Blog Archive for the ‘AZ Cities @ Work’ Category

Vote Your Main Street – City of Casa Grande

The City of Casa Grande is proud to partner with Casa Grande Main Street to participate in the “Partners in Preservation: Main Streets” national campaign to create a vintage Neon Sign Park in historic Casa Grande.  As the only Arizona community competing, Mayor Craig McFarland is encouraging Casa Grande residents and the surrounding communities to vote for the project at VoteYourMainStreet.org.

Located at the Arizona Plaza at 408 N. Sacaton Street (between Florence Boulevard and 2nd Street), the proposed Neon Sign Park will contain salvaged historic neon signs from throughout the community, and will serve as a vibrant downtown destination for visitors.

“This is the perfect opportunity for Casa Grande to showcase its community pride, all by simply voting daily,” said Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland. “We may be the underdog compared to other larger competing cities, but I have complete confidence in the dedication and power of our residents to vote early, vote often, and help us create this unique space.”

The public may vote up to five times daily through October 31, and winners will be announced on November 2. The sites with the most votes will get grants of up to $150,000 each, with as many projects funded as possible from a pool of $1.5 million.

In an effort to highlight local preservation efforts and promote the campaign, Casa Grande Main Street will host a Media Open House and Community Mural Event on Saturday, October 7 at the proposed park site. The event will include a press conference to start at 11:00 am, followed by a community mural event that celebrates historic sites until 2:00 pm.

Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places and their role in sustaining local communities. Partners in Preservation: Main Streets will award $2 million in grant funding from American Express to Main Street districts in need of preservation support across America.

For more information about the “Partners in Preservation: Main Streets” projects, or to place your vote, please click here. For more information about Casa Grande Main Street or the proposed Neon Sign Park, please contact Casa Grande Main Street Director, Rina Rien at (520) 836-8744.

Tempe Vice Mayor Honored with Service Award

City of Tempe Vice Mayor Robin Arredondo-Savage has been honored with the 2017 Service Award as part of the third annual Mesa Community College (MCC) Hall of Fame. The Service Award is given to a community member who has provided exemplary service to the community.

“I am honored to receive this award and to be recognized by such a dedicated group of educators,” Arredondo-Savage said. “I remain committed to working towards better education, more economic opportunities and improved care for veterans across our city.”

Vice Mayor Arredondo-Savage was recognized for her years of service to the City of Tempe, the State of Arizona and our country.  She is a U.S. Army veteran and served on the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board for eight years, including two years as President of the Board. She has also been serving on the Tempe City Council since 2010.

As an advocate for veterans’ services, Vice Mayor Arredondo-Savage was instrumental in securing Valor on 8th, Tempe’s first affordable housing community designed for veterans with families.  She also started Tempe’s College Connect program which helps students to apply and find the resources they need to go to college.  Vice Mayor Arredondo-Savage remains committed to serving the community by focusing on education, jobs and programs that help veterans.

This is the third year of the MCC Hall of Fame awards, which recognizes alumni, community members and MCC employees whose personal and professional accomplishments have made positive contributions to the college and the community. Other awards include Alumni Achievement, Outstanding Athletes and Excellence in Teaching.

A reception and awards program to recognize this year’s awards recipients will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Mesa Community College Theatre. Click here for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Quillard, 480-350-8808, Melissa_quillard@tempe.gov

Town of Gilbert Named Most Prosperous City in the Country

Gilbert, Arizona is the most prosperous city in the country according to the Economic Innovation Group (EIG). Gilbert is touted as being a “young up-and-comer” with 99.9% of the population living in prosperous zip codes.

“It’s an exciting time in Gilbert as our community is transitioning from a small town to a strong and booming community,” said Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels. “The work of generations of community leaders and our smart financial planning has set Gilbert on a path of success and we are proud to be recognized as the most prosperous city in the country.”

The top 100 largest cities were ranked on seven criteria: housing vacancy rate, adults not working, the poverty rate, median income ration, change in employment, and change in business establishments. Learn more about this report here.

City of Phoenix Recognized with Nine Environmental Awards

Arizona Forward awarded its prestigious Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future to the City of Phoenix on Saturday for its landmark 2017 agreement with the Gila River Indian Community to preserve endangered Colorado River water in Lake Mead. In all, Phoenix received nine awards at Arizona Forward’s 37th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards, including four Crescordia Awards, the highest honor in each category.

Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the Colorado River Conservation Agreement in June in partnership with the Gila River Indian Community, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Walton Family Foundation. Under the agreement, Phoenix works with the Tribe to preserves 13 billion gallons of its yearly portion of Colorado River water in Lake Mead, which helps preserve water levels in the dangerously over-allocated reservoir.

“To ensure a long-term water supply for our city and state, Phoenix must lead by working with tribes and other communities on creative solutions and smart policies,” Mayor Stanton said. “Arizona Forward’s recognition for this landmark agreement – as well as for our other innovative sustainability efforts at the City – means the world because it shows that Arizonans get it and are committed to climate resilience.”

“Through partnerships, Phoenix has been able to leverage innovative ways to improve our sustainability efforts,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair, Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.  “We’re grateful to our many partners, stakeholders and staff who have worked hard to achieve outstanding results.”

“I was thrilled to be present at this wonderful annual event to celebrate all of the hard work and innovation that the city of Phoenix continues to accomplish,” said Phoenix District 3 Councilwoman Debra Stark.

CRESCORDIA AWARDS

Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future:

– Colorado River Conservation Agreement (City of Phoenix Water Services Department)

Healthy Communities (Sustainable Communities):

– Pueblo Viejo Fields and Food Hub (City of Phoenix and a partnership with Quincea-Green on Purpose Alliance)

Healthy Communities (Public Policy/Plans):

– City of Phoenix Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction Program (City of Phoenix Office of Environmental Programs, Office of Sustainability)

Site Development (Parks & Trails):

– Desert Hills Trailhead (City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department; J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC)

AWARDS OF MERIT

Healthy Communities (Sustainable Workplaces):

– Phoenix Green Business Leader Program (City of Phoenix Public Works Department)

Site Development (Public Sector):

– 27th Avenue Phoenix Compost Facility (City of Phoenix Public Works Department)

Art in Public Places:

– Bloomcanopy Gimme Shelter Shade for Pierce Street (City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture)

– Passage, Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park Public Art Project (City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture)

Environmental Education & Communication:

– Student Council Sustainability Officers Initiative (City of Phoenix, Office of Sustainability)

Since its inception in 1969 as Valley Forward and expanding statewide in 2013, Arizona Forward has brought business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues in an effort to improve the sustainability of communities in the state.

For more information about Arizona Forward or the awards, call 602-240-2408 or visit arizonaforward.org.

Surprise Receives National Parks and Recreation Accreditation

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Department has received accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association. The Association recognized Surprise’s efforts to provide high quality parks and recreation services and experience to its residents and visitors.

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has issued a five year accreditation to the city’s Community & Recreation Services Department after meeting more than 140 standards ranging from hiring practices to marketing techniques, from park planning to program implementation.

Community and Recreation Services Director, Donna Miller said the department is “excited for the accreditation”, which came after a preliminary application, self-assessment study and an onsite visit by peer review performed by a CAPRA visitation team. The three-member visitation team spent several days evaluating the departments administrative and operation practices.

“The accreditation stamp reaffirms that we are among premier agencies in the country,” said Miller. We have proven that our department follows proper practices and procedures in the administration of our parks, facilities and programs.”

The application and accreditation process was intensive, lasting more than 14 months. The final step was a hearing through the commission in September. Immediately following the hearing city staff received the good news and are thrilled to be recognized for following these important standards.

The public will benefit from the accreditation by knowing that the city is adhering to best practices in the field of parks, facilities and programs. It also shows partners, potential funders and the public that Surprise operates under such standards.

“The best part of this process is that all of the staff was involved, which provides ownership and pride in the programs and services in which they offer to the residents,” said Miller.

Goodyear Water Project Wins National Award

Water professionals from all over the country were on hand Sept. 12 when the city of Goodyear’s Vadose Well Injection Project was selected as the 2017 Project of the Year Award by the national Water Reuse Association.

The project consists of wells that take treated water from the city’s reclamation facility and directly pump it into the ground. This allows the city to ‘bank’ water for use during times of need.

The award comes with the water industry’s acknowledgment of the significant contributions the city of Goodyear continues to make to advance water reuse. Another award-winning city water reuse program is the ‘Brine Wetland Feasibility Project’ which takes otherwise unusable water and proved it can help nourish native vegetation, therefore creating natural wetlands.

“We know that ensuring a sustainable and reliable supply of water for the city’s future growth is essential,” said Mark Holmes, water resources manager for the city of Goodyear. “That’s why we continuously focus on how to maximize the water we have. Water reuse is a huge part of our efforts, along with conservation and partnerships.”

The city of Goodyear, ranked as the fourteenth fastest growing city in 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau, recently announced a historic agreement with Salt River Project that, for the first time, will bring surface water to the far West Valley further expanding and diversifying the city’s water portfolio. For more information about the city’s water initiatives, visit www.goodyearaz.gov/h2o365.

WateReuse is an organization dedicated to educating and advocating for water reuse. Members include water utilities, businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations dedicated to recycling water to ensure communities have a safe, reliable and cost-effective supply of water. More information is available at watereuse.org.

Avondale Employee Receives Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award

Avondale employee honored with Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award

Christopher Lopez, Youth Development and Community Engagement Supervisor for the City of Avondale, was honored with a Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Community Builder Award.  The 2017 honors were presented on Thursday, July 20 at the Arizona City/County Management Association Summer Conference hosted this year in Marana, AZ.

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Community Builder Award recognizes public servants in cities and towns who advance community pride and connectedness. These leaders have be instrumental in transforming their communities through a variety of efforts including job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteerism and philanthropy, and educational advancement.

Chris Lopez spearheads numerous programs, services and partnerships that benefit local youth in the Avondale area. Under his leadership, the Youth and Community Engagement Division works to address the needs of underserved youth and provides meaningful community engagement opportunities for all Avondale residents.

Lopez introduced the Kids at Hope philosophy to the city and paved the way for Avondale to become the first official Kids at Hope city in the nation. As a result, staff from various school districts, local government and community leaders have adopted the Kids at Hope support system and belief that all children are capable of success, no exceptions. He also was instrumental in fostering relationships with the Corporation for National and Community Service, as well as expanding youth workforce development and teen leadership opportunities in Avondale.

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are sponsored by the Center for the Future of Arizona and supported by Arizona City/County Management Association, Arizona Department of Administration, County Supervisors Association of Arizona, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that combines research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives that drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life, and civic health to create a better future for all Arizonans.   www.arizonafuture.org.

 

City of Sierra Vista Wins $120,000 for Tourism Campaign

The City of Sierra Vista won the Arizona Office of Tourism’s Grand Pitch contest on Friday, earning about $120,000 in advertising for a campaign spotlighting international cuisine and bicycling.

The selection was made at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Sierra Vista was one of three finalists in its rural category, joining the City of Prescott and the Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce in making Grand Pitch presentations at the conference. Visit Mesa won the metro category. The selections were made by a panel of judges formed of media partners that contributed to the prize and attendees of the conference who viewed the presentations.

Sierra Vista’s entry pitched a marketing campaign that marries two of the community’s strengths, bicycling and international cuisine. These experiences are available in Sierra Vista all year long and are often enjoyed by the same demographic. The campaign’s tagline, “that’s how we roll,” speaks to many local dishes that happen to be rolled, while also tying in the many avid cyclists and mountain bikers who roll along Sierra Vista’s paths, trails, and roads.

“The campaign will capitalize on our recent designation as a bicycle friendly community, Sierra Vista’s inclusion on U.S. Bicycle Route 90, and previous marketing efforts,” says Judy Hector, marketing and public affairs manager for the City.

“It will give us the resources needed to aggressively pursue a demographic that has responded well to our ad campaigns in the past,” Hector says. “This prize will make a significant difference for a community like Sierra Vista.”

The City will share more information on its Grand Pitch award winning campaign during the annual Spotlight Breakfast at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 a.m. Admission is $25 and includes a buffet breakfast. Seating is limited; call (520) 458-7922 to make a reservation before it’s too late.

Town of Queen Creek Employee Recognized for 20 Years of Service

Congratulations to Sandy McGeorge! The Town of Queen Creek recently recognized Sandy for her dedicated service to the town, commemorating her 20th anniversary. 

The town has experienced many changes since Sandy McGeorge started in 1997. Initially serving as the Town Clerk, Sandy transitioned to the role of grant writer in 1999. As a young community, Sandy was instrumental in securing grants to help develop programs and services, particularly in the area of Parks and Recreation. She also assisted the communications area by coordinating community outreach events and the Citizen Leadership Institute. 

In 2007, Sandy began working on real estate matters on the Town’s behalf in addition to her other duties. In 2010, she became a Management Assistant II, focusing solely on real estate, where she is essential to the success of road improvement projects and economic development efforts. In 2012, she received the Senior Right-of-Way Agent distinction from the International Right-of-Way Association, the most prestigious professional designation granted to right-of-way professionals.

“Sandy plays an integral role within our organization,” stated Public Works Director Troy White. “Not only does she have a vast amount of knowledge related to real estate activities, her knowledge of Town history is invaluable.”

Learn more about Sandy, Queen Creek and read the full story by clicking here.

 

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.