Clint Hickman (Our Maricopa County Supervisor) Reply About the Fire

Here is what Clint wrote me today.  I hope many more of you wrote Clint and asked for some action regarding these idiotic fires around our area.  It’s not too late to do so.

We’ll see…

Email from Clint Hickman:

My office sent me your latest email…I am an egg farmer today.

A first meeting has been called between Mayors in the region, farmers that run composting operations (my brother will represent our farm), fire experts, landowners, Farm Bureau, Luke AFB, and the various agencies that were involved with communication.

Meeting will happen two weeks from now.

I am a pro business standards and practices representative. Prior to once again trying to wield an ever expanding regulatory book, I am taking a look at the current statutory guide and limitations that my office can provide and I will go from there.

By the way, I believe that state legislators as well as Federal offices will be in attendance as well.



Hey, Clint!!

Ok, everyone, now that the latest FIRE is almost out, get your typewriters (computer keyboards) out to get some action so we don’t keep having this happen.

Send an email to Clint Hickman, our District 5 Maricopa County Supervisor. Here is his email address:
Copy Bob Huhn with Maricopa EPA who suggested some “fixes” when I spoke to him today about it. His email is:

Here is the email I suggest you send:
“I live in Goodyear and I am fed up with the repeated mulch and other fires YOU keep allowing to happen because you are not properly regulating privately operated “landfills” like the one which has been burning for the past week.
As a minimum, I want ordinances passed immediately which include the following provisions:
1. All businesses in unincorporated areas or not covered by a city fire department MUST have a contract with Rural Metro.
2. Barricades must separate any piled debris. Your EPA and solid waste people can identify area and dimensions.
3. A maximum height for flammable debris MUST BE IMPOSED. This should be no more than 6 feet in my opinion.
4. Meaningful penalties (fines) large enough to cover the cost to have the county fix any offenders’ sites should be defined and imposed.
5. PS. Anything you can do about the repeated horrendous stench we get here in PebbleCreek apparently from farmers applying untreated raw sewage on their fields near residential neighborhoods would also be appreciated.

Now get on it, Clint.”

Copy GEOrgia too, so she can’t say she knew nothing about our concerns (like the prison).

Your Tax Dollars at Work; Nothing Being Done About Mulch Fire

What are your taxpayer funded Federal, State, County, and Local agencies doing to put out the mulch fire in El Mirage which this morning put a cloud of smoke over Goodyear?


You heard me right, nothing.
And the latest is that this could go on FOR ANOTHER MONTH!

View up my street this morning.


Don’t believe me?  Take a look at the photos below that I took this morning at the site of the fire. I found 4 or 5 what looked like agricultural workers operating a farm sprinkler putting water on the fire.  There was a back hoe there, it wasn’t operating, and a couple of tractors.  Also not operating.

Here is the only “fire fighting equipment” I could see there. It looks to me like a farm watering device.

The only fire fighting equipment I could see

We have literally hundreds of thousands of dollars and nearly 100 full time “public safety” employees in the city of Goodyear, but I guess they are all busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner or shopping in their fire truck at Safeway or Fry’s. Here is a view of the fire from the east looking west. Smoke is headed towards Goodyear.

View of fire

View of fire

Here is the only earth moving equipment I could see.image These were the only guys on site. image This is NOT that big a deal, but nothing is being done about it.image They have a huge pit they appear to be filling up with mulch. This will happen again.image image image There is plenty of flammable material elsewhere on the property that could go up at any time.image image image image

And here is a view from the north of Pebble Creek neighborhood. Socked in with smoke from the fire overnight.  I guess all us old folks will enjoy breathing in all that smoke for the next month or so.image

Who You Gonna Call?
I tried the EPA Region 9.
They have an office in San Francisco.  No answer, no message where to call in case of an emergency.  In fact, Gregg Nudd, listed as the Region 9 particulate guy did not even have a voice mail message greeting. 415-947-4107.  I bet if they had a smokey fire in SF this morning there would be hundreds of people working to put it out.

I tried Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
ADEQ at 602-771-2367.  No answer.  But their voice mail message says, “if you’re calling about the West Valley fire, call Maricopa EPA at 602-506-6010.”  So ADEQ obviously does not want anything to do with it.

Maricopa EPA?
602-771-2367.  “We’re only open 9 – 5 Monday through Friday, closed holidays.”  Call your local police or fire in case of an emergency.

So I called Goodyear PD.
I spoke to Crystal (I think that was her name).  She said, “Rural Metro is the lead fire fighting agency on this case, call them at 480-945-6311.”

Rural Metro.
I called and spoke to Chris, an obvious dispatcher.  Chris said, “the owner of the property is putting copious amounts of water on the fire.”  You’re not doing anything Chris?  I asked.  “Nope.”

I suggest you call Goodyear mayor GEOrgia Lord and see what “one of the top 50 most influential women in the valley” is doing about it.
You can reach GEOrgia at 623-535-0007

Budget Time in Goodyear. First Presentation? Up to $3.0 Million More for GY Employees

This power point was presented at the GY city council work session April 2, by GY HR. HR Presentation April 2 2012

Turn to page 21 of the presentation for the proposed compensation increase options for city of GY employees that HR is proposing to city council. Nope, there are no proposals to lower employee compensation in order to restrain spending and maybe pay off some of the city’s $300 million of debt. New city manager Dalke says, “there is $2.5 to $3.0 million that can be used for “many things”.”

They are considering lump sum payments to city employees that range from over $1.0 million at 2.5% all the way to 5% lump sums, or worse, increases and “structure changes” that take the bill to taxpayers to $2.4 million.

And Goodyear is broke, friends. But that is what your city council is considering. Lucky you, they were leaning towards something in the $1.0 million range.

And why are they proposing this? “Market policies.” “Benchmark organizations.” “Compensation Strategies.” And against whom do they market, benchmark, and strategize? They don’t tell you in this presentation but Scottsdale and Glendale have been in there in the past.

Should Goodyear compare itself to Scottsdale and Glendale for employee compensation? How about just Buckeye, Tolleson, Litchfield Park, and Avondale?

Oh, and lest I forget, there is also half a million dollars ($500,000) of increased cost for healthcare and dental that the city is considering taking on plus council wants to re-institute tuition reimbursement for employees at an estimated cost of $150,000 per year.

Is your employer covering over half of your health care cost increases?

Does your employer still offer tuition reimbursement?

That brings the total potential tab to taxpayers to over $3.0 million.

Can you say campaign payoffs and “Meet and Confer?”

Snowing in Goodyear Becomes Secret Meetings Blizzard in Surprise. Is This the New Goodyear Forecast?

434 days and counting until Goodyear residents get to take back Goodyear city council from special interest groups like union PACs, developers, and other business PACs (Georgia’s Money) and start to return Goodyear to fiscal sanity. The terms of the three “creeker” incumbents, Campbell, Gelzer, and Lord expire in 2013 as well as Pizzillo’s.

Goodyear city council elections; May 15, 2013.

Goodyear city council primary elections; March 12, 2013.

Deadline for petitions to run for council; December, 2012.

Goodyear needs FOUR good candidates to run against these government cronies.  Who is going to step up?

And now the article;

Recent events in Surprise and activity in this legislative session make it timely to re-look at what is going on in Goodyear and elsewhere around public union driven meet and confer ordinances like the one Goodyear city council approved last October as a payback to Goodyear city council’s union campaign contributors. Georgia’s Money

howardsgoodyearblog on Meet & Confer  All other hgb Meet & Confer Articles.

Recent Goldwater Institute comments on secret meeting language updates to Surprise’s Meet & Confer Ordinance. GWI Article

GWI “It’s Snowing in Goodyear” article. Snowing

GY Passes Super Employee Class Ordinance for Public Safety Employees

Against the advice of even the conservative Goldwater Institute, GY city council on Monday passed the Meet and Discus/Confer ordinance which according to some had been demanded by city public service unions as a quid pro quo for public service election endorsements and campaign contributions from other Arizona city’s public service union PACs. 2011 10 Ord

The vote was unanimous.

The new ordinance creates a special super class of GY public safety employees recognizing them over and above not only other GY employees but also regular citizens by giving them special access and treatment with the city manager especially on budget matters.  This is done even though only 30%, not 51% of the “Employee Groups” as defined in the ordinance need to be in favor and support the process to put it in place.

The mostly union member public safety employees will elect their own employee group representatives to develop their agenda and bring their demands to the city at budget time.

How about the rest of you employees and especially taxpayers out there?  Why don’t you get your own process and special meetings with the city manager where he is required to respond to in writing?  No, citizens get 3 minutes if they are willing to go wait around for hours at council meetings until it is their turn to speak.

And GY city council doesn’t even have to respond to you.

More from the Goldwater Institute on Meet & Confer.  GWI Article

Goldwater Institue Reply to Al Lewis, by Nick Dranias

Nick Dranias, on October 20, 2011 at 9:40 am said: Edit Comment

Al Lewis, your claims about Arizona law are simply not true

Arizona lacks statutory collective bargaining authority, but it does not prohibit it and local “meet and confer” ordinances make up the difference. Although public sector unions in right-to-work states, like Arizona, still assiduously refuse to equate “meet and confer” and “collective bargaining” laws, the distinction between “meet and confer” and “collective bargaining” laws no longer makes much of a difference. When such laws first appeared, “meet and confer” laws authorized public sector unions and government management to engage in entirely optional collective negotiations. They were enacted to displace a backdrop of common and statutory laws that prohibited even voluntary negotiations between public sector unions and public employers. Labor advocates later applied the term “meet and confer” to laws that compelled public employers to engage in “good faith” negotiations with public sector unions, but which did not require government to agree to a union contract.

Today, both “meet and confer” and “collective bargaining” laws usually authorize state and local governments to reach binding contracts with public sector unions—contracts that can bind the hands of subsequent legislatures and city councils because of the constitutional protection afforded contractual obligations under federal and state constitutions. Moreover, if unions believe the negotiations are not being conducted by their employer in “good faith,” both “collective bargaining” and “meet and confer” laws empower public sector unions to seek administrative or judicial intervention to compel public employers to bargain. See Phoenix v. PERB, 699 P.2d 1323, 1326-29 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1985) (“It is apparent from the foregoing description that the meet and confer ordinance establishes a procedure whereby City management and employee representatives are expected to negotiate in good faith and reach an agreement concerning wages, hours, and other working conditions. It is anticipated that the negotiations, which are the essence of the meet and confer process, will produce a memorandum of understanding reflecting the agreement between City management and the employee representatives. Importantly, the final decision-making authority is expressly reserved to the Phoenix City Council because the memorandum of understanding is not to be effective until it is approved by the Council . . . . The employee organizations have only suggested, and correctly so, that the terms of the meet and confer ordinance be followed and that issues which are subject to negotiation be, in fact, negotiated as a predicate to final action by the City Council.”); see also AFSCME v. Phoenix, 142 P.3d 234, 235 n.1 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2006) (“In pertinent part, the term “meet and confer” means the performance of the mutual obligation of the public employer through its chief administrative officer or his designee and the designees of the authorized representative to meet at reasonable times, including meetings in advance of the budget making process; and to confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written memorandum of understanding embodying all agreements reached”).

In short, both labels have come to denote essentially the same thing—laws that require public employers to bargain, i.e. negotiate, with public sector unions in good faith over wages, benefits, terms and conditions of employment. And however they are labeled, such laws are heavily influenced by the National Labor Relations Act. Courts enforcing them look directly to National Labor Relations Board precedent for guidance. In addition to the ability to compel public employers to remain at the bargaining table until “good faith” is demonstrated, these laws deploy many other aspects of the federal doctrine of “unfair labor practices” to hang a legal threat over public employers who refuse to yield to union demands. This power to keep—or threaten to keep—a public employer indefinitely engaged in a costly rope-a-dope of court-supervised contract disputes and negotiations gives public sector unions significant legal leverage in bargaining, which is roughly equivalent to that wielded by private sector unions under the NLRA in more than two-thirds of the nation’s states. As a result, “a considerable amount of bargaining does transpire” in states such as Arizona notwithstanding local reticence to describe such bargaining as “collective. See Richard C. Kearney and David G. Carnevale, Labor Relations in the Public Sector 65-66 (3rd ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 2001).

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