Glendale, Ariz. –The Glendale City Council unanimously approved a contract awarding Downtown Manager services for the city to the Glendale Chamber of Commerce at Tuesday evening’s formal council meeting.
The Glendale Historic Downtown District has long been a priority focus for the city. The city’s Economic Development staff recommended using the services of an independent Downtown Manager under the umbrella of a private organization to develop a diverse, cohesive and unified perspective on strategic priorities for Glendale’s Historic Downtown District. The Downtown Manager will be working with all business interests to have a voice in shaping their future.
The first efforts of the Downtown Manager will be to connect with every member of the downtown business community and invite them to work collaboratively to identify their priorities and establish coordinated strategies to assist their businesses.
“Glendale’s Downtown is not only the heart of our community, it is the soul of our community,” said Mayor Jerry Weiers following the vote. “To achieve the council’s vision, we must support a vibrant city center that we are all proud of while facilitating the sustainability of our Downtown Glendale businesses. This priority requires targeted, consistent support and focus. Through our significant partnerships over the years, the Glendale Chamber of Commerce has consistently proven their commitment to our downtown and I am confident they will do a phenomenal job.”
The chamber will lead the downtown merchant efforts in the presentation and revitalization of historic downtown Glendale. Strategies and plans will be developed to create a more diverse, livable and sustainable downtown, while encouraging new economic development.
“Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into our city center,” said City Manager Kevin Phelps. “This exciting partnership provides the opportunity for the downtown business community to collectively identify and advance their shared priorities to meet the unique needs of downtown Glendale.”
According to city officials, the new public-private partnership will strengthen Downtown Glendale and encourage an environment of activity, energy and vitality. Moreover, the partnership is intended to unite Historic Downtown Glendale partners and stakeholders in a common goal to increase the economic prosperity of business, and grow residential opportunities for the City of Glendale.
“Revitalization of downtown Glendale remains a top priority for our Economic Development Team,” said Economic Development Director Brian Friedman. “In order to re-energize our downtown in a meaningful and sustainable way, specific strategic actions should be taken to diversify and grow our local economy. The Downtown Manager will facilitate, promote, and advance the efforts to revitalize our downtown core by building on the strong social fabric and superb physical characteristics of our historic downtown.”
Led by CEO Robert Heidt, the chamber will work cooperatively with the city’s Economic Development Office to deliver Downtown Management services throughout the life of the contract by providing enhanced direct services targeting marketing and economic development.
“Through our redevelopment initiatives and strategies, downtown Glendale will get the focused attention necessary to create jobs, revitalize the business climate, attract new businesses, and introduce sustainable new development,” said Heidt. “We will also help the city “build a framework to positively influence and impact the economic health and preservation of historic downtown Glendale.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of the relationship we have built with the city and its Economic Development team,” said Heidt. “For us it’s all about promises made and promises kept, and we appreciate the vote of confidence the city council has given us.”
The three-year Downtown Manager contract begins July 1, 2017 and includes a renewal option for two additional years.
By the Glendale Star
“The first to say thank you for your service in the United States Armed Forces.”
That was the theme of the evening and it was repeated over and over again as high school graduates from area schools stood, bowed their heads, listened intently to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and walked across the stage to receive a special certificate of appreciation and a challenge coin from Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.
The 2017 Inaugural Induction Ceremony, presented by Weiers and Glendale Chamber of Commerce, was a solemn evening of thank you to local high school seniors who now are members of the United States military.
Weiers acknowledged Chris Kelly, a member of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Veteran and Military Affairs Committee. It was Kelly who planted the seed for the night of celebrating graduating high school seniors for their decision to enlist in the military.
Weiers told the graduates, “Whatever you wind up doing, wherever you end up going, Glendale has your back.”
He thanked the military veterans who attended, and the U.S. Marine Corps Old Breed Detachment from Glendale for volunteering their time to help at the celebration.
A video presentation featured retired Gen. Colin Powell, who was talking about what makes determines leadership. It was one word: trust.
“Create that spark that gets the mission done,” Powell said.
The senior military official for the evening was U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Clukey, commanding officer, U.S, Army Phoenix Recruiting Battalion.
Clukey told the recruits, “You should be proud. More than 70 percent of our youth do not meet the standards; 30 percent because of obesity. Less than 1 percent serves; less than 7 percent have served.”
Of significant concern to Clukey and other members of the military is that most people between 17 and 35 are unaware of the military.
“In this room, I see extraordinary opportunities to grow as a leader,” Clukey said.
He then joined emcee Jeff Turney, chairman of Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and Weiers, as they congratulated all of the Army recruits, then gave them their certificates and challenge coins.
U.S. Marines Corps Maj. Barret Bradstreet and U.S. Navy Commander Matthew Beare recruiting commanders for the Phoenix region, followed the same procedure, as well as Command Chief Randall Kwaitkowski of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, and Petty Officer First Class Martin Wygan, U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Office.
There were more than 160 recruits in attendance that night, and all were sworn into their respective military service organizations at the same time by ranking military officer in attendance, Lt. Col. David S. Clukey.
During the evening, the Sounds of the Southwest Singers Community Choir sang “America the Beautiful,” “Salute to the U.S. Armed Services,” and “God Bless America.”
Glendale wants to improve its climate to keep and grow the business community in the city.
City Council last week in study session agreed to move forward with the creation of a temporary subcommittee and to solicit feedback from the business community. Mayor Jerry Weiers was absent. The item is expected to come before Council at its next voting meeting.
“This sends a positive message to all business large and small in Glendalethat we are interested in them and what they do,” said Councilwoman Joyce Clark, who came up with the idea. “It sends a positive message to businesses thinking about moving here that we are serious about improving the business climate. I’m not saying it’s bad but it can be made better.”
The one-year subcommittee will be made up of three council members and representatives from the business community who will review the city’s codes and make recommendations to the Council.
Ms. Clark said during her time on the Council off and on since 1992, there has never been a review of the city’s policies, regulations or laws pertaining to businesses in Glendale.
The subcommittee will remove outdated, ineffective and redundant business regulations on the city’s books, she added.
The committee will look at everything the city does relating to business and see where it can become more business-friendly and enhance its reputation as the premier business community in the Valley, Ms. Clark said.
Development Services Director Sam McAllen said the subcommittee would take an average of two to three hours a week of staff time. For the duration of the committee, it is estimated to take 1,040 hours to 1,560 hours of staff time, he added.
Councilman Ray Malnar suggested increasing the seven- member committee to include a contractor or builder because that profession, which creates job opportunities in Glendale, is affected by city fees and policies.
Councilman Jamie Aldama suggested adding two representatives, one from the minority business community and one from a woman-owned business.
Councilman Bart Turner said the idea of a subcommittee is a worthy endeavor, however, it is a step too soon.
He cited the large use of staff hours, a city resource.
Instead, he suggested the city find out what the issues and/or frustrations are for businesses in Glendale by getting it from the members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, soliciting input at city hall’s second-floor service counter and establishing a hotline for merchants.
Try that for a year and then see if the committee is still needed, Councilman Turner said.
Councilman Aldama asked what the staff hours equated to in money.
Mr. Allen said staff only went as far as to identify which departments would be involved in the committee. Departments involved include Building Safety, Fire Marshal, Planning, Economic Development and City Attorney.
Councilman Aldama noted despite the cost of creating the committee, its recommendations would generate more revenue for Glendale.
Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff suggested the council move forward on both proposals.
“I have no problem doing both at the same time,” she said.
The council also agreed to expand the subcommittee to 11 to 13 members, taking in Councilmen Aldama’s and Maynar’s suggestions.
Staff estimated the new sub committee could be up and running within three to four months upon approval.