Blog Posts Tagged ‘city’

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




Nancy Jackson

Facility Manager
Chandler Senior Center


Until five years ago, City of Chandler employee Nancy Jackson spent most of her time working with young people as a Recreation Coordinator at Snedigar Sportsplex in south Chandler. Today, she manages the Chandler’s Senior Center and works with the young at heart.

“I’ve always loved to be around seniors; this is where my heart is,” Jackson says smiling. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, Jackson, her staff and groups of volunteers spend each weekday making people feel welcome, appreciated and loved.

For many who come here, this is not their ‘second home’, this is their first home,” Jackson explained. “This is where they come to meet up with their friends, who they also call their ‘family’. They socialize. They talk in the morning over coffee. They read the newspaper and play games. Most will have lunch, and for some, this is their only hot meal of the day.”

Located in downtown near the Chandler Public Library, the Senior Center was built in 1986 and provides a broad range of recreational and social activities for seniors – including an onsite weekday meal – that enhances the social, emotional and recreational needs of participants.

“What we like to focus on is making meaningful connections,” says Jackson. “That’s what life is about; meaningful relationships. We help stimulate those relationships by offering games and activities and excursions so they can interact with each other and with staff. It’s all about living and experiencing life and being surrounded by people you love and care about.”

Jackson says most of the activities at the Center require no fee, and field trips and excursions can cost as little as $5. Outside agencies supplement some of the Center’s activities with services such as legal consultations, blood pressure screenings, peer counseling and wheelchair and walker repair.

A number of seniors volunteer their time to work at the Center, serving meals, wiping down tables, setting up rooms or taking out the trash and recyclables. Jackson’s two sons, 18-year-old D.J. and 15-year-old Brody, have even joined the volunteer staff and helped out at events.

“When we go out in the community to promote the Senior Center, we say ‘come one time and you’ll want to come back’,” Jackson exclaimed. “Once they get here and see the hustle and bustle and energy that’s in this building, they’ll want to come back.”

City of El Mirage Welcomes Eight New Firefighters


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!


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.



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! 

Municipal Clerks Week

This week is the 47th Annual Municipal Clerks Week!

Municipal Clerks Week is a week-long event aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for local government and the community.

City or town clerks have a variety of functions, including preparing agendas, taking minutes, maintaining ordinance and resolution files, keeping the city or town’s historical records, and processing permits. In addition to keeping records and maintaining the city’s documents, a clerk is responsible for administering local elections.

Municipal and Deputy Clerks’ main function is to serve as the council’s foundation. Other duties include, but are not limited to, preparing agendas, taking minutes, maintaining ordinance and resolutions files, keeping the municipality’s historical records, processing permits and serving as the clearinghouse for information about the local government. They also record the actions of the various commissions and committees appointed by the council. Many serve as financial officers or treasurers, and in small municipalities, may act as chief administrative officers. Another important responsibility is administering part or all of the local election functions.

Thank you, Arizona city and town clerks, for all that you do. You are some of the many reasons why Arizona Cities and Towns work!

Tempe Public Library Switching to Solar

Tempe_Pub_Library_SOLAR_001Tempe’s library complex is soaking up the sun with the completion of a new solar installation that will provide 35 percent of the complex’s power needs. To celebrate this renewable energy milestone, the  Mayor Mark Mitchell and several councilmembers will be “flipping of the switch” as power is moved to the solar grid on Saturday, April 30.

“This is exactly the type of project that makes Tempe great,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “We have improved our library for the hundreds of thousands of visitors each year by providing much-needed covered parking and a wonderful shaded outdoor gathering place for neighborhood events while saving money and reducing pollution with clean energy.”

Project features

  • Five solar carport canopies that will provide 262 shaded parking spaces for patrons
  • Large, north side canopy can be used for shaded  parking or as a community gathering space for festivals, events,  farmers markets and food trucks
  • 486 solar panels on top of the library building
  • Savings of more than $95,000 in utility costs over 20 years
  • Five shaded wheelchair accessible parking spaces near the library entrance
  • Increases the city’s renewable energy use from 3 percent to 5 percent
  • Panels will produce 1.3 million kWh of energy, which is equivalent to reducing carbon emissions by more than 900 metric tons and taking 190 vehicles off the road each year.

Tempe’s renewable energy commitment

In June 2014, the City approved a goal to power 20 percent of city operations with clean energy by 2025. This goal is an important component of Tempe’s long-term asset management strategy to reduce the city’s overall energy use and utility costs. The city is currently at 3 percent, marking significant progress since the goal was adopted. The addition of the library complex project will bring the city to 5 percent. Tempe’s existing solar projects include:

  • 263 kW system at the Police/Courts building in downtown Tempe. The system provides 12 percent of the building’s power needs and has saved the city $14,000 in just four months.
  • 924 kW system at its South Water Treatment Plant that produces 15% of the plant’s energy and will save $2.3 million in 20 years

Upcoming projects include a 900 kW system at the Johnny G Martinez (JGM) Water Treatment Plant. For more information, visit

Steep Slopes Help Scottsdale Engineer Overcome Obstacles


“It’s been a pretty amazing year,” Todd Taylor, a principal traffic engineer in the city’s Transportation Department said.

Many would consider Todd’s statement amazing in itself, considering the trials he’s faced in the past two years. The positive remark is testament to an inner strength that has taken Todd all the way to the windy slopes of Winter Park, Colorado, and a dream of qualifying for the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing National Team.

In early 2014, Todd was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, or R.P. His condition progressed quickly and while Todd has some central vision, he has little to no peripheral vision, making him legally blind.

Todd took to the task of learning his new normal with the assistance of adaptive training and quickly learned how to do things like check emails, use his smartphone and travel to and from the office without driving.

“To lose your mobility, it’s life-changing,” Todd said. “But you have to keep going.”

So when a friend told Todd, an avid recreational skier and former Deer Valley Ski Patrol member, about an opportunity to reconnect with skiing through the Foresight Ski Guide Program in Vail, Colorado, Todd didn’t hesitate.


The program, which allows the visually-impaired to ski with the aid of a guide, was what Todd described as an “immediate form of cheap therapy.”

“It was liberating to feel that rush of wind against my face and my heart thumping in my chest,” Todd said. “There’s a lot of trust involved, knowing someone is watching out for you. My guide had to tell me, ‘Stop trying to see – just ski.’”

Todd also discovered he was fast. Skiing with Foresight triggered his desire to pursue his dream of ski racing in the Paralympics.

The first step – Todd had to become classified as a visually-impaired skier by the International Paralympic Committee. This required a trip last November to British Colombia, where Todd was examined and certified by the committee’s doctors.

Now, Todd has been invited to train as part of a Paralympic Development Program at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park and participate in racing events to qualify for the National Team.

A new challenge for Todd and his family has been funding the expense. Alpine ski racing is costly due to specialized equipment, travel, training and race fees. As a visually-impaired athlete, Todd’s expenses dramatically increase because he must also pay for his guide and the guide’s expenses while he trains and competes.

But while the experience has not been without challenges, it’s a journey Todd is grateful for.

Sponsors, friends and family have helped with equipment and donations. Todd is thankful for the support and hopes to build on it, since it may take a few years of training and racing to make the National team.

He’s also in good company as part of the National Sports Center’s Paralympic Development Program, where he trains among an elite group of athletes with visual impairments, amputations, cerebral palsy and other physical challenges.

“It’s inspiring to hear other’s stories and to watch these athletes,” Todd said. “And I’ve had the opportunity to train with athletes from South Africa, Australia, Japan and other international teams.”


It was through the development program that Todd met Nick Manely – another disabled Alpine ski racer who now doubles as Todd’s guide.

As Todd shares his story, he recounts what defined his amazing year thus far:

The entire family – wife Nikki, sons Mack, 11, Brody, 9 and daughter Kate, 5 – learned how to ski.


He found a guide.

He improved his technical skiing – humbled by a few nasty wrecks and some direct coaching.

When he returned from his first competitive race, discouraged that he didn’t finish as well as hoped, Mack was there to put his accomplishment in perspective – excitedly greeting him at the airport and telling him he was proud that his dad had finished.

They’re amazing moments Todd holds tight to, as he looks ahead and continues his dream.

If you’re interested in supporting or learning more about Todd’s ski racing journey, visit

Story by Holly Walter, public information officer, City of Scottsdale

Alicia Jerger

Boating Coordinator
City of Tempe

Alicia Jerger - Tempe

Born and raised in the city where she now works and still calls home, Alicia grew up in Tempe and spent her high school years playing varsity basketball.

Coming of age at a time when female athletes were finally starting to get the attention they deserved, Alicia saw first-hand how this recognition and the earlier passing of Title IX would come into play.  As colleges and universities were recruiting to fill spots on sports teams, San Diego State University came calling. They were adding a women’s rowing team to their collection of athletics and were recruiting female high school athletes.

Though she had never rowed before, Alicia was a respected athlete who jumped at the opportunity to move to San Diego and try out for their varsity rowing team. A year later, she was attending SDSU on a full ride rowing scholarship. She was the very first person in Arizona ever recruited to row at the collegiate level.

Meanwhile, Alicia’s hometown was undergoing some changes of its own. Discussions about the creation of an urban lake in Tempe had been going on for years and in 1999, during her freshman year at SDSU, Tempe Town Lake was filled.

Alicia enjoyed being out on the water and after graduating, she was brought on as an assistant rowing coach at SDSU. She spent two years in that position before becoming the director of rowing at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center in San Diego. The center, run by the State of California, gave Alicia her first taste of working with local government.

While she had come to fall in love with the City of San Diego, Alicia returned home to attend law school. In the midst of applying, she found a job posting as an assistant boating coordinator for the City of Tempe’s Tempe Town Lake. It was the perfect position.

Continuing her passion for boating and finding a newfound passion for working in local government, Alicia went on to receive her Master of Public Administration. After four years working as the assistant boating coordinator, Alicia moved on to work for four years as an assistant events coordinator in the city, followed by the position of senior boating coordinator, which she has now held for two years. Alicia is the third boating coordinator the city has seen since the lake’s inception.

As the senior boating coordinator, Alicia is essentially responsible for any activity that happens “on top of the water.” She oversees the boat house at Tempe Town Lake, which provides private storage for people to keep boats at the Lake. The City of Tempe offers recreation classes on the lake and Alicia manages rowing, kayaking and stand up paddling, in addition to hosting corporate, youth and teambuilding events. The lake also hosts three major regattas, which Alicia oversees. She also supervises junior rowing, which brings together students from all over the Valley. They row five days a week and travel across the country to participate in competitions. Many of these junior rowers hope to find success at the collegiate level, just as Alicia did.

And like Alicia, maybe one of those junior rowers will find their own perfect job someday. One where they can stay on the water all day, interact with the boating community and volunteers, and serve the city that they call home.