Bring the Beach back to Tempe Beach Park?


By:  Tempe Thoughts

Hawks Cay Saltwater Lagoon

Hawks Cay Lagoon in Florida

Today candidate for Tempe Mayor, Michael Monti and candidate for City Council Dick Foreman announced their intentions to explore swimming in the town lake.    Their ideas revolve around creating a barrier that would effectively separate the new swimming hole from the lake itself.   This would allow the water water to be treated to “swimming pool” standard    Hawks Cay Lagoon in Florida was brought up as an example of how waters areas could be separated with sand.

Although the idea of a swimming area within the the Town Lake is not a new idea and has been studied by staff in the past, the project has not risen very “high on the priority list” according to Foreman.    When asked about funding both Monti and Foreman stated that the project should be self funding through “user fees” and that they would be asking the community for their thoughts.   The first community forum is set for December 20,2011.

Links:  http://www.hawkscay.com/hawkscay_pools.php

www.monti4mayor.com
www.foremanforetempe.com
 

 

Candidates to announce intentions to create public beach


Forget San Diego! Tempe Businessmen, Candidates Michael Monti and Dick Foreman Announce Proposal to Create the Valley’s First Public Beach  

(Tempe, Arizona) Candidate for Tempe Mayor Michael Monti and Tempe City Council Candidate Dick Foreman will be holding a news conference Tuesday November 29th at 11am to discuss their proposal to create a swimming beach, complete with sand, at the Tempe Town Lake.  The news conference will take place behind the Tempe Center for the Arts at 700 West Rio Salado alongside the pedestrian bridge.

Who: Tempe Mayoral Candidate Michael Monti and Tempe Council Candidate Dick Foreman

What: Announce swimming beach proposal

When: Tuesday, November 29th at 11am

Where: At the Pedestrian Bridge on the south shore of the Tempe Town Lake behind the Tempe Center for the Arts at 700 West Rio Salado

These two candidates believe Tempeans should not have to travel all the way to Saguaro Lake or San Diego to go swimming at a public beach. And they have a plan to get it done without soaking the taxpayer.

Candidate’s thoughts regarding the Tempe Public Library


By: Kolby Granville

The Tempe public library is a treasure of the community which has undergone drastic cuts during the most recent budget crisis.  For many residents, the library is the primary interaction they have with city services, and the primary place they go for books and internet access.

My interest in the Tempe library went from user to supporter many years ago, more than I care to remember…  My sister had a birthday coming up and I could not think of a present to give her.  For reasons that are now lost to memory, I decided to contact the Tempe library to see if I could donate a series of books in her name.  Indeed, the library was happy to take my money so they could purchase a series of books inscribed with a dedication to her.  Birthday success

A few years later, when I was an instructional designer, I realized patrons were beginning to come to the library to use the internet, and to use email.  My desire to support library services meshed well with my skill set, and I spent over 150 hours developing an elearning program for the Tempe library patrons on how to use web based email.  In fact, the training program was so successful the library used it for years.

In recent years, city services at all levels have been cut due to budget constraints.  The library has been no exception.  Tempe library hours were cut from 70.6 hours a week to 56 hours a week.  The library has also had to cut nearly $400,000 from its yearly budget.  This is a significant amount.  I was the only person to come to the city council and request the library continue its longer weekend hours.

Several years ago Amazon.com introduced the Kindle, an e-reader.  While it initially did not allow for ebook library check-outs (it does now), the Barnes and Noble Nook did.  I purchased a Nook and began the process of checking ebooks out of from the Tempe library (in partnership with the Phoenix Digital Library).  Much to my surprise, the ebook selection was horrible!  It was a very small selection and, in some instances, there were just a few ebooks available for checkout while 40 (or more) patrons were on a waiting list.

This was the case even as Amazon.com announced that it sold more ebooks then paper books.  I did a public records request and found the library spent $242,000 a year on physical book acquisition, and $30,000 on its entire digital library.  This $30,000 included downloadable books on tape, movies, music, and ebooks!  I once again emailed city council and library staff.  This time I asked them to adjust their ratios of expenditures to better reflect the reality of the changing marketplace.

In the end, my email to city staff cost me several hundred dollars as I decided to take matters into my own hands and bought the complete works of Kurt Vonnegut on ebook for the library.

My point is this.  Throughout this city council campaign you will hear every candidate talk…and talk…and talk.  They will talk about how they support police and fire.  How they support neighborhoods.  How they support parks and the library.  Talk is cheap.  The real question is this, what candidate has a (documented) history of support for these services?  I am that candidate.

———-

You can read this article with videos and links to supporting documentation at http://kolbygranville.com/?p=547

 

You can read other opinion/policy papers by Kolby at http://kolbygranville.com/?cat=5

Kolby Granville turns in nominating petitions for Tempe City Council race


By: Kolby Granville

My Thoughts: On Tuesday, November 15, 2011, Kolby Granville submitted 1342 signatures to the Tempe City Clerk, the maximum number of signatures permitted.  A candidate for Tempe City Council must submit 672 valid signatures (but no more than 1342 signatures) from registered Tempe voters.  Candidates have from November 14, 2011 to December 14, 2011 to submit nominating petitions.

Granville additionally submitted his Nonpartisan Nomination Form and Financial Disclosure Statement.  Granville is the first candidate for Tempe City Council to submit the nominating petitions for the 2012 election.

“Frankly, I was humbled by the response I received from friends and neighbors in Tempe when I said I was running for Tempe City Council.  I sent out the nominating petitions to friends and received over 1500 signatures back, more than I was allowed to turn in.  When I turned in my signatures I, literally, had another 200 signatures sitting in the car.”  ~Kolby Granville

The Tempe City Council election primary is scheduled for March 13, 2012.  The general election is scheduled for May 15, 2012.  Current council members Corey Woods and Joel Navarro are up for reelection.  Councilman Mark Mitchell has declared that he will instead run for Tempe Mayor.

Dick Foreman turns in petition signatures


By: Dick Foreman

Dear family, friends and colleagues,

I am now an official candidate for Tempe City Council having filed 1342 signatures, the maximum amount permitted.  This was an all volunteer effort that collected over 100 pages of signatures in just over 7 weeks.

Kate, Brenna and I have been working hard, and so have many of you.

So most importantly, we wanted to thank the many of you who who joined us in making this possible.

For those of you who can, I now encourage you to have a coffee or get together in your home or location of choice.  If you are able to do this, please contact me to lock in a date.  I am going to do all I can to be a candidate who comes to you and addresses the issues that concern you in your neighborhoods, homes and businesses.

Over the next couple of months I will be engaging our community on a number of issues.  I do not say that lightly.  I truly believe that we are at a serious crossroads in Tempe and this campaign will embrace the challenges before us, not cower from them.  I am not going to run scared from problems nor gloss over them.  I am not going to avoid difficult or tough decisions and most importantly, we will have straightforward, honest discussions as we work together.

Specifically:

1)  I will discuss our economic development tools with an eye towards job creation and payback to the taxpayer, NOT governmental picking of winners and losers in the marketplace via tax subsidy tools with limited or no future accountability or sustainability.

2)  I will be discussing a broad range of educational initiatives to significantly engage our elected leaders at all levels to take action and responsibility for our neighborhood schools and their needs, not just talk about them or blame it on someone else.

3)  I will be actively engaging one of the most dynamic institutions in our state, Arizona State University, including it’s student government, to help us deal with our challenges on a much broader and effective basis.

4)  I will define actions that illuminate budget decisions, involve our community and challenge all public projects to perform the service intended without tax increases and, in fact, with intent to increase project benefits to actually lower service costs and property taxes.

Yes, it can be done.

5)  I will engage a robust debate on all expenditures.  We must recognize the very real, even dangerous position many of our homeowners, taxpayers and citizens are in.  Status quo is for someone else.  Not me.

6)  I will run a civil, positive, idea-driven campaign.  I will tap into my public finance, educational and civic experience from over thirty years of service, most of it specifically in Tempe, coupled with a sturdy defense of small business and taxpayer needs as my guide.

7)  I am committed to taking a fresh look at our major community investments and will challenge whether they are serving ALL of Tempe as they should.  Far too often, community facilities use and policies seem to divide Tempe instead of bringing us together.  Nothing is off the table for this discussion!  It’s time to put Tempe first.

If you can help the Foreman For Tempe campaign in any way or are interested in how you can get more information, please let me know or drop by my website at:

ForemanForTempe.com

I’ll see you on the streets, on the web, in school, at business, patrolling the social network and most importantly, in our community.

Respectfully,

Dick

Corey Woods Issue Points


Corey will continue making a difference for Tempe by…
  1. Supporting Our Local Business Community

    We must promote a business-friendly climate that creates jobs and rewards entrepreneurship with a focus on bringing long-term, high-wage jobs to the City of Tempe. To do this, we need to provide the necessary tools to small business owners so they can thrive in today’s economy.

    It is time to work with the Legislature to create a Business, Education and Neighborhood Revitalization Fund. The creation of this Fund would provide the City of Tempe and its neighborhoods with the tools necessary to remake older, dilapidated strip centers into vibrant, more functional sites. We must be vigilant in working to overhaul the State of Arizona’s outdated tax structure and replace it with a system that allows cities like Tempe to create and maintain investments that help our city and our neighborhoods. Moving in this direction would assist in developing projects that reinvigorate neighborhoods, generate resources for our school districts and enable us to take control of our own destiny without being forced to rely on state or federal appropriations.

    Tempe also has a great opportunity to lead when it comes to green, renewable energy. With Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability right in our own backyard, we should be focused on setting the standard not only for our region, but for the entire country. Together, we can work in collaboration to identify business-friendly ways to be the leader in this growing field, while also bringing new industries and jobs to Tempe.

  2. Revitalizing Our Neighborhood Shopping Centers

    Tempe needs to remain ahead of the curve by revitalizing and redeveloping high-vacancy shopping centers into destinations that serve the needs of our residents. We should not just take a vacant store and try to plug more retail into it if the needs of the neighborhood have changed. Where appropriate, we should encourage mixed-use projects that combine retail with education services, medical/office space, live/work environments or housing as part of a single development.

    A great example of a forward thinking development can be seen on the southwest corner or Southern Avenue and Price Road. The Maricopa Community Colleges District is investing significant resources to change the functionality of the Michaels shopping center. Their redevelopment of that center into a testing site will provide jobs immediately, but in the long run will also support Tempe’s educational system, which is how we will remain competitive for years to come.

  3. Improving Park and Alley Maintenance by Utilizing Technology

    We can crack down on illegal dumping, graffiti and additional neighborhood park concerns by providing residents with better reporting tools. Tempe should have its own cell phone and iPad/Android apps, developed through a public-private partnership, that will enable reports and photos of vandalism and other issues to be easily reported any time, day or night. Once city staff receives notification of a violation, they can quickly respond to address the issue. Graffiti can be forwarded to the Police Department for a more thorough analysis. All telephone hotlines and e-mail addresses that currently deal with these matters would be maintained for residents that would prefer speaking to an employee at City Hall.

    Implementing enhanced technology would save money for our residents, while ensuring that acts of vandalism are addressed swiftly.

Bring back swimming to Tempe Beach Park?


By:  Dick Foreman  / City Council Candidate and your Tempe neighbor!

So I just got home from the Tempe Settlers picnic and what a blast to see so many great Tempe faces and hear so many great Tempe stories. Special thanks to Joel Navarro, who I know serves on the board that puts this together, and of course, the one and only Joe Spracale and so many others!

Many of the stories I so enjoyed listening to this afternoon had to do with the “old” Tempe Beach Park. Of course, as Joe will remind us, it was a park, picnic area and pool along the mighty Salt River; not really a beach. It certainly looked very different in those days but what great memories Tempeans have of it! I believe the original concept of Tempe Beach Park can make a comeback. I’ve discussed this with quite a few folks, will be discussing a lot more in the city council campaign to come, but thought I’d share this thought here.

Tempe Town Lake is a marvelous facility. World class events happen here, tourists flock to the lakeside and event planners rub their hands in glee at the thought of locking in a Fall/Winter/Spring weekend for good reason. People love to come here to play and participate in Tempe and on Town Lake. But I’m thinking that Town Lake has a ways to go to recapture some of the magic of the past. Tempe Beach Park. That was magic!

I will be exploring the feasibility of the City actually opening up a beach for our use and ensuring that it is available to Tempe kids and families the most. In other words, no roping it off for special events, but focusing on keeping it open as much as possible for all our families and neighbors to enjoy.

How is that possible? I think it is possible if we use some sort of easy to put in place, easy to take down, water curtains that would separate Town Lake with a thin sheet of material between anchored pylons so that we could properly treat and maintain a high level of water quality that met all swimming standards for the designated area, maybe an acre or less, with a real sandy beach leading into it. For flood control operations, the barrier could easily be removed to permit the passing of flood waters. The sand might need maintenance after such an event, but the cost of that for the benefit derived would be the real deal for Tempe families.

What do you think? Is it worth taking advantage of this beautiful lake by ensuring that our tax dollars are well used to open up lake activities to everyone? Would you like to see some of the old town charm of Tempe restored with a focus on picnics, families and enjoying a day at “the beach?”

Do you have ideas you’d be willing to share to help make this happen? Councilmember Shekerjian has already agreed to help me look into this with staff but this isn’t intended to be an exclusive club of researchers. The more the merrier. Hope this gets your thoughts flowing, too. And if you need more  validation of the merits of a real Tempe Beach, you might talk to some of the “old settlers” I met with today. They can regale you with the value, the memories and the beauty of such a facility.

Bring back Tempe Beach Park!

Dick Foreman
City Council Candidate and your Tempe neighbor

How I Lowered Taxes


By: Kolby Granville:

I first starting going to Tempe city council meetings in 2000.  I went off and on and had the honor of seeing former Mayor Neil Giuliano run meetings, as well as council members Hugh Hallman, Dennis Cahill, Len Copple, Joseph Lewis, and a host of other great Tempe leaders.  I continue to go the council meetings.  I frequently get asked the question from friends, “Why do you go to council meetings?”

When I am feeling smug, or short on time, my answer is “It’s cheaper than a movie.”  However, the real answer is quite simple.  I take an interest in city government for the same reason I mow my lawn and paint my house.  I want to take care of my home.  Just as my physical home is a home to take care, I view Tempe as my home as well.  And, frankly, part of taking care of your home, is going to the meetings that directly effect it.

So, that is the easy answer, but for those with more time, a story illustrates the point.  On January 7, 2010, a resolution showed up on the City Council agenda, “Request approval of a resolution submitting a proposed tax increase to the qualified electors of the City of Tempe for the next regularly scheduled general election.”  Although I had been to several meetings where council and staff struggled with budget issues, it was the first time I had heard of a sales tax increase.

The original agenda item was to increase the sales tax by 2/10 of a cent, with no sunset provision.   I am not always anti-tax.  Everyone at the meetings could see Tempe was having serious financial problems.  However, the financial problems were temporary, and the tax was permanent.  So, prior to the start of the meeting, I started talking to council members.

I talked to Hugh Hallman, Corey Woods, Onnie Shekerjian, and Mark Mitchell, all council members I had met before, and people that I respect as being very reasonable.  I pitched, “if you have to pass a sales tax increase for a temporary problem, make it a temporary sales tax.  Give it a sunset.”  Each said the same thing, “I like what you are saying.  Get me five votes, and I’ll support it.”

The meeting started.  During the call to the audience I was the first to raise my hand, and the first to speak out against a permanent sales tax increase.  Yes, I was nervous.  Then, as if by magic, person after person came up after me to speak, and each had the same thing to say, “I agree with what Mr. Granville said, if there has to be a tax increase, it should have a sunset.”

I came home that night and my girlfriend at the time asked me, “How was the City Council meeting tonight?”  To which I responded, “The weirdest thing happened, I think I just lowered taxes in Tempe…

Sure enough, the following meeting the issue was re-reviewed and a provision was added.  If the Tempe voters approved the sales tax increase, it would sunset after four years.  And a few months later, the voters passed Proposition 401.

Now, in truth, did I personally lower taxes in Tempe?  Yes and no.  I am sure there were many outside discussions, persuasions, and politics that took place.  Not to mention the people of Tempe, the city staff, and the council had to make the important decision to change the sales tax rate, and to put a sunset on it.  I know all that.  But here is what I do take away from the meeting.

There was an issue I cared about, I was able to speak in a public setting about it, and I was able to get an audience with decision makers.  And, if the strength of my argument was strong enough, I could steer policy.  That is an amazing and wonderful thing and, yes, it makes me very proud to live in Tempe.

Try talking to a council member in Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago?  My guess is it is not going to happen.  Try talking to your “representative” in 2/3’s of the rest of the world.  You are more likely to get arrested.  But here, in Tempe, democracy works.  The system works.  Voices can speak, and those voices can be heard.

And yes, that makes me proud, very proud, to live in Tempe, attend city council meetings, and take a small part in taking care of my “home.”

Kolby Granville explains why he is running for Tempe City Council.


By:  Kolby Granville
Tempe City Council Candidate

When I declared (in March 2011) I was running for city council, my assumption was the most common question I would get would be regarding policy. However, the most common question is much more straight forward. It is, “Why are you running for city council?” Rather than trying to sound clever and smooth, I am going to try to simply write from the heart and hope that those reading this will understand…

When I was 18 years old I, literally, came home from work (I worked through high school) to find everything I owned in a series of garbage bags sitting in the living room. I was told, “Manzanita Hall [a resident hall at ASU] opens today, it’s time you moved out.” When I moved into Manzanita Hall, I was not moving into student housing, I was moving into my new permanent home. I treated it as such, and I respected it as such. A problem with the residence hall meant there was a problem with my home.

As time progressed, I realized that Manzanita Hall was not (only) my home, but ASU, as a whole, was my “home.” What I came to realize after graduation was that it is your community that is your home. Tempe is my community.

Once you realize your community is your home, there are surprisingly few questions left. The proverbial “weeds” in Tempe, are the same as weeds in my front lawn. Graffiti in Tempe is like graffiti on my front door. Choices that negatively reflect on Tempe, are the same as choices that negatively effect on me. Service to the Tempe community went from optional to required. The only question left was “Where best to serve?” That requires a second example.

I moved to Tempe in 1990 and if someone asked me about the trend in the quality of life in Tempe, I would not have been able to answer. I would have only seen one point on the “quality of life” chart, so to speak. However, over 10 years, over 20 years, and you start to see the trends. You start to see the entire chart.

More importantly, you become able to point to moments in time on the chart where you can say, “Here, right here, if we had made a different decision, things would be different today.” The town lake, the light rail, the development of the Mill Avenue District, these are all examples (for better or worse) of past decisions that forever changed the course of Tempe.

Over the next several years, Tempe is poised to encounter more of these “moments in time” that will forever steer the future of Tempe. The proposed modern street car, density creep into south Tempe, sales tax and property tax rates….these are all issues whereby the decisions we make today will forever bend the quality of life chart of Tempe. I am running for office to protect my community, to guide these decisions, and to ensure that the future of Tempe as a livable and vibrant city is ensured. To do less would be, frankly, irresponsible “home” ownership.

Dick Foreman answers the question “why are you running?”


By: Dick Foreman

I announced that I would be a candidate for city council on Friday, September 16. I thought both gentlemen above made some great points. And I will verify that Kolby’s comment about the most common question he gets is exactly the same question I get. “Why are you running?”

Isn’t it interesting that so many Tempeans are focused on the “why” someone is running and not a specific issue? But I do believe there are several good reasons for that.

I will answer the question first on the why I’m running.

Those of you who know me well know that I fill my day with service, work and family. But when you spend nearly 35 years serving in a city in numerous capacities, including school board, city commissions, service organizations and civic causes, it clearly signals your personal commitment to your town. I have decided to offer my candidacy not just because a lot of friends and colleagues urged me to, but because that same drive I’ve always had to lend some of my experience to help is my motor for life. I actually believe I can make a difference.

I can make a difference because I do empathize with the needs of our town and I’ve done something about it in our schools, our civic endeavors and throughout our community over decades of my personal service and commitment.

I can make a difference because I do have significant business experience, both large and small, and I can use that to help me serve. I’ve actually run a small business, too. I’ve made payroll. I’ve personally created jobs. I am now and always have been a taxpayer.

I can make a difference because like so many of you, I have stared into the jaws of a recession as it has affected my finances, my family, my work, my colleagues and town, and as I have rolled up my sleeves for the challenges it presents, I simply will not accept excuses for failure. I intend to exemplify that same attitude in service to all of Tempe.

I can make a difference because I know, I KNOW that the real engine for our community is jobs. I do not say that like a slogan. I say that with a commitment to the same ideals as in the work I do every day. For example, I work for a company that has NEVER had a layoff. Not one person. EVER. That’s a commitment to not just budgeting, but working together, management and labor, department to department, finding ways to serve customers better, less expensively and never accepting defeat. It’s leading by example and listening to new ideas. It’s never doing things as you have done them before on some sort of management autopilot, because more than likely, that’s what’s gotten you into the mess to begin with. Get fresh. Get real. Never, ever get in the way of small business and their ability to change lives every day. Government doesn’t create jobs. Business does. Government does not lead economic recoveries. It foils them. Leaders who trust the job creators will serve us better because they won’t foil real growth with political schemes.

People in Tempe cannot put their finger on a single issue in city leadership by some sort of consensus because there is no single issue. Our issues are pervasive, broad ranging and the bludgeoning Tempeans have taken over the last five years is an unrelenting club.

As much as I would like to promise a quick fix, I can tell you that determination, commitment and experience are always good starting points coupled with just enough patience to allow the real growth, business and economic growth, to prevail. My personal commitment is to demonstrate that I will do this in a civil, respectful election process. And I will always be listening, because I have yet to learn anything while I’m talking. With your permission, I’m ready to lead, ready to listen and ready to roll up my sleeves on your behalf.

My campaign is called “Foreman For Tempe.” My campaign team, website, media and outreach are just now getting organized, so we’ll be in touch soon!

Dick