Blog Archive for the ‘AZ Cities @ Work’ Category

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.

Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department Veterans Telemedicine Program

Military veterans with high-risk health conditions who live in Tempe are getting health care in the comfort of their own homes thanks to a partnership between the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department and the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System.  The two entities have joined forces to create a Veterans Telemedicine Program that has been helping some of Tempe’s more than 13,000 veterans conserve their health.  “Joined Forces”, a newly-produced video by Tempe11, highlights two of the veterans in the program.

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The telemedicine program combines an old-fashion house call with modern technology to allow the Tempe fire department’s nursing team and the VA medical staff to concurrently monitor the program participants, who are selected by the Phoenix VA. The registered nurses provide the hands-on health assessment while a VA nurse practitioner consults with the patient via a video conferencing platform to determine their medical needs.

“Our city high-risk veterans now have an alternative to stressful and costly emergency room visits,” said Tempe Fire Chief Greg Ruiz. “We believe there are more veterans in our city who have health conditions that may benefit from this program.” Veterans can contact the Tempe fire department or consult with their VA doctor about the program, which has been in progress for about a year and was recommended to the fire department by Vice Mayor Robin Arredondo-Savage.

To read the full release on the City of Tempe website click here.

To learn more about the program, click here.

Gilbert’s Fire Hydrant Story

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To ensure fire hydrants work properly when needed, Gilbert must effectively maintain, test, and replace these critical pieces of infrastructure.

In the past, an outside contractor was utilized to replace Gilbert’s aging fire hydrants. While contractors focused on the replacement of fire hydrants, Town employees concentrated their efforts towards preventative maintenance activities such as fire flow testing, fire hydrant painting, and fire hydrant repairs.   As Gilbert researched how to best maintain its existing infrastructure through Long Range Infrastructure Planning (LRIP), the Water Department identified that they could perform the necessary care of fire hydrants in-house, with Town employees, in a more cost-efficient manner.

In 2016, Gilbert’s Water Department increased the number of fire hydrants it inspects and maintains each year.  Inspecting more fire hydrants means that more routine maintenance can be performed and repairs made as needed to keep fire hydrants in service for the primary function of fire suppression. This allows fire hydrants to perform in a safe and reliable manner for a longer period of time, and reduces the number of new hydrants purchased for replacement.

It’s like the new car analogy—if you purchase a brand new car and never get an oil change, you can run it at a lower cost, for a little while, until the engine busts. Instead, Gilbert drives its car (maintains its fire hydrants) with routine oil changes (industry-standardized maintenance protocols) to ensure we get the most safe and reliable use out of our purchase, and that it lasts for a long time.

On top of these efficiencies, Gilbert has been able to renegotiate contracts for the price of materials to repair and replace hydrants, as well as collaborate with other municipalities to get the best deal on purchasing new fire hydrants. Now, Gilbert spends $600 less per new fire hydrant.

The infrastructure built during Gilbert’s rapid growth years requires careful maintenance, repair, and reinvestment to keep it working as well now as the day it was installed. Gilbert’s fire hydrant story is just one example of how the Town plans, in order to maintain system resiliency.

Queen Creek Moves Forward with New Park

 

The Queen Creek Town Council recently approved the conceptual design for a new park, located on the West Park site a 196th Street and Appleby Road, near Ocotillo and Sossaman roads. The 30-acre park will help meet the need for additional parks and recreational space in the community. The conceptual design includes lighted baseball/softball fields, lighted multi-purpose field (soccer, football, etc.), play and picnic areas, splash pad, wheel park, walking trail, lake, restrooms and concessions.   Qu

“Approving the conceptual design takes us one step closer to having a new park in Queen Creek,” stated Mayor Gail Barney. “The conceptual design provides a framework for the park as it is developed. As a Town Council, we are very excited about the quality of the new park. Over the past several years we’ve seen a number of new homes being built in our community, and every new home results in impact fees that ensure that growth pays for the impacts of growth. We’re using our bank of impact fees that have been accrued over the years to pay for this much-needed new facility in our community. As a Town, we have to balance the needs for recreation opportunities with making sound financial decisions with taxpayer dollars.” 

West Park, which will be named as the park is developed, will be funded through a variety of sources. The park improvements will be completely funded through impact fees designated specifically for parks. The parking and streets associated with West Park will be funded through street impact fees and the two percent dedicated construction sales tax, and the lake will be funded with water and wastewater capacity fees and savings. Changes at the state legislature in 2011 dramatically impacted the use of development fees, restricting the use for new parks to 30 acres, and eliminating the use of impact fees to fund recreational centers larger than 3,000 square feet. 

The development of a new park is supported by feedback on the 2016 Queen Creek Citizen Survey and the 2016 Parks and Recreation Survey, completed for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update. In the 2016 Queen Creek Citizen Survey, more recreation opportunities and more parks were both in the top 10 most desired benefits. The 2016 Parks and Recreation Survey had similar results, with 53% of respondents indicating they felt Queen Creek needs more parks and 24 to 29% reporting they felt Queen Creek needs more fields (softball, soccer, baseball, and football). The development of West Park also supports two goals identified in the Town’s Corporate Strategic Plan, superior infrastructure and quality lifestyle.

View the full release and get more information by clicking here

City of Mesa opens Inclusive Playground

The City of Mesa held a ribbon cutting ceremony to bring in a new playground in their Dobson Ranch Park.

The park includes several new inclusive features including a multi-level play structure that has activities connected through ramps, sensory play sandbox, a double zip line with a supported seat, a climbing wall, cozy cocoon for children who need quiet space and updated restrooms to meet ADA requirements, among others.

The 10,000 square-foot playground will allow parents and caregivers to play alongside their child.

The previous playground was donated to the Mesa Sister City of Guaymas, Mexico.

For more information on the new playground and City of Mesa Parks and Recreation, click here.

 

 

Goodyear Announced as Winner of GE Healthy Cities Initiative

Representatives from the City of Goodyear at GE in New York. Photo from Pam Weir, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Goodyear

Representatives from the City of Goodyear at GE in New York. 

The City of Goodyear was recently announced as one of only nine cities to win the GE HealthyCities Leadership Challenge!

The city was recognized for its plan of Goodyear Community Health Park, a community wellness area anchored by two West Valley hospitals and supported by a coalition of community partners in Goodyear. The 129-acre project is being developed through a collaboration between the City of Goodyear, Abrazo West Campus, Adelante Healthcare, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Hickman Farms, among others.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord and Representatives from Goodyear recently traveled to New York for recognition of their efforts and to attend a workshop that kicks off a year-long learning collaborative with GE and other communities working on healthy communities projects.

Read more about the Goodyear Community Health Park at the City of Goodyear. 

 

Photos from Pam Weir, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Goodyear

Town of Clarkdale Receives Award for Program Excellence

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The Town of Clarkdale was among 10 local governments who have been recognized for their outstanding programmatic contributions to local government by ICMA, the International City/County Management Association. ICMA’s 2016 Annual Awards Program recipients will be officially honored at a Celebration of Service to the Profession, as part of the organization’s 102nd Annual Conference on September 28, 2016.   The Town of Clarkdale’s award will be officially presented to the Clarkdale Town Council during their meeting on Tuesday, October11, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

The Town of Clarkdale received a Program Excellence Award in the Community Sustainability category for the demonstration of water sustainability in their Centennial Plaza project.  The award recognizes innovative local government programs or processes that creatively balance a community’s social, economic, environmental, and cultural needs.

According to Town Manager Gayle Mabery, “The Town of Clarkdale is very honored to receive this prestigious award from the International City/County Management Association.  This an award our whole community should celebrate!  Our Town Council set a vision for a sustainable community, our citizen’s endorsed that vision through the adoption of the Town’s 2012 General Plan, and our staff worked hard at every stage of this project: planning, construction, implementation and maintenance … to achieve not only an award-worthy result for Clarkdale, but a project that is a true demonstration of sustainability for our community.”

The ICMA Local Government Excellence Awards Program highlights creative contributions to professional local government management while demonstrating the difference that this kind of management makes to the quality of life in our communities. ICMA’s Program Excellence Awards are presented to local governments, their chief administrators, and others within the 10,000+ member organization in recognition of their innovative and successful programs.  This year, an independent, 21-member evaluation panel reviewed the eligible nominations.

“We congratulate the recipients of our 2016 Program Excellence Awards and the administrators and managers who lead them,” says ICMA Executive Director Bob O’Neill. “The communities and men and women recognized this year set the standard for innovation, effectiveness, and creativity. We thank them for their commitment to improving the lives of the constituents they serve every day.”

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.

 

 

City of Sierra Vista Wins Back-to-Back Awards

Good Neighbor Alliance recently recognized its longstanding partnership with the City of Sierra Vista in serving the local homeless population by honoring the city with this year’s Good Neighbor Award.

Through the allocation of Community Development Block Grant dollars, the City of Sierra Vista helped Good Neighbor Alliance get on its feet back in 2003 and has funded significant improvements since then. These include a CDBG funded infrastructure project to change access to the facility last year, which improved safety for families and children served by the shelter.

The city’s support extends beyond allocating grant dollars for projects, though the shelter covers its own operating costs. In March, Good Neighbor Alliance celebrated the completion of a new laundry room, including a new washer and dryer that were purchased through donations raised by the Sierra Vista Police Department and Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services. The city also waived fees associated with the addition.

“The city and Good Neighbor Alliance partner on all things homeless and we wanted to acknowledge the city’s invaluable support over the years,” says Kathy Calabrese, executive director of Good Neighbor Alliance. The shelter established the Good Neighbor Award last year and the city is the second recipient.

“Good Neighbor Alliance, along with the Fry Task Force, kickstarted the redevelopment of the Fry area,” Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller says. ”Good Neighbor Alliance, partnering with the City, county, and the Industrial Development Authority, is not only responsible for helping our homeless neighbors in need, but has transformed Fry and North Seventh Street. Our citizens should be justifiably proud of this effort.”

The City was also recognized by the Association of Defense Communities to receive this year’s Community Excellence Award in recognition of its outstanding support and partnership with Fort Huachuca.

“It is an honor to see the longstanding and ongoing collaboration between the City of Sierra and Fort Huachuca recognized on the national stage,” Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller says. “This close relationship has resulted in innovative partnerships at the airport, in our library, with other municipal services, and in efforts to conserve and recharge our local water supply. The fort remains an integral part of our community.”

Find out more about the City of Sierra Vista and all the great things they’re accomplishing!