower Clarkdale.

My experience in Verde Valley business and especially in tourism have taught me a great deal about this most valuable of Arizona industries, and my love for the natural environment, especially the Verde River, have helped form my philosophy of sustainability. I was first elected Mayor in 2004 and have been honored by re-election three times since then.

I currently serve as the Executive Director for the Verde River Institute, and devote a tremendous amount of time to working on water issues. I believe passionately that the future of water in the Verde Valley is the future of the Verde Valley’s people and economy, and I work virtually every day to encourage appropriate planning for a sustainable water future for the Valley. I also serve on the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Fund Advisory Board and am proud to be a Past-President of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, where I continue to work to make Arizona’s cities and towns better places to live and do business.


My Goals as Mayor

  • To give something back to the town that has enhanced my life for almost four decades. 
  • To help Clarkdale move into the future in an intelligent way that will improve the lives of its current citizens. 
  • To bring people from varying backgrounds and perspectives together to reach consensus on the many issues facing our town. To improve communication between the town and the citizens it serves by using all the modern tools available to us. 
  • To educate myself on every town issue to the best of my ability and apply what I have learned to each decision. 
  • To lend my experience and time to my neighbors. 
  • To encourage and implement sustainable practices in the Town and the Verde Valley.
  • To foster a regional perspective in all matters in the Verde Valley.
  • To pass on a bit of what I love about Clarkdale, the Verde Valley, and Arizona to our community.                                                                                                                                                                 

richard1314-1s
Vice Mayor Richard Dehnert
Originally Elected 2008
Re-Elected 2012 and 2016

Contact:
Office Phone:  (928) 639-2437
Email:  Vice Mayor Dehnert

Richard Dehnert was born in Galesburg, Ill and graduated from Shimer College in Mt. Carroll, Illinois with a BA in Humanities. Shortly after college, he began a career in radio broadcasting as a news director at KSIL in Silver City, New Mexico. After a stint as operations director at KATO in Safford, Arizona, Richard and his wife, Krysta, purchased KYBC (then KVIO) and moved to Cottonwood along with their three young sons in 1979. Their daughter, Ellen, was born in Cottonwood in 1980. They built KVRD-FM in 1991, subsequently selling their broadcast holdings to Yavapai Broadcasting in 1996. After several years of traveling the West, Richard and Krysta settled in Clarkdale in 2001. They purchased a little brick Clarkdale classic in 2002 and have spent the ensuing years enjoying the small town lifestyle of upper Clarkdale.

During his years as a broadcaster, Richard engaged in a number of community service activities, serving at various times as President of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, President of Verde Valley Rotary Club, Chairman of the Yavapai County Foster Care Review Board, and on other committees and projects.

Richard is now retired after a fourteen-year career in behavioral health, including employment as Community Relations Coordinator for the Verde Valley Guidance Clinic and Spectrum Healthcare. He continues his involvement in behavioral health as a Mental Health First Aid instructor.

Richard considers his service on the Clarkdale Town Council to be a continuation of his life-long dedication to community involvement. “I love Clarkdale and look forward to the opportunity to serve the community as it faces the challenges ahead.” 

 

Regner_B-HS0001-crp2Council Member Bill Regner
Originally Elected 2010
Re-Elected 2014

Contact:
Phone: (928) 639-2434
Email:  Council Member Regner

I was born in LaGrande, Oregon into a military family and spent my childhood on U.S. Army posts all over the United States and Japan. I graduated high school in Edina, MN and college at the University of Arizona in Tucson where I earned a bachelors degree in Political Science with a minor in Psychology. I have also done graduate studies in Business Administration and the Education of Emotionally Handicapped Children.

I met my wife of 40+ years, Janet, when we worked together directing a residential treatment center for adolescents in Mesa. We have two grown sons, Jonathan and Douglas. Both sons are married to highly talented professional women and we enjoy three beautiful, bright, and healthy grandsons with the potential for more in the future.

My professional life includes time as a congressional aide in Washington, DC, behavioral health management, small business management, sales, professional staffing recruitment, and human development. I feel strongly that community is important and have tried to demonstrate that through my professional work and volunteering for committees, boards, and commissions.

We came to Clarkdale in 2001 to visit friends and fell deeply in love with the Verde Valley. We bought our lot that year and spent the next six figuring out how to move here permanently. We finally moved up here from Tempe in 2007. Our house overlooking the Verde River was finished in 2008. Prior to election to the Town Council, I served on the Planning Commission for over two years.

I love the small town sense of Clarkdale and the regional sense of place that the Verde Valley embraces. I look forward to the challenges that come with preserving that identity while enhancing our quality of life and preparing for the future. 




Council Member Scott Buckleyscott_buckley
Originally Elected 2014
Re-Elected 2016

Contact:
Office Phone:  (928) 639-2436
Email:  Council Member Buckley

I was born in Palo Alto, CA and have lived in Arizona for 30 years.  I graduated high school from The Dunn School in Los Olivos, CA and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ where I earned my Hotel and Restaurant Management degree.  I've lived in Clarkdale since 2006 and love raising our four beautiful children here.   Three of our children attend the Clarkdale-Jerome School, and we are extremely proud to support the school in any way we can.  We've assisted the school with multiple fundraisers and I was one of the volunteer coaches for their baseball team in 2018.

My wife Allyson and I operate Scott's Main Street Cafe, located at 920 Main Street in Clarkdale.  The restaurant opened in March 2008, and we always look forward to seeing our Clarkdale friends and neighbors (as well as visitors) as they dine for lunch or dinner with us.  In 2016, we expanded our business footprint in downtown Clarkdale and opened the Clarkdale Kayak Company where we share our passion for the Verde River by offering kayak trips on the Verde River @ Clarkdale.

Clarkdale provides the quintessential small town life that is perfect for raising a family and running a business.  As avid outdoorsman, my family and I enjoy the wide open spaces that surround Clarkdale, the Verde Valley and all of northern Arizona. 

I am a co-founder of the Clarkdale Downtown Business Alliance, which was organized to support the local Main Street businesses in Historic Downtown Clarkdale.  I got involved with the Town Council to help represent the voice of small business owners and families with children in the decision making processes of our community, and I thoroughly enjoy my time on the Town Council.



IMG_6094 head shot 2Council Member Ben Kramer
Appointed September, 2017

Contact:
Office Phone: (928) 639-2438
Email: Council Member Kramer

I was born in Cottonwood, Arizona in 1983. I grew up in Clarkdale, my father
was a volunteer for the Clarkdale Fire Department and worked for
Clarkdale-Jerome School in the bus barn and my mother was an
elementary teacher for the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District. I attended school in Cottonwood and graduated from Mingus Union High School as the Student Class President.

I went on to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson and received my Bachelor's Degree in Regional Development with a minor in Mathematics. In college I was active in a coed community service fraternity, AlphaPhi Omega. I also played for the University of Arizona Rugby team and was chosen as Rookie of the Year and Team Captain in my first season.

Following college, I was offered a position with Lennar Land Development as a Land Manager. I worked to manage the redevelopment of bare land to prepare it for housing development in the Tucson and Marana areas. I would oversee the installation of utilities, roads, sidewalks and parks,and grading preparation of home site pads. Following the downturn of the housing market I returned to Clarkdale and worked as a substitute teacher for the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and enrolled in the fire academy at Yavapai College. I completed the fire academy, earned my EMT certificate, and took a position as Fire Inspector with the Cottonwood Fire Department in 2009. After two years of doing fire safety inspections and public education, I took a position as Firefighter and EMT with the Cottonwood Fire Department. In 2015 I earned my Associate's Degree in Fire Science at Yavapai College and in 2017 earned my Associate's Degree in Paramedicine from Coconino Community College to become a nationally certified Paramedic and was chosen as EMS Student of the Year. I continue to work in the capacity of Firefighter and Paramedic for the Cottonwood Fire Department, where I also serve on the Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board as an employee board member.

In Clarkdale, I served on the Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board for Clarkdale Police Department and the Library Advisory Board. The Library Board dissolved in 2016, at that time I was appointed to the Community Services Commission. I served on these boards and commissions for a number of years prior to applying for a seat on the Town Council.

I currently reside in Clarkdale with my fiancé, Caysha, and our five ducks. I enjoy mountain biking at Tavasci Marsh and Dead Horse State Park, reading, and spending time outdoors.
 
My goals as a Councilmember:
  • To use critical thinking and careful analysis to issues arising in our town.
  • To preserve the rich history of Clarkdale and preserve the traditions I was lucky enough to enjoy growing up.
  • To serve the citizens and strive to understand varied viewpoints.
  • To enjoy and encourage positive, responsible growth in our town.
  • To make an effort to ensure our community continues to be a rich and inviting place to visit and live.