The Daily Independent ran a story questioning the procedure the City of Goodyear used to appoint its newest councilmember.
Please take a look at the article written by reporter Madeline Ackley Salazar.
When I put my name in the hat to run for an open position in 2012, I was interviewed in a packed meeting room with the 2 other candidates chosen as finalists. Council went into Executive Session to deliberate. Then they came out to publicly vote on the selected candidate.
I was unanimously selected. It was an open process.
I encourage you to follow the reporter on this story about this last selection.
Considering the major issues at hand, the public should have been invited for all interviews. The public was there for mine. And that open process is so very important. I am very happy Patrick Bray was selected. I know he'll do a great job. But why not show the city why and what a great candidate he is??
With the passing of Mayor Georgia Lord and Joe Pizzillo stepping up as the city's newest mayor, the Goodyear City Council will be appointing a new councilmember.
Here is a glance at the candidates who applied for an appointment to the Goodyear City Council.
23 CANDIDATES WHO APPLIED FOR THE VACANT COUNCIL SEAT
Gregg N. Clymer
Sara MacInnes Gilligan
5 FINALISTS CHOSEN TO INTERVIEW TO FILL THE VACANCY
What stands out immediately is the lack of females in the chosen few. 7 women applied. That's about a 3rd of the candidates. Not a single one was chosen to interview.
Of the 5 finalists to fill the vacancy, all seem to have a lot of experience and many years as residents.
It appears candidate interviews will be February 22nd with the new member of the Goodyear City Council being sworn in February 28th or March 7th.
When it's all said and done, the biggest concern to me is who are the pro-parental rights candidates?
While Goodyear City Council does not oversee education... the candidates are very likely to move into higher legislative roles.
For instance, former councilmember Joanne Osborne is now a member of the House of Arizona State Legislature. She's recently come under fire by Corey A. DeAngelis for voting against school choice. Additionally, Garret Lewis of KNST is calling for people to "Call the RINOs Not Supporting HB 2616 Which Unmasks Kids in School" with Osborne listed as one to call.
GOODYEAR, AZ AUGUST 2022 ELECTION CANDIDATES
Here are the candidates, so far, running for election in August 2022.
Bottom line? Elections - and appointments - have consequences.
Hello. How are you?
Life has changed a lot since we last talked. The pandemic changed us in ways we never realized possible.
For me, I did a complete nose dive into caring for my family and focusing on the things within my reach.
WHY COME BACK NOW?
2022 offers the people an opportunity to take back what's been lost. It's an opportunity to rebuild.
I'm not talking at the federal level. I'm talking about where it really matters.
In our own communities.
As I revamp West Valley Families, my focus will start with the City of Goodyear and the local school districts. Eventually, I'll expand. But this is where I start.
Local government has the biggest impact on our daily lives. The unconscionable, discriminatory and divisive actions of law makers and school officials have prompted residents across the state to get more active and involved.
Locally, Goodyear will hold an election in August. The mayor's seat and 3 council seats are up for grabs.
Even closer to home are school board elections. School boards control what our children are enduring day-after-day. What our kids learn in the classroom and whether they compete on the court is up to a handful of people who sit behind the dias.
Many times, school board decisions are made by people who don't even have children in school.
When lockdowns kicked in 2 years ago, I quickly discovered that a majority of the representatives on the governing board at Buckeye Union High School District did not have children in the district. How could they possibly know what it was like to see our teens lie in bed all day, behind screens, and think they'd come out of this year ok?
The problem is that parents are not running for these seats. In the Liberty Elementary School District, a board member who recently moved here from another state was simply seated on the board as they were running unopposed.
My hope is to motivate parents to run for these open seats and get them filled by people who understand what's happening to the students and teachers. (Find out which school board seats are open here.)
SHARE THE WEALTH
My gift is being able to share my knowledge.
When I started up West Valley Families in 2014, I spent a lot of my time aggregating local events and fun information for families to find in one convenient place. Since then, several social media pages and apps have popped up providing that same information. So there's no need for me to go back to that.
My purpose is bigger in 2022.
What's up next for mandates and restrictions? Will schools will be overcrowded in August? Does my kid really need to take the SAT? (That answer is NO!)
I'll show you how to file a Freedom of Information Act form with your school district. And together we'll take a look a the questions every parent should be asking.
What pressure will businesses have to face? How can the city improve safety services? Where can families in need find help? And how can we help them? This is what's important in 2022.
A NEW GENERATION
A new generation of moms have pulled together an army of motivated parents who are willing to fight for their kids. I consider myself one of them.
I look forward to being part of a process making 2022 much better than the last 2 years. Please join me. It's going to be a worthwhile ride...
West Valley Families resumes blogging in 2022.
Anything posted from here and below was written prior to 2020.
The Goodyear fire station in the Estrella community was built! And it's open for business. THANK YOU to supporters of the project and the City of Goodyear for finally building it.
NEW COMPLETION DATE ESTIMATION FOR FIRE STATION 186 IN ESTRELLA
The current estimation for Fire Station 186 is a completion date of December 2020 according to the City of Goodyear's website.
Fire Station 181, located west of Litchfield Road at Yuma, has not been operational. A new fire station will be built and is estimated to be completed March 2021.
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is a Goodyear resident resident of almost 20 years and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of what's happening in the West Valley of Arizona.