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Was Gary Leveque fired for refusing to have sex?

If you want to hear the story we did with Gary Leveque as to
why he was terminated by the Town of Miami, click here for
the full report.
Tuesday July 6, 2016   10:00 AM    Gila County Courthouse

The 40th anniversary of the Gila County Courthouse was
recognized at the Tuesday morning Regular Meeting of the
Board Of Supervisors.  Judge Bryan Chambers talked about
the philosophy behind the building.  The primary goal, he
said was to establish justice as outlined in the constitution.
Sovereignty belongs to the people, and the people expect
justice when they come to a courthouse, which he sees as a
symbol of justice. James Dowdy was the Chairman of the
Board of Supervisors in 1976 when the courthouse was built.

It cost $50 a square foot to build back then, according to
Jerry DeRose, a long time county employee who started as a
fireman in 1972.  The current addition is running $200 a
square foot.  DeRose noted that today there are more people
working in the probation department than were employed by
the entire county in 1976.   The timing of the courthouse
opening was to coincide with the country's bi-centennial
celebration and the county's centennial, but there were
problems with roof leaks so the building didn't actually open
until September.  Among the little known facts is that a
20-foot long tunnel was built to transport prisoners. It's
never been used, but DeRose said it's still there.  And the
architect of the courthouse, unusual for the time, was a

Judge Chambers invited everyone in attendance to celebrate
with cake in Courtroom A after the meeting. 


An IGA was approved between Payson and Gila County to
have the Sheriff's office provide dispatch services for the
city.  The annual contract will cost Payson $279,000 and will
be effective upon approval by the City Council.

The Gila County Emergency Operations plan for 2016 was
adopted and is available for viewing at

Miami Town Manager Joe Heatherly was pleased with the
Supervisors approval of $61,000 for the county's portion of
funding Cobre Valley Community Transit for a year.  The
City of Globe will follow suit.

Chief Probation Officer Kendall Rhyne retired last week. 
Don McDaniel celebrated his 53rd wedding anniversary.
And Mike Pastor announced that Globe Fire Marshall Joe
Bracamonte was crowned Miss Firecracker at Monday's 4th
of July festivities at Haven Health.

Tuesday July 12, 2016  6:00 PM 
City Council Chambers - Pine Street

Globe has a new Deputy Fire Chief. That was announced at
Tuesday night's Regular Meeting of the Globe Mayor and
Council.  He's Dave Bejarano who has been serving as a
captain with the department.

L-R  Fire Chief Gary Robinson, Deputy Fire Chief Dave Bejarano

There's room for you if you die.  The current status of the
Globe Cemetery was reviewed.  They were down to only a
handful of available spaces, but they opened up section
seven which will hold 100 plots, so there should be room
available for the next decade.

There will be a new County Animal Shelter in four years. As
to where it will be, right now a property near the skate park
is being considered.  Once the current shelter is relocated,
that land will be open for additional grave sites.  Yes, it's
adjacent to the cemetery.

Director of planning Chris Collopy delivered some good
news for swine lovers. The pet ordinance, which prohibited
pigs of all sizes, has been amended to allow up to four pigs,
eat a maximum of 150 pounds each.  The maximum of four
dogs and four cats remains the same or so it was said at the
meeting. A look at the animal ordinance online shows
Section 7-1-4 B limiting the number of dogs and cats to
three each.

Jerry Barnes, public works director, explained why Globe
residents are being asked to fill out another income survey. 
The first one, done on the forms specified by the
government, was not accepted because the specified form
was outdated. Community Development Block Grants are
dependent on sufficient acceptable forms completed, so if
enough aren't turned it, expect a fireman at your doorstep,
and remember the information will not be tied to your name.
But it will be used to determine what funding Globe can
receive.  The new fire truck is on hold until Globe can
submit the required surveys.

Finance director Joe Jarvis proposed a miniscule 0.014%
reduction in the property tax rate.  The new rate would be
1.306%, which Joe feels will maintain the same revenue for
the city.  John Naylor was approved as the city's auditor for
Fiscal Year 2016-17. 

The cap was removed from the bed tax.  Now whatever
comes in will go directly to the five beneficiaries.  The
percentage remains unchanged.  The EDC and Chamber of
Commerce will each get 22.5% of the bed tax revenue.  The
Downtown Association and the Cobre Valley Center for the
Arts will each get 20%, and the Historical Museum will get
15%. Checks will now be written quarterly instead of
monthly.   All five organizations will now have one Globe
city staffer of city councilmember as a non-voting member
of their board. 

There was mention of the 2016-17 Fiscal Year budget. 
There will be a public meeting within the next city council
meeting on July 19th.  Increasing the sales tax will be on the
agenda.  There will be another public meeting within the
July 26th  council meeting when the final budget will be
considered.  A vote on it is likely to take place during the
August 9th council meeting.

Mayor Terry Wheeler brought up the elephant in the
room-the $10 million unfunded pension liability, but he feels
the task force will come up with some good suggestions.

Home Rule will be on the August 30th ballot. 
Councilmember Roberta Lee Johnson congratulated Joe
Bracamonte on winning the Miss Firecracker contest. And
Councilmember Mike Stapleton gave a shoutout to Globe
Police and Fire who were helpful to his wife when she was
t-boned in an accident last week.  She's fine.
Tuesday July 19, 2016   6:00 PM  
City Council Chambers - Pine Street

Sales tax is going up in Globe, but not nearly as much as
some people feared.  At a Special Meeting of the City of
Globe Mayor and Council Tuesday night, the Mayor's Task
Force made its recommendations.  The task force included
Ellen Kretsch, Steve Stratton, Shelly McPherson, Jim Moss,
Stan Gibson, Rebecca Williams, Ed Gardea, Udon
McSpadden, Mike Stapleton, Eric Mariscal and Mayor Terry

The eight recommendations they gave the city were:

1. Increase the tax rate temporarily by .3%, bringing the
City of Globe rate to 2.3%, with the total tax rate going to

2. All revenue derived from the .3% increase would go
directly to paying down the $10 million unfunded PSPRS
liability-the amount Globe owes the state for public workers'
pension and retirement funds, until all money owed was

3. Allocate $1 million from the city's reserve funds for
paying down the PSPRS liability.

4. Make no changes to the property tax.

5. Pursue an aggressive legislative agenda to try to get
economic help from the state.

6. Reinstitute the PSPRS tax force next year.

7. Increase public awareness and education on the issue of
the PSPRS liability.

8. Keep the $15,000 cap on tax for cars and truck sales.

When presented to the Council, items 1, 2 and 3-- 
increasing the tax rate to .3% temporarily, using the money
to pay down the liability and allocating $1 million from city
savings- passed.  Item 6, reinstituting the task force next
year, also passed- but as a recommendation.  As
Councilmember James Haley noted, a future City Council
can't be forced to act on what the current City Council

Item 8,  the $15,000 cap on car and truck sales will be
addressed separately, as well item 7, increasing public
awareness of the PSPRS liability.

Mayor Wheeler said there's a possibility that the state may
take some action to help municipalities like Globe, possibly
with a state bond, of which the city could be a part. 

Councilmember Haley suggested dividing the $1 million
from savings into $600,000 for the pension liabilities,
reserving $400,000 for the new fire truck in case the grant
for it didn't materialize.  His suggestion was not adopted. 

A group of experts were invited to be part of the Task Force
thinking.  They included Scott McCarty, finance director of
Queen Creek; bond counseler Mark Reader;  State
Representatives from District 8,  TJ Shope and Frank Pratt;
Arizona League deputy director Tom Belshe; John Nelson,
former Gila County finance director; and Al Gameros,
former Globe fire chief and current mayoral candidate.

Task force discussions included issuing a bond, which would
commit the city to 20 years of repayment.  Scott McCarty
said that would not be a good idea.  McCarty helped with the
group's projections.  At the rate of the .3% sales tax increase,
it would take Globe 7 to 12 years to repay its
pension-funding deficit. There are too many variables to
narrow it down further.

All were in agreement that after the debt is paid and the $1
million from city savings is replenished, the tax increase will

Also passed at the meeting was 0.014% decrease in the
property tax rate, yielding a new rate of 1.306%.  Property
tax revenue to Globe is expected to remain the same as it is
currently, approximately $490,000.
Monday July 11, 2016  6:30 PM 
Town Council Chambers - Sullivan Street

Prices for trash pickup in Miami haven't changed- but now
every homeowner will have to pay for the service, regardless
of whether they use it or not.  Ordinance #348 was passed at
Monday night's Regular Meeting of the Miami Mayor and
Council.  The price remains $5 a month.  Bulk pickups, such
as furniture and large items, will incur a $25 charge for each
pickup.  Councilmember Sammy Gonzales was the lone vote
against the changes. He felt $25 was excessive for picking
up what might be one piece of furniture, and he also felt that
homeowners who didn't choose to use trash collection
shouldn't be forced to pay for it.   Mayor Darryl Dalley was
absent. He's vacationing in Panama.

Regarding the current fiscal year, 2015-16, Miami is slightly
over budget.   Vice Mayor Don Reiman asked about
outstanding utility bill collections.  They stand at about
$70,000 uncollected.   The Town is also three years behind
in payments to the auditors, and there's a $70,000 fine
outstanding for the half a million dollars the Town overspent
on the allowable expenses cap, due to Miami not properly
passing Home Rule in 2012.

Home Rule is up again for vote this year, and Miami wants
to be sure it's done correctly.  A discussion on options for
presenting facts and educating the public on Home Rule was
on the meeting agenda, but the attorney for the Town shut it
down, saying that this is an election and the Town must
remain neutral.  No one on the Council in their official
capacity can promote Home Rule, nor can Town facilities
including parks be used, even if they're rented. 
Councilmembers as private citizens of course can make their
thoughts known, but officially the Town and its officials can
not take a position.

Town Manager Joe Heatherly reviewed Public Works. A
problem at Nash and Sykes Alley was found. A sewer line
collapsed due to sand in the system. The problem at Loomis
is being fixed, and it will be structured so that there will be
no future conflicts with Arizona Water Company.  The
Sullivan Street construction is complete, and paving will be
done in the next week or so.  Currently there's a large dirt
strip down the middle of town. 

Heatherly also reported he met with the auditor.  New
procedures will be implemented for cash handling and
dealing with collections. And he said that he met with the
County and they will continue the magistrate court program
for another year.  Gila County also approved the $61,000
annual contribution to Cobre Valley Community Transit.
Another $61,000 will be coming from the City of Globe.

The Library gave out 176 swim passes, earned by kids'
reading.  The Summer Reading Program comes to an end
next week, and Magician Eric Giliam will be performing
again on Friday July 22nd at 1 pm.   For the month of June,
the library had 1049 walk-ins, 720 books were checked out
and there were 30 new patrons. The Council approved the
library service agreement with the Gila County Library
District.  For the upcoming fiscal year, the library should
receive about $54,000 based on a formula established in

The Council also approved the contract with the Pinal-Gila
Council for Senior Citizens on behalf of the Senior Center. 
The Center will get around $83,000 in outside funding
because of it, and the town will contribute another $80,000. 
The Council also approved the $1 a year lease for the two
vehicles used for elderly transportation and meal delivery.  
The Senior Center served 50 free kids' meals a day through
June.  There were 511 congregant meals, 629 home
delivered, for a total of 1140 senior meals served.  There is
Bingo every Thursday.

Police Chief Scott Gillen gave a report on last month's
activities, which were about the same as a year ago.

The Council approved a letter in support of Resolution
Copper that will be submitted during the current public
comment period.  

This weekend, Music in the Park continues with Neto and
the band Imagine.
Tuesday July 26, 2016   10:00 AM   County Courthouse

The Gila County Board of Supervisors adopted the Fiscal
Year 2016-17 budget at Tuesday morning's Special Meeting,
after a public hearing which was nothing more than a
formality as no one attending chose to speak and the
Supervisors had no additional comments.

The budget total is $94,015,975, which is a 1% increase over
the current year. Property tax revenue is expected to be $21
million, with the property tax rate remaining 4.19%.  The
County's reserve balance is maintained, as well as the annual
employee pay increases.

The bulk of the budget goes to the Sheriff's office and
associated divisions such as the jail. 

Jacque Sanders, Assistant County Manager filled in for
County Manager Don McDaniel and Deputy County
Manager Mike Scannell who were not in attendance. 
Sanders wanted everyone to know that as of Tuesday, the fire
restrictions have been lifted in the Tonto National Forest. 
She emphasized the importance of handling campfires
responsibly as fire danger here always exists.

During the meeting, the Library Board Meeting was
convened. Sanders gave a presentation to adopt a budget of
$1,204,513, which was $45,000 over the present budget. It
passed.  The contingency reserves remain intact.  In progress
is adding additional bandwidth for the library system and
hiring a new full time IT tech.  The library district includes
11 libraries and online resources for all of them.

The Supervisors authorized placing an ad for qualifications
regarding bidding on the Payson Courthouse Complex
improvements, to prequalify bidders.

A tax property in Hayden was sold for $100.  The money
was gathered from an adjacent homeowner who will tear the
existing abandoned structure down. Supervisor John
Marcanti noted that the property is now back on the tax rolls.
[As an editorial aside, KQSS wonders why tearing down
abandoned dilapidated structures is not the responsibility of
the County for the betterment of the communities within it. 
The cost to the adjacent homeowner will be much greater
than $100.  Demolition is pricey and now he will be required
to pay annual taxes.]

Congratulations to Supervisor Tommi Martin who was
attending by telephone from the annual NACO conference,
where she was made chair of the Public Lands Committee
for the National Association of Counties.

Chairman Mike Pastor brought up the issue of the local
homeless population, but helping them is complicated as
many of them do not wish to participate in government
programs or public services.

Supervisor Marcanti visited Cedar Creek, recently ravaged
by fire.  He said concrete and sandbags are in place, the
forest service has installed sensors and ADOT did a good

Monday July 25, 2016   6:30 PM  
Town Council Chambers   Sullivan Street

The Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget passed at Monday night's
Regular Meeting of the Town of Miami Mayor and Council. 
The total is $17,219,622, the lion's share of which is devoted
to the sewer project, funded by grants.  The Town's
operational budget is $4,253,685 but the real operating
figures will be near what they are currently, around

$100,000 was appropriated from the sewer project budget to
investigate the infrastructure before continuing Phases 3
through 5.  Crews have been continually running into
unforeseen obstacles, and the hope is that with investigation
prior to work both money and time will be saved.  The
investigation includes sewer line videotaping, soil analysis
and utility potholing.

ADOT, which originally designed the Mackie Camp Bridge,
is willing to handle the necessary redesign to repair it, but
they will not pay for the repairs. The FEMA grant pays that
cost, but as it is a reimbursement grant, the Town must first
have the work done and pay for it.  As Miami doesn't have
the $400,000 needed for the project, Town Manager Joe
Heatherly is investigating how to get it.  Gila County will
contribute 10%, but Joe is trying to find financing, which he
feels is viable since repayment funds are guaranteed by
Tuesday July 26, 2016  6:00 PM 
City Council Chambers - Pine Street

Good news and bad news on electricity rates at last night's
Regular Meeting of the City of Globe Mayor and Council. 
The good news is the city was awarded, and accepted a 50
year contract for extremely low power rates from Hoover
Dam.   The bad news is our use of solar panels at the sewer
plant costs more than it saves.

First Hoover Dam.  There's a little known agency in
Phoenix, the Arizona Power Authority which wields a lot of
power as to how the state's allocation of Hoover Dam Power
is divided.  Everyone wants it because it comes at a very
affordable rate- 2 _ cents per kilowatt hour.   (By
comparison, power from APS would run about 15 cents per
kilowatt hour.) 

Globe was one of 20 municipalities that applied for the
unbelievably good deal-and the city was selected.  Approval
came at last nights meeting, but not before Lerry Alderman
voiced his concern that voting for it would bind future City
Councils to a long term contract.  Terry and Kelly Urbine
and their firm Current Insight, which helped procure the
deal, assured Alderman that this would not be a problem. 
The deal is a gift with no downside and in the event that
future councils don't see it that way, there will be no
shortage of municipalities vying to take over for Globe.

The contract will be for the equivalent of almost 500,000
kilowatt hours per year, an amount which is guaranteed,
regardless of the actual output of Hoover Dam.  The City
will save about $10,000 a year over what it would have paid
to APS.  The savings will be allocated for power used at the
wastewater plant. 

The Urbines and Current Insight have also offered to help
with the current solar contract, which is anything but a
benefit.  It's a 20 year deal with Solar City that began in
2012 at the sewer plant.  The problem is that when the lease
amount for the solar panels is factored into the price, it
actually costs the city more for solar power, than it would
pay to APS for conventional power.  The contract has a $2
million buy out, but the Urbines feel Globe may have other
options.  The Council approved using Current Insight to find
a solution to this money-losing problem.

The meeting began with a public hearing regarding the final
budget for the upcoming fiscal year, 2016-17.  No members
of the public spoke.  Finance director Joe Jarvis briefly
outlined the deal.  The total budget is $28 million. $14
million is the city's operating budget.  A tentative budget was
approved in May, and on August 9th a revised budget will be
presented to the City Council for its approval.    Joe
reminded the Council that Home Rule would be voted upon
by the public next month, and in the event it did not pass, the
city would be confined to spending no more than $8 million
for the year.

Councilmember Mike Stapleton mentioned a mixer this
Friday at The Copper Hen from 5:30 to 7:30 to raise money
for kids clothing. Cash and clothing donations are

City Manager Paul Jepson said that Councilmember James
Haley was not in attendance because he was just hired by the
Globe Unified School District and has a lot of work to
prepare for the upcoming school year. 

Police Chief Mark Nipp announced the promotion of
Detective Sergeant James Durnan to Lieutenant.  Durnan,
who has been with the Globe PD for 18 years, was one of
five candidates.  Nipp said Durnan scored well above the
other applicants.

And the exception to the city codes allowing for residents to
keep miniature pigs as pets passed- with no mention of size
or number. 

Lt. James Durnan

JULY 2016