Bed taxes, libraries, and more; Globe City Council addresses agenda

Susanne Jerome/Arizona Silver Belt Arizona House of Representatives District 8 David Cook gave a legislative update on the work that’s being done to right the inequities in tax collection.

At their Aug. 27 meeting the Globe City Council had several gratifying items on its agenda.

Finance Director Jeannie Sgroi was able to reveal a $15,072 increase in the amount of bed tax funds over the budgeted amount of $144,752. Sgroi needed the approval of the council to pass that amount through according to the council’s previous decision to make 100 percent of the money go to the bed tax organizations. Council acted to bring back item on Sept. 10 so that they could approve the pass through. (To act immediately they would have to waive the prior discussion rule.)

City Library Director, Adrea Ricke had previously gotten approval to apply for a Brownfields State Response Grant from the AZ Department of Environmental Quality to survey the Rogue building for “known contaminants … such as mold, asbestos, and lead” – the amount not to exceed $8,000. This would be the first step in rehabbing the building for use of the Library Department. Council praised their library director for her initiative and voted to accept the money and move forward with the contract.

Arizona Representative David Cook gave a legislative update that presented all the ways he and other rural lawmakers had worked across party lines to right iniquities in the collection of taxes and dispersal of funds to rural cities and counties. Cooks presentation was full of detail and contained few references to political party and zero sloganeering. It concentrated on showing how legislators get things done.

Finally, Stapleton was able to announce that on that very day the city had gotten transfer of the $2.8 million for Connie’s Bridge replacement.

The council listened to a presentation by Democratic state Senator Martin Quezada in favor of a city resolution urging the state legislature to approve the Equal Rights amendment. Immediately a citizen, Jess Bryant came to the podium to oppose the resolution arguing that “The more you enumerate the more you give government control over your life.”

He also raised the issue of the amendment having contained a sunset provision, which was extended by later congresses, and the fact that several state legislatures had rescinded their approval over the years.

Senator Quezada, a lawyer, argued that the Constitution did not allow for rescinding approval, and that extending the sunsetting was apparently OK, and that anyway, approving the amendment was a good thing to do. The council agreed to bring up the issue in their next meeting for possible approval.

The Special Events PowerPoint made another appearance, as Jepson strove to finalize wording and council members strove to take out any bureaucratic language that might keep a worthy organization from getting a permit. Council passed a resolution directing staff and the Special Event Policy Sub-Committee (Councilmen Leetham, Rios and Shipley and staff) to meet and finalize the rules, and then to meet with representatives of the five bed tax recipients as well as other organizations. The goal would be to let groups staging events know what was required and assure them that the council was trying to make things happen rather than trying to keep good things from happening. The council would act on the final product. Stapleton promised that there would be no PowerPoint associated with the final resolution (And there was great rejoicing.)

After hashing out details with councilmen, Jepson agreed to come back with changes sans PowerPoint (amid great rejoicing.)

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