REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN
OF MIAMI MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Monday February 8, 2016 6:30 PM
Town Council Chambers - Sullivan Street
The Town of Miami is on board with the IDA's upcoming
Promise Zone application. The vote took place at last night's
Regular Meeting of the Town of Miami Mayor and Council.
With everyone in attendance, the vote was 4 to 3, with
Councilmembers Black and Medina and mayor Darryl
Dalley against it. The biggest issue was voiced by Black,
who wondered why anyone would consider signing off on
something without knowing the details. He complained
about the lack of a contract to review and was uncomfortable
writing what he felt was essentially a blank check. Mayor
Dalley shared his concerns.
Clifford Potts from Payson, the president of the Gila County
Industrial Development Authority, which would serve as the
lead agency should the area be designated a Promise Zone,
was eloquently deflective of all the negative questions and
concerns, but not tremendously enlightening about the
details of the program.
The Promise Zone Initiative was announced by President
Obama as part of his 2013 State of the Union address. There
are three rounds of applications. The bulk of the winners are
in the urban category, but each round also includes one rural
and one tribal designation. An area encompassing several
Kentucky counties got the rural nod in round one. The low
country of South Carolina was awarded the rural designation
in round two. Applications are now being accepted for
round three, but must be received by February 23rd.
The premise of the program is essentially that a child's zip
code should not determine his destiny. Lack of economic
opportunity cripples residents of highly impoverished areas.
To combat that, areas declared a Promise Zone get
preferential treatment in various federal programs as well as
one-on-one guidance from federal employees including five
AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteers, all geared toward
strategically planning and implementing revitalization
efforts. Among the goals are lower crime, higher education
and private business investment.
There are numerous requirements necessary to be
considered, including the suitability of the lead applicant
who, for the rural category, must apply in partnership with
local governments. For that reason, the IDA has been
seeking-and receiving-the support of all the local entities
involved in the area they desire to have designated a Promise
It's a very long shot that the IDA will be successful as the
requirements are stringent, the application lengthy and
involved, and the competition fierce. Many areas will be
applying. The designation lasts 10 years, or longer if
congress passes tax incentives. But there is also no shortage
of individuals concerned about the fine print.
What sparked the greatest reaction is the White House's
Welcoming Communities Campaign and the suggestion that
it should be connected to the Promise Zones. The fear is that
areas designated a Promise Zone will be forced to accept a
large number of middle eastern immigrants here under
Welcoming Immigrants. It's been suggested that HUD, the
agency behind the Promise Zones, should make an area's
receptiveness to immigrant relocation part of the vetting
process. But if HUD does consider that aspect of an
applicant, then by definition, areas less receptive will not be
designated. To date there is no known quid pro quo. It
should also be realized that the federal government can
relocate immigrants easily without Promise Zone
designations, particularly in areas like Gila County, which
are comprised primarily of federal land. But that doesn't
stop conspiratorialists from having a field day over what the
Promise Zone might bring.
Self-proclaimed journalist Susan K spoke during the Call to
the Public saying that we are being taken over by the United
Nations and predicting that if the area becomes a Promise
Zone, Muslim immigrants will rape our children. The troop
of pre-teen boy scouts in attendance seemed oblivious to the
notion, but the scout leader wore a look of astonishment on
his face, perhaps not as much over what was said, as the
wanton disregard for the kids hearing it.
Miami businessman and wastewater advisory board member
Ray Webb spoke in favor of the application saying that as a
community we need this. His sentiments were echoed by
publisher Linda Gross, Bullion Plaza director Tom Foster
and Gila County Supervisor Mike Pastor. Mayor Dalley
bristled at Pastor's presence, viewing it unwelcomed
politicking. Former Miami Mayor Chuy Canizales also
supports the application, saying that like the USDA sewer
project, a Promise Zone designation would be good for the
Vice Mayor Don Reiman saw it as a good opportunity and
said that after investigating it, he was fully behind the
application. He seemed to view the over an hour and a half
discussion as unnecessary, and left shortly after the vote as
did the boy scouts and their bemused leader.
Tom Foster and Joe Sanchez presented the annual report for
Bullion Plaza. New fans, lighting, and air conditioning in
the Rose Moffitt and Native American rooms have been
installed. The second floor renovation has started. Windows
in the front of the building have been replaced with windows
specially made by Pella to fit the historical character of the
museum. Upcoming events including hosting Stemfest,
working with the Concert Association for a musical series,
and with the CVCA on some educational theatrical
programs, as well as working with the Frank Lloyd Wright
Taliesen project. Board meetings are at 4 PM on the second
Wednesday of every month.
There was a discussion of the disposal of a building the town
didn't know it had. Miami wants to have it assessed and
ready for sale. Located at 267 S. Wentworth Avenue, no one
seems to know how the town acquired it but all were in
agreement about getting rid of it.
Town Manager Joe Heatherly was appointed zoning manager
on pragmatic grounds. A zoning issue came up and there
was no one to answer it. Now there is.
The Boomtown Spree has been scheduled for Saturday April
16th, with no mention that Globe is hosting the ATV
Jamboree that same weekend.
Police chief Scott Gillen said the department is outfitting
five new radar guns for use in police cars. Drivers beware.
The sewer project update included a broken needle valve,
which should take two weeks to fix. They'll try to operate
without it in the interim.
And the town started filling potholes last week, but couldn't
do cold patch because it was too cold.