Blog Posts Tagged ‘glendale’

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.



Local Businesses Thrive in Historic Downtown Glendale

Historic Caitlin Court in historic Downtown Glendale. Photo from City of Glendale.

Historic Caitlin Court in historic Downtown Glendale. Photo from City of Glendale.

Historic Downtown Glendale has been named by USA Today & Sunset Magazine as one of the country’s ten best places for shopping. The historic downtown has two neighborhoods – Historic Catlin Court with its white picket fences and mature shade trees welcoming visitors to the bungalows-turned-specialty shops, and Old Towne, boasting brick-trimmed sidewalks and glowing gaslights leading the way to the famous antique stores and ethnic eateries.

Glendale Glitters, an annual beautiful display of holiday lights, is one of several events that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Glendale each year.  Photo from the City of Glendale

Glendale Glitters, an annual beautiful display of holiday lights, is one of several events that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Glendale each year. Photo from the City of Glendale


The 90-plus specialty and boutique shops in downtown Glendale are noted for the retail-chain-free collection of stores, which feature everything from eclectic and funky fashion and accessories to pop-culture collectibles, and the diversity of restaurants serve up everything from savory, wood-fired pizzas to two-scoop ice-cream cones. In fact, the critically-acclaimed collection of ethnic eateries in downtown Glendale includes Polish, Italian, German, Mexican and Vietnamese. Glendale’s downtown is also home to award-winning festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, which include Glendale Glitters and the Glendale Chocolate Affaire

Old Towne in Downtown Glendale.  Photo from the City of Glendale

Old Towne in Downtown Glendale. Photo from the City of Glendale

Caption: Historic Downtown Glendale has been named as one of the country’s best places for shopping. Photo from City of Glendale.  Photo from the City of Glendale.

Caption: Historic Downtown Glendale has been named as one of the country’s best places for shopping. Photo from City of Glendale. Photo from the City of Glendale.

“Community Begins Here” – 2015 National Public Works Week


You may not always realize it, but your city or town’s public works department is at work all day to keep your life running smoothly. From making sure your recycling is picked up at your curb and the streets are paved for your commute into work; to ensuring that water is always clean when coming out of the tap and street lights are blinking correctly for a safe drive home, a city’s public works department is responsible for many of our day-to-day activities. 

May 17-23 is Public Works Week! This annual events celebrates public works professionals of our Arizona cities and towns who work tirelessly. The National Public Works Week is a celebration of the tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. 

Communities across Arizona are taking time to recognize individuals who dedicate services to cities and towns, which include road construction, cleaning and maintenance services, sanitation and recycling, fleet services, and various other community provisions.

The City of Glendale and the City of Surprise both issued proclamations at their recent council meetings to announce their celebration of National Public Works Week and thank those members of their public works departments for their dedication.

NPWW proclamation 5.12.15

City of Glendale issuing a proclamation celebrating National Public Works Week and recognizing those individuals who serve on their public works department 


Valley Cities Celebrate Earth Day

April is Earth Month!

Many of Arizona’s cities and towns are participating to promote the Earth this month. Check out a few of the fun events below for some Earth Day inspiration:
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Tempe’s Earth Day Expo  – Wednesday, April 22 

Earth Day is a time to celebrate the successes and ongoing commitments of community members, municipalities and businesses to protect the environment and promote a more sustainable future. Valley residents are invited to attend Tempe’s Earth Day Expo, where city departments and local businesses will showcase their innovative environmental programs. Attendees will experience hands-on exhibits while enjoying free lunch, courtesy of Gordon Biersch.

Wednesday, April 22
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tempe City Hall (west side of pyramid building)
31 East Fifth Street, Tempe, AZ 85281

For more information visit

Glendale 19th Annual Arbor Day Tree Planting – Wednesday, April 22

Arbor Day marks the nineteenth year that the City of Glendale has planted trees in celebration of the globally-observed holiday and been awarded the Tree City USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This year, 12 new trees will be planted at Dos Lagos Park, 63rd Avenue and Utopia Road, as part of the Glendale Arbor Day Celebration on Wednesday, April 22.

Glendale Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services will be joined at the Glendale Arbor Day Celebration by fourth grade students of neighboring Highland Lakes Elementary School.  The students will celebrate the theme “Grow the Future” with posters and poems that will be presented during the ceremony, followed by the tree planting.

Gilbert Earth Day Event – Wednesday, April 22  

Spring is in the air so it’s the perfect time to celebrate Earth Month in Gilbert, Arizona. Gilbert Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Gilbert’s Environmental Services Division, will be hosting an Earth Day event at McQueen Park Activity Center (510 N. Horne Street) on Wednesday, April 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This free event is a great way for kids to celebrate Earth Day through arts and crafts, games, and face painting.

Gilbert’s Environmental Services Division is also hosting an art calendar contest for 4th grade Gilbert Public Schools and Higley Unified School District students until April 22nd.  Thirteen winning students will be featured in Gilbert’s 2016 Environmental Services calendar. Visit to find out more information about this contest and to print an entry form.


Tempe’s 6th Annual Arbor Day 5K  – Friday, April 24  

Break out the running shoes and get ready for the 6th Annual Arbor Day 5K on Friday, April 24. With 125 acres of trees, activity areas and an urban fishing lake, Kiwanis Park is the perfect setting for this community fun/run walk that benefits the Trees for Tempe program.

Arbor Day 5K activities start at 4:30 p.m. with on-site registration and an event expo, followed at 6 p.m. by the 1-Mile Kid’s Dash, and 6:15 p.m. with the Arbor Day 5K Run/Walk.

Friday, April 24
4 p.m.
Kiwanis Park – 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283

For more information, visit

EVENT-Phoenix Earth Day 2015


6th Annual Earth Day Phoenix – Saturday, April 25 

Come celebrate Earth Day at this family friendly festival in Downtown Phoenix! Free Admission!

Keep Phoenix Beautiful will host the 6th annual Earth Day Festival, presented by Republic Services, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25th, located at PHX Renew, the north east corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road.

PHX Renews will be filled with local exhibitors that include nonprofits, businesses, and city, state and county departments providing information and relevant giveaways with a core message of sustainability. From solar energy, recycling, to gardening our exhibitors are on site to provide resources and information on how you can live sustainably!

Glendale Water Celebrates 100 Years of Service

A look at Glendale's 100 year water history

A look at Glendale’s 100 year water history

Water; we all use it every day for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and public health and safety. On Feb. 25, 2015, Glendale Water Services Department will commemorate its 100th year of providing safe, reliable, high quality water and wastewater services to the community. As part of the Glendale Water Services Department Centennial Celebration, a traveling display featuring historic photos and captions titled, “Glendale’s 100-Year Water Story” will be on display across Glendale through the year. The display was developed in partnership with Arizona Public Service, Central Arizona Project, Glendale Arizona Historic Society, and Salt River Project. A century ago, the then-town of Glendale purchased the Water Works Company from Floyd Holmes Sine for $12,000 and created the new Municipal Water Works Department on Feb. 25, 1915. The initial system had two wells, two elevated tanks, distribution pipes and 160 customers. The town immediately upgraded the system by drilling additional wells and installing new pressure pumps. A storm water disposal system, fire protection system and sewage system were installed just a few years later.

The water tower that was part of the purchase of the Water Works Company from Floyd Holmes Sine, which was sold to the Town of Glendale for $12,000 on Feb. 25, 1915 and resulted in the new Municipal Water Works Department. Photo courtesy: Glendale Arizona Historical Society.

The water tower that was part of the purchase of the Water Works Company from Floyd Holmes Sine, which was sold to the Town of Glendale for $12,000 on Feb. 25, 1915 and resulted in the new Municipal Water Works Department. Photo courtesy: Glendale Arizona Historical Society.

Although Glendale has changed significantly over the last century, one thing remains constant; the city’s commitment to providing exceptional water and wastewater services to more than 230,000 people. Glendale uses state-of-the-art technology and a highly trained workforce to operate four water treatment plants, two water reclamation facilities and maintain more than 1,000 miles of water mains and more than 680 miles of sewer mains. Glendale Water Services Director Craig Johnson said “lessons from the past have helped us plan for the future.  We have a remarkable wealth of talent and experience among our employees.  Working in partnership with the community, the Water Services Department is committed to building on this firm foundation to meet the challenges that come our way.”

Members of Floyd Holmes Sine’s family join members of the Water Services Department at the Jan. 27, city council meeting where the proclamation was read declaring February 2015 through February 2016 as Glendale Municipal Water Service Centennial Year.

Members of Floyd Holmes Sine’s family join members of the Water Services Department at the Jan. 27, city council meeting where the proclamation was read declaring February 2015 through February 2016 as Glendale Municipal Water Service Centennial Year.

For a full listing of when and where the Glendale Water Services Department display will be located, visit Partner locations include the Arrowhead Towne Center, Glendale libraries and recreation centers, and Glendale Community College.

Goodyear girl ends NFL Punt, Kick and Pass competition as state champ

BLOG - Goodyear PPK _001Mia Amundsen’s rise to football fame pretty much began with the Goodyear Parks and Recreation Department – and a lot of dedication.

The Goodyear girl, who is a fourth grader at Palm Valley Elementary School, ended the National Football League’s prestigious Punt, Pass and Kick competition by finishing first to win a state championship.

She scored 129.5 points, the best in the girls’ 8-9 year-old division in a portion of the football program’s state championships held on the field of University of Phoenix Stadium during the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs game on Sunday, Dec. 7.

The Punt, Pass and Kick Program has been recognized by the NFL for more than 50 years. The free competition gives boys and girls ages six through 15 the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in punting, passing and place kicking.  Each participant is given one punt, one pass and one kick to accumulate a score.  Scores are received and calculated with distance and accuracy providing the final scoring distance.

Mia, who is the daughter of Ty and Diane Amundsen, advanced to the state competition after placing first in the Punt, Kick and Pass sectional competition at Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale on Nov. 1.

Although there was no guarantee Mia would advance to the state finals as there are other state competitions held throughout the state and the top four scores overall advance, her parents later received word via email that she advanced to the state finals. Her age group included more than 100 kids throughout the state.BLOG - Goodyear PPK_003

For her state championship, Mia was shown on the Jumbo-Tron video screen and awarded a football for a trophy during the third quarter of the Cardinals’ game.BLOG - Goodyear PPK_002

Mia also plays volleyball, basketball and softball, and also is a member of her school’s chorus.

Her mother said that she became interested in the program when it was held at her school in September.

“She just thought it would be fun to give it a try for the fun of it,” Diane Amundsen. “This was her second year of participating in the program. She’s a busy one.”

Competitors begin competing at the local level with high scores advancing to a sectional competition.  Goodyear’s local competition was offered by the Parks and Recreation Department and held at Goodyear Ballpark on Sept. 30.  The four top scores from the five sectionals in each age division for both boy’s and girl’s advance to the state competition held at the University of Phoenix Stadium prior to an Arizona Cardinals game.

All NFL teams host a state competition with the four highest scores in each age division advancing on to the National Competition usually held prior to an NFL playoff game (city yet to be determined).  During each competition participants begin with a new score of zero.


It’s Arizona Cities and Towns Week!

This week is Arizona’s 13th Annual Cities & Towns Week. It’s a week to celebrate and appreciate the work of Arizona’s 91 municipalities. Cities and towns work everyday to ensure safety, protection, well-being, convenience and enrichment for all  those who live, work and play in their communities.

Check out these awesome posters celebrating Arizona Cities & Towns Week!

Lake Havasu City: 

BLOG - LHC Poster


BLOG - Glendale Poster


BLOG - Mesa Poster


BLOG - Cottonwood Poster

West Valley Aquatics – Glendale, Surprise & Tolleson

Photo Courtesy of City of Glendale

Photo Courtesy of City of Glendale

Foothills Aquatics Center

The Foothills Recreation and Aquatics Center has everything you need for summer.

The center consists of a lazy river, competitive lap pool, diving well, two slides, a leisure pool with zero depth entry, and an aquatic playground. And for those who need a break from all the water-centric fun, there’s the activity room that includes billiards, ping pong, arcade games, a big screen TV, game tables, a jogging track, rock climbing wall and fitness center.


Surprise Aquatic Center 

Ready to help you beat the Arizona heat is the Surprise Aquatic Center. The center has many amenities including a zero depth area with Water Play Feature, two slides, a completion pool, vortex whirlpool and diving well.

Remember to keep the little ones safe by enrolling them in fall swim lessons! The city of Surprise offers lessons in August and September: 


Tolleson Public Pool 

The Tolleson High School Public Pool is now open! Come enjoy some fun in the sun where food, games, lessons and swim teams are offered for all.

Additionally, the pool will host various special events during the summer including a water safety day, dive in movie nights, and a special swim lesson day.

For more information please visit or call 623-478-4398.


Cities Receive Recognition for Special Events Production

Savvy-award-08-2013Chandler’s year-long Centennial Celebration received one of the highest honors achievable for government communicators, the Savvy award, from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA). The Centennial Celebration was selected as the outstanding one-time special event among communities with a population of more than 200,000.

The Savvy awards salute skilled and effective municipal and county communication professionals who have successfully demonstrated creativity, innovation and fiscal stewardship. The entries are judged by local government professionals and persons from the professional, consulting and academic communities who are highly knowledgeable in marketing and communications.

Chandler began planning for its 100th birthday more than seven years in advance, and formed a Centennial Steering Committee in 2009 to create a special community celebration. The committee included representatives from a broad cross section of the community, including Chandler schools, non-profit agencies, faith-based organizations, service clubs, businesses, Chandler Historical Society and the Chandler Museum. Much of the centennial effort was spearheaded by the City’s Communications & Public Affairs Department (CAPA), Museum Division, and Special Events staff.

SpecialEvents Staff 2103 (2)The City of Glendale also received recognition for various city events held throughout the year. Their team received five awards from the festival industry’s top professional organization, the International Festival and Events Association, for excellence in event production.

Glendale took home several awards for the annual Glitter and Glow Block Party, including the best full-length TV program and best commemorative pin and best event photo. They also received awards for the annual Glendale Chocolate Affair.