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July 11th Update with Prescott Mayor Phil Goode

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Mayor Phil Goode, City of Prescott, Prescott Mayor Goode

Prescott Mayor Phil Goode discussed several topics in his updates on Facebook providing important information for the residents of Prescott, Arizona.

Here is the update for July 11, 2022:

  • Independence Day
  • Public Safety
  • Prescott City Council Study Session
  • Public Hearing
  • City Council Voting Meeting
  • Sgt. Richard Lopez
  • Chris Graff

Independence Day

We had a great Independence Day celebration of our nation’s birth during the 4th of July week in Prescott. Of course, the 4th of July in Prescott includes the World’s Oldest Rodeo and the Frontier Days Parade. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Junior Bonner film was a theme that ran through the entire week.

I’m pleased to report that we had one of the largest parades in recent memory, and the Rodeo was sold out for every performance.

The week was finished up with a family celebration and a spectacular fireworks display at Watson Lake.

Congratulations to all who helped make this special week a huge success for visitors and local residents alike.

Public Safety

We all know that Prescott is a highly desirable community to live and work in. This is, in part, due to the high quality of core public services that the city provides to ensure the safety of our residents. However, community growth has impacted our ability to provide these public safety services rapidly to all of our residents. One of the issues we have been discussing at council is how to fund and plan for future public safety locations.

I have recently met with Fire Chief Holger Durre, and Police Chief Amy Bonney about several issues. Both the fire department and the police department have experienced a significant increase in calls for service over the past several years. The last time we built a new fire station was in 1995, and the City has seen a significant amount of growth in our community since then.

To close this gap, the proposed FY 23 city budget that just began on July 1st contains funding to meet important objectives not only through new stations, but by utilizing new technology, efficient dispatching, and partnering with the community.

This may include changes to fire codes, encouraging and facilitating aggressive wildfire mitigation, and leveraging public-private partnerships in emergency medical services more efficiently.

New fire stations and personnel are needed, but by also focusing our budget on initiatives that increase the efficiency of current and future resources, we can reduce the overall cost of catching up to the growth we have all experienced.

Living safely in our beautiful city comes with a lot of responsibility for all of us. The city must effectively invest the tax dollars provided by our citizens and implement wise initiatives that efficiently utilize those investments.

However, I urge citizens to also do their part. One way residents can do so is by ensuring their properties are FireWise and prepared for wildfire threats and by supporting our public safety personnel.

Also, please check your smoke detectors, and, if you are a business owner make sure you are up to date on all of the safety regulations impacting your industry.

The City is actively seeking ideas and suggestions. In June, Fire Chief Durre hosted two Community Input Meetings to receive feedback about Prescott’s future and how the Prescott Fire Department can best continue to serve our community as it grows and changes.

Please watch for further information on next steps. Together, we can work to keep Prescott as vibrant, beautiful, and safe as ever.

Information on meetings with Chief Durre

Prescott City Council Study Session

There will not be a Study Session for Council Tuesday, July 12th. The Executive Session, which is not open to the public, will take place at 10 AM. We will be discussing leases at the new City Hall location, and also doing an employment performance review of City Manager Michael Lamar.

Public Hearing Hassayampa Community Facilities

There is an annual public hearing for the Hassayampa Community Facilities District #2 at 3 PM. During this brief meeting, we will seek approval of the minutes from the last meeting, and also vote on a 2023 budget for the Facilities District.

Hassayampa Community Meeting Agenda

City Council Voting Meeting

During the voting meeting, which starts immediately after, we will set the Prescott City Property Tax Levy for fiscal year 2023. The City’s primary property tax rate for FY23 has been reduced from 2022.
In 2023, a home valued at $400,000 will be taxed just $91.24.

For the sixth year in a row, the City is proposing to keep any tax increase to only the amount attributable to new construction, which is less than the allowable maximum through the “truth in taxation” procedure. The last increase to the maximum was in 2017.

You may be interested to know that while revenue from the primary property tax supports general governmental functions, it provides a relatively minor amount of the overall cost. To place this in perspective, $1.9 million represents less than three and a half weeks of funding for the City’s public safety operations (Police and Fire) and less than one percent of the total city budget.

It is important to understand that any other taxes you see on your county property tax bill reflects various taxing authorities, which do not benefit the City of Prescott.

Voting Meeting Agenda

City Council Executive Session Meeting Agenda

Sgt. Richard Lopez

I want to express deep condolences once again to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of myself and the City of Prescott regarding the loss of Sgt. Richard Lopez, who was tragically killed in the line of duty almost 2 weeks ago. Sgt. Lopez leaves a wife and two daughters.

I know that the greater Prescott community is generous and supportive. Here is the information how to donate.

If you would like to give a gift, you can send checks, money orders/cashier’s checks, or bring cash to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. All checks must be made out to YCSO Employee Fund with, “Benevolence Fund: Richard Lopez” written on the memo line.
These funds can be mailed or brought to:
The Sheriff’s Office, Attention Kelly Fraher,
255 East Gurley Street
Prescott, AZ 86301.

Chris Graff

The Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Committee also said goodbye to a good friend, Chris Graff, who was the President of the Board of Directors, passed away on July 2, 2022.

About a year ago, while updating the Prescott Council on the upcoming Rodeo, Chris Graff said, “I really believe – a prediction I had a long time ago – we’ll have all 8 [performances] sold out. I still think that’s going to happen.”

They didn’t quite make it last year, but this year, for the 135th anniversary of the World’s Oldest Rodeo, all 8 performances were sold out before the gates even opened.

That was surely due in part to Chris Graff’s enthusiasm, support, and leadership for the World’s Oldest Rodeo.

Rest in Peace, Chris.

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