The Glendale Star
Little did Mayor Jerry Weiers expect a simple invite to Puerto Penasco “Rocky Point,” Mexico would turn into another way to assist a city that needed a little assistance.
“I was invited to a baseball tournament and got the chance to meet with the mayor of Rocky Point and we had an amazing conversation about our two cities,” Weiers said. “I had a great time with him and he came up here and toured our city and met with our Chamber of Commerce and it was just an amazing meeting.”
Weiers said he discovered that, while the two towns are similar in size and population, they could not be on more different levels when it comes to economy.
The two towns are similar, but I learned that while we are pushing nearly $900 million in what we can spend, they are just over $20 million,” Weiers said. “I asked him how they do things and he said it was very difficult and I decided I had to try and do something to assist them, but wanted to make sure it would not cost the taxpayers of Glendale anything.”
So he went to work, first by talking to Glendale Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert Heidt, who quickly began discussing the issue with local business owners.
“We had met with the mayor of Rocky Point to improve the relationship between the two chambers and we were essentially able to identify an opportunity with our business community and a way we can help them out,” Heidt said. “I contacted a number of business owners and they were open to helping and I really got 110 percent of the people I contacted were in favor of assisting in any way we could.”
So, Weiers quickly started making calls about donating two, older out-of-commission police vehicles to the city and found that old police vehicles are auctioned off to the public. While Weiers was adamant against the use of taxpayer funds, Heidt and Weiers decided to ask the business community what could be done.
Local business owners agreed to support the efforts by purchasing two cars through a partnership with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. The main local business owners were Jerry Perry of Avanti Windows, Sands Chevrolet and Bell Signs, all of whom agreed to donate toward the purchase of the two vehicles. Also part of the group was Puerto Penasco resort developer of Playa Azul. The two vehicles were taken down and donated Feb. 15.
“The main thing is this is just friends helping friends, or amigos ayudando a amigos,” Weiers said. “There is no taxpayer funds involved in this and when we deliver these, it is turning into a major event.”
Sands Chevrolet painted the vehicles for free and Bell Signs made the logo stickers for the cars. The mayor presented the two with a plaque to thank them for their assistance.
“This was just a way to help people who need a little assistance,” Weiers said. “When I told Heidt what I wanted to do, he said what he always says and that is whatever I want, the chamber will help, and they did.”
Representatives from the city and chamber of commerce presented the cars with Puerto Penasco Mayor Ernesto Roger “Kiko” Munro, Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, and dignitaries from the Tohono O’odham Tribal Nation present at the donation.
Heidt said it best when he finished with, “This shows that we are not just local, but we are going global and we can have an amazing relationship with the chambers in other areas of the world and help build a credible partnership with other cities and continue to build what we can to help communities in need.”