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BISBEE WIRE#59/All Bisbee /Council Agenda/Houses sold near you/sewage rates bump/rabbit holes

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

editor: fred miller September 1, 2023 #59/August/2023


As promised this issue is pretty much all about Bisbee. For a small city of 5025, there is a remarkable busyness that bodes well for our community. Change is the one constant. The past does not necessarily predict the future.

The upshot of the efforts of Ali Morse, several others, and myself has been that last week the Supes by a 2-1 voterejected the 'ballot fraud security' grant. This is a big victory over those anti-democratic folks who think elections are rigged and propose solutions to non-existent problems.

Apropos of that, Ali Morse and myself intend to keep digging to get answers to some niggling questions such as; Was David Stevens ignorant when he approved signatures for a petition overturning the AMA, or did he get ignorant/wrong legal advice from the county attorney's office about the legitimacy of the petitions. Neither will say. And that is important cause we do not want incompetent administrators either as Recorder or in the County Attorney's office.

Ali and I have spoken before three groups about our research. If you are in a group that might like to hear what we have been doing and what we are up to, contact me at to set something up.

We have begun researching and working on a major article on the fallacies of hand counting of ballots hopefully to be published in late September. It is costly, time consuming, error prone, and really stupid. Not our article, the hand count.

We are putting the postcard to independents project on the back burner till early next year when we'll take a good look at the cost/energy/effectiveness aspects.

I'll be on back on KBRP Friday Sept. 15 at 10:00 and every two weeks thereafter, with Mike Thornton. The magazine is on every Friday 9-11. Stream it or check the archives. Mike is a good interviewer and has been doing interesting community awareness programming.

I had a fine time at the Altered Books bar last Saturday. Good to see so many long time acquaintences. Friends of the Library did good donation wise and all the altered projects were bought. Look for a big, fun costume gala event in the Spring hosted by the Friends.

Coming off a hectic two months of monitoring, researching, speaking, writing, and generally keeping tabs on what's is happening at the county, it is time for a bit of a breather. A trip to Oakland is coming for Anita and I to bask in the warmth and love of long time friendships.


...............BISBEE STUFF................

Its Labor Day and stuff to do! Like the Bisbee Bloomer Garden Tour on Saturday 10-4. Go to High Desert Market, the library, or Eventbrite for tix. Leave dogs at home.

And the Boys and Girls Club custom car show on Arizona St. beginning at 10am. Hit the show after the Market. They will have some primo cars on display. Buy some raffle tix/support the kiddies.

and... Labor Day Luau is Sunday at the Shady Dell 4-10. Stop by, have a plate and a drinkie, knock a greet to the lovely southern belle, Jen at the bar, featuring music by The Cocktail Hours, Hula Dancing, Hawaiian Bbq plates, and Tiki cocktails. $10 cover



If you haven't been in a while, drop by the Saturday Market. It continues to be a great place for veggies, home-cooked goodies, crafts, lotsa music and bumpin’ in to peeps you haven't seen in a while. Dana House (the community-minded owner of The Quarry) and Shayna Redwine (Old Bisbee Roasters) have been ably holding down the fort while Tracy and Doug take a break.

One of the early supporters of the Market has been Sky Island Brand meats. Their booth is anchored by two big white freezers with lotsa meat in them. Most of the time, Dennis Moroney (he of the white beard) will be there chatting with you. He is assisted by a young woman from France who is summering here and contributing her delish baked goods at the booth.

Finch's Farm and Food has generous plates of pulled pork or brisket samwiches or plates with salads, beans, and banana pudding that are excellent. They put the eat in meat.

Another supporter of the Market has been Sivonn's Garden, delish Vietnamese food, including some yummy pickles, and fresh produce under an awning by her truck parked on East Vista.



September 6 at 6pm, Calumet and AZ guesthouse 608 Powell

An update on historical designation for Warren and more...



Put your art on the internet? On September 28th, 5:30pm at Central School, the Bisbee Arts Commission is offering a free 1-hour class with Holly Priestley, to help you jump start your expansion in social media. For more details:

For questions:



Do not show up at his door professing to be his son or daughter.

here's the trailer:

Available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube Movies, Cable and Satellite on Demand on October 6th! The Road Dog tells the story of Jimmy Quinn, a veteran of stand-up comedy's glory days; he is also an alcoholic. His life changes when his son David, who he abandoned as a child, shows up at his door, professing his desire to be a stand-up comedian. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:



The Bisbee Arts Commish is hosting a bring ‘em/get ‘em art supply swap. October 7th for a community-wide art supply swap at the Bisbee Saturday Market! For more info, check out this event page:



Are you an eligible voter in Cochise County?

Do you have reliable transportation?

Can you be 100% nonpartisan while on duty?

Cochise County Elections needs reliable, ethical people willing to work the polls in 2024. In-person elections are scheduled for: March 19, August 6, and November 5 If you are interested in serving, call (520) 432-8972 to join the applicant list. Please note that a typical election day for poll workers starts around 5am and ends at approximately 8pm (15 hours/day). Selected applicants will be paid a stipend to $120/day. Mandatory training in February (2-3 hours), located in Bisbee.



Make a plan to join us on October 22, 2022! Build a Brat, don a costume, wield your Kazoo… this is art for art’s sake and all are welcome!











art, crafts, food, music, computers and more...



For nine years the Herald Review has been sponsored a "Best of ...” in Cochise County. Businesses are nominated for specific categories, then voted on by the public. A copy of the full awards can be had at the Herald office, 102 Fab Av in SV. The results for Best of Bisbee:

Cafe Roka...Best Dinner, Overall Restaurant, Place to get a Mixed Cocktail (nine years in a row!)

Gus the Greek...Pizza

Thuy's Noodle Shop...Place to get takeout or delivery

Mornings Cafe...Breakfast

Patisserie Jacqui...Desserts & locally-owned specialty store (five years in a row)

Le Cornucopia Cafe....soup, salad, sandwich

Contessa's Cantina...Mexican cuisine

Bisbee Coffee Company...Coffee and tea

Goar Park Lunches...Charity or non-profit

Dan Maldonado...Philanthropist

Ace hardware...Hardware and home improvement

Cochise Animal Hospital....Animal services

Border Groundskeeping...Landscaping

Bob Klein...Real estate agent

Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum...Museum and attraction

RockUs...Local band

The Carrick (Gym Club)...Place to stay

Bisbee 1000...Event

Queen Mine Tour...Tour

Hitching Post...Night life & live music

Acacia Collectibles...Antiques

PanTerra Gallery...Fashion and clothing

Redbone Vintage...Jewelry store (six years in a row)

Belleza Gallery...Art gallery

Blue Organic Hair Studio...Hair salons, stylists, & barbers

Warm Hands Therapeutic...Massage and acupuncture (nine years in a row!)

Copper Queen Hospital...Medical Provider

Copper Queen Library...Customer service & place to work


Background here: There is significant detail in the background documents to the various agenda items. This is how the city functions and it is helpful in understanding the various project scheduling, as well as grants and purchases. It is a necessity to read background info if you are thinking of running for office, in order to understand what the various departments do and what council decisions are necessary to keep the city functioning.

Of Interest:

1. How your dough is being spent.

4. A new zoning parcel map that will enable upgrades to parcels as necessary.

6. A grant to the police dept. for border security, specifically for prosecution and imprisonment of human smugglers and major trafficking corridors. Some of the money included in the grant is for vehicles, and $40,000 for personnel. It is unclear whether that will include pension payments. Some of the reason for Bisbee’s financial problems with public pensions for law enforcement and fire has been that a series of federal grants called Stonegarden helped fund overtime for the police force, but did not provide money for payments into the pension fund. Consequently, the pension fund obligation grew much faster that the ability to pay into it, due to the fact that officers had higher earning quarters. Pension payments are based on the highest quarters, due to overtime from the Stonegarden grants.

10. Assessment of sewers and manholes to be completed.

11. Garden Ave. paving and milling.

12. Updating the engineering report for OB sewer laterals. This is a report and not construction. Will include Zacatecas Canyon sewer extension.

13. Removable speed bumps for West Ave. Or is it way-far-upper Tombstone Canyon?

14. No info, but did the police department get taken for commemorative coins?

15. An interesting, thorough document for seeing an overview of all of Bisbee. Lotsa info in the mobility master plan. This is planning that is more conducive for biking and walking in Bisbee.

16. A contract for cleanup and mitigation for Hillcrest apts.

17. The city manager's report will be the first step in selecting a new city manager. He will be outlining the scheduling of the process.


INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence






1.ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds.

  1. Approval of the Consent Agenda

A. Approval of the minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.

B. Approval of the minutes of the Work Session of Mayor and Council held on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.

C. Approval of the Appointment of Patricia Damon to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

D. Approval of the Appointment of Annie Larkin to the Evergreen Cemetery Committee.


3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance O-23-13; Amending the Code of the City of Bisbee, Article 9.4 – Removal of Litter, Section 9.4.1 – Definition, by Repealing and Replacing Subsection (D) the definition for “Dilapidated Building” and adding a New Subsection (E) the definition for “Vacant and Unsecured Structure”.

Joe Ward, Building Inspector / Code Enforcement


4. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Technology Software-As-A Service (SaaS) Agreement with Gridics, LLC.

Ashlee Coronado, City Clerk

5. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Acceptance of the AZ Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program Grant awarded to Bisbee Police Department in the amount of $12,000 for the funding of 12 desktop computers.

Tim Cox, Chief of Police

6. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Acceptance of the Arizona Department of Emergency & Military Affairs conditional grant in the amount of $1,374,949.00 and authorizing the City Manager to execute all necessary grant agreement documents upon approval as to form by the City Attorney.

Tim Cox, Chief of Police

7. Discussion and Possible Approval of the purchase of 6 vehicles using grant funding from the Arizona Department of Emergency & Military Affairs conditional grant subject to the receipt of the grant funding in the amount of $627,000.00.

Tim Cox, Chief of Police

8. Discussion and Possible Approval to award a Documentation Consulting Services contract for Camp Naco.

Mike Normand, Camp Naco Construction Project Manager

9. Discussion and Possible Approval to award an Archaeological Consulting Services contract for Camp Naco.

Mike Normand, Camp Naco Construction Project Manager

10. Discussion and Possible Approval to have RH Borden complete and Acoustic Assessment of Sewer Line Pipes utilizing SL-RAT.

Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director

11. Discussion and Possible Approval to have KE&G pave Adams Avenue as well and mill and pave Garden Avenue.

Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director

12. Discussion and Possible Approval to have Westland Resources update the Preliminary Engineering Report for the Old Bisbee Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation Project.

Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director

13. Discussion and Possible Approval to purchase nine speed cushions for speed mitigation on West Boulevard Rd.

Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director

14. Discussion and Possible Approval to pursue legal action against the Coin Vendor for the Police Department Challenge Coins.

Joe Estes, City Attorney

15. Discussion and Possible Approval of The Bisbee Area Mobility Master Plan.

Ken Budge, Mayor

16. Discussion and Possible Acceptance of the award from EPA for the Cleanup and Mitigation of the Hillcrest Apartment Building in the amount of $468,000.00 and approval of a contract with Viking Specialty Contractor.

Melissa Hartman, City Planner

17. City Manager's Report:

Scheduling Recruitment for a City Manager


..............BISBEE ECONOMY................

June marked the end of the city's the fiscal year and finances were in good shape. Revenues were about $550k more than budgeted. The excess funds will be needed to set up the Debt Reserve Fund for the PSPRS (???) bond payments. In FY24 $400k was budgeted to be paid into that fund. The bed tax revenue exceeded projections as a result of the strong first half of the fiscal year.



Two new businesses will open on Main Street: Alma's Little Treasures at 52 Main and at 54 Main Street, Upcycled Antique and Light Design.

The Jupie Shop will be open soon next to the Roka at Object Limited 29 Main

Destino's moved from Subway Street to 42 Main

La Dulce Vida will open at 24 Main, the former Artemizia Gallery

Grass Stop Smoothie shop is at 4 Shearer (next to Canyon Rose Suites)


Gym Club Suites is now The Carrick

This historic Bisbee property has been restored to its grandeur and updated for the modern traveler. All of the rooms have been upgraded with local artwork throughout the property.

Carrick is a popular name in Ireland with similar buildings found on Kildare Street in Dublin. Old Bisbee rests on the enduring Pinal Schist, a bedrock foundation formed 1.7 billion years ago. This alignment was not only fitting but deeply resonant, as "Carrick" translates to "rock solid" in Irish, symbolizing steadfastness.

...and in Warren

Sorted Past has opened at 422 Arizona St. right next to Mornings Cafe (they got the nod for best breakie in the Herald Review “Best Of”). Featuring antiques, vintage, retro and other Items. Open Friday thru Tuesday 8:00 to 4:00

The Feed Lot is Coming by Amy Sullivan, who bartends at Elmo’s on weekends. It is opening the 2nd week of September. Located next to the very community-oriented bar, the Hitching Post at 316 Pirrung, across from B&D.

...and on Hwy 92

The building housing the Hair Connection and Warm Hands has been torn down and a new Dollar General will be in a new building in that space. This will make three (3) dollar stores in Bisbee. Warm Hands Therapeutic (now at Safeway Plaza, Suite A-2, 520 255-2529 which will be opening late September, is also now open in Sierra Vista)

...and San Jose

According to a Facebook post Neariah’s in Safeway Plaza is closing. Wasn't able to make it.

A new dollar store (Dollar Tree?) going in at Safeway Plaza in the former Alco space.



The City now has 2 charging stations in conjunction with APS. Located in the Sowles Ave. free city parking lot just up Howell Ave. Capable of 7 kWh at $0.25/kWh.



The housing market continues to be up and down. I don't have the stats for the difference in the past couple of years of how many places are on the market. But with interest rates at 7%+ it has put a damper on for sure. Overall, on the national level, Arizona has been hit less than the larger city markets because there is still a substantial number of people moving here. And although Bisbee does not really follow the larger city trends in terms of availability & price, we are certainly influenced by the eddies of those currents.

On the suggestion of a realtor (thank you), I've now included the original list price. And as you can see below, high hopes often get dashed with the reality of what buyers are willing to pay. Every one of the nine houses, with the exception of the last, sold for less than originally asked.


(Op=original list price/LP=List price/SP=Selling price)


206 N Cleveland 86k/69k/$49,000

1026 W. McDonald 155k/155k/$150,000

610C Tombstone Cyn. 174k/165/$155,000

5 Cochise Row 217k/160k/$169,000

81 Maricopa Dr. 245k/245k/$230,000

802 Congdon 245k/245k/$235,000

319 Pittsburg 275k/259k/$239,000

21F Laundry Hill 475k/395k/$351,000

644A Tombstone Cyn. 425k/425k/$425,000


For the first time in years there was a permit for a new commercial building, at 11 W. Hwy 92, the former site of the Hair Connection building which has been removed. The $1,700,000 permit was pulled for the Butler Family Trust.

The number of residential permits remained about the same as the past several months, but the value of the work being done dropped considerably ($374,608) to about half of previous months.

RETAIL SALES (figures are for two months prior to actual spending in May)

Bed and hotel tax sales slumped to the lowest level in nine months, reflecting a general slowdown in tourism. However, bar/restaurant sales were up from the previous two months coming in at $42,693. Retail taxes ($104,767) continued on an up/down track this year with this month a bit down from the prior three months. For home consumption, this was down about $9k from the previous month. Internet sales the past two months have been higher than the previous eight months.


RENT in Cochise County has increased significantly over the past four years. According to an article in the WaPo, the average rent in our county was $908; +2.3% since 2022 and a whopping +18.9% since 2019

Go here for a comparison of rental prices throughout the US:



I hope to have a more substantive discussion of Tourism in Bisbee later next month after I talk with Heather Andrews, the Visitor Center Manager.

Second quarter comparison of 2023 with 2022 throughout Arizona shows that occupancy is down 3.2% and demand is down 3.1%. Each of the five regions surveyed had decreased occupancy and demand.


metro Phoenix -2.2%/-1.9%

metro Tucson -.9%/-0.4%

Flagstaff -2.4%/-3.5%

NE and Holbrook -5%/-6.7%

SE and Sierra Vista -0.7%/-2.0%

Of particular interest is the non-metro Arizona, down -2.4%/-3.1%

Cochise County-wide occupancy is down 1.7% during the second quarter of 2023. Demand is also down 3.3%, however revenue per available room is up 4.%.


Visitation to the two state parks in Cochise County, Tombstone Courthouse and Kartchner Caverns are both down year-to-date, -5.3% and -.7% respectively.


There were 5,492 pedestrian crossings at Naco, about the same for June, but down about 1500 from the spring months. Autos were at 27,868, and that is about the same, give or take a few hundred throughout the past seven months, with the exception of April that had about 1,000 more crossings. Truck crossings remained in the 225-275 range the first part of the year.

(For comparison, Douglas has 54,327 pedestrians, 48,022 autos, and 2,500 trucks cross in July.)




65 Brewery Gulch

Jade Young

Bonnie Brooks

4 Good Impact

221 Park AV

Tom Nelson

Armed Forces Tribute Bikes

21 Erie St

Jay Allen

Cactus Comics

509 Camino de Nevada

Eric Daniel Shisslak

Hwy 191 LLC

Box 1575

Fred Dow

Jana Flagler/agent

La Dulce Vida Bisbee LLC

24 Main St.

Juliette Beaumont

Kathy Sowden

BGG Condominiums

312 E. Vista

Sandra Young


Here's the skinny...

Two council people represent each of the three wards that comprise Bisbee. The wards are Old Bisbee, Warren, and San Jose; each of these main wards have some auxiliary neighborhoods included. The map of where wards are located is here:

Bisbee has one mayor that represents the entire city.


Reading the City Charter is necessary for understanding duties and elections

The City Charter sets the qualification criteria and elections.

Term of Mayor

  • The term of the mayor is two years. There are no term limits. Unlike council members, the election for mayor happens every two years because the mayor's term is two years

Terms of Council Members

  • Every two years, three council members (one from each ward) shall be elected for four-year terms.

  • Council members shall have physically resided in the City of Bisbee and the ward from which they were nominated and elected and/or appointed for at least one year preceding the date of such election or appointment. The mayor has to reside in the city.

These are the people now occupying the seats that will be up for elections in 2024:

Ward 1 - Frank Davis

Ward 2 - Mel Sowid

Ward 3 - Juanetta Hill

Mayor Ken Budge

The Primary is Important

Most often, Bisbee races are decided by the primary vote, not the general unless there is a runoff (failure to get 50%+1 of the vote)


If you want to run, you will have to get a petition of nomination from the City Clerk. Likely you can do this via email or in person at 76 Erie St.

If running for mayor, you will have to get signatures of qualified voters. Not less than 5% nor more than 10% of the total number of voters in the last election. That total is 1306 and 5% of that is 65.

For Ward 1 - 491 votes, at least 25 signatures needed (no more than 49)

For Ward 2 - 464 votes, at least 23 signatures needed (no more than 46)

For Ward 3 - 353 votes, at least 18 signatures needed (no more than 53)

Date of Primary

August 6, 2024

Nomination and Notice of Qualification Nominating papers and petitions shall be presented to the City Clerk not less than 90 days (May 8th, I think, or thereabouts) nor more than 120 days (April 8th, about) before the date set for the primary. The clerk checks and verifies the signatures within 5 days and notifies the candidate.


At a recent council work session, sewage was the topic. A possible rate hike is in the offing.

A very short truncated history of sewage treatment in Bisbee: Bisbee's plant for processing raw sewage was old and leaky. It was unable to adequately process toxic metals and exceeded pollution discharge standards, as did the 'delivery' systems of pipes and ducts and such. It was so bad that in 2003 the State of Arizona ordered the city to fix the problem. A bond issue was drafted, a big campaign to take on debt to finance improving the sewage system and processing plant was waged, and voters passed the indebtedness by a large margin.

The plan to seek money from a government bank was based on statistics at the time, showing Bisbee's population at 6,100 with potential growth so the ability of an increased number of residents to pay for the loans. The increase didn't happen and in fact, a decrease of residents has taken place, for a variety of reasons but mostly the economic situation in the nation over several years in the first decade.

There were several problems with the city operating the wastewater treatment plant, too detailed to go into here, and as a result the operation and maintenance was contracted out to the Jacobs corporation. I think 2018. That contract is up for renewal. For more information go here for extensive background info:

At the August 15 work session Mayor Budge reluctantly proposed a 3% rate increase, which would add $1.42 to the average residential bill. Sewage rates have not been raised since 2013, consequently if rates are not raised, some of the money for operational repairs will have to come from another source rather than be self-sustaining. Those residents in the city’s low-income program and discounted program would see a modest increase.

There will be a public hearing before any rate increase would take effect. (See the background url noted above for minutes of that work session. A more detailed explanation of the 'why' of a rate increase.)

...............EVERYTHING ELSE................


In 2010, Taiwan launched a strategy called Tian-Tian 120 to address rising rates of myopia among youth, pushing kids to spend 120 minutes outside, given that spending time outdoors is pretty much the only thing linked to reducing rising rates of nearsightedness. It’s worked; nearsightedness peaked in 2011 at 50 percent among Taiwanese primary school children, and has declined to 46.1 percent. That could be a framework for the rest of the world; in 2012, 96.5 percent of 19-year-old men in Seoul were nearsighted, in the U.S. and Europe myopia rates have risen sharply, and by 2050 half the world is expected to need glasses.

If you do have problems seeing............


(review from wirecutter)

Most everyone can find frames they like and lenses that suit their prescription at Eyebuydirect. Prices are in the mid-range, and the return period is shorter than most, but our testers consistently rated Eyebuydirect glasses as being better than the competition.

Budget Choice

It’s possible to score a great pair of prescription eyeglasses from Zenni. And judging by customer reviews (as well as our own testing), many people do, sometimes at astonishingly affordable prices. But this retailer doesn’t refund any shipping costs if glasses are returned, making it a slightly higher-risk choice.



A li’l quiz to identify good or bad messages.





Draft beer has been in decline since 2014 but the pandemic and the way it changed alcohol consumption patterns punched a 2-million-keg hole into draft beer consumption. In 2019, 17,500,000 barrels of kegged beer were sold, a figure that collapsed to 9,000,000 in 2020 when the brunt of the pandemic shuttered bars and the other on-premises alcohol sellers that constitute the bulk of demand for kegs. For 2023, it’s looking like the total number of kegs that are sold will end up at approximately 13,500,000 barrels, which is a 20 percent decline. (numlock news)





According to a 2019 study by the Federal Reserve, less than half of all households own any stock at all. The study found that, for corporate equities and mutual funds, the richest 1% of households hold 53.8% of all stock. Meanwhile, the bottom 90% of households own just 11% of all stock. So stock buybacks are essentially a transfer of wealth, created by labor, to to richest Americans.

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act made an incremental reform, imposing a 1% excise tax on corporate stock buybacks. (Stock buybacks surged in popularity because, unlike dividends — another way to transfer profits to investors — buybacks were previously untaxed.) But the current tax on stock buybacks is likely too low to significantly change corporate behavior. Biden has proposed quadrupling the tax.

............... ELECTRONIC WORD...............

ODD, BUT INTERESTING SITES ON THE INTERNET The rabbit hole of all rabbit holes. You got yer diversions aplenty. (This is just a sample from this Guardian article: go to this site and you can click on any country on the world map and hear music from your pick. (of special interest to gardeners and plant lovers) A gruff botanist called Tony tells you about esoteric plants, and it is exceptionally soothing. Items found in returned books at the Oakland Library. A map of ships moving in oceans, click on one of the thousands of points and it brings up the name of the ship, where it is going, when it left, when it arrives, and what it is carrying. immersive and customizable soundscapes that are truly soothing. Like pebbles on a beach. /pebbleBeachNoiseGenerator.php?c=0&l=1422284046422821130500&d=0

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