There is a meeting at TV golf course at 5:30 Monday evening to discuss the future of the historic golf course. Turquoise Valley golf course began in 1908, it is Arizona's longest continually operated golf course and has with the longest hole-the 747 yd Rattler-of any course in Arizona. It has been an economic and cultural draw for Bisbee for many years. After the Canadian owner sold a few years ago to a consortium of local buyers, the course deteriorated because of a lack capital. The course, but not the RV park, was bought by Joseph Lewis and anonymous partners nine months ago. But apparently it has not been profitable hence the meeting. The original deed of the golf course to the city included a whatchacallit that says it shall remain a golf course, nine holes back then, in perpetuity. That may still be the case unless it was removed by the relatives of the original owners. Likely the prospect of the entire 18 holes being developed for something else is remote. However there could be the possibility of developing part of the property.
A lone candidate for Tourism Director was interviewed by the iBisbee committee last week. With direct and specific questioning about his position in his current job and prior experience, it became glaringly apparent to all attending the session that Mr. Short did not have the relevant social media, electronic experience, or vision necessary to take on the role. There were suggestions that the job description be streamlined and re-offer the position in traditional as well as non-traditional outlets. To date it has not been listed.
The second session of the FY2020 budget talks took place last week. The council is juggling requests for more dough with less FY2019 revenue than projected. It is unclear how much the shortfall is (compared to spending) because there is two months left in the FY. Cuts in spending requests will have to be made although it is unclear what will be shorted. The talks will continue but have not yet been noticed. As noted below, PSPRS payments put a huge dent in the general fund; about 18% ($1,432,988) of the total general fund budget is taken off the top for the pension payments. So while State legislators, the only ones who can reform the pension fund, diddle in Phoenix debating a fee on watching pornography (our rep Gail Griffin!) or whether guns should be allowed in every school and public building in the state, our city council labors over cuts to the pool budget, replacing critical pumps, and allocating or cutting a few thousand here or there. A detailed article is here: https://www.myheraldreview.com/news/increases-in-city-of-bisbee-budget-require-cuts/article_b7ba6b4c-71e7-11e9-a4e6-b772bb8f9c69.html
Cochise County is also going through their budget process. The biggest issue is PSPRS payments. The supervisors have accepted Stonegarden grants-usually applied for by the Sheriff. These are federal funds for personnel and equipment related to immigration enforcement. The grants provide overtime for the sheriff's office. But the grant does not pay for PSPRS pension payments which have to be paid for by county residents.
(The Sheriff's office and County has apparently not learned from the experience of the City of Bisbee. Accepting these grants, as the City has done in the past, that do not include pension payments boosts the yearly contribution rate substantially. This, combined with bad investments, mismanagement, and fat bonuses on the part of the PSPRS governing board and staff, has led to huge payments from communities that have to be, by law, paid into the pension plan. This year our City is projected to pay $1,432,988 into the fund; 18% of the $7,7873,183 general fund budget.)
Another issue is a request by Sheriff Mark Dannels for an additional $2.8 million for his department. While the Sheriff is quick to publicly point out the value of the office to county residents, he seems resistant to reign in expenses as do other department heads. His request comes amid a burgeoning scandal in his department; the jail chaplain, Doug Packer, has been charged with 28 counts of molesting female prisoners. Although removed from office now, there were warnings about his behavior during the past three years and nothing was done.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:30 at 915 Torveaville Rd SPECIAL SESSION Background here: www.bisbeeaz.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05142019-301 In the background for item 1 is an extensive back and forth between the city attorney and an assistant attorney general in the State AG office. The jist of it is that the AG's office investigated a claim by resident Donna Pulling that the open meeting law was violated by disclosure of executive session information. The assistant AG, Katherine Jessen found that the city did violate the OM law. The city attorney, Britt Hanson, does not think there was a violation of the open meeting law. This item is a decision to accept the AG's decision and pay a $500 fine or decline and the matter would end up in court.
Item 2 is part of the process of selecting a new City Manager. The council will likely go into executive session to discuss the candidates and perhaps winnow the list of potentials. Likely will also discuss proceeding from this point with interviews and public input.
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED AND/OR CONSIDERED AT THIS MEETING:
1. Discussion and Possible Authorization to sign and return a letter from an Assistant Attorney General finding an Open Meeting Law violation for unauthorized disclosure of Executive Session information and requiring the City to pay a $500 Fine and the City Council and Staff to attend Open Meeting Law Training. Britt Hanson, City Attorney
2. Discussion and Possible Approval of a motion to go into Executive Session regarding the City Manager Position Pursuant to ARS § 38-431.03(a)(1), discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, salaries, disciplining or resignation of a public officer, appointee or employee of any public body.
Per ARS § 38-431.03(a)(1), the City Council may vote to go into executive session for discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, salaries, disciplining or resignation of a public officer, appointee or employee of any public body. David M. Smith, Mayor
THE DELIBERATE LIES OF TRUMP ADS ON FACEBOOK (this information comes from the newsletter Popular Information You can get on the list here: https://popular.info/
If you would like a preview of the mendacity and stunning breath of the Trump campaign for re-elecrtion, look at Facebook. They have spent $9 million bucks already on ads, many deceptive, some outright lies. From the newsletter... "This disclosure has enabled Popular Information to identify ads from the Trump campaign that blatantly violate Facebook rules -- ads that target users by gender or provide misleading information about border policy or the second amendment. In addition to disclosing the ads themselves, Facebook requires "information about who paid for them." For example, this Trump ad is paid for by the Trump campaign."
However you can see any advertisement on FB and who is paying for it by going here. You can view and use the Ad Library at https://www.facebook.com/ads/library. (Note: Ads must comply with our Facebook Advertising Policies. An ad that does not follow these policies may appear in the Library, but will include a warning message before you view it.) @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
BOLSTERING MID SIZE CITIES HELPS RURAL TOWNS https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/opinion/rural-america-cities.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_pk_20190430&nl=tbd&nl_art=0&nlid=61005435emc%3Dedit_pk_20190430&ref=headline&te=1
THE USA IS GETTING OLDER SAYS NEW CENSUS DATA Some census data info from USA facts. Below are some insights about population changes. (https://annualreport.usafacts.org/?utm_source=EM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=annualreporttakeaways). Our population is getting older. The median age in 2017 was 38, compared to 30 in 1980. Children under 18 make up a smaller percentage of the population today than they did in 1980, while the population of people over 65 makes up a higher proportion.One in five residents in Florida, Maine, and Puerto Rico is older than 65.Today, there are 4.1 working-age Americans to every person over 65, down from 5.7 in 1980. It's a consequential shift for payroll tax-funded programs for the elderly such as Social Security and Medicare.As our population continues to grow and age, the living situations of Americans are changing. Many households are smaller than they were in 1980. More Americans are living alone, and single-person households make up 28% of all households, compared to 23% in 1980.Fewer than half of households today are married couples (48%) compared to 61% of all households in 1980. In addition, fewer households have kids, with married- and single-parent households declining from 38% of all households in 1980 to 27% in 2018.The U.S. population is shifting West and South. And yet 51 percent of Americans live in just nine states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina.An increasing percentage of the U.S. population is foreign-born. It's at 13.7%, up from a low point of 4.7% in 1970. It's comparable to the immigrant wave that characterized America from 1860 to 1910 when the percent of the foreign-born population oscillated between 13% and 15%. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
THEY BE LISTENING EVERYWHERE YOU BE https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/06/alexa-has-been-eavesdropping-you-this-whole-time/?utm_term=.c0cc7b89a136&wpisrc=al_trending_now__alert-tech--alert-national&wpmk=1
TEACHER SHORTAGE IS REAL AND GETTING WORSE 7https://www.cbpp.org/blog/severe-teacher-shortage-shows-states-should-better-fund-schools?utm_source=CBPP+Email+Updates&utm_campaign=e0c13462a6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_26_07_53&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ee3f6da374-e0c13462a6-110956117
CHECK YOUR TAP WATER This national database offers a way to check pollutants in water. EWG does work monitoring chemical contamination of various everyday products. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=201905PFASNews&utm_medium=email
THE GOODS ON THE CHUMBOXES AND GUT DOCTORS What about the guy at the bottom of almost every internet page who says "throw out this one vegetable"? Turns out this is a small part of the clickbait business. Read about it here. https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/5/8/18537279/chum-box-weird-sponsored-links-gut-doctor