REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY
OF GLOBE MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Tuesday July 25, 2017 6:00 PM
City Council Chambers - Pine Street
Dispelling widespread rumors, the local VA Clinic is not
closing. Mayor Al Gameros announced that good news at
last Tuesday night's Regular Meeting of the City of Globe
Mayor and Council, where several new city employees were
introduced. Three new fire fighers were hired. They are
Brock Claffey, Thomas Murtha and Christopher Mills.
Two new administrative assistants were brought on board:
Meagan Dunham at City Hall and Kathleen Vegas at Besh
Ba Gowah. Rainy Opitz was hired as utility clerk and Sam
Polk is returning as a wastewater treatment operator.
Globe Librarian Adrea Ricke gave a wrap up on the
Summer Reading Program which attracted 150 kids, 49 more
than last year. Collectively the kids completed 1767 hours
of reading, up 1300 hours over last year. 28 volunteers were
involved. The Globe Library received its annual
contribution from the Gila County Library District. For
Fiscal Year 2017-18, the amount is $113,000.
August is Child Support Awareness Month it was
Daniel Dalton, the regional general manager for Arizona
Eastern Railroad is working with the city to apply for federal
funds to improve the look of the railroad bridge, overhead at
the entrance to downtown Globe at Highway 60 and Broad.
Thrills in Copper Hills, the youth girl's softball tournament
is coming up at the end of August. Kickoff is Friday
evening the 25th downtown. 20 teams have registered for the
tournament, which concludes on Sunday August 27th. The
city of Globe is spending about $5,000 in prep work to ready
the ball fields.
Globe is applying for a grant from the Arizona
Diamondbacks Foundation for rehabbing the Hagen baseball
The Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded Globe a
$20,000 grant for the CVCA.
Nick Ponder from the Arizona League of Cities and Towns
discussed the PSPRS liability. Globe put a million dollars
into the fund last year. Projected retirement contributions for
this year will be $433,000 for fire and $574,000 for police,
but due to the successful lawsuit brought against the state by
the cities and towns, Globe will receive a $225,000 credit
toward money owed. Ponder believes the city is on track for
paying its past due balance in 20 years. He noted that some
towns have elected to adopt 30 year payment plans, but the
penalties and interests outweigh the advantages in his
There's a change in the primary property tax rate but it won't
change what property owners will pay. The new rate is
1.3137 per $100 of assessed value . That's .0077 more than it
was, but as assessed property value has decreased, it comes
out even. The change was passed unanimously by roll call
vote. Globe's total projected property tax billing for Fiscal
Year 2017-18 is $513,272.
A Mayor's Bed-Tax Organization Subcommittee was formed.
It includes the Mayor and Councilmembers Charlene Giles
and Freddy Rios, with Lerry Alderman as an alternate.
Because of the 60 day posting on July 11th, the actual vote
on repealing the city's sales tax cap can't be taken until
September 11th. The issue is very contentious. The only
agenda item relating to it at the meeting was a vote to accept
the sales tax information requested of McSpadden Ford,
which passed unanimously.
KQSS chose to address the Council in the Call to the Public
portion of the meeting. Jon Cornell read an open letter into
the record. Our concern is the lack of information available
to the public regarding how the claimed $90,000 loss to
Globe has been determined.
As the letter stated, we can understand that the sources of
those numbers would be confidential as they are likely
gathered from the tax reports of private concerns. The
formula for analyzing the confidential data however should
be completely transparent. Failing to publicly divulge the
formula used, puts any amount the city may claim to be
losing into serious question.
For instance, it would be absurd to assume no sales would be
lost if the cap were eliminated. And for every lost sale, the
city loses $345-that's the 2.3% it receives on the first
$15,000 of every sale. How many lost sales were
considered? And how was the number of lost sales
determined? Absent this information, the figures put forth
have no statistical validity.
It's basic common sense. We are not suggesting Globe
violate confidentiality laws. We are asking that the formula
used to process the confidential data be publicly disclosed.
There is no conceivable law that might make the specifics of
the formula confidential. It is not tied to any individual
taxpayer, or even group of payers.
At first it sounded as if Globe's City Manager had a
rudimentary understanding of this: “We do not have the
legal right to give out individual members retailers
information on their tax, amount of money they collect. The
law, we can talk generally about sales tax collected in bulk…
but since the legitimate impact of this is under 10 retailers,
and there is a reasonable assumption that one person giving
out information would lead to the ability to do the math for
the remaining share of the other people… we would be in
violation of state statutes and in violation of the IGA that we
signed with the department of revenue in our commitment to
keep private individual tax payers information.”
KQSS is not asking for any individual's information. We're
not even asking for the aggregate total- we're simply asking
for the formula used to determine the tax loss-specifically
how many lost sales were included in the equation.
City Manager: “In the statement that we are unwilling to
release information on estimates that we received from our
auditor, we do have the people who are approved by the
department of revenue have the ability to read the exact
information but we can not publicly make those claims,
share that information because it is in violation of the law
because it is under the 10 threshold and we would be
committing a crime. So that is the reason why we are not
able to share that actual data. So what we are allowed to
share by the attorney is we are seeing a $90,000 to $110,000
But how are you calculating that? Let us restate, we're not
asking for individual tax receipt information, or even
aggregate tax receipt information, we simply want the
formula that the auditor used to crunch those numbers.
What percentage of sales made under the tax cap were
eliminated as lost revenue in the scenario where the cap was
removed? There is absolutely nothing privileged in that
request. That factor is nothing more or less than an
educated, statistical guess, widely open to interpretation.
And without knowing the percentage of lost sales the auditor
chose to factor, it is impossible to rely on those numbers.
While council comments were restricted to voting on
whether to accept the McSpadden data, members of the
public who previously requested their voices be heard, had
Ellen Kretsch from the Chamber of Commerce was resolute
in her belief that removing the cap would have a deleterious
effect. “The Chamber feels that while it may help in the
short term, it could easily have the opposite desired effect in
the long run. The ability of local dealerships to compete
with the larger inventory and marketing budgets of Valley
dealers is crucial to the long-term economic health of small
towns. It is a very unfortunate fact that many people will
travel to the Valley to save even a few dollars on a vehicle
and in that case the city has lost all the sales tax to another
Jane Hale, a native of Gila County, concurs, 'Our proximity
to the Valley makes it hard for local businesses to compete.
If our local car dealer has no advantage to invite customers
to shop locally, why not go to the Valley?”
McSpadden Ford employee Alan Gagney spoke from
experience on what happens to communities when dealers
are economically forced out. “I can remember almost ten
years ago in similar communities like Globe that Ford Motor
Company was essentially forcing dealers that had been in
their communities for multiple generations to close. And I
watched those towns dry up. To watch something like this
over 90 to $110,000, which is a small sum that I think we can
find in other ways, it's kind of crazy. Obviously, a few years
ago when this was started, it proved to be a benefit.”
Councilmember Lerry Alderman interjected that the cap
was put in place to stimulate the economy but that the
Council always wanted the ability to evaluate the cap, which
he says they've never had. We concur, the Council should be
able to evaluate the results- if they are given enough
information to do so.
Once again: without knowing how the potential loss of sales
resulting from the cap's removal was factored into the
formula, it's impossible to analyze the net results. And once
again, the formula itself is not privileged information. Why
are we belaboring this? You're about to find out.
“I have a card.” That's Councilmember Charlene Giles,
who found a way around the protocol requirement that
Councilmembers must strictly stick to items on the agenda.
“And I'd be happy to go down there if you'd like me to. I do
have something to say.”
The city manager saw the conflict, “I'm trying to decide.
You're, as a Councilmember, you're limited to the agenda. As
a member of the public you're wide open.”
Before we could ponder what and how many rules of order
were being violated, we were stunned by what could only be
described as amazing proof of psychic powers, or maybe it
was the agility of the mighty morphin Councilmember-I'll
get to all that, but first, the thinly veiled attack on KQSS'
position on the matter:
Charlene Giles: “As a member of the public I have a lot to
say about this, but I'm not gonna go there tonight. I am
going to address this misinformation that is being put out in
our community. The biggest thing is Globe officials are
refusing to discuss and disclose information about how the
tax amount was derived. Well first of all it's not legal. For
any of us to discuss any of it.”
Sorry to be repetitive. KQSS is asking for the formula used
to process the privileged data-not the data itself.
Giles: “If you guys want to tell everybody, go ahead, and you
can. We can't. That is very wrong information to put that out
there to the public.”
Marvel at how quickly Giles is able to morph from private
citizen to councilmember.
Giles: “Secondly, council is considering a decision based on
statistical data that is likely invalid. Well I'm here to tell
you, I was in the audience six months ago. For years, I kept
coming to these meetings and I thought, Hmm, you know. I
did this in a community for 20 years. Previous to this
community. I was an elected official for 20 years. I was the
only person in the audience 'cause nobody else cared. And I
finally thought, maybe I should go up there and actually get
involved because I'm the only one who seems to give a hoot
what's going on in this town. Well there's a whole lot goin'
on in that town but nobody knew because they didn't come to
the meetings. I'm glad people are coming to the meetings
but there has to be correct information. To say that our city
staff or the professional auditor that we've hired because we
have a huge problem with our past financial director, that's
why we had to hire this auditor, that's how this information
all came to light. I don't believe that we are given invalid or
incorrect information. This is a professional auditor that is
hired by the city before I was on Council. So that can't even
be a part of the issue here, I was in the audience when this
At the risk of interjecting reality, Giles role in the audience is
the only thing that can be part of the issue here-- since Giles
was forbidden by protocol from speaking as a
Giles: “And I sat in the audience thinkin' Hmm.. well, we
better find out what's really going on and we better check
our figures and know what's happening.”
We're in agreement there! The audience should find out
what's really going on. But alas, that's not what she meant.
Giles: “So to say that the city is giving incorrect or fictitious
or invalid information I didn't believe it when I was sitting in
the audience. I certainly don't believe it now that I'm sitting
up there. I think there is invalid, incorrect information being
put out there. I think there's a lot of it that's incorrect and
invalid. I don't think it's on the city's end, and I'd be happy
to explain that to anyone that would like to call me, I'd be
happy to do that.”
We'd love to hear it, especially since as a private citizen it
would take some amazing psychic ability to pull off. We'll
pay for admittance to that demonstration. Not likely to
happen though as we must deduce that Giles was, in fact,
speaking as a councilmember.
We applaud her gold medal performance in the indoor
Olympics, deftly claiming to honors in the logic leap,
conclusion jump and fact dodge categories-but we're starting
to wonder if Giles and the council have the specific formula
employed by the auditor that yielded his results, let alone
why the rest of us are not privy to it.