VOTE in the Tempe City Council Election straw poll

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By voting in our straw poll for who should be elected to the Tempe City Council you receive the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to a local Tempe coffee shop.  Want to learn more about the candidates?  Each week they have been answering a question posed to them by our readers.   Tempe Thoughts is your source for what is happening in Tempe. Become a subscriber today to our weekly newsletter.

Click here to vote

Tempe events this week-TCA Fall Arts Kickoff

Tempe Center for The Arts

Head to the Tempe Center for the Arts this week for their fall preview of upcoming events and a brand new music event,  Tempe Rocks: Live, Local, Legendary featuring some of Arizona’s great bands.

Visit the Tempe Tourism Office Calendar of Events, or call 480-894-8158 to view a complete listing of Tempe events.

VOTE in the Tempe City Council Election straw poll

vote 2

By voting in our straw poll for who should be elected to the Tempe City Council you receive the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to a local Tempe coffee shop.  Want to learn more about the candidates?  Each week they have been answering a question posed to them by our readers.   Tempe Thoughts is your source for what is happening in Tempe. Become a subscriber today to our weekly newsletter.

Click here to vote

Ex-Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano earns coveted Don Carlos Humanitarian Award

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Neil Giuliano, a 42-year resident of Tempe and its mayor 1994-2004, has been selected by the Tempe Community Council for the 2014 Don Carlos Humanitarian Award. The honor, first conferred in 1984 is regarded as Tempe’s highest honor to a citizen for sustained service to others. It is named for Tempe’s founder, Charles Trumbull Hayden, who was affectionately called “Don Carlos.”  Neil will be formally honored at a dinner 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 15 at the Salt River Project’s Pera Club, 1 E Continental Drive, Tempe. It will be open to the public.
Neil, who serves as the CEO/President of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and maintains a home in the Shalimar homes community, has held many community roles.  He served on the Tempe Community Council, Tempe Salvation Army Advisory Board, Big Brothers-Big Sisters Board, Friends of the Tempe Center for the Arts Board and Kiwanis Club of Tempe Board.  He was Kiwanis president in 1986-87 and earned its highest honor, the George F. Hixson Fellow Award in 1998.  The New Jersey native arrived in Tempe in 1972 to attend Arizona State University where he re-started the ASU Circle Club, a Kiwanis collegiate leadership organization, which he led. He went on to become the International President of Circle K and was president of the Student Body at Arizona. He joined Kiwanis in 1981 as was Kiwanis Club of Tempe president in 1986-87.
Neil earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and  master’s degree in education in 1983, both from ASU, and taught classes in leadership, served as interim director for the ASU Alumni Association and later was the Federal-State Relations director for ASU.  He was elected to the Tempe City Council in 1990 and then mayor in 1994. During his tenure, Neil saw the development of Tempe Town Lake, the formation of the Tempe Human Relations Commission, and Tempe being named an All-American City.  He chaired the planning group for the third Presidential Debate at Gammage Auditorium in 2004 between George Bush and John Kerry.
In 2005, Neil became director for Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and served until 2009 when he took the helm of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.   He has earned many awards for his civic work, including the Individual Achievement Award from the Arizona Human Rights Fund.   The park along the south side of Tempe Beach Park was dedicated in his named last May.
Neil becomes the seventh member of the Kiwanis Club of Tempe to earn the prestigious award.  Others are Mac Bohlman (1991), Pat Hatton (1994), Lawn Griffiths (1995), Dick Neuheisel (2006) Linda Spears (2008), and Kerry Fetherston (2013).  During the ceremonies, Oct. 15, the Kiwanis Club of Tempe will receive the 2014 Guiding Light Philanthropist Award from the Community Council  for its decades of conveying funds raised in the community, primarily the 4th of July Fireworks Show, to community organizations.

Your chance to win simply by Voting

vote 2

By voting in our straw poll for who should be elected to the Tempe City Council you receive the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to a local Tempe coffee shop.  Want to learn more about the candidates?  Each week they have been answering a question posed to them by our readers.  Become a subscriber to the Tempe Thought’s weekly newsletter.

Your chance to win simply by Voting

your vote counts

By voting in our straw pole for who should be elected to the Tempe City Council you receive the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to a local Tempe coffee shop.  Want to learn more about the candidates?  Each week they have been answering a question posed to them by our readers.  Become a subscriber to the Tempe Thought’s weekly newsletter.

 

 

Tempe City Council Candidate Question #7

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“What is your viewpoint towards preserving Tempe’s history? (Concerning properties, buildings, land, etc) Is it important or not to you? And why or why not?”

Misty Jones

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Shana Ellis

Shana Ellis

Tempe has some amazing historical structures, and I am proud to have a connection to so many of them.  I worked at Monti’s while attending ASU (as did my sister and my son).  And, I spent over 10 years working in the historic B.B. Moeur Residence as a staff member for the Tempe Community Council.   I am proud that the City of Tempe has many properties in its portfolio such as the Double Butte Cemetery, the Mill Avenue Bridge and the Petersen House.  Many property owners have had their business, home or entire neighborhoods added to the National and/or Tempe Historic Property register.  This process takes much documentation and time, and I applaud preservationists who record Tempe’s history to receive certification.  It is fascinating to read through the documented histories on each of these properties.   While we must respect the property owner’s private property rights, preserving Tempe’s history is very important to me.  The best solution is a constant conversation between owners, the neighborhood and the City.  I hope to be reading through many more of the registries soon!

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Lauren Kuby

Lauren Kuby

“While I am an advocate for progress and sustainable development, I will not sacrifice Tempe’s valued history for the sake of short-term development projects. Knocking on doors across the city, I’ve had the privilege to speak with many life-long Tempeans and a strong common value has emerged: we are fiercely proud of Tempe’s history. It’s why I joined forces with Mitchell Park neighborhood leader Linda Knutson and organized the “A” Mountain Restoration project. This ongoing effort, conceived in April 2010, pooled resources from local small businesses, the City of Tempe, students faculty and staff from ASU’s School of Sustainability and Global Institute of Sustainability, as well as from our neighborhoods, with the goal of maintaining and restoring Tempe’s only preserve. One issue that is sure to come before the next Council is the Rolling Hills Hotel development proposed for Papago Park. That project would earn my support only if the rest of Papago Park was designated as Tempe’s second preserve and a permanent Papago Park Endowment Fund was established to preserve PP’s historical, cultural, and environmental resources.

 

City Council decisions impact Tempe for generations to come and, because residents know best what types of developments fit their neighborhood and surrounding public space, we need to engage citizens early in the process, not as an afterthought. The next Council needs to bring more transparency to the development process, so we can preserve the identity of Tempe’s residential neighborhoods and assist with historic designations where appropriate.

 

On a personal note, I earned my master’s degree at ASU in Public History in 1992, going on to work as the editor for the Roosevelt Platform Mound study, the largest archaeology project in US History. I have a keen and demonstrated interest in preserving Tempe’s history.”

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Dick Foreman

Dick Foreman

“Tempe certainly is in a very unique position when it comes to historic, cultural and open space questions.  We have some of the most iconic, historically significant locations and buildings in Maricopa County.  Fortunately, some of these locations have survived the initial rush to develop or re-develop, and that’s a good thing.

Obviously, the Hayden Flour Mill is a prime example.  While we have yet to see what it’s redevelopment will look like, there will be significant concerns with preserving much of the character and building that we see now and protections wisely put in place by our city council.  Another great example is the Ash Street Bridge which has become a wonderful tribute to our military veterans.  The bridge abutment will preserved forevermore.

A more recent example is the redevelopment of some of the old warehouse space and Sail Inn properties, so memorable to many Tempeans.  All signals from the buyer indicate that the re-tasking of these venues will do much to preserve the historic appearance and even purpose of the buildings, a very good sign for redevelopment along Farmer Avenue.

We also have some failures that many of us might wish a different fate.  The old Valley National Bank just disappeared with its unique roofing system and amazing visual impact right in the center of Tempe.  Many of our older homes have been so re-developed there is nothing left to suggest the pioneer character or “feel” for these wonderful old structures.  They are just gone.

Property rights are, of course, a major concern.  Limiting an owner’s ability to develop their property in any way is a serious matter.  But when policy carefully identifies, in advance, targeted preservation, it seems that everyone can win.  Developers can preserve, though it is usually more expensive than conventional construction, but they can also gain an appreciative customer base who supports that investment with their future business.

I will forever miss the old Tempe Beach Park, too.  We have a Tempe Beach Park in name only today.  It is rare that any resident doesn’t comment, when we meet door to door or in forums, that the lack of swimming options is a real concern.  Not only closing pools, but destroying ones we have, is just not looking forward very far in my view.  You know, we are one of the oldest, continuously inhabited areas in North America, right here in Tempe.  For 2000 years indigent people engaged the Salt River.  They swam, they played, they “beat the heat” with refreshing, cooling water.  It wasn’t until we built a lake, Town Lake, that for the first time in 2000 years, we have essentially denied Tempeans a refreshing swim.  I would like to put these past 20 years of no water behind us and bring back the beach.  It can be done and if elected I will lead that effort, inclusive of all Tempeans, to help define and purpose that project which does NOT require a tax increase or even the use of ANY tax revenue streams.  Only vision prevents our development of a truly magnificent Tempe Beach Park.  Who wants to play?  Contact my website and let me know of your interest and I can give you lots more information:  www.foremanfortempe.com

So, Misty, great question, very broad in it’s impact, but very important in our neighborhood character assessments as well as our historic neighborhood preservation considerations and even business district spaces and buildings can and must be included.

By the way, I appreciate that you mentioned “land” in your question.  Open space in Tempe is and will become more the rarest of the rare commodities.  Community gardens are just one example of a way to preserve land, but the tricky part is how do we not take a property right away from an owner who has every right to develop, build or otherwise use their own property as they see fit?  Incentives are one thing that comes to mind, both by tax policy and by ordinance, where we can carefully preserve property rights but encourage desirable preservation, open spaces and historic buildings.  That is why I support the designation of Papago Park as a permanent Preserve.  Although the Park itself falls under multiple jurisdictions, we can do what we can do as Tempe, and we can certainly work hand in hand with property owners, other municipalities and our own neighbors to effect a coordinated, supported and desirable community result.

Thank you for your excellent question.”
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Matthew Papke

Matt Papke

 

“I am a history buff, there is nothing more I like to do than spend hours in a antique shop. Looking into the eyes of those who lived before us offers hints as to what they experienced. If we do not learn from our history we are destined to repeat it.

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance of foreign lands should be curtailed lest the Republic become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
Marcus Tillius Cicero, 55 BC

 

This question however is about the history of Tempe. I am entirely for preserving historical landmarks, properties and institutions where appropriate. Tempe has a rich history in agriculture, being an advocate for self sufficiency I would love to see this element of our history on display in more visible ways. The house I live in was built in the 50′s while I would not consider that historical, there are some that are more than 100 years old. When a willing steward offers to care for a property it would make sense for the City to support that effort. If there is property of so much interest to the city and community in some cases it may make sense for the city offer financial assistance to procure and or maintain the property. We are culminations of our past and those before us, it is naive and egotistical to think we owe them nothing.

 

The further Tempe becomes indebted to the future the less resources it will have to preserve our past.”

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Ernesto Fonseca

Ernesto Fonseca

“In late 2011 the City of Avondale hired me to do community revitalization in one of their poorest neighborhoods, Old Town Avondale. I spent a few months walking the streets of that neighborhood, making it a point to get to know their small business owners, from the taco shop to the locksmith, to the cupcake café. I spent many days chatting with them, learning from them and understanding what their needs and assets were. It didn’t take me long to realize that while their average household incomes were low, they were very rich in history and held a deep pride in their community and their roots. They identified with Old Town Avondale now called Historic Avondale because of its memories and traditions, the old homes, and some streets have been named after some of the founding families. You cannot find this level of pride or deep understanding anywhere else in that city.

Tempe has many neighborhoods that hold the same pride and understanding of their community, and it is history that keeps those neighborhoods together. Historic preservation is extremely important for our identity as a city and community. We need to conserve what we have and develop guidelines that also include new development. Frequently we are told that this or that development doesn’t meet the neighborhood’s character. I can see that with recent development on Mill Avenue: a few years ago CVS built a location at Mill and University using their standard design. This is such a great prime location and we have an uninteresting building in downtown Tempe. In Durango Colorado, for example, the city ordinances dictate that every business must design their buildings to fit the character of the city. I never thought I would say this, but even the Walmart in Durango looks good. In short, we need to preserve, enhance and redevelop with history in mind. It is our identity that we will be protecting.”

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David Schapira

David Schapira

“Tempe is unique in the West. It’s an old city with a long history and distinctive character. That character must be preserved. As the current council has pushed for further development, which certainly has provided economic benefit to the city, many Tempeans, myself included, have mourned the loss or development of some iconic Tempe landmarks. Progress is important, but so is preservation of the past. Our city’s second hundred years will include many exciting new Tempe projects, and I’ll see it as my role on the council to ensure that every new thing we do recognizes the importance of the existing complexion of our city and has an appropriate nod to the past. ”

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Robin Arrendondo-Savage

robin arredondo savage

 

Tempe’s history plays a vital role in our lives.  As someone who was born and raised in Tempe, preserving and understanding our history is very important to me.  Tempe’s history serves  as a model not only, of who we are, but through our history we learn what to champion and what to avoid.  It essential that we pass on the appreciation for what was saved to the next generation.  As a council member, I have been supportive of our efforts to preserve our Tempe history from the recently renovations at the Tempe History Museum, through our History Intern Program and supporting efforts to place more properties on the Tempe Historic Property Register.  The Tempe History Museum is a hidden gem in our community.  I would encourage everyone to go by and experience Tempe’s history.

Final Call to Nominate a Tempe Humanitarian

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2012DCHeaderDo you know an individual or couple who has given outstanding service to our community, has benefitted the less fortunate in lasting ways and has made Tempe a better place to live?  Tempe Community Council invites you to nominate a Tempe humanitarian by completing the online nomination form. All nominations must be received by June 29. The awardee will be announced in August.  Mark your calendars to attend the 31st Annual Don Carlos Humanitarian Awards Ceremony & Dinner being held on October 15.  For more information visit: www.tempecommunitycouncil.org/don-carlos or call 480.858.2300.

City Council Candidates Question of The Week

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Question submitted by Ron Pies,

In 2008, the citizens overwhelmingly voted approval of general obligation bonds. Among those approved were bonds for park improvements. These were much needed projects as described  below:

BOND QUESTION NO. 2 | PURPOSE: PARK IMPROVEMENTS/ COMMUNITY SERVICES

AMOUNT: $10,500,000

Shall the Mayor and Council of the City of Tempe, Arizona, be authorized to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the City in the principal amount of $10,500,000 to provide funds: to acquire, construct and improve park and recreation (including park lakes) infrastructure, equipment and facilities; to improve recreation and sports facility lighting; to improve athletic field  lighting; and to improve park and street landscaping? Since that time we have had an economic down turn. But the projects promised to our citizens are no where to be found in coming capital improvements. When the bond election was passed in 2008, we had such high hopes to make major upgrades and improvements with the renovation of our park system. We were able to build one new park, renovate another park and make some major improvements in Kiwanis Park in the next two years. However, we had just completed the construction plans  for the renovation of four parks and had the master plans completed on four other parks and Clark Pool when the entire project was put on essentially permanent hold in 2010 due to the economic down turn.We were just getting started, and were so close to making a major difference for the residents and the condition of our parks.

As a council member what will you do to fulfill the promises made to our citizens?

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Robin Arredondo-Savage

Robin Arredondo-Savage

I believe our parks are essential to our residents, our neighborhoods and the culture of our Tempe community.  I have supported and will continue to advocate for additional funding for maintenance, renovations and upgrades to our parks.  Due to the economic downturn it was not financially responsible, nor was there capacity in the budget, to issue bonds for the major renovations that were anticipated.  As our economy improves we must do our best with our current funding capacity to maintain our park assets.  The council will be approving a CIP budget that calls for a $17 million investment over the next 5 years for our city parks.  Also, new development in Tempe will generate additional revenue.  It is important that we put a portion of these tax dollars back into our neighborhoods and parks and improve the quality of life across our entire Tempe community.

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Shana Ellis

Shana Ellis

In 2008, our economy was robust and Tempe’s budget looked different than it does today.  Although permission was authorized by Tempe voters for $241.3 million in bonds (including $10 million for our park system), once the Great Recession began, we realized passing on additional debt to residents at this time was unwise.  If we had spent the over $200 million authorized in 2008, we would not have been able to repay that debt without drastically raising taxes.  Our bond rating, which is among the best in the country, would have been in jeopardy, causing our city to pay higher interest rates.  We heard from numerous residents who were on the edge financially, and requested the City not pass its debt on to them.    In 2012, voters approved a much more realistic $29.8 million bond package.  Parks are being renovated and improved, although not as quickly as we anticipated in 2008.  The City of Tempe 2014-15 Capital Improvement Budget includes $3.6 million for renovation and replacement of park playgrounds and aging park infrastructure.

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Dick Foreman

Dick Foreman

Bond Question No. 2 was very popular for good reason.  Parks are an incredibly important lifestyle option that many Tempe families benefit from.  The recession obviously played havoc with our property values and resulting debt capacity and taxpayer impact.  It would be nice to blame someone, anyone, for not having perfect vision but the economic catastrophe that plagued our entire nation did not leave Tempe unscathed.

Going forward, we are seeing a small recovery in valuations and I doubt Tempe citizens have changed their views on parks.  I sure haven’t.  So not only should we be seeing a slow but steady recovery in our economy, we should be seeing a slow and steady recovery in our parks maintenance and investments.

As our capacity to offer these bonds improves, we should eventually be able to finally recover from the “loss” of these essential improvements.  I would go one step farther, though.  I think voters deserve a straightforward communication and a specific action plan to deal with all of our parks issues.

It seems that we sometimes just do not communicate well enough, no matter how good the intention.  I don’t think we have maximized good, old fashioned customer service in Tempe.  I’m old enough to remember when the customer was always right.  It’s a pretty good ethic to this day.  We could use a little more of that in Tempe and I don’t mind taking the lead on that issue one bit.  People use parks.  We have spent millions on some investments that barely reach Tempe’s families.

Bottom line?  It may be convenient and accurate to blame the recession, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Leadership in getting Tempe’s parks back on the front burner would be a pure pleasure for me, if I am lucky enough to be elected to council.

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Lauren Kuby

Lauren Kuby

In 2008, Tempe voters overwhelmingly approved $10.5M in general obligation bonds, which included bonds for park improvements. Before placing the bond issue on the ballot, city staff traversed Tempe neighborhoods, soliciting feedback from residents on the condition of their parks. Valuable input from residents was integrated into construction and master plans, and staff and neighborhoods alike had high hopes for a revitalized park system. Then came the Recession.

I will not second-guess the decision council members made to re-direct much of the funds meant for system-wide improvements to Tempe Town Lake. They were responsible stewards of taxpayer money. The City was facing enormous financial challenges brought on by the recession in general and the 2010 dam burst in particular. It’s unfortunate that the Lake–an item listed as parenthetical expression below–ended up as the main beneficiary of the bond funding, which aimed:

“to acquire, construct and improve park and recreation

(including park lakes) infrastructure…

Facing the twin challenges of recession and the dam emergency, the Council and staff felt they were left with few options.

Although Tempe is now re-investing in park improvements and maintenance, albeit on a smaller scale, residents are voicing their dismay. The issue surfaces repeatedly on my walks, no matter the neighborhood, no matter the neighborhood’s socioeconomic status. Concerned citizens fret that their neighborhood parks will not be maintained or improved and that, as a result, home values will decline.

As a council member, it will be my job to join with fellow council members to empower the city manager and staff to find creative solutions to this funding and planning challenge. To fulfill the promise made to our residents back in 2008, to maintain the trust of the voters, we must make our neighborhood parks one of our high priorities. Tempe Is unique in the Valley, in no small part because of our excellent neighborhood park system. Let’s keep Tempe different.

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Matt Papke

Matt Papke

The shifting of monies from one fund to the next to keep the ship afloat is a symptom of a city living paycheck to paycheck. Had the city had proper reserves and sensible debt obligations the $10MM would have been applied to the parks as promised. The voters of Tempe are sick of the corporate welfare doled out while we suffer degrading services and amenities in our city. Electing me former Marine Matt Papke will ensure that at least one voice on the council will stand up for the people and stand up to special interests.

 

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Editors Note: Candidates Emesto Fonesca and David Schapira did not send a response prior to publication.   Rember to vote for your favorite candidates in our straw poll. http://old.tempethoughts.com/vote-2014/

Cool July 4th at Tempe Center for the Arts

4th of July Celebration at TCA
4th of July Celebration at TCA

4th of July Celebration at TCA

Friends of TCA are hosting a Fourth of July celebration at the Tempe Center for the Arts from 6 to 10 p.m.
Guests will enjoy a buffet dinner, entertainment, free parking and a magnificent fireworks display over Tempe Town Lake in the air-conditioned comfort of the TCA Lakeside Room.
General admission tickets are $50. VIP tickets, $75, allow access to views from the TCA rooftop Terrace and the 201 Lounge.
Tickets can be purchased through the TCA Box Office by calling 480-350-2822 or online via tca.ticketforce.com Service and convenience fees may apply. Limited number of tickets available.
For sponsorship commitments and inquiries, contact Melody Johnson 818-288-0234 or mm@melodymarie.com
That same evening “Right Wing, Left Wing” will be presented by the Tempe Comedy Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. Using a town hall format, conversative and liberal comics will take on hot button questions from the audience. Tickets range $10 to $25 through the TCA Box Office