After a 5 week recess, Council is back at it. It started off in a big way featuring a CARBON TAX, CITY ENTERING THE LENDING BUSINESS and a push to end COLUMBUS DAY.
HELP COUNCILMAN JEFF ORAVITS CONTINUE TO GET THINGS DONE FOR FLAGSTAFF.
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- I voted against the City getting into the LENDING BUSINESS. In this scheme the City of Flagstaff will administer an EDA grant and decide (through a loan committee made up of majority city staff) on loans up to $50,000 to “select” industries in four different counties. PASSED 5-1.
- I argued against spending time and resources on a Carbon Tax, or as proponents called it, a “REVENUE NUETRAL CARBON FEE” This is about one of the most obsurd ideas I’ve ever heard. In my questioning on the matter, the presenter tried to convince me this is revenue nuetral, to which I replied, if you take $10 from one and redistribute it to another, that is not revenue nuetral. Seriously, they want to charge $15 per ton for carbon dioxide producers and take that money and redistribute it to the citizens of the US as a dividend. One of my FaceBook friends summed it up pretty good,
“Just sounds like redistribution of wealth to me. This is ridiculous. It’s not like this even puts that money to fix the problem(if there even is a problem) like if there was some magical air cleaner that they needed money to produce. This just tries to do what Obama said “electric rates would necessarily skyrocket” to lower demand by raising price.” Josh (See plan below)
- Another interesting future agenda item came from Councilwoman Eva Putzova. She wants us to consider a resolution eliminating Columbus Day. I’m not sure if she’s talking nationally or in the city. Perhaps she’s unaware that the city does not celebrate this day, it was replaced with Martin Luther King Jr. Day years ago. At any rate, there are many more pressing issues to address on a local level. I’m trying to keep our City focused and away from these types of devisive issues. Believe me, I have many social issues I’d love to address too but I do not feel it’s appropriate or productive for our City. Perhaps she should consider running for Congress or the Legislature, or developing better relationships with those in higher office so she can push these issues. It seems like her interests are much more appropriate at those levels.
- After hearing the carbon tax and Columbus Day issue, which I do not believe will get majority support anyway, I proposed a change to our rules of procedure. For staff and council efficiency I proposed we go back to requiring four members to advance a future agenda item, currently it only takes 3 of 7 members. Far to many items are being put on the agenda burning up staff time ($$$) and tax payer resources that clearly do not have majority support. This will NOT change the ability for constituents or councilmembers to bring forward an issue. That opportunity will still exist. But if you can’t convince a majority at that stage of the process, my experience has been that it is unlikely you’ll convice them later.
- My thoughts and prayers to Representative Brenda Barton. Her husband, a friend of mine and friend to many throughout AZ and beyond, passed away last week. He was a “passionate patriot” indeed.
- DURING THE RECESS I MET WITH (to name a few): Congressman Gosar, Secretary of State Michele Reagan, Senator Begay, Representatives Gray, Thorpe, Barton, Fann and others. Had extensive talks with Governor Ducey’s Office regarding the Veterans Home (that we’re going to get in Flagstaff), Attorney General Mark Bernovich’s office, the State Chamber of Commerce, the State Veterans Administration (big news coming out on this soon) and many, many constituents.
AS ALWAYS, HERE’S MY VOTES (and all of Councils votes)
CITY COUNCIL MEETING 8/24/15
Approval of past minutes
Pine Canyon presented a check for over $900,000 to the City. The new owners made good on past payments that were due to the City. Good news for the taxpayers.
Several appointments made by Council. ALL PASSED 7-0
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
Pat Loven and Greg Parker
PARKS AND RECREATION
Brett Caldwell & Ardis Easton
Eli Chamberlain, John Kistler & Jeremy Krones
LIQUOR LICENSE RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommended to the State for approval, Felipe Guzman, “La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop”, 119 S. San Francisco, Series 12
Hopi All Native Arts and Cultural Festival
Approve the street closure of Aspen Ave (between Leroux Avenue and San Francisco Street) fromSeptember 26, 2015 at 6:00 a.m. through September 27, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
PURCHASE OF BULLDOZER
$159,000 BULLDOZER FOR WILD CAT HILL FACILITY.
FLOOD PLAIN WAIVER
Request for a Variance from the Floodplain Regulations for the Proposed Home Reconstruction in the Floodway of a Fire Destroyed Home at 504 S O’Leary S. This variance is to rebuild the home that was already there.
EDA REVOLVING LOAN FUND
$217,000 EDA grant from the Federal Government to be administered by the City of Flagstaff to select industries. These are small business loans. I encourage economic development and I understand probably more than anyone on Council the need for capital and investment. Where I differ from my colleagues is the role of the City in this activity. I work hard everyday to improve our economy in Flagstaff but I’ve also worked hard to make sure the city stays focused on its core functions and this is not a function I want the City to take part in. Another stumbling block for me was that the City would be overseeing this for not just Flagstaff but for four counties.
PASSED 5-1, I voted against.
NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCUSS & POSSIBLY ADJUST WATER RATES
I have a very thick book of a study done on our water rates and proposed increases. I support opening the process to look into our rates and other issues regarding water but I will reserve my judgement as to what to do until seeing all the data.
STANDARDIZE CITIZEN PETITIONS
Anyone can petition the Council on any matter by submitting a petition to Council. The issue we have is there is not a standardized petition form so we’ve gotten huge variations in submissions. This creates a standard form.
CITIZEN PETITION SUPPORTING A CARBON TAX
I addressed this above. Three supported moving this forward for future discussion. Putzova, Barotz, Evans.
Disclaimer: I represent myself and these views are mine, not Councils. For spelling errors, gramatical or other errors, please consider a hobby, I write this pretty quick and I’m extremely busy.
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