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Home » Government » Public transport and police, fire chiefs employment terms discussed at December 13 Council meeting

Public transport and police, fire chiefs employment terms discussed at December 13 Council meeting


Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton (District 4), and Council members Freddy Rios (District 1), Mike Pastor (District 2), Jesse Leetham (District 3), Mariano Gonzalez (District 5), and Fernando Shipley (District 6). All members were in attendance at this meeting except Councilman Rios and Councilman Pastor.

New Council members seated.

The meeting began with the seating of the 2023-2024 Globe City Council. The Loyalty Oath was administered to re-elected Council Members Mike Stapleton, Jesse Leetham, and Fernando Shipley and to newly elected Council Member Mariano Gonzalez. The mayor re-appointed Councilman Stapleton as vice mayor, and Council confirmed the appointment. Mayor Gameros then officially seated the new Council.

A new public transport system could be coming to the area

Council discussed a resolution petitioning the Gila County Board of Supervisors to establish the Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority in Gila County – potentially the first step in creating a larger and more resilient public transport system for Globe-Miami and surrounding areas.

The program would be funded at least partially through grants and non-traditional revenue sources. This program would not replace Copper Mountain Transit or any other current system. According to Barnes, establishing an IPTA only allows the County to look into possibilities and doesn’t commit Globe to anything. The County and the City would go ahead with the system only if it makes sense.

Public Works Director Jerry Barnes explained that the City has been exploring the idea of an IPTA for several years. Miami, Hayden, Winkelman, Payson, Star Valley and Gila County have participated along with Globe in initial meetings on the idea. This resolution requests the county to start an IPTA; the county needs that request from each of the participating communities to move forward.

We have a good transit system, we’re not knocking that. We’d just like to have a better one and one with a foundation that’s really stable.” –Jerry Barnes

Barnes pointed out that a larger transit system would have an easier time finding bus drivers – an issue Miami has had trouble with – and would create a bigger pool for other personnel and for equipment. He said, “When I say stable, I mean it stabilizes by a group of nine members, not just three.” Currently, if one member pulled out, it would devastate the system, Barnes said, but with more members, there would not be that danger.

Jepson said instead of having dual systems that duplicate costs, this system would be more efficient and have lower costs.

The system would cover the participating cities and unincorporated Gila County. There is a potential for Tonto Valley and San Carlos to join in the future, if they so choose.

The benefit we’re after is the savings of the money, lowering of costs, and continuing the great service that we know and love and want to keep going.” –Paul Jepson.

Barnes said the system could potentially fill needs like, for example, allowing people from Kearny to be able to go to any stop in the system to do their grocery shopping. Also, the system could always have a bus in reserve in case a replacement is needed. He said it would take about two years to switch over to the IPTA if the county and municipalities do decide to go ahead with it.

Mayor Gameros emphasized the need for Globe to have equal representation and an equal voice in the IPTA. Jepson pointed out that the by-laws could be written to give representation according to population or just one vote per community, or however the members prefer to set it up. Barnes said funding opportunities, on the other hand, would depend on needs, such as miles and expenses.

The change likely in police and fire chiefs’ employment arrangements

Continuing a discussion from the previous meeting, Council discussed an ordinance amending Globe City Code to change the employment terms for the Fire Chief and Chief of Police.

In brief, the situation is that currently, the chiefs serve at the pleasure of the Council – that is, they are hired by and fired by Council, although they operate under the City Manager’s supervision. Jepson said the system is working well now, which, he believes, makes this a good time to decide whether it might be wise to change the structure.

The alternative would be to make the chiefs’ employment arrangement the same as other City employees, meaning they would be selected by the City Manager, with Council given the opportunity for an up or down vote on the selected person. This arrangement would provide the chiefs the right to progressive discipline and the right to appeal discipline that affects their pay, hours or position – which they currently do not have, although all other City employees do.

Council discussion

During the discussion, Councilman Gonzalez said he feels the City Manager should have charge of the administration of the entire City. He said he’s surprised the chiefs are working under the current structure and feels they should have more protections. He feels the change in structure would create benefits for the City as well.

Councilman Shipley said Council had involvement in the selection of the chiefs because they are communicators in the community who have a large impact. He said he is uncomfortable with Council not having a vote on the selection. In response, Jepson said Council would have an up or down vote on the candidates the City Manager brings forward, and this change would clarify who the chiefs work for. Shipley said he wants to be involved in interviews and not just asked at the end of the process, although he said he would like to see Jepson attend interviews as well. Shipley also said he believes the chiefs structurally should be under the City Manager because a council member could potentially be subject to police action, creating a potential for abuse of power.

Mayor Gameros said he too, feels Council needs to be part of the hiring process because the Council members know the community and its vision, and they represent the people and know what the citizens want. Jepson pointed out that he also has critical information to contribute, such as qualities to look for or avoid, but has been left out of the hiring process in the past. Gameros suggested Jepson bring multiple candidates to Council and allow them to select the final candidate.

Chiefs’ comments

Chief Walters said a history of bad hires has caused problems in the police department, and pointed out that another candidate had nearly been hired instead of him, but failed a background check late in the process. He recommended the City put in place a codified process for hiring police chiefs. He also said he feels it’s insane that two directors out of all the City’s directors report directly to Council; he feels all should report to the City Manager.

Regarding being an at-will employee, he pointed out that everyone on Council feels that kind of arrangement is unfair, yet he and Chief Robinson could lose their jobs at any moment, based on a vote, without due process. Walters said he doesn’t believe that would happen with this Council and City Manager, but it is a potential. He said he would like to have rights with regard to termination.

I will tell you, I don’t feel protected.” –Police Chief Dale Walters

Walters said he feels the City Manager should identify what Council is looking for by interviewing them and then search for a highly qualified candidate. He also feels Council should also have the opportunity to interview candidates.

Chief Robinson said he doesn’t have a strong opinion and that the fire chief isn’t in the spotlight so much as the police chief. Still, he does believe some change is necessary to provide more protections so that Globe’s public service agencies continue to function as they should. He said fire chief typically have more employment protections than police chiefs do.

Compromise language

Jepson suggested there be a process by which the council selects a candidate with the advice of the manager and after a public process. The chiefs would report to the City Manager, and any terminations would take place through a merit process, in which Council would have no role.

Because two council members were absent and to give members a chance to look at the actual language, the matter was tabled for action a later meeting.

New hires and service recognitions

Jepson introduced the City’s newly hired administrative services manager, Eric Bowman. Bowman will be working with non-accounting finance tasks. He’s a graduate of the Citizens Academy. Before the City, he worked with the San Carlos Community College as a contractor. He moved to Globe in 2017.

What I learned from being a part of the Citizens Academy is how rewarding it is to serve your own community.” –Eric Bowman

Finance Manager Carrie Kittrell introduced the newly hired Finance Department accountant, Lou Ann Rickett. She is a third-generation native of Globe and a fourth-generation Arizonan. She worked in the valley for a while in industrial jobs, although still living in Globe, and has a master’s degree in business administration.

Jessica Cruz, Public Works Operations Specialist, was recognized for five years of service with the City of Globe. Public Works Director Jerry Barnes said Cruz is Public Works’ go-to person and has worked with many departments in the City on many projects.

Motions approved

Council also approved motions for the following:

  • Accounts payable in the amount of $948,895.4_ (inaudible).
  • A request for a 27-foot-tall free-standing sign located at the new Marathon Gas station at 2398 E. US Highway 60, Miami (the former Arco/AMPM). This sign is in excess of the 16-foot maximum height limitation. Planning and Zoning Director Dana Burkhardt explained that the sign code allows Council to approve signs that exceed the limit. The sign will be smaller than the old, existing signs. The request was approved on the condition that the owner install landscaping in the area at the base of the sign. The opening date for the station hasn’t been set yet.
  • A request for a 19.7-foot-tall free-standing sign located at the Pizza Hut at 1497 E. Ash St. This sign is also in excess of the 16-foot height limitation. Burkhardt explained that this is a replacement of the current sign, which is at 20 feet now.
  • Wall signage for Power Elite Dance Academy, located at 474 N. Broad Street. Burkhardt said the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission worked with the Dance Academy and recommended approval of this choice of signing. It will be a tall, narrow rectangle near the edge of the wall that currently has the Old Dominion Hotel mural.
  • Accepting a $5,000 AZ Librarians Fostering Resilient Rural Communities AHEAD AZ mini-grant to carry out the Growing Mentally and Physically Strong Program. Library Director Rayel Starling explained that the funds will go to support mental health and community health, including yoga classes, teaching a growth mindset, and other aspects of mental health. The City does not have to match the grant.
  • Submission of a grant request for the 2024 Bridge Off-System Bridge Grant from the ADOT Off-System Bridge Program, in the amount of $2,792,565, for the replacement of the Cottonwood bridge (Upper Pinal Creek Bridge). Rick Scott explained that the grant will fund construction. It is a competitive grant process, but the City is hopeful to receive the funding. The request has already been submitted, and Council is ratifying the request at this meeting. If the City receives the grant, Council will need to vote to accept it.
  • A contract with Rodriguez Construction for the Amster Building Abatement Repair, in the amount of $24,061, and a change order for mitigation of flooring, also with Rodriguez Construction, in the amount of $32,092.60. Jerry Barnes explained the change order will pay for repairing damage to the Amster building due to flooding. Council added a 15% contingency of $4,813.80, because additional repairs may be needed. The City will move Finance, HR, IT, and Fire Admin into the renovated area.
  • A change order to a contract with Superior Tank Solutions for the Hagen Tank 1 Renovation project, in the amount of $30,250. Barnes explained this change order is for the installation of steel plates to repair the floor. This is a 500,000-gallon tank.
  • A change order to a contract with RFI Consultants for quality assurance inspection services for the Hagen Tank 1 renovation, in the amount of $10,000.
  • A change order to a contract with Advanced Air Systems for the Wastewater Treatment Plant AC Unit Project in the amount of $750. Vince Mariscal explained that this change order came about because a light fixture was moved due to another project, so the AC head unit needs to be adjusted higher.
  • An Inspection Service Agreement between the Arizona Department of Housing and the City of Globe, for inspection services for manufactured homes, factory-built buildings and mobile homes. Tony Manfredi of Globe’s Economic and Community Development Department explained that the ISA program exists to alleviate duplication in processes like permitting and inspection. It allows jurisdictions to conduct inspections on ADOH’s behalf. The ISA sets the fees that the City can charge for making inspections, the qualifications that City personnel have to have in order to conduct inspections, and the benefits that customers should see from the agreement. Manfredi pointed out this is a re-up of a five-year contract, but either the City or ADOH can break it without costs.

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To view documents related to this meeting, click here

Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website .

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 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. 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 the City of Globe Arizona). Or click on the “Live Stream on YouTube” link at the top of

To speak to agenda items before or during the meeting, you can call or text (928) 200-0154 or email If you desire to speak to the Council during an agenda item.


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