The latest Goodyear Neighbor Alert included information about what will be on the city's spring ballot.
Here is the exact wording:
Prepare Yourself for March Elections
On March 12, 2019, city of Goodyear voters will vote on candidates to fill three City Council seats and will vote on three city propositions:
READ THE BALLOT PROPS HERE.
READ OUR BLOG ABOUT GOODYEAR ELECTIONS HERE.
If you're a target of Estrella's Facebook ads, you've probably seen promotions for Lucero. It's a new community being built near Star Tower on Estrella Parkway. It's slated to open this spring.
Since Spring 2016, we've advocated for an additional fire station in Estrella to cover the quickly expanding community.
In March 2018, I last went to Goodyear City Council to ask about the timeline of the opening of Lucero and the construction of Estrella's 2nd fire station. The City sent a written response saying it did not know when families would move into Lucero. But, the additional fire station was on track to open in the Fall of 2019... "slightly later than the original timeline of mid-summer 2019." The city's website now shows that date pushed back again to December 2019.
Why do we care? On March 26, 2016, an Estrella family found themselves the victims of a house fire early Easter morning. Their dog, Daisy, lost her life. The alarming response times and "tips" from within the fire community got us taking a closer look at the issue.
You can find the history of our reporting and advocacy here.
At the Estrella house fire on March 27, 2016 - 9 minutes into the alarm - just 5 fire professionals were at the scene. Goodyear was first to respond at 8 minutes and 10 seconds. The national standard recommended 15 people weren’t on scene until 14 minutes and 58 seconds into the alarm. That’s 5 minutes and 58 seconds later than the NFPA 1710 standard.
Even Goodyear City leaders have questioned why the response times in this All-America City are much longer than what they had been in the past. Eventually, Goodyear spent thousands of taxpayer dollars to hire a foreign firm out of the United Kingdom to study the city's fire services. (More.) The consultants came back and told Goodyear what it already knew. The city needed multiple new fire stations.
ESTRELLA'S SCHOOLS NEARING CAPACITY
Granted, homes will take time to be built in Lucero. But the amount of construction in south Estrella, in Montecito and CantaMia, has exploded. The traffic is getting heavier. The grocery store is busier. Even the Liberty Elementary School District has discussed the timeline for opening up a new school.
The Liberty Elementary School District recently discussed the issue of overcrowding in Estrella's schools. Link here. View the presentation from pages 51-66.
Jen's Two Cents
The lack of media coverage in the west Valley is concerning. Please pay attention to what your lawmakers are doing. And get informed before you vote. You have to make the extra effort because local media isn't cutting it.
Goodyear's council meetings are now broadcast on Facebook live. You also can find video recordings on its website if you miss the live show.
Driving down Estrella Parkway, it seems our little town is really growing up. From new industry and small businesses to housing developments and homelessness... Goodyear has a lot on its plate.
Have you seen the construction next to the Goodyear Ballpark? That vacant land will be home to "Gates at Goodyear" - condos with mixed-use for the west Valley. Reportedly, "It will feature 80 residential units, with office, dining and retail space below. Noting Arizona’s heat and long-lasting sunlight as motivations, Fair also plans for the structure to be energy independent and efficient, with the goal of residents having net-zero energy consumption. One feature is that residents’ units will have what Fair describes as transition glass, which darkens when exposed to sunlight." The CEO is Andra Fair who got the idea from his land partner, David Byrd, who owns several Goodyear hotels. "The development also involves Sonnen home energy storage systems, so each unit will have two solar-powered batteries, allowing residents to go on or off the grid, he explained."
We're chomping at the bit for Saddle Mountain's patio to open. Maybe October? Hopefully? We can't wait!
MC85 at Lower Buckeye Road is going to take on new shape in Goodyear. Microsoft is moving in south of the Goodyear Airport. Check out more here.
A new school! Litchfield Elementary School District is building a new school. "School 16" will be located at 18601 W. Campbell Avenue in Goodyear... just north of Indian School Road and east of Perryville Road.
Pickleball courts at the Goodyear Community Park unveil September 22nd. Goodyear says, "The event will kick off with a tour of the court and remarks by city officials. Later, there will be on-court demonstrations by local pickleball players as well as mini-clinics covering the basics – from selecting the right paddle to understanding the rules of play. The celebration concludes with the courts open for general public play. The project, which was funded and approved in response to residents’ request, converted basketball courts to accommodate pickleball and maintain two high school-sized basketball courts." The cost to build these was $168,000. The project plan reports, "Repurpose the existing basketball court to include four lighted Pickleball Courts and two lighted high school level basketball courts. The courts will receive new court surfacing and striping."
Dunkin' Donuts is reportedly opening this week on Estrella Parkway just south of Van Buren. Don't forget, there's a fabulous Sunrise Donuts just south of there at 725 S. Estrella Parkway, Goodyear, Az. They're a mom and pop shop with lots to offer!
Rumor has it that a Culver's is opening in Goodyear. We checked with the company and they said they do NOT have plan for a Goodyear location. (Hope I'm proven wrong. Although, they are located in Avondale and around the west Valley.) They also sent the franchise link to me if anyone is wanting to open a Culver's. Anyone?
Dream Swirls, owned and operated by Estrella residents, moved to a new location. We stopped by during the grand opening and it was PACKED! I love mom and pop shops. Be sure to check them out. 15557 W. Roosevelt Street, Suite 102, Goodyear, Az. Near Robeks on Estrella Parkway.
A quick jaunt into Litchfield Park for a moment... Teacup has opened. Its menu looks awesome and I hope to get there soon.
The City of Goodyear made two new hires in big positions. Lori Gary is the new economic development director. Goodyear states, "Prior to accepting the post in Goodyear, Lori was a senior project manager for the city of Mesa’s Office of Economic Development. Specifically, she promoted new investment, redevelopment and reuse, and job creation within Mesa’s Fiesta District, Falcon District, and West Mesa."
Tammy Vo starts in October as the city's new communications director. "Tammy has spent the last six years working as the marketing and communications manager for the city of Phoenix. Before then, she spent 13 years in television news."
Both positions seem to have high turnover in Goodyear. Let's wish them the best of luck in our growing city.
Soon-to-be hired are interns for the Goodyear Spring Baseball Season. Check out opportunities here.
At Goodyear City Council tonight, Police Chief Jerry Geier and Sgt. Justin Hughes of the Professional Standards Unit will discuss a difficult issue... Homeless Outreach. The agenda reads, "City Management requested that staff prepare information on the issue of homeless outreach and nuisance behaviors such as panhandling in order to ascertain the Council’s level of interest in pursuing an ordinance, policy revision, or other action. This issue has not come before Council in the past."
When I assisted Goodyear with its All-America City application in 2008, Goodyear reportedly knew of just 11 homeless people. Now that the city has grown immensely, and so quickly, it's sadly obvious that number is growing. "Staff has compiled information on the issue of homeless outreach, including definitions, existing conditions, and information from other valley cities. Possible alternatives will be presented and direction will be based on Council feedback," Goodyear Staff Analysis.
Homeless Youth Connection sent out an email today inviting the community to attend its Empowering Youth Breakfast. It's October 25th. You must RSVP. More here.
If any of the above issues interest you, I encourage you to run for office. In 2021, several termed-out seats will be open and we'll have, potentially, an all new council. Now is the time to brush up and get involved.
We were beyond thrilled this week to see Councilmember Laura Kaino announce she's running for the position she was appointed to when Joanne Osborne vacated the seat. We worked with Kaino on the Goodyear Water Conservation Committee and hope she brings that knowledge and ideas to the table. Please follow her on Facebook. She's been very active in the community!
Open Seats in the Goodyear Spring Election of 2019 are:
Finally, if you're looking to watch some great high school volleyball this weekend, please check out the Wolves Classic Invitational at Estrella Foothills High School. It's Friday/Saturday. The school's high school Homecoming Parade and Carnival follows at 5pm Saturday night. Best wishes to all the students and athletes this weekend!
We'll continue to follow what's happening in Goodyear and the west Valley. Our mission to keep informed ramped up again this spring when a Goodyear City Councilmember falsely made accusations against us. She got us wondering about what's really happening. We know it's important to the community and taxpayers to stay informed. If there's something you'd like for us to check out, please contact us.
14 days ago, a major monsoon storm hit the Estrella community. Three of SRP's largest structures collapsed in Estrella with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The damaging storm made local and national headlines.
Today, the City of Goodyear is still working to pick up bulk trash related to the storm... a taxpayer service.
My main concern is the hundreds of trees lost in the storm. Hundreds.
Yes, trees have a purpose in master-planned communities like Estrella. Beauty. Shade. Design.
But, replacing all of these trees wouldn't just be expensive... it's not exactly smart.
In May, the Water Conservation Committee presented its recommendations to the Goodyear City Council after two years of intense education and problem solving. One of the recommendations was the establishment of a city-wide tree plan.
Current landscaping throughout the All-America City is not necessarily designed for the passive collection and use of rainwater. Additionally, some trees are huge consumers of water.
With the loss of all of the trees, is now the ideal time for Goodyear to collaborate with HOA's to discuss more conservative ways to develop communities with water conservation in mind? Can the city lower water consumption of landscape design by 15 or even 25%?
AUGUST 2-3, 2018 STORM DAMAGE GALLERY
Future development and plans are currently in the works to bring the experience of Crocker Park located in Westlake, Ohio, a vertically integrated mixed-used lifestyle center, to the community of Goodyear with the expansion of the Market at Estrella Falls. ~Stark Enterprises
In May, we blogged about the Estrella Falls Regional Center.
Jobs in Goodyear
3 companies are bringing more than a thousand full-time jobs to Goodyear. Chewy, Ball, and UPS are expanding in our All-America City. Link.
Construction begins on $4.7M Adelante Healthcare facility in Goodyear.
Check out all the Major Projects in Goodyear here.
We're excited to see Wellspring Park when it's completed. Lots of media about it already. Check it out here.
Fire Services Expanding
We've been advocating for new fire stations for a few years. You can check out the stations in the works here.
Fine Arts Show
If you have time, stop by the Goodyear Fine Art Show “Southwest is my Home” at the Goodyear Library! We have one of our favorite photos hanging in the show.
Monday night, Goodyear City Council will attend a worksession to discuss... their own salaries.
In the Agenda, City Staff is recommending:
"Staff is seeking guidance on moving forward with establishing an ad hoc Council Compensation Committee. In an effort to provide for an efficient process, staff also seeks Council direction and authorization to select members from existing applications for Boards and Commissions, and conduct meetings as necessary to determine a compensation recommendation. Staff would return to City Council in the fall with a final recommendation on the compensation package for the Mayor, the Vice Mayor and councilmembers." ~City of Goodyear Staff
If it turns out they get a raise, it'll take effect when the next councilmembers are elected in June 2019.
Yesterday, we were concerned about the status of Goodyear’s Estrella Falls Mall as the link was no longer showing.
We contacted the Goodyear City Manager for clarification on the status of the mall.
The "Estrella Falls Regional Center" link is now here.
While Estrella Falls Regional Center won’t have a traditional mall at this time, it will attract shopping, dining, and entertainment. No name change. The development agreement with the property owner requires additional square footage of retail/entertainment by 2021.
The original agreement between the city, Macerich and Globe Investors was approved in 2006. With the impact of the economic crisis, the development schedule was put on hold. This coupled with the very rapid growth in online shopping, has changed the dynamics of the project (and retail in general) and it has not moved forward at the scale and pace once planned. However, retail developments have taken place in the area including the Market at Estrella Falls and the very successful Harkins Theater. We are also expecting the announcement of the development of a major full service restaurant shortly. There are obligations in the current development agreement for construction of additional retail by Macerich by 2021. Macerich has not presented any new development ideas for the site and Globe has not to date presented a plan for the land it owns. Currently the city is relying on the existing agreement but is open to new ideas for the overall area and development of a concentration of retail within its boundaries.
What is the plan? We don't know. But, the City of Goodyear is still very committed to making this land a destination point. That's good to know as residents have always wanted more entertainment and dining options on this side of town.
When our family moved to Goodyear in 2005, one of the selling points was the up and coming mall.
We were specifically told, “Goodyear is the next Scottsdale.”
We saw several big businesses move into the Target shopping complex on Cotton Lane… with the hopes of capitalizing on the new shopping center. Then we watched them all move out
While on Goodyear City Council in 2012-13, I voiced my concerns about the setbacks on construction of the proposed Estrella Falls Mall. I also raised the question in 2009 with the Arizona Republic.
"We have too many empty and foreclosed homes in our neighborhood and not enough stores and jobs. I have to do a lot of my shopping online," said Jennifer Barber, who lives in Goodyear's Estrella Mountain Ranch. "The way we are growing is not working. We aren't getting many of the basic things we were promised."
Over the years, I learned DON’T BELIEVE IT TILL YA SEE IT. And that appears to be the case with the Goodyear mall.
Goodyear’s website boasted of the Estrella Falls Mall on its website for years. Visit the web page today… this is what you see.
I had a hunch that mall wouldn’t build. Malls are a dying breed. It doesn't make economical sense. (I still do a majority of my shopping online.)
If the mall isn't coming, what happens to all the land around Harkins Theatre on McDowell? I’ve posed the question to the city.
12 years after an agreement was made, Estrella's 2nd fire station is getting closer to reality.
Monday night, Goodyear lawmakers will vote on a resolution to move forward with hiring and training seven firefighters who would be stationed in Estrella. This would be for Estrella's 2nd fire station, 804 Station - a.k.a. Goodyear Fire Station 186.
Goodyear's City Projects webpage shows the construction start date for this fire station is January 2019 with a budget of $5,050,000.
It's estimated to be completed in December 2019. However, the fire chief tells me he expects opening in the Fall of 2019.
WHY THE TIMELINE WAS MOVED UP
Around 2006, the City of Goodyear, Newland, and then partner "Tousa" agreed to develop a second fire station in Estrella which was to be built and running by 2009.
The economy tanked and the station was never built. It was to be constructed at Willis and Rainbow Valley Roads.
In 2015, Fire Chief Luizzi addressed council about growing fire service demands throughout the City of Goodyear... and in Estrella. Over the next few months, he explained to council City triggers and thresholds which would cause the construction of an additional fire station in Estrella.
At one point, Estrella 2nd fire station was not to be operational until 2025! Link
Tragically, on March 26, 2016, an Estrella family found themselves the victims of a house fire early Easter morning. Their dog, Daisy, lost her life. The Estrella community pulled together raising over $20,000 in money and donations for the family.
West Valley Families studied the response times for the house fire and reported on what really happened here. And the results left us asking... "What can we afford? We hope it's not lives."
At the Estrella house fire on March 27, 2016 - 9 minutes into the alarm - just 5 fire people were at the scene. Goodyear was first to respond at 8 minutes and 10 seconds. The national standard recommended 15 people weren’t on scene until 14 minutes and 58 seconds into the alarm. That’s 5 minutes and 58 seconds later than the NFPA 1710 standard.
In June 2016, we were tipped that the City's agreement with local developers had lapsed. Our sources told us the agreement was "allowed to expire" and that funding for a second fire station was not in place. Report here.
At the June 27, 2016 meeting, City Manager Brian Dalke revealed he spoke with a Newland representative just that week.
And talking to Bill Olsen this week, there has been an understanding that the bones of an agreement are in place. It can be argued some of those elements may or may not apply. The fact of the matter is one of the partners - if you will - back to the earlier agreement is no longer there. So CantaMia for example - is AV Homes - will be part of any discussions.” ~GOODYEAR CITY MANAGER BRIAN DALKE, JUNE 27, 2016
THE CITY KEPT BUILDING
During all of this, City lawmakers continued to approve building permits in the Estrella community.
We've lost count for more permits since we last checked. But, drive into Estrella and you'll see the tremendous amount of construction from Star Tower down through Montecito.
Additionally, in Spring 2016, Goodyear City Council participated in a work session to discuss the FY17-26 Capital Improvement Program. About half way through the meeting, the presentation turned to "General Funded Programs - Projects Requests." City staff initially recommends fire stations be listed on deferral for future impact fees.
We added fire stations to your list simply because of your recent conversations just to put it up here and let you know it’s on our radar… but that we know the study is pending and we’ll wait for that project. ~Lauri Wingenroth, Budget and Research Manager
Priorities ahead of fire stations, listed at that meeting, included a recreation center and aquatics facility and ANOTHER STUDY TO THE TUNE OF $100,000 to find out where to place the train park.
Coincidentally, Goodyear lawmakers also will hear a report this Monday night for the Recreation Campus Master Plan. Link
KJZZ's Matthew Casey reported Goodyear taxpayers spent roughly $53,000 on a study to determine future fire service needs in Goodyear. The report was delivered in December 2016. Council called into question the study's metrics for the Estrella community... which led to a call for information about the lapsed developer agreement for the Estrella fire station.
In January 2016, Council quizzed the fire chief about a variety of ways to add service in Estrella without building a full fire station.
We could do something smaller or different, could we not? ~Wally Campbell, City Councilmember
What would be the cost to add... a truck... or add additional personnel to the station we have? ~(Then) Vice Mayor Sheri Lauritano
Councilmember Sheri Lauritano is an Estrella resident. She also said she was in Estrella and heard and saw the Easter morning fire which took place after this meeting.
Adding just a two-man crew to the current station would be a "clock stopper" move. They'd be first to arrive. Because they'd be medical... they wouldn't be able to help on a structure fire at all. "So you're still waiting the time for additional support to come," states Fire Chief Luizzi.
Even if you just put in a two-man crew, you still have a time and distance issue south of Ray Road. ~Fire Chief Luizzi
Council member Bill Stipp has a great deal of knowledge on this topic and provided some thoughtful input that seemingly put this discussion on track.
We know based on years and years of study that a two-person EMS companies are not nearly as effective as four-person EMS companies. So when we're talking about delivering service, what we're really talking about is just getting somebody there. That's it... Let's ask ourselves, 'What level of service do we want to provide?' If we want to provide just band-aids and a rub on the shoulder or rub your back, then two people is the way to go. If we want to provide advance life support, we need to be all in. ~Councilmember Bill Stipp
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
In March, we reported a fire "team" reviewed the two potential locations for the Estrella fire station.
Location #1: Rainbow Valley Road and Willis Road (Station No. 804) - Identified by Goodyear Fire
In addition to saving half a million dollars, a compelling reason Goodyear Fire wants the station be built on the original site location is due to convenience.
"...the team evaluated turning movements to and from the site, access to the frontage and surrounding roadways, new short-term and long-term development of the area and proximity to other city facilities and infrastructure." Goodyear Staff Report
JEN'S TWO CENTS
Seeing Monday night's resolution on the Council agenda is encouraging. I'm proud to see the City of Goodyear keep this a priority along with the other needed fire stations throughout the city.
Between fire stations, the rec campus, and water conservation, Monday night should be a good night for residents in this All-America City.
OUR FIRE COVERAGE
To get up to speed on what we've covered so far, please visit these links:
Recreation & Fire Services in Estrella: March 5, 2018
Estrella's 2nd Fire Station Could Be One Step Closer to Reality: February 26, 2017
Teamwork Will Bring Additional Fire Service to Estrella: January 24, 2017
Fire Service Future in Lawmakers' Hands: December 8, 2016
Patient Care Coordination Update: September 18, 2016
Waiting Game: July 11, 2016
CantaMia Growth and Fire Service Demands: July 10, 2016
Estrella House Fire Response Times: June 29, 2016
Goodyear Under Fire: June 28, 2016
Fire Station Funding: March 17, 2016
Triggers, Thresholds, and Fire Service Demands: March 10, 2016
Saving Lives, City Budgets, and Growth in Estrella: January 26, 2016
Community Paramedicine: December 2015
TAKING IT TO LAWMAKERS
The committee came up with a plan of 12 recommendations for the Goodyear City Council to consider.
The recommendations are:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is an Estrella resident of more than a decade and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of the positive happenings in Goodyear, Arizona.