"Sierra Vista is the best city!" This is what I state unapologetically like one of those Change My Mind memes when talking about our amazing city to literally anyone. Maybe one day I should sit down and start making a list of all the reasons why Sierra Vista IS the best city, but for now, I'm going to talk about just one. Our capacity to build community.
In light of recent events we can see where, as a nation, we need to work on community building. I want to officially state my anger, disgust, and immense sorrow over the tragic death of George Floyd, and also the death of Breonna Taylor, as I have recently learned about the injustice that cost her her life as well. My heart goes out to their families and friends. What happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor is inexcusable and as a country, we need to demand better because as a nation we are better. During our last council meeting, I resisted the urge to speak at all on any of this. Mainly because at that time I felt what I really needed to do was listen. There is a widespread notion that if you are pro-police you must hate black people, or if you are pro-black lives matter, you must hate cops. That is just not true. At. All. You can be pro-police and pro-black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) at the same time. And honestly, I think that is how it should be.
Still, after listening, and researching, and, most of all, learning...I admit I can't even begin to understand the perspective of those growing up as a BIPOC in America. I am familiar with the overwhelming weight grief puts on those suffering from loss, as well as the feeling of uncontrollable hopelessness that accompanies it. In my experience love, while not an instant remedy, does help heal a wounded heart. And our country has lots of wounds.
Here in Sierra Vista, we have an outstanding group of people that are working to mend those wounds. There have been a number of events held here. First, peaceful demonstrations were held on the corner of Fry, 90, 92, and the Bypass. CoolFMOnline and one of the protestors were attacked during the protest, but the video of the attack was provided to our police department and they have reached out to the victims to see if they wanted to press charges. The next event was a vigil held at Veterans Memorial Park, then an online panel (which included our Mayor and Cheif of Police) was held by the local NAACP chapter which will be available online later. Following that, Chief Adam Thrasher wrote a message to the people of Sierra Vista called "We must be better." that truly shows how SVPD is a model force that other cities should look to. Then on Friday the 5th, there was a march held that went from the Mall at Sierra Vista all the way to the police department. Along with the hundreds of people in attendance, Chief Thrasher, Commander Boutte of SVPD, and several City Council members marched the entire way. The next day there was another vigil held at Veterans Memorial Park with more City Council in attendance and again our own Chief Thrasher, and through all of these events there was only one act of violence and it was handled. In Sierra Vista, we are facing these national tragedies with a unified front and growing together to build a stronger community. And for that, I am very grateful and proud.
Before jumping into last week's council meetings, I do want to share an important update on COVID-19 numbers here in the Cochise. According to the Cochise County website this afternoon, there are currently 90 active cases in the County and the percentage of positive cases is now up to 2.7% of those tested. It's important to remember that on top of washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and social distancing, it is highly recommended to wear masks when out shopping or in situations where you cannot observe social distancing guidelines, etc. In addition, Fort Huachuca, like the State of Arizona, will not be moving to Phase II of re-opening. This was a decision made on June 2 and explained during a live town hall on Fort Huachcua's Facebook page.
Work Session of May 26, 2020:
Call to order - 3:00 p.m. [1:40]
Presentation and Discussion:
May 28, 2020 Council Meeting Agenda Items:
Item 1 Acceptance of the Agenda
City Manager’s Report: Upcoming Meetings, Bid Openings and Bid Awards
Item 2 Consent Agenda
Item 2.1 Approval of the City Council Special Meeting Minutes of May 12, 2020
Item 2.2 Approval of the City Council Regular Meeting Minutes of May 14, 2020
Item 3 Resolution 2020-025, Request for a Conditional Use Permit, Haven Health of Sierra Vista, 660 S Coronado Drive [2:46]
Item 4 Resolution 2020-026, Accepting a Grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Pavement Sealing and Rehabilitation [10:28]
Item 5 Resolution 2020-027, Authorization to take legal action against Jodi Silva [17:44]
Item 6 Resolution 2020-028, Dissolution of the City Council Advisory Bodies known as the Airport Commission, Arts & Humanities Commission, Cultural Diversity Commission, Commission on Disability Issues, Environmental Affairs Commission, Library Advisory Commission, Tourism Commission, Youth Commission, and the West End Commission and Re-establishing them as Departmental Commissions of the same names [25:48]
Development Fees [42:58]
Executive Report [1:07:54]
Report on Recent Trips, Meetings, and Future Meetings [1:25:28]
Future Discussion Items and Council Requests
Council Discussion (COVID-19 Status)[1:32:50]
City Council Meeting of May 28, 2020:
Call to Order Roll Call Invocation Pledge of Allegiance
Item 1 Acceptance of the Agenda City Manager’s Report: Upcoming Meetings, Bid Openings and Bid Awards [2:38] Item 2 Consent Agenda Item 2.1 Approval of the City Council Special Meeting Minutes of May 12, 2020
Item 2.2 Approval of the City Council Regular Meeting Minutes of May 14, 2020 Public Hearing(s) Item 3 Resolution 2020-025, Request for a Conditional Use Permit, Haven Health of Sierra Vista, 660 S Coronado Drive [9:57] New Business Item 4 Resolution 2020-026, Accepting a Grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Pavement Sealing and Rehabilitation[19:04] Item 5 Resolution 2020-027, Authorization to take legal action against Jodi Silva [24:53] Item 6 Resolution 2020-028, Dissolution of the City Council Advisory Bodies known as the Airport Commission, Arts & Humanities Commission, Cultural Diversity Commission, Commission on Disability Issues, Environmental Affairs Commission, Library Advisory Commission, Tourism Commission, Youth Commission, and the West End Commission and Re-establishing them as Departmental Commissions of the same names [35:32] Call to the Public Comments and Requests of the Council [52:47]
Last month City Council voted to re-establish our non-regulatory commissions to serve as departmental commissions. Because those changes require that we also amend the city's board and commission guidelines, we will be discussing and taking action to update those at this week's work session and council meeting. It's important to note that due to COVID-19, city buildings are still closed to the public and these meetings will both be over WebEx. Members of the public may attend the meetings remotely by calling United States Toll 1-408-418-9388, Access Code 1468680748 or at: https://sierravistacouncil.webex.com/sierravistacouncil/onstage/g.php? MTID=e016923685f93ea9081cdc50fd51c6018. To comment on an agenda item or submit a comment for Call to the Public, email the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also be heading into budget work sessions starting next week. The city council members started having their solo budget meetings with city staff last week. I had mine on Thursday and I'm incredibly grateful to our city staff for all their patience (we met for 2.5 hours) and diligent hard work in getting us this far with all the unknowns and still actively changing factors. I have a number of items I want to share from my notes on this topic but will wait to share them when I start covering our budget specific meetings.
Lastly, this morning I was saddened to learn of the passing of one of our devoted commissioners and active community residents, Tom Kennedy.
A Mass for Tom Kennedy will be at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Sierra Vista tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, at 2 PM.
Tom will be missed but his legacy of service will not be forgotten.
Please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any comments or questions.
Your Council Member,