In April 2020, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed by Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey.
The lockdown continued for nearly two months. When Gov. Ducey finally gave the go ahead to reopen, businesses slowly began the road to recovery. Even those listed as “essential” had a challenge with this economic recovery.
Many small businesses and non-profits in Arizona didn’t survive the lockdown. The businesses that did survive are hanging on as best they can. Copper Area News wanted to give something back to the local business community as a thank you for supporting us through these troubled times. Our newspapers (Copper Basin News, Superior Sun and San Manuel Miner) have been featuring local businesses and non-profits since the beginning of 2021, encouraging our readers to Shop at Home, stay local and support our local businesses. To date, Copper Area News has featured 125 businesses and groups in the Copper Corridor.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic took its toll, businesses, families and even local non-profits had to adjust their strategies to keep their missions moving forward while working through the pandemic. Meetings were moved to Zoom and fundraisers had to become creative as in-person events were not allowed.
Town governments didn’t have the luxury of locking down. Day-to-day business still needed to be conducted. Residents depend on the government for services – police, fire, garbage collection, water.
The physical town of Winkelman, which is located at the southern end of Gila County and has the Gila River running through the heart of it, has an elevation of 1,947 feet. Its history dates to the late 1800s and encompasses farmers, the expansion of the great American railroad, and the establishment of the first local Post Office in 1903 near the ranch of Peter Winkelman.
If you look at the site winkelmanaz.com it will tell you the above facts plus more, including information on landmarks, diverse wildlife and the rustic beauty of surrounding landscape.
The site says, “Winkelman was incorporated in 1914. However, a few years later the Town dis-incorporated and later reincorporated on June 6, 1949.”
There is a difference between the town of Winkelman and the Town of Winkelman. The former is primarily the physical and the attitudes of the people dwelling in and nearby the town. The latter is primarily about paperwork, policing, laying down rules, establishing codes and otherwise keeping order. However, they work symbiotically.
The way the Town makes and holds to its codes is both informed by the citizens and affects how the citizens live: how the citizens want to live, how they shop, how they feel about the codes all affects, where compromise is an option, how the Town creates and enforces its rules. So, there is town and Town and they must work together to be lived with and within. This is why, when thinking about supporting local businesses, the business of government should never be forgotten.
The Town of Winkelman gives its address as 206 Giffin Ave. in Winkelman, 85192, and its phone number as 520-356-7856. There are no owners listed for this business, but there are several workers.
First of all, there is Mayor Louis C. Bracamonte and the Vice Mayor Anita Hinojos. Then, there are the Council members: Joe Marin, Emilia Rutledge, and Angela Skillings. Along with them is the Town office staff of Town Clerks Sylvia Kerlock and Gloria Ruiz.
Further Art “Bilo” Monterde is the Wastewater Operator along with Sam Polk but also Public Works along with Wally Romero. Rafael Flores is the local Animal Control Officer and Dennis Weber is Winkelman Fire Chief.
According to the Town of Winkelman, per the 2020 Census, Winkelman is still the smallest incorporated town in Arizona. Services are contracted out for a Judge, Bookkeeper, Town Attorney and for police protection.
Volunteers! Which means that everything you do to support your local Town government is going to personally impact every person in the tiny but hardy town of Winkelman.
There will be a Town Council Meeting on Dec. 13, which will start at 7 p.m. Consider what you want from your Town and what you can give to it and attend to support your local, primarily volunteer, government.