Behind the Scenes

RE-ELECT

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Much of the work I do is not apparent at the city council meetings.  For example:


Humphreys Street widening:

ADOT recently agreed to fund $1.9 million for the widening of Humphreys Street between Route 66 and Aspen Avenue.  Audra Merrick, district engineer for ADOT, told the council that the primary reason she got the state funding is because the city had purchased eight feet along Humphreys Street and moved the new Marriott Hotel and its parking lot eight feet away from Humphreys.  These two things enabled the project.

 The agreement with Marriott did not just happen out of the blue.  I met with and worked with the owners to get that eight feet.  I knew that if the hotel was built close to Humphreys Street, the street would never be widened in the future.

 

Prop 124, Pension Reform:  On May 17 we passed Prop 124.  This is part of a package of changes to the statewide public safety personnel retirement system.  The cities and the employees agree on these changes.  This will allow the system to continue indefinitely.  Right now the cities in Arizona cannot keep funding the system and the process is in danger of collapse. 

The reform of the pension system was a monumental task.  I am on the executive committee of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.  I pushed for the League to take on this project and they did.  I made sure Flagstaff's chief financial officer was on the task force.  I got the city council to take this up as a goal. 

It took three years but it is happening.

 

Our Future Water Supply:    We have an abundant well field 30 miles east of town.  Unfortunately, when I took office, there was no path to get the water to the city.  The use of the I-40 corridor is the perfect route for this waterline.  However, ADOT (as state administrative office under the control of the Governor) was not allowing the city to put the waterline in the right-of-way.    In August 2012 the city staff had reported, "ADOT has denied the city's request to evaluate the feasibility of installing a pipeline along this (I-40) alignment."


Immediately after I was elected, I met with Governor Ducey and got him to agree to the use of I-40.  The city now has a written agreement with ADOT for the design of the pipeline.


Others:  There are many more examples (local banking; mid-census revenue sharing).   When I am not chairing the city council meetings I am working full time on behalf of the city.