Blog Posts Tagged ‘avondale’

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.


Avondale employee honored by Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence

From City of Avondale 
Ingrid Melle, Avondale AZ PIO 
Chris Lopez, City of Avondale Youth and Community Engagement Supervisor

Chris Lopez, City of Avondale Youth and Community Engagement Supervisor

Chris Lopez, Youth and Community Engagement Supervisor for the City of Avondale, received the Melanie McClintock Leadership Award this past weekend at the annual conference for the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence.
The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE) annually recognizes innovative out-of-school time programs and staff members for their exemplary work in providing and promoting quality youth development programs for Arizona’s children. AzCASE held its 15th  Annual Conference at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix, where Chris Lopez was awarded the Excellence in Leadership award on Saturday, October 22.
Lopez, hired in 2007 to establish youth development programs for the city, has worked tirelessly to provide Avondale youth with a variety of enriching programs and opportunities.  He has also served on the Arizona Quality Standards for Out of School Time Programs Statewide Quality Assessment committee, and on multiple youth development committees including the United Way. Chris 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 been trained in and have adopted the Kids at Hope belief and support system that all children are capable of success, no exceptions.  Chris Lopez was also instrumental in fostering relationships with AmeriCorps VISTA, as well as expanding youth workforce development and teen leadership opportunities in Avondale. 
The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE) is Arizona’s leading statewide advocate and information resource for promoting high quality, affordable and accessible out-of-school time programs as an essential component in the positive development of Arizona’s youth.  

Avondale Billy Moore Days


Relive the Nostalgia of Billy Moore Days with Contests & Competition

As part of the history of Billy Moore Days, fun competitions and contests were always a festive tradition.  Contests of past included cotton bale rolling, donkey and lawn mower races, mustache and beard growing competitions, and local beauties could compete for the coveted title of ‘Miss Billy Moore Days’.  To keep up with the tradition and bring back some of that nostalgic appeal, the event in 2016 will play host to some friendly competition. Participants can compete for the title of best ‘Yee Haw’ holler; kids are invited to take part in the Little Buckaroo/Buckarette Contest; softball and basketball teams can compete for a trophy.

Little Buckaroo/Buckarette Contest

Let your kids show off their best western attire as they compete for the title of Little Buckaroo and Buckarette. Kids, ages 10 and under, are invited to come on stage in western get-up. Prizes and title will be awarded, and winners will get to ride in the Billy Moore Days Parade on a special float.  This contest will take place Friday, October 21 at 5:45 p.m. on the Main Stage located on Western and 6th Street. Entries must check in by 5:30 p.m. to participate in the contest. Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winners. There will be one Buckaroo and one Buckarette winner for a grand prize award of a Party Rental Package (valued at $245) from A to Z Party & Event Rentals. Parents are strongly encouraged to register for the contest ahead of time, prior to the event;

Yee Haw Hollering Contest

Have you been told more than once to use your “inside voice?” Anyone with hollering skills can participate in the first ever Billy Moore Days Yee Haw Hollerin’ Contest.  It’s easy to participate—simply step up on stage and give your best rendition of ‘YEE HAW’!  The contest will take place Saturday, October 22 at 12pm in Serenas Plaza, located next to Sam Garcia Library on Western and 5th Street. Entries must check in by 11:45 am to participate in the contest.

Billy Moore Days Co-ed Softball Tournament

A co-ed ‘Wild West’ Softball Tournament for adults will be hosted Saturday, October 22 at Festival Fields Park located at 101 E. Lower Buckeye Road in Avondale.  Get your team together, and gear them up in western wear (there will be a prize for best team costume). Each inning will have a different crazy rule such as running bases backwards, lasso carry, hitting off a tee, etc.  This is a one day tournament with two games guaranteed. Fee to participate is $175 per team.  Register for the tournament at:   using code #7682.  Pre-registration deadline is Monday, October 17.

Billy Moore Days Basketball Tournament

Come shoot some hoops in a 12 team double elimination basketball tournament, Saturday October 22 at the Boys & Girls Club Tri-City West Thornwood Branch located at 301 E Western Avenue in Avondale.  Tournament options are for youth ages 9-14 years and young adults 16-24 years.  Fee to participate is $20 for youth teams, $40 for young adult teams.  Stop by the Boys & Girls Club to register, or reserve your team spot by calling 623-932-1154.  Pre-registration deadline is Wednesday, October 19.

Most of the Billy Moore Days festivities will take place October 21 – 23 in the heart of Historic Avondale, on Western Avenue .  No cost to attend.  Location: Historic Avondale – 495 E Western Ave Avondale AZ 85323.  For more information and to get involved, visit , or call City of Avondale at 623-333-2400.   Follow the event festivities and information on Facebook.

Carmen Martinez

City Clerk
City of Avondale

City Clerk

City Clerk

The city clerk is one of the essential positions in municipal government.  Depending on the size of the city or town, the city/town clerk’s responsibilities are varied and often perform functions of city manager, finance officer, human resource director.  In the City of Avondale, the city clerk’s functions include records management, elections, council meeting agenda and minute preparation, public records requests, liquor licensing, annexations and special event permits.

Carmen Martinez was hired as deputy city clerk in 2002, and promoted to city clerk in 2008. She has advanced the functions and services in the city clerk department in so many ways. Her staff is literally the “face” of Avondale – as they manage and staff the front desk in the lobby of city hall, greeting thousands of people who come through the door each year, answering the telephone to the main city hall line, and more.  In 2007, she brought forth the idea of providing passport processing services at city hall.  Since then, the program has generated more than $1.15 million in revenue to the city.

Thanks to Carmen’s efforts, she has also worked with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to host several citizenship ceremonies at Avondale City Hall. The ceremonies, consisting of more than 100 new citizens at each one, are always very moving. Carmen herself has been a keynote speaker at these events, telling her personal story of becoming a naturalized citizen.

When it comes to elections, Carmen has placed a great deal of focus on transparency and voter participation.  In 2008, the city faced a substantial increase in its election costs. In an effort to be accountable to the citizens with their money, the city council approved staff’s recommendation to change the city’s election cycle ahead of the statutory requirement.  This required voter approval.  Carmen recognized this change represented a challenge with respect to independent voters and the need to educate them regarding their choice for a ballot. Working with the community relations department, she conceived the idea of Carmen Electa, Avondale’s own elections ambassador. Carmen Electa is the face of elections in Avondale and she comes out every election to educate voters and their families about voter registration deadlines, issues and choices.  Avondale’s special election was put in the 2008 primary election ballot for voters’ approval.  Avondale chose to host an early voting site for that election and on the last week of the early voting period, saw hundreds of voters each day come into Avondale City Hall to cast their early ballot.

The 2014 primary election was a particularly challenging election in Maricopa County.  There was confusion with polling places; some cities were holding all-mail ballot elections, while others weren’t.  As part of a resident outreach, the city clerk’s department learned that voters would be more likely to vote if voting was more accessible and convenient for them.

In response to that, Avondale now offers its city hall as an early voting site for voters for every election regardless of whether Avondale had an issue on the ballot. Since ballots are printed on demand, ANY voter in Maricopa County can come to Avondale City Hall to cast their ballot.  So beginning with the ongoing 2015 November election, Avondale is hosting an early voting site for every election.

“We want to become to GO TO place where any voter in Maricopa County can cast their vote,” said Carmen. “Our staff is knowledgeable, professional and friendly.  Carmen Electa is preparing for the city’s upcoming 2016 primary election.  We will do our best to reach out to voters and educate them and entice them to cast their ballot.”

Arizona Cities Recognized for Use of Digital Technology

Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise and Vice Mayor Stephanie Karlin receive the first place Digital Cities Survey Award in Nashville at the National League of Cities Congress of Cities.

Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise and Vice Mayor Stephanie Karlin receive the first place Digital Cities Survey Award in Nashville at the National League of Cities Congress of Cities.

Several Arizona cities were recognized this week for their use of digital technology.

At the annual National League of Cities Congress of Cities, held this week in Nashville, five Arizona cities were presented with 2015 Digital Cities Survey Awards.

The City of Avondale, a first-place winner for the past three years, was recognized for its IT governance model, cloud-based disaster recovery and approach to cybersecurity. The Center for Digital Government recognized them for working with other local governments to participate in a transparency initiative that provides access to information for other cities within the state.

Scottsdale was recognized as  7th out of US cities with a population between 125,000 and 249,999.

Scottsdale was recognized as 7th out of US cities with a population between 125,000 and 249,999.

The City of Phoenix placed 3rd in the 250,000 or more population category and the City of Scottsdale was recognized as placing 7th in the 125,000-249,999 population category.

Goodyear and Marana also both received recognition within their population categories.

City of Goodyear Councilmember Wally Campbell receives the Digital Cities Survey Award at the National League of Cities Annual Congress of Cities in Nashville.

City of Goodyear Councilmember Wally Campbell receives the Digital Cities Survey Award at the National League of Cities Annual Congress of Cities in Nashville.

The CDG recognizes leading examples of cities using technologies to save taxpayer dollars by improving services and boosting efficiencies in the way of transparency and privacy (such as cyber security).

The survey focuses on 10 initiatives across four categories: citizen engagement, policy, operations, technology and data. Entries are reviewed and judged based on a set of criteria and how well the cities implemented these services.

To read more about Goodyear’s award, click here.

Arizona’s Playful City USA Communities

11406721_10152890631191016_1366047240839771119_oKaBOOM! recently announced its Playful City USA honorees: communities that are leaders in “playability,” the commitment to providing balanced and active play to children.

The KaBOOM! Playful City USA program honors cities, towns and communities across America that are taking bold steps to ensure that all children, especially the 16 million American kids living in poverty, have easy access to balanced and active play in their communities. 241 cities nationwide have been recognized this year, 14 of which are in Arizona.

Playful City USA honorees include major cities such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago. In Arizona, these honorees include cities and towns across the state. They range from nine-time honorees like Chandler, Gilbert, and Tucson, to first-time recipients like Avondale, Florence, and Queen Creek.

Tempe is once again recognized by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA for its commitment to keeping kids active through accessible playspaces and youth sports programs.

Tempe is once again recognized by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA for its commitment to keeping kids active through accessible playspaces and youth sports programs.

These Playful City USA communities are making a commitment to transform their communities to become more playable by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community. Listed below are the Arizona cities that were given the “playful” title and the number of years they have won:

Avondale: 1

Buckeye: 4

Casa Grande: 7

Chandler: 9

Coolidge: 8

Florence: 1

Fountain Hills: 5

Gilbert: 9

Mesa: 7

Oro Valley: 5

Prescott Valley: 2

Queen Creek: 1

Tempe: 7

Tucson: 9

Playful City USA Honorees in Arizona: 

To see the full list of the 241 communities named 2015 Playful City USA honorees, or for more information on the Playful City USA program, visit

Avondale Ranked No. 1 in 2014 Digital Cities Survey

For the second consecutive year, the City of Avondale came out on top in the 2014 Digital Cities Awards. Run by the Center for Digital Government and publisher e.Republic, the awards are a competitive honor with hundreds of municipalities contending each year. The program recognizes cities that use technology to engage their citizens, provide exceptional municipal services, innovate, and collaborate.


Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise will accept the award on behalf of the city at a special ceremony during the National League of Cities Congress of Cities in Austin, Texas, on November 20th.


According to the Center for Digital Government, the top-ranked cities in their population categories – Los Angeles, CA; Winston-Salem, NC; Avondale, AZ; and Dublin, OH – provide financial transparency, performance measurement data, and opportunities for citizen feedback on city initiatives. They also have superior technology infrastructures, set data and application architectures, made strides in cybersecurity, and demonstrated collaboration efforts that provided cost savings and enhanced services.


Avondale received first place honors in the 75,000 – 124,999 population category. Avondale has placed in the top-ten of the Digital Cities Awards for four straight years with first place honors in both 2013 and 2014, earning recognition as a community that applies technology well in everything from operations to community relations to public safety.


“Avondale is demonstrating continued success in supporting our residents and businesses through technology,” said Rob Lloyd, the city’s Chief Information Officer. “We have an exceptional City organization that takes pride in working together to render superior services and achieve the City’s vision. It’s humbling to receive such a prestigious honor and to share a stage with impressive cities from across the nation that share in the public service mission.”


Avondale’s key efforts in 2014 were a community-driven and social media-supported branding effort with local citizens and businesses; innovative progress on cybersecurity and Green IT; the City’s action-oriented strategic planning process; and joint work with other communities in the areas like cybersecurity.


Said City Manager Dave Fitzhugh: “Our advances in technology are a core component of our larger efforts to sustain Avondale as a strong, growing community. Avondale’s forward-thinking residents, city leadership, and staff make this level of consistent achievement possible.”

Cities & Towns Educate Citizens on Safety During National Fire Prevention Week

BLOG- Fire Prevention WeekFire Prevention Week takes place during October 5-11, and during this time cities and towns in Arizona are dedicated to educating the public about fire safety. During Fire Prevention Week professionals devote their time to teaching the public about the causes of fire, how to prevent this from happening, and how to be prepared in case of an emergency.

The National Fire Protection Association has designed Fire Prevention Week to be useful for all ages. In 1871 a huge Chicago fire killed more than 250 people and left 100,000 citizens without homes. This tragedy is the reason that Fire Prevention Week exists, and this week continues to raise awareness to our communities.

Nearly all of Arizona’s cities and towns are holding events to participate in and recognize National Fire Prevention Week.

The city of Tucson has been talking with citizens all week, teaching them the importance of smoke alarms. Here is a clip of Captain Barrett Baker of the Tucson Fire Department on a local news station, discussing how to check smoke alarms:

The city of Tempe has been holding workshops at the Tempe Public Library to teach citizens how to install fire detectors and have storytimes for children to learn about fire safety. In addition, the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department will be having a special event on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Tempe Fire Training Center. For more info, click here:

The city of Avondale and many other valley cities also held open houses at their fire stations, so the community could visit with firefighters, see the fire trucks and learn about the importance of preventing fires.

Fire Prevention Week is designed to make our communities safer. It is important to continue spreading awareness and providing our community with the useful information they need to continue being educated and prepared.  Find an upcoming event or training in a city or town near you or visit the National Fire Protection Association to brush up on your fire safety tips.

Avondale Recognized for Outstanding Employees

Avondale is a city full of great people who deserve a round of applause. Recently, two individuals who work for the city were recognized for their outstanding service and dedication to the Avondale community.

Avondale Fire Chief Paul Adams was inducted into the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame.

BLOG - Avondale Fire Chief

Established in1998, the Arizona Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made a significant, positive contribution to the fire service and their community and which brings credit to the fire service. Individuals nominated are evaluated based on their years of service, service on committees, state and national impact, educational impact, operational impact, contributions to community, organizational impact, legislative impact or other areas that clearly demonstrate the individuals contribution to Arizona’s Fire Service.

The honor was presented during the opening ceremony of the 41st annual Arizona Fire School. Paul Adams presently serves as Fire Chief for the City of Avondale, Arizona, a position he has held since November of 1996.  His illustrious career began in his home state of Nebraska, as a fire volunteer in 1969.  A career dedicated to service in the fire service eventually brought him to Arizona, when he was hired as Avondale Fire Chief.

This week, Avondale City Clerk Carmen Martinez, earned the prestigious designation of Master Municipal Clerk (MCC). BLOG - Avondale Carmen MMC is awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Inc., which grants the designation only to those municiopal clerks to complete demanding education requirements and who have a record of significant contributions to their local government, community and state. Carmen Martinez, Avondale’s City Clerk, has earned the prestigious designation of Master Municipal Clerk, or MMC, which is awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Inc. (IIMC).

“Carmen Martinez has worked hard to achieve this designation and it is a testament to the caliber of professionals we are fortunate to have in Avondale,” said Avondale City Manager, David Fitzhugh.

Carmen Martinez is qualified by over 16 years of municipal clerk experience.   She has served City of Avondale since 2002.

Congratulations, Chief Adams and Carmen Martinez!

Monument Hill and Base & Meridian Wildlife Center

Photo Courtesy of the City of Avondale

Photo Courtesy of the City of Avondale

Right in the heart of Avondale lays a piece of Arizona’s geographic history. The initial survey point for the state of Arizona lies where the base line and principal meridian meet – right on a hill just east of Phoenix International Raceway.

The hill was constructed in 1851 by the US Boundary commission to draft a survey for the United States-Mexico Boundary under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. In 2002, it received status to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

Just below Monument Hill sits the Base & Meridian Wildlife Area. This area is approximately 198 areas and sits on the north bank of the Gila River. Visitors who come to this outdoor oasis gives a glimpse of Arizona wildlife, as the area is teeming with birds, mammals and fish, as well as a variety of vegetation like cottonwood, willow and mesquite trees.

Click here for more information