The City of Globe is seeking public input and participation through a series of town hall meetings designed to address local issues such as blight and community beautification.
The final of two scheduled Community Pride and Participation Town Hall meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, in council chambers, located at 1500 N. Pine St., Globe.
The meetings come on the heels of two town halls held in April—known as Community Pride—that were the result of a lengthy council discussion on blight enforcement during a February council meeting.
During the Aug. 6 meeting, Globe City Councilman Fernando Shipley reported that about 40 people attended the first one and more than 30 people the second one.
The first pair of meetings was intended to gather public input on issues important to area residents, he said.
The council then became occupied with working on the city budget and creating a strategic plan incorporating public input, said Shipley, who is spearheading the town hall efforts.
With the city budget and strategic planning work done, council wants to seek out a group of people willing to carry out what the public has asked for, either as an official city committee or as a more informal group partnering with the city.
Shipley gave the example of Miami Genesis, which is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit working in cooperation with the Town of Miami.
Globe Councilman Freddy Rios said the city is there to provide infrastructure, including police and fire protection, “so you can have the best that we can offer.”
Explaining that the city and council “can’t do it all,” Rios said that is why citizen participation is needed.
Shipley said that, especially after the April town halls, “I know that people want to get involved and help make a difference.”
He talked again about the possibilities of forming a committee, a group or a task force.
Part of the discussion centered on plans by Regina Ortega, a friend of the late Cathy Canez who perished recently in a flash flood. She attended the town hall with Canez’s parents, John and Bea Sanchez.
Ortega said that they wanted to honor Canez’s memory in two ways—a fundraising campaign for a memorial scholarship program at Miami High School as well as a campaign raising public awareness of flash floods during the monsoon season and “the dangers and deaths that can occur.”
She talked about the possibility of placing memorial signs near the washes so that “people think twice before going in there” when it is raining.
Ortega said that more information would be forthcoming in the near future.
Shipley also talked about the “MOB” (My Own Backyard) group that he was a part of 10 years ago.
The city had received a $250,000 grant from then Sen. Rick Renzi and was reluctant to use it due to lack of stipulations. Some of the funds were used for the historic train depot and others were used for redevelopment of the Broad Street property where the movie theater and the Pioneer Hotel had previously burned down.
The MOB was left with nearly $100,000 to spend on economic development, using the money on beautification projects in downtown Globe.
Shipley hopes to form a similar group again. He pointed out that a government entity has to spend much of its funding completing studies, going out to bid and paying Davis-Bacon wages, but a volunteer group would not.
“Let’s just get together and do it,” Shipley said.
Globe Economic Development Director Linda Oddenetto suggested that if such a group would want to seek grant funding, the Southern Gila County Economic Development Council (EDC) could be the fiscal agent to facilitate it.
After the Aug. 6 town hall, Shipley said, “The meeting went well. The general take away was that many community members do want help.”
Those gathered liked the idea of being an informal committee that could work with the city and partner with a nonprofit such as the EDC, he said.
“The next town hall will discuss the same topic and see what comes out of that group,” Shipley said.
Award winning journalist with over 18 years experience in covering local news and issues affecting rural communities. Married 37 years, my life has taken me from Phoenix to Willcox to Globe. My husband and I are both overjoyed to find ourselves in Globe-Miami, with its rich history and sense of community. This is truly home.