Blog Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Goodyear Mayor’s Contest Promotes Art in City Schools

mayor art select spring contest 008

After reviewing 27 entries for the Mayor Select Art Spring Contest, Mayor Georgia Lord has announced the top three winners and honorable mentions.

The work of Kathryn Robinson, a junior at Verrado High School, won first place, garnering her $750 in scholarship money. Paola Vega-Soto’s piece placed second for an award of $500, and Estrella Foothills High School junior Duval Goley took third place for $250.

“Art in our schools is important,” Mayor Lord said. “We are striving to create public dialogue, advance education and inspire civic pride through the arts. It helps bring the community together. From all of these wonderful entries, it will be interesting to see who the next famous artist is. We’re impressed with the entries, and we look for this show to grow next year.”

The Goodyear Mayor Select Art Spring Contest was done in partnership with Mayor Lord and the Goodyear Arts and Culture Commission. The entries were judged by a panel of arts professionals, city staff, and members of the academic community. Judging criteria included originality, artistic quality, and composition.

Entrants receiving honorable mention in the show were: Humberto Ramos (Desert Edge High School) for Goodyear Storm; Kendall Bigman (Desert Edge High School) for Desert Sun; Kali Canedo (Estrella Foothills High School) for How it Feels; Adriana Ramos (Desert Edge High School) for Red Rose, Layla Sadek (Estrella Foothills High School) for Into the Wild, and Ashley Smith (Estrella Foothills High School) for Puzzled.

All of the art show’s placers will be recognized at the City Council meeting on May 12. The next contest is set to take place this fall, and “a call to artists” is expected to go out in late August. Art submitted for upcoming contests likely will be categorized such as in drawings and paintings, photography and 3-Dimensional.

Sue Hills and Warren – Avondale Police Department Volunteer & Therapy Dog

Sue & Warren3

Avondale Police Department’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) volunteer Sue Hills has been appointed as a Tester/Observer for Therapy Dogs Inc.  Sue is now an official representative and role model for the nationally recognized organization, and will be assisting therapy dogs and their owners in successfully completing the requirements to become registered Therapy Dog teams.

In addition to Sue’s expertise in animal welfare and pet ownership, she must be knowledgeable of the policies and procedures of TDInc, and possess impressive ability to deal with the public as well as reporting and disciplining teams.  One of the key requirements of the position is familiarity with current animal behavior trends and training techniques. As a T/O, she will not only determine appropriate testing process circumstances, but will be in constant interaction with a variety of dog breeds and sizes.

Sue and her therapy dog Warren have been active members of the Avondale Police Department’s VIPS Pets in Police Service (PIPS) program.  After adoption from an animal rescue shelter, became a therapy dog and will always have a place to call “home.”

The Avondale Police Department volunteer program provides a unique opportunity for citizens to enhance their knowledge, experience and skills in law enforcement in a variety of ways including the Pets in Police Service program.

Cottonwood’s New Reclaimed Water Project

Yavapai College Viticulture Reclaimed Water Line -DRyan and DBreitkreutz (2)

Doug Ryan from Grand Canyon Pump and Supply with Cottonwood Wastewater Manager Deborah Breitkreutz

The city of Cottonwood has recently announced the grand opening of its joint venture project with Yavapai College, and it remains a huge success. The project, which was to provide reclaimed water to irrigate the vineyards at the Verde Valley Campus, was designed and managed closely by the city while funded by Yavapai College. Cottonwood even designed and installed a reclaimed water booster station, which will ensure consistent and sufficient volume to meet the irrigation needs of the vineyard.

Yavapai College Viticulture Reclaimed Water Line -DRyan and Mayor D Joens and Dean James Perry-Dean at YC CROPPED

Doug Ryan, Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens and Yavapai College Dean Perry

This joint venture was several years in the making and will establish a highly sustainable, low cost water supply for the vineyard along with a new source of revenue for the city. The use of reclaimed water for irrigating the vineyards negates the need to pump precious groundwater for this purpose and furthers the city’s efforts in the expanded use of reclaimed water.

The grand opening took place on Monday April 7, at the new reclaimed booster facility.

Avondale One of 14 Cities Named to Participate in National Conversation on Education

Arizona’s very own City of Avondale was among just 14 cities selected to take part in a series of “Community Conversations” around the country. Partnering with both the National League of Cities (NLC) and the US Dept. of Education, the strategy sessions will bring together local leaders, educators, families, and community leaders to explore learning advancement; enhance student engagement; and offer overall school improvement, including after-school learning experiences and the achievement of post-secondary attainment.

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Education in this extremely important effort to provide better educational opportunities to children nationwide,” said NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. “This ‘memo of understanding’ expands a local-federal partnership that is focused on supporting local efforts to improve schools and close the achievement gap. Through our ‘community conversations’ with local leaders, families and community organizations, we can formulate actionable strategies that improve educational opportunities for all.”

Avondale was selected because of the city’s diligent efforts to rally the community to develop and create additional opportunities for more meaningful engagement on education. Last May, Avondale held an Education Summit that brought individuals from various entities together to identify tangible goals and strategies that would result in improving the education of Avondale’s youth. To that end, various sectors of the community have come together to develop strategies to improve education in Avondale. Engagement has turned into action through various city departments, local school leadership, non-profit and business sectors and the faith-based community.

Avondale’s Community Conversation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at Avondale City Hall, and is expected to bring more than 100 people together to participate in a unique “un-conference” for the second year in a row. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Arizona Cities and Towns Tout Affordable Homeownership

“NerdWallet,” a website that helps consumers make better financial decisions, has determined which Arizona cities and towns are among the best places to live in. The site conducted a study that would give potential home-buyers a closer look at the current housing market, basing its rankings on key factors like population growth, monthly costs, homeownership rates, and monthly income. The City of Maricopa topped the list, seeing a population increase of nearly 20 percent in two years and an impressive home ownership rate exceeding 80 percent. The town of Queen Creek rounded out the top five, boasting a median home value of nearly $250,000 and an exciting near-future development of a 14-screen movie theater.

It should come as no surprise that Arizona cities and towns continue to show such positive growth. After all, the state itself continues to be one of the fastest growing in the nation, with the US Census Bureau reporting a nearly 220,000 person -jump from 2010 to 2013 alone. The state has already experienced notable points of economic turnaround, but can look especially forward to the increase in job openings and revenue a new Apple plant will bring.

For more information about NerdWallet, visit

AZ Cities @ Work Talks Spring Training with Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord

Georgia Lord, Mayor of Goodyear Arizona, and AZ Cities @ Work appeared on Channel 3’s Your Life A to Z on Saturday, March 8, 2014 touting the benefits of Cactus League Spring Training to our cities and towns and the state.


Lynette Jelinek- Glendale Fire Community Outreach Coordinator and owner of Topaz, Glendale’s Crisis Response Dog


Glendale - JelinekLynette is the silver lining of a tragedy because she and her team provide support in people’s darkest days. She is responsible for the Glendale Crisis Response Program, which includes therapy dog Topaz.

The Glendale Fire Department Crisis Response Program provides crisis intervention. Their philosophy is to deliver an innovative service delivery that involves immediate Crisis Intervention to family, victims, and witnesses of tragic events; including but not limited to fires, drownings, unexpected death, or to support victims of a crime.

This program has been an effective tool for the past eleven years in dealing primarily with crisis intervention after a tragic circumstance through the utilization of trained volunteers and student interns.  Volunteers and interns are recruited and complete rigorous training in victimology, crisis intervention, communication skills, sudden and violent death, stages of grief, death notification, post-traumatic stress disorder along with many other profound and bitter circumstances.

Lynette works endless hours in the community and helps people determine what to do next while working through a traumatic experience. There are also no boundaries with her. After the Yarnell tragedy, she immediately reached out to Prescott and started volunteering her time and services for two weeks up there, literally working around the clock to plan 19 tragic funerals. Lynette has dedicated her life to helping people move forward in their lives and she continues to be an excellent Samaritan in her community.

A new addition to the Crisis Response program was adopted in 2008 to enhance the crisis intervention efforts. Lynette, is the owner of Topaz a three year old yellow Labrador retriever who was adopted from Paws with a Cause which is a service dog school.  Topaz is a tool used much like a therapy dog in a hospital, but the Glendale Fire Department uses him immediately on dispatched calls to calm down children and adults who love animals.  Several law enforcement agencies use canine crisis response; however Glendale Fire Department is the first fire department in the nation to embrace this program staying with the mission statement and providing innovative ways to give excellent customer service.  There is no doubt that Lynette and Topaz have had a positive impact in the Glendale community.






George Royer: Oro Valley Police Department Volunteer

Oro Valley - Royer

George Royer is a  key member of the Oro Valley Police Department as the Director of Volunteer Patrol for the department’s Citizen Volunteer Assistants Program.

George works every Friday at the front desk. He patrols weekly, and is part of the rotation for fingerprinting duty at the main station, and works special events including traffic control. Since 2003 George has donated over 5,594 hours of service to the department.

George has the “good guy” syndrome.  He is the person who knows everyone’s name and is always greeting every volunteer that comes in with a smile and hand shake.  He works hard to make the program a success by keeping an upbeat outlook, and being a “can do” type of role model for everyone involved in the program.

George is an even-tempered, helpful person with a positive attitude and a willingness to serve the Town of Oro Valley.  George is an upbeat guy who speaks so highly of others in the volunteer program and rarely receives credit for what he has done.

City of Prescott Utility Billing Crew

Prescott- Utility Billing

Many times, a resident’s main interaction with their city or town will involve making a  telephone call or taking a trip to a city facility to pay a bill. In the City of Prescott, there are five women who make sure this is always a pleasant experience for their residents.

The City of Prescott’s Utility Billing Crew is made up of four employees and a supervisor. Becky, Denise, Janne, Kim and Patty make themselves available all day, every day, to explain the services Prescott offers. They help residents set up accounts, let them know what can be done if there is a billing problem and explain how to look for water leaks.

Citizens who may be grumpy about their bills are welcomed with the kind, patient and compassionate voices on the other end of the phone. The Utility Billing Crew helps them through their problems; even offering staff to help find solutions to water overuse issues and leak detection. A smile can be heard in their voices, as well as seen on each of their faces daily.


Jo Van Loo – Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Navigator

Phoenix Sky Harbor - Van Loo 2

Since February 2005, Jo Van Loo of Phoenix has been a familiar face to those passing through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Several times a week, she volunteers her time as an Airport Navigator answering questions and providing directions to those visiting the state. She is one of more than 400 Navigators who give their time to welcome over 100,000 travelers to Arizona every day. The Navigators’ smiles and helpful attitudes are often the first encounters visitors have with the state.

Jo enjoys being a volunteer because she loves helping people. She also volunteers with other organizations in the Valley of the Sun including the Musical Instrument Museum and Reap What You Sew, which makes quilts for charity. Several times a year, Jo also volunteers in Nicaragua to teach residents there how to sew.

For more information on the Navigator volunteer program, visit