May 03, 2018

Prescott Valley Councilman Marty Grossman and other community leaders had a chance to experience a day in the life of a firefighter on Saturday, April 28th, as they took part in the Fire Ops 101 program jointly operated by Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) and the Prescott Fire Department. Dressed up in full personal protective equipment (PPE) and carrying a 45-pound tank of oxygen on their backs, the participants went through various drills of the job including fire suppression, car and building extractions as well as an EMT rescues. During the program, firefighters donated their time and guided the participants through the challenging program.

Participants in the 2018 Fire Ops 101 program
Participants in the 2018 Fire Ops 101 program attempt to put out a car fire on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 (Photo by Torrence Dunham / Signals)

“You don’t realize how much they have to do and carry, the number of decisions they have to make,” Grossman said in a phone interview. “When you go through it, you realize you are under a lot of stress, there are lives at stake, there is property at stake and you are making a lot of split-second decisions.”

“It’s just one of those experiences where you have a lot of respect for them going in, but you have even more when you come out,” Grossman continued.

The Fire Ops 101 program has taken place in Prescott Valley for the last four years with similar programs occurring nationally. CAFMA Fire Chief Scott Freitag recalled hearing about a similar program while serving in St. Louis and was approached about doing the training once he moved to Prescott Valley.

CAFMA Captain Brian Burch met with Freitag and said the organization has been trying to set up a Fire Ops 101 program for a few years. Following the conversation, the Chief gave Burch the green light to bring the program to Prescott Valley.

“He (Burch) really took this program on and ran with it, got all the background information and put it together,” Freitag said.

What makes the training important to Freitag is the knowledge it gives to community members of the firefighters’ daily practices and procedures. For instance, Freitag mentioned individuals continually ask why a fire truck joins an ambulance at a medical emergency scene. The EMT training portion of the program where individuals had to perform CPR on a patient stuck between a wall and toilet provides that answer.

community leaders take on challenge

“Once we put people through that scenario and they get to see what it is, most have commented on it came out and said ok, we get it,” Freitag said, mentioning the department gets a variety of calls with only some information and it is not known what scene the emergency personnel will come upon.

“The only thing we want to do is educate you, let you know what it’s really like,” Freitag said. “If you are in the community and somebody asks a question or says something, you now have the information to be able to provide an answer.”

As a member of the council who represents the public, Grossman sees the importance of other community leaders taking part in the program.

“I would encourage anybody to go through it,” Grossman said. “All public and elected officials should have to go through this for the simple reason that a lot of times, you don’t realize what kind of training it takes and the physical demands of the job.”

Another community member who went through the Fire Ops 101 program was Guy Roginson, Editor of, echoing some of Grossman’s remarks. “I’ve always respected these pros, but now I can lobby on their behalf in an educated and empathetic manner,” said Roginson. “Our firefighters are running three person crews when they should be running four person crews. We need to find a way to better support these folks. Knowing that firefighters are 2 -3 times more likely to die of cancer, and then you hear them say in a jokingly way, “Yeah, I will most likely die of cancer”, you’ve got to wonder what we can do better to support and protect our own firefighters.”

Freitag said the Fire Ops 101 program has evolved over the past few years and featured a new lesson in 2018 that went over fire behavior in a building and how the time of escape has decreased over the last few years due to the light-weight construction of a house and the increased use of plastic and synthetic materials in the homes have caused fires to burn hotter and faster. Additionally, these new materials are highly toxic and even though we are seeing fewer structure fires due to prevention efforts, we are seeing increased rates of death due to lightweight building materials and toxic components in the structures.

community leaders take on challenge

“It really gave people a sense of how construction has changed, how the materials and the items in our homes have changed over the years,” Freitag said.

Freitag mentioned the current plan is for the Fire Ops 101 program to return in 2019.

Jodi Rooney - Fourth Annual Fire Ops 101

Jodi Rooney - Fourth Annual Fire Ops 101

Published from Signals AZ

March 28, 2018

When we put together each week’s Prescott Valley Tribune, I get an overall feeling from it: joyful and hard at work.

Seriously, this is a town that gets after things, with a smile and ready for heavy lifting.

Festival of Arts CouncilMy evidence this week is the attached photograph, where “Dorothy” and her friends from the “Wizard of Oz” appeared at the Festival of Arts and Eggstravaganza this past Saturday. Pictured are, from left, Mayor Harvey Skoog, Councilman Michael Whiting, Teen Librarian Shelbie Marks, Vice Mayor Lora Lee Nye, Councilman Marty Grossman, and Councilwoman Jodi Rooney.

Just look at the image.

My first thoughts, no puns intended, are that takes a great love of home (Prescott Valley, of course), a lot of heart to dress up like that, a little magic (good and wicked!) to bring it together, and a lot of planning (thinking it through). The only character missing from the photo is the lion — which provides the amazing amount of courage to do this!

These are the people who make decisions in this town, provide direction for residents — especially the children, and supply the grease to get things done.

Maybe Skoog was the lion; on second thought, maybe he was the wizard.

Skoog has been almost ever-present for much of my more than two decades in the tri-city area and at the newspaper.

It is knowing that he is not running for re-election that signals change.

Did you know that he was mayor twice? Once from 1993 to 1998, then from 2004 to present. He came back because people said the town needed him, sources told us in 2003.

I believe it.

“I think I have been the luckiest mayor in the state — so many have a dysfunctional staff or a disjointed council, … I have neither, they’re the best,” he said this week.

As his greatest accomplishment, Skoog points to one thing. “In 2003 people asking me to run again,” he said, referring to the turmoil surrounding the town’s leadership at the time that led to a recall election. In a short time after, “getting the community relaxed and satisfied with steady work of the council, that’s my greatest accomplishment. … All of a sudden it quieted down.”

In fact, considering the amount of work they do, running for mayor or council takes a special person. Thinking of the fun they have, well, why not do it?!

The seats up for decision by voters this year are Mayor, and two on Council.

The packets are available at the Civic Center for those interested and the first election date is Aug. 28, 2018. Visit for information.

If you are thinking about getting involved, talk to some of the sitting members first. I would bet they have a lot of stories to share. Maybe with tongue firmly embedded in cheek.

And, watch for our election coverage as the season gets into full swing — about some people ready to do some hard work, and have some fun.

Published from Prescott Valley Tribune

March 19, 2018

PRESCOTT VALLEY – After finishing her term as a Prescott Valley Town Councilwoman in 2018, Prescott Valley resident Jodi Rooney (Republican) is going to run for the Arizona House of Representatives District One office with an intent to tackle issues regarding education, Interstate 17 (I-17) and continue building economic development.

“I believe this is the time for me to step forward,” said Rooney, who was appointed to the Town’s Council in January of 2017 following the vacancy of Stephen Marshall. “I believe I have something really good to bring to the table.”

Rooney mentioned she wasn’t planning to run for the Legislature, saying she intended to run for the Council seat again when it opened up. However, Rooney decided to go after a spot in the House of Representatives due to her passion for education and experience in transportation.

“I like our quality of life here, I want to continue maintaining that, but I think there are a couple of things we need to work on,” Rooney said. “At the Legislature, that’s where I can really work on education.”

“Our teachers need to be paid more money, it’s (teacher salary) not meeting the need,” Rooney continued.

Economic Development & Education

One of Rooney’s three main starting points is economic development, which she ties directly to the importance of education. Rooney says companies coming into the area take education into account. Rooney points out the schools in the area have been exceeding education standards despite the budget constraints. In fact, Humboldt Unified School District announced Bradshaw Mountain High School graduates earned 5.4 million in scholarships in 2017 with $20 million combined over the last three years.

Our Teachers are High Achievers with the Lowest Pay – Changes Needed

“While we are not the lowest achieving, we are the lowest paid for teachers,” Rooney said. “There is a difference in that, which tells me we have been able to make the most good with what funds we do have, we’re maximizing. You can only ask people to maximize for so long, when it comes back to it, you got to make some changes.

“That’s where we are at, I believe we are at the pinnacle,” Rooney said.

In order to hit the ground running with this issue, Rooney mentioned talking with superintendents and principals from public schools to charter schools. Additionally, Rooney discussed the shortage of affordable housing for teachers while participating in a Humboldt Unified School District “ Vision 2020” focus table.

“This is one of those (issues) that I don’t want to kick the can up the road, I want to be part of the solutions,” Rooney said.

The I-17

Education isn’t the only major project with implications to economic development found on Rooney’s plan of attack. Due to the various uses of I-17 in the state, Rooney plans to work on fixing issues with the highway. Just from traveling back and forth between Phoenix and Prescott Valley, Rooney knows first-hand the frustration of I-17 delays due to either car accidents or wildfires.

Rooney has a wealth of knowledge regarding public transportation that she plans to utilize to solve this problem, most recently being a Local Public Agency Section Manager for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

Rooney said she recently gave a presentation to the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy regarding the I-17 problem with a cost of $1.2 Billion to solve the issue.

“Clearly we know that we are not going to be able to spend that much money on that corridor, but what can we spend to get some bang for the buck?” Rooney said. “We have to look at what are the other projects in the state.”

“Knowing that, if we can get some relief on I-17, it’s going to make the quality of life better….just the public safety of it is huge,” Rooney continued.

Being appointed to the Council in January of 2017, this is Rooney’s first experience going out collecting signatures and campaigning. She has enjoyed talking to individuals and has even heard some issues previously not thought of including healthcare options in the increasingly expanding Prescott Valley.


“If we are not keeping up with healthcare providers, there could be a shortage or it could produce a long wait for people to get in,” Rooney said. “That’s an issue that I had not heard. People are telling me what’s important to them.”

Through her time at the Prescott Valley Town Council, Rooney has gained a sizeable contact list of professionals in various industries. She plans to use that to her advantage if elected.

“Sometimes we can run something through and maybe it’s not the best for those who are actually on the ground,” Rooney said. “It’s important to have those connections.”

Mentioning the power of local control, which is the public-elected figures to the various local boards, Rooney doesn’t plan to forget her roots if elected.

“When my husband and I came here 11 years ago, one thing we realized real fast is it’s about local control here,” Rooney said. “That’s really important because sometimes at the Legislature, maybe people forget when they get to that level, I won’t forget that.”

“Sometimes, like the Federal Government, there can be overreach and I am not afraid to raise my voice and take action to combat that,” Rooney continued.

As for Rooney’s seat on the council, she knows a qualified candidate will be found due to the stiff competition she faced during the appointment competition.

“I do believe from all of the people who are here as residents, and those that are moving in, that we have a really good pool of people who will come forward to run for that council seat,” Rooney said. “I know that we are going to have that leadership that we need moving forward. I believe there are people here who want solutions and I want to be part of that solution.”

Drove by the passion to solve problems she cares about deeply, Rooney decided to retire early from her position at ADOT in order to run for the State House of Representatives. Rooney is fully committed to the campaign.

“I want to be able to make a difference in education and certainly see that our teachers are paid more, and make a difference in transportation (by) working with I-17 so that we can provide some relief,” Rooney said. “I’m talking on the front end, not years down the road.”

The current Arizona House of Representatives for District One is Noel Campbell and David Stringer.

Published from Signals

March 14, 2018

Prescott Valley Town Councilmember Jodi Rooney has been selected as one of 36 Arizonans as a 2018 cohort of Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. She is the first Prescott Valley resident to be chosen by the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership for the program.

The Fellows, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, work experiences, and political perspectives, will participate in a 12-part seminar series beginning this month and led by well-known Arizona policy and political experts, the press release from the Flinn Foundation states.

“I applied to this competitive academy knowing that, if accepted, I would build upon and enrich my current knowledge of state government,” Rooney said. “I will be learning from other state leaders. The opportunity to learn facts and figures on issues important to Arizona will help me be informed along with listening to the citizens I represent.”

Flinn-Brown members represent both the private and public sectors and work in business, government, education, and nonprofits, and is designed for individuals committed to pursuing roles in state-level civic leadership.

Rooney was appointed to the Prescott Valley Town Council in January 2017, and is a 10-year resident of the community.

The Flinn-Brown Network functions as an ongoing personal and professional support system for the Fellows as they advance in their careers and pursue roles as state-level elected officials, state-agency executives, policy advisors, or members of state boards or commissions. The 2018 cohort increases the size of the Flinn-Brown Network to more than 300 people.

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership was launched to strengthen civic leadership throughout Arizona, with a special focus on state-level service. The Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy is sponsored in partnership with the Tucson-based Thomas R. Brown Foundations. Along with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Flinn Scholars Program. The Thomas R. Brown Foundations supports solutions to community and state issues through strategic grants and educational programs.

Published from Prescott Valley Tribune

March 8, 2018

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, a nonpartisan program of the Flinn Foundation, has competitively selected 36 Arizonans for the 2018 cohort of its flagship Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy.

The new Flinn-Brown Fellows include the first from Wellton and Prescott Valley, as well as residents of Kingman, Yuma, Sierra Vista, Flagstaff, and the Tucson and Phoenix regions.

The Fellows, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, work experiences, and political perspectives, will participate in a 12-part seminar series starting in mid-March led by well-known Arizona policy and political experts.

The Academy’s seminars are the start of a long-term affiliation with the Flinn-Brown Network for these high-potential leaders. The network functions as an ongoing personal and professional support system for the Fellows as they advance in their careers and pursue roles as state-level elected officials, state-agency executives, policy advisors, or members of state boards or commissions. The 2018 cohort increases the size of the Flinn-Brown Network to more than 300 people.

Fellows represent both the private and public sectors and work in business, government, education, and nonprofits. Flinn-Brown is designed for accomplished individuals committed to pursuing roles in state-level civic leadership.

“The 2018 Fellows will further enhance the Flinn-Brown Network, which provides long-term support for Fellows to help advance Arizona,” said Nancy Welch, director of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation. “The new Fellows are committed to serving the state of Arizona and Flinn-Brown can help them be even more successful.”

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership was launched to strengthen civic leadership throughout Arizona, with a special focus on state-level service. The Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy is sponsored in partnership with the Tucson-based Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization, founded by Dr. Robert S. Flinn and his wife, Irene P. Flinn, in 1965, with the mission, “To improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.” Along with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Flinn Scholars Program. The Thomas R. Brown Foundations supports solutions to community and state issues through strategic grants and educational programs.

2018 Flinn-Brown Fellows

(Listing includes name, position, and city of residence)

Erin Cochran: General Manager, Mohave Pest Control, Kingman
Kate Morley: Mobility Planner, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, Flagstaff
Erika Philpot: Human Resources Director, Coconino County, Flagstaff
Bill Regner: Town Council Member, Town of Clarkdale, Clarkdale
Jodi Rooney: Town Council Member, Town of Prescott Valley, Prescott Valley
Risha VanderWey: Coconino County Superintendent of Schools, Coconino County, Flagstaff
Rose Winkeler: Senior Civil Deputy County Attorney, Coconino County, Flagstaff

Alexandra Arboleda: Of Counsel, The Storey Lawyers, Phoenix
Mohamed Arif: Waiver Evaluation Manager, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Phoenix
Ben Blink: Budget Analyst, Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, Phoenix
Troy Campbell: Assistant Director, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Arizona State University, Tempe
Brian Garcia: Law Student, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe
Brad Kendrex: Vice President, Administration and Finance, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Queen Creek
Elaine Kessler: Owner, Elaine Kessler Photography, LLC, Gilbert
Andy Kvesic: Chief Counsel & Legal Division Director, Arizona Corporation Commission, Phoenix
Vince Lujan: Chief Executive Officer, Salt River Devco, Scottsdale
Candace Park: Arizona National Guard State Public Affairs Officer, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs/Arizona National Guard, Gilbert
Jennifer Pawlik: Executive Trainer, Spalding Education International, Chandler
Pearlette Ramos: Deputy Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Avondale
Derrik Rochwalik: Associate, Kyle Moyer & Company, Phoenix
Mark Sanders: Manager, Border Liaison Unit-ADOT Innovations Group, Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix
Larry Sandigo: Pro Bono Manager, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Glendale
Raquel Terán: Campaign Director, Planned Parenthood of Arizona, Phoenix
William Valencia: Director, Strategic Initiatives, Arizona State University, Phoenix
Rachel Yanof: Executive Director, Achieve60AZ, Tempe
Richard Yarbough: Vice President/Administrator, Pilgrim Rest Foundation, Inc., Glendale
Rosalva Zimmerman: Statewide Program Manager, Director’s Office of Community Engagement, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Phoenix

Russell McCloud: County Supervisor, Yuma County, Yuma
Cecilia McCollough: Mayor, Town of Wellton, Wellton

Ricardo Hernandez: Deputy County School Superintendent/CFO, Pima County School Superintendent’s Office, Tucson
Jacob Jones-Martinez: Program Coordinator, Cochise County Health & Social Services, Sierra Vista
Nikki Lee: Project/Product Manager, Agren, Inc., Tucson
Aaron Rottenstein: Account Vice President/Wealth Advisor, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Tucson
Ben Standifer: Chief Executive Officer, RMPC Habilitative Services, LLC, Tucson
John Winchester: Outreach Coordinator, University of Arizona, Tucson
John Zimmerman: Program Manager, Arizona Department of Corrections, Tucson

Published from The Flinn Foundation

January 8, 2018

Jodi Rooney, a member of the Prescott Valley Town Council, has been named 2017-2018 Woman of the Year by the Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter of Women in Transportation (WTS).From 2010 until recently, Rooney served as the Arizona Department of Transportation’s local public agency section manager.She was credited with being the architect for the ADOT Education Encouragement Connection for Woman (EECW) program, which aimed to help women succeed in higher education.Rooney launched that program in 2014. Since then, it has resulted in monthly lunch and learn sessions for working women going to school. Topics include time management, being a non-traditional student, balancing family and workplace efforts, improving study habits and understanding school loans.Rooney was nominated by Kathy Boyle, ADOT assistant communication director for internal communications. In her nominating statement, she said Rooney had “left an indelible mark on ADOT and its principles.”Boyle praised Rooney and her leadership style, describing how she worked across the state in breaking down barriers and building relationships with cities, counties, towns and tribes to encourage transportation projects in local communities.Rooney also was credited with negotiating an agreement with Ottawa University and ADOT that resulted in ADOT employees receiving a 12 percent tuition discount.Citing another instance of positive influence, Boyle said Rooney had led a team of 80 volunteers in hosting the American Assocation of State Highway and Transportation officials in their annual meeting last September. More than 600 people from throughout the nation, including Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation personnel, attended.Rooney is expected to receive the honor during the annual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony, scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, March 24 at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix. “What an honor,” she said upon hearing the news. “When I started speaking out and putting things in motion to improve opportunities for women, I wasn’t even aware of awards. I was thinking about the good that could come from such work and the awareness which would be created. Being able to see the fruit of such labor – that is a sweet and deeply satisfying moment. I am humbled.”

Extensive Background in Public Service

The Illinois native was the oldest child in a modest household where both parents worked. The first in her family to attend college, she enrolled at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, where she earned a bachelor’s degree.Married and the mother of two daughters (now adults), Rooney was unable to attend college until her children were older. “I struggled to get my degree, for I had the responsibilities of a home and a family. I learned to juggle priorities and I learned from my mistakes. My first husband and I grew apart, and finally divorced. But I learned and became stronger, more mature. I realized that public service was a part of who I was.”Rooney began a career with the Illinois Department of Transportation in 1999, where she rapidly moved upward to the regional level.She met and married James “Casey” Rooney in 2003. In mid-2006, they relocated to Arizona when he became the economic development manager for the City of Cottonwood. She became an administrator with the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO). She had that position until April 2010, when she was recruited as a senior staff member to assist local public agencies for ADOT.Rooney worked first as a project office manager, then as a senior division administrator. Ultimately, in 2015, she became local public agency section manager. She directed a staff of eight people in providing oversight compliance to more than 120 cities, counties, towns and tribes eligible for federal funding. Being accountable for programs averaging $150 million a year was a part of her responsibility.

Residents of Prescott Valley since 2006, the Rooneys have been active in community organizations. She has dedicated time to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, the Salvation Army, the Yavapai College Foundation and the Town of Prescott Valley Arts and Culture Commission.

When the Town of Prescott Valley had a vacancy on Town Council with two years left on the term, she was one of 11 to apply. She was selected and has served more than a year.

“People ask me how it’s going. My response: ‘It agrees with me,’ for I can use my ethic of hard work and honesty to serve my constituents. I also have learned enough that I am ready to declare my candidacy for The Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 1. But I truly am flattered to have been selected by WTS as this year’s award winner.

The Arizona chapter of WTS is one of two in the state, the other being Tucson. WTS is an international organization serving the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. With more than 6,500 members, WTS emphasizes creating and providing professional programs, networking opportunities and access to industry and government leaders in transportation. QCBN

By Ray Newton, QCBN

Published from Quad Cities Business News

By Sue Tone

Prescott Valley Town councilwoman Jodi Rooney, a Republican, announced her intention to seek the Legislative District 1 seat in Arizona House of Representatives currently held by Rep. David Stringer (R).

To focus on her campaign, she recently resigned her position at the Arizona Department of Transportation where she served as the local Public Agency Section manager.

“I have chosen to run for this office and will be diligent about it. Resigning from my position demonstrates my commitment to it. That includes talking with and listening to people. It is very important for a representative to hear from the people she represents,” Rooney said in an email Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The Prescott Valley Town Council appointed Rooney in January this year to fill the vacancy left by Stephen Marshall’s resignation. Her term ends in December 2018, and she will not seek another term.

She has served at the municipal, regional and state levels of transportation including the federal process. Her career includes more than seven years in leadership positions with the Arizona Department of Transportation. She also has served regionally as a former administrator for the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO), the transportation planning organization for the Prescott urbanized area. Prior to moving to Arizona, her work included service with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Rooney’s platform includes, but is not limited to, the Interstate 17 corridor, regional economic development and education.

“If you don’t know how government works, it’s hard to get things done — the learning curve works against you. I have working knowledge and have demonstrated the ability to get along with people, working with them to get things done,” she said. “I believe in civil discourse and recognize there is more than one side to an issue.”

She and her husband, Casey Rooney, are active volunteers in the community. She is a first-generation college graduate, an alumna of Augustana College in Illinois where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. From a young age, she knew she would work in public service.

“Arizonans, young and old, want a good quality of life. For some that means a living wage, affordable education, affordable healthcare, or protection of our home/property values. Education is close to my heart. I want to help raise the bar,” she said.

Rooney also is involved with National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Women’s Transportation Seminar, and Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Her husband is economic director for the City of Cottonwood, and they have been married 15 years.

Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

Published from the Prescott Valley Tribune