Mayor’s Monthly Report, February 2023
Class #4 of the City of Globe Citizen’s Academy is scheduled to begin on March 8, 2023, and end on April 19, 2023. Graduation ceremonies for the completion of participants will take place at the regular Council meeting on April 25, 2023. The Citizen’s Academy is a 7-week comprehensive program that is open to both city residents and non-city residents to learn more about the city’s operations, services and structure. The class is held every Wednesday for two hours, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to visit each department to better understand the internal operations and structure. All classes will be provided with dinner during each session that is prepared by the department. If you are interested in attending Class #4, you may contact Shelly Salazar or Lisa Fletcher by calling City Hall at 928-425-7146 extension 206. Applications are also available at City Hall or on the city’s website at www.globeaz.gov.
I had the honor of joining Nathan Ohle, CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), at the IEDC Leadership Summit in Tucson. I was selected as the rural representative on a national panel for the Plenary Session: Rural Prosperity – A Call to Action. Our discussion included topics such as rural prosperity and policy, infrastructure, recovery and equity. I was able to highlight economic development and the importance of investing, generating, and leading the conversation on the future of rural economic development even amidst critical challenges.
City of Globe Podcast
A podcast of the episode Reimagine Rural that features Globe, Arizona was released in December of 2022. The episode was made possible by a request from Tony Pipa, who is the Senior Fellow of the Center for Sustainable Development from Washington, DC. The episode included interviews with Linda Oddonetto, Lorie from the Splash of Copper and myself. The commitment and work on economic development of our Council and Staff are being recognized in the region, the state, and now at a national level. If you wish to listen to this podcast, you can go to https://pod.link/1654532511.
Rural Policy Forum 2023
As a board member of the Arizona Rural Development Advisory Council, I am pleased to announce that the Annual Rural Policy Forum will be held in the Globe-Miami community. This event will be held August 2-4, 2023. It is organized by Local First Arizona, the state’s Rural Development Council, in partnership with the selected rural community.
We felt that our community has many things to highlight. In total, approximately 300 people attend the two-day forum for at least one day, and typically 150-225 people attend two different evening events. A half-day local tour for a small group is the first optional add-on activity that launches the forum’s itinerary.
The host communities play an important partnering role in organizing and executing the forum and its additional activities. This role includes a level of financial and volunteer commitment to carry out the many critical aspects of creating a wonderful and memorable experience for forum participants. A small steering committee has already been formed and will begin meeting in March to plan the logistics for the forum.
Elimination of the Food Tax
Several state lawmakers are exploring the elimination of local government food and rental taxes to provide inflationary relief to Arizona families. While fighting inflation is certainly a worthy endeavor, these efforts fall short of benefiting all Arizona families and offer a permanently damaging solution to a temporary problem, especially in our rural communities. The city of Globe does not have rental taxes in place, so this does not affect us. Every city in Arizona is different and unique in its methods of generating revenue. In the case of our city, we stand to lose approximately $930,000 in sales tax revenue annually. To recover that amount of revenue, we would have to triple our property taxes to our city residents, which legally we are not able to do. To save $2 on a $100 food bill would help the consumer directly, but indirectly, how does that affect the services and resources we offer?
In February, we made two trips to the State Capitol to testify at the Ways and Means and Commerce Committees in opposition to the elimination of the food tax. Our testimony included that our city has not grown in population for many decades, remaining around 7,500. We have not seen the growth that other cities in Arizona have experienced adding property taxes and state-shared revenues to their funds. Although our population has remained static, we still provide services to the population outside our city limits and the 30,000 drive-thru traffic daily. Sales taxes such as these allow non-city residents and visitors to help pay for our services and resources, keeping the full burden solely off our city residents. To make up for the loss of revenue, cities will have to make cuts in other services they offer. It is important to understand that these local revenues are primarily deposited into the general funds of cities and towns. The biggest spending category for our general fund is public safety. This is an example of the Legislature attempting to impose state government control over our local government. The elected officials that you put in office locally definitely know more about the financial needs of our communities.
Providing Arizona’s residents inflation relief makes sense. However, inflation is a temporary cycle and we should be looking for temporary solutions, not permanent solutions that affect our revenues now and in future years. Please join us in contacting your state Legislatures directly and telling them we are not supportive of this bill that will have a negative effect on our Globe-Miami community.
Another Community Center Pool update was presented by James Neville of Structural at our February 15 meeting. He advised that the liner is fully installed and the concrete is at 95% with completion around the middle of April. He stated that the big delay has been the scheduling of subcontractors and their having the personnel and time. Once all the concrete is in place, they will begin to put water in the pool and allow a couple of weeks for testing and final touches before opening the first part of May.
First Fridays have become a monthly signature event and continue to grow each month with more participation from downtown businesses, vendors and cruisers. Everyone is invited to participate in the downtown cruise that begins at 5:30 p.m. We invite the community to come downtown and support the participating businesses and enjoy live music, food trucks, and vendors. Anyone wishing to set up a vendor booth during any First Friday event may do so at no cost by contacting Linda Oddonetto or Melissa Steele at 425-7146. Our next First Friday is scheduled for March 3, 2023.