Blog Archive for the ‘AZ Cities @ Work’ Category

Tempe History Museum Receives National Accreditation

The Tempe History Museum has been awarded the highest honor of National Accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, an organization that recognizes institutions that meet or exceed national museum standards. The museum joins the ranks of some of the most recognizable institutions in the Phoenix-metro area and nationwide.

The accreditation process took several years and involved an in-depth self-assessment by city staff, peer reviews and an analysis of the museum’s management of resources. In particular, the Tempe History Museum was recognized for its openness to engaging in partnerships and listening to public feedback. It was also given high marks for its well-maintained, well-catalogued collections, many of which are digitally accessible. Additionally, it was recognized for its educational programs and how relevant they are to classroom instruction.

Tempe’s Public Works and IT departments also played a role in the accreditation, along with the History Museum and Library Advisory Board, Tempe Historical Society and the African American Advisory Committee.

To find out more and read the full release, click here.

Arizona City and Town Police Officers Honored

Congratulations to Arizona city and town police officers on commendable efforts that were recently recognized!

Officer Wes Kelley of Apache Junction Police Department (Photo Courtesy of City of Apache Junction)

Apache Junction Police Department Officer Wesley Kelley was recently named the Officer of the Year by the local American Legion.

Kelley was given the honor on April 9 by American Legion Post 27.

American Legion posts nationwide name officers of the year. The American Legion then annually selects a National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. It is awarded to a well-rounded law enforcement officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of his or her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement, according to the American Legion website.

“It is always an honor to have one of our officers recognized by one of armed service organizations,” said Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly. “It is especially humbling as these are the same people that have previously placed themselves in harm’s way in defending our country.  Officer Kelley is one of those officers that requires minimum supervision and is respected by his peers. He presents himself well and treats all with dignity and respect as stated in the Apache Junction Police Department’s mission statement. Very proud of the recognition.”

Prescott Valley Police Department Officer of the Year Cozens (Photo Courtesy of Town of Prescott Valley)

The Prescott Valley Police Department also held its annual police recognition awards. The Officer of the Year was announced as Officer Caleb Cozens.

Officer Cozens started his career with the Prescott Valley Police Department in June 2015, laterally transferring from Chino Valley.  He demonstrates a positive, upbeat attitude and is known for his professionalism, representing the Prescott Valley Police Department and the Town of Prescott Valley with pride.

A team player, Officer Cozens consistently produces a high quality of work, especially in the handling of drug investigations. He is a leader within the department in drug arrests and is always willing to take on extra work. Over the last year Officer Cozens has written 83 citations/warnings, written 262 reports and supplements, and made 131 arrests.

The Town of Prescott Valley also honored other officers with awards:

Prescott Valley Police Department Rookie of the Year Officer Loughmiller (Photo Courtesy of Town of Prescott Valley)

 

2016 Rookie of the Year – Cameron Loughmiller

2016 Community Policing Ribbon – Officer Tyler Brown

2016 Unit of the Year – Community Services Unit

2016 Civilian of the Year – Jerry Ferguson

2016 Volunteer of the Year – Dave Demski

 

 

 

Lake Havasu City Top Finisher in America’s Best Communities

Congratulations to Lake Havasu City!

The city was one of the top finishers in the national America’s Best Communities event last night!

Lake Havasu City received a $2 million prize as coming in second in the competition. The prize money will help the city accomplish its goals of implementing its Vision 20/20 plan.

America’s Best Communities began in 2014 to spur economic development in small  towns throughout the country. It challenged local communities to submit ideas and proposals for bettering their communities. Winners would receive prize money and grant funding to help execute their plans. 

Lake Havasu City entered the competition submitting their Vision 20/20 Plan, which included five pillars: economic development and job creation, education and workforce talent, tourism and place development, water preservation and management, and community engagement.

The city was first selected from more than 350 entrants to compete in the quarterfinals among 49 other communities. They then advanced to the second round of 15 competing communities back in January.

Huntington, West Virginia took home the top prize last night. Lake Havasu City came in second place Statesboro, Georgia was third place as the top finishers.

For more information on the America’s Best Communities competition and the Lake Havasu City Vision 20/20 plan, click here: https://americasbestcommunities.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, Paul Goldschmidt sponsor Goodyear Youth Ball Field

Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, Paul Goldschmidt sponsor youth ball field
Goodyear’s Falcon Park receives $500,000 in upgrades 

Youth baseball and softball players will now have the opportunity to play on an upgraded field, thanks to a generous donation from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, APS, and Paul Goldschmidt The newly-upgraded field feature: new lights; an electronic scoreboard; new fencing and backstops; new irrigation, grass and dirt; as well as updated dugouts and bullpens. The upgrades to Falcon Park are valued at more than $500,000 and were completed at no cost to the city.

Paul Goldschmidt, nicknamed “Goldy”, is the first baseman of the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the team since 2011, Goldschmidt is a four-time Major League Baseball All-Star. He has won the National League Hank Aaron AwardGold Glove Award, and Silver Slugger Award.

For more information on youth recreation opportunities in Goodyear, call 623-882-7525, email gyrec@goodyearaz.gov or visit www.goodyearaz.gov/rec.

See more photos from the day’s events at the City of Goodyear Facebook page.

City of Phoenix Celebrate People @ Work

In honor of Arizona Cities & Towns Week, we’re recognizing the men and women who make Arizona’s cities and towns work! These are the people who work tirelessly to ensure that stoplights keep blinking, water keeps running, trash is picked up, libraries stay open, parks stay clean and services are provided to residents and visitors all hours of every day.

Among the many men and women who make the City of Phoenix a great place to live, work, play and visit, there are seven exceptional individuals we’re highlighting this week.

Cathy Chapman, Senior Engineering Technician, Planning & Development Department: Cathy joined the City of Phoenix 22 years ago. She has spent her entire time with the Planning & Development department, starting as a customer service clerk.

John Tomazin, Firefighter and Paramedic: John was hired as a firefighter recruit in 1997, leading to 19 years of working on fire trucks across the city of Phoenix. He now works as a program manager for EMS, supporting paramedics and EMTs to have the best tools and technology.

Marilyn Barr, Facility Contract Compliance Specialist, Public Transit Department: Not only does Marilyn ride the bus to and from work, she rides it 20 times a month as part of her job. While riding, she looks for missing signs, broken marquees and even makes sure drivers are wearing their seat belts.

Ashley Hare, Arts Learning Director, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture: Ashley helps decide how public funding is used for various arts and cultural events around the city. She works with more than 160 local groups, the state arts commission and schools on various projects.

Rob Ostos, Senior Utility Technician, Water Services Department: An employee with the City of Phoenix since 2002, Rob builds, maintains and repairs all things involved with the city’s sanitary sewer systems. He operates a variety of equipment for work including dump trucks, front loaders and rodders.

Fernando Felix, Neighborhood Specialist, Neighborhood Services Department: Felix has been with the City of Phoenix for nearly two decades and serves as the liaison between the neighborhoods, community groups, nonprofits, residents and the city.

 

City of El Mirage Welcomes Eight New Firefighters

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Congratulations to the City of El Mirage’s eight new firefighters!

El Mirage Fire Department held a badge pinning ceremony for eight new firefighters. These firefighters have completed their first year on the job, or probationary period, and were sworn in by El Mirage Fire Chief Jim Wise as full firefighters.  Mayor Lana Mook stated, “We are extremely proud of our new firefighters and wish them the best of luck in their new roles.”

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

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Have you visited your city or town library lately?

Libraries aren’t just shelves full of dusty books anymore… they’re places of learning, networking, technology and exploration!

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, so it’s the perfect opportunity to plug into your city or town library. Arizona’s city and town libraries are full of opportunities to take classes, explore new technology, get involved with your community, and yes, even check out books!

Learn more about Library Card Sign-Up Month from the American Library Association or find your local Arizona city or town library to sign up for your card!

Municipal Clerks Recognized with Statewide Awards

Three Arizona municipal clerks were recently recognized by the Arizona Municipal Clerks Association Executive Board for their dedication to their positions and their communities. In addition to awarding its annual Municipal Clerk of the Year Award, the Arizona Municipal Clerks Association (AMCA) awarded two new awards: Deputy Clerk of the Year Award and President’s Award of Distinction.

Clerks_001This year was the first year the Arizona Municipal Clerks Association (AMCA) awarded a Deputy Clerk of the Year Award. This inaugural award was given to Darcie McCracken, Glendale Deputy City Clerk. 

Darcie has been deputy city clerk for Glendale since 2004 and AMCA member since 2005. She received her Master Municipal Clerk in 2011 and is certified as an AMCA Municipal Election Official as well as a Certified Election Officer through the Secretary of State’s office.

Darcie graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from ASU in Administration of Justice and holds an associate’s degree in general studies.  She continued her education with certification as a Certified Public Manager and is currently taking classes through the ASU Management Leadership Institute.  So you can see that Darcie is a believer of lifelong learning.

Darcie has put forward incredible time and effort as a member of AMCA to promote the organization and the role of deputy clerk.  During her tenure on the AMCA Board, she served as Past-President for two terms to provide institutional knowledge and continuity for the Board; today she continues to be heavily involved in our organization and is currently chairing the newly formed Past-President’s Ad Hoc Committee, which is spear heading AMCA’s first strategic plan.

Darcie is a respected member of the AMCA organization and it shows in the level of leadership and commitment she has made throughout the years and continues to make as she frequently facilitates various AMCA training sessions. Clerks_003

 

The recipient of the inaugural AMCA President’s Award of Distinction is Lisa Garcia, Florence Town Clerk and Deputy Town Manager.

Lisa has been a member of AMCA since 1995.  She was appointed the Florence Town Clerk in 1996 and as Deputy Town Manager in 2007, which added further duties and responsibilities to her already full work-load.

Lisa received her Master Municipal Clerk designation in 2006 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration.  She served on the AMCA Board from 2009 until 2015.  During this period she served two years as AMCA President and then an additional year as Past President.  She implemented the process of holding an AMCA Board Retreat with Committee Chairs, which is still the practice.

Throughout her time as a clerk, Lisa has promoted the clerk profession and instilled in those around her a sense of pride in what we do.  Lisa has frequently said that it’s up to us to make those around us understand that being clerk is much more than being a secretary and just taking minutes at the meetings; Lisa lives by example and these ideals.  She has also served on many outside organizations and agencies with the goal of elevating the clerk’s profession and ensuring that the integrity of the position was recognized as more than a clerical position.

Lisa is a perfect example of a citizen who believes in the philosophy of making your community the best it can be and then doing the work to ensure that it is the best it can be.  She continues to work diligently to ensure that she is proficient in all areas of the clerk’s profession.  Over the years Lisa has continued to promote the clerks around her and this year she vigorously compiled the nomination packets that were sent to IIMC for two deserving Arizona clerks for consideration of the prestigious Quill Award.

Lisa continues to serve AMCA by working on committees and specifically for her work on the Past-President’s Ad-Hoc Committee, which was tasked with establishing a formal strategic plan.  She continues to present at training sessions and the Institute/Academy and does so with an easy conversationalist style and she is always willing to share information and considered a “go-to” person.

It’s Lisa’s longtime commitment to clerks and the clerk profession, her willingness to assist others, her ability to have a long-term vision, and her dedication to promoting and supporting other clerks is why she is deserving of this recognition as being the first to receive the AMCA President’s Award of Distinction.

Clerks_002The distiction of the annual 2016 AMCA Clerk of the Year was presented to Carrie Dyrek, Town Clerk for Cave Creek. 

Carrie began her career in 1990 as the deputy clerk/treasurer in DeForest, Wisconsin.  In 1994 she accepted the position of city clerk in Yuma, AZ, becoming the first “professional” city clerk that Yuma had hired in many years.  She worked diligently to professionalize the office and elevate the position from “secretary” to city clerk mentoring her staff not only on the technical aspects of the city clerk’s office but also on the soft skills, such as communications, which are vital to becoming successful leader.

Since Carrie became a member of AMCA in 1994, she has actively participated in events and training, to include board membership, committee membership, and presenting at workshops and training events.  Based on her past experience in Wisconsin, she worked with AMCA to re institute the annual summer conference as an opportunity for individuals to gain additional IIMC education points for CMC/MMC certification.  In 2001, she was elected to the AMCA Board and served as President during the 2003-04 year.  During her time on the AMCA Board, the Board strived to improve the organization, update its processes, streamline the workflow and get other members more involved in the organization.

Cave Creek Mayor Francia commented that, “Carrie is a professional, someone who is dedicated, knowledgeable, organized, an attentive listener, and one who possesses common sense problem solving and that he feels Carrie is a standard by which those embarking upon this profession would aspire.”

Cave Creek Town Manager Jankowski stated, “that while her knowledge of a town clerk’s duties and responsibilities is exceptional, it is her interaction with residents and staff that make her an ideal candidate for Clerk of the Year.  She oversees our elections, technology, and administrative staff in professional and friendly manner.  Most importantly, she is a servant of the citizens.”

Carrie currently serves as interim town manager at this time and she handles all of this without a deputy clerk or full-time assistant.  Carrie represents the office of the clerk with integrity, professionalism and yet manages to keep her office feeling open and inviting. Sometimes in government, you lose the welcoming aspect of an office and Carrie manages to balance it with grace and style.

 

 

Gilbert “Can’t Stop the Feeling”

Town of Gilbert residents and businesses accepted Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” dance challenge. Gilbert has released a parody video showcasing community members, from less than one to 92, dancing along to the hit song. Local businesses, including TopGolf, Liberty Market, Funktional Fitness, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, Joe’s Real BBQ and others, also got in the spirit.

“The song is all about dancing through your city, your home,” said Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “We saw this as an opportunity to bring the community together and, boy, did they exceed all expectations.”

The video was filmed by Gilbert’s in-house Digital Communications Department over a 24-hour period.

Naming Contest Underway for Eaglet Hatched in Clarkdale this Week

2016 eaglet first pic

Word is quickly spreading that Clarkdale’s local celebrity Bald Eagle couple, Clark and Dale, successfully hatched a baby eaglet in their nest near TAPCO on the Verde River @ Clarkdale.  In February, 2014, Clark and Dale gained local recognition when their nest was discovered in a tree at the boat launch site that the Town of Clarkdale was developing as a public river access point.

To help insure protection of the nest site, and increase the chances that Clark and Dale would successfully fledge an eaglet, the Town of Clarkdale and land owner Freeport McMoran, Inc. took action immediately, and relocated the public river access point to its new location at the Lower TAPCO RAP (3400 Sycamore Canyon Road).

Unfortunately, Clark and Dale’s 2014 egg did not hatch, nor did the egg they laid in a nearby nest in the 2015 season.  This year, after a tip from Verde Canyon Railroad employees, Nest Watch volunteers documented that Clark and Dale had moved their nest to another new location (near the Verde Canyon Railroad tracks) and a single egg was incubated at the end of January, 2016.

Employees on the Verde Canyon Railroad have continued to observe Clark and Dale alternating shifts on the nest throughout the first quarter of the year, and were the first to report a sighting of the hatched eaglet in early April, 2016!

April will be a sensitive period for the young hatchling, as it will be vulnerable to the elements.  Strong spring winds in Arizona have been known to blow nests out of trees, killing the young hatchlings in the process.  At 4 to 8 weeks (during May), the vulnerability gradually decreases.  The biggest risks during this time occur if nestlings miss feedings or leave the nest prematurely due to disruption.  The period after the nestlings reach 8 weeks old (in early June) is another very sensitive time.   The eaglet is gaining flight capability, but may not be quite ready to test its wings.  If flushed from the nest prematurely due to disruption, the eaglet can die.

While uncharacteristic human activity in the area of the nest could pose disruption, the fact that Clark and Dale chose to nest near the train tracks indicates their tolerance for the daily trips associated with the Verde Canyon Railroad, and those trips should pose no unusual disruption for Clark, Dale and their young nestling.  Passengers on the train will get the enviable opportunity to catch a glimpse of the young nestling as it continues to mature before leaving the nest.  Because other activity in the area could pose a risk to the eagles, the Verde Canyon Railroad has established a Flickr photo page dedicated to watching the progress of this new eaglet!  Those who can’t ride the train to see the baby will have the opportunity to enjoy the progress here.

We’re hoping to see our young eaglet not only survive, but thrive, and take to the air sometime in June.  As we continue to follow its progress, we’d like the public to weigh in to help name the young eaglet.  On-line voting for a name will begin April 11th on the Town of Clarkdale website.