Blog Posts Tagged ‘tempe’

Arizona Cities and Towns Week

It’s Arizona Cities and Towns Week! Help us celebrate!

Arizona Cities and Towns Week is set aside each year to recognize the services cities and towns provide, as well as honor those elected officials, staff and volunteers who serve in municipal government. This is the 16th Annual Arizona Cities and Towns Week.

We are excited to have so many of our Arizona cities and towns participating this year, including: Chino Valley, Florence, Gilbert, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Sierra Vista, Surprise, Tempe and many others!

Find out how your city or town is celebrating and participate in Arizona Cities & Towns Week by using the hashtag #AZCityWeek on social media.

Tempe Vice Mayor Honored with Service Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Quillard, 480-350-8808,

Tempe History Museum Receives National Accreditation

The Tempe History Museum has been awarded the highest honor of National Accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, an organization that recognizes institutions that meet or exceed national museum standards. The museum joins the ranks of some of the most recognizable institutions in the Phoenix-metro area and nationwide.

The accreditation process took several years and involved an in-depth self-assessment by city staff, peer reviews and an analysis of the museum’s management of resources. In particular, the Tempe History Museum was recognized for its openness to engaging in partnerships and listening to public feedback. It was also given high marks for its well-maintained, well-catalogued collections, many of which are digitally accessible. Additionally, it was recognized for its educational programs and how relevant they are to classroom instruction.

Tempe’s Public Works and IT departments also played a role in the accreditation, along with the History Museum and Library Advisory Board, Tempe Historical Society and the African American Advisory Committee.

To find out more and read the full release, click here.

Profiles of Arizona Municipal Clerks: Brigitta Kuiper, City of Tempe

Brigitta Kuiper, MMC
City of Tempe

How many years have you served as a clerk?  Six and a half years in Tempe. Prior to that, 12 years as city clerk in Yuma. 

Where are you originally from?  Charlotte, North Carolina

What is the most rewarding part of your job?  Working with community members to increase their knowledge of city government, programs and services, and seeing them become actively involved in their city.

What is your favorite memory as a city/town clerk?  My favorite memories are working with city staff and various election officials to coordinate election activities and working late into the night on election night to count ballots and distribute results.

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.


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.

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

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.

Downtown Tempe’s the Place to Be

 Iconic Mill Avenue serves up a collection of local businesses, new restaurants and nightlife that brings students and residents together in community.  Photo from the City of Tempe.

Iconic Mill Avenue serves up a collection of local businesses, new restaurants and nightlife that brings students and residents together in community. Photo from the City of Tempe.

Right in the heart of Arizona State University sits the eclectic and unique downtown of the City of Tempe. Boasting an iconic nightlife, an array of unique local businesses, tech companies, lakefront property and an unparalleled history, downtown Tempe is truly the place to be.

Downtown Tempe is home to the iconic Mill Avenue, a street marked with local businesses, new restaurants and nightlife that bring students and residents together in community. Just north of Mill Avenue sits Tempe Town Lake, a top attraction in the state of Arizona, drawing visitors to its water and waterfront parks for community events and recreational activities.

The newest location of Postino’s is housed in the former ASU Art Annex. Along with Snooze AM Eatery, this restaurant has led to a new crowd of visitors along College Avenue, expanding the idea of the Tempe Downtown.     Photo from the City of Tempe

The newest location of Postino is housed in the former ASU Art Annex. Along with Snooze AM Eatery, this restaurant has led to a new crowd of visitors along College Avenue, expanding the idea of the Tempe Downtown. Photo from the City of Tempe

As Tempe continues to grow and evolve, the definition of downtown is changing. New businesses are coming to make the city home and development is continuing to change the blueprint of Tempe Town Lakefront. Up-and-coming local restaurants are claiming territory in Tempe, forever changing the landscape of downtown, like Culinary Dropout at Farmers Art District and the Postino Art Annex on College.

With new projects taking place daily and an eye towards a bright future, the Tempe Downtown will always be at the center of it all.

Tempe Town Lake light rail bridge connects the Phoenix-area METRO Light Rail with the downtown Tempe area. Behind, sits the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge.  Photo from the City of Tempe.

Tempe Town Lake light rail bridge connects the Phoenix-area METRO Light Rail with the downtown Tempe area. Behind, sits the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge. Photo from the City of Tempe.


Tempe Town Lake and the Tempe Beach Park serve as the main gathering place in downtown Tempe, with concerts, festivals and events like Fourth of July Tempe Town Lake Festival occurring throughout the year.  Photo from the City of Tempe.

Tempe Town Lake and the Tempe Beach Park serve as the main gathering place in downtown Tempe, with concerts, festivals and events like Fourth of July Tempe Town Lake Festival occurring throughout the year. Photo from the City of Tempe.

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

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!