Call to the Public at BZB City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Former City Councilman Peter Von Gunlach takes the City to task for failure to pay Ashton Construction Company.
THE CITY OF BISBEE REQUIRES GATHERING ABOUT TWICE THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES THE STATE REQUIRES TO GET A VOTER INITIATIVE ON A BALLOT. IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU? by Chuck Alton
For the second time local activist Jeff Harris is imploring the Bisbee City Council to make it easier than it is now to get a voter initiative on an upcoming ballot. The purpose of a voter initiative is to give citizens the opportunity to reverse current legislation or author new law.
At issue: In order to get an initiative on a ballot now in Bisbee you must gather signatures totaling 15% of the total number of registered voters in Bisbee at the time of the previous election. Because Bisbee is a Charter city it can choose to require, as in this case, a greater number of signatures on petition than in fact is required by State law… which is only 15% of the number of persons who voted in the previous election. According to City Clerk Ashley Coronado this means that petitioners would have to have 520 registered voters sign the petition based on the number of registered voters in Bisbee during the last November election. A petitioner would in fact have to get more than 520 signatures as insurance against signatures that might be disqualified upon review. If the basis for the number of qualified signatures required was the number of persons voting in the last election, the number of qualified signatures needed to get your issue on the ballot drops by about half.
Mayor Oertle and Councilman Eugene Connors spoke up after Harris’s presentation as did citizen Fred Miller, essentially expressing concern that changing to the lower required number of signatures, which could make it easier to qualify as a ballot measure, would invite more frivolous petitions.
Harris made the same argument before the 2008 sitting council and it chose not to change the city's policy, and based on response from the Mayor and council at last week’s work session scheduled to discuss his proposal, Harris expects the same results when it is voted on at this Tuesday’s regular meeting of Council at 7pm. Harris notes that such an outcome could produce voter interest in a recall.
Harris says he only wants to return the basis for calculation of the number of signatures required back to where the State stipulates, the percentage of persons who voted in the last election. He noted the architects of the State Constitution clearly wanted voters to have unimpeded access to the Initiative process.
Harris pointed out that there is no basis for the “more frivolous initiatives” argument given that other cities in the county track the State's language requiring a lesser number and there is not a rash of frivolous attempts to change local legislation.
What do you think? For more background to help you decide and possibly speak at call-to-the-public before the vote on Tuesday evening in Council Chambers, you can hear the entire work session now at www.cochisetalk.com
Ron Oertle, Mayor, City of Bisbee
Phone - (520) 432-7464 or (520) 432-6012
Serena Sullivan, Ward I Councilmember
Phone - (520) 366-8249
Eugene Conners, Ward I Councilmember
Phone - (520) 432-1479
I came to Arizona in 1973 with my parents and I finished High School at Sabino. I attended Phoenix Community College and Arizona State University where I studied Mass Communications, most of the 1980’s I spent in Chicago studying theater and giving it my best.
I returned to Arizona in 1990 and moved to Bisbee in 1992. In 1993, I obtained my contractor’s license and began my career in Bisbee. I have served on the Board of Directors at the Verhelst Recovery House, Green Site Council, and City of Bisbee Design Review Board.
I was elected to the City Council in August 2012, and sworn into office on December 4, 2012. I continue to enjoy the ever changing dynamics of Bisbee with my wife, Marguertie and daughter Emma.
Douglas Dunn, Ward II Councilmember
Phone - (520) 432-2482
Douglas Dunn has been a resident of Cochise County since 1970. He has an M.S. in Economics from Cornell University and a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska.
He has served on the Bisbee Planning and Zoning Commission, the Cochise County Comprehensive Planning Committee and has Chaired the Streets and Infrastructure Committee and also, served on and Chaired the Cochise County Task Force on Alternatives to Landfilling of Wastes, to name a few. Mr. Dunn currently serves the President of the Bisbee Foundation. Douglas Dunn was awarded the Willcox Citizen of the Year in 1999, the Arizona Extension Faculty Person of the Year in 1998, and the AmeriCorps “Strengthening Communities Award” in 1995.
Joan Hansen, Ward II Councilmember
Phone - (520) 249-7624
Anna Cline, Ward III Councilmember
Phone - (520) 432-6012
Anna was born and raised in Bisbee (as were her parents). She attended Huachuca Terrace Primary, Lowell Elementary/Junior High and is a graduate of Bisbee High School . Anna is employed with the Bisbee Unified School District as the S.A.A.C. Supervisor at Bisbee High School . She is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and is working on her Master's degree in Administration of Justice and Security.
She is currently the Council Liaison to the Bisbee Police and Fire Advisory Committee. She has also served on the Evergreen Cemetery Committee, the ADA Committee, SEAGO, Advisor to the Youth Council, Judicial Selection Committee and BPD Review Board.
After graduation, Anna married her high school sweetheart, Robert. They have two wonderful children. Lisa holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Administration with a minor in Forensic Psychology and Justin is with the Cochise County Sheriff's Dept. and is also an EMT. He completed the Fire Science Technology Program at Cochise College while he was a senior in high school and was in the Administration of Justice Program after. Anna and Robert are extremely proud of them.
Anna's family has served Bisbee for a long time, and in many ways. "My roots in Bisbee run deep, as my family has been here since the early 1900's. Our family has served this community in numerous ways. My uncle, Mike Garcia, was an Alderman in the 1970's, and my father, Ruben, was serving his second term as Council Member when he passed away. My family and I remain deeply committed to this community."
Shirley Doughty, Ward III Councilmember
Phone - (520) 432-2050
Deportation of striking miners from Bisbee, Arizona, on July 12, 1917. The miners and others who have been rounded up are assembled at Warren Ballpark and are sitting in the bleachers while armed members of the posse stand in the infield. (AZ Historical Society)
BISBEE’S HISTORY AS TOLD BY REAL BISBEE PEOPLE…
In the world of great storytelling, the town of Bisbee, AZ is a source of rich historic fodder. Humans have inhabited our region for many millennia, and in the process of becoming part of America, first an arid zone on a desolate map, and then Arizona, the stories told today about Bisbee take on compelling significance.
No more compelling a story is that of the 1917 “Deportation” of hundreds of mine employees rounded up and taken on a 16 day box car trip to New Mexico without food and water and told never to return to Bisbee. It was an event that is said to have broken the back of labor in Arizona. At the time, the mining company Phelps Dodge was in some ways more powerful than the State or the Nation, and there were no laws to prevent the deportation of Union organizing and joining laborers across state lines as a punitive action.
Susan Wille spent 3 years recording, documenting, editing, and writing narration for a remarkable and unparalleled first-person vocal account of Bisbee’s most colorful past, leading “the town too loved to die” (as she refers to it) to where it is today.
With Susan Wille’s permission, the entire 17th chapter from her new audio book “THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF BISBEE” has been posted so you to hear and enjoy this stand-out historic event in Bisbee’s history. As is the case with the other 52 chapters in her 10 CD audio tome now available for purchase, the stories are told in vivid detail by 89 of your friends and neighbors who lived through or have expert knowledge of the years of experiences revealed in this multi first person account. Local composers and musicians add to the storytelling process as only our local artists can.
It takes a special person to dream of a project like this… and so much more is learned about a person who completes such a task with such dedication to detail and quality of content and design.
“THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF BISBEE” by Susan Wille as told by so many people you know today is available locally In Bisbee at Atalanta Books & Records, Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, Bisbee Books & Music, One World Travel, Bisbee Food Co-op, Bisbee Historical Association Museum - 37 Main St., on-line at talkingstick.biz(samples of other chapters) and at cdbaby.com, or you can contact Susan at 432-1691 for discounts on multiple copies.
Hear chapter 17, “Deportation”, ON DEMAND now or any time at www.cochisetalk.com, then order your copy of “THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF BISBEE” by Susan Wille. (A terrific gift idea!)
Jestin Johnson - BZB City Manager CAlton/CochiseTALK..com
(Turquoise Valley Golf and RV, Naco, AZ) Today at the 2014 Bisbee Economic Outlook Luncheon produced by the Cochise College Center For Economic Research, Bisbee's Mayor Ron Oertle warned of more debt driven wars in the world, Center Director Robert Carreira forecast more economic tough times for Cochise County but not so much for Bisbee, and new BZB CM Johnson wowed the 100 plus local who's who audience with praise for what's working and changes in Bisbee's marketing strategies. And he did it all in less than 15 minutes including several breaks for laughter... See luncheon slide show above. Images by CAlton/CochiseTALK.com
(photo) SBDC Director Mark Schmitt explains the USDA Value Added grant program to (L-R) Micheal Laridon, Laura Smith, and Serena Sullivan, 3 of the attendees at a meeting this morning in the Bisbee Convention Center. (photo by CAlton/CochiseTALK)
GROW YOUR COCHISE COUNTY AG BUSINESS WITH VALUE ADDED GRANT MONIES FROM USDA (and get FREE LOCAL help doing it)
by Chuck Alton, CochiseTALK.com
(LOCAL) The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) which operates out of the campuses of Cochise Community College in Sierra Vista and Douglas will soon be announcing a series of four meetings throughout the county to explain and answer questions for small business owners who are looking for capital to expand and add value to their operations.
Last year the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded 14 million dollars in grants nationwide through its Value Added (VAPG) and Renewable Energy (REAP) loan and grant programs supporting small businesses in emerging markets located in underserved rural cities and towns with less than 50,000 population.
According to the USDA web page http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/…/ID_BP-VAPG_fact%20sheet_inc_tr… and SBDC Director Mark Schmitt at a meeting in Bisbee this morning “VAPG program grants and no interest loans can be made to independent producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures for either planning activities or working capital (but not both).”
An example of “Value Added” as explained by Schmitt this morning might be a date farmer who needed planning money to add chocolate-coated dates to their product line, or for marketing execution to open up new opportunities for the product.
According to USDA “these grants will help expand markets for, and increase financial returns to the agricultural producers and strengthen the rural economy.”
Last year Cochise County communities were awarded more grants under this program than other communities in the U.S., according to Schmitt.
The USDA has awarded SBDC $75,000 to promote the grant program this year in Cochise County, including the four public meetings and full time assistance to applicants. SBCD is in partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Association of Small Business Development Centers putting nationwide resources within your reach. For SBDC contact information go to: http://www.cochise.edu/sbdc.
ATTY Tom Holz moderates a discussion between JP 1 candidates Adam Ambrose and Jason Lindstrom in an in depth discussion about their views on the law and how it best serves you.
Arizona's severe drought is in the process of changing all of our lives... and, there's more to come. Mark Apel, Area Agent, Arizona Cooperative Extension, works with every sector of Cochise County's population as does Cado Daily Program Director of Water Wise, both working with the UA Extension. Cochise TALK is dedicated to your better understanding of our local water issues which includes a 10 year severe drought covering 3/4 of Arizona with impact on Cochise County.
l Mark Apel
Arizona is one of 7 of the most drought stricken states in the country. Cochise County is doing a balancing act, with your help, in hopes of conserving - even replenishing - life supporting water for our community. Cado Daily is a top go-to expert on water, especially local water. In this interview she answers questions we all have about local water issues and what we can all do. Chuck Alton is host.
Home Rule Option, 1% tax increase, the future of Bisbee, and the Pioneer Hotel Fire past. David Smith steps up to the Cochise Talk microphone.
Ronnie discusses Bisbee's biggest issues and his past performance as 2 time mayor.
The always energetic Thousand Stair Climb producer talks about Bisbee's future as well as her past.
The first minute or two moderator Nick Night is speaking off mic with the setup for the evening. Then he and candidates are all speaking into microphones and it is much easier to hear. This is a recording of the first two hours where mayor and council candidates, all seated at the table at once are asked questions written by Night. The questions are staggered so candidates do not know which question they will be asked when it is their turn. Run time is 1h 50m.
YOU CAN'T BLAME MEDIA FOR THIS STORY - MOST MEDIA DON'T COVER IT
The fight to ban fracking is a world-wide movement. To date 420 bans and moratoriums have been successful in U.S. states, counties, and now other protected areas. With exploratory mining eminent in Cochise County, indeed in the Sulphur Springs Valley, locals are ramping up to block the use of hydraulic fracturing of the earth to set gas and oil free. Click on the arrow on the red bar below to hear the last 45 minutes of a conference call held on Thursday, June 5, 2014 as cities check in with reports from anti-fracking activists on progress or lack thereof. And use this link to access the live map like seen below to click on any of the pins to see resolutions and legal briefs in the local towns pinned:
Monday, May 19, 2014 - AZ Gas and Oil Inc/Gusher State is poised to explore by drilling in the Sulphur Springs Valley in Cochise County. Fearful that hydraulic fracturing might be used in the process, members of the community are taking action to get fracking banned, first in Bisbee, then State wide. The audio (red bar below) captures the Commission's action following citizen comments, starting with Alice Hamer. (photo taken on location in PA)
Jestin Johnson from Metro Atlanta, GA Takes Questions from BZB Mayor and Council (photo CAlton/CochiseTALK.com)
Before getting a 7-0 nod as preferred candidate for the City Manager position in Bisbee, Jestin Johnson of Metro Atlanta took one last round of questions in Public from the Mayor and Council. Johnson beat out 4 other candidates following a day of closed questioning from numerous panels. Johnson got his start in local government admin in Tucson. "Arizona is definitely a place that draws you" he told council in his closing remarks. Johnson's confirmation as the next Bisbee City Manager is pending final contract negotiations. See his full employment app at www.cochiseTV.com under "Articles". To hear Johnson's responses just click on the white arrow on the left end of the red bar below. (audio runs 31m 30s)