An Update by Councilman Jeff Oravits


An Update by Councilman Jeff Oravits

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ROUNDTABLE ON POLICE RETENTION & PAY THIS FRIDAY

My request for a roundtable to address Flagstaff’s 30% loss of police officers is this Friday at 8:00AM. Join me in supporting a budget that gets our men and women in blue pay that’s closer to market, especially compared to Valley Cities. This can be done from our existing budget without the need for tax increases. We’re losing upwards of 30% of our force per year to competing agencies, mostly in Phoenix. This is not sustainable. 

YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED

Email “support additional pay to our police officers” to council@flagstaffaz.gov

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SB1241 SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR DUCEY

The bill prohibits cities from enacting plastic bag bans, prevents forcing a business to measure energy usage and prevents forced recycling. 

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JOIN ME THURSDAY 6:00PM

I’ll be Flagstaff Liberty Alliances guest speaker this Thursday at 6:00PM at the Weatherford Hotel in Downtown Flagstaff.

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PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE!

What are your thoughts on Councilwoman Eva Putzova requesting a future agenda item for the Flagstaff City Council to consider joining in a lawsuit against the state so that the City can set its own minimum wage?

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April 7th, 2015 Council Meeting

MAJOR ISSUES

– Gore Annexation Approved

– Community Banking Program Postponed

– Election Dates Sent to Voters

– APPROVAL OF PAST MINUTES PASSED 7-0

– POLICE GRANT FROM GOVERNORS OFFICE

Acceptance of an award to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) for grant funds for the Police Department in the amount of $45,240 for DUI Task Force activities, $44,160 for Youth Alcohol Prevention and Interdiction task force, $11,459.34 for Handheld Radars, $8,635.46 for Patrol Bicycles, and $20,793.60 for Message Sign Board.

PASSED 7-0

– RESOLUTION FLAG HOUSING AUTHORITY 5 YEAR PLAN

Broad guiding plan submitted to HUD for the Housing Authority plan.  

PASSED 7-0

– COMMUNITY BANKING PROGRAM

Award a contract to Alliance Bank of Flagstaff.  The city will deposit money at Alliance Bank in FDIC insured CD’s with the intent for Alliance Bank to lend (at their risk, not the city’s) up to a maximum of $5,000,000 in total loans/deposits.  While there is no guarantee they will loan out the money I’m confident there is a high probability they will lend locally.  Further, these are funds the city would normally invest in treasuries through a Phoenix based company. There is virtually zero chance of the $5,000,000 being lent locally if it’s invested in treasuries through a Phoenix based company while depositing in a local branch does create this possibility.

POSTPONED TO EARLY MAY to change the name Community Banking to GOVERNMENT/MUNICIPAL/PUBLIC FUNDS BANKING to more adequately reflect the program.  There is a push by some on council for a Community lending program that would provide micro and other loans to startups and other businesses, typically enterprises that have a very hard time getting traditional loans.  I oppose the use of taxpayer funds for these risky venture capital investments. 

POSTPONEMENT PASSED 7-0

– REIMBURSEMENT OF BOND ISSUE

In November 2014, Flagstaff voters approved Question No. 406 for the Road Repair and Street Safety Initiative (RRSSI)  transaction privilege tax (TPT).  As part of this question, $20 million dollars in debt to accelerate construction in the first seven years of the tax was approved.  This resolution allows the City to reimburse itself for expenditures made on behalf of this project before the financing is secured.

PASSED 7-0

– ZONING CODE CHANGE

When rewriting and updating the former Land Development Code (LDC) as the new Zoning Code adopted on November 1, 2011, the former Euclidian or conventional use-based zones were combined with the performance-based zones established with the 1991 adoption of the LDC to create the new zoning districts now in effect. In the Research and Development (RD) Zone, the freight and trucking land use category was inadvertently omitted. The proposed text amendments described in this staff summary and detailed in Ordinance 2015-03 seek to remedy this error by re-instating the freight and trucking facility land use.

PASSED 7-0 (first read)

– GORE ANNEXATION

Annexation into the city of 135 acres for Gore’s West side location which will allow for extension of a city water line to accommodate expansion plans for Gore, Flagstaff’s largest private employer.  Property will be zoned highway commercial and is in lighting zone one.

PASSED 7-0 (first read)

– COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT PLAN

The Community Reinvestment Plan presents an over-arching policy as well as objectives and potential actions to implement the policy.  The development of the Plan involved talking to our customers, research of how other communities have approached this policy goal, a preliminary analysis (current activities, obvious basic legal challenges, and potential effectiveness), discussion with all affected City Divisions and Sections, and discussion with the City Council over the course of four years.  The adoption of this Plan establishes the Community Reinvestment Plan as a formal policy of the City. While the objectives and possible implementation strategies included in the Plan have survived the preliminary cut and merit further development, they remain “possibilities” that can be further evaluated and further shaped.  A notable amount of work remains in developing the remaining possibilities.  Staff will need to prepare specific actions, ordinances and other mechanisms, for future City Council consideration and possible adoption.  The adoption of this plan thus provides direction to staff to include this work in their future budgeting and work programs.

PASSED 7-0

– GRANT APPLICATION PICTURE CANYON

Since 2012, the City of Flagstaff has acquired 2,700 acres of open space through the Arizona State Parks Growing Smarter Grant process in conjunction with City open space bond funds. City staff are now faced with the challenge of how to properly manage and maintain Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve and Observatory Mesa Natural Area within the guidelines of the conservation easements while taking into account public access and the protection of cultural resources. The goal of this resolution is to offset a portion of the significant costs associated with trail construction and signs with a grant through Arizona State Parks. Staff recommends that Council support the grant application to fund some of the extensive access and infrastructure improvements required at Picture Canyon, covering costs we would have to cover without it. In the event of a successful grant application, it is anticipated the estimated $54,060 in matching funds will comprise of $32,000 from the National Park Service, $5,000 from the Flagstaff Sustainability ProgramOpen Space budget, and $17,060 from volunteer work.

PASSED 7-0

– CONSIDERATION OF COUNCIL/MAYORAL ELECTION DATES

LET THE VOTERS DECIDE!

By a 4-3 vote, Council sends two election options to Flagstaff voters, NOVEMBER 2016 or MAY 2017. 

Both options have pros and cons that we can debate in the coming months in order to make the best decision for Flagstaff. I was hoping my colleagues would have acknowledged this as well and joined us in giving the voters a choice, rather than an unnecessary, partisan split decision. 

I have the utmost faith in giving the voters of Flagstaff a choice and a voice to make this important decision. 

This will go to the voters in November of 2015.

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April 14th Council Work-session

– PRESENTATIONS FROM NON PROFITS:

Council received updates from several non profits which receive funding from the City.

Science Foundation of Arizona (SFAZ)

Victim Witness

Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership (GFFP)

The Guidance Center

Coconino Humane Society

Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth (CCC&Y)

Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (NACASA)Family and Communities Teaming for Students (FACTS)

United Way of Northern Arizona

– COMMUNITY BLOCK GRANT DISCUSSION

– DISCUSSION ON BUSINESS LICENSE REQUIREMENTS (more on this later)

– Over the past couple of weeks I’ve discussed Flagstaff issues with Governor Ducey, Senator Flake, Congressman Gosar and Representative Thorpe.  

 


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