Hello, I was happy to see that the Bisbee Bloomer garden tour occurred this year. There was some doubt that it wouldn't continue but new people came to the fore and it was successful. I hope the Bloomers continue to do projects throughout the year. Carol, Jean and I began the Bloomers and the garden tour around 2000 and along with others did several community projects. And although none of us have been involved for some years, other than having our gardens on the tour, it is gratifying to see a succession of people continue the process of helping 'beautify' our city. Gardening has its tribulations. This year was one of them for me. Although I thought we had thinned our peach trees well, we still had small peaches. (It pains me to throw away hundreds of cute lil developing peaches) And we have one tree that had unbeknowst to me had a weird graft, one side was early yellows, the other side produced whites a month later. Birds ate most of the yellows peaches before they were ripe-never happened before. And the white peaches had a inedible bitter taste. I have yet to figure out how to get rid of the bitterness after much research and changing fertilizers. The total sum of our harvest...two pies and one cobbler from two trees. I love tomatoes. Those juicy flavorful fruits are worth the time and effort. I planted eight varieties of heirloom tomatoes grown from seed in my little cheezy greenhouse, sixty plants in all, then transplanted the seedlings directly into the soil. I subsequently over-fertilized them so I had luscious foliage and small numbers of flowers. Early heat took it's toll and I caught a a couple of birds eating what flowers there were so I ended up with about two dozen large tomatoes and a couple dozen small. I used a new organic seed source also. The saving grace was that my roses and flowers had a magnificent year. Gardening...oy vey the problems!...not for the faint of heart. I'm a newspaper junkie. However like many, my news reading has migrated to online versions of national papers. But I continue to like the tactile sensation of the local newsprint papers. Local newspapers play a key niche in our county and city. They are vital sources of information for not only local news, but for who is alive and who is dead; who is starting a business and who is folding; what is going on in courts-legal and sports; who is pilfering stuff and who is going to the pen; who is selling what; in short the lifeblood of a community is summarized in local papers. When changes happen in our local papers, it is notable. The Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review is no longer. In it's stead is the Herald Review. The name reflects the changes in the Wick Communications owned newspaper as well as continued turbulence in the newspaper publishing industry. With the name change has come a new single section tabloid format that will allow for better coverage, additional color, more pics, and interesting graphic possibilities. Accompanying the change will be a decrease in publishing from seven days to five. Traditional newspapers, it has been noted, used to print money, not only papers, because they were very profitable. However, smug and self-satisfied, as an industry they were late to the party in discovering the rapidly changing media climate and now struggle financially in an era of free content availability-often content they originated and paid for. Younger people often get all their info online which is an amazing change in less than a decade. Financial stability now depends on readers, both print and increasingly online. Consequently they are media companies rather than just newspaper companies just getting around to utilizing videos, hot links and more. Many papers, including the HR, are offering free limited access and then a paid portal. Subscriptions to the print edition will continue to have digital access. Their production team will continue to fuss with the layout as well as consider a range of columnists to publish as they strive to represent the community that supports them. (Hopefully they will get rid of Ms. Coulter who is a lousy writer hurling word-bomb insults and casual racist comments from a disturbed muddled worldview.) And I hope they will add a couple more reporters. In the past two years they have lost several reporters with a ton of newspaper experience. That experience loss is difficult to replace and sometimes it shows in the paper. Because I believe it is an integral party of our community I serve on the readers advisory board for the HR. If you have any comments that you haven't said to them yourself and you would like passed on to the management of the paper, please let me know. fred
Tuesday September 5 7:00
background here: http://az-bisbee.civicplus.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09052017-194 Of interest....Likely council will go into executive session to discuss a response to the recent AZ supreme court decision that held Tucson was in violation of a state law that banned the practice of destroying confiscated guns. The decision, although not answering several questions about the rights of charter cities to regulate strictly local issues, may put the Bisbee Bag Ban at risk since it now (although passed a few years ago) violates a 2016 state law saying that plastic bag bans were banned and all local ordinances were in violation if they didn't rescind any previous bag bans. If a violation occurs, i.e. the Bisbee ban, the State may withhold state shared revenue. A good portion of the Bisbee budget is state shared revenue. The decision therefore is to continue as a participant in a lawsuit by AZ Center for Law in the Public Interest that the city signed onto in 2016 (does not cost the city any bucks) and risk legal action by the State to withhold funds or to remove the ordinance.
Senator Gail Griffin complained about the Bisbee Bag Ban to the AG, ostensibly at the request of "Bisbee citizens". (there is a provision in a State law that if even one legislator thinks a community is violating State law they can complain to the AG then it must be investigated and make a determination.) Griffin, based in Sierra Vista, is no friend of Bisbee and truly can be said to be an unrepresentative rather than a representative.
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:
1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds
2. Approval of the Consent Agenda
Minutes approval A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,
L. Approval of the Resignation of Richard Jorgenson from the Parks and Recreation Committee.
M. Approval of the Appointment of Theodore Ruff to the Community Sustainability Commission.
N. Approval of the Appointment of Tori Child to the Committee of Disability Issues.
O. Approval of the Appointment of Leslie Johns to the Committee on Disability Issues.
P. Approval of the Appointment of Jesse Smith to the Committee on Disability Issues.
Q. Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by the Community Synergy Solutions Corporation for an Event to be held at Club Kilimenjahro, 33 Subway Street, Bisbee, AZ on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 4:00PM to 11:59PM.
R. Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by the Bisbee Council on the Arts & Humanities DBA, Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum for an Event to be held at the Bisbee Masonic Lodge, 89 Main Street, Bisbee AZ on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM.
S. Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by the Bisbee Rotary Charities, Inc, for an event to be held at City Park, 62 Brewery Avenue, Bisbee, AZ on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 4:00PM to 7:59PM.
3. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Notice of Intent to Adopt Ordinance O-17-10 to Rezone parcels 102-31-001 and 102-31-002B located at 1556 Naco Highway, Bisbee, AZ from R-1 to C-3; subject to the three Conditions set forth in the Staff Report.
Joe Ward, Staff Liaison the Planning and Zoning Commission
4. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Notice of Intent to Adopt Ordinance O-17-11 to authorize the Fire Department to charge fees to Respond to calls for Service Outside City Limits.
Robert E. Smith, Interim City Manager
5. Discussion and Possible Direction to City Attorney as to Litigation Regarding Plastic Bag Ordinance O-13-14.
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03(a)(3) and (a)(4), Upon a public majority vote of the members constituting a quorum, a public body may hold an executive session but only for the following purposes:
3. Discussion or consultation for legal advice with the attorney or attorneys of the public body.
4. Discussion or consultation with the attorneys of the public body in order to consider its position and instruct its attorneys regarding the public body's position regarding contracts that are the subject of negotiations, in pending or contemplated litigation or in settlement discussions conducted in order to avoid or resolve litigation.
Britt Hanson, City Attorney
6. City Manager's Report:
· Presentation by City Manager
· Other current events (No Discussion)
CITY MANAGER REPORT
This is a report issued by interim City Manager Robert Smith. A startling analysis of Bisbee government that read in full, reveals a range of problems and also solutions. His aim apparently is to bring Bisbee up to date with modern city management. That's refreshing.
The full report with details is at: http://www.bisbeeaz.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/3698
(Contact info: |rsmith@BisbeeAZ.Gov www.BisbeeAZ.Gov (520)-432-6014 X 114 |
Monday, August 21, 2017
Re: Month 1 Status
I have reached a month of work with staff, and am providing the attached, which is a list of initiatives that are being launched as well as a summary of a few additional efforts which will
soon follow. These are projects that leadership is working together to deliver, and I feel compelled to report that I am continuously impressed with the level of dedication and professionalism I find each day within this administration. Most of the work in the attached report is designed to:
1. Improve our plan for (and the management of) our personnel resources
2. Enhance and share administrative support resources and functions
3. Create a path to better customer services
4. Increase our use of volunteer resources
5. Establish software and technology tools to help us do more, and do
6. Increase revenues and decrease expenditures
7. Shop local whenever practical
8. Make the budget, financial reporting and projections understandable and accessible
9. Compare our effectiveness/performance to other cities and report on (as well as learn from)
10. Responsibly care for our historic public buildings
11. Make it easier for the administration, Council and community to understand why the administration is financially challenged. This work is not designed to address longer term issues like capital improvement programming right now, we are focusing on actions which will have a short term yield to help ease some of the stressors on the administration, as well as begin to turn some of our negative fiscal trending around. I’m hopeful that the effect will be to create some breathing room, where longer term, and more difficult issues, can be addressed. I am confident that in the coming weeks, enhancements to the items in this report will surface from leadership’s efforts and continuing collaboration. We will endeavor to keep Council updated on our progress.
The City is well positioned to launch a few short term, immediate initiatives which would generate compound benefits if accomplished sooner rather than later.
1. Permanently filling the HR director position is desperately needed, as immediate work is required on a compensation and classification
plan. Without a plan, the City has no benchmarks for market based pay and cannot maintain compensations year over year to remain
competitive or set a basis for performance based pay. Further, the plan is needed in order to identify what magnitude of funds will be
required to bring existing city positions current in terms of pay and benefits. Once completed this plan would be maintained and
enhanced by HR as part of our normal work. This is necessary for the City to be able to attract and retain good talent we are advertising for that position today.
2. The City also needs to place a ½ FTE transit funded position, and do so in an effective way to bring about the purposes of the position as well as an enhancement in customer services and civic engagement. It’s anticipated that cooperative organization
and assignment of duties across the Clerk, Finance, Public Works and Community Development offices will help optimize the impact of this additional part time position, while also establishing a reception and customer service function that will be leveraged through a volunteer corps
3. Software needs to be introduced to reduce some ministerial tasks, and increase accuracy as well as data management and recordkeeping. Payroll, agenda management and inspections would be initial first actions;
· a. Payroll software will create accuracy, leave reporting, tracking for the Affordable Care Act and will dramatically reduce clerical hours now spent correcting and checking hand written time sheets. Further, the exercise of deploying the software will redefine the administrative understanding of, and use of, time recordation and pay period structure across all departments. This should help with controlling some overtime and flex or compensatory time, while ensuring that payroll documentation is accurate.
· b. Agenda management software will enable staff to route agenda items for other departmental input, creating better item reporting to Council, and decentralizing some of the agenda production process, providing some relief to the Clerk’s office, with an improvement in staff reporting on items coming to Council for consideration. This software also helps to automate streaming and storage of meetings on the City’s new YouTube channel.
· c. Code enforcement and inspections software will greatly assist in speeding along the abatement process, as well as facilitating
· building inspections to make it easier and faster for contractors to progress with their work in the City. As a leveraging tool, it will also eliminate some double work and timely ministerial duties currently required in the inspections reporting and documentation processes. It is anticipated that it will also help with accuracy and postings.
· d. Public Works/Infrastructure/Crime and Fire Suppression mapping and data management capturing information about our infrastructures and crime will provide valuable data to incident command and personnel responding to events in the field. From historic crime data to valve and flow rate/pressure information on our fire suppression and water distribution systems, to pavement management planning and cost estimates information about our systems, and the ability to access that information in the field is desperately needed. Much of this work can be accomplished at little cost, and fielding tablets for emergency response personnel use would help the City get the most utility out of the infrastructures it has.
4. Fees and Fines -study and rate adjustments–periodically, the City should evaluate its fee and fine structures to ensure they are accurate and fair, as well as financially reasonable. While reviewing existing fees and fines, the City should engage in some innovative thinking to examine current services and determine if the costs associated are being recaptured from the appropriate public. If it is determined that this is not the case, suggested edits to the City’s fee and fine structures should be brought to Council for consideration.
5. The City is releasing an RFP for IT services, which should enable the administration to create a long term IT plan, as well as bring some equipment and software current. Investment in this hardware and software is critical to the existing personnel compliment being able to
work more efficiently and accurately. It is worth it to note that the amount and detail of data managed today through administrative processes has ballooned with state and federal complexity in reporting processes, as well as the burdens we gladly bear to ensure accessibility and transparency of our data and activities. We must begin to use software and technology to our advantage, like other municipalities in AZ and the nation, in order to keep up. In some circumstances our care for and custody of certain information, as required by state and federal law, requires a better approach than our current practices, and the use of software and technology can help us meet our responsibilities and obligations efficiently.
6.Exploration to secure funds to rehabilitate City Hall and other historically significant public buildings. Investment in these buildings is responsible, and is needed soon many are experiencing accelerating damages from weather, flooding and lack of maintenance, and if
appropriately managed will continue to serve the community for generations. Extending from this thought, would be a municipal effort to create historic district plans that would help the City secure funding and resources to preserve and renovate historic structures across the longer term, bringing a planned vision for Bisbee’s communities to reality.
7.Cooperative procurement with the County, and analysis/exploration of a ‘shop local’ procurement policy given the buying power of the County, they may have access to lower unit costs that we do, and the time and expense related to travel to Sierra Vista, should be evaluated and included in the comparative costs related to using vendors there. It may be that if such overhead is included in cost analysis, it makes more sense to use some local vendors, even if local unit costs are higher. Evaluation of these potential changes via departmental input and experience is critical, and minor modifications to procurement policy and practice may be required through Council action.
8. Other initiatives that are forming, which should begin forward movement within the next month are, a cash flow and payables model for financial projection, a review of existing personnel costs and payment structures/strategies, the collection of targeted cost information for some municipal programs/activities, review and enhancement of the City’s procurement process and financial transparency reporting, inclusion of some comparative performance reporting in our financial reporting, and preparation to launch online
billpay from our website.
STUDY PREDICTS COCHISE COUNTY GDP ECONOMIC LOSS OF 8% DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE A study published in the journal Science in June is the most extensive model available of what climate change could cost the United States, county by county. (View an interactive map at the bottom of the article). The southern part of the US is predicted to have the most adverse impacts. The study is the first of its kind, linking climate projections with economic effects like mortality, labor productivity, energy demand and crop yields.
“If you’re making investments that are going to last for decades, you'd better be aware of how the environment will change ... coastal investments, for example, and transportation investments,” says Kopp. “Also, if you’re a bond-writing agency and you’re rating bonds without thinking about how the government will be affected by climate change, you’re not doing your job.”
PELL GRANTS THREATENED BY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
Repugnicans slated to eliminate funding and cut indexing resulting in hundreds of thousands ineligible and millions of students with grants significantly reduced. Got to pay for those reduce taxes for the rich somehow.
THE BASIS FOR THE RISE IN INEQUALITY
This long article contrasts the differences in how working people are treated now in comparison with 40 years ago. The rise of contracting out 'non-core' business and services, has had a huge impact. Particularly in the sense of workers no longer being employees and becoming part of building a company but a 'cost' to be minimized. There are also major differences in availability of health care, vacation, scheduling, and company integration.
20 THINGS AMAZON PRIME GETS YOU
The inexorable march towards monopoly technology continues (FAMGA-facebook amazon, google, microsoft, apple), with evermore suggestions and nudges about what to think, how to shop, what to buy, and what to use. They are actually changing the structure of how we Think in addition to purchasing and using services. Occasionally it occurs to me that us humans are just the obnoxious-but-so-far-necessary middleman for companies to reach through/around us into our bank account and extract payment, generally in dribs and drabs, for their services/devices/products/communication mechanisms.
The stealth of techno addiction affects me and, like you and millions of others, and I succumb to the siren song of utility, ease, and cheapness. For instance here are some of the 20 things you get with an Amazon Prime membership for $99.
A free 6 month sub to the Washington Post-owned by Amazon-and then $4 a month for 6 monthsIf you have a kindle...free ebook per month, free magazines free audio books (but only for streaming, not for offlineUnlimited free streaming from Prime video (similar to netflix)Unlimited photo storage Some music streaming
ART ON WHEELS
Art trucks of the commercial variety. How bout Frank Barco making his truck canvas available to one of our artists?
SAY CHEESE! OR MAYBE SAY CHEESE WITH WOOD PULP!
Judge has a word problem. Consumer have a judge problem.
A U.S. judge dismissed a whole pile of litigation against Kraft Heinz, Target, Wal-Mart and Supervalu on Monday. Customers had sued for misleading Parmesan cheese labeling, claiming that “100 percent grated Parmesan cheese” obscured the fact that the cheese also contained a bunch of percents of wood pulp. In throwing out the lawsuits, the judge pointed to the ingredients clearly listed on the back of each container, and — because the law is where pedantry goes to thrive — said that the 100 percent claim “could also be taken to mean 100 percent of the cheese was Parmesan or that the Parmesan cheese was 100 percent grated.”