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                                                                  MAY 2015         

May 28, 2015 - 4:00 PM
USDA Forest Service

The wildfire that started Wednesday afternoon, about 15
miles northwest of Globe in the Tonto National Forest near
the junction of State Route 188 and 288, east of Roosevelt
Lake is 50% contained as of 4:00 p.m., this afternoon

Three engines, two Hot Shot crews, and one very large
airtanker and lead plane on standby, are battling the blaze. 
Crews were able to stop the forward rate of spread last night.
Fire-mapping this morning revealed that 28 acres are
involved.  It's origin is under investigation, but believed to
be human-caused.

Here are two videos of the aerial fire retardant efforts:


Over 80,000 people showed up for this year's Comicon at the
Phoenix Convention Center.  The event, which started
Thursday runs through today (Sunday, May 31st).  Scenes
from Saturday are below.
May 29, 2015 - 4:00 p.m.
USDA Forest Service

It's over!  The wildfire that broke out Wednesday afternoon
15 miles northwest of Globe  is now fully contained.  The
human-caused origin remains under investigation.  The final
size was 28 acres.  All firefighting resources have been
released and will be available for new starts should they


US Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a democrat representing Arizona's
1st District, has announced she'll run for John McCain's
senate seat.  "I've got a vision for the future of Arizona, and
it's all about jobs," she announced.  She narrowly defeated
former AZ House Speaker Andy Tobin in last year's race.
Her's is a seat heavily targeted by Republicans.  It's expected
that McCain will also be challeneged by Kelli Ward, a
republican currently in the AZ Senate, representing Lake
Havisu City. 

Kirkpatrick announces $970,000 in grants
for Arizona airports
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., is
pleased to announce nearly $970,000 in critical
transportation grants for rural airports in Gila, Graham and
Pinal counties.  
Gila County: The San Carlos Apache Airport will receive
$519,861 for the construction of a fuel facility to assist the
airport to be self-sustaining. Click here for more about the
Graham County: The Safford Regional Airport will receive
$300,000 for rehabilitation of 6,006 feet of runway to
maintain the structural integrity of the pavement and to
minimize foreign object debris. Click here for more about
the grant.
Pinal County: The Coolidge Municipal Airport will receive
$150,000 for rehabilitation of more than 2,000 feet of
taxiway pavement, funding the engineering design for the
project. Click here for more about the grant.
“Transportation and infrastructure are important ingredients
in Arizona’s growth,” said Kirkpatrick, who serves on the
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“Grants like these help address local infrastructure needs and
ensure that our smaller communities are part of a
strong, diverse, stable economy across Arizona.”
Monday June 1, 2015   6:30 PM    Sullivan Street

Mayor Darryl Dalley opened Monday night’s Special
Meeting of the Town of Miami Mayor and Council and
immediately moved to recess for an Executive Session,
which was closed to the public.  About two and a half hours
later, the Council, all of whom were in attendance, emerged,
and the Special Meeting was adjourned.  Answers to specific
questions brought forth the same response:  no comment.

And without a doubt, the agenda, which described the
purpose of the Executive Session as being about the
“assignment or disciplining of Town Manager Joe
Heatherly” (pictured above)  and to obtain legal advice on
“the findings of consultant Ann Moeding-Evans”, raised
some obvious questions.

There’s much in the way of street speculation, and
consternation over what has been framed as hiding from
public scrutiny.  In fairness, there are some employment
related issues that must be handled privately, due to existing
laws.  But given the nature of public employment, the public
has a right to some insight throughout the process.  In talking
with townsfolk, the abounding questions include:

What has Joe Heatherly alleged to have done that would
warrant a formal discussion of disciplining him?

Who is complaining about whatever he’s alleged to have
done? Are they complaining individually, or as a group?  Are
they making their thoughts known verbally or in demand
letters?  How do they propose the matter be resolved?

What issues have risen to the level of needing to pay a
consultant to investigate, when the Town is so cash strapped?
And what were the findings of this consultant that led the
Council to feel the need to obtain legal advice?

Why is the Council not being more forthcoming with the
public at this point?  When does the Council plan to tell the
public precisely what is going on, and if the answer is never,
how are they justifying that?

An inside source told KQSS that some Town employees are
dissatisfied with Heatherly’s treatment of them.  But how
bad do the allegations have to be that consultants are hired
and lawyers are consulted?   It’s still a rhetorical question,
coming at a time when Heatherly is in charge of life and
death financial matters for the Town, and begging the
ultimate question: Will Gila County have to step in and take

Tuesday May 26, 2015   6:00 PM   City Hall

It was the Joe-Show at last night’s Regular Meeting of the
City of Globe Mayor and Council.  Joe Jarvis, Globe’s
Finance Director, not only presented the tentative budget for
fiscal year 2015-16, but he also took on the City Manager
role while Brent Billingsley’s on vacation. 

Jarvis’ annual budget figure, $24.5 million is really more of
a wish list, as the auditor report showed that unfunded
liabilities would put the city in the red.  But Jarvis explained
that the City would not spend any more money than it
brought in.  Realistically then, the budget will probably be in
the $14 million range, he said.

Miami Town Manager, Joe Heatherly, gave a presentation on
Cobre Valley Transit.  He explained there are two types of
transportation involved.  One is regular fixed, which will
deviate from planned routes, if riders call ahead.  The other
is Dial-A-Ride, offering door-to-door service for the
disabled.  There are approximately 1,000 fixed-route riders a
month, and 400 Dial-A-Riders.

The cost of operating the program is close to half a million
dollars a year, of which ADOT supplies $320,000.  That
leaves $180,000.  The Miami town budget supplies $90,000,
and Heatherly is looking to outside sources for the remaining
$90,000.  Since the system is used by Globe and Gila County
residents, Heatherly came to the meeting to lay the
groundwork for asking for $30,000 a year from the City.  He
expects to request the same amount from the County.

All on the Council were in agreement that it’s a valuable
service to the community, but Councilmember James Haley
reflected the Councils’ concern that for such relatively little
use, it’s an astronomically large cost.  Haley wondered
whether the money was being spent wisely.

Paul Hendricks, of EUSI, LLC, a City contractor handling
water issues, gave the Council an update on the WIFA
project.  The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority grant
will improve roads, construct a new water line on Route 60
(for the exclusive use of City of Globe Water), and install
new water meters, which will be both manual and
smart-meter, utilizing RF technology.  Of the 3500 meters
used by Globe Water, 2500 will be replaced.

The Globe Safeway store downtown got their liquor license
approved.  It was merely a formality as the license already
existed, but due to the Safeway-Albertsons merger, a name
change was required.

Dr. Thea Wilshire, head of the Old Dominion Mine Park
Committee, and Chris Collopy, Globe’s Director of
Development Services, informed the Council of a mining
themed playground, planned for the park.  It’s a $500,000
project, and Wilshire explained that she is applying for a
grant from the mines to fund it.  Part of the application
requires a letter from the City of Globe saying they support
the project and will maintain it, if the money is made
available to build it.   The Council agreed to get Dr. Wilshire
that letter immediately. 

Councilmember Roberta Lee Johnson said she attended the
Dylan Earven Foundation golf tournament, which was a big
success, generating thousands of dollars in donations.  And
Councilmember Mike Stapleton mentioned that Laurie
Manzano’s Art show is still on display at the Cobre Valley
Center For the Arts, and will be through the end of the


Tuesday May 26, 2015  10:00 AM   Gila County Courthouse

The biggest news at yesterday’s Regular Meeting of the Gila
County Board of Supervisors was that Ann Kirkpatrick will
be running for John McCain’s seat in the US Senate next
year. She currently represents Arizona’s First District in the
US House. 

County Manager Don McDaniel met with CAG, the Central
Arizona Governments, Region V, which currently serves
Pinal and Gila Counties.  Changes are coming.  CAG will
not be filing any vacant positions next year.  The following
year, they expect to reduce their staff by 50%, due to the loss
of Pinal County.  But Gila will not be alone. CAG will be
adding two other counties to Region V. 

McDaniel announced he had 10 applications for Deputy
County Manager.  He’ll be reviewing them shortly and hopes
to have someone in place next month.    There’s also the
opening for Public Works Director, due to Steve Stratton’s
resignation.  Jacque Griffin, Assistant County Manager said
there are several county jobs available, and interested
candidates should check the County website.  There’s a link

In Stratton’s absence, Deputy Public Works Director Steve
Sanders, and Finance Director Jeff Hessenius explained why
they wanted to put out a request for proposals for a company
to archive the Recorder’s Office records from 1969 through
1985.  Seemed they tried to do it in-house and it took them
three years to get through six months of documents.  There’s
no budget yet.  This is the first phase of realizing they’ve got
to contract it out. 

Stratton requested the Board allow him to apply for an $18
million ADOT grant, which would be used for the Tonto
Creek Bridge.   The grant would necessitate a 10%
contribution from the County.  The $1.8 million is available
due to revenue from the half-cent transportation tax.  Though
the Board approved it, it’s still not likely that the grant will
be issued if history is any indication.  Gila County has
applied for the past nine years and is still waiting.


Ted Lake
The Arizona State Corporation Commission has scheduled a
public hearing over the Globe area west side water service 
jurisdictional dispute  between the Arizona Water Company
and the City of Globe . The state agency's has set its hearing
in this matter for 10am October 26, 2015  in the Commission
offices at 1200 West Washington Street in Phoenix in
Hearing Room Number One.

Public comments will be taken on the first day of the
hearing. Written comments may be submitted by mailing  a
letter to the Commission's Consumer Section at 1200 West
Washington Street Phoenix, 85007 or by going to the
commission's web page and submitting them on the "Public
Comment Section."   In making comments please reference
Docket No. W-01445A-14-0305

The Arizona Corporation Commission says its Utilities
Division Staff is in the process of reviewing Globe's petition
in this matter  and has not made recommendations on the
petition. The Commission also stated it is not bound by the
proposals made by the city of Globe, the Arizona Water
Company,  staff or any intervenors . The members of the
Arizona Corporation Commission  are expected to  issue a
Decision in this matter following  consideration of testimony
and evidence to be presented.

A copy of the hearing application is available for public
inspection at the Globe City Hall at 150 North Pine Street in
Globe and at the Arizona State Corporation's Commission
office, 1200 West Washington Street in Phoenix

By state law interested parties may intervene in this dispute 
between the City of Globe and the Arizona Water Company.
In order to intervene,  you must file an original and 13
copies of a written notice to Intervene with Commission by
no later than June 26, 2015.

Your motion to intervene in the Commission's October 
hearing in Phoenix must have the following information on

1.  Your name, address and telephone number.

2.   A short statement of your interest in this proceeding.

3.   A statement certifying that a copy of the Motion to
Intervene has been mailed to the city of Globe or its counsel
and to all  parties of record in this case.

4.   You must state whether or not you are represented  by an
attorney who is an active member of the Arizona State Bar.

Persons who need assistance in this matter can contact the
Consumer Services Section of the Arizona State Corporation
Commission in Phoenix  at 602-542-4251 or 1-800-222-7000

Wednesday May 27, 2015    6:30 PM    Council Chambers

The Town of Miami’s economic woes are formidable, of that
there is no doubt.  The question is whether they’re
surmountable.  Last night’s Special Meeting of the Town of
Miami Mayor and Council poignantly displayed the
problem.  While it’s easy to sling mud and point fingers, the
reality is more dire than that.

The sewer project is on hold for seven reasons.  Six are
relatively easy to correct, but the solution for the 7th: the
necessity to have reserve funds of $34,000 plus thousands of
dollars in replacement capital on hand—is more elusive.

And it couldn’t come at a worse time.  As auditors have
highlighted in the past, the Town’s practice of comingling
funds runs counter to the assurances made to get them.
That’s particularly true of HURF funds, the Arizona
Highway User Revenue Funds that are distributed to
municipalities under the condition that their use will be
restricted to roadwork-related expenses.  But instead of
maintaining separate accounts for distinct funds, Miami’s
money has all gone into the same pool.

Town Manager Joe Heatherly and finance director Rachelle
Sanchez have pledged to end this practice with the first
budget under their command, but doing so further tightens
Miami’s cash flow.  As auditors have also recognized, the
misuse of HURF funds, while flagrant, was pragmatic.  The
money went for such necessities as meeting payroll.  Now
the fund faces not only the proper segregation of the
accounts, but the repayment of hundreds of thousands of
misdirected HURF dollars.  Regardless, as Heatherly flatly
stated, there’s no choice here.  He told the Council he
guarantees if the comingling doesn’t stop, the HURF funds
will be gone. 

And then there’s the strain of making the over $19,000
interest-only payment on the USDA loan, which was
submitted over a month late.  That, plus computer problems,
have led to vendor payments not being made.  The Council
tabled approval of demands for now.  Sanchez reported that
the problems were being addressed and payments are now
going out. But as to fulfilling the USDA requirements? 
Heatherly is less confident. 

He told the Council that there are serious decisions that need
to be made this week.  He didn’t elaborate as to what they
might be, but he warned that if decisions weren’t made,
getting the necessary reserve funds will be impossible.  He
explained that amassing that amount of money could
otherwise take nine months, and the Town can’t afford to
allow the project to be delayed.   If there is more than a 90
day delay, rebids will come into play, another rainy season is
a good possibility, and costs will escalate.

All involved recognize the severity of the situation, and it’s
not surprising that conflicts are in evidence.  The majority of
the Council was concerned over the alleged actions of
Councilmember Mike Black. The Council was under the
impression that he met with USDA Community Programs
Specialist Jeff Hooper to share his opinion that payments for
the loan would never be made.  Black explained that he
never met with Hooper, but had set up a meeting with
Hooper’s boss, USDA Community Programs Director Nancy
Veres, for constituent Richard Canazales.  Canazales, a
former Town of Miami employee, has leveled many
accusations of malfeasance and mismanagement by the
Council.  Black admitted attending the meeting, but said he
did not make any comment. And he defended his right to
help a citizen make his voice known.  He further conveyed
his belief that the Council assumed he was trying to derail
the project, when he was not.   He said he was concerned
with how the process of meeting the conditions for the
project is being handled. 

Whether Black was appropriate in his behavior or taking
rogue actions that should be sanctioned was discussed in
executive session but tabled.  Likewise for a letter
Councilmember Rosemary Castaneda drafted to be sent to
the USDA.  Her concern was that the USDA should
understand that anything Councilmember Black might have
imparted was his own opinion and not that of the Council's. 
Mayor Darryl Dalley and Councilmember Don Reiman felt
that such a letter could give the impression that things in
Miami were in disarray, causing the USDA to look harder at
the situation.

KQSS’ Jon Cornell pointed out that by discussing this at a
Public Meeting, a letter was moot.  The contents are now
public record and the USDA undoubtedly would be aware of

Though not on the agenda, communication issues were of
obvious concern to the Council.  The majority said they were
blindsided by the revelations at the meeting last week that
Miami had missed the USDA payment.  Ray Webb, who
introduced himself in the Call to the Public segment as a
former councilmember and member of the Wastewater
Advisory Board, wondered how it was that Councilmember
Black was aware of this, and the rest of the Council was not. 
The USDA has promised that future communiqués will go
to each Councilmember as well as Heatherly, who
mentioned his surprise that no one ever asked him if he
received a letter about the delinquent payment.   ‘Yes I got
it,’ he said. ‘And I did something with it, and I’m not going
to go further than that.  I can guarantee you this will never
happen again.’

What will happen is less certain.  Details at the next Regular
Meeting on Monday June 8th, if not sooner.