Thursday, May 25, 2006

2006 HP Bond Campaign proponents celebrate accomplishments at Ellis-Shackelford reception

To help celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, Phoenix residents who supported the historic preservation projects funded in part by the 2006 City of Phoenix Bond Program gathered at the historic Ellis-Shackelford House on May 25 to celebrate the bond victory. Offering comments were HP Bond Subcommittee Chair Mark K. Briggs, Mayor Phil Gordon, Council Member Claude Mattox, HP Officer Barbara Stocklin, and HP Commission Chair Donna Reiner. The 45 attendees enjoyed displays and handouts of the funded projects, refreshments, and camaraderie among friends and associates.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon makes a point about the importance of neighborhood involvement in the 2006 Bond Campaign, while Council Member Claude Mattox and HP Commission members Reid Butler and Donna Reiner look on.

Phoenix preservation advocates reflect on the issues of the day.

Downtown Voices Coalition spokesperson Steve Weiss reminisces with friends about growing up in Phoenix.

City HP Officer Barbara Stocklin visits with Bond Subcommittee members Chris Ibarra (Parks and Recreation), Barry Wong (Public Infrastructure), and Tom Chapman (HP).

HP Bond Subcommittee chair Mark K. Briggs and City HP Officer share a laugh about making it through the bond process!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How each of the propositions fared...

[Source: City of Phoenix] -- With 133 out of 133 precincts reporting, an estimated 16% of eligible voters approved all seven bond propositions. The public safety and infrastructure propositions fared the best, as expected.
  1. 72.83% Yes ~ 27.17% No
  2. 70.25% Yes ~ 29.75% No
  3. 63.30% Yes ~ 36.70% No
  4. 63.15% Yes ~ 36.85% No
  5. 64.53% Yes ~ 35.47% No
  6. 65.56% Yes ~ 34.44% No
  7. 69.71% Yes ~ 30.29% No

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Phoenicians to vote on $878.5 million bond program; over $28.5 million slated for historic preservation

Long-time Phoenicians know that the City has been holding bond elections since 1957. And over the course of 49 years, city leaders have perfected the art of developing and selling bond packages to Phoenix voters. Unlike other U.S. cities which rely on more top-down approaches for crafting bond proposals, Phoenix uses a community-driven process to earmark worthy bond initiatives. It is not surprising then that many of our favorite urban amenities were borne from past bond elections. These include the ultra-modern Burton Barr Central Library, the flashy renovated Symphony Hall, and the cool Phoenix Art Museum. Also popular with voters have been neighborhood and historic preservation initiatives -- such as those to purchase and restore Tovrea Castle, support neighborhood revitalization, and support historic building and low income housing rehabilitation work.

As has been done in past years, more than 700 Phoenix residents helped to identify items for the community's 2006 bond program. Now set at $878.5 million, this bond package will use money generated by the current property tax rate to repay bonds. When you vote by early ballot or Election Day (March 14, 2006), you will find seven propositions on the ballot, loosely falling under the headings of public safety; technology; education; parks and recreation; libraries, community and cultural centers; housing and neighborhoods; and public infrastructure. The actual seven ballot items, with somewhat abbreviated titles, are:
  1. Strengthening Police, Fire, and Homeland Security
  2. Using Technology to Improve Police and Fire, Governmental Efficiency...and Access to Voting
  3. Building Small High Schools, Higher Education, and Health Science Facilities
  4. Increasing Recreational Opportunities with New Parks and Open Spaces
  5. Serving our Community with Libraries and Youth, Senior, and Cultural Centers
  6. Providing Housing that is Affordable...and Revitalizing Neighborhoods
  7. Constructing Streets and Storm Sewers...Infrastructure
This bond package offers a comprehensive plan to improve Phoenix’s quality of life and economic vitality. In all, over $28.5 million is earmarked specifically for historic preservation projects and programs, with millions more proposed for other worthy central city and citywide initiatives. Historic preservation projects will be on Ballot Propositions 3, 4, 5, and 6. Summaries of each are highlighted below.

It’s the position of the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition, Phoenix Museum of History, Arizona Preservation Foundation, Arizona Humanities Council, Arizona Action for the Arts, and National Trust for Historic Preservation (among many other organizations) that Phoenix voters should vote “yes” on all seven ballot propositions. And for die-hard historic preservation aficionados, it’s essential to vote for “Preservation Picks 3-4-5-6!”

Proposition 3

Proposition 3 completes the rehabilitation of the three remaining 1911 Phoenix Union High School buildings (Van Buren Street between 5th and 7th Streets), slated for the new University of Arizona College of Medicine downtown Phoenix campus. Other funding in this proposition goes towards the Arizona State University downtown campus and various small high school partnerships.

Proposition 4

Proposition 4 sets aside monies to renovate our historic downtown U.S. Post Office (522 N. Central Avenue) for partial use by ASU, while maintaining public postal uses on the main floor. Funding is also in store for a new downtown civic space south of the post office, including dollars to convert the vacant 1926 A.E. England Motor Company (424 N. Central Avenue) into retail and pavilion spaces for the park.

Rehabilitation dollars for parks in older neighborhoods include funding for an historic amphitheatre at Eastlake Park (15th and Jefferson Streets), site improvements at Coronado Park (12th St. and Coronado Road), and upgrades to downtown's Heritage Square.

Also receiving rehabilitation dollars will be the 1917 Ellis-Shackelford House at 1242 N. Central Avenue (pictured above), intended as a hub for local arts, culture, and historic preservation activities; the 1902 Dining Hall at Steele Indian School Park (Indian School Road and 3rd Street); and the 1941 Matthew Henson Public Housing Project units (7th Avenue south of Sherman Street), now planned to house cultural and youth activities for the HOPE VI housing project.

Proposition 5

Proposition 5 will complete renovations at the 1926 Carver High School (now George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center), our community’s window into the history of local African American history and culture. Bond funding will go toward two other local cultural icons, Santa Rita Center (1017 E. Hadley) where labor activist Cesar Chavez fasted for 24 days in 1972, and the 1922 Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park (pictured above) for community performance space.

Proposition 6

All Arizonans and especially residents of the near Westside will want to be involved in the planning process, funded by Proposition 6, to carefully examine relocating and/or redeveloping the Arizona State Fairgrounds, at its current site since 1905.

Proposition 6 also provides major funding to continue the city’s line-up of time-tested and proven historic preservation matching grants: the Historic Exterior Rehabilitation and affiliated Low Income Historic Housing Rehabilitation Programs, and the Demonstration Project Program. A new historic preservation initiative will also help save threatened historic buildings citywide, with downtown historic warehouses as a high priority.

The Historic Exterior Rehabilitation Grant Program is an award-winning program that has brought $2.6 million dollars in hard cash to inner-city historic neighborhoods. Since 1989, more than 300 historic residences in 29 central city historic districts have received matching grants to restore building exteriors. If you are new to Phoenix and are under the impression that historic neighborhoods such as Fairview Place, F.Q. Story, and Willo have always looked as good as they do now, think again. Twenty years ago, these neighborhoods were in sharp decline, and were chock full of crime-ridden rentals and blighted boarding houses. Pioneering urbanites -- combined with the power of the Historic Exterior Rehabilitation Grant Program -- have made historic district living hip again, albeit through decades of hard work.

A similar bond program for "landmark" historic structures -– the Demonstration Project Program -- has brought dozens of historic office buildings, retail centers, churches, and historic park facilities back to life. If you are familiar with historic Gold Spot Market at 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt Street (pictured above), you should know that public bond monies matched private dollars to return this historic retail center to economic use.

Phoenix residents volunteer to prioritize historic preservation bond projects

From mid-September to mid-October 2005, a 42-member Historic Preservation Bond Subcommittee worked closely to prioritize proposed historic preservation projects for the 2006 City of Phoenix Bond Program. The Subcommittee considered 15 requests totaling $36.288 million, and was given a $12.6 million funding budget. The Subcommittee selected eight primary projects totaling $12.6 million, with four secondary projects totaling $2.114 million. (The Bond Program’s Executive Committee later added one project, bringing the final total amount to $13.1 million. Other bond subcommittees, like Arts and Culture, Parks and Recreation, and Neighborhood Revitalization and Housing, also funded historic preservation related projects totalling $15.4 million.)

The Historic Preservation Bond Subcommittee was chaired by attorney Mark Briggs, a partner at Quarles & Brady Streich Lang. Michael Nowakowski served as Vice Chair. The Subcommittee conducted five regular meetings as well as five optional tours/site visits that allowed members to see firsthand 14 of the 15 projects requesting Historic Preservation funding in the Program. The tours and site visits covered 13 of the 15 proposed Historic Preservation projects. The Subcommittee considered recommendations and input from the public and received information and technical support from various City of Phoenix personnel.

In its review of the proposed 15 projects, the Subcommittee considered many factors, including:
  • minimum dollar amount required to complete a project;
  • whether proposed funding for a project will result in a finished product, such as a publicly accessible facility;
  • extent to which a project will address critical physical needs of a structure or abate a demolition threat to a structure;
  • whether a project gave the City flexibility to address future unknown specific historic preservation needs as they arise during the course of the Program;
  • availability of other funding sources for a project, including funding from other areas of the Program;
  • historic significance of structures impacted by a project;
  • a project’s impact in terms of promoting cultural and ethnic diversity in the Program;
  • a project’s ability to assist low-income historic property owners or users;
  • geographic distribution of projects throughout the city;
  • role of a project as a component of a larger project; and
  • minimum amount of funding required for a project to be viable.
The following Phoenix residents served on the Subcommittee: Marlys Anvil, Gene Blue, Mark Briggs, Ray Bused, Thomas Chapman, William Collins, Monique de los Rios-Urban, Therese Donavan, Stephen Dreiseszun, Andrew Federal, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Marlene Imirzian, David Indigoes, John Jacquemart, William Jaeger III, Lindsay Jones, Kimberley Kennedy, Daniel Klocke, Sarah Kriehn, Annie Lopez, Jim McPherson, Rose Marie Meager, Robert Mile, Beatrice Moore, James Mullany, Michael Murphy, Michael Nowakowski, Matt Ortega, Brady Roberts, Whitney Roberts, John Saccoman, Dr. Trino Sandoval, Carolyn Sigler, Jennifer Simmon, CJ Smith, Lisle Soukup, Todd Stansbury, Sheila Stokes, Jim Trocki, Dan Trozzi, Eddie Villa, and John Weldon Jr.

Providing key staff assistance were: Rick Naimark, Deputy City Manager; Judith Anderson, Erika Finbraaten, Barbara Stocklin, Kevin Weight, and Liz Wilson, Historic Preservation Office; Bill Greene, City Auditor Department; Sharon Wood, City Council Office; Mary Ann Fotinos, City Manager's Office; Jason Harris, Downtown Development Office; David Mays, Budget & Research Department; Dee Wheeler-Cronin, HOPE VI Office; Bill Scheel, Mayor's Office; Mark Lamm, Parks & Recreation Department; and Juanita Carver, Management Intern.

HP Bond Subcommittee member states case for voting yes on all 7 propositions

[Submitted by: Michael Nowakowski, District 7 Resident] -- As Vice Chair of the Historic Preservation Bond Subcommittee, and first-time participant in the bond process, my eyes were opened to the tremendous effort put forth by our Mayor, City Council, and city staff to ensure that this Bond Election reflected the needs of our city and reflected a common community vision. This was accomplished by bringing over 700 caring and passionate Phoenix residents together with an outstanding and knowledgeable city staff.

On March 14, I encourage voters to vote "YES" for ALL seven bond propositions.

Voting YES on Proposition 6 provides the city with the necessary resources to maintain efforts for safe, clean and decent neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods are the fundamental building blocks of our city and we shouldn't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.

Proposition 6 addresses efforts to provide affordable homes to families in a time when the Federal Government is allocating less each year to meet our growing housing needs. The challenge of our elected officials and Housing Department is figuring out how to stretch our funds in this economic climate. The alternative is lost hope and despair.

Proposition 6 addresses our need to preserve our historical sites. As the Mayor has stated, "Phoenix is a better place every time we are able to save a piece of our past. What historic preservation gives us that new construction does not is a magnificent variety of product, or style, of architecture, or craftsmen."

Your YES vote on ALL seven propositions allows our city officials to address our current and future needs and ensure that Phoenix remains an attractive place to live, work, learn and play. It's about improving our public safety, expanding economic development opportunities, strengthening neighborhoods, providing services for youth and seniors, and enhancing the life of all Phoenix residences.