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Globe City Council begins Strategic Action Plan update process

City leaders have begun the process of updating Globe’s three-year Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and are working to have Council’s new goals identified for the 2024-2025 budget approval in June.

As Globe City Council prepared to set off on its second historic lobbying visit to Washington DC this month, the initial meeting, a “brainstorming session,” was completed, and when the Council returns, discussions will take place to prepare for the FY 2024/25 budget.

“Our initial meeting was very productive; it gave us time to reflect and review where we were, where we are, and where we want to go,” says Mayor Al Gameros. “It reinforced what our vision and goals will continue to be, both short-term and long-term for the future, and that is critical.”

The SAP is a tactile guide for City Council’s future meeting agendas. It is created through a collaborative process with Council members. As part of this process, council members identify priorities that will eventually be included in the SAP existing blueprint.

The most recent SAP covered 2019-2022, and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation facilitated the process, but since 2020, City staff has facilitated the planning efforts with training received from RCAC.

District 6 Councilman Fernando Shipley has been involved in previous SAPs during his earlier service on Council. Shipley served on Council and as Mayor from 2002 to 2012, returning in 2018 to fill the seat vacated by Lerry Alderman.

He was re-elected to the seat and has been back on Council for six years. Shipley says the Council did strategic planning in its early days but did not have the resources or the Economic and Community Development Department to take the lead on the project.

“We did a lot in 2008 when there was no money, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” Shipley says. “But now we have a really good Council, and having an economic development team has helped tremendously because council members are usually busy with their full-time jobs.”

Shipley would like to see downtown Globe become more of an entertainment district, but says there would have to be a lot of buy-in from residents and the business community as well as a change in the way the City funds certain activities.

The SAP is modeled on themes culled from the 2015-2017 plan that previously consisted of three overarching goals with three objectives per goal. The current SAP is now much more faceted and complex.

The existing document focuses on four main areas: economic & community development, infrastructure, public safety, and quality of life for residents.

Among the economic development goals are increasing revenues through business development, downtown revitalization, and tourism marketing. 

Infrastructure goals include replacing failing infrastructure; planning infrastructure for future development, and sustainability.

Quality of life includes the revitalization of the historic downtown, blight reduction, and improving recreational and service facilities.

Goals for public safety include continuing steps towards the building of the new fire department, securing a new ladder truck to replace the 30-plus year old apparatus, and working with regional partners for the development of a law enforcement training center. 

Many of the goals are well on the way to fruition, so the SAP update will become something of a balancing act between finishing what has been started and embarking on new projects that build upon the foundation of planning.

Thanks to concerted efforts by recent Councils, City coffers have received a big boost in the past six years, including more than $127 million in outside funding for many aspects of the existing SAP, from building bridges and sidewalks to rehabilitating parks and beautifying the downtown historic district.

District 1 Councilman Freddy Rios points to the successes of projects such as the Community Center Pool & Splash Pad, the Connie’s Bridge replacement, and the Hill Street School housing development as examples of how the City’s strategic planning has worked.

“It’s encouraging because it keeps us thriving and believing this can happen,” Rios says. “We went from a thought, a vision, and networking to get resources and stakeholders, and it came to fruition.”

Partnerships that have been developed have not been limited to funding from outside government agencies. Many gains have been made through partnerships with private entities, such as the Phoenix-based division of Gorman and Company LLC, which is currently building 64 units of mixed-income senior housing and rehabilitating the historic Hill Street School. 

Local initiatives such as I Art Globe and the newly formed nonprofit Love Where You Live have led urban renewal projects, including the mural project, dog park and the Stairizona Trail, designed to beautify the town for residents and act as a draw for visitors.

“The thing some people might not realize what’s behind all this is the partnerships we’ve built with the stakeholders,” Rios says. “Their buy-in to some of the vision of the City of Globe is inspiring, because some of those other regional entities are realizing that this can happen, that if we come together, we can move the dial.”

Gameros says the City has seen an 87% increase in sales tax revenues since establishing the Economic and Community Development Department in 2018, thanks to focusing on goals, collaborating with community partners, and training opportunities.

But he adds that education goes both ways, as the Council is ultimately there to serve the needs of the people.

“When we talk about big developments in our community, we also can’t forget the small businesses in our city because they’re just as important,” Gameros says. “They’re all a part of everything we’re doing: From the small businesses to the downtown Historic District, it’s all important.”

With a focus on collaboration and innovation, the SAP guides the Council in aligning its vision with the community’s needs. As Globe continues to thrive through past successes and new partnerships, Council remains dedicated to enhancing economic vitality, community development, and resident well-being. 

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