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KQSS-FM archives June 2015
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                                                   JUNE 2015 
Monday June 8, 2015   6:30 PM   Town Council Chambers

The good news from last night’s Regular Meeting of the
Town of Miami Mayor and Council is that the Town will be
able to amass both the required reserve money and the
capital replacement funds, necessary for the continuance of
the wastewater project. 

The unfortunate news lies in how they’re doing it:  by selling
three buildings at roughly 50% less than the appraised value,
which took the dilapidated state of the structures into
account.  Worse yet, in terms of indicators of the economic
health of Miami, there was little interest in any of the
properties.  There were only two bidders. 

Frank Dalmolin gets 618 W Sullivan for $45,000 and 700 W
Sullivan for $30,000.  The FitzPatrick Building at 196
Keystone will go to Ray Webb once it’s determined whether
his bid of $85,000 includes a neighboring lot. 

The Council adjourned for over two and a half hours for an
Executive Session to consider assignment, dismissal or
disciplining of Town Manager Joe Heatherly.  When they
reconvened at 10:23 pm, they did none of that.   But the
discussion that followed did shed a bit more light on the

Mayor Darryl Dalley ran down the schedule of events. An
employee wrote an anonymous letter to the Mayor, who took
it to the attorneys for the Town.  After getting signed
statements from the employees making allegations, the
attorneys were again consulted.  Their advice was to bring in
an outside HR specialist.  They recommended someone with
over 20 years experience, who the Town hired to sort out the

The bottom line is the specialist couldn’t do it.  The issue,
which comes down to some Town employees unhappy with
what they feel is mistreatment by Heatherly, is still a he
said-she said, at best.  As to what anyone said, the closest
anyone came to specifics was Councilmember Mike Black
who said the accusations were very personal to the people
making them. 

The initial discussion after the Executive Session was
whether it would be prudent to bring in a hearing officer. 
Mayor Dalley and Councilmembers Black and Sammy
Gonzales voted for it. Councilmembers Rosemary
Castaneda, Susan Hanson, Don Reiman and Angel Medina,
opposed.   Those for it, felt that an outside entity and formal
process was needed to establish precisely what happened. 
They favored an unbiased approach that would place
employees under oath, which they believed would lead to
more reliable accounts.   

Those opposed felt that, regardless of outcome, structured
training and then the development of a well-defined
personnel plan for employees to follow would be necessary
for a harmonious work place, so money would be better
spent on solutions than hearings.  Reiman noted that the
ultimate answer would be found in implementing a process,
not replacing a person.  

Medina opined that effective training sessions allow
employees to get to know one another on a deeper level,
which can result in a meeting of the minds where both sides
agree a problem was not as large as previously perceived.
But his comment of concern that open hearings might bring
unwanted attention to the Town, highlighted the divided
philosophy of the Council.  Black insisted that for resolution
it was first necessary to utilize outside help to get to the
bottom of the complaints, which he felt was not the
Council’s job. Medina said keeping a lower profile was best. 
Black disagreed, concurring that training was a good idea,
but only after all allegations were openly addressed. 
Ultimately, the Council approved a measure to implement
training, with Dalley, Black and Gonzales against it. 

As to specifics, the first step will be undertaken by Heatherly
who has been tasked with presenting various options to the
Council.  How that will sit with disgruntled employees was
not openly considered, but it will be the Council making all
final determinations.

Another possible approach was discussed— appointing a
Council Liaison to the Town Manager, meaning a
Councilmember would sit in on staff meetings, observing the
workings of management.  Castaneda was against what she
termed as a babysitter, saying it was a way to undermine the
Town Manager.  Reiman agreed, saying appointing a spy is a
bad idea.  Hanson reminded the group that it’s been done
before and the result was a joke that got them in trouble. 

On the other side, Gonzales said he’s attended meetings and
has gotten a lot more information from them than is
otherwise delivered to the Council.  Black concurred, saying
that he’s been to several meetings and he just sits there and
doesn’t cause any problems.  When he asked Heatherly if he
agreed with that assessment, Heatherly answered in one
word:  No. 

Gonzales’ gripe, that he was not receiving sufficient
information from Heatherly, perhaps inadvertently revealed
some of the personnel issues.  Heatherly said, I can’t give
you what I don’t get.  Using the example of receiving a
report from a department head at 11:47 on a Sunday night,
long after his report to the Council was submitted, he added I
am giving you the truth—but you don’t want it.  

Once again, the vote was identical.  Dalley, Gonzales and
Black voted for a liaison. The remaining majority voted it

Councilmember Susan Hanson announced the upcoming
Splash Bash this Saturday from 5 to 8 pm at the Miami Pool.
The snack bar will be open, and a $2 cover charge includes
music, dancing and swimming for ages 13 and up. 

Hanna Sartain, the new director at the Miami pool, informed
the Council that the pool is a happening place.  People are
having fun and spending money.  The venue has collected
$4,600 so far this season.   Town Engineer Paul Curzon said
the pool chemistry is being tested regularly, and is looking

Miami Senior Center director Rashele Highbaugh told the
Council that the June  Birthday Celebration is this Thursday,
and the following Thursday, June 18th, is Blood Pressure
Check Day. 

And Isaac Webb presented his Eagle Scout project to the
Council.  To earn the highest scouting honor, Webb will be
replacing benches at Bullion Plaza.

Tuesday June 9, 2015   10:00 AM    Gila County Courthouse

Gila County employees will be taking 1.8% more money
home each pay period, as of the end of the month.  That
expected, but happy news was announced at today’s Regular
Meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors.  County
Manager Don McDaniel asked the Board for approval of the
consumer price index pay raise, which is part of the
employee program, and he got it.  This hike does not include
performance raises, which will be awarded separately.

McDaniel updated the Board on his progress in hiring a
Deputy County Manger. He said interviews are going on
now, and he now hopes to have a decision by the end of July.
He also informed the Board that the tentative County Budget
should be ready for discussion at the June 23rd Supervisors’

Four employees were publicly recognized in June’s Spotlight
on Employees. They are Gary Eggert, David Hornung, Jeff
McClure and Travis Todd.

The food and laundry services contract for the Gila County
Detention Center has been awarded.  There were two bids
for the contract which was advertised in April, current
provider Aramark, and Trinity Services Group.  Bids were
opened on May 18th and Trinity was awarded the one-year
contract, with a three year extension.  The six workers
currently employed by Aramark can apply with Trinity to
keep their jobs. 

A contract for beefing up the air conditioning on the second
floor of the Gila County Courthouse in Globe was discussed.
Supervisor John Marcanti was surprised at the quote from
the vendor the Courthouse has used in the past.  With a
lifelong history in the field, Marcanti knows well what it
should cost.  Almost $85,000 for four HVAC units seemed
way out of line to him and he moved to bid the project out.
His motion was approved.

Michael O’Driscoll, Director of Health and Emergency
Services for the County requested approval for the
submission of a $100,000 per year grant to help combat
prescription drug abuse.  The state and the CDC have
determined that Gila has the second highest rate of
prescription drug abuse among Arizona counties.  O’Driscoll
points fingers at a main culprit: grandchildren stealing their
grandparents’ medications.  The state came to Gila County
with the suggestion of applying for the grant, which would
fund a doctor/pharmacy database to keep tabs on patient
drug histories.  Such databases, while offensive to some on
privacy grounds, are already an accepted part of the HIPAA
act, which allows for many such uses without notification or
approval.  In this case, it’s promised that individuals will be
anonymous to the County, with only usage and statistics
included.  The Board approved the request.

O’Driscoll also asked for, and was granted, an $11,000
increase in the $45,000 budget for the public health
emergency preparedness website development, to add
functionality to the already designed site.

Dr. Jim Sprinkle presented the University of Arizona’s Gila
County Cooperative Extension Office annual report, and
2015-16 fiscal budget request, which the Board approved.

An IGA between Apache, Gila and Navajo counties to
combine resources for the Workforce Investment Act was
approved. Melissa Buzan, the County Director of
Community Services is excited about this new partnership
for work training programs, of which Globe will be the new
regional center.

And the Tonto Basin Bridge is completed.  Board Chairman
Mike Pastor checked it out and reported the work on it was

Tuesday June 9, 2015   6:00 PM   City Council Chambers

If you were wondering why parking was tight and so many more people than usual were attending Tuesday night’s Regular Meeting of the City of Globe Mayor and Council, it was all about the recommended rezoning of the former Apache Drive-In.   The Planning and Zoning Commission has given their blessing to changing the current use, which allows for industrial and trailer parks, to one that favors mixed use.

“Mixed use” is just as it sounds. Specifically, it allows for residential structures from apartment buildings to single family homes; and commercial use such as shops and restaurants.  But while the previous zoning was absolute, meaning anyone could do anything the wanted within the zoning regulations, City Manager Brent Billingsley pointed out that mixed use requires planning approval by the city, effectively making control tighter.

That didn’t mollify homeowners on the edge of the 58 acres under rezoning consideration, such as Daryl and Lawanee Gibson, and Travis and Diane Holder.  When they built their homes over 20 years ago, they weren’t expecting the change.  Some might argue that even then, the prospect of a Drive-In Theatre remaining in operation was slim. The main concerns they voiced were traffic and crime, from population density.  A gas station also been suggested, which they feel unnecessary due to the close proximity to stations at the next interchange on Highway 60. 

Carl and Rebecca Williams, owners of the Dream Manor Inn, also attended on the opposing side. Carl, a building and zoning commissioner, felt the development wouldn’t be good for Globe.  And Jess Patel, owner of the newly dubbed Best Western, feels there are already sufficient rooms in Globe.  A hotel has also been suggested as part of the site.

Supporters for the new zoning include Dream Pole Construction owner Tim Humphrey, who brought up the statistic that 30% of mine employees live in other counties.  He feels we need new housing to encourage people to live in the area.  Other similar-sized places have successfully developed their cities and towns, and Globe has lagged.  Retirement is often suggested as a possibility for Globe’s growth, but there’s no where to live.   This is not the first such project to be proposed, but the others have failed to materialize for reasons such as insufficient service from Arizona Water Company for the development planned behind Sonic.

Karalea Cox from the Southern Gila County Economic Development Corporation is also fully supportive of the zoning. She’s been working with Bobby Hollis to determine how best to maximize the property and her research shows that housing is a primary need, and necessary to attract business.   Dana Burkahrdt from HUB, a valley-based land planning company was brought in to the mix by Hollis a few years ago to formulate plans for his acreage.  He gave the Council an overview of his findings.

Also in attendance were Roger White and William Beal from Redbridge Development Partners of the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California.  White gave a presentation on why Redbridge wants to buy and develop the land.   He explained that as a mixed use project, the planned area development will match the vision of the city.  Beal said there were 972 people now looking for a place to live in Globe according to his research, and he believes he could see 95% occupancy within six months.  The first phase of the planned development would be done next summer, with 34 lots reserved for custom homes. 

But nothing will happen until the Council approves the zoning change, on which they did not vote Tuesday night. 

Finance Director Joe Jarvis was on hand to talk about the budget, or not talk about it, as was the case. He informed the Council that one more work session is needed before he could present it.  The date for that is yet to be determined.

Miami Town Manager Joe Heatherly attended to discuss Globe’s participation in Cobre Valley Transit, for which he’s hoping to receive $30,000 from Globe.  Objections still exist, so the matter was tabled. 

The Liquor Stable has its liquor license.  The Council approved it for Robert E Howard, the new owner of the bar next to Subway on Highway 60.  Howard is well known in San Carlos, as manager of Basha’s, TrueValue and Apache Burger.

Cobre Valley Center for the Arts director Kip Culver introduced the new special events applications.  If you’re going to have an event in Globe, you’ll have to fill out the new application which will be available at the municipal building.

Pastor Mason Cassens, from the Church of the Nazarene, was introduced to the Council by Billingsley. He’s the new Globe Fire Department chaplin.

Kym Craven of Public Safety Strategies Group presented the final police department audit.  There was no vote taken on adopting it.  The report, while lengthy and involved, appeared to be largely a generic formula with cookie-cutter solutions.  The comments of Dennis Melford, a former officer here, reflected the possibility that the report could have been generated without having been to Globe when he admonished, that these big eastern city suggestions won’t work in a small western town as we have here.  He specifically raised objection to the suggestion of eight hour shifts.  ‘Won’t work, he said.  10 hour shifts work great.’

Shift length was one of the few Globe-targeted points in the report, with the common sense suggestion that 13 hour and 20 minute shifts should be eliminated.  Another specific was the advice that current staffing should be maintained until recommendations are selected and implemented.

One recommendation in the report was something already being considered:  combining dispatch.  For the Council’s consideration, Billingsley outlined an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Globe, Gila county Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Dispatch.


Through Monday, daytime temps could reach 110-116. Night time lows may only dip into the mid 80s.  Drink a lot of water and keep pets indoors.  If you do not have air conditioning, you might want find a cool place to stay during the day.

The fire, which started Wednesday in a riverbed in Kearny, causing the evacuation of about 300 residents and closing Rte 177 for several hours Wednesday afternoon is still raging.  The latest details and video are on CBS 5 KPHO.


Friday at 3 p.m., it became official.  The Miami Post Office
is now housed in the "Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza
Post Office Building."  The location is the same:  161 Live
Oak.  Pictured below:  1. U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who
sponsored the bill that Pres. Obama signed last December
honoring Mendoza for his service in WWII and Korea and
Miami Postmaster Mike Quintana.  2. Quintana, Kirkpatrick,
Miami USPS employee, and Pat Hawkins USPS zip code
855 manager.  3. Family of Staff Sgt. Mendoza.  4. Members
of the Apache VFW.   5. The proclamation.

If you missed the Miami Post Office Dedication Friday, here's a video of the whole ceremony.
Monday June 22, 2015   6:30 PM  
Miami Town Council Chambers - Sullivan Street

It doesn't require a background in mathematics to see the
problem.  When a town budget has $1.8 million in expenses
and $1.3 million in revenue, it's not going to add up.  And so
it was that the Town of Miami tentative budget reflecting
those sums was tabled at last night's Special meeting of the
Miami Mayor and Council. 

There will be another Special Meeting on July 13th at 4 p.m.
just prior to the Regular Town Meeting at 6:30 to address
ways to trim what amounts to almost a third of the planned
expenditures.   Not brought up last night was Town Manager
Joe Heatherly's pledge to adhere to various requirements to
sequester funds.  For example, the HURF funds mandate that
the money be used solely for transportation related expenses,
and the USDA wastewater project mandates separate reserve
accounts.  Until now the money has been comingled. 

Heatherly presented the auditor's report for Fiscal Year
2011-2012.  The result was the same as in prior years. The
auditors spent a lot of time trying to compile the data but
were greatly hampered by the Town's lack of internal control
over its own accounting systems.  Supporting records were
not available, bank statements were not reconciled properly
and credit/debit card use was not controlled or documented. 
Heatherly's pledge to set up separate accounts for various
funding entities will not be easy, given the Town's income to
expense ratio. 

Approval of revenue expenditures and deposits for March,
April and May was again tabled due to the department's
inability to import data.  The IT people working on it have
not yet uncovered the problem.  The focus now is on solving
it so that future reports will not be similarly impacted, but if
necessary, Heatherly says, the figures could be reconciled

Heatherly explained that several factors contributed to the
first and second payments being late for the USDA
wastewater project.  Without specifics, he chalked it up to
confusion but was happy to report that a direct withdrawal
account has been set up to eliminate the problem in the
future, providing sufficient funds are in it.

The Council left it up to Heatherly to decide whether
Department Heads needed to be present at Town Meetings. 
Vice Mayor Don Reiman remarked that the reports they
provided were not helpful, and the information was emailed
to the Council separately.

Bullion Plaza Director Tom Foster was slated to get approval
from the Council to apply for a grant, but by the time the
meeting was held, the grant had already come through.  He
informed the Council that he's receiving $37,500 from
Freeport McMoran for use in renovating floors, ceilings,
fans and paint.  There are some lead issues, but no asbestos
problems. He is also receiving an additional $5,000 from
Resolution Copper to be used for windows. All the work will
be done by local contractors.  There is insufficient money to
resolve the air conditioning problems, but the second floor
auditorium will look brand new, in keeping with historical

ADOT performed an audit on the Cobre Valley Community
Transit's operation.  They concluded that Miami was not
keeping thorough records from payments to training, and
that CVCT did not have the necessary independent
governing board.  To address the latter, the Town is going to
reach out to Globe and Gila County for board members and
will also include a couple local residents. 

Rectifying the lack of records will be more difficult.  For
instance, one of the requirements for reimbursement on
expenditures over $25,000 is that Town put the project out
for bid.  Miami hasn't done that in the past.  There are also
two bus stations that need to be installed.  The Town
acquired them several years ago, but they've never been put
to use.

Cathy Melvin from US Representative Ann Kirkpatrick's
office presented the Council with a copy of the proclamation
renaming the Miami post office in honor of Staff Sgt.
Manuel V. Mendoza.  She thanked everyone for doing a
wonderful job handling the dedication, in spite of many last
minute details.  
Tuesday June 23, 2015   6:00 PM   City Council Chambers -

As expected, the rezoning of the former Apache Drive-In
property passed at last night's Regular Meeting of the City of
Globe Mayor and Council.  The 58 acre parcel is now zoned
as a PAD, a Planned Area Development, green-lighting the
project planned by California's Redbridge Developers for a
residential and commercial mixed use project. 

Charlene Giles, on the Zoning and Planning Commission,
expressed her belief that communities must grow or perish
and noted that the new development will alleviate the
problem for 900 people on a housing waiting list here. 
When asked, she said the figures came from the local
realtors association. 

Homeowner Daryl Gibson who was vehement in his dislike
for the project previously, said he'd met with the Redbridge
people and has faith they and the town will do a good job. 
Mayor Terry Wheeler said he too was comfortable with
Redbridge.   The Council passed the rezoning unanimously,
with James Haley excusing himself because he has a client
involved in the project.

There was a public hearing on the final budget and tax levy,
but no public comments were forthcoming.  Mayor Terry
Wheeler closed the hearing by reminding the community
that there's no change in the tax base.

Finance Director Joe Jarvis informed the Council that the
final budget shortfall, which was $110,000 a few days ago,
has ballooned to almost a quarter of a million dollars, due
primarily to unfunded liabilities, specifically pension
payments.   To make up the difference, several things are
under consideration including closing Besh Ba Gowah
during the hot summer months, possibly not contributing to
the Cobre Valley Community Transit program, as well as
declining to award other new grants. But all that was tabled
until the next Council meeting. 

The Consent Calendar passed in its entirely.  Rosanne Moya
is now officially the interim Globe Police Chief. The Police
Department Operational Audit performed by Public Safety
Strategies group, which was presented at the last Globe
meeting, was passed by resolution without further comment. 
Consolidating dispatch is one step closer with the Council's
consideration of an IGA between Globe and Gila County for
law enforcement and fire protection dispatch services.

City Manager Brent Billingsley mentioned that recently
appointed Library Director Noelle Neff is no longer a city
employee.   Mary Helen Avalos is the interim director. 
There was public recognition given to those who helped with
the remodeling of the library, including Mary Helen Avalos,
Barnard Hilliard, Ydona Pennell, Ruben Avalos, Jr. Andrea
Ricke, Noelle Neff and Jeff Baer who donated a server.

Gila County Clerk Shelly Salazar provided an update on the
Boards Commissions and Committees previously set up by
the Council.  She noted that several boards could use
volunteers.  Contact her for applications.

A dedication ceremony for the City's new van donated by the
Jane Eck Foundation will take place this Friday at the Globe
Active Adult Center. 

Billingsley said there were seven water line breaks Tuesday
because of the work being done to install new hydrants
across the city.  Some of the water lines date back to 1907
and many of the hydrants are over 50 years old. He thanked
the public for their patience with the process.  Billingsley
also thanked those who helped with the fire in Kearny. 
Globe and Walmart contributed four pallets of water for over
300 firefighters from 20 agencies.

Pictured below from Redbridge Development Partners L-R:
William Beal and Roger White

Tuesday June 23, 2015   10:00 AM   Gila County Courthouse

Rest easy, there will be no increase in the property tax rate. 
It never was planned.  That came out in yesterday's Regular
Meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors, as County
Manager Don McDaniel explained the posting, which
appeared in the local paper.  Confusing at best, it's mandated
by state law.  But in reality, the $4.19 rate is what has been in
place for the past six years, not a proposed increase.  So the
Board passed what is already in place, which is the second
highest tax rate in Arizona, just behind Pima County.  There
is a $2,610,000 increase anticipated in county tax revenue
for the upcoming fiscal year, but that's from new
construction, and industrial and mining operations.  

The Board signed off on the 2015-16 fiscal year tentative
Gila County budget, presented by Finance Director Jeff
Hessenius. At $91,985,237, it's $2.4 million less than last
year.  It accounts for the 1.8% employee pay raise.  About a
quarter of the County revenue is derived from grants.  To see
the full 200-page document, click here.

The Gila County Library District received two grants
totaling $135,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. But that
won't cover the shortfall created by the decrease in the
library tax base to 20 cents in 1999. For the past few years
the district has relied on previously saved funds to make up
the difference needed to cover the $1.1 million dollar annual
expense of running the county libraries, made worse by the
decrease in county funding.  And so it was that the Board,
with Supervisor John Marcanti dissenting, approved a return
to the 24.25 cent rate.   It's expected that this increase will
make up for last year's 5% decrease in funds provided to
each library by the County.