REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY
OF GLOBE MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Tuesday September 26, 2017
6:00 PM City Council Chambers
Given the information the city council received at last night's
Regular Meeting of the Globe Mayor and Council, voting for
Ordinance No. 849 to rescind the tax cap on single item
purchases over $15,000 was a rational move. And that's
precisely what they did in a 5 to 2 vote after the city
manager's stunning display of faith. There is no other way to
describe a speech that was routinely prefaced with “I
believe.” Maybe that strong belief is what led him to present
a financial argument that was so lopsided and biased, it
would fall over in even a cursory examination. For the
record, we never did find out how many lost sales were
projected-- and neither did the City Council.
The city manager spoke for quite a while about his figures
and what he thought they represented, mainly that the city
was losing a lot of money, and that he believes that if the tax
cap was eliminated no dealerships would be lost and the city
would gain a lot of money. He did acknowledge that some
cities have similar dual taxation, but claimed it was never
done as an incentive. He followed that interesting
declaration by explaining that dual taxation was usually due
to politics or trying to get new dealerships in town. If
trying to attract new dealerships by lowering taxes isn't an
incentive, I can't imagine what else it could be. In any
event, using the tax cap as an incentive to lure anyone to the
vacant Cobre Valley Motors spot sounds like a great idea to
me-- one that wasn't mentioned in the “I Believe” sermon.
Skewing the information given by McSpadden, in order to
influence the council vote, the city manager waxed
eloquently about it being a win-win for the city with bucket
loads of incoming cash and no downside whatsoever. He
that as taxes rise, revenue falls-but it's easy to do when you
don't include statistics on the estimated loss in sales.
The sentiments of individual council members can be
summed easily. They voted to eliminate the tax cap for the
good of all the people. And based on the “I Believe”s that
they got from the city manager it was easy to believe.
Mayor Al Gameros gave each councilmember an
opportunity to speak.
Lerry Alderman said, 'My moral obligation is to serve this
community. I believe I must put the needs of the community
above those of individual businesses'. (Fine sentiments if
raising taxes in fact benefitted anyone.)
Freddy Rios said he didn't take the decision lightly. 'These
are different times. What worked back then doesn't
necessarily mean it will work today. Actual numbers must
prevail.' (Actual numbers might indeed prevail but there was
no evidence that the numbers the council got were actual at
Roberta Lee Johnson said the city was losing significant
revenue from big-ticket sales. There was no mention of
losing the sales entirely. She went on to state the tax cap
benefits few businesses but small businesses still have to pay
full tax. (Do I even need to explain the illogic in that?)
Mike Humphrey said he has to think of the good of the
whole and thinks they should look at it again next year.
Charlene Giles erred along the same lines… she said she
has to think about all the residents because we represent all
the people. Hmm.. maybe I do have to explain the illogic in
All the people are benefitted when local sales increase.
Everyone in the community loses when local sales decrease.
Maybe Giles should look into the Laffer Curve.
Mayor Al Gameros and Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton voted
to keep the cap. Stapleton thanked McSpadden for the
tremendous work they've done in Globe. He said he
received a lot calls on the matter and felt the community was
on the side of the cap remaining. He was too.
Gameros quipped that he and the council learned a lot about
the car business over this vote. Above that, he said, 'We're
moving to market and brand this community. We buy local
and our community benefits from it. I support local
business.' The mayor said he would consider a sunset of the
tax cap in the future, but not now.
Virtually every community leader promoting economic
growth in the area was against eliminating the cap. Karalea
Cox from the Southern Gila County Economic Development
Corporation said, 'Being competitive is essential. The city
should support local business with a tax advantage.
Removing the cap is detrimental to the local economy.' You
can read the letter she wrote here.
Ellen Kretsch from the Globe Miami Chamber of
Commerce, who previously read a letter into the record in
support of the tax cap, also spoke briefly, saying, 'A
pro-business climate is essential to our local community.'
Fernando Shipley was the mayor of Globe in 2008 when
the city, like most of the country, faced a severe economic
downturn. He faced the possibility of laying off dozens of
employees. When the big Chevy dealership, a part of the
community for decades, was forced to stop selling new cars,
Shipley met with the two other new car dealers and came up
with the tax cap. It was implemented in 2011 and it worked,
said Shipley who noted both dealerships are still here.
Mayor Gameros asked if there was a sunset clause attached
to the cap originally. Shipley said he couldn't recall one.
Udon McSpadden spoke at length. He said he presented a
lot of financial information to the city and it was all good.
'The incentive has worked. Eleven new vehicles were just
delivered to Safford for Freeport's fleet. If the cap is
eliminated, the average price per vehicle for fleet sales will
rise over $400. Keeping the cap in place will keep sales
local.' He implored the council not to remove it. 'We want
to stay competitive. The mines have seen hard times over the
last few years and will be replacing their vehicles in the near
future. If the sales tax cap is eliminated we will lose millions
of dollars in sales. Since the tax cap was established we've
doubled the size of our staff from 17 to 35 and have done
one million dollars worth of renovation on Route 60 with
working capital, because loans weren't available as the land
is in a floodplain. When the tax cap was initiated, we
helped out further by dropping the $500 dock fee, which
99% of dealers use all the time.”
Alderman insinuated that McSpadden had to move to
Highway 60 to fulfill a Ford Motors requirement, asking
him, 'Didn't you have to do that anyway?” McSpadden
explained that it was never required, Ford preferred it but
didn't mandate it.
Plenty of disappointments to go around, but no real surprises
at the meeting given the way the issue was presented by the
On to happy news, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton mentioned
that Vida E Café is now open after a delay of many months.
Mayor Al Gameros recognized the presence of former
mayor Fernando Shipley and Gila County Supervisor Tim
Humphrey, and the 6th grade class from Destiny School
who won Best of Show at the Gila County Fair for their
five-foot long model of historic downtown Globe. (Check
Gameros mentioned the joint town meeting with Miami went
well. They're planning to have one every three months.
City Clerk Shelly Salazar given an award and a bouquet of
flowers for her 16 years of service to the city of Globe. It
was also announced that City Engineer Jerry Barnes'
surgery went well and he's expected back in town shortly.
Maryn Belling gave a presentation on the United Fund. 99%
of their funding comes from local businesses. They've
supported the community since 1964, raising over a million
dollars since 2012. Their 2018 goal is to raise $650,000 for
the support of 30 different agency projects including Gila
House, CVCA, Cobre Valley Youth Club and Horizon
Domestic Violence Safe House. Not mentioned was the
Taliesin West studio project. United Fund will no longer
support it. $400,000 had previously been committed.
Globe Police Chief Mark Nipp gave a department update
since the 2015 audit. The department is currently operating
at minimum staffing levels. Two sworn positions were
eliminated because they remained vacant for two years,
which enabled Nipp to raise officer salaries. But he's still
having staffing problems as two officers are on extended
medical leave and two are on military leave. Four new
officers are now needed. There was a plan to hire two
civilian employees, but it hasn't worked out well. Nipp
recommended the addition of two sworn officer positions at
a cost of $40,000 each. There are only five people in the
police reserves currently and most have full time jobs so
they can only work occasionally.
The contract to have the Sheriff's Office handle 911 calls for
Globe has produced mixed results. It is undeniably a cost
saver and money is not available to handle it in house, but it
has created customer service and record management
problems. Due to the lack of IT support, Globe is often
unable to search records.
The audit highlighted the need for a new facilities building.
It would be cost prohibitive to rehab the current building, but
there is no money available for a new structure. Nipp also
said that evidence storage is a big problem. The storage
locker is completely filled and filing is a mess. It takes a day
to unload, and by then there's no time to search for what is
Radios are also a problem. There are two systems. PD1 is
housed in a private business, which is closing. The owners
have agreed to leave the electricity running until a new
location can be found. PD2 was on a tower that collapsed.
The phones are on an old PBX system which is so bad that
the department has to forward calls to employee cell phones.
The records clerk carries a cell phone and takes notes. When
she's on the phone, Nipp would like to find a way to have the
call forwarded a second time to an open phone. He said that
a new VoIP system is under consideration, but the whole
citywide system needs to be replaced.
The Council passed a one-time PSPRS, Public Safety
Personnel Retirement System, payment of $1,115,113.25.