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Monday August 10, 2015   6:30 PM   Sullivan St.

Two job openings were mentioned at last night's Regular
Meeting of the Town of Miami Mayor and Council.  One is
the replacement for Wes Sukowsky's position as head of
Public Works. The other is for a finance director, as Rachelle
Sanchez is no longer with the Town.

Finance related issues are the Town's most pressing concern. 
A financial consultant, Pat Walker, was hired three weeks
ago to help sort out the mess. Walker, who has 38 years of
experience in public finance, began working for the city of
Chandler at 18 and retired as CFO.  She's currently working
with the towns of Mammoth, Kearny and Young.   She
appeared at the meeting to impress upon the Council the
importance of hiring someone who was up to the task of
managing the Town's finances, the foundation of any town,
she said.  The general ledger should be a blueprint.  But in
Miami, that's impossible as records are not revealing and
bank statements are not reconciled.  Therefore the audits are
really reviews based on opinions.  Walker believes that will
also be the case for Fiscal Year 2014-15, but she says for
2015-16, it's imperative that getting it right be a priority, not
only so the Town can make solid financial decisions, but also
to avoid having the auditor general stepping in and taking
over.  The solution said Walker, who makes $125 an hour for
her services, is hiring a really good finance director.  

What we need, we can't afford said Councilmember
Rosemary Castaneda.  Town Manager Joe Heatherly
concurred with Walker that the ultimate goal is to have true
financial data so the town is not guessing.  A problem that
plagued Sanchez, was that she was unable to reconcile data
from one computer system to another in house.  Heatherly
said that issue has been corrected.   

Heatherly updated the Council on what's needed for the
USDA to restart the sewer project.  The necessary audit for
Fiscal Year 2012-13 should be completed within a few
weeks.  And paperwork is being readied for the previously
announced sale of three properties. Once funds are received,
they will fulfill the project's reserve requirements.  As soon
as all the pieces are together, a meeting with the USDA will
be scheduled. 

Heatherly told the Council that he believes Fiscal Year
2014-15 can be clean audit, not an opinion, as records are
available to do that.   He reported that the garbage truck
acquired through an IGA with Globe broke down after a day
and a half on the job.  It's out being fixed, but should be back
by the end of the week.  And he updated the Council on his
findings on their request that he investigate possible
employee training programs for Town staff.  He said Globe
participates in a CAG program for employee development
that they like, and there is an online program from Southwest
Risk, the Town's insurance company.  No decisions were
made.  The Council recessed for Executive Session at the
end of the meeting to discuss Heatherly's performance,
which has been the subject of employee complaints.

Sammy Gonzales was chosen to sit on the Transit Advisory
Council for the Cobre Valley Community Transit program.
Angel Medina was named alternate. 

The Miami Libaray had 640 walk-ins for July, 128
borrowers and $1500 in donations for the summer reading
program.  The Friends of the Library donated $224 in books.

Chief Scott Gillen gave the police report for July: 17,000
miles patrolled, 374 calls for service, 58 citations, 19 adult
arrests, three juvenile arrests, 20 residential watches, three
burglaries, seven thefts, and 27 domestic disturbances. There
were 23 911 calls (15 of which were medical), one drug
related arrest, four DUIs, one stolen vehicle (which was
recovered), 16 juvenile incidents, 9 civil matters, 25 animal
calls and two missing persons (who were both found). 
Town Engineer Paul Curzon gave the Public Works report. 
The ADOT signs have arrived.  The Vandal Bash at the pool
was a success- the joint venture between the Town and
Miami High drew 400 people.  And Back To School At The
Pool was a hit, even though it had been delayed a week
awaiting a pump installation.

The decision whether Miami should join in an IGA with Gila
County for animal control services was tabled.

Tuesday August 11, 2015   6:00 PM   City Hall Chambers

Retirement benefits for police and firefighters was the topic
of discussion at last night's Regular Meeting of the City of
Globe Mayor and Council.  Scott Barber, the HR director for
Florence, updated the Council on the Public Safety
Personnel Retirement System, a coalition of towns and
municipalities throughout Arizona, of which Globe is a part. 
He disclosed that at present there is $6.2 billion in unfunded
retirement liabilities in the state.  State law prohibits the
alteration of certain retirement plans, but the coalition is in
the process of formulating new plans affecting new hires as
of this year. 

Barber said future plans will continue to be defined benefits,
meaning retired workers can count on a specific amount, as
opposed to defined contribution plans, such as 401Ks where
workers are not assured a given return. Councilmember
James Haley questioned whether 401Ks would be a better
plan as they are independently oriented.  Barber explained
that while 401Ks can be customized and have the potential
of providing more money, often the result is much less, and
workers have no guarantee of retirement funds with 401K

Adrea Ricke updated the Council on the Globe Public
Library summer reading program for 2015, saying the theme
was “Every Hero Has A Story” and it was a great success.
Many library volunteers were in attendance at the meeting. 
The IGA between Gila County and Globe's library, which
has been in place for many years, was renewed.  New library
hours are from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday, Tuesday and
Friday; Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm;
Saturday from   10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The library is closed
on Sunday.   

Jeff Smith of Cactus Asphalt gave a presentation on the
street paving project. 25 City of Globe streets were paived in
2015, utilizing 8175 recycled tires.

EUSI was awarded a contract amounting to $66,249 for
construction of the waterline on Highway 60.

The consent calendar was unanimously passed, including the
IGA with Miami for the garbage truck, which broke down
after its first day on duty.  It should be back in action later
this week in Miami.

The draft of the City communications policy was passed.  It
will be available on their website at the end of the week. 

Roberta Lee Johnson mentioned the Dylan Earven
Foundation run, being held on Saturday, September 5th.

John Marcanti, Michael Pastor, Bryan Chambers, Don
McDaniel, Tommi Martin celebrate.

Monday Aug, 17, 2015  10:00 AM  Gila County Courthouse

The Regular Meeting of the Gila County Board of
Supervisors held on an irregular Monday morning instead of
the usual Tuesdays began right on time at 10 AM and
promptly recessed for a party.  It was Bryan Chambers last
official Board of Supervisors meeting, as Gila County
attorney Bryan Chambers will now be Gila County Superior
Court Justice, the Honorable Bryan Chambers.   The cake
and punch was delicious and everyone, including Supervisor
Tommi Martin down from Payson, had a fine time. 

Back to business, Chambers' replacement, Gila County
attorney Jeff Dalton who will now be attending the BOS
meetings, presented a proclamation for August as Child
Support Awareness Month. September was proclaimed
Childhood Cancer Awareness month in Gila County. 

The big news of the day was the almost $1,443,000 that is
Gila County's share of the Federal Secure Rural Schools Act
Fund this year. The fund dates back to 1908 and money
comes every time congress authorizes it.  About $1,393,000
will go to various Gila County School Districts, amounting
to $200 per student.  The remaining $49,000 will be used for

Another $30,000 was passed for payment to the Bose Public
Affairs Group.  The Washington lobbyists are on an annual
contract with the County, and their amount of remuneration
varies with the extent of their involvement on the County's
behalf.  $50,000 was previously authorized, but it wasn't
enough this year.

County Manager Don McDaniel reported good news from
the state of Arizona.  Revenue is up $398 million.  He's
hoping Gila County will see some positive financial fall out
from that.

The state is reducing the juvenile jail population because of
the rapidly dropping rate of juvenile convictions.  That will
mean some changes across the state including to the program
here.  But Arizona does not want to reduce workforce.  It
wants to shift more money and cases into Juvenile probation,
which is effective and currently operating at only 66%

Chairman Mike Pastor mentioned that a Godzilla of an El
Nino is forecast to arrive later this year that might threaten
the Tonto Basin and Roosevelt areas, prone to flooding.  He
also exclaimed “Thank God the Flag controversy at Young is

Seems the Pleasant Valley Community Center was none too
pleased that the forest service insisted that either a permit for
the flag they placed at Candlestick Rock be obtained, or the
flag be removed.  The fall out culminated in a rally at the
rock, and a letter from Supervisor John Marcanti explaining
that the Forest Service was not going to remove the flag,
they simply needed someone to take responsibility for it by
obtaining a permit, which would be issued.  Someone did,
and it was.   The real story though is that solely through
social media, the issue spread like wildfire with hundreds of
shares and comments on Facebook.

Monday August 24, 2015   6:30 PM  
Council Chambers - Sullivan Street

The best news out of last night's Special Meeting of the
Town of Miami Mayor and Council was that there is not
enough interest legislatively to overturn the Oak Flat land
swap.  That came from a report given by Councilmember
Don Reiman about Senator John Flake's recent talk at Besh
Ba Gowah. But don't celebrate yet. While the Senator
claimed that Congress wouldn't over turn it, he did leave
room for the President declaring Apache Leap as a national
monument. Flake speculated that if that happened, it would
likely come at the end of Obama's term next year.

Three employee training programs were approved by the
Council, which will be mandatory for Town employees, and
optional for Councilmembers.  The first, “How Do We Build
A Successful Community” including short and long term
goals, is recommended by the League of Cities.  The second,
suggested by Globe's Brent Billingsley and Joe Jarvis, is a
program from CAG, the association of Central Arizona
Governments, run by Community Development Manager,
Alan Urban.  It features three sessions:  Respect, Customer
Service, and Positive Attitudes. The third is an online
program from Miami's insurance carrier, SW Risk, called
Safe Personnel.  It deals with employment discrimination,
health and safety issues, and sexual harassment. 

Councilmember Susan Hanson said that one of the reasons
Miami needs to implement the programs is that the Town is
losing credibility.  She recounted reaction to two grant
applications she recently submitted. Both felt the town
wasn't worthy of grant money because it was not sustainable,
and because of Miami's practice of using grant money
designated for one project to pay for unrelated expenses. 
The question she faced is, given Miami's performance, why
should a grantor trust the word of the Town Council?

Councilmember Rosemary Castaneda, who supported the
training, opined that it was necessary but the
Councilmembers who needed it most would not attend. 
Mayor Darryl Dalley admonished her to stay on topic,
saying that this was not the time for opinions.  'Then I don't
want yours' was Rosemary's retort, and with that a vote was
taken.  All programs passed.

Town Manager Joe Heatherly told the Council that all of last
year's bank reconciliations would soon be complete; that the
AC unit in the Town Hall was down briefly but is now OK;
that 380 road signs have arrived and are ready to be placed;
and that the garbage truck is still not fixed but will be soon
and in the interim workers are using pickup trucks to collect
the trash by hand.

The Council approved a Veteran's Day celebration for
Wednesday, November 11th. The parade will start at 10 a.m.,
closing Sullivan Street from Miami to Nash Avenues.  They
also approved placing purple lights on the downtown bridges
to raise awareness for August 2016 being Domestic Violence
Awareness month.  Heatherly mentioned that he'd soon be
doing bridge lighting inspection.  He'd like to replace the
current lights with LEDs and sensors. 

The IGA with Gila County for Cobre Valley Transit was
approved.  The County will give Miami $31,500 for the year
for its use of the busses.  And an agreement with BHP
Billiton for wastewater courier services was approved.
Miami will haul BHP's wastewater to the valley and will
receive $51 per trip. 

The Council recessed to go into Executive Session over two
issues: renewing Heatherly's employment contract, and what
legal action to take about a fuel theft problem. 

Tuesday August 25, 2015   6:00 PM  
Council Chambers    Pine Street

The rules were waived at last night's Regular Meeting of the
Globe City Council to enable Mayor Terry Wheeler to
disband his Pool Task Force, in favor of a new non-profit
corporation called the Cobre Valley Regional Aquatic Center.
Already many prominent citizens are involved and
committed to bringing a pool facility to Globe.

Speaking of water, well #4 failed about a month ago.  It
came as a surprise as it was thought that well #3 faced the
most problems.  But #3 is still functioning while #4 is a
mess.   The City will spend $20,000 to brush it out and
inspect it thoroughly, but at this point it looks like there's
$60,000 to $90,000 worth of work that will be needed to
make it functional.  If that's the case, those funds will have to
be approved as an agenda item in the future. 

Councilmember Lerry Alderman and Mayor Terry Wheeler
both commented on the recent League of Cities meeting they
attended.  The Mayor pointed out that as many issues are
now regional, meetings like these are very fruitful.  Along
the same vein, Wheeler also was pleased so see so many
officials from Miami at Monday morning's meeting with
Senator Flake, as he felt it was more effective to be unified
as a group than operate as an island.

Councilmembers Roberta Lee Johnson and James Haley
publicly thanked the fire fighters who were sent to help fight
fires in other locales.  City Manager Brent Billingsley
detailed their efforts, which included a type 6 engine just
returning from Prescott, and a type 3 engine crew, which
after 16 days in California has been re-deployed to
Washington state.  The type 3 engine is a light truck,
acquired last year from the state, which according to
Billingsley has already paid for itself twice over.

Billingsley also announced that the Globe Library will be
closed on Saturday September 5th, during Labor Day
weekend.  And the Mayor proclaimed September as 
Grandfamily/Kinship Care Month in Globe.  2.7 million
children are living with grandparents and other relatives
across the country, saving taxpayers more than $6.5 billion a

Tuesday August 25, 2015   10:00 AM   County Courthouse

Continuing the effort to highlight individual facets of county
government, yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting
included an overview of the fiduciary department, provided
by Gila County Public Fiduciary, Tiffany Poarch and Deputy
Public Fiduciary Laura Short. 

Public fiduciaries are licensed by the state supreme court and
appointed by the county boards of supervisors.  The offices
of public fiduciaries across the state were formed by
legislative action in 1974 to act as a “fiduciary of last resort”
for individuals in need of guardianship when no other
options exist.  Most clients are indigent or have very little
assets, and all are unable for various reasons to make
decisions on their own.

Often the scenarios encountered by the department are
complex or bizarre.  Poarch, who has held the position for
almost 15 years, gave an example of an individual who was
a hoarder.  Their entire dwelling was packed floor to ceiling. 
By law the department must inventory every item within 90
days.  To make a home habitable, the contents often must be
moved to storage as the department can not throw
belongings away. 

While there are heart wrenching incidents across the country
of municipalities enriching themselves from the assets of
those declared incompetent, that is far from the situation
here.  The department is over $200,000 in debt due to
providing mandated services.  The annual caseload for Gila
County is about 85 people.  On average, 10% die every year.

Tuesday August 25, 2015  2:00 PM   Miami Town Hall

Due to the high volume of fires in the western US, and the
many local firefighters who have been called to fight them,
the mock disaster drill planned for the fall has been put off
until after the first of the year. 

An additional factor has been the lack of response from the
school districts, which were expected participants in the
drill.    The next meeting date was not announced, but the
plan is to hold it at Miami High School to ensure someone
from the district will be present.


This morning Freeport McMoran issued a lengthy press
release detailng their planned cutbacks to stockholders.  The
moves include suspending mining operations in Miami.  The
entire relelase is here.   For the information relevant to
Miami, Freeport issued this statement to KQSS' Ted Lake:

"Mining operations are being suspended.  Leaching/SXEW
operations will continue but are expected to decline over
time. The Miami smelter and rod plant are not affected. 
There will be an approximate reduction in the workforce at
Miami of 170 jobs from a current level of approximately
950.  Freeport-McMoRan is continuing work on the smelter
to meet new air quality regulations."


Ted Lake’s recent report on KQSS about ASARCO notifying
the state of Arizona of their intent to close the Hayden
concentrator for an indefinite duration leading to the layoffs
of 170 workers beginning on October 22nd, elicited quite a
bit of response from potentially affected individuals who
said neither they, their union or their ASARCO bosses were
aware of this closure.  Ted’s report was based upon a copy of
the letter ASARCO sent to the Arizona DES on Friday.  A
copy of that letter is here.