editor: fred miller July 6, 2020 Wire#12 July/2020
This is an endorsement issue along with a council agenda. Early Primary voting begins tomorrow and culminates August 4th. For national seats, the real race begins as the primary ends. As noted below, primaries often determine Bisbee elections. Note that although I mention republicans, my ballot is democratic.
In a political debate the incumbent generally gets picked on by the challenger because there is an actual record of decisions to talk about. The challenger can float their ideas without anyone knowing how they will actually be paid for and carried out with a reduced workforce. Numbers get thrown around with not much context. The mayoral debate this evening was a little thrusting, a little parrying, very little blustering-thankfully, and generally gave us an idea of what to expect if either were elected. Whoever it will be is going to have their hands full. Contrary to some misconceptions amplified by social media commenters, City governance is not snap your finger/get things done. No matter who has the ideas, look for a long period of time before they come to fruition.
I hope to have an econ issue out soon. I'm having a delay in getting building reports and a new large company is now doing the MLS reports and house sales in Bisbee don't seem to be a priority.
The Wire Endorsements
The primary election in Bisbee is nonpartisan and often decides who will be the mayor and councilpeople because all that is needed to win is 50% +1 vote. All voters can vote in the city elections, but the remainder of the ballot will be either democrat or republican depending on your registration. Independents may vote in primaries but have to indicate prior to voting which party’s ballot they want to receive.
In some ways Bisbee is still coming to grips with the legacy of being a company town when major City problems would be dealt with/or helped out, by Phelps Dodge. The transition began some 20+ years ago when PD dwindled their civic presence and closed their mercantile store. Although the mine was played out, PD was bought by Freeport McMoRan. FM did not continue many of the old ways although they were, and continue to be, helpful. Among many good things, there has been a legacy of City residents somewhat dependent on mining companies.
That flow of money from those relatively good paying jobs and Mine upkeep spending dwindled as jobs were no longer needed and FM spent money elsewhere on active mines. The population has declined about 1000 people each of the two past decades to the current 5200-give or take.
The evolving Bisbee, in fits and starts, has struggled to live within its means. It has been difficult. Many of our current problems are rooted in the past: drainage, retaining walls, decrepit buildings, absentee ownership, bad roads, inept marketing, ‘company town’ mentality.
Our problems are many and the diminished revenue coming from the State as well as reduced tax revenue will create more. The increased use of social media has also exacerbated issues or blown them out of proportion by misinformation and often necessitates the need for immediate attention.
Some examples of the current problems facing the incoming mayor and council; PSPRS payments, street paving, sewage line repair, retaining wall repairs, diminished service of an animal shelter, marketing the City, the Old City Hall, employee retention, deteriorating condition of city vehicles, and escalation of legal costs.
(As an aside…The Stonegarden grants are really why we have such a severe PSPRS debt. Former mayors and councils were dazzled by the grant money funding for the police and applied for and accepted it unquestioningly, but only overtime pay-not pension money-was included in the grants. When police retired, the highest earnings quarters were counted for their pension. This along with stupid investments by fund mangers have led to this chronic drain on City finances. Check this article for details: https://tucson.com/news/local/border/officers-worked-long-shifts-accrued-sizable-pay/article_52873ce8-1e0f-52ee-851a-b9e5b6a4770c.html The grants did allow our rural PD to get new equipment however which would not have been available otherwise.)
The following are the people I favor in the primary election. I think they will do a better job than the others running. At the end of this article are the places to go for information. Register now if you haven’t.
CITY OF BISBEE
Mayor: David Smith
We are fortunate there are two competent people running for mayor. I would be comfortable and supportive of either if elected but favor incumbent David Smith.
The days are past when the mayor is just a figurehead.
Smith has done a good job under difficult circumstances. Four city managers, a devasting city hall fire, two moves of city hall, and a big change in the city attorney to name a few. He is knowledgeable about the myriad of problems as well as where the city is at in the process of solving (or not) each of them. He also has a proactive view of representing the city which is necessary. I think he is the choice this year. He has increased his accessibly and has opened new lines of communication with the public and he has publicly brought Bisbee problems to the attention of the State. His work during the pandemic has been stellar; informative, useful, and cautious.
Ken Budge is qualified, knowledgeable, does his research-particularly on the budget-and works hard. He is conversant with many problems and has some solutions and like Smith has public safety experience. When in office he was a thoughtful prepared councilperson. He has remained active in a variety of roles privately and within the city. He would be a competent mayor if elected. However, any person not in office, no matter how conversant, has a learning curve. This certainly is true here too. Not having access to city information and conversations with city staff is a drawback, not having been in the office before is a learning curve and takes some time. I don’t think we have that time.
Ward 1 Frank Davis (unopposed)
Ward 2 Joan Hansen (unopposed)
Ward 3: Louis Pawlik
LouisPawlik is the incumbent and also the choice. He has proven to be one of the more thoughtful and deliberate councilpersons; researching agenda items, asking for more info when necessary, questioning pertinent expenditures. He has been responsive to his constituents.
Not Pulling…I do not think the council is a worthy place for Ms. Pulling. During the past couple of years she continued her history of being a provocateur and has personally cost the City thousands of dollars for legal help by accusing the council of violating open meeting laws. Not one of her many complaints to the state AG has been upheld.
A past example of her style …During the upheaval at KBRP when their board fired then-director Ryan Bruce for failing to provide crucial financial documents, she helped circulate petitions and led meetings calling for the resignation of the KBRP board for the disrespectful treatment of Bruce. Her agitation led to the entire KBRP board resigning. Rather than a rational inquiry with accurate information she opted for turmoil and misinformation. The KBRP board had enough information to terminate Bruce and in the following days and then weeks as information trickled out, it turned out to be that Ryan Bruce was a terrible bookkeeper, hid vital information from the board, and didn’t pay significant bills such as insurance. KBRP was/is in deep doo-do because of his malfeasance. He was justly fired. Ms. Pulling has never admitted she was wrong let along publicly apologized to those resigned board members. As a business person and resident, she is not a person I want making crucial decisions for the City.
The remainder of the ballot depends on your registration.
County board of Supervisors District 2
Ann English (D)
Ann has done a good job or representing our district over the past years and has a good grasp of the problems facing the county. She has a relatively good working relationship with the other supes.
Other candidates are Gerald Curfman (D) &Lori Kilpatrick (R)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT DISTRICT 5
Anne Carl…Write in
Contreras, Lindstrom, and Russel are the two republicans and 1 independent on ballot
Gowan and Griffin are long time politicians, both very conservative and both seem to ignore issues in this district. Neither have done anything to help Bisbee with problems and are basically uncommunicative.
Bob Karp (D) State Senator District 14
David Gowan (R) inc…boo hiss
Kim Beach-Moschetti (D) State Representative District 14
Gail Griffin (inc) (R)…boo hiss
Bill Mundell (D) Anna Tovar (D) Shea Stanfield (D)
4 out of 6 republicans have now withdrawn due to legal/sexual/ethics problems
Lea Marquez-Peterson (R) inc Eric Sloan (R)
All these County offices are occupied by republicans that are running unopposed
Assessor, Attorney, Recorder, School Supe, Sheriff, Treasurer
Mark Kelly (D) US Senate
Martha McSally (R) Daniel McCarthy (R), Sean Lyons (R)
Ann Kirkpatrick US Representative District 2 (D) inc
Peter Quilter (D)
Don’t bother….Martin (R), Morgan (R), Ruden (R), Flayer (R)
FMI: Voter Registration info: https://www.cochise.az.gov/elections/home
PRIMARY Election Dates
In Person Bisbee Voting Center: 1415 Melody Lane, County Complex
July 6, 2020 at midnight Primary Registration closes
July 8, 2020 Early Voting begins
August 4, 2020 Election Day
GENERAL Election Dates
October 5 registration closes
October 7 Early Voting begins
November 3, 2020 Election Day
If you would like to see who is contributing to what politicians go here:
Elected office financial disclosure forms
Regular Session Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 7PM COUNCIL MEETING Live streamed on the city’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/COB118Arizona/). You do not have to have a Facebook account to view the meeting. The public can submit comments that will be read at the dais by a staff member to firstname.lastname@example.org. Background: http://www.bisbeeaz.gov/agendacenter Of Interest: lots of buying stuff, justice court consolidation, contracts with step up Bisbee/Naco AGENDA INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS: CALL TO THE PUBLIC THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING: GENERAL BUSINESS: 1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds Approval of the Consent Agenda
Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on June 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
Approval of a Liquor License Application for Electric Brewing located at 1326 W. Highway 92 #8, Bisbee Arizona; Joseph Charles, Fredrickson, Applicant.
NEW BUSINESS 3. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement with NOTAM Manager System between Aeronautical Services (AJM-336) of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Bisbee Municipal Airport (P04). Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 4. Discussion and Possible Approval to enter into an Agreement with Lytx for a Drivecam Program Trial Agreement. Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 5. Discussion and Possible Approval to enter into a contract with KE&G Construction, Inc. to apply an asphalt overlay to Tombstone Canyon. Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 6. Discussion and Possible Acceptance of a Grant from USDA Rural Development to conduct a feasibility study for a 1.8 mile shared use path along State Route 80 and approval of grant match in the amount of $23,205.75. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 7. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Contract with Code 3 Motors for the Purchase of an Ambulance. George Castillo, Fire Chief 8. Discussion and Possible Approval of an Emergency Purchase of 2 vehicles from Lee’s Auto Sales in the amount of $23,993 for the Police Department. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 9. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Bisbee and Step Up Bisbee/Naco, Inc. establishing a Joint Partnership for restoration of property located at 121 Fort Huachuca Lane. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 10. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Bisbee and Step Up Bisbee/Naco, Inc. establishing a Joint Partnership for restoration of homes within the City of Bisbee’s Corporate Limits. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 11. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Court Consolidation Agreement between the City of Bisbee and Cochise County. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 12. Possible Approval of a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of Discussion and Consultation with City Attorney to provide legal guidance on Pending Matters. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 13. City Manager's Report:
Other Current events (No Discussion)
This is an email newsletter called the Bisbee Wire. It's put together from a variety of sources and edited by Fred Miller, owner of Copper City Inn and beverage manager/bartender at Cafe Roka. It’s free. It is often lengthy and wordy. The newsletter is about disseminating information, mostly about the Bisbee economy, politics, and technology. I am solely responsible for the content. Feedback is welcome, but the Bisbee Wire isn't a forum. Any questions or comments please send to the email@example.com. If a business is opening or closing or expanding, please notify me, I'd like to know. If you hear a rumor about a business-and would like it verified, please send to me and I'll try to do so.
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