Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton, and council members Freddy Rios, Mike Pastor, Jesse Leetham, and Fernando Shipley. All members were in attendance.
Small Business Licensing/Registry
Council discussed new business license code provisions for home-based businesses.
Linda Oddonetto, Economic Development Director, said the City’s goal is to create an ecosystem for business success. But in order to help small business owners, the City needs to know they’re there. For that reason, Oddonetto recommends the City establish a registry of small businesses so that the city can better serve these home-based micro-entrepreneurs. To implement this, the City would require small businesses to obtain a business license – but below a certain revenue threshold, the license would be free.
Currently, Globe’s business permit code requires anyone participating in commerce in the City to have business license, even a kids’ lemonade stand – there’s no provision for micro-entrepreneurship or small home-based businesses. The proposed changes would allow a brand-new business to get started without the burden of a business license.
According to the proposed changes, businesses with receipts under $1,000 would not have to have a business license. Above $1,000 in revenues, the business would be required to have a license, but there would be no fee. When the business reaches the threshold of $5,000 gross earnings, then a fee of $50 would be assessed for the business license.
Council discussed the advantages and disadvantages of requiring businesses of different revenue levels to obtain and/or pay for a business license, and whether transient vendors and vendors who come from out of town should be treated differently.
After lengthy discussion, Council tabled the motion so that members could take time to study the issues.
Piggybacking with this revision to Section 8 of the City Code is an update to the business license requirements to add coverage for recreational marijuana. This is separate from the provisions for home-based small businesses but being made at the same time for convenience.
Arizona Small Business Association
Monica Gomez of the Arizona Small Business Association made a guest presentation to inform the council of ASBA’s role in the community. Gomez is Globe born and raised and is returning to serve the community through ASBA.
Gomez said ASBA’s role is to provide educational resources for small business owners and to influence tax and regulatory policy that affects small business. Benefits to members include access to capital, group health benefits, credit card processing, OSHA and safety training, discounted shipping and more. ASBA also offers online courses for entrepreneurs through the Forge Ahead website. These courses include digital marketing, financial acumen, and sales & marketing, and are available to everyone in the community, not just ASBA members.
Gomez was pleased to note that Globe did not lose a single small business as a result of the pandemic.
City Council Vacancy
The District 5 seat on the City Council has become vacant with the departure of Charlene Giles. Globe currently has no formal process for this situation, so Council is determining a process that will apply to this vacancy only. Code and A.R.S. require that the seat be filled by appointment.
Council determined that the vacancy will be posted online and applications will be accepted for two weeks after the posting. Required qualifications will be the same as for anyone running for elected office. The application packet consists of a one-page application form, a letter of intent, verification documents for qualifications, and a questionnaire. Council members will then make nominations based on the applications, with no second required. Voting will be by written ballot. The first candidate receiving an affirmative majority of the votes cast will fill the vacancy, and the meeting will not adjourn until the vacancy has been filled.
The person who fills the vacancy will serve until the next available opportunity for an election, which will occur in two years. At that time, the seat will be filled through election for another two years. Council members have four-year terms, and this plan will keep the District 5 seat in synch with its normal cycle.
The list of qualifications and the application can be found online. Click here.
Council recognized Michael O’Driscoll of the Gila County Health Department and Neil Jensen of Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center for their leadership and commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic. O’Driscoll praised the hospital in particular for its vaccination efforts, which relieved the county of much of the burden. Jensen pointed out that the hospital staff were provided with N95 masks throughout the pandemic crisis, and thus the incidence of hospital-acquired infections was extremely low.
“We have a great community, and we have a great hospital because we have a great community.” – Neil Jensen, CVRMC
City Manager Paul Jepson suggested that if case numbers continue to stay low, by around May 3 the city could take the following steps:
- Reopen the water office so that people can come to the counter, as well as the window at City Hall.
- Retain the requirement that city staff will wear a mask whenever dealing with the public, and the requirement for members of the public coming into City facilities also to wear masks.
- Make mask wearing optional for City employees who are not dealing with the public. For example, two employees riding in a truck together could demask if both agree.
Jepson said the goal is to keep requirements fair and real, so that employees will continue to see the requirements as reasonable and will continue to comply.
City Employee Engagement and Workplace Improvement Plan
Jepson reported that the City conducted an employee engagement survey and held employee focus groups to listen to City employees’ ideas about their workplace. As a result, the City has developed 40 recommendations, which have been shared with all staff.
One major recommendation is to enhance communication with staff. As part of this effort, going forward, the City will hold employee meetings twice a year.
Another major change will be the elimination of the use of Department of Corrections workers on City public works projects. During the Covid crisis, the program was shut down, and the City discovered advantages to not using DOC workers. Jepson said that if and when DOC workers are available again, the City will look at ways to use them more efficiently and effectively.
Other recommendations that the City will implement include providing an individual email address for all City employees and providing supurvisor training for all employees who manage staff.
Many of the recommendations are still under consideration because they require budgetary support or additional discussion, such as offering family insurance coverage, or because they would take place in the future, such as building a new fire station.
The full list of recommendations is available as a Powerpoint presentation: click here.
City Personnel Policy on Vacation and Sick Time
Council also discussed updates to the City personnel policy with regard to vacation and sick time. Chris Collopy, Human Resources Director, said the employee handbook is over ten years old and in need of updates. With regard to vacation and sick time, Collopy suggested that the current system is unfair because there are many different systems within the City’s organization. He suggested that the City adopt a new formula that would be more fair, based on the time each employee works.
Discussion centered on how to calculate vacation and sick time for on-call employees, including police officers and fire department staff. The concern is that the system be fair across all City employees and that it align with federal law.
Council agreed to table the motion for the time being so that members of Council could study the issues.
Permits for Grading and Drainage, Public Right of Way
Jerry Barnes, Engineering Director, spoke about the need to modify code to provide for permits for drainage and grading so that the City can protect the stormwater system, protect the neighbors where work is done, and protect future property owners. Barnes recommended that the City require compaction levels and engineering reviews be submitted to the City for approval on drainage and grading projects.
Barnes said the city currently has no way to control these projects. As things stand, Globe has a flood plain ordinance and a no-dumping ordinance, and can enforce these by requiring that violators remove material. But the City currently has no process for letting property owners obtain a permit for drainage and grading work. This code modification would create that process.
Property owners would need to obtain certification by the City’s engineer. Barnes noted that this would actually increase property values because it would show that the work has been done properly and with City approval.
Barnes also discussed a code modification to regulate work in the public right of way. He said currently the City has no ability to monitor and approve the way driveways meet up with a road. The fee for this permit would be very minimal, as the purpose would primarily be to give the City a say in what happens on the public right of way – for example, to enforce standards for connecting water lines.
Jepson pointed out that this code modification supports the goal of making City decisions more transparent and consistent – so that people receive equal and predictable treatment by the City.
In Council’s only action item for this meeting, the members approved the write-off of water debts deemed uncollectable, in the amount of $3,946.63. This reflects accounts that were closed out through June 30, 2020.
Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website and clicking on Agendas/Minutes in the bottom left-hand corner.
The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are currently open to the public at 25% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask when entering and exiting the Council chambers. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.
Members of the public can also participate in City of Globe public meetings by viewing the meeting live on YouTube. To view the Council meeting live stream, go to the City of Globe’s YouTube channel (search for City of Globe Arizona). Or click on the “Live Stream on YouTube” link at the top of www.globeaz.gov.
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