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.



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.

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.


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:

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



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

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!