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Payson => Town Government => Topic started by: 260ChatAdmin on December 02, 2017, 08:39:21 AM

Title: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: 260ChatAdmin on December 02, 2017, 08:39:21 AM
Hockey in Payson?  Better than hockey!  600 Students paying $50,000.00 a year for private prep plus 100 new jobs and an activity center to boot?  Good golly, sounds almost too good to be true.  You know what they say…… So I did some digging.

Varxity Development provided $125k matched by Town funds.  That is for a study and a promise to waive Town fees for development?  Good thing our Mayor Swartwood found this Developer.  We should also be grateful that Mr. Ploszaj with Community Center Partners LLC convinced Varxity to have such a grand plan and bring it here to Payson. 

Mr. Ploszaj is no stranger to grand plans.  In 2015 Mr. Ploszaj announced other grand plans with apparent local Payson roots. 

“Following the recent announcement regarding the expansion plans in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area of a brand new 300,000-square-foot global headquarters for Advanced Munitions International LLC, AMI Properties Development LLC has named Lee Ploszaj as President and CEO.”

The name “Advanced Munitions International” may sound familiar.  It is similar to Advanced Tactical Armament Concepts (ATAC).  You know, the ammo place that shut its doors abruptly here in Payson.[ii]  I suspect they are the same company?  It appears the United States District Court, Eastern District at Tennessee, Knoxville thinks so as well.  [iii]

But no worries, Community Center Partners must be a good place right?  They have been in business since 07/27/17. [iv]   Wait, two months?  Well, in any event “Kudos” to them for landing such a large potential client with such ambition in only sixty days of operation.  The managing Member and Partner?  Mr. Ploszaj.

Varxity Development must be solid though right?  Well, the “equity crowd funding” round in 2014 got things going. [v] The reported two (yes, 2) employees must be very busy with all the others campuses. [vi] Maybe that is part of the 100 new jobs?

I would not be surprised if the truth on this grand deal lies behind several layers of LLC’s and out of state corporate entities, maybe Delaware or Nevada corporations? 

Confident the Town Council vetted all of that before they voted to spend $125,000.00 of our tax dollars to fund the project.  Right?  That was all vetted?  I mean, a hunch and 15 minutes with google got me this far….

Curious, has that $125,000 check cleared yet?    ::)

***************

http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/1445540950hz47kev73b6

[ii] http://www.paysonroundup.com/business/ammo-plant-update/article_78e2067c-187a-5d03-a570-32a11453c5a7.html

[iii] http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/nevada/nvdce/3:2016cv00542/117557/15/  (Kresser v. Advanced Tactical Armament Concepts, LLC et al, No. 3:2016cv00542)

[iv] http://ecorp.azcc.gov/Details/Corp?corpId=L22058569

[v] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/varxity-development-corp#/entity

[vi] https://www.equitynet.com/c/varxity-development-corp

Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: scott-helmer on December 12, 2017, 05:37:38 PM
Great research Jeffrey.
Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 14, 2017, 09:50:02 AM
Thanks Scott,

It is interesting.  The post above was a letter to the editor.  The Round Up chose not to publish it.  No issue there.  Well within their discretion not to publish.  I did however send a blind copy to every member of the Town Council.  The Town Council members are well aware of the concerns?    A jpg of the distribution list is below.

(https://s10.postimg.org/isnzy9ybd/editor_capture_redacted.jpg)

The most recent information on the project is from a Roundup article of 10/24/2017. 

Quote
The town began meeting with Community Center Partners (CCP), including Ron Chambless, chief operating officer and director of operations, in June to discuss revitalizing Rumsey Park, including replacement of Taylor Pool and possibly bringing a prep school to the area.

The consultants will develop a plan for the park and the school over the next six months.

Varxity has put “skin in the game” by agreeing to pay half of CCP’s consulting cost. So far, however, neither side has paid CCP, which will bill the town and Varxity on a monthly basis. i

So, you know, more digging. 

Turns out Mr. Chambless has a history of projects.  He appears qualified to address issues surrounding the community center via his firm “Kanet Productions.”  Mr. Chambless has a long work history with YMCA, etc.  Likely a good choice for a study on our recreation center.   

By way of example, the City of Glendale hired Mr. Chambless to conduct a study and increase enrolment and membership at the Foothills Community Aquatic Center (FRAC).  His firm was engaged for a contract to conduct the study.  ii  It appears based on the recommendations of Kanet Productions, Mr. Chambless had some success and positive impacts with the FRAC recommendations:

Quote
Initial Successes @ FRAC:
The summer 2014 Membership Drive:
785 new members compared to 225 in June 2013
88 new Silver Sneaker members
$38,576 in monthly revenue vs. $16,640 in June 2013
Quality marketing and branding in the community
Staff Teams leading the initiatives and event iii

Good stuff right?  No doubt that sort of improvement has a value to the end user.  So, how much was Kanet paid?  The contract had a value of $15,000.00.  iv

That’s right, a comparable study had a total value of $15,000 three years ago at the city of Glendale, AZ.  Three years later?  $250,000.00 to the Town of Payson. ($125k to Town, $125k to Varxity) Chalk it up to inflation and travel time I suppose?

Payson enters into a $250,000.00 contract to study the rec center and the feasibility of a 600 student hockey prep school with students paying $50,000.00 per year.  A pipe dream $30 million a year prep school operation in a town with no infrastructure for it, no airport, and no housing?  Sounds legit. 

By all means, spend $15,000.00 on a study.  Commit to $125,000.00 of a $250,000.00 study with a “co-partner” that has no verifiable assets, and a player who has an apparent history of bad business dealings in the Town of Payson?

It appears P. T. Barnum was right? 

i http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/work-on-parks-master-plan-begins/article_1e02c629-08c6-5b51-837c-4953b04c2c2d.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/work-on-parks-master-plan-begins/article_1e02c629-08c6-5b51-837c-4953b04c2c2d.html)

ii  https://www.glendaleaz.com/boardsandcommissions/documents/051214ParksandRecAdvisoryCommission-F.pdf (https://www.glendaleaz.com/boardsandcommissions/documents/051214ParksandRecAdvisoryCommission-F.pdf)

iii https://www.glendaleaz.com/boardsandcommissions/documents/102014ParksRecreationAdvCommission-F.pdf (https://www.glendaleaz.com/boardsandcommissions/documents/102014ParksRecreationAdvCommission-F.pdf)

iv https://www.glendaleaz.com/clerk/Contracts/9200.pdf (https://www.glendaleaz.com/clerk/Contracts/9200.pdf)
Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 14, 2017, 05:45:46 PM
One thing did strike me as odd.  A contract of this size, one would think there is a procurement process?  One would be right. There is a “Procurement Policy.” 1    Well, let’s see what it says……

Quote
1.1.5 PURCHASES GREATER THAN $25,000
Competitive bids must be sought for all purchases of supplies, materials, equipment, insurance and contractual services, excluding professional services, having an estimated cost of $25,000, or more, per transaction, unless an alternate method as described in Section 1.3 is used. The method for procurement of professional services, including, but not limited to, that of an attorney, an accountant, an appraiser, an architect, a landscape architect, a land surveyor, a geologist, and an engineer is described in Section 1.6

Well, OK, let’s go see 1.6……

Quote
1.6.1 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OTHER THAN ATTORNEY

The process for engaging professional services from an architect, assayer, engineer, geologist, land surveyor, or landscape architect, is governed by ARS Titles 15, 28, 34 and 41. Engineering projects under $500,000 and architect, landscape architect, assayer, geologist or land surveying projects under $250,000 may be awarded by any of the following processes. For projects exceeding these dollar amounts Section 1.6.1(c) must be used.

Any of the following processes may also be used to engage an accountant, appraiser, or any other professional service not specifically listed above:

a)   Direct Select – The department may directly select the registered professional.*  After the selection is determined, a scope of services with an associated fee is negotiated.

* Emphasis added. 

Well, there you have it.  The Town can’t “buy” anything without an RFP, but it can “direct select” up to $250,000.00 in services without so much as a RFP, resume, application or public notice.  Pretty well good to go up to $250,000.00 as long as you can code it “Professional Services.”  That seems, well..... generous.   :o


Well, wait a minute……  the code requires “Registered Professional.”  That would seem to imply a “registered professional.” You know, anybody that has a state issued license for their craft?  Accountant, Dr., Engineer, Veterinarian, Nail Tech, Hairdresser, Barber,  Teacher, good golly that is a long and incomplete list.  Yerp all that and more.  They would possibly qualify as a "registered professional."     Park adviser with hockey twist?  Hmmmmm…..

How does one register to be a “Park adviser with a hockey twist?”  

OK, so we move down to this section….

Quote
a)   Selection Committee – The department may initiate a selection committee to develop a preferential short list based only on demonstrated competence and qualifications. The committee may solicit qualifications from potential firms in order to establish the short list. The short list must contain at least three firms, listed in order of preference. The selection committee shall not request or consider fees, price, man-hours or any other cost information in the selection of the short list or order of preference. The Town shall enter into negotiations with the highest ranked firm taking into consideration contract terms, scope, complexity, compensation, etc. If the parties are not able to negotiate a satisfactory contract, the Town shall terminate negotiations and enter into negotiations with the next firm on the short list. This process is continued until an acceptable agreement is reached.

b)   Request for Qualifications – The department issues a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and advertises in the newspaper for the project. A selection committee will evaluate the statements of qualifications and performance data submitted in response to the RFQ. The selection committee may also conduct discussions with no more that 3 firms deemed to be the most qualified based on competence and qualifications only. The selection committee shall not request or consider fees, price, man-hours or any other cost information in the selection of the short list or order of preference. The committee shall prepare a short list in order of preference. The Town shall enter into negotiations with the highest ranked firm taking into consideration contract terms, scope, complexity, compensation, etc. If the parties are not able to negotiate a satisfactory contract, the Town shall terminate negotiations and enter into negotiations with the next firm on the short list. This process is continued until an acceptable agreement is reached.


Well, heck, looks like a RFP or RFQ and maybe some articulation of qualifications, is required for the gig? Selection committee maybe?   Anybody remember seeing that RFP / RFQ in the Roundup? Any council member on that selection committee?   

Bueller?  Bueller?

On the bright side, at least the contract for the consulting is on a standard form? That way it precludes Joint and Several?  Nobody signed a $250,000 contract on a joint and several liability basis without an RFP?  Right? 

No worries, if not on a standard form, it has been reviewed by Legal….  Right?   ::)

Quote
1.12 CONTRACTS

1.12.1 GENERAL 

All contracts exceeding a value of $25,000 shall be on the Town’s standard contract form unless otherwise approved by the Town’s Legal Department.

 1 https://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/payson/published_documents/Fiscal%20Policies/504-Procurement-Policy-replaces-102.pdf

Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 15, 2017, 02:55:27 PM
Figured it would be good to look at the contract.  So, records request it is.....

Walked it in to Town Hall in person.  Don't want it getting lost in the mail....

(https://s10.postimg.org/he4c91exl/records_request.jpg)
Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 16, 2017, 08:42:10 AM
The Roundup had an editorial that sheds some additional light on this subject.  We are getting to the heart of it.  A bond for funding!  Oh goody!  A new tax. 
 
http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/editorials/prep-school-raises-some-intriguing-questions/article_cce0c75f-b2bc-5712-aa5b-5aadc8fb9b28.html

I applaud the Roundup's naive enthusiasm for this project.  It seems entirely plausible that a 600 student boarding school focused on only Ice Hockey would thrive in Payson.  Every time I type that I just laugh.


So, lets see what the completion is for a prep boarding school dollar.  Quick search, at least 104 in the U.S. and Canada.  Some look fantastic!  100% college admission, traditional history of elite school status.  Here are some sample photos of various campuses:


(https://images3.boardingschoolreview.com/photo/780x600/0/38/Avon-Old-Farms-School-bh7yK2U.jpg)

(https://images3.boardingschoolreview.com/photo/780x600/0/432/Cardigan-Mountain-School-rnEoiS.jpg)

(https://images3.boardingschoolreview.com/photo/780x600/1000/783/Orchard-Lake-St-Mary-s-Preparatory-bk9jJQo.jpg)

(https://images2.boardingschoolreview.com/photo/780x600/0/264/Pomfret-School-bl9LMMu.jpg)

Wow!  I mean, I want to go!  Here is a better list. 

https://www.boardingschoolreview.com/ice-hockey-boarding-school-sports

And the competition looks fierce.  Lots of information out there on the inter school games.  Really really looking forward to cross country rivalry reporting in the Roundup.  The frequent flyer miles for these students will be off the hook!  Eighty nine of the schools are in the north east! 

(https://s8.postimg.org/c9hrs5yj9/location.jpg)

Look at all that competition. 

http://www.maxpreps.com/state/ice-hockey/prep-schools.htm

So, mom and dad can swing at $50,000 a year for their pride and joy to go away for hockey.  Something tells me mom and dad are going to lean more towards places like above? 

Well, unless the school has a great salesman.  That must be true, they convinced the town of Payson to spring for their vision?
Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 16, 2017, 09:37:27 AM
Well, that's crazy.  I had commented on the Roundup editorial.  No link to this site, nothing over the top.  Click on refresh, and "poof" no more comments. 

I still had one comment saved.  Read as follows:

Quote
BTW, Resolution No 3065 of the 09/21/17 Council meeting, funding all of this, appears at best suspect as they did not follow the “Procurement Policy” and it appears to fall outside of “Professional Services” designation as Community Center Partners, LLC (CCP) does not appear to be a qualified “registered professional.”  There was no RFQ, RFP or Selection Committee.  How the council can spend $125,000.00 without some of that is beyond me.  But, that is just my take


The other was essentially a copy of this one:

Quote
I applaud the Roundup's naive enthusiasm for this project.  It seems entirely plausible that a 600 student boarding school focused on only Ice Hockey would thrive in Payson.  Every time I type that I just laugh and laugh.

Nothing seems over the top there? Now it is back to Zero comments.   I guess a view that is in disagreement with the narrative gets deleted?   :o

(https://s8.postimg.org/6f2tv8m7p/roundup.jpg)


Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 07:02:40 AM
In case you missed it, the Roundup had a blurb on where your tax money went.  In this case, PickleBall money.  I have no idea what "PickleBall" is but it used to be worth $62,000.00 to the town. 

Quote
Money is also going toward upgrading the town’s server and communication equipment; providing janitorial services at the library; improving the police department’s maintenance building and vehicle repairs. There was money set aside to improve the tennis court and convert one of the courts into a pickleball court, but that money has been “temporally” diverted to help fund a parks master plan of Rumsey Park.

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/town-details-were-sales-tax-increase-is-going/article_dc2cdd1a-e96a-5011-a199-ef25f0485bc7.html

Well, nice they put that in quotes.  It does not appear to be temporary.  It was diverted.  It was reallocated.  It was spent where it was not approved. 

Here you go, from the Town Council minutes of 09/21/17. 

    
Quote
Council Member Sterner asked if there would be ice rinks. Mr. Garrett replied he would not know exactly what would be there until the master planning process which would include a public input component. Council Member Sterner noted there was a budget for the Master Plan, but noted that was not the exact amount and asked where the rest of the funding would come from. Mr. Garrett explained the first $50,000 came from the Parks Master Plan, $62,000 came from re-doing the basket ball courts and working on the tennis courts to put pickle ball courts in, as well as $10,000 the Finance Department found that would not be used this year.

http://payson.granicus.com/MinutesViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2118

So, they removed a tangible benefit to study a less than likely outcome.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Guess the $50,000.00 set aside for the study was not enough?  Wonder why? 
Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 07:06:41 AM
It appears I am not the only one with concerns?  Thank you to community memeber Ms. Barbara Buntin for taking the time to express her concerns.  It is a good read.

Here is a snip:

Quote
My issue is this project is going on town/public land and the mayor and council has not asked the residents of Payson if they want the use of their park changed in such a substantial way.

The mayor’s plan is to offer the people that he represents a choice between three shiny bobbles and not whether we want any shiny bobbles.

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/is-this-a-good-fit/article_742b1e16-6f2f-5582-b030-32b3f8a88e32.html

Again, thank you Ms. Buntin for expressing some concern for the project. 
Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 07:25:34 AM
The minutes for the Town Council meeting of 11/16/17 are up.  What do we have there?

Quote
LaRon Garrett, Town Manager, gave a brief update on the community center. The planning team had a meeting last Tuesday to work on the Master Plan. The community center would include a new a pool and an activity center as well as tie in with the College Prep Academy. The team was also putting together a communications plan that would include using Face Book, Twitter and Instagram. Other social media would include newspapers and radio. There would be community groups and focus groups. There would be a public meeting in January that the general public would be invited to. The media campaign would kick off with a live Face Book broadcast on December 5, 2017. Mr. Garrett noted Saturday, November 18, 2017, was the Turkey Trot and December 2, 2017, was the Electric Light Parade.


http://payson.granicus.com/MinutesViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2133

A meeting in January?  Guess I will have to clear my calendar?  I sure hope my records request gets honored before that meeting.  Would be good to see the contract.

The last public meeting I went to was to discuss the sales tax proposal. I walked out after it became abundantly clear it was not a meeting to discuss tax, but how to spend the money.  What was it? An "imaginering" session?  Good that it was on April Fool's day, cause boy they sure had a lot of fools show up.  Myself included. 

Breakfast was a nice touch. 



Title: Re: Hockey in Payson?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 08:11:47 AM
Quote
Moore, with Varxity Development Corporation, knew he wanted to open a college prep school with a hockey focus in the Southwest and initially spent 10 months negotiating with Gilbert, which already has an ice rink. Those negotiations fell through when the city balked at reconfiguring its park to meet Moore’s needs, Chambless said. He looked at Scottsdale briefly. CCP then convinced Moore to give Payson a look.

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/focus-groups-meet-to-discuss-parks-plan-prep-school/article_56c98d40-64e7-53b3-990d-d67c07d87e07.html

I think it is time to do some digging........ 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 12:30:31 PM
Quote
Moore, with Varxity Development Corporation, knew he wanted to open a college prep school with a hockey focus in the Southwest and initially spent 10 months negotiating with Gilbert, which already has an ice rink. Those negotiations fell through when the city balked at reconfiguring its park to meet Moore’s needs, Chambless said. He looked at Scottsdale briefly. CCP then convinced Moore to give Payson a look.

Hmmm.  This is odd.   First thing was a quick search of Gilbert's public records. 

(https://s10.postimg.org/qmfes6bx5/varxity_-_no_results.jpg)

Well, no record in the system of "Varixty."   But, sometimes things happen, so I figured I could follow up.   Maybe a quick email to the Mayor of Gilbert? 

(https://s10.postimg.org/hen6biul5/email_to_gilbery.jpg)

Mayor Daniels was kind enough to respond quickly.  Very kind of her.   

(https://s10.postimg.org/8kw9twkbt/response_from_mayor.jpg)

The Mayor and Vice Mayor of Gilbert have no recollection of this?  Ten months of efforts by Varxity and no recall?   

I will let you know if the Parks Director, Mr. Buchanan gets back to us. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 12:57:36 PM
Something else caught my eye. 

"The town began meeting with Community Center Partners (CCP), including Ron Chambless, chief operating officer and director of operations, in June to discuss revitalizing Rumsey Park, including replacement of Taylor Pool and possibly bringing a prep school to the area."

June?  How is that even possible?  Lest we forget....

"But no worries, Community Center Partners must be a good place right? They have been in business since 07/27/17. [iv]   Wait, two months?  Well, in any event “Kudos” to them for landing such a large potential client with such ambition in only sixty days of operation.  The managing Member and Partner?  Mr. Ploszaj. "

So our Town meets with an entity that is not even formed yet?  Unless I am wrong, June always comes before July. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: jherford on December 20, 2017, 08:03:48 PM

FYI
January Chamber Lunch to Feature Consultant for
SH Prep Academy and New Community Center
 
Date:  Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Time:   11:00 to 11:30 am networking
11:30 to 12:30 lunch and speakers
Location: The Mazatzal Hotel and Casino
 
The featured speaker will be consultant, Ron Chambless from Community Partners, LLC. Ron will provide an update on the proposed High School Prep Academy for elite athletic training, and the private/public partnership feasibility study for a new Payson Community Center. He will discuss community impact, timelines and other strategic issues related to this project.

The February Luncheon will feature Craig Swartwood talking about what is coming up in 2018.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 08:12:44 PM
Something has been bugging me all day.  The round up reports the following: 

Quote
"CCP has agreed to produce the parks plan in six months, which includes a financing plan that is risk-neutral to the town. Currently, the consultants are in month three of the study." 

"Chambless said they have already secured a backer who would loan the money to build the community center/pool. Membership and use fees would help pay back the loan and they estimate they would need to bring in about $600,000 to $700,000 annually to make the project work."

"Possible funding source includes a private activity bond. Planners say it will be “risk neutral” with town putting out zero capitol."

"Payson Mayor Craig Swartwood said the town would also retain ownership of the entire park and its facilities. The prep school may use the space, but would not own it." (1)

Hmmm....  That just does not add up.  A "risk neutral" loan.  Experience tells me somebody has some risk?

So, what exactly is a "Private Activity Bond?"  The short answer appears to be a bond issued by the Town of Payson, with the debt repaid by the private entity.  In this case, the entity would be "Varxity Development."  I will remind you that Varxity has no apparent verifiable resources as shown way back at the first post.  Crowd funding?  That would make the bond issuance "risk neutral" on paper assuming Varxity could cover the note.   But what happens if they don't?  Who gets stuck then? Taxpayers?   

A typical default would have the bond holder take the loss.  About 60% on a high yield bond default. (2)  So, as the issuer does the Town of Payson then become the guarantor? We need some information on the Private Activty Bond (PAB).

Here is the definition:

Quote
A municipal security of which the proceeds are used by one or more private entities. A municipal security is considered a private activity bond if it meets two sets of conditions set out in Section 141 of the Internal Revenue Code. A municipal security is a private activity bond if, with certain exceptions, more than 10 percent of the proceeds of the issue are used for any private business use (the “private business use test”) and the payment of the principal of or interest on more than 10 percent of the proceeds of such issue is secured by or payable from property used for a private business use (the “private security or payment test”). A municipal security also is a private activity bond if, with certain exceptions, the amount of proceeds of the issue used to make loans to non-governmental borrowers exceeds the lesser of 5 percent of the proceeds or $5 million (the “private loan financing test”). Interest on private activity bonds is not excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes unless the bonds fall within certain defined categories (“qualified bonds” or “qualified private activity bonds”), as described below. Most categories of qualified private activity bonds are subject to the alternative minimum tax. The following categories of private activity bonds are qualified bonds under current federal tax laws (3)

Quote
Private Activity Bonds (“PABs”) are a type of municipal bond.  A large segment of municipal bonds are issued to support infrastructure projects that serve public purposes.  While PABs similarly concern infrastructure projects, offer some public benefit, and are issued by a governmental entity, PABs’ distinguishing feature is that their proceeds chiefly benefit a private business. (4)

So in a nut shell, a PAB is a high quality loan, at a lower rate as it may be a tax free municipal bond, for private development.  In a best case, this is a subsidy for developers.  Lower rates, lower costs.  Lean on the credit of the Town.  Yes, that is a subsidy for development no matter how you look at it.    Mot of the PAB's appear to be used for low income housing development. 

Quote
Like the broader category of municipal bonds, interest income from PABs is generally exempt from federal and often state income tax. Historically, this income tax exclusion allowed housing bond issuing agencies to sell bonds to investors at lower interest rates, which in turn led to housing bond-financed mortgages, both single family and multifamily, to be at a lower rate than comparable market-rate mortgages. (5)

Their application / use is limited by caps imposed by the Federal Government. (6) In Arizona that cap, and the available pool of money is adminstered by the Arizona Commerce Authority (7) as authorized via Arizona Revised Statue. ( 8 )

But why the focus on Varxity?  The School?  Well, assuming the PAB cap is reached, it may be that qualified public educational facilities are not subject to the cap. (9)

Clearly much more research to be done, but the central question remains, who is liable for the bond if Varxity defaults? Will the bond include a Credit Default Swap if / when Varxity deafults? 

 
**************
(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/focus-groups-meet-to-discuss-parks-plan-prep-school/article_56c98d40-64e7-53b3-990d-d67c07d87e07.html

(2) https://www.thebalance.com/bond-default-definition-and-explanation-416900

(3) http://www.msrb.org/Glossary/Definition/PRIVATE-ACTIVITY-BOND-_PAB_.aspx

(4) https://watttieder.com/resources/articles/private-activity-bonds

(5) https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/how-unleash-underutilized-private-activity-bonds-build-more-affordable-rental-housing

(6) https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4078.pdf - Also in pdf attachment

(7) http://www.azcommerce.com/financing/business-and-project-financing/private-activity-bond-volume-cap

( 8 ) https://law.justia.com/codes/arizona/2016/title-35/section-35-901/

(9) https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4078.pdf

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 20, 2017, 08:24:33 PM

FYI
January Chamber Lunch to Feature Consultant for
SH Prep Academy and New Community Center
 
Date:  Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Time:   11:00 to 11:30 am networking
11:30 to 12:30 lunch and speakers
Location: The Mazatzal Hotel and Casino
 
The featured speaker will be consultant, Ron Chambless from Community Partners, LLC. Ron will provide an update on the proposed High School Prep Academy for elite athletic training, and the private/public partnership feasibility study for a new Payson Community Center. He will discuss community impact, timelines and other strategic issues related to this project.

The February Luncheon will feature Craig Swartwood talking about what is coming up in 2018.

Thank you so much for that information and welcome to the conversation.

There is also a meeting as follows:

Public meeting to review parks plan 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Payson Nazarene Church, Tyler Parkway

Again, welcome to the conversation.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 21, 2017, 05:47:59 PM
Time for some fun with pictures and numbers to understand the proposal.  The Roudup reports the following:

Quote
Tentative plans call for a roughly 28,000-square foot community/activity center plus a pool...

Chambless said they have already secured a backer who would loan the money to build the community center/pool. Membership and use fees would help pay back the loan and they estimate they would need to bring in about $600,000 to $700,000 annually to make the project work. (1)


In my travels, I have had the chance to work with many forensic accountants.  Most accountants will tell you 2 +2 = 4.  A good forensic account will say “what do you want it to equal?”  The point is, an expert will say what you want or need; some will even tell you the truth.  On the sell side?  All good.  Buy side?  Not so much.  Keep that in mind. 

Now, for this we are simply going to accept those numbers stated by Mr. Chambless as reality.  No questions.  Well, OK, one question. 

A North American Hockey Rink is 200’ x85’ or 17,000 square feet. (2)  So, that leaves 11,000 square feet.  An Olympic pool?  50m x 25m or 1250 sq.m. or 13,454 square feet. (3) I can only conclude there is no plan for an “indoor pool” as we are now in excess of 28,000 s.f.. No room  for bathrooms, bleachers, snack stands, multi-purpose rooms, etc.   We seem to be missing some square footage or Mr. Chambless has never seen a hockey rink?

So, how big is 28,000 s.f.?  A frame of reference we are all familiar with would be good.  The Home Depot patio section is roughly 150’x180’ or 27,000 sf.  Add in some parking, and well, we are talking about a fairly good size area.  Where does one place that in Rumsey Park? 

This will help.

Home Depot Patio area - Open roof area only. 


(https://s10.postimg.org/gb8kfyhqx/home_depot.jpg)

Patio and a bit of parking removed.

(https://s10.postimg.org/hdiqyifzt/home_depot_-_cut_out.jpg)

Home Depot patio and a bit of parking at Rumsey Park.  Same scale

(https://s10.postimg.org/negfvli1l/rumsey_overlay.jpg)

(https://s10.postimg.org/o6j3un1mh/27000ksf.jpg)


Ohhhh, that is good size and remember, that does not include the pool.    Pool?  About the size of the tennis courts to the right.

Parking, that may be rough.  Getting the prep school kids to the rink may be rough.  From the 26 acres to Rumsey?  All weather, rain or shine?   But, as long as we are “imaginering” solutions with unlimited budgets, lets get some mass transit?  Light rail?  Oh wait – a Trolley!  I want to drive the trolley!  Ding ding ding!

(https://s10.postimg.org/3jue9isk9/Philip.png)



All aboard!   


* * *
(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/focus-groups-meet-to-discuss-parks-plan-prep-school/article_56c98d40-64e7-53b3-990d-d67c07d87e07.html

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_rink#North_American

(3)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic-size_swimming_pool
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 21, 2017, 07:44:09 PM
Enough with pictures, let’s get to some numbers!    What is the cost of a 28,000 square foot Rec Center with pool and hockey rink?   Well, it depends.   I know, I know. 

Using some basic estimating guidelines from a well-respected estimating software company it looks like a Rec Center with hockey rink and pool, comes in at just about $6.9 million.   For those that want the full valuation method, it is attached in pdf in both summary and detail right down to the number of sodium lights and wall mounted soap dispensers.  (You need to be “logged in” as a user to have access to the .pdf full breakouts.)  But, here is a snap shot of a quick thing I put together:

(https://s10.postimg.org/gy7h5ioxl/rec_center.jpg)


Some caveats.  The pool is calculated at about $200.00 a sf for a Swimming pool - Commercial - Municipal (community) that includes:

Quote
Sprayed concrete, rebar, plaster finish, pumps, filter, heater, chlorinator, tile, and labor to install. Excludes: Pool cover, deck, wave machines, special features.
Quality: 8" concrete, 12" at perimeter, #4 rebar at 12" OC both ways.  Municipal pools are generally larger w/high grade copings, deep areas, dive boards, wading pool, race lanes, larger ornate tiled areas.
Average life expectancy 25 years

This is no grand palace Rec Center.  It is standard quality, some minor upgrades, but not over the top and no furnishings, etc.  No desk, no chair and no computer.  Not perfect, but we are getting close.  Contingencies?  Yes, better plan on some.  Additional items like parking lots, landscape, hardscape, etc?  Dig problems / dirt work?  Well, let’s just round it up to an even $10.0 m.   We are now really solid in the ballpark, nice, some cushion for overages and outdoor pool upgrades. 


Back to Mr. Chambless and the “$600,000 to $700,000 annually to make the project work.”


Time for math.  Assuming a debt of $10.0m, and a 30 year bond, 2% rate (that good municipal bond rate) allowing about $3,000 a month in insurance and backing out property tax we are pretty close to a debt service payment of about $40,000.00 a month.  No maintenance, no frills, just debt service.  (Yes, I cheated with a “mortgage calculator” my HP17IIB is in the shop.)

(https://s10.postimg.org/593hhlfzd/mortage.jpg)


So, $600,000.00 / 12 = $50,000.00.    Hmmmm…..    Not much left to keep the lights on or the floors swept.  Let’s try this:  $700,000.00 / 12 = $58,333.33 per month in projected revenue.  Back out debt service of $40,000.00 a month and we are left with just under $20,000.00 for wages, utilities, maintenance, etc.  Not many high paying jobs there at the Rec Center are there?  Going to need to schedule some Pokemon / Comic Con conventions and sell a hot dog for what like $8.00?  Maybe raise the bed tax for all the hockey tournaments?

Let’s revisit Mr. Chambless’ success with the city of Glendale.  This will be fun!

Quote
Initial Successes @ FRAC:
The summer 2014 Membership Drive:
785 new members compared to 225 in June 2013
88 new Silver Sneaker members
$38,576 in monthly revenue vs. $16,640 in June 2013
Quality marketing and branding in the community
Staff Teams leading the initiatives and event  (1)

OK, we have $38,576 in revenue after a marketing campaign.  Divide that by the total number of residents in Glendale of 226,721 (2) and we see a per citizen revenue of $0.17.  Wait, is that right?  Less than a quarter ($0.25) per citizen in anticipated uptake? 

Well, how many folks are in Payson? According to the 2016 CAFR we have a population of 15,345. (3)  Well, that works out to be $2,610.91 in revenue from citizen’s use / uptake. So the shortfall from citizen uptake?  $55,722.00 per month. 

Something tells me we need a smaller Rec Center, a bigger town or a few more hockey prep schoolers?  The first 12 students, that money is gone.  Just gone.  MOAR Hockey Prep School Players Please!

Parenthetically I note the City of Glendale had success with the “Silver Sneaker Members.”  Great group, keeping active is important as you age.  Last time I drove down the Beeline, I noticed the local business “Anytime Fitness” had a special deal for “Silver Sneaker” members?   Hmmmm, not exactly Chamber of Commerce stuff when the Town will be poaching customers from a local business.   Maybe they can discuss that at the upcoming Chamber of Commerce lunch?


* * *
(1) https://www.glendaleaz.com/boardsandcommissions/documents/102014ParksRecreationAdvCommission-F.pdf
(2) https://suburbanstats.org/population/arizona/how-many-people-live-in-glendale
(3) https://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/payson/published_documents/Financial-Reports/TOP-CAFR-FY16.pdf

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 22, 2017, 08:23:11 AM
Time for a reality check.  Does Payson need a new Rec Center?

I understand the 600 elite prep school hockey players do, (still laughing at that) but does Payson need a new Rec center?  Is that need being met currently? Or, is this a "want?"  I mean I "want" a new Mercedes, I need a new Hyundai.  See the difference?

Well, lets see about our "needs." From the fine people at the Town’s Park and Recreation Department.

Quote
Payson boasts year-round recreation classes, special events, camps, skate complexes, leisure activities, swimming pool, tennis courts, disc golf courses, sports fields, and much more! We strive to meet the recreational needs of every resident in Payson and its visitors. So come enjoy your parks and experience the best Payson has to offer!

Youth as well as adults sports, various sports. Organized with pricing
Taylor Pool - $2.00 per person

Rumsey Skate Park (Free) (1)

Well, look at that.  Excluding hockey, looks like it may be a complete show already?

Silver Sneakers? Well, there is always the Payson Senior Center.  Cheap too!  Membership is for a year is $15.00 per person.  You can get lunch, activity groups, support groups, bingo, cards, Zumba! (2)  (I love Zumba!  ;))  Wow, if I did not know better, it sounds like the Senior Center is almost just like a Rec Center.  No ice rink, but hips. Yeah, the hips get expensive.   :-\ 

Let us not forget our good friends at the Tonto Apache Nation.  They are always very generous with their facilities.  The “Testicle Festival” makes me smile almost as typing “600 Student Elite Hockey Prep School.”  At the least the “Testicle Festival” is real; I know this. I have been. 

Tonto Apache offers a gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and basketball courts. (3) The pool can be rented for parties and events.  Additionally they offer Zumba classes at the gym. (Yea!  More Zumba!  ;))  The cost is noted to be minimal, however they do not advertise this on their website.

Now, if you are in a swankier part of town, and don’t mind the HOA dues, well, there is always Chaparral Pines.  Let’s see……

Quote
Only 75 minutes from world-class dining, sporting events and shopping in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Chaparral Pines offers a healthy, relaxing way of life that is perfect for those in search of quality living. The community boasts a wide variety of recreational amenities and activities designed to please every member of the family. The eight-acre Trailhead Park offers complete recreational facilities, including: swimming, tennis, basketball, volleyball, a fitness center and an activities field. Barbecue and picnic areas overlook the children's playground.

The entire community is connected by a trail system that provides direct access to the adjoining Tonto National Forest - providing a virtually unlimited natural setting. The forest offers hiking, trail rides, camping, fishing, tours of the area Native American ruins and just observing the region's wildlife in its natural habitat. (4)

75 Minutes?  Wow!  They drive fast.  They also have a championship golf course.  Stay clear of the elk. (No Zumba! though.   So much for that option. >:( )

Well, with a population of 15k+/- looks like we have lots of options! Bully for Payson.

* * *
(1) http://www.paysonrimcountry.com/parks---rec
(2) https://www.paysonseniorcenter.org/membership.html
https://www.paysonseniorcenter.org/lunch-at-the-center.html
https://www.paysonseniorcenter.org/uploads/1/1/0/5/110517021/dec_2017_activities.pdf
(3) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tonto-Apache-Tribal-Gym/126665480757331
http://itcaonline.com/?page_id=1183
(4) http://www.chaparralpines.com/
http://www.chaparralpines.com/membership
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 24, 2017, 09:20:06 AM
Time to circle back for a moment.  This post was deleted from the Roundup comments section.   

Quote
BTW, Resolution No 3065 of the 09/21/17 Council meeting, funding all of this, appears at best suspect as they did not follow the “Procurement Policy” and it appears to fall outside of “Professional Services” designation as Community Center Partners, LLC (CCP) does not appear to be a qualified “registered professional.”  There was no RFQ, RFP or Selection Committee.  How the council can spend $125,000.00 without some of that is beyond me.  But, that is just my take. (1)

The resolution was discussed in the 09/21/17 meeting and passed by all.  Let us explore that a bit? 

The town Charter is pretty clear.  The first element for passage of a resolution ordinance is notice and legal review:

Quote
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
§ 30.50  PRIOR APPROVAL.
   (A)   Before presentation to the Council, all ordinances, resolutions and contract documents shall be reviewed as to form by the Attorney.
   (B)   Before presentation to the Council, all Council decisions requests shall be reviewed by the Manager.
(`82 Code, § 2-5-1) (Am. Ord. 839, passed 10-17-13) (2)

The posted agenda for that meeting: 
Quote
4.   (https://s10.postimg.org/gc6lx5st5/added.jpg) Discussion/possible action concerning Resolution No. 3065 captioned as follows: A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF PAYSON, ARIZONA, APPROVING AND AUTHORIZING THE CONSULTING SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN COMMUNITY CENTER PARTNERS, LLC (“CCP”), VARXITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (“VDC”) AND THE TOWN OF PAYSON, AN ARIZONA MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, (“TOWN”). Added at 10:31 a.m. on September 20, 2017. (3)

According to the Town’s records it was on the agenda prior to the meeting.
 
Here is a video of that meeting (http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2118) (4)  Fast forward to 34:30 to avoid the other stuff.    Edit -  that link may not work, here is the default - find the 09/21/17 meeting video. http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html)


Some highlights:
41:45 – Mayor Swartwood: “Part of the rec center would be two ice skating rinks. It is very, very hockey based.”
43:50 Council Member Barbara Underwood:  “To build a pool.” “We can say goodbye to Taylor Pool.” 
48:50 Town Counsel / Attorney Mr. Hector Figueroa: Clearly indicates that he has reviewed the contract and that all the details cannot be divulged as “we don’t know them.” 
50:52 Town Counsel / Attorney Mr. Hector Figueroa:   The original master plan was signed by Craig Swartwood in 1993.  The town voted on the master plan.

Vote at 54:30
(https://s10.postimg.org/yt10nwgg9/vote_on_resolution.jpg)

All council members voted in favor of this plan.

So, twenty minutes of discussion for $125,000 expenditure? Mr. Figueroa cannot divulge information on a $125,000.00 commitment of town funds?  Now, I would encourage that you watch the video. You can draw your own conclusions if this qualifies as “discussion.” Or if it is more appropriately described as “steam rolled.”

But, again, is the consulting contract with CCP legal?  Review this post for requirements of a Professional Service Contract.  Here is a snip:

Quote
1.6.1 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OTHER THAN ATTORNEY

The process for engaging professional services from an architect, assayer, engineer, geologist, land surveyor, or landscape architect, is governed by ARS Titles 15, 28, 34 and 41. Engineering projects under $500,000 and architect, landscape architect, assayer, geologist or land surveying projects under $250,000 may be awarded by any of the following processes. For projects exceeding these dollar amounts Section 1.6.1(c) must be used.

1.6.1 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OTHER THAN ATTORNEY
c) Request for Qualifications – The department issues a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and advertises in the newspaper for the project. A selection committee will evaluate the statements of qualifications and performance data submitted in response to the RFQ. The selection committee may also conduct discussions with no more that (sic) 3 firms deemed to be the most qualified based on competence and qualifications only. The selection committee shall not request or consider fees, price, man-hours or any other cost information in the selection of the short list or order of preference. The committee shall prepare a short list in order of preference. The Town shall enter into negotiations with the highest ranked firm taking into consideration contract terms, scope, complexity, compensation, etc. If the parties are not able to negotiate a satisfactory contract, the Town shall terminate negotiations and enter into negotiations with the next firm on the short list. This process is continued until an acceptable agreement is reached. (5)




No RFP, no RFQ, No Select Committee.  I don’t understand how CCP qualifies as a “Registered Professional.” 
Here is a list of professions. (https://www.azsos.gov/rules/arizona-administrative-code#ID4)

One would anticipate Town Legal would be readily familiar with the “Administrative Policy / Procurement Policy.” 

Onto some bigger questions and time to play “what if:” 

What if this agreement between the Town and CCP ensures future work on the project to CCP paid for by the Town?  Does that then require a select committee?  Is capping the initial contract at $250,000 a work around to that pesky town code?  What if the scope of work far exceeds a “master plan” and allows for acting on behalf of the town with financiers, contractors, attorneys, and other governmental agencies?  That is, moves far beyond “planning” and into development?  What if the contract has placed that authority, and the procurement process outlined above, in the hands of CCP and outside of the council?  Does that require more input than an agenda item placed 30 hours before a meeting and twenty minutes of “discussion” by the council?  What if the agreement allows for monetary / revenue concessions does that then get subject to the procurement requirements?

Time, and a little more digging, will tell I suppose? Stay tuned.

* * *

(1) http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2305/#msg2305
(2) http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Arizona/payson/paysonarizonacodeofordinances?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:payson_az
(3) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2017/09-21-17-A/09-21-17-A.htm
(4) http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2118
(5) https://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/payson/published_documents/Fiscal%20Policies/504-Procurement-Policy-replaces-102.pdf
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2291/#msg2291

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 24, 2017, 12:29:31 PM
We know there are three players on this deal.

1. The Town of Payson
2. Community Partners LLC / LEON J PLOSZAJ
3. Varxity Development / Lane Moore, Chief Executive Officer


By implication, there is another player not being discussed and two “absent from the conversation.”  They are the “26 Acres” and Rim Country Educational Alliance / Foundation.  So, let’s take a look at both and see if we can come a little closer to understanding?
 
First the “26 Acres.” Mayor Swartwood has stated that it is under contract i.e.: Escrow.  So let’s take a look at the 26 Acres. 
That property is owned by the TTLC Timber Ridge LLC.  It last sold in 2013 for 2.1 million.  TTLC Timber Ridge LLC is basically a division of The True Life Companies. 

(https://s10.postimg.org/lpivr18qx/26_acres.jpg)

(https://s10.postimg.org/emb0bi3c9/26_acres_sales_history.jpg)

(https://s10.postimg.org/51rdoo3qh/ttlc_timber_ridge.jpg)

The True Life Companies appears to have several areas of development and various communities throughout the United States. (1) 

(https://s10.postimg.org/qo6e5s2bt/TTLC_comunities.jpg)

They also have a very complex structure.  No doubt for tax purposes and various legal issues.  How complex?  You decide. 

(https://s10.postimg.org/c4z94jwe1/TTLC_complex.jpg)

At one point it was reported that the property was scheduled for 150 Unit Single Family Residential Subdivision.  A lot of money was put into the project. (2)

(https://s10.postimg.org/o84krq9wp/ttlc_site_map.jpg)


Now, I fully understand that if it makes financial sense, projects are started, stopped, bought and sold.  That may well be the case.  The cynic in me?   Best just to accept the statements at face value the property is under contract / in escrow.


* * *

(1) http://www.thetruelifecompanies.com/land-group-community-list.cfm
(2) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Departments/CommunityDev/Planning-Zoning/agendas/2014/10-13-2014/S14-002.pdf
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 24, 2017, 06:58:51 PM
So who is absent from the conversation? 

One thing that strikes me is the absence of Rim Country Educational Alliance / Foundation. (http://www.rimcountryeducationalalliance.org/) Not a Peep. This is a group that is actively seeking a school partner.  Never mind ASU, they were willing to have an American Charter as a participant.  A private, for profit school not at the college level. 

There is no doubt that Community Partners LLC / Mr. Ploszaj is well aware of the Alliance / Foundation.  How do we know this?
 
Quote
CCP said Ploszaj has more than 30 years experience in planning, development and real estate projects.
Ploszaj, then with dck Capital Solutions, worked with the Rim Country Educational Alliance to buy land for a university and draw up final plans for both buildings and infrastructure.

Ploszaj said dck completed its work on the university project with engineering, financing and development plans. Ploszaj said the project is defunct until the Rim Country Educational Alliance finds a university partner. (1)

Quote
Mr Plosnak (sic) is no stranger to Payson. His primary position is with DCK Capital Solutions, a firm specializing in large construction projects. While I cannot verify this, several Payson sources have told me that DCK is involved with the effort to build the new university in Payson. Given that the university does not seem to be progressing as planned, is it reasonable to speculate that the Educational Alliance has shifted focus to a prep school project? (2)

So, Mr. Ploszaj wants to facilitate Varxity coming to Payson, knows full well of RCEA / RCEF and instead chooses to solicit the Town of Payson? 

Why? 

Part of the discussion involves potential use of a Private Activity Bond.   The town has no advantage over RCEA / RCEF there.  They are a separate legal entity with full authority to issues bonds, that would presumably include assistance in placement of a Private Activity Bond?   

Quote
RCEA has no powers over persons or entities that reside and/or do business outside of its limited enumerated boundaries.

RCEA has specific powers that include:
•   Make and enter into contracts, leases and other transactions with one or more of the Members;
•   Employ agents, employees, consultants and advisors, and contract for professional and other services;
•   Acquire, hold, encumber, lease, and dispose of real and personal property;
•   Acquire, construct, manage, maintain, operate, and lease buildings, works, infrastructure and improvements;
•   Incur debts, liabilities, and obligations;
•   Issue bonds in accordance with ARS §11-952-02;
•   Sue and be sued;
•   Accept grants, gifts, and donations of real and personal property and funds;
•   Exercise, in the name of the entity, any common governmental and/or proprietary powers of its Members;
•   Engage in electrical generation and transmission activities, but not distribution;
•   Pay development fees;
•   Invest funds.

RCEA cannot pass debt along to Members; nor can RCEA engage in or contract for services that would compete directly with Gila County Community College.  (3)

There are added benefits to working with RCEA / RCEF. Like what? Well, they are well on the way to being a certified gold site via Arizona Commerce Authority.  What is that?

Quote
In today's competitive site selection process, the properties with infrastructure and permitting in place are often the most attractive to companies looking to expand. To quickly identify the most ready-to-develop and occupy sites and buildings outside of Greater Phoenix and Greater Tucson, the Arizona Commerce Authority has created its Certified Sites program. The program’s certification requirements are based on industry standard among the corporate real estate and economic development trades. Whether you are searching for available properties or wanting to showcase a “shovel-ready” site, begin the process today. (4)

(https://s10.postimg.org/l1ser3dux/silver_certified.jpg)


The Arizona Commerce Authority (https://www.azcommerce.com/) is the jumping off place for any business to locate or expand in Arizona seeking public assistance / co-partners. (5)  Look at the resources! 

How can Community Partners LLC / Mr. Ploszja not direct his client to this resource? How can Community Partners take $125,000.00 in fees from Varxity when there are apparently more suitable locations looking for what Varxity is offering in the same area? Why did RCEA / RCEF pass on this grand deal despite being in the market for just such a suitor?  Why would Varxity want a poorly located 26 acres, in lieu of a larger campus, planed complimentary development, already with a “Silver Status” via the Commerce Authority?  That does not make sense to me. The only advantage the Town has over RCEA / RCEF is the Rec Center.  That is it.  The Rec Center. 

The silence of RCEA / RCEF speaks more than we know?


We need to concentrate on the Rec Center for the keys to this deal?

* * *

(1)
http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/work-on-parks-master-plan-begins/article_1e02c629-08c6-5b51-837c-4953b04c2c2d.html
(2) http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/doe-letter/article_a1955823-d931-5c32-86ca-b52d33832e16.html
(3) http://www.rimcountryeducationalalliance.org/about.html
(4) http://www.azcommerce.com/a/sites/
(5) https://www.azcommerce.com/
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 09:12:55 AM
Wow!  How did I miss this?    Doe Letter published 10/06/17 - Well worth the read. (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/doe-letter/article_a1955823-d931-5c32-86ca-b52d33832e16.html)

It appears I am not the only one with concerns?  Thank you to community member Chick Doe for taking the time to address some concerns.  I wish I was as articulate and concise.  AN EXCELLENT READ. In part as follows:

Quote
I have read your recent article and the press release issued by our town manager, LaRon Garrett, regarding the contract that the town council approved to develop a master plan for Rumsey Park. While both were of interest there were many details and relationships omitted. This makes me wonder just how transparently our town management and council operates.

I also have to question a statement about the $125K that the town is going to pay for the plan. Mr. Garrett stated that this amount is already in the budget and would not cause a financial strain. The implication of this statement is that if it is in the budget it is OK to spend the money.

I have worked in industry for a long time and we made many budgets, but at no point was it allowable to spend money solely because it was in the budget. The expenditure had to be reasonable and justified.

The contract to prepare a Rumsey Park master seems to have many pertinent questions that should be resolved and the parties involved thoroughly vetted before the town council approves any money for such a plan. I have questioned one council member that was not aware of many of the questions raised in this letter. I am sure there are others. Yet they went ahead and approved the contract and expenditure.
 (1)

Again, so articulate and concise.  Great writing and well done. 

But how did I miss it? 

Well, again, it appears that the Roundup is less than interested in dissenting opinions.  Here is the title of the letter they assigned. 

(https://s10.postimg.org/3w6obxu3d/doe_letter.jpg)


“Doe Letter.”  Honesty there would be a higher click through rate had they placed the headline as “don’t click here.” The purpose of a title / headline is to engage the reader.  That’s how I missed it.  The headline, while accurate, gave no indication of the content or subject matter. 

To quote Chick Doe:  “I hope that the Roundup takes the effort to look deeper into these issues and reports back on all of the backgrounds and intertwined relationships between the various parties involved.”

That is clearly not on the Roundup agenda.  With a little luck we will get to the truth?

* * *

(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/doe-letter/article_a1955823-d931-5c32-86ca-b52d33832e16.html


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 09:53:40 AM
Crazy, I found another letter to the Roundup that I missed. How did I find it?  A search for “prep.” 

Dont fall for this song and dance - Letter to the editor 11/24/17 (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/don-t-fall-for-this-song-and-dance/article_f1052d02-33bc-5d96-8c7d-7a4c1e1a76e7.html)

Thank you to community member Marcia Mackey for taking the time to address some concerns. The “Music Man” reference is a nice touch. 

Ms. Mackey’s letter in part:

Quote
Now, I’m not saying these people are crooks, but just who are they, anyway? Does Payson need a prep school or a hockey rink? PLEASE, people, let’s step back and take a deep breath here. (1)


(https://s10.postimg.org/97v87b1ix/song_and_dance.jpg)


Thank you again Ms. Mackey for being involved. 

*****
(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/don-t-fall-for-this-song-and-dance/article_f1052d02-33bc-5d96-8c7d-7a4c1e1a76e7.html


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 10:43:12 AM
Risk-Neutral.  Risk-Neutral.   That sounds almost too good to be true.  But yet that is clearly a talking point.

Quote
Ron Chambless, executive vice president/COO with CCP, said any plan would be risk-neutral to the town. (1)
Quote
Possible funding source includes a private activity bond. Planners say it will be “risk neutral” with town putting out zero capitol. (2)

Funding of the rec center, which we don’t really need, seems to be the clear goal here? 

Time for a basic understanding of municipal bonds.  I promise, I won’t make it too boring. But, yes, muni bonds are about as exciting as watching paint dry.  So, here is the deal.  I will keep it short, and have all sorts of reference should you need it. 

First – Private Activity Bond. This is a conduit bond - not really a government debt.  Last week, I had a wonderful conversation with the Project Manager for Arizona Finance Authority.  The gentleman was very very generous with his time and knowledge.  Gave me a much better insight to a “Private Activity Bond.”  If you really want to learn more please check some of these sources.  (3)

The upshot?  This is a way for private entities to secure lower finance rates as the interest is not subject to income tax.  Very limited or no risk to the issuing agency other than reputational risk.  There are also political considerations.  Essentially the government agency only acts as a conduit.  Think large scale projects like hospitals – makes sense at the end of $100m project for every point off on the interest side. You have to overcome placement costs, etc.   

But, we are talking about an elite 600 student hockey prep school here.  Each student paying $50,000 per year (still laughing at that).   That is not a hospital.  That is not a $100m project.   

Here is the rub.  The bond is worked privately, Bond Counsel, Underwriters, private placement, all nice and tidy, then brought to the agency via the conduit (in the case Town of Payson) for approval.  Private underwriter?  Not to scoff at this idea too much, but Varxity has nothing more than a dream.  No track record, no history, not much to place a private bond with.  I doubt Morgan, Chase or others will give any proposal much more than a cursory look? There are better finance avenues for such a startup than a Private Activity Bond. 

Why would a developer, such as Varxity, give the city $10m in a rec center?  They are not building a nuclear waste plant or prison.  What is the pay off?  To save $10m in interest on a project, that would have to be a huge project.

So why not place it as a revenue bond by a credit worthy agency and lease back? Oh wait…….


Keep repeating that phrase - Risk-Neutral.


* * *

(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/prep-school-land-in-escrow-community-meetings-planned/article_a773963f-2d29-585c-abc4-e975c5700ba1.html
(2) http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/focus-groups-meet-to-discuss-parks-plan-prep-school/article_56c98d40-64e7-53b3-990d-d67c07d87e07.html
(3) https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20160330_RL31457_d2b66a3a84896985c646b06f03bcdebcc9dad790.pdf
https://watttieder.com/resources/articles/private-activity-bonds
http://www.msrb.org/Glossary/Definition/PRIVATE-ACTIVITY-BOND-_PAB_.aspx
https://www.wikihow.com/Issue-Corporate-Bonds
https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/basics/investment-products/bonds#Fraud




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 11:17:52 AM
Risk-Neutral?  That depends on one’s perspective. 

So what other types of financing does the Town have access to? 

Generally speaking government debt comes in two flavors excluding a “conduit bond.”   The first of the government debt is a general obligation bond.  Risk-Neutral?  Well, for the lender.  Not so much for the citizens.  As close to debt servitude as one gets. 

Quote
General obligation bonds. These bonds are not secured by any assets; instead, they are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the issuer, which has the power to tax residents to pay bondholders. (1)
Quote
Municipal bonds can be categorized into two types: general obligation (GO) bonds and revenue bonds. GO bonds are secured by the “full faith and credit” of the government, that is its full property taxing power. There is a legal obligation to use its taxing power, if necessary, to repay the debt, and in the event of a default the holders of GO bonds have a right to compel a property tax levy to meet the obligation. GO bonds are generally considered to be very low risk for investors, and they usually sell at the lowest rates of interest. (2)

A General Obligation bond is pretty well the full backing of the town to pay it back.  That is property tax, sales tax, levies, etc.  That one gets issued by the Town.  The rub?  That one requires an election.  That’s right, voter approval. Now, if my fellow citizens want a new Rec Center, and they vote for it, well, so be it. 

So, if the goal of this deal is fund a new Rec Center why not just issue a General Obligation bond for $10m / $20m and call it good?  Again, the pesky voters.  You know, the folks that don’t have the required vision?  The folks who suspect that it all gets done right?  The folks who get to pay for it?

Payson is drain the swamp country.  Payson is make America great again country.  Payson overwhelmingly supported President Trump.  It appears that Payson has, at its very core, a sensibility of smaller government and less government debt.  I would not anticipate that a general obligation bond for financing of a recreation center and/or a politician’s wish list would be successful. 

“Risk-Neutral” for a politician?  Not even close.  They may propose a bond and loose the vote?  Not good.  But what if they really really want a new Rec Center?  How to minimize the chance of voter “revolt?”  (Or “educated voter” I guess it depends on your desires?) How to make this a “Risk-Neutral” deal for a politician?  Yes, “Risk-Neutral depends” entirely on your perspective. 

* * *

(1) https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/basics/investment-products/bonds#Fraud
(2) https://www.azleg.gov/briefs/Senate/MUNICIPAL%20BONDS%20AND%20STATE%20AND%20LOCAL%20%20AND%20COUNTY%20DEBT.pdf


(https://s10.postimg.org/5lu08cfdl/images.duckduckgo.com.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 12:18:59 PM
The second from of Bond?  Revenue Bond.  Risk-Neutral?  Depends on the revenue. 

Quote
REVENUE BOND
A bond that is payable from a specific source of revenue. Pledged revenues may be derived from operation of the financed project, grants, or excise or other specified non-ad-valorem taxes. Generally, no voter approval is required prior to issuance of such obligations. Only the revenue specified in the bond contract is required to be used for repayment of interest and principal. (1)

Wait that is a big word.  Let’s take a peek?

Quote
AD VALOREM TAX
A direct tax calculated “according to value” of property. Ad valorem tax is based on an assigned valuation (market or assessed) of real property and, in certain cases, on a valuation of tangible or intangible personal property. In virtually all jurisdictions, ad valorem tax is a lien on the property enforceable by seizure and sale of the property. An ad valorem tax is normally the one substantial tax that may be raised or lowered by a local governing body without the sanction of superior levels of government (although constitutional or statutory restrictions such as tax rate limitations may limit this right). (2)

More? Well OK, from the Arizona State Senate Issue Brief May 7, 2015

Quote
Revenue bonds are legally secured only by a specifically identified revenue source rather than the full faith and credit of the government. If that revenue source is inadequate to make the debt service payments, the government is not legally obligated to use any other revenues for the bond payments. The government may pledge a certain portion of specific tax revenues or may use revenue generated from the operation of a project financed with the bonds to pay the principal and interest. Thus, revenue bonds are typically used to finance revenue producing projects such as sports venues, convention centers, hydroelectric projects or airports. The revenues subsequently generated from the operation of the project are used to pay off the bonds. Usually, revenue bonds do not require voter approval, although an election may be required by law in particular cases. (3)


To the extent that this is reported as a “revenue neutral bond” it does not require a referendum?  It does not allow for citizen input into the process?  The only input that is relevant is the town council?  As a reminder, the town council voted for the contract with Community Development Partners in apparent violation of the town charter and the procurement policies.

Fun fact:  Arizona Revised Statutes Title 9 allows for issuance of a revenue bond for a rec center if your town is small enough. 

Quote
2013 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 9 - Cities and Towns
§ 9-521.01 Recreational facilities
Universal Citation: AZ Rev Stat § 9-521.01 (through 1st Reg Sess 51st Leg. 2013)
9-521.01. Recreational facilities
A. For the purposes of this article only, the term “utility undertaking”, in addition to the definition prescribed in section 9-521, shall mean recreational facilities.
B. “Recreational facilities" means swimming pools, parks, playgrounds, municipal golf courses, and ball parks.
C. Provisions of this section shall apply only to municipalities of seventy-five thousand or less. (4)


So we have an apparent lack of will to issue a general obligation bond, and we have a proposal that Varxity pick up the balance?  We should do a study that shows how viable this would be?  My guess is, but for the involvement of Varxity, we have lack of sufficient revenue to issue a revenue bond? 

The potential issuance of a revenue bond, with only Mayor Swartwood and three additional council members, appears to be a deliberate circumvention of the intent of bond laws? 

Risk-Neutral?  Depends on the revenue.  But is there a hidden risk that makes a revenue bond anything but Risk-Neutral? 

Let’s discuss Double Barrel Municipal Bonds. They are far from Risk-Neutral for tax payers. And it is looking like one is pointing right at us?

(https://s10.postimg.org/6pipy4x55/dbsg.jpg)


* * *

(1) http://www.msrb.org/Glossary/Definition/REVENUE-BOND.aspx
(2) http://www.msrb.org/glossary/definition/ad-valorem-tax.aspx
(3) https://www.azleg.gov/briefs/Senate/MUNICIPAL%20BONDS%20AND%20STATE%20AND%20LOCAL%20%20AND%20COUNTY%20DEBT.pdf
(4) https://law.justia.com/codes/arizona/2013/title-9/section-9-521.01/



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 12:50:53 PM
So what is a Double Barrel Bond?  This is NOT good. 

Quote
DEFINITION of 'Double Barreled'
A municipal general obligation bond in which the cash flows are pledged by two distinct and different entities. One entity will make interest payments, and the other, the principal payments. These are municipal general obligation (GO) bonds as opposed to revenue bonds because they are ultimately backed by the issuer and its taxing power.

Double-barreled bonds are sometimes referred to as "combination bonds".  (1)

Quote
Combination Bond
A municipal bond with the coupon and principal guaranteed both by the general revenue of the municipality issuing the bond and by the revenue of the project the bond finances. If the revenue from the project is less than expected and is not enough to make payments, the municipality will make them instead. A combination bond is intended to reduce the risk to the bondholder to the least possible amount; therefore, interest rates on them are fairly low. It is also called a double-barrel municipal bond. (2)

O. M. G.  I will repeat that – O. M. G. 

So, does this happen? 

Yes, yes it does. 

With no vote, Taxpayers Stuck with Bonds.  Via the New York Times.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/business/surprised-taxpayers-are-paying-for-bonds-they-did-not-vote-on.html)  Well worth the read. (3)  Kind of funny they mention hockey rinks?

(https://s10.postimg.cc/vcj69a42h/nyt.jpg)

So where would one find that level of detail?  Trust me, not in the Council minutes.  Likely in the Bond Indenture Agreement.

Quote
Indenture Agreement
What it is:
An indenture agreement is the formal contract between a bond issuer and the bondholders. It sets forth the details of all the terms and conditions of the bonds, such as the exact day of their maturity, the timing of the interest payments and how they are calculated, and the details of any special features.
How it works (Example):
Indenture agreements vary from issue to issue, but in general they are very technical documents. This is because the role of the indenture is to prescribe every detail of the bond's provisions as well as the day-to-day management of the bond. (4)

Where is that located?  Buried deep in a prospectus far from prying eyes.  Start digging.  (5)

Clearly the rules and statements have changed along the way in this process.  Why not change “Private Activity Bond” to “Revenue Bond” vote and get the grand new Rec Center? 

Three council members and the Mayor could subject Payson to a $10m, / $15m general obligation bond?  That sound right to you?

That sound “Risk-Neutral?”

Something tells me we get to see that gun go off if the deal continues? 

(https://s10.postimg.cc/hvm7qktsp/smoking.jpg)

* * *

(1) https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/doublebarreled.asp
(2) http://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Double+Barrel+Municipal+Bonds
(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/business/surprised-taxpayers-are-paying-for-bonds-they-did-not-vote-on.html
(4) http://www.investinganswers.com/financial-dictionary/bonds/indenture-agreement-970
(5) https://emma.msrb.org/Main/QuickSearch
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 01:17:58 PM
So, ran across this blurb from Mr. LaRon Garret. 

“Town Manager LaRon Garrett has said even if the school falls through, the town will have a parks master plan after footing just half the bill.” (1)


Only a bureaucrat can budget $50,000.00, agree to $125,000.00, and then blow sunshine telling folks it is a "half price" bargain.    

(https://s10.postimg.cc/jfrjp3cih/TIME_TO.jpg)

Nothing that can't be accomplished with other people's money.


* * *


(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/focus-groups-meet-to-discuss-parks-plan-prep-school/article_56c98d40-64e7-53b3-990d-d67c07d87e07.html
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 01:48:14 PM
As long as we are having fun.  Anybody notice anything here?  Compare / contrast? 

(https://s10.postimg.cc/yuzrjak0p/equal_partners.jpg)

(https://s10.postimg.cc/u93nax3mh/town_flow_chart.jpg)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 02:28:45 PM
A while back I had requested a copy (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2296/#msg2296) of the contract between the Town, CCP, and Varxity.  The nice clerk said they would call.  So far, no call. 

But, Santa did show up.  Let’s just say the Town has the same plumbing contractor as the White House? 

Attached to this post is an apparent copy dated 09/21/17 of the contract.  To access the full .pdf, simply log in, and the attachment is below this post.  Register here. (http://www.260chat.com/register/)

The contract is not signed, but it appears to be legitimate.  Various recitals, “Whereas,” Various terms, and conditions.  As with most contracts, the fun stuff is in the “Exhibits.”   In the coming days I will take a look at all of it.  Today, a couple of snips. 

Some tidbits:

•   The Scope.  This appears to be far beyond a “plan.”  This appears to allow CCP to act on behalf of the town for development and financing. 
•   The Value.  Stated of $250,000.00.  Clearly an initial contract to develop a long term arrangement well in excess of $250,000.00.  I am uncertain how Town Counsel could not see that and note that during the twenty minutes of conversation or subject the deal to a procurement process. 
•   The incentives, to include waiver of Town fees, waiver of property tax, sales tax agreements, and potential incentives to CCP appear to potentially far exceed the $250,000.00 threshold.
•   The contract includes a “Break-up Fee.” 
•   The contract appoints project counsel.
•   The contract requires utilities and off-site improvements provided via the town.
•   The contract allows for securing a “Conceptual Guaranteed Maximum Price” for the project.
•   The contract requires a financing plan.


Something tells me the future planning meetings just got a whole lot more interesting?

(https://s10.postimg.org/4wp00xvrd/sub_contracts.jpg)
(https://s10.postimg.org/9il49bc5l/ex_a.jpg)
(https://s10.postimg.org/5m7sdd1gp/ex_e.jpg)


Still waiting on the “official copy” but this is a good starting place?  In the next few days I will do some digging, some more looking, see where we end up? For all the world, this is looking like an end around for a general obligation bond plan? 

I am also dumbfounded that this passed by all council members voting for it.  Did any council member read it or did they all just accept it on face value?   Anybody? 




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 25, 2017, 02:38:30 PM
So where is The Roundup in all of this Rec Center / hockey puck planning?

The Roundup appears to remain a silent partner parroting only the narrative promoted by the town council and designated professional consultants.

There is no issue with The Roundup editorial staff being desirous of a recreation center, however a free press has typically policed our governments and held the elected accountable in spite of their own desires.  This observation may not be so much an indictment against The Roundup as it a commentary on our society in general.  “Truth” has apparently lost way to desire and expediency. 

Historically great institutions such as The Washington Post and New York Times have asked difficult questions of our government.  Electronic media has in large part followed suit.  Truth to power. Having said that, even the most basic of journalistic skills require that questions be asked.  The Roundup appears to refuse to do so and instead adopts a rather Machiavellian approach; where the ends justify the means.

America has a long and rich journalistic history. It is embodied in our Constitution under the First Amendment Freedom of Press. 

Quote
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Embodied in our popular culture are many great names such as Adams, Franklin, Murrow, Cronkite, Brokaw, Woodward and Bernstein.  It doesn’t require significant review of The Roundup material to reveal that they are a few standard deviations left of center.  I freely admit I am one right of center. 

Following is a photo that I took at The Newseum in Washington DC.  It is a picture of graffiti along the Berlin wall.  This section of the wall was transported to Washington DC and is currently on display at The Newseum.  The phrase “Act Up” appears to succinctly embody “Speaking truth to power” and striving for a better collective future. 

(https://s10.postimg.org/d4vizrd2h/IMG_4248_Medium.jpg)


Is RT a Russian propaganda machine?  Likely so.  Is Al Jazeera biased?  Undoubtedly.  Fifteen minutes watching CNN, Fox News or MSNBC will clearly reveal a bias.  Fair and balanced?  Fake news? Ultimately it appears that it is the end user who has to make that determination.  Does that make it correct or right?  Again, this may be a societal issue and not an issue of journalistic ethics.

I do not anticipate that The Payson Roundup will be under consideration for a Pulitzer Prize for its "hard hitting investigative journalism" anytime in the near future. Shouldn’t we, at a minimum, expect the Roundup to ask questions?  At least one?  Speak some truth to power?   

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 28, 2017, 09:14:14 AM
In the words of Jay-Z “Well, I ain't passed the bar, but I know a little bit.”  Keep that in mind.

It is important to note that this agreement is far beyond a “cost sharing” agreement.  This contract gives significant consideration to Varxity. Like what? That is Exhibit “E” below, and we will take a closer look at the 10 considerations in a bit.  Considerations #2, and #3 are striking. Varxity is identified as “lessee and manager" of the “ice rink facility” and “training center.”   A no bid, concession service agreement for a public service / amenity? Nice.  Also, very valuable to Varxity as they will control proposed public assets.  At least it is not Russians and uranium. Keep in mind this is “to include but not limited to….”  Curious; what else does it include?

First up, the players.  The Town and CCP are clearly identified.  Varxity Development Corporation?  Not so much.  They are only identified as “of Alberta, Canada.”  No mailing address, no agent of service, not much but intrigue. 

Generally speaking, a foreign corporation requires some form of standing in the US to conduct business.  A branch office (Physical location) a corporate form, A partnership, LLC, C Corp etc. or at a minimum a certificate of good standing. (1) (2) (3) So, let’s check the Arizona Corporation Commission: (4)

(https://s13.postimg.org/z88394k2v/ecorp.jpg)

Well, no Varxity.  Surprised?  Wonder if Varxity has an EIN number?

In their defense, they may be registered in another state.  I was unable to find that if it exists.  I found the logo design competition, (5) the Canadian Corporation Number: 9016341 (6) but nothing that indicates that Varxity Development is a United States recognized entity of any sort.  Besides, the contract clearly indicates “of Alberta, Canada.”

So, the town has a contract with a Canadian Company?  Cool; international business law.  During the meeting of 09/21/17 Town Counsel, Mr.  Figueroa clearly indicates he has reviewed the contract.  Maybe should of reviewed standing of Varxity? Mr. Figueroa stated that the litigation venue was changed to “Gila County.”  There is a paragraph concerning “notice” but no agent listed for Varxity.  Well, not on the unsigned copy.  Hopefully we get to see the signed copy soon enough?


(https://s13.postimg.org/we4xvuhyf/service.jpg)


So, the venue is helpful, but where the contract was executed is somewhat important.  Does a US court have Jurisdiction over a Canadian Company?  Varxity is likely subject to “General Jurisdiction.”  So maybe.  But, how to complete service?  Is there any protection for Varxity as a Canadian entity?

Quote
By virtue of their foreign residency, Canadian citizens possess a host of specific strategies and defenses uniquely suited to the challenges posed by claims and litigation before American courts.  (7)

Why did Payson agree to all of the following for the “Benefit of Varxity Development Corporation?” Does the value of the incentives exceed the build-out of the Rec Center / Training Center / Hockey Rinks / Pool?  If so, can a $10m+ contract be awarded in this fashion?

The incentives:

(https://s13.postimg.org/t7aecdaev/ex_e.jpg)



* * *
(1) https://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/canadian-business-registration.html
(2) https://harrisbricken.com/blog/business-united-states-overview-foreign-companies/
(3) http://www.azcc.gov/divisions/corporations/CertGoodStanding.asp
(4) http://ecorp.azcc.gov/Search/Details?Category=0&Type=0&Term=Varxity&IsActive=True&EntityType=0&Check=
(5) https://logo.designcrowd.com/contest.aspx?id=713057&page=4
(6) https://www.can1business.com/company/Active/Varxity-Development-Corp
(7) https://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/features/you-can-t-sue-me-i-m-canadian/
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 28, 2017, 02:26:47 PM
Awhile back I had requested a copy of the contract and payments issued to date.  The nice ladies at Town Hall called the other day. So, went by and took a look. 

Did not get a new copy of it, but looked and saw the signatures.  Sorry about my bad photo skills.  I should have done better.  Clealry Varxity is a Canadian Company.  Looks like the contract was done with signatures on 10/9/17.  Here are the photos. 

Again, sorry for the bad photos.  :(

Approved as to form:
(https://s13.postimg.org/3q68h4t4n/approved_as_to_form.jpg)

Varxity Contact Information

(https://s13.postimg.org/gubstwsx3/Varxity_contact_information.jpg)

Varxity Signature

(https://s13.postimg.org/cxygxzd3b/varxity_signature.jpg)

Ploszaj Signature. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/5hz7cazpj/Ploszaj_signature.jpg)

Well, tied up some loose ends on the contract? 


While I was there, figured a good time for more records? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/7zayjo6s7/122817_records_request.jpg)











 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 28, 2017, 03:26:58 PM
The second part of the initial records request was for copies of invoices and payments.  Six pages, three invoices and three checks.  The full set is attached in .pdf as an attachment, log in, and download, if you care to.
 
So, what can we figure out from this? 

Well, fully 20% of the contract value was absorbed prior to the Town Council Resolution date of 09/21/17. A total of $50,000.00 with the Town and Varxity each subject to $25,000.00.  The first invoice is for services provided June 20th through September 21st.  Clearly CCP was acting on behalf of the town, without a formal agreement in place.  Curious who provided that authority? 

Can the Mayor, Town Manager or Town Legal unilaterally extend that authority to act on behalf of the Town?  Was it previously approved via Town Council and if so, is that a violation of open meeting laws?  It appears the Resolution via the Town Council was merely a technicality? 

Photos of the first invoice are as follows:

(https://s13.postimg.org/roxu9ke9j/IMG_5830_Medium.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.org/qzf1x8gav/IMG_5831_Medium.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.org/vy2kbrzjb/IMG_5832_Medium.jpg)

The secondary invoice includes:
A line item for “Information Gathering – Varxity Corporation.”  Seems odd to have a line item like that on a party to the contract?
A line item for CCP to: “Obtain & Sumit (sic) Insurance & Business License.”   One would think that would have been required back in June when they were acting on behalf of the town or at least by contract inception date of 09/21/17? 

The third invoice includes three items of note: 
“Create Seed Funding / Fund Development Initiative” 
“Continue Dialogue with AZ IDA” 
“Continue Dialogue with Barclay’s Bank.” 

We are going to assume that AZ IDA is the:
Quote
ARIZONA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Through the Arizona Industrial Development Authority (AZIDA), private borrowers can reduce their financing costs through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.

Nationally, private activity bonds (PABs) are issued by industrial development authorities for the benefit of private users. Repayment of the bonds is an obligation of the private user, not of the issuing authority. The proceeds of these bonds are used for industrial and other private purposes and the interest on the bonds may be exempt from federal income tax (IRC Sec. 103). In Arizona, the interest on the bonds is also exempt from state income tax.

The AZIDA issues both taxable and tax-exempt bonds for commercial activities using a streamlined process at competitive rates. (1)

They have a “Procedural Pamphlet.” Lucky for us, they are subject to open meeting laws and records requests.  I guess it is time, or soon will be time, to make a records request?

Quote
(b) Public Nature of Application Process. The Authority is a nonprofit corporation designated a political subdivision of the State of Arizona. The Authority’s meetings are generally required to be open to the public. The instruments, documents, files, and records of the Applicant (and any guarantor) filed with the Authority, directly or through the Authority’s Counsel, will be available for inspection by the public. The Applicant, by submitting the Application, agrees that any information delivered to the Authority by or on behalf of the Applicant is not privileged and may be disclosed to the public. By submitting the Application to the Authority, the Applicant is expected to have disclosed any and all matters material to the proposed financing as of the date of the Application. (2)

The other item of note?  “Continue Dialogue with Barclay’s Bank.”  Wonder if that is on behalf of our fair town for new debt? 

As of December 9th, 52% of the contract has been completed. 

Again; Can the Mayor, Town Manager or City Legal unilaterally extend authority to act on behalf of the Town without a council vote or approval? Was it previously approved / known via the Town Council and if so, is that a violation of open meeting laws? 


* * *

(1)  http://www.azcommerce.com/financing/business-and-project-financing/arizona-industrial-development-authority
(2) http://www.azcommerce.com/media/1542430/azida-procedural-pamphlet-november-1-2017.pdf


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 29, 2017, 07:24:28 AM
So, I am curious what exactly went on before the Town Council approved the deal in an open meeting.

Time for another visit to the nice ladies at Town hall.  The worst they can say is "NO" right?  Don't get unless you ask........

(https://s13.postimg.org/bzdz1a1l3/122917_records_request.jpg)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 29, 2017, 10:33:00 AM
A while back I asked the question if this was a joint and several contract with VDC. (1)  It is clear the contract was reviewed by Mr. Figuerora, Town Counsel, so let’s take a peek?

Quote
SECTION 7 – COMPENSATION

B. TOWN and VDC agree to equally share the financial responsibility of this Consulting Agreement. CCP shall invoice TOWN and VDC monthly, each for one half of the amount due based on the Exhibit "D" tasks completed and TOWN and VDC hereby agree to pay monthly based on the completed tasks. TOWN and VDC will equally share the monthly financial responsibility of this agreement as set forth in Exhibit "D." TOWN and VDC agree to make payment to CCP within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of the invoice from CCP. CCP may cease the provision of any Pre-Development Activities until such time as a requested payment is made and delivered.

Well, what the heck does that mean? 

“TOWN and VDC agree to equally share the financial responsibility of this Consulting Agreement.”

That sounds more like a marriage than a concise statement such as “each party not to exceed $125,000.00” or “Town is not responsible for monies not paid by VDC.” 

Remember, VDC was crowd funded. (2)  Despite having a twenty six acre property in excess of $2,000,000.00 under escrow, (reported) they have not formed a legal entity in Arizona. (3)

Sure hope the checks (cheques?) clear and we don’t get to put that “equally share the financial responsibility” to the test. 

* * *

(1) http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2291/#msg2291
(2)  https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/varxity-development-corp
(3) http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2507/#msg2507


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 29, 2017, 03:39:03 PM
Lets see what is behind the Varxity curtain - Part 1

I anticipate most people who have put some thought into the prospect of an Elite Preparatory Hockey School coming to Payson would agree that it is an unlikely venture.  In all reality I would also anticipate that this is somewhat of a red herring and something to distract from the building of the rec center.  But it did get me to thinking, what is required by the State of Arizona to open a private school, elite or not? 

The State Regulation for the requirements are as follows:

Accreditation, Registration, Licensing, and Approval
•   No requirements for Accreditation.
•   No requirements for Registration.
•   No requirements for Licensing.
•   No requirements for Approval.
•   "Private school" is defined as "a nonpublic institution, other than the child's home, where academic instruction is provided for at least the same number of days and hours each year as a public school." Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802F.2.
•   "Nothing in this title shall be construed to provide the state board of education or the governing boards of school districts control or supervision over private schools." Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-161.
Teacher Certification
•   Teacher certification is not required.
Length of School Year and Days
•   To comply with the Arizona compulsory school attendance statute, private school students must attend school for the full time school is in session in the local school district. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802B.2.
There is a required curriculum that includes that each child “shall be provided instruction in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science.”  It also states that if the child transfers from a private school to a public school the public school must provide the student with a list indicating which credits will be accepted and denied. (1)

So what does it take to open a private school? Nothing. Pretty well if you can fog a mirror and collect a “tuition check” you are a "private prep school."  They do not even require that teachers be certified.  That is interesting. (And frightening!)

But what does it take to open an “elite” private school? I am no expert, and I attended public schools, but if I were to send my child to an “Elite Private Preparatory School” I would require at a minimum a solid reputation.  A pooling of teachers from proven programs as a start? So on one hand it may indeed provide jobs locally, seeing how apparently anyone could be a teacher.  On the other hand, and with the idea of a ramp up period, bringing teachers from schools in other areas with a track record for their graduates attending tier 1 universities.

What are Tier 1 universities in the US?  The answer can be a little bit murky with an explanation of any ranked school in the top 200 being considered a Tier 1 but by the terms of what is generally accepted an actual Tier 1 University would be the top 50 ranked universities. (2) Wikipedia states that the percentage of applicants admitted reflects both desirability and competitiveness. (3) The top 13 of these schools in 2017 were:

Stanford University
Harvard University
Columbia University
Princeton University
Yale University
MIT
Caltech
Pomona College
Brown University
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvania
Northwestern University
Duke University

The cost per year for the top schools appears to be $45,000 to $60,000 per year.  The required GPA is around a 4.18 and the SAT needs to be 1590 and above. (4)

So if the “clients” expectations are for these Tier 1 Universities, let’s hope there is a plan in place for pooling some teachers with a strong track record, or that are at least accredited?

But what if the “clients” are looking to get an education and be a Division 1 Hockey player?  It appears there have been some additions to that list in recent years with new Division 1 University teams and there are roughly 1,450 available spots.  (5) There are 60 Universities with NCAA Division I hockey programs.  (6) The schools range from United States Air Force Academy, University of Alaska, Arizona State University, Boston University, and Harvard University.  All good and fine choices, but all with differing degrees of "cachet."  At the "Prep" level I suspect the same analysis comes into play, including "cachet."

As we are all more readily familiar with colleges, we continue with them as an example.  The University of Alaska average SAT score for admission is 1070 with an average GPA of 3.0 and Arizona State University has an average SAT score of 1210 with an average GPA of 3.49.  (7) ( 8 )

These are very different than using the top 50 Universities in the US as “Tier 1” schools.  All of this information to what end?  The cost of attending ASU as an out of state student is $27,372 for tuition.  A very different cost than the ranked top 50 schools.  Also with the cost of room and board about the same cost as the proposed tuition for the Private Elite Hockey School to be erected here in Payson.  (9)  A "Prep" school, high-school age, would really need to be a something to secure that kind of tuition? 

Here is where all this information is heading; what are they selling? When they say “elite” and discuss it for those looking to attend a Tier 1 university, do they mean Harvard? Or do they mean ASU? (Both are fine, and no doubt better and more prestigious than my life choices) How many families are going to pay $50,000 per year for an unproven preparatory school in a town with highly limited amenities? I anticipate that most students coming from a home that can afford $50,000.00 in high school tuition are going to require a little more than a town with one movie theater and the best shopping choices offered at Wal-Mart?  Do not misunderstand me, we chose this lovely town, but we can all agree to the limited amenities.

It did not take long to research the need, or in this case the lack of a need, for a private hockey school geared to gain admission into a top hockey Division 1 university.  Most students can gain admission by attending a public school and doing well.  Skilled hockey players WILL be found by equally skilled scouts at all levels. 

After the research I think most people can see that this proposed school is apparently a red herring, a distraction, a fantastic magic trick for you to watch one thing while the real magic is taking place right in front of you? That trick?  A double barrel revenue bond, an effective general obligation bond, passed without your vote or input. 

* * *

(1) https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/nonpublic/arizona.html
(2) https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities?int=9ff208
(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankings_of_universities_in_the_United_States
(4) http://www.collegesimply.com/colleges/california/stanford-university/admission/
(5) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/sports/hockey/ncaa-college-teams.html
(6) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NCAA_Division_I_ice_hockey_programs
(7) http://www.prepscholar.com/sat/s/colleges/University-of-Alaska-Anchorage-admission-requirements
( 8 ) http://www.prepscholar.com/sat/s/colleges/ASU-SAT-scores-GPA
(9) https://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg03_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=1096
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 30, 2017, 07:58:15 AM
Let’s see what is behind the Varxity curtain - Part 2

Lane Moore of Alberta is the CEO of Varxity.  Time to lean some more.  Let me preface this:  I am generally in awe of anybody that can do what I can’t.  Play a musical instrument?  In awe.  Ice Skate without hurting yourself?  More awe.  Devote your career to working with children?  Super awe.  More than three children at one time?  I would curl into a fetal position and whimper.  For that alone, I applaud Mr. Moore.   Had we just met in passing, I would more than likely conclude “heck of a dude.”  Enter into a suspect contract with a town where I pay taxes? Subject to just a bit more scrutiny.   

Time for class to begin.   

I will assume that Mr. Moore is the chief educator of the “Elite Private Prep School.”  Mr. Moore is currently the Principal of Bentley School: Home of the Panthers! (1) (Roar!)

Quote
“The selection committee was particularly impressed with his interpersonal skills and his ongoing commitment to staff development” said Deputy Superintendent Kurt Sacher. “Lane brings a natural appreciation for rural education and will be a tremendous addition to the proud staff of Bentley School.”

Moore holds a Bachelor of Education with a major in Physical Education from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Physical Education with a major in Coaching from the University of Alberta. Moore is currently the Chair of the Wolf Creek Administrator’s Association and plans to complete his Master of Education degree this summer with City University.

Moore began his teaching career in 1996 at Lord Beaverbrook High School with the Calgary Board of Education where he taught Physical Education to Grade 10, 11 and 12 students. (2)

So, management experience? 

Quote
Bentley School is located in the beautiful Blindman Valley in Central Alberta. We are located about 20 km west of Lacombe, and serves approximately 373 students and their families in grades K to 12 and another 51 students in our Bright Futures Play Academy. For the 2016-2017 school year, we have 18.35 FTE teaching staff and about 11.1 FTE support
staff. (3)

Assuming full build out for the “Prep School” and the same staffing levels that works out to be 33 new teachers and 54 new support staff. 

Like any school district, those in Canada also try to measure or quantify success.  They are just as devoted to paperwork as any U.S. District.  Let’s take a peek at the current achievement?

(https://s13.postimg.org/k1ytqtbuf/improvment.jpg)

Ouch. Not the best record to market “an Elite Prep School.”  Let's not put that into the marketing materiel?  But, in Mr. Moore’s defense, the floods and wildfires of Alberta likely had an impact.  Payson shares that fear and concern with Alberta. 

The Annual Education Result Report even makes note of it:
Quote
 
Impact of May to June 2016 Fires and June 2013 Flood in Alberta

Participation in Provincial Achievement Tests was impacted by the flooding in June 2013 (Grade 9 only) and by the fires in May to June 2016. Caution should be used when interpreting trends over time for the province and those school authorities affected by these events.

Participation in Diploma Examinations was impacted by the flooding in June 2013 and by the fires in May to June 2016. Caution should be used when interpreting trends over time for the province and those school
authorities affected by these events. (4)

I know that Varxity got its kick off with crowd funding.  Mr. Moore has been involved in other fund raiser efforts.  Some pretty cool stuff for the kids: Playground Equipment. Like US. Schools, never enough money for the cool stuff.  The current goal of Bentley?  $500,000.00. The results?  $71,000.00 (5)

I don’t know, maybe the Varxity Prep and Varxity Development is impacting the performance results of the fundraiser and the achievement goals?
 
Just in passing I note that the “Elite Prep School” seems to use a lot of the same Verbiage as the school district? (6)

Let’s see what Varxity Development is up to? 


Here is the basic stuff:

Quote
VARXITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. was established on 11-Sep-2014 as a Non-distributing corporation with 50 or fewer shareholders company type and registered at 1300-10020 101A AVENUE EDMONTON AB T5J 3G2 Canada. Its Corporation No. is 9016341 and annual filing period is 09-11 to 11-10. VARXITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. is: Active. Varxity Development Corp. has been running for 3 years 3 months, and 19 days since its incorporation. (7)

Well, looks like trademark is in the works? 

Quote
Providing courses of instruction and athletic training at the junior high school and senior high school levels; organizing and providing junior high school and senior high school sporting events; providing college preparation academy services ( 8 )

Filed on 12/13/17?  Dang man, no expert here, but tend to the Arizona Entity first?  Maybe the trade mark attorney Ms. Meyer can point Varxity in the right direction?

Maybe there is a reason NOT to have an Arizona entity? Depending on where Varxity signed the “Development Agreement” this could work out to be a jurisdictional nightmare.  But, employment records and all. Maybe I am just not seeing the benefit?

For all the world it appears that the dream of Varxity is being transformed into a “Straw” or “Nominee” to establish revenue in support of a Rec Center.  Generally speaking, that is frowned upon if it involves finance agreements and that agreement crumbles. 

Quote
In United States v. Quintero-Lopez, two men were charged with locating eight straw purchasers for homes and helping the straw purchasers falsify pay history documents in order to obtain $8.3 million in mortgage loans. The government alleged these loan purchases were illegal because the straw purchasers inflated their incomes as part of an attempt to defraud the lenders. In 2011, one of the two straw purchaser recruiters was sentenced to six years in prison and the other was sentenced to one year of probation.[6] Straw or nominee purchases of mortgage loans are legal when intent to defraud is not present. (9)

Your mileage (kilometers?) may vary?  I suspect Varxity will have a few years to “pull it off” so to speak, but that Canadian protection may well come in handy?


(edit) BTW, in case you think I am referencing the wrong person, this twitter account would suggest otherwise? 


(https://s13.postimg.org/7durj81h3/twitter.jpg)


* * *

(1) https://bentley.wolfcreek.ab.ca/
(2) https://www.rimbeyreview.com/news/lane-moore-appointed-as-new-principal-of-bentley-school/
(3) https://bentley.wolfcreek.ab.ca/download/106658
(4) https://bentley.wolfcreek.ab.ca/download/117754
(5) https://bentley.wolfcreek.ab.ca/parents/playground-fundraiser
(6) https://bentley.wolfcreek.ab.ca/download/106658
(7) https://www.canadacompany.info/Varxity-Development-Corp-9016341/
( 8 ) https://www.trademarks411.com/marks/87719307-varxity
(9) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_purchase
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 30, 2017, 08:05:36 AM
Before we continue, let me clarify.

In no way shape or form am I against the future growth of Payson.  I welcome it.  I wish it could occur overnight.  I have some ideas how that could be accomplished with minimal risk or cost.  This town would benefit immensely from a “full build out.” 

So NOT anti growth.
(Double negative makes me "Pro Growth!"  ;D )

Even the Roundup recognizes this grand plan is a ploy for a new bond.
 
Quote
This works out to $50 in per-capita revenue. Now, that’s not an outlandish sum — but it’s a chunk of change. (1)

Some “backwardation” (not really in this case, but it IS a fun word) tells us this:

15,000 population * $50.00 = $750,000.00.   
$750,000.00 / 12 = $62,500.00.   
$15,000,000.00 at 3% for 30 years is $63,240.61 monthly. 

So the Roundup calculates this as a $15,000,000.00 bond issue!


(BTW, it appears $750,000 per year or $15m is not outlandish to the Roundup?  Explains the subscription rates?   ;D ) 


Again, not anti-growth. If part of that growth is a new Rec Center, great!  But, we should play by the rules?  Maybe a General Obligation Bond instead of some contrived, obtuse deal? 

We can then discuss and vote as a Town, the merits of a $15,000,000.00 project?  Would that money have more impact elsewhere?  I personally think it could.  If my fellow citizens want a Rec Center, and the vote supports that, I will be there with a shovel (and check book) in hand to support that goal.  :)

What I am not a fan of is having a few elected politicians, telling me, or a town of 15,000, in a very tangible fashion, how to spend our money.  Even less of a fan of opaque backroom deals.  >:(

Anti-Growth?  Heck no!   

* * *

(1) http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/editorials/prep-school-raises-some-intriguing-questions/article_cce0c75f-b2bc-5712-aa5b-5aadc8fb9b28.html
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 30, 2017, 12:10:51 PM
So it came to my attention that some harsh words were said at the last council meeting.  :-\  I was not there.  I need to get out more?  Sorry in advance, but this is a long one.  Going to break it into three parts.

Harsh Words – Part one

It was described as a “chiding” or “reprimand” by Town Counsel Mr. Figueroa.  Figured it would best to have a look myself?  Maybe you want to decide for yourself? Before we do that, sometimes it is important to review the basics, so here is the flow chart for the city.  Pesky “citizens” come first. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/5j5xe5gp3/flow_chart.jpg)


Here is the video link (http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2137), or alternately you may have to go here (http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html) and find the 2017, 12/14 meeting video. (1)

(https://s13.postimg.org/wtr8m3eh3/121417_3214_Mr._Figueroa.jpg)

You can decide for yourself if it is a “scolding.”
Time stamp markers to avoid the boredom. 

12:25 Mr. Charles Doe: asking for transparency in process of Prep School Rec Center. 
16:56 Ms. Dalene Yonker: Rumsey Park / School issue questions.
20:30 Ms. Barbra Bunton:  Ice Rink / School issues.
30:45 Mr. La Ron Garret Update on Rec Center. (Getting close to the ruffle….)
32:12 – 36:26 Mr. Hector Figueroa (I suspect this is what ruffled some feathers?)  Let’s do it verbatim?

Quote
COMMON COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF PAYSON DECEMBER 14, 2017

Time Stamps: 30:39 – 36:26

Mr. Garrett:  Mr. Mayor and members of the council, I just wanted to give an update on where we are at with the activities center and Community Center Partners as our consultant.  Uh we have had several meetings recently, uh two focus groups, one with some younger business leaders and some with some more experienced members of our community.  Uh we are going to have another focus group on January 8th.  On January 2nd we’ve got a meeting of the design team to go through everything that has been updated on the plans and hopefully at that point then we will have something that we could put out to the public to let them look at uh (inaudible) shortly after that if we need to make any changes so the public can see it before the public meeting on the 17th which will be held at the Nazarene Church on Tyler Parkway on January 17th at 5:30 PM.  And we want to invite all the public to come to that, so hopefully we get that information out and we will also if all goes well we will be out in the community prior to that meeting so that we can get everybody a chance to look at that upfront.

Mayor:  Where are we going to be we are going to try and be at the three grocery stores?

Mr. Garrett:  We are going to try and be at the three grocery stores at Safeway, Basha’s and Wal-Mart at different times uh with a staff member there to help explain uh and any questions that somebody might have.

Mayor:  Any council have any questions?

Mr. Figueroa:  Mr. Mayor?

Mayor:  Yes Hector

Mr. Figueroa:  This process not with the Community Center but the private school has been ongoing and I heard tonight a comment we don’t respond to  to questions but in light of the fact that misinformation is out there I think it is our duty to correct.  There this Canadian outfit was not in contact with Mayor and council prior to the sales tax.

Other / Unidentified:  Uh huh

Mr. Figueroa: Uh there is a town wide city wide uh assessment that was done many years ago and it was re-updated that number one priority was a community center.  We had an uh event at Town Hall at the Nazarene Church which 200 people appeared and a lot of you appeared and it was for the purpose of trying to get some guidance from the community to Mayor and council uh how to go.  There was no decisions made there and to so today there is no decision made as of today.  Simply because the firm that was hired was paid for half by the private enterprise and half by the town it uh eh the responsibility.  It is a feasibility study it is not called that it is a planning document that will be presented to Mayor and council and to the public uh the final uh document.  So if you say that you know it’s just going to be at certain hours and certain people can use it and stuff, all of that is speculation.  Whether the property is uh being uh purchased right now behind the Wal-Mart, and there’s going to be the town either the officials nor the citizens can interfere with private enterprise.  Private enterprise is going to set whatever school wherever they're going to put the facilities what we do have control of is what facilities go on public lands.  And all of that will come forth um because the newspaper they have a duty to cover Mr. Garrett speaking at the Republican Party and if he had provided, excuse me

Other / Unidentified:  tea party

Mr. Figueroa: The tea party, if he provides certain information it’s information that is not a hundred percent every detail that could be given and for anybody to think that this town this Mayor or this town administration and my office the legal department is going to do something that’s behind the scenes that’s not ethical that is not forthright you’re mistaken. And I have an open door policy if you ever want to come and talk to me about a legal issue and question something feel free to do it.  But it upsets me that we have thousands of people in our community listening on Channel 4 uh getting misinformation that they think they received through some source.  The source is right here. And you know Mr. Mayor I don’t seldom I seldom get out here and um speak my mind this way, but I think that at the end of this year we need to as one of the speaker’s said in our prayer we need to work with each other, we need to trust each other, look into each other’s eyes and and see are we one and the same.  Are we working on the same goal for this community and if we’re not call us out but don’t call us out with information that you don’t have a hundred percent grasp of and a lot of you know me a lot of you deal with me on a daily basis, I’m a straight up person and if you have something that you would like to speak with me about, please by all means come to my office.  Thank you Mr. Mayor.

Other / Unidentified:  Ron anything else?

Mr. Garrett: Nah I think that covers it. 


“Misinformation,” “speculation,”
such hurtful words.    :'(

“But it upsets me that we have thousands of people in our community listening on Channel 4 uh getting misinformation that they think they received through some source.  The source is right here.”

Good to know there is only “One Source.” Guess it is time to pull the plug on 260Chat.com?  ;)   That's no fun!

* * *
(1) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
(2) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
(3) http://ecorp.azcc.gov/Details/Corp?corpId=L22058569
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 30, 2017, 12:14:13 PM
Harsh Words – Part Two

Now, lets flash back to the 09/21/17 meeting (http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2118) or alternately you may have to go here (http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html) and search for the 09/21/17 meeting. (2) As a side note, of the approximate 20 minutes of “conversation” on this Resolution, Mr. Figueroa takes over five minutes in time on this one, very long, paragraph.   (Don’t worry, the highlight is below.) And again, verbatim:

Quote

COMMON COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF PAYSON SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

Time Stamps: 47:25 – 52:40

Mr. Figueroa: One thing, one thing I can say, and uh some of you have worked longer with me than than others  ‘cause you just got elected at the last election,  but I can tell you one thing, I have been doing this for 20 years, I’ve worked for three cities, I’ve worked for several fire districts, some school districts (inaudible) let me tell ya I’ve dealt with contracts and one of the things that you’ve seen in the two and a half years that I’ve been here I’m not a person that’s gonna put the town in a situation where given it be financially responsible for something that because the contract was not done properly.  You’ve seen some of the contract uh uh items that were included, they were included because of Ron and I worked to make sure that we got those some are required statute and some are not.  Sometimes you’ve seen me and heard me say you buy something like the lighting I think at the ball park and they wanted us that if there was a legal dispute we had to go to Minnesota or something to be arbitrated.  No sir that’s not, this particular case if they wanted uh they had a paragraph or a term of the contract to settle disputes in Maricopa County I said no sir it’s going to be in Gila County. 

So what I’m saying to you is I haven’t led you wrong in the past and but there are some things that as a lawyer, I’m not a criminal lawyer anymore but it’s like telling the client to plead the fifth because you don’t want to put all of these terms and all of these details out why? Because if something goes awry then you’re going to have to explain that. That’s why I was real careful in saying to you tonight that we couldn’t tell you all the details because we don’t know them and that’s why we’re hiring these people to be able to come up with design and you know cost estimates and uh you know details as to what would be the best, not only at Rumsey Park but also with uh our partners that are going to be involved.  Uh the Mayor mentioned the partners, the partners involved uh are going to be individuals they may be corporations it may be non-profits uh what they do is that they buy into the whole concept and then that’s uh where some of the money is going to come for development.  Honestly somebody that’s coming from Canada wants to put in an elite academy they’re not expecting us to give them tax payer money to to build a school, quite the opposite, they’re looking like are we going to have water, are we going to have a street, you know things that are already planned, masterplanned.  I can tell you that I did the resolution gives you a good historical perspective of how we got here. I didn’t know that the original plan that was done the masterplan was signed by Craig Swartwood in 1993.  I put that in here, I didn’t know that the original you know uh Parks and Rec uh masterplan identified, Sheila put it up, uh identified the Rumsey Park Development as number 1. You and I and a lot of community members participated in a Town Hall you heard what the members of the public indicated you heard parents and little kids come up here and tell you about the pool (inaudible).  You’re not reinventing something you’re not coming out because you got up in the morning on the wrong side of bed and said well this is what we’re going to do to uh fulfill my wishes those are not your wishes they’re not my wishes they’re the people’s wishes and there was a process where the general plan was required by statute went through planning and zoning approved by you all and then you directed your town clerk to put it out for a vote. The town voted to pass the masterplan.

Other / Unidentified: MM hmm

Mr. Figueroa:  So, what I’m trying to tell you is I don’t ever like to tell my clients uh trust me.  I tell my client judge me for the work that I’ve done.  Judge me for eh the legal advice I give you.  That is the way this is going to go down.  So, uh any questions that you have my my office I have an open door policy, feel free to come over and I we’ll discuss the legal issues

Other / Unidentified:  Do you have another question?


The highlight?  At 51:23:  “So, what I’m trying to tell you is I don’t ever like to tell my clients uh trust me.  I tell my client judge me for the work that I’ve done.  Judge me for eh the legal advice I give you.”

Wait for it……


* * *
(1) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
(2) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
(3) http://ecorp.azcc.gov/Details/Corp?corpId=L22058569

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 30, 2017, 12:18:53 PM
Harsh Words – Part Three (The end)

“So, what I’m trying to tell you is I don’t ever like to tell my clients uh trust me.  I tell my client judge me for the work that I’ve done.  Judge me for eh the legal advice I give you.”

Well Mr. Figueroa, I’m your huckleberry…..  You approved as to form the following:

Quote

A "Tri-Party" contract with a face value of $250,000.00 and additional considerations.  Assuming the future considerations have a value of greater than $0.01, even as a "future," still under the contract, an apparent clear violation of the Town procurement policy.  There is no apparent way to designate "Varxity" as a "Registered Professional" for the work around on the value.  (If the "future consideration(s)" have no value, they would not be in the contract. Clearly there is a value there.)

A contract with a foreign entity that may be a jurisdictional nightmare. (To the extent this is an ongoing “partnership” why not require an Arizona entity to forgo that headache?)

A contract with dubious / non-concise wording on financial obligations.  (“(S)hare the financial responsibility of this Consulting Agreement.”  Why not modify that one sentence for clarity and to provide clear intent?)

A contract that includes significant future / potential financial concession, with a party to the contract, (see above) that has an apparent value in excess of $250,000.00, in possible violation of procurement policy?  These concessions include “but are not limited to:”
•   Preferred Shared Use Agreements.
•   No Bid designation of “Manager” of public facilities. (By extension a Concessionaire Contract with a one year projected gross value, via CCP, of $600,000.00 to $700,000.00 dollars.)
•   Committed the town to future spending via “Cooperative Marketing”
•   Committed town resources, including future labor costs, including Town code specified fees, and various improvements to existing infrastructure, with a currently undetermined value, to Varxity.
•   A waiver of Town Code (See Above)
•   Designated Legal Counsel for the project.
•   Delegated oversight of Town monies / designation of subcontractor(s) to a third party – CCP



Allowed the Town, and via extension your office, to honor an invoice of CCP for services prior to the creation of that entity.  (CCP was incorporated on 07/27/17 (3)   the invoice includes dates of 06/20/17 to 09/21/17.  How does a non-existent entity complete and invoice for work? Has the Town asked for a refund for any work prior to 07/27/17? )



Yes sir;

“Judge me for the legal advice I give you.”

Have it your way.   

* * *
(1) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
(2) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
(3) http://ecorp.azcc.gov/Details/Corp?corpId=L22058569


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 30, 2017, 12:23:19 PM
So what else happened at the meeting?

Well, the meeting of 12/14 also produced this tid bit. Here is the video link (http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2137), or alternately you may have to go here (http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html) and find the 2017, 12/14 meeting video. (1) Again, let’s do it verbatim?   
Quote

COMMON COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF PAYSON DECEMBER 14, 2017

Time Stamps: 38:12 – 38:55


Female Other / Unidentified:  A public meeting that’s coming up you said January 17th?

Other / Unidentified:  Yes

Female Other / Unidentified:  And it’s not RSVP like the other one was, it’s open

Other / Unidentified:  It’s open the more the better.

Mayor:  And we’ll come up with dates or grocery stores and that’s going to be informal and that’ll have the three options and it will be a Q&A for individuals.  And if anybody, we did a live Facebook, if anyone can think of different ways that we can be more transparent love to hear about em.  We are looking for ideas. Barb?


(https://s13.postimg.org/jfe5pw7rb/121417_3845_mayor_swartwood.jpg)


“(I)f anyone can think of different ways that we can be more transparent love to hear about em.” Gosh, I have an idea! In the event you are reading this, can you expedite my records request for the emails prior to open meeting of 09/21/17?  That would help on the transparency front? 

Just in case, here it is again:

(https://s13.postimg.org/8skckdcfr/122917_records_request.jpg)

Yes, that would be swell!  Thank you so much for the generous offer!

* * *


(1) http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on December 31, 2017, 09:09:29 AM
All indications are pointing to our local government entering into an illegal contract, prior to any public meetings or input.  We are now apparently obligated for many thousands of dollars, without any vote of the people here, and with very little due diligence as far as researching Varxity, and it's owners.  In order to get a project of this size, this far, in a community this small...the process would have had to been started many months ago!
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 31, 2017, 09:59:33 AM
All indications are pointing to our local government entering into an illegal contract, prior to any public meetings or input.  We are now apparently obligated for many thousands of dollars, without any vote of the people here, and with very little due diligence as far as researching Varxity, and it's owners.  In order to get a project of this size, this far, in a community this small...the process would have had to been started many months ago!

Welcome to the conversation Paul.  Glad you are here. 

Given the experience on the sales tax hike, and even the more mundane painting of main street, it does appear that decisions are made long before they are presented to the public.  If you attended the April fools meeting of 2017, you quickly realized there was no "discussion."  (It was helpful that they announced "no discussion" from the front of the room.)

Again, welcome to the conversation.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 31, 2017, 10:30:01 AM
Dubious Funding?  Want to help end it? 

For me, this is not about "right" or "left."  It is about transparency at all levels. It is about playing "by the rules" not finding a "work around to the rules."  If you have been around long enough, you know the thing that "helps" your cause or project today is more than likely the exact same thing that will "hurt" your cause in the not too distant future.  In this case dubious funding.  No "side;" right or left, up or down, benefits from that. 

If you agree, and you are so inclined, feel free to copy and paste the following request for a modification to state law via email.

The distribution is as follows:
(copy and paste the email addresses below in "to section")
* * * * * * * * * *

Engage@AZ.gov
allenazsenate@yahoo.com
sallen@azleg.gov
CFernandez@azleg.gov
GPeten@azleg.gov

(You may have to separate via semi-colon in your email)
* * * * * * * * * *

The body content is as follows:
(copy and paste the text below in body section of email)
* * * * * * * * * *

Dear Governor Ducey and Senator Allen:

I am requesting more transparency in government with respect to public finance. 

Please consider a modification / amendment to the Arizona Revised Statute that any ‘Revenue Bond’ that has a ‘Combination’ / ‘Double Barrel’ feature in the indenture agreement be treated as a ‘General Obligation Bond’ requiring a vote to enact / fund. 

This would appear consistent with the ‘spirit’ of the general obligation bond requirements and preclude potential abuse of the ‘revenue’ bond. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

* * * * * * * * * *


To learn more about a "Double Barrel Bond" or "Combination Bond" and why they are dangerous; they are discussed in this post (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2382/#msg2382) and the one right below it.


Obviously, I sent the same.  A little different, but yes, same jest. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/lzjfv1lxj/ltr_to_gov.jpg)


Thank you, if you do; and I understand if you do not. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on December 31, 2017, 10:57:26 AM
Just a quick thank you.

When I started this, I was concerned that my efforts would be for my own entertainment.  Seeing people involved, read and react, is good. As we approach 2500 unique views on this topic, and over 4,000 on Facebook, I wanted to say "thank you." 

If you want a new Rec Center, I fully support you as long as we get there the right way.  My goal is not "anti growth" or no "Rec Center."  My goal is, and remains, an educated decision with an open, honest, process. 

So, Thank you! if you took the time to read all of this to date, or have participated in any fashion.  Together we will make Payson a town we can be proud of.     :D

Again, feel free to log in, join the debate, provide me insight?

(https://s13.postimg.org/kobom9st3/facebook_reach_-_123117.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.org/7wxifx3nb/thank_you.jpg)

Wishing you all the best for the coming New Year,  and a very prosperous 2018, Rec Center or not.   ;)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 04, 2018, 08:00:29 AM
Quick Shout Out to Buckskin Chick.

Glad you are here.  I have no idea why you could not post?  Maybe the confirmation email got caught up in spam?  I think one is auto generated.  I am all ears and eyes for comments.  So, by all means, feel free to join in the conversation. 

In any event, thank you for taking the time to contact me directly.  I share your concerns 100% and may request some greater detail on the exact costs we discussed in the near future. 

Thank you again for the information. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 04, 2018, 08:15:48 AM
The Governor's office was kind enough to respond to my suggestion.  Snip is below. 

I suspect that a revision to A.R.S. will be an uphill battle.  It could cost various agencies, towns, etc millions in election, placement and interest costs.  But seriously, who can be against "Greater Transparency?" The costs?  An unfortunate byproduct to ensure there is no abuse.  It is NEVER my goal to spend more tax money.  (OK, sometimes, but generally no.)

We can call it the "Payson Provision."  Payson can be the reason other cities, towns, school districts, etc can't have nice things without higher costs? 

I should seek some input from other towns?  See if they have any ideas to ensure that a "Revenue bond" has, well, "revenue" without being overly burdensome?   



(https://s13.postimg.org/9q2rglgkn/gov_response.jpg)




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 04, 2018, 11:40:41 AM
The 26 Acres is reported to be in "Escrow." The Mayor is on record as saying such, it is discussed in this post. (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2371/#msg2371) 

One thing I enjoy much more than Zumba! is semantics.  Hand in hand with semantics is "connotation."  Allow me to explain. 

When your friend says, "I have a house in escrow."  That is generally a positive thing.  You assume life is good and respond "Hey great!" 

When the same friend says "My house in in foreclosure" you conclude life could be better and respond "bummer."  Foreclosure is a form of escrow.  But, one word is more succinct than the other.  It conveys the message a bit clearer.  Semantics and connotation come together to convey the message with clarity. 

I revisited the 26 Acres.  It appears it is "in escrow" and it appears it is "in foreclosure" (Specifically a "Trustee's Sale.") 

That does not preclude it being under contract with Varxity, for the prep school, but it sure does add intrigue?  It also may explain why TTLC has not responded to a request for comment?  Time will tell?  We will come back to the 26 Acres after the scheduled sale of 2/23/18? 


The full .pdf document is attached.  Log in, download if you care to. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/rk7g9fyzr/trustee_snip.jpg)








Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 04, 2018, 11:52:30 AM
Some meetings coming up.  Some questions to be asked. 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/qvylqk5fr/upcoming_events.jpg)



Figured it may be helpful to have access to some potential questions?  Not for a moment do I figure they would entertain me asking them all.  Not for a moment is it a full list.  Add yours? 

Generally I have attachments if you log in.  Figured this one is important, so, no log in required.  The complete package (http://www.260chat.com/260Chat-Package.pdf) for you to print, share, whatever.  (click link - it opens 49 page pdf package.)   It includes the Town's procurement policy, the "Tri Party" contract and some possible questions? 

Hope to see you at one of the upcoming events. 




(https://s13.postimg.cc/tq1r437mv/questions.jpg)




BTW, not to worried about "pre-notice" on the potential questions.  It will be good to get official answers
.     ;)

Again, here is The complete package (http://www.260chat.com/260Chat-Package.pdf)  (click on link - opens in .pdf for you to print / review.)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 06, 2018, 10:42:11 AM
You may recall that Lane Moore was reported to be in talks with the Gilbert for “ten months.”   Well, the Gilbert Mayor had no recollection of this.   (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2332/#msg2332)

But, sometimes things happen.  Gilbert does have an Ice Rink.  You guessed it, I followed up with them as well.   ;)


You decide, ten months of talks?    ::)


(https://s13.postimg.org/opwhqmhfr/azice-redacted.jpg)



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 06, 2018, 11:19:16 AM
It is good to have friends – Part one.

As you may suspect, I am easy to find.  We have over 3,000 unique views on this topic, and over 5,000 on Facebook (Thanks again for that!  8)  )   Consequently, some folks are reaching out to me.  Thank you for your confidence. I can forget names with the best of them.   

Recently a friend told me there may be a meeting at 9:30 am this coming Monday in Town Council Chambers for Town employees?  I would hate to think it is a “pep rally” for the new Rec Center.  The Town is one of the largest employers here.  An employee meeting to “rally the troops” for this project has a certain something to it?  ???  What if "the troops" share the concerns that I and others do?  Will they be free to speak without retribution?  A job / career is a valuable thing. 

The funding process appears it may qualify as an administrative action, not a purely political action, but let’s be honest, this is politics.  For all the world this appears to be a work around to a general election vote on a bond.  If this were a bond referendum, would that be allowed?  I wonder if there are rules regarding the use of public funds and spaces for this type of activity?

Would be good to be a fly on the wall?   


(https://s13.postimg.org/87dcbigs7/Fly_on_the_wall.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 06, 2018, 01:20:20 PM
It is good to have friends – Part two. 

Recently another friend of mine found and shared with me, the needle in the haystack.  We had previously discussed  (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2304/#msg2304) “elite prep schools”  But it was not an exact comparison.  Well, let me introduce you to CIH Academy. (1) They are an elite prep hockey school complete with boarding.  Near as I can tell, this is the exact business model that is being followed.  A very iInformative site (https://www.cihacademy.com/page).  Poke around a bit and learn more? 


(https://s13.postimg.cc/c3v9l7guv/cih_hme_page.jpg)

In the event you don’t want to poke too much, some highlights for you.  First, the school.  CIHA partners with Blythe Academy Online.  (2) Well, so much for some of the new jobs?  They do have some limited staff, but this does not appear to be 100% staffed with teachers. 

The student body?  Well, they also have housing.

(https://s13.postimg.cc/ac2aqdadj/life.jpg)

How many kids?

Quote
Our comfortable and secure residence can accommodate up to 80 student-athletes. Each floor has a common area where friends can get together to watch television, play games and even prepare small meals. (3)

Wait 80?  What happened to 600?

Here is a “day in the life” even comes with video.

https://youtu.be/Ls6HEmSt4Ys


(https://s13.postimg.org/ng7v38hwn/day_in_life.jpg)


How much? 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/ov9frzlkn/tuition.jpg)


So, 80 kids at $34,000.00? (4)  (Gross of $2,720,000.00)  Hmmmmm….. that is not the discussed 600 at $50,000.00.  (Gross of $30,000,000.00)

The facilities?  Top notch! 

Quote
CIH Arena’s 100,000 sq ft facility holds two NHL size rinks, one capable of accommodating up to 2000 spectators.
Smaller space for corporate events are available, our facilities offer free Wi-Fi and audio visual amenities. (5)


(https://bbk12e1-cdn.myschoolcdn.com/720/photo/2015/04/orig_photo379290_5126421.JPG?w=1920)

(https://bbk12e1-cdn.myschoolcdn.com/720/photo/2015/04/orig_photo379290_5126418.JPG?w=1920)


WOW!  Now it is 100,000 sf and we still don’t have a pool? 
  At least they have 'Wi-Fi"  I can post from there?  ;D

So, how does a “elite prep school” that has gross sales of $3,000,000.00 +/- pay for that?

Let me introduce you to the nice place of Clarence Rockland (http://www.clarence-rockland.com/index.php/en/). (6)    A stone’s throw to Ottawa.  Almost like Gilbert to Phoenix.  It looks like a lovely place, with a population of about 25,000 plus they have public transportation. (7)  Yes, this is a publicly owned arena for the limited use of citizens, the exclusive use of the academy and others. In this one, it is managed by Canlan Ice Sports Corp. 

Quote
This state of the art multi-purpose twin-pad facility has fast become one of the premier indoor sports destinations for competition, leagues, tournaments and camps. The facility, owned by the City of Clarence-Rockland and managed by CIH Academy is entering its 5th season of operations. It is located 15 minutes east of Ottawa and features two NHL-size rinks with one accommodating up to 2,000 spectators, ten dressing rooms, press boxes, fitness centre, tuck shop, therapy rooms and tenant spaces.

CIH Academy is Eastern Ontario's premier Hockey Prep School for athletes from Grades 8 to 12. This co-ed institution recruits, educates and trains student-athletes from around the world that live in residence right on site. CIH Academy offers a unique nine-month hockey program with teams sanctioned by Hockey Canada that play at the highest possible level within the Hockey Eastern Ontario branch. CIH Academy provides a uniquely rich and diversified experience for their students. ( 8 )

Now here is where it gets really fun.  A blurb:

Quote
Located 40 kilometres east of downtown Ottawa in the charming town of Rockland, the academy opened its doors four years ago with Gatorade and CCM as sponsors and the full blessing of Hockey Canada. It’s a prep school, but the kind where Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley is on the faculty as a senior hockey adviser and where the 90 students, who are often hand-picked by the school’s scouts, have little to no body fat and walk to class with books in one hand and a post-workout protein shake in the other.

The sprawling campus, which sits on 35 lush acres overlooking the Ottawa River, has everything a hockey player could want: an outdoor rink with wraparound boards, unlimited skate sharpening and pro-style dressing rooms with an ice bath that Girouard, the academy’s hockey director, says would make most junior teams jealous.

The focal point of it all is a $27-million, twin-ice training centre with a 2,000-seat arena. (9)

Wait!  $27m?  $27,000,000.00?   

Wow!  Oh yea, loonies, not green backs.  ;D  Exchange rate at the current $0.81? 

$21.75 MILLION! 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/rqmiyia1j/exc_at_27_mil.jpg)

Wow! 

(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/EllipticalEsteemedBackswimmer-max-1mb.gif)



* * *

(1)   https://www.cihacademy.com/page
(2)   https://blytheducation.com/blyth-academy-online/
(3)   https://www.cihacademy.com/page/campus/boarding-life
(4)   https://www.cihacademy.com/page/admissions/tuition-cost
(5)   https://www.ciharena.com/gallery/
(6)   http://www.clarence-rockland.com/index.php/en/
(7)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence-Rockland
( 8 )   https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/11/23/789715/10157116/en/Canlan-Ice-Sports-Corp-Selected-to-Manage-the-CIH-Arena.html
(9)   http://www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/2015/12/15/the-cost-of-hockey-buying-into-the-dream
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 06, 2018, 01:47:49 PM
OK, while looking into this a bit more I ran across the following series of four articles.  If you are at all interested in the viability of this project, and the feasibility of supporting it with YOUR tax dollars, they are well worth the read. 


PART I: The cost of hockey: Buying into the dream
http://torontosun.com/2015/12/15/the-cost-of-hockey-buying-into-the-dream/wcm/aec56d95-cac8-43da-b8a2-89f9371baf86 (http://torontosun.com/2015/12/15/the-cost-of-hockey-buying-into-the-dream/wcm/aec56d95-cac8-43da-b8a2-89f9371baf86)
PART II: The cost of hockey: Training-studying balance
http://torontosun.com/2015/12/16/the-cost-of-hockey-training-and-studying-balance/wcm/934ac9b1-3919-4a24-87a0-77a85caeec90 (http://torontosun.com/2015/12/16/the-cost-of-hockey-training-and-studying-balance/wcm/934ac9b1-3919-4a24-87a0-77a85caeec90)
PART III: The cost of hockey: High price to chase a dream
http://torontosun.com/2015/12/16/the-cost-of-hockey-high-price-to-chase-a-dream/wcm/10bfa64f-c9f9-434e-a93d-e15aafb080f2 (http://torontosun.com/2015/12/16/the-cost-of-hockey-high-price-to-chase-a-dream/wcm/10bfa64f-c9f9-434e-a93d-e15aafb080f2)
PART IV: The cost of hockey: Year-round hockey not for everyone
http://torontosun.com/2015/12/17/the-cost-of-hockey-year-round-hockey-not-for-everyone/wcm/67a47fd9-bc96-489c-90de-5992c7f27d64 (http://torontosun.com/2015/12/17/the-cost-of-hockey-year-round-hockey-not-for-everyone/wcm/67a47fd9-bc96-489c-90de-5992c7f27d64)

An excellent series of articles.  I will ask Mr. Traikos, the author, if he has any insight on the financial impacts on cities. 

Some blurbs from the first

Quote
With Hockey Canada now licensing academies — former president Bob Nicholson’s son went to Okanagan Hockey Academy — the landscape has changed since then. There are now 26 licensed academies across the country and another 100 or so that are unlicensed. All told, Hockey Canada says about 5,000 schools — from all-day academies to local high schools — offer hockey as part of their curriculum. (1)

Quote
At Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, B.C., the final bell rings at 1 p.m., whereupon students head to the rink or gym for another four or five hours of on- and off-ice training. Electives, such as music or art, are replaced with ice time. “Here at PEAC, being on the ice from September to June, you would be on the ice for about 310 hours,” says managing director Robb Nelson. “You would be training two-and-a-half, three times more than the average kid. So it’s like someone who reads once a week and someone who reads five times a week. Who’s going to read better? If you want it, you’re going to get to the next level.”

A year’s tuition to PEAC is $53,000. The Okanagan Hockey Academy charges $35,000 a year — more if you’re from out of province. Tuition for students living at the Canadian International Hockey Academy is $39,900 a year.
That does not include mandatory fees such as equipment ($600 to $800), school uniform ($350-$500), textbooks ($300) and $1,000 for such things as orientation week, SAT prep courses and exams. (1)

Quote
The Okanagan Hockey Academy had 16 students when it was founded in 2002. All were boys. Today, there is an academy in Austria (100 students) and England (50 students), while another opened in Edmonton this September (20 students, with 20 more expected next year). The original Penticton location, which underwent a $90-million expansion in 2008, now has 136 students, of which 21 are female.

PEAC had six students studying inside a portable when it launched 12 years ago, before taking over a 22,000-square foot abandoned airplane hangar with 14 classrooms and a state-of-the-art gym for its 108 students, half of which are in the hockey program. There are plans to expand further, by adding a residence in the 80,000-square foot space above. (1)

Six (6!)?  50?  100?  Nowhere near 600.  $90m in expansion?

You want this to proceed?  By all means; just use real world numbers. 

* * *

(1)   http://www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/2015/12/15/the-cost-of-hockey-buying-into-the-dream
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 06, 2018, 07:26:03 PM
Well, the plans are up.  Too bad for "Fido." 

The proposed rec center at Rumsey Park will indeed require changes to the current amenities.  This can be both good and bad.  While the proposed 27,000 square feet of current proposed changes (hockey rink and an Olympic sized pool make me question if 27,000 square feet is enough but that is another topic) will require the removal of some of the amenities such as the skate park and the dog “park”, they are reassuring that these amenities will be relocated and improved upon.  I hope so.  I imagine the local kids enjoy the skate park.  I personally do not utilize the skate park and my bones are thankful, however in various communities I have lived the skate park was a favorite hangout for the teenagers. 

We do have dogs.  I am hopeful they are sincere in their statement that the dog “park” will be moved and I would be extremely curious about the improvements.  The Payson Town website boasts:

Quote
“Rumsey Dog Park is a quaint dog park with plenty of shade trees and ample open space for your dog to run, play, and receive plenty of exercise. This park has two separate areas for large and small dogs.” (1)

What would be a really nice addition to the possibility of a relocated improved dog “park” you might ask?  Grass.  Grass would be really nice for a dog “park”.  They could throw in a few extra trees for that matter.  This town does not seem overly dog friendly in that there is one designated place to allow your dog off leash and to run around and if I am picking gravel out of their paws afterwards, well let’s just say it isn’t our go to spot.  So with what they have currently available I do not anticipate that the relocated and improved dog “park” will necessarily be much better than what we currently have. 

Many might have the opinion that as we have dogs we should be providing a paw friendly place for them to run around – except we cannot have grass either. Grass in this town is the Holy Grail, and I completely understand that especially with water usage to keep it, well, grassy.   There is a great place for this actually at Green Valley Park.  They boast “Green Valley Park is a 45-acre park at the west end of Main Street that features three lakes and several decorative fountains. As part of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's urban fishing program, the three lakes are stocked with rainbow trout from October to May.  Picnic ramadas and a grassy amphitheater complete the park's family atmosphere.”  So yes! Lots of grass but a big NO to off leash area even though there is lots and lots and lots of space (and grass). 

I completely understand having an area that is enclosed.  I am also curious if the dog park ever had grass.  Even more curious if those that took into consideration the dog park ever owned a dog, or at least one they liked.

The Town of Payson wants to bring a lot of changes to our little spot of heaven.  Change can be good.  It seems counter-intuitive to recreate the wheel though and instead of improving or maintaining what is currently available the answer appears to be to bulldoze and start over.  I would like to redo my kitchen so maybe I should just raze the house and start over?  That is always the most financially sound option right? 

Oh yes, the pretty pictures and maps? 

Option 1

(https://s13.postimg.cc/jdum9dznb/option_1.jpg)

Option 2

(https://s13.postimg.cc/wi06m374n/option_2.jpg)

Option 3

(https://s13.postimg.cc/j13838jyf/option_3.jpg)

Current Plan

(https://s13.postimg.cc/dpobijdbb/current_plan.jpg)

Even my dog knows that a $20,000,000.00 "Training Center" for 100 "Elite Prep Hockey Players" is a bad idea. His take?  Lets just say sticking his tongue out was not his first choice?   

(https://s13.postimg.cc/dqy9bqx2v/dog2.jpg)




* * *

(1) https://www.paysonrimcountry.com/parks


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on January 07, 2018, 10:55:02 AM
It's interesting that the official slant on this, is that the property is in 'escrow'.  However, they seem to conveniently omit the fact that it is actually a pending forclosure!
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 07, 2018, 02:01:09 PM
It's interesting that the official slant on this, is that the property is in 'escrow'.  However, they seem to conveniently omit the fact that it is actually a pending forclosure!

Again, the "foreclosure" does not preclude a deal with Varxity. Time will tell?  I agree the choice of words is curious.  "Escrow" is generally a positive connotation. 

It is fascinating to see the development of the semantics in the process.  There are clear talking points and I really like semantics more than Zumba!   :D

Even the pretty pictures above are telling.  You will note two separate buildings  "Community Center" and "Training Center."  So from one, spring two? From one building spring multiple new fields? (Option 3 evens shows removal / relocation of current utilities?) My guess is the transformation and talking points will continue to evolve and  will be as follows from those listed above. 

From this:
Risk Neutral
Private Activity Bond
Rec Center


To this:
Revenue Neutral (Allows for placement of "Revenue Bond" with out a Town vote.)
Bond (Lets be honest, there is no private activity here, well, nothing that has a reasonable expectation of being a zero cost to the Town.)
Community Center / Training Center (Multiple buildings and a significant increase is scope / spending.)

When people ask, the answer will be "nope - discussed all along."  Like I say, I love me some semantics. 



I sure hope the folks near Rumsey are ready for that 100,000+ sf building and all of us are ready to pay for it all with no Town vote.  I sure hope people are ready to give up their input / voice / vote in such large decisions.  Again, time will tell. 

Seems to me the money could be better spent else where?  Maybe I just lack the proper vision? 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 09, 2018, 04:45:11 PM
Time for fun.  Looks like the Town is looking for a "Budget Analyst?" 

In case you are looking - here you go (http://www.paysonaz.gov/Departments/hr/Budget-Analyst-Flier.pdf). 


(https://s13.postimg.org/kzz7a3crb/fun.jpg)


Here, let me help. 

Don't budget $50,000.00 for a project, agree to $125,000.00, and tell us it is a "half price bargain." 

Budget. Analyzed.  ;)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 11, 2018, 08:53:22 AM
Just a quick update. 

It has been an interesting week. Will circle back on a few items.   

So for now, here you go.  We had a spot scheduled on KMOG.  KMOG, and the forum host, Randy,  have decided to pull the scheduled segment. (I was not part of the conversation) Essentially, they believe it to be “conjecture” and not worthy of air time is my understanding?  Somewhat disheartening.

I was out of town, but from what I understand on KRIM yesterday, the better part of an hour was spent discrediting any concerns that I have raised, even going so far as to say “the Mayor is the only source of information.”  Clearly any opposition will be discredited not on merits, but by any means required.   That is a bit more disheartening. 

I suspect this deal was done long before it was announced?  Signed sealed and delivered.  I also suspect that the town will not reply to me in any fashion.  I.e.: records request, email request to town clerk, etc.    I am soon to be the “crazy conspiracy guy.”  Unfortunate as I can document every statement I make, and connect virtually every dot, but no answers are given to very legitimate questions. 

Near as I can tell, a 30 million revenue bond with a combination feature for a city financed “back stop.”  Our money, but not our input.   No vote required.  Verifiable “revenue” also not required. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/mj55svn93/kmog.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 13, 2018, 08:45:14 AM
Busy week. Two presentations by Mr. Chambless.  Working on a "jargon translator."   My take away?  They are willing to say whatever it takes to gain support.  Mr. Chambless indicated the prep school is now K-12, because everybody wants to send a kindergartner to "prep school." 

As an example, Mr. Chambless uses the phrase "Private bond placement" a lot.  A quick thought on “Private Capital” or "Private Bond Placement."  The issue is not the “placement.”  The issue is the guarantor.  All bonds are “placed privately” via underwriters, syndicates, etc.   The issue to zero in on is who is the guarantor?  I.e. – who is on the hook?  Not just first debtor, but second and third?  These guys are great with semantics.  Me, not so much.  ;)

It was great to see the Roundup give some voice to the dissent.  A good review of the Chamber Lunch was reported.  (http://www.paysonroundup.com/business/prep-school-questions-fly-at-chamber-luncheon/article_8450e7de-3ce6-597f-8bb6-2e77d2203973.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share)

A snip from the Roundup

(https://s13.postimg.cc/evag4tjdj/roundup.jpg)


Subsequent to that article, KMOG has been in contact with us.  Currently, it appears we are "conjecture."  KMOG is requesting we wait for "facts."  Their station, their rules.  They have requested additional information via email.  Here is a snip. 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/dhnenmjw7/kmog_discussion.jpg)


So, that got me to thinking. This is a really long read.  Time to circle back and list all the potential issues in one place. Here is our  email to KMOG, and a quick reference / recap of where we are at:

* * * *   

Hi KMOG,

There are a couple of elements that are not quite right. All of this you can find on our site, but I warn you, it is a long read.  So, I will give you some highlights.   All with appropriate reference / foot notes.  I encourage people to read it all, and make their own decision.  I would encourage the same for you. 

The full thread is here: http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/

THE START
The plan is 600 elite prep hockey students and new rec center at no cost to the town. 

THE PLAYERS
CCP is owned by Lee Polozaja, various dealings including the defunct ammo plant.  Formed in July 2017.
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2507/#msg2507

Varxity was crowd funded in 2014, has no assets I can find and no history of actually being more than a concept.  They also have no current legal standing in Arizona that I can find.  The sole employee is a school principal in Edmonton.

SOME DECEIT?
After the deal was announced, CCP invoiced the city for work from June 21st to Sept 21st.  Neat trick for a company that was not in business until July.  I have requested email support of that invoice, to date none has been received.  Also requested response from CFO of town, to date none.
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2510/#msg2510

CCP has repeatedly indicated a 10 month process with Gilbert?  Gilbert is unaware of that as is AZ Ice
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2332/#msg2332

MONEY
This deal, as most, revolves around financing.  So, it is important to have a basic understanding of a revenue bond.  That is a bond guaranteed via future revenue of a district.  Think Pine Strawberry water and their recent $8m.  Cool, straight up bond.  A general obligation bond requires a vote.  A revenue bond does not.  There is a hi-bred that requires no town vote.  Only approval by the council like a revenue bond.  CCP is on record as saying no vote. 

A Combination Bond is a municipal bond with the coupon and principal guaranteed both by the general revenue of the municipality issuing the bond and by the revenue of the project the bond finances. If the revenue from the project is less than expected and is not enough to make payments, the municipality will make them instead. This appears to be a “General Bond” work around.  There is no apparent requirement for a General Election vote for issuance of a “Revenue Bond” with a backstop of general revenue. 

The verbiage has transformed in the process, today's Roundup calls it a “Revenue Bond.” 

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2382/#msg2382
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2383/#msg2383

THE CONTRACT WITH VARXITY / CCP / PAYSON
In a nut shell, the contract ignores the Town’s procurement policy.  There is nothing that allows a $250k contract on a “tri party” basis.  There are lots of other issues with it.  Like what?  Dubious jurisdiction, significant concessions to Varxity on a no bid basis to include a concessionaire agreement, etc. 
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2652/#msg2652

Pay close attention to Exhibit “E” to see what the Town gave up
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2386/#msg2386

IS VARXITY VIABLE?
In a word – NO.  Not at the level they discuss.  There are various “Elite Prep Hockey Schools” in Canada.  Most are under 100 students, 35 to 50k in tuition.  None, not a one I can find, at 600 students.  Most have a ten year ramp up to the 80 student level.  That is important because it changes the stated revenue of $30m to $3.5m  (600 *50k vs 80*35k)

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2580/#msg2580
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2626/#msg2626
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2790/#msg2790

THE COST
The closest like scale project I can find, excluding pool, was $27m C.  That works out to $21.5m US, pool, etc., we are looking at $30m.
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2790/#msg2790

THE 26 ACRES
Currently in foreclosure, not escrow.  Does not preclude deal with Varxity, but cannot find any document that shows that. 
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2371/#msg2371
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2768/#msg2768

CURRENTLY
I currently have three open requests to the town for documents, and one open email.  I don’t suspect they will be forthcoming.  I may be surprised.  But yes, I am a pain.  Sometimes it is just best to ignore that pain?
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2563/#msg2563

AGAIN,
All of this can be found on the site, the whole thread is a long read, well documented, etc.  No sign in is required.  All out in the open.   After you read it all, you decide if there is more to this? As with anybody, draw your own conclusions. 

Thank you, 

* * * * 

We will periodically update the list?  Avoid the long read, just get to the highlights? 

Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 13, 2018, 08:48:27 AM
The above references an "open email" to the city.  Here it is, just for review - Transparency and all.   ;)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/s0ujorpt3/email_to_CFO.jpg)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Dick Norton on January 15, 2018, 12:40:17 PM
Thank you providing the facts i.e. the latest idiotic scheme. I and friends will be atth
meeting the 17th.

Dick
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 16, 2018, 08:28:31 AM
Thank you providing the facts i.e. the latest idiotic scheme. I and friends will be atth
meeting the 17th.

Dick

Hope to see you at  the meeting of the 17th. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 16, 2018, 08:32:14 AM
Quick shout out to community member Ms. Gig Still.  Thank you for publicly asking questions and being involved. 

Dont Chnage Rumsey Park (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/don-t-change-rumsey-park/article_7ad5055a-ca7d-506d-b373-2f9936b19478.html)

(https://s13.postimg.org/j7od333kn/011618_gigi_ltr.jpg)

I agree, our money, our vote?  Yes, that sounds like a very good plan.




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 16, 2018, 08:44:40 AM
Rabble rouser Paul is back at it.....

Be Smart With Our Money (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/be-smart-with-our-money/article_ed4e6710-e206-5f8c-ba92-61ab088a3b5f.html)

He had orginally posted the same letter here (http://www.260chat.com/riding-the-high-horse-on-a-soap-box-(opinion-)/more-on-the-'proposed'-(done-deal)-hockey-prep-center/)


(https://s13.postimg.org/ctza066hz/pauls_ltr.jpg)

Pay close attention to the editor's response above. 

Way back on December 16th (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2305/#msg2305) the Roundup removed my comments regarding the deal.  This one appears to not tell the full tale?

So, again, comments posted.....

(https://s13.postimg.org/8m4hr3ztz/011618_note_to_editor.jpg)


AND POOF

(https://s13.postimg.org/knzvlabnb/011618_and_POOF.jpg)

THEY ARE GONE......

Sure does seem as though anything other than the official has a hard time getting out there? Naw, just me being silly....  ;)



Edit and update 11:21am 01/16/18:


I STAND CORRECTED!  I AM THE FIRST TO NOTE WHEN I HAVE IT WRONG. 

So, look the Roundup did allow the comment.   Thank you Roundup.  It appears I may have jumped the gun.  I apologize. 


(https://s13.postimg.org/gf4cacfd3/i_stand_corrected.jpg)

Thank you



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 16, 2018, 10:44:56 AM
Well, keeping up with transparency and all, another email to the Town. 

Sure hope I get a response......

(https://s13.postimg.org/5ls8o9113/011618_email_to_town_mgr.jpg)



Go go "Transparency!"
   ;) 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 16, 2018, 04:23:03 PM
Thank you to community member Ms. Lucy Briggs for taking the time to express her concerns to the Roundup in her well thought out letter to the editor (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/protect-rumsey-park/article_a79bba5f-cda2-59d0-adf6-fe609a8e86c4.html). 

Some of the highlights are below.  Well worth the read.

Quote
• The lovely trees that make Rumsey Park such an enjoyable cool place to enjoy will be gone and replaced with buildings and paved parking.

• The ramadas where groups and families enjoy gathering will be gone.

• The free children’s playground will be gone.

• The free dog park will be gone.

• The skate park, one of the only places in Payson where teens can go at no cost, will be gone. (The batting cages and miniature golf facilities did not get enough support to survive.)

• The shady walking paths where many people walk to improve their health and the health of their dogs will be gone.

• The pickleball courts, tennis courts, basketball area and horseshoe pits will be gone.

• The use of the soccer field and the baseball fields by the Payson schools will be gone.

Now, I confess, that has not been a focus of my research.  Clearly it is an issue?  Worthy of discussion?  I think so.  But, that sort of discussion seems to be lacking in this plan? 

When exactly do the Town residents get to be part of the process with all the voices heard? 

Time will tell....

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 16, 2018, 04:34:23 PM
Why is this issue important? Why is voting important?  We can likely all answer this similarly.  We can each do so without reading The Federalist Papers, or a single book by Alexis de Tocqueville.  Having a say, an opinion, having our thoughts taken into account for how our community, our state, our country operates is an integral part of this country. 

Those in the position of leadership may not always like that we have thoughts or opinions that do not agree with theirs, however when they accepted to serve in their position they agreed to listen to what we the people have to say.  Voting also keeps our leadership honest, well as honest as possible.  Politics is dirty business.  I have no doubt that it is not easy at any level.  When those that you serve are questioning your actions you should respond.  Not as a politician but as the trusted leader of those that elected you into office. Questions and concerns should be answered to the public.  It should be done so with honest answers that can be backed up, proven, so as to keep the trust of those you serve. 

It is disheartening that most people do not trust government/politicians any longer.  Not surprising mind you, just disheartening.  Saddest of all is that could easily be changed, simply by addressing the concerns of the people.

At the local level, the issue of voting is twofold.  First we elect people to serve on the Town Council, as Mayor, etc.  Second, we act as an appropriation committee by authorizing expenditures that come from general revenues.  This is not some abstract thought or idea.  This is the essence of local government.  The citizens should always control the check book. 

Voting at the local level is much more than just “who gets elected.”  It is “what gets spent.”  Are you willing to let that choice be made by others? 

Let’s go back to de Tocqueville.  He stated:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.

Your money requires your vote.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 07:16:31 AM
If you spend enough time reading contracts you quickly learn that a good one refrains from extraneous stuff. Real Estate, Insurance, Finance, the goal is get in, get out and get the job done.  Most people have a glazed look when reviewing them.  Once you get into it, it is sort of fun.  You can learn to appreciate the placement of a comma, avoid the use of the virgule, and realize that if your English teacher complains about your run on sentences, you may be well suited to work with contracts.  In general, not too much verbiage, not too much fluff, but enough to get the job done.  Now, the flip side of that is that you can assume two things.  If it is not in the contract, it is not important. IF IT IS IN THE CONTRACT IT IS IMPORTANT. You can repeat that.  IF IT IS IN THE CONTRACT IT IS IMPORTANT.

When I first reviewed the CCP / Varxity / Payson contract a name jumped out at me.  It seemed out of place, somewhat random.  Like a lot of stuff I stuck it in the back of my mind to come back to later.  (Like my Zumba! and exercise in general  ;) )  That name?  Larry Allen.  That name is only there once.  Really random.  But lets go back to  IF IT IS IN THE CONTRACT IT IS IMPORTANT.  Now, also somewhat important is the context in a contract.  That is you tend to put like ideas, players, concepts in the same area.  Apples with apples.  Oranges with oranges. 

Where is that name found?  Right here, only once. 


(https://s13.postimg.org/wvd9dtnlj/my_full_attention.jpg)


Mr. Allen and Mr. Ploszaj, you have my full attention. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 07:51:15 AM
Having a unique name is both a blessing and a curse. I know this from first hand experience.  A name like "Larry Allen" is pretty common.  Right up there with John Smith and Jose Rodriguez.  Honestly, if that is all I have, I have nothing.  But back to apples and apples, we do have Mr. Ploszaj.  Lets try to narrow down Larry Allen via a nexus between Allen and Ploszaj.  That requires we revisit Mr. Ploszaj. 

So, a little bit of zoom info, and here we go.  (1)
 
(https://s13.postimg.org/wl5quhw4n/zoom_info.jpg)

So, is that the right guy?  Hmm, looks like it.   President of DCK Capital Solutions and presenting at a "Public Private Partnership" conference? (2)  Yes, right guy.  Good thing the Town secured his services, he looks like an expert on a PPP?

(https://s13.postimg.org/4z7kndmo7/p3c.jpg)

DCK?  Lets see what they do?   

Looks like an array of stuff, to include Bond Financing.  (3)

(https://s13.postimg.org/6sahbx5cn/dck.jpg)

Something tells me we are going to come back to DCK?  Right now the project is "Larry Allen."  FOCUS JEFF!  FOCUS

* * *

(1)  https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Lee-Ploszaj/553268015
(2) https://thep3conference.com/speakers/lee-ploszaj/
(3)  http://www.dckww.com/building-solutions/capital-solutions/#capital-solution-project
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 08:09:00 AM
Maybe DCK can give us some insight on the correct Mr. Allen?  Well, when DCK was formed, there was a great article in the Pittsburgh Business Times. (1)   Looks like the kind of firm a Town like Payson could use.  Here you go:

(https://s13.postimg.org/ojm3qakqf/dck_pittsburg.jpg)

But not closer to Larry Allen.   :( 


Wait, scroll down! 





Yes, here is Mr. Allen. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/ez2h3gsuf/dck_winners.jpg)


Outstanding!  We found Mr. Allen.  Looks like Mr. Ploszaj and Mr. Allen have worked together at Winners?  I think we can see what sort of track record they had there?  At least look some more for Mr. Allen?  But what is winners?  Hmmmm.....  Zoom info above shows Mr. Ploszaj as president of Winners and also with Paragon Gaming LLC? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/qpgekxdxz/zoom_snip.jpg)

Gaming?  Well, that explains how I ran across this......  A spectacular property I must say. (2)


(https://s13.postimg.org/y6plzt3dj/spectacular.jpg)


* * * * *

(1) https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/the-next-move/2013/09/dck-launches-a-financing-arm.html
(2) http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/classified_box/real_estate/executive-decision/article_5ead9e6f-2525-5024-8aae-b70dd9996599.html
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 08:44:46 AM
Enough dreaming of the good life.  Back to Winners and see what Mr. Allen and Mr. Ploszaj were up to there?

First up Winners Development Corp.  Not much in the way of a website.  (1)  But, large scale projects are done right. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/xat4k9e8n/turn_key.jpg)

So, any Payson connection?  Lets see what is behind the Arizona Corporation Commission curtain?  These names may look familiar to Payson residents? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/ym0vsyuhj/winners.jpg)

OK, we know who, but what sort of success have Mr. Allen and Mr. Ploszaj had at Winners? 

Well, I hate to be the negative nelly in the room, the bearer of bad news, the wet blanket, but something tells me this wild ride has just gotten started?  Success at Winners?  Depends on how you define "success." 

I bring to you:


Mortensen v. Gust Rosenfeld, 1 CA-CV 14-0262 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2015)


So how does that work into this deal? Well, let me explain.  Actually, I will let the court docket explain..... (2)

Quote
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2            For several years, the City has considered pursuing a
commercial development project known as the Avondale City Center
(“City Center”). Among other things, the project would require the City
to obtain financing and acquire several parcels of real property.

¶3           The City began discussing City Center with developer
Winners Development (“Winners”). In July 2011, the City and Winners
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). The City and
Winners later signed a Letter of Intent and Understanding (“LOI”) in
October 2011.

¶4             Winners arranged for a form of financing through National
Standard Finance (“NSF”) and worked with Tiffany Construction
(“Tiffany”) to obtain construction cost estimates. Winners also obtained
contracts to purchase necessary parcels of real property from the
Mortensen Trusts, the Allison Trust, Byrd, and Avondale Boulevard
(collectively, “the Landowners”).

1      Our recitation of the facts is based on the first and second amended
complaints. See Logan v. Forever Living Products Int’l, Inc.,

203 Ariz. 191

,
192, ¶ 2 (2002) (when reviewing dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), we assume
truth of well-pleaded facts).
2      McGuire’s spouse is also named as a defendant. References to
“McGuire” in the singular are to Andrew McGuire. Gust Rosenfeld and
the McGuires are referred to collectively as “the Lawyer Defendants.”



                                     3
               MORTENSEN v. GUST ROSENFELD, et al.
                      Decision of the Court

City’s Economic Development Director advised Winners that the City had
obtained appraisals of the properties and that the appraised values “were
below what the City was to pay for them.” According to Appellants,
McGuire provided these appraisals to the City Council, which thereafter
rejected the purchases of the Landowners’ properties. Appellants allege
that the City-obtained appraisals were “knowingly based on false
premises and did not remotely state the fair value of the assembled
parcels.”

¶7           On January 23, 2012, Winners filed a notice of claim against
the City pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) section 12-821.01,
demanding $62,793,824.
On February 1, 2012, the City Manager sent
correspondence to Winners stating that the City had determined the City
Center project was “not feasible as contemplated in either the MOU or the
LOI” and that the City wished “to terminate the MOU and the LOI.”

¶8          Winners filed the original complaint in this matter in May
2012. An amended complaint was subsequently filed that added the
remaining plaintiffs and several causes of action (“amended complaint”).
With leave of court, Appellants later filed a first amended complaint
(“FAC”).


Yes, you read that right.  A development deal with the City of Avondale, same players, different corporate name, had this as a step along the way. 

On January 23, 2012, Winners filed a notice of claim against the City pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) section 12-821.01, demanding $62,793,824.



Curious this was all vetted by Town staff, Town Management, and the Council before we got into this deal?  We went into this with open eyes and a clear understanding of the track record for the players?  Right? 


Wait, I asked that question back in September and got crickets......


Buckle up my fair Town of Payson, this wild ride has just begun?  I also think we have a whole lot more digging to do?  There goes my weekend.   ;)

* * *

(1) http://www.winnerscompanies.com/
(2) https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/3149703/mortensen-v-gust-rosenfeld/
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 12:09:58 PM
There were a couple of open emails to the Town.  We can consider them closed now.  Mr. Garrett was kind enough to respond.  I will do them in chronological order for ease of reading.  Transparency and all. 


Quote
Dear Mr. Garrett,

It is my understanding that the Town maintains financing for the Rec Center / Rumsey Park is using “private financing.”   All revenue bonds are “privately financed.”  I am not concerned about the “placement.”  I am concerned about the debtor and guarantor of the debt. 

Will you, as the town manager, provide a concise, unequivocal, statement that any bond issued will NOT contain a backstop or combination feature in the indenture agreement that would draw on general funds in the event the private entity is unable to make the payments? 

While I have your attention, can you explain how the town can honor an invoice for work completed 06/21/17 to 09/21/17 in the amount of $25,000.00 when the project was not authorized until 09/21/17 and the invoicing party was not in existence until 07/27/17?  I had requested input from Ms. Barber, but to date I have not received the courtesy of a response. 

Thank you in advance,


Jeffrey S. Aal
Payson, AZ



Quote
Mr. Aal,

From the beginning this was envisioned to be a Public-Private partnership with private financing.  The planning team has never considered using revenue bonds or any other bond that would be backed by the Town.  The final decision on how we proceed will be made by the Town Council but I would not recommend moving forward if there is undue financial risk to the Town.  Any project the Town undertakes has a certain amount of financial risk but this project is to be revenue neutral to the Town.

Concerning the contract, any contract must be negotiated prior to recommending it to the Town Council for approval.  The Scope of Work for this contract was negotiated between June and September.  The items paid for on the 1st invoice were items included in the approved Scope of Services.  The Scope of Work items completed by CCP prior to September 21st were done at their risk.  If the contract was not approved, they would not have been paid for the work they had completed.

LaRon G. Garrett, P.E.
Town Manager
Town of Payson
928-472-5041


Quote

Mr. Garrett,

Thank you for the response. 

Assuming no bond, and assuming a PPP, the most logical would be a DBFOM arrangement.  As a practical matter that will require that Varxity have significant control over a public asset (Rumsey Park)  via lease, typically long term in nature.   That scenario has been implied by Mr. Chambless, however not explicitly stated.    Will you be addressing that at the meeting tonight?

As a long term lease has significant risk, will the full financials of the proposed partner, Varxity, be made public for review?

Again assuming a DBFOM, (Or any variation of the DB, DBOM etc.) the town will be a “revenue stream” for Varxity, and that stream will have a significant value.  Will the PPP partner be subject to the Town Procurement policy of RFP / RFQ?  If so, why was that not done?

Again assuming a DBFOM, and assuming the private partner defaults, will that change the “risk /revenue neutral” equation and if so, how will the DBFOM contract be resolved?  Assumption? Via what mechanism?

Thank you in advance for the clarification. 


Quote

Mr. Aal,

The meeting tonight is to discuss the Rumsey Park Master Plan and to get input from those in attendance on their ideas for the master plan.  This meeting is not to discuss the potential financing of this project. 

The project financing options will be available to the public once they have been determined.  Until then, there is nothing to discuss.

LaRon G. Garrett, P.E.
Town Manager
Town of Payson
928-472-5041

First off, there is some jargon up there.  Lets clear that up.  A DBFOM is a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) found in a PPP - Private Public Partnership. 

Second, you will note, tonight has no discussion on finances.  Seems like April Fool's day is coming early this year?

I wonder if they will feed us again?   ;)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on January 17, 2018, 01:48:20 PM
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Public-private-partnership-PPP
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 03:00:51 PM
So, social media, yes, good and bad there.  My goal is education and participation.  I think we are getting there? 

Always nice when people reach out.  This is re-posted with permission. 

Quote
Mr. Aal-

   Really enjoying all the discovery you've done.  Here's a letter I sent to the Roundup a few weeks ago (whether it gets printed is entirely up to them):

Editor:

   Arizona's three public universities are supplemented by 22 community campuses: NAU has 21 with a total enrollment of 2471 students; Yuma, with 511, is the largest.  ASU has a single satellite with 150 students at Lake Havasu, and UofA has none.  Does this statewide educational environment seem likely to support a Payson campus with 6000 (or even 1000) students?

   Arizona is not known for an abundance of preparatory boarding schools.  There are currently about ten statewide and all but two have student enrollments between 50-170.  The two exceptions are Rancho Solano, a PK-12 institution with 533 students (about half in grades 6-12) and Canyon State, the former Arizona Boys Ranch which has 342 special needs 6-12 students. Both of these institutions are members of larger educational organizations/consortia.  Does this statewide educational environment seem likely to support a Payson campus with 600 (or even 200) students?

   As a former teacher I support education on all levels, and as a Payson resident I support smart growth.  Yet, my training and experience lead me to believe that such “home run” scale, academically-based projects, are not likely to succeed in Payson.  Twenty-plus years ago Payson greatly improved the quality of its citizen's lives with four smart growth projects: library, Green Valley park, GCC, airport upgrades.  These were smart because they met the town's needs and wants, were appropriately scaled, had community buy-in, and made fiscal sense.  In looking toward the future we shouldn't forget the successes of the past.

         Howard Levine

  While I agree with you that the big issue lies in front of us (i.e., the town's attempt to move the project forward with very little meaningful town input), I can't get over the scandalous nature of the original contract.  No bid contracts invite trouble.  How is $250K justified given that Chambliss did essentially the same thing for Glendale and a mere $15K?  Once again the town seems distracted by some shiny object (YMCA, ASU, Ammo plants, hockey academy) and loses all capacity to apply even the most rudimentary business (or common) sense.  See you tonight at 5:30.

Thank you Mr. Levine. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 17, 2018, 03:14:16 PM
A long time ago, it what seems like a Galaxy far away, I had asked if the contract with CCP required an RFP / RFQ via A Procurment Process (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2291/#msg2291)  OK, just 12/14/17 and I was here at the desk.  But still it lingers. 

The “Parks Master Plan"  did require an RFP / RFQ.  How do I know this? They had drafted / were drafting one. 

I bring to you a snip from the 7/11/17 Parks and Rec minutes:

Quote
A.   Parks and Recreation Master Plan — 1st draft of Request for Proposal completed and should be out in mid August. $80,000 in budget for the new Master Plan, which is for the 17/18 fiscal year. Rory inquired if the Commission members will be involved in the selection of the company —Nelson and Cameron advised at least one of the Commission members would be a representative.

Seems like a RFQ/ RFP was required?  So what happened? 




But wait, there is more. 

The discussion of the Rec Center started in August 2017 via executive session.  The snip from 08/17/2017:

Quote
   3.   Consideration and possible action on a Motion to Recess to Executive Session:  The Council may vote to hold an executive session pursuant to TITLE 38, CHAPTER 3, ARTICLE 3.1 KNOWN AS ARIZONA OPEN MEETING LAW as authorized under A.R.S. § 38-431.03: 
Executive Session pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(3) the council may vote to hold an executive session for the purpose of obtaining legal advice from the Town Attorney including but not limited to an unsolicited proposal to assist the Town with an activity center.

   Motion: to recess to Executive Session pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(3) to hold an executive session for the purpose of obtaining legal advice from the Town Attorney including, but not limited to an unsolicited proposal to assist the Town with an activity center.
Moved by Council Member Janell Sterner, seconded by Council Member Su Connell.

   Vote: Motion carried 7 - 0

Yes: Mayor B. Craig Swartwood, Vice-Mayor Fred Carpenter, Council Member Su Connell, Council Member Richard Croy, Council Member Chris Higgins, Council Member Janell Sterner, and Council Member Barbara Underwood.

   Mayor Swartwood recessed the meeting at approximately 6:23 p.m. with all Council Members present except Vice-Mayor Carpenter. Mayor Swartwood reconvened the meeting at approximately 6:50 p.m. with all Council Members present except Vice-Mayor Carpenter. Vice-Mayor Carpenter did not call back into the meeting. 

   Discussion/possible action re: Matters considered in Executive Session. 

   Motion: to have the Town Manager put together a negotiating team to look at the possibility of an activity center in the Town of Payson.
Moved by Council Member Chris Higgins, seconded by Council Member Janell Sterner.

   Vote: Motion carried 6 - 0

Yes: Mayor B. Craig Swartwood, Council Member Su Connell, Council Member Richard Croy, Council Member Chris Higgins, Council Member Janell Sterner, and Council Member Barbara Underwood.
Absent: Vice-Mayor Fred Carpenter.



The Council Members knew of the plan before the 09/21/17 vote; they addressed it in executive session on 08/17/17.

 "(T)he council may vote to hold an executive session for the purpose of obtaining legal advice from the Town Attorney including but not limited to an unsolicited proposal to assist the Town with an activity center."

The Town knew the updated "Parks Master Plan" required an RFP / RFQ: it was being drafted.  What happened between 7/11/17 and 9/21/17 to forgo that RFQ / RFP? 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on January 20, 2018, 01:16:03 PM
I don’t care if the proponents of this project call the financing a revenue bond, a lease or what ever terms they want, it boils down to the fact that the lender (investors) are going to want their money back.  The town administration and CCP claim there will be no bond and no lone agreement – but there will be a lease agreement; which will be a long term (20 -30 years) agreement that the city will be financially responsible to pay.  The lease agreement reimburses the investors.  There will not be enough revenue to pay the monthly lease payment.  The only way out would be for huge donors to give money for the construction costs.  Even then the town will be responsible to pay the operating costs of all facilities that could easily run $50,000 a month.   And there is no plausible exit strategy if/when it all goes south.  Without a well-attended prep school paying a large part of the lease, it will go south.

 

When ever we bring up an argument that we can not count on the proposed prep school, they counter that everything works out financially without the school; and when we ask how the town can generate enough revenue to make the project work, they claim the school would be there to make it work.

 

I’ve done a fair amount of on-line research regarding the viability of ice arenas that it is so obvious to me that repayment of construction costs and ongoing operating costs of the ice facilities and training center requires that the prep school would have to pay a substantial amount of the obligation.  We can’t make this work without their large contribution – and the viability of the prep school is on very thin ice (pardon the pun).  A totally unacceptable risk.

 

Let’s step back and consider what we may be able to support – a community center and maybe a pool.   This would also avoid all the promised waivers, abatements and infrastructure cost planned to benefit the school. 


(Edit  3:00pm 1/20/18  Paul, I modified this to remove some email addresses that people may not want out there?)
 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 21, 2018, 10:33:02 AM
Correction time. Seems some other folks did more digging on the Gilbert deal.  Ms. Boling posted on Facebook. So, looks like Mr. Ploszaj was in some contact with Gilbert regarding the plan.  Nothing came of it.  Certainly not as far along as this process to date.  Thank you for the additional information, again, I was wrong.

(https://s13.postimg.org/p9kywx25z/gilbert_conversation.jpg)

Quick shout out to community member Ms. Gigi Still. She has concerns about the Hockey School.  The full letter can be found here: Dont Change Rumsey Park (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/don-t-change-rumsey-park/article_7ad5055a-ca7d-506d-b373-2f9936b19478.html)

(https://s13.postimg.org/d8zivp2br/gigi.jpg)


Another shout out to community member Ms. Antia Christy. 
Concerns about Hockey, injuires, etc.  Some of this was raised at the Town Hall Meeting, we were advised that these are concerns for Varxity and not the Town.  I think the Towns concerns would be the viabaility of Varxity, so, to me it makes sense to aske these questions.  Her full letter can be found here:  Clueless about Hockey. (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/clueless-about-hockey/article_9f7d780c-ec2a-5932-a328-37887deef835.html)

Snip below:

(https://s13.postimg.org/5g8v3red3/christy_ltr.jpg)

So, how about that Town Hall Meeting? 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 21, 2018, 11:36:23 AM
So, how about that Town Hall Meeting? Great to see so many people involved.  That is the goal.  More involvement; more participation.  Again wonderful to see the turn out.  I think even the Mayor commented on it? 

Here are my take-a-ways.

People are passionate about a Rec Center, pickle ball, swimming and trees.  I don’t know much about pickle ball, but I am good on the others.  We fully support a Rec Center.  Here is a quick link for just that.  We Support a Rec Center. (http://www.260chat.com/riding-the-high-horse-on-a-soap-box-(opinion-)/we-support-a-rec-center/msg2936/?topicseen#new) Make no mistake, this is not anti-growth, or anti-Rec Center. Just want to get there the right way. 

There was clarification on the scope of the project.  Appears to be a proposed 113,000 square foot complex.  This building far exceeds anything they previously ramped up to in public discussion.  Mr. Chambless was previously discussing 27,000 sf.  I had it at 100,000 sf plus pool after finding the hockey school in Ottawa.  So, we all agree 115,000 + - S.F.  Comprised of 50,000 for ice rinks and support, 25,000 square feet for training, 28,000 square foot Rec Center and 10,000 for a pool. That is big.  Really big.    

How big?  A local frame of reference would help. 

The Home Depot retail area, excluding the garden area is about 235’ * 487’ or 114,445 sf.  Another frame of scale would be Mazatzal Hotel and Casino.  Roughly, that is around 555’*216 or 119,880 sf.  Safeway is 48,923, Basha’s and the surrounding shops is pretty close at 123,000 sf.  So that is about the scale of the buildings being proposed.  Smaller than the Casino / Hotel Complex, and pretty close to Home Depot retail area.    That is big stuff for Rumsey Park.    

A picture of the Basha’s Complex (not just Basha’s) for reference. About the size of all the buildings on the north of the parcel outlined in blue. 
 
(https://s13.postimg.org/k9s42m6gn/bashas.jpg)



Back to the meeting. To me, it had the same feel of the April 1st Tax meeting.  A session where we discuss our wants and the emotional reasons why we should have want we want.  In my own life, I see what I can afford and try to maximize that to fit my wants.  Cars, houses, dinner, all start with the basic question:  “What can I afford?”  That seems to be missing from this conversation and was nowhere that I saw at the Town Hall Meeting. 

True to the word of Mr. Garrett, there was no discussion of financing.  Any such conversation on finance was quickly shut down.  “Not on the agenda.”  Control the agenda, control the outcome? 

Mayor Swartwood stated very clearly no bond and no revenue bond.  Mr. Garrett’s response to me on PPP issues via email does not bode well on the “transparency front.”  This deal revolves around financing.  To think the structure is unknown at this point is absurd.  We still don’t know the formal “backstop.”  There is always a backstop in every deal.  I suspect that would drastically change the conversation? 

Set aside the wants and the dreams; is this an appropriate project for Rumsey Park and Payson? 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 21, 2018, 11:57:45 AM
So, got to thinking.  It is easy to assume that "Rumsey Park" has always been, well, "Rumsey Park."  Not so much.  Kind of a fun story, and I suspect there were times that it was just as cantankerous as today's discussion?  The area of “Rumsey Park” is comprised of seven parcels.  All but one has various history, etc.  Kind of a fun story. So, here are the parcels. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/l34puy247/rumsey_parcel_number.jpg)



Quote
Edit - Content removed 03/01/18


Always fun to learn about the history of an area, and this seemed like a great time to learn more? 




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 21, 2018, 12:18:25 PM
So, a lot of people, send me a fair amount of stuff. Thank you for that.   :)

One thing I found very interesting was an article about Hockey Rinks in general.  The article is by Michael S. Komich, Secretary/Treasurer of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association titled To Build or Not to Build. (The full article is attached in pdf format – log in, it should be there to download.)  If you want to see the article direct, the link is below. (1)

So, as everybody is busy, here are some snips from the read:

Quote
Many established ice skating facilities across the country are experiencing lower ice time sales, reduced program enrollments, and smaller public session attendance over the past year. Some of this phenomenon can be tracked to the existence of newer ice skating facilities placed in communities without the benefit of thorough, and qualified advanced research and planning. This has created excess capacity of available open ice time and programming space in these communities. With these national trends in mind, what must an individual, group, or entity consider when deciding to build or not to build?



Quote
A general rule of thumb is that a single surface ice skating facility requires a population of 100,000 people within a five mile radius, 250,000 people within a 10 mile radius and no existing competition within these radii to be economically feasible. *These populations are necessary to attract skaters to fill programs, rent ice, and attend pub-lic skating sessions, hockey games, and skating competitions. It is not enough for individuals, groups or entities to rely on phone calls, per-sonal conversations, or letters of interest from prospective customers. Critical masses of population are the bedrock of an ice skating facility’s success. Planners considering locat-ing an ice skating facility need to consider this.

* Emphasis added.

Quote
Suitability to an Exit Strategy. One final consideration is that the planners of an ice skating facility must always evaluate an exit strategy. Though our clients never like to hear this, an ice skating facility, with the high capital requirements and highly fluctuating cash flows, is a risky proposition to be involved with. Economic failure is a possibility that must be considered in the planning of these facilities. By locating a facility properly, the owners can hope to recoup some or all of their investment by selling the facility to an owner that can develop the facility for another purpose: a cold storage warehouse, light manufacturing facility, etc. Sometimes planners of ice skating facilities overlook this sobering fact and position a facility in a place where little future potential for an alternate use is possible - which may have doomed the facility in the first place.

All of that research is an important element of the conversation and needs to be discussed?  Should the Public Private Partnership (or whatever the arrangement is) fail, do you really want a cold storage warehouse in Rumsey Park?

* * *

(1)   http://www.skateisi.com/site/sub.cfm?content=Archive_ToBuildorNottoBuild

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 21, 2018, 12:26:29 PM
So, time for 5 questions. 

BTW, if you are following a facebook link, scroll up for a lot more information Start here for the full update. (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2935/#msg2935)

I was thinking how does this get boiled down?  A suggestion was made that I come up with five questions.  That sounded like a good plan. So here they are:

(https://s13.postimg.org/7q1kspn3r/5-questions-to-create-a-case-for-support.png)


 

The Parks and Rec Board minutes of July clearly indicate the need for an RFP / RFQ for the Parks Master Plan.  There was no RFP/ RFQ for the CCP/ Varxity/ Payson deal despite having a significantly greater value to include a no bid concessionaire agreement, a waiver of town revenues, and others.  Is this a violation of the Town Procurement Policy?

The original financing was described as a Private Activity Bond, I suspect a Revenue Bond, the Town has now pivoted to a Public Private Partnership which typically involves a significant lease period for control of public assets.  (Requests for model information have been deflected.) What is the finance model and is the Town the ultimate financial backstop for any element of the project?

By law / technically, none of the finance methods above require a Town general vote.  Taken in totality (including anticipated construction and thirty years operation costs) this may be the single largest expenditure Payson has ever incurred, likely exceeding the C.C. Craigin project. Why is there no consideration for a general Town vote, with full financial disclosure,  to ensure residents commitment to the project?

The original concept was discussed as 27,000 square feet rec center, at the meeting of 1/17/18 the designers revealed a total of 113,000 square feet of which 75,000 square feet is for Hockey and Training.  Is a structure of this size, clearly commercial in nature,  consistent with the area and utilization of Rumsey Park or will modifications to the Town Master Plan and Building Code be required to have such a large commercial development?

What is the impact on existing services such as the Senior Center, local business or infrastructure? Stated differently, what are the hidden costs beyond the hard costs none of which are being discussed by Town officials. 

I suspect if we get the answers to those five, we will be in a much better place to assess this project?  ;)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 23, 2018, 08:25:49 AM
It is so good to have friends.  Especially smart ones.  Recently a new friend re-read the whole contract.  Picked up on things that I had not noticed.  Thank you, new friend.  This goes back to IF IT IS IN THE CONTRACT, IT IS IMPORTANT.

So, what did the new friend see?  Two things. 

But before that, first you will recall that Mr. Garrett maintains the finance model is not yet known.  That strikes me as odd that it is not yet known. Go back to this post (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2904/#msg2904) and his email to me. 

Hmmm…… ::)

Back to the new friend. Here are the snips:

Under Section 1 – Purpose

(https://s13.postimages.org/3y6gj1cl3/picture_one.jpg)

Under Section 4 – The Project

(https://s13.postimages.org/fnag7b12f/section_4_the_project.jpg)



The first from the last bullet point references “Design, development, financing, construction and operation of a new College Preparatory Academy.”   New friend wonders if it is incorrectly stated?  It should not reference that the new Academy is part of The Project or Plan? It should reference the Ice Rinks and Fitness Center; not the new academy?

That last one, “Design, development, financing, construction and operation....”  sounds a lot like this: 



(https://s13.postimages.org/dwrf5kbqv/dbfom.jpg)


Looks like Payson gets to build a Prep Academy?  Looks like CCP or others may have complete control of the Rumsey Park area? 

"For all intents and purposes, in many cases (not always) the private partner ends up “owning” (through long -term leases) the project (much more common for international than domestic PPPs)."  (1)

Nice that CCP is the designated Master Developer. Wonder if DCK Capital Solutions gets the nod?  Wonder if DCK Worldwide gets the construction nod? (Lest you forget, Mr. Ploszaj and Mr. Allen are involved in DCK (2) ) Oh, and so much for Transparency on the direct questions to the Town?    :'(

Sure is good we got competitive bids on all this consistent with the Town procurement policy.    Oh, wait.


* * * *

(1) https://www.nigp.org/docs/default-source/New-Site/research-reports/guidetopublic-privatepartnerships(ppps)-whatpublicprocurementspecialistsneednowfinal.pdf?sfvrsn=af15ed40_4
(2) https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/the-next-move/2013/09/dck-launches-a-financing-arm.html
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 23, 2018, 08:50:35 AM
So from above, we get to "Leverage Future Revenue."  That is like buying a house and hoping for a raise.  We all know how that worked out in 2007 / 2008.  Confident this time is different? 

It is nice that CCP is completing a viability study where they get to act as designated master developer if the project proves "Viable."   That seems like a no conflict study to me.  ::)  Does it to you?

And again on the "Transparency Front." 

Quote

Mr. Garrett,

Thank you for the response. 

Assuming no bond, and assuming a PPP, the most logical would be a DBFOM arrangement.  As a practical matter that will require that Varxity have significant control over a public asset (Rumsey Park)  via lease, typically long term in nature.   That scenario has been implied by Mr. Chambless, however not explicitly stated.    Will you be addressing that at the meeting tonight?

As a long term lease has significant risk, will the full financials of the proposed partner, Varxity, be made public for review?

Again assuming a DBFOM, (Or any variation of the DB, DBOM etc.) the town will be a “revenue stream” for Varxity, and that stream will have a significant value.  Will the PPP partner be subject to the Town Procurement policy of RFP / RFQ?  If so, why was that not done?

Again assuming a DBFOM, and assuming the private partner defaults, will that change the “risk /revenue neutral” equation and if so, how will the DBFOM contract be resolved?  Assumption? Via what mechanism?

Thank you in advance for the clarification. 


Quote

Mr. Aal,

The meeting tonight is to discuss the Rumsey Park Master Plan and to get input from those in attendance on their ideas for the master plan.  This meeting is not to discuss the potential financing of this project. 

The project financing options will be available to the public once they have been determined.  Until then, there is nothing to discuss.

LaRon G. Garrett, P.E.
Town Manager
Town of Payson
928-472-5041
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 26, 2018, 08:36:44 AM
Time for an update.

Had a records request for emails out there.  Guess it was too specific? The Town did confirm a system that retains all emails via the enterprise vault system, so that is good.  The request was for records from a very specific email address.  Some back in 2011 and 2012.  But not exactly what I needed.  Time to go pay the nice ladies a visit again with a broader request.   

The results from the first:

(https://s13.postimages.org/6m7e9n26v/012518_records_results.jpg)


Kind of hard to read, full pdf is attached below. 

So the new request:

(https://s13.postimages.org/li5xhfvnr/012618_new_records_request_1.jpg)


Again, full pdf version is attached.  (Transparency and all  ;) )

And, might as well see the new batch of invoices from CCP?   

(https://s13.postimages.org/818yyo8if/records_request_2.jpg)


Yes, again, the pdf is attached. 

Be back soon.

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 31, 2018, 08:35:04 AM
Friends.  Old ones, new ones, they are all great.  Sometimes a new friend comes along who can pull a needle from the haystack with ease.  Thank you new friend.

Awhile back we talked about Rumsey Park.  One parcel was of keen interest to me.  It was highlighted in This post (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2938/#msg2938).  That is the parcel that was deeded to the Town via the USDA (Forest Service.) 

So, as always the full pdf package is attached for download, but here is the deed

(https://s13.postimg.cc/ugunvu8hz/quit_claim.jpg)

Did you notice?


(https://s13.postimg.cc/7fe2q43pj/did_you_notice.jpg)

There is no “Section 3” in the attached package.  Now the hunt begins for “Section 3”

Times for semantics. (Love it more than Zumba!  ;) ) “Convey or otherwise transfer ownership.”   See that?  That is a deed restriction.  So what does that mean on this deal? 

The Mayor is on record as saying no Bond.  Back to PPP.  So let’s talk about leases.  Most are familiar with a car lease, or an apartment lease.  They are pretty well glorified rental agreements.  A commercial lease is pretty standard.  Oftentimes terms like “triple net” etc. are used to describe a standard commercial lease.  Few more pages involved and sometimes they have a zinger or two.  The big ones are when development is involved.  Somebody else’s money making improvement to your land.  Restaurant, Rec Center, etc.  Somebody else’s money on your land.  That can be a sweet deal if you own the land.

So, does a lease “transfer ownership?”  The short answer is NO.  But is ownership a transfer of deed or transfer of control?  Let me explain.   

A transfer of deed is clearly “transfer of ownership.”  But hold on.  There is no doubt that the right of ownership carries with it the absolute right of use.  It does not require use to own, it merely allows for that absolute right.  So, a lease.  A lease transfers the right of use to the lessee (tenant).  So, if you have no absolute right of use, do you still own it?  That question is so much better than Zumba!   ;)

On a development lease that transfer of use is important.  That “right of use” is the authority under which to build.  The source under what to finance, or what to insure.  Everybody from the banks, the insurance companies, to the builders will have a copy of that lease.  It is in many respects the most important document in the development process.  The “improvements” are clearly the property of the lessee for the term of the lease.   They typically will revert to the land owner at the expiration of the lease.  So, if this deal is now “private money” it seems it will pretty well require a lease?   How else you going to amortize a large scale project without a large scale lease? 

“Convey or otherwise transfer ownership?”   Well, if “ownership” includes an absolute right of use, yes, that “ownership” is conveyed during a lease for a stated period of time.  Of course, should that occur, it appears that “North Rumsey Park” may just revert back to the USDA?  Well, at least a long court battle to properly define “convey or otherwise transfer ownership.”  What is the worst that can happen?  We give back the park to the Forest Service?  That is a high stakes game.

I am going to have to find that pesky “Section 3.”



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 31, 2018, 08:39:49 AM
Time for fun. 

The Roundup had an "online poll."  They gave three choices.  Which do you want? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/dhqau2ubb/online_poll.jpg)

Wait, did they run out of numbers?   Here, use some of mine. 

#4 - Well, a Rec center is cool, but not the rest.
#5 - None, I want it left alone.   
#6 - Turtles. I like turtles.
#7 - Your own option.
#8 - In case you needed an extra number....
#9 - See, they just keep coming.

Oldest trick in the sales book.  What new thing can I sign you up for today?  Pick one, but these are your only options. 

 ::)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 31, 2018, 08:42:13 AM
Ready for a tease? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/9lcyy69cn/letter.jpg)

Heck, that is all I can show right now....!!!!!  Arrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!!   :D

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 31, 2018, 10:25:17 AM
Quick shout out to community member Mr. Lou Felix. Mr. Felix took the time to share some thoughts with the Roundup.  The Felix letter. (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/prep-school-worth-exploring/article_9cc991e3-97ed-50b3-abe9-5b18349bb343.html)

Snip:

(https://s13.postimg.org/jisl5a3uv/felix_letter.jpg)

Mr. Felix encourages exploring.  We are 100% in agreement with that.  As long as it is all transparent.  You might think the goal is "no Rec Center."  Not even a little bit.  The goal is "Transparent Process."  The goal is an honest discussion and involvement.  A better discussion results in a better outcome. 


So, thank you Mr. Felix for taking the time to be involved. 
 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 31, 2018, 07:22:23 PM
Well the pesky "Section 3" deed restriction for North Rumsey Park found its way to me. Again, thank you friend for that. 

Lets take a quick gander? 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/ijywh83c7/section_3.jpg)

As always, the full shebang is in pdf as an attachment if you are logged in and so inclined to take a peek. 

So, “(B)e used for public open space, park and recreational purposes.”  Hmmmm.  A 115,000 square foot building is not "open space."  Nope, not even a little.  Well, "park and recreation purposes."   Well, of that 115,000 square feet, about 75,000 is for two hockey rinks and a training facility.  I suspect that portion will be under control of the elite prep hockey school?  Tournaments, training, drills, practice.  Not much time left for "recreation."  Lets say less than 50% of the total time for single rink?  I am going to have to do weighted averages to figure total time for the public?  I don't wanna.    ???   I will come back to that.

The real kicker is that there seems to be nothing that allows for the Town to lease that space.  Nothing that seems to allow for a "private use."  You know, public lands, public access?  Now I am going out on a limb here, but we are just going to have to trust that the Town has somehow reconciled that?  Reconciled "ownership?"  I mean, the town would at least check that right?  Before they spent $125,000.00 to study what could be there, they at least checked if it could go there


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on January 31, 2018, 08:12:14 PM
Come to find out,the Forest Service / USDA is not the only land transfer that had concerns on the future use.  It appears that Mr. Rumsey / The Rumsey Family had some concerns as well. 

In for a penny, in for a pound.  Here is the Rumsey transfer document. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/cychd7sdj/rumsey_warranty_deed.jpg)



Time for some detail....

(https://s13.postimg.org/7bg4f6547/recreation_purposes.jpg)



"Recreational Purposes" Only?  Does a private elite prep hockey training facility and rinks fit that bill?  Lets see what recreation means?


(https://s13.postimg.org/czmf69c3b/recreational.jpg)



Well, sure hockey can be recreational, but the rub is the private enterprise nature of it.  Hockey on a rink funded by the town for the use of the town?  Recreational.  Hockey on a rink on public land funded by private money for private gain via a hockey prep school?  I would say no, not recreational, more enterprise than recreation.  But that is just me. 

So, which parcel is that?  Well, here you go.  Good ol "Lot 2"


(https://s13.postimg.org/s8cck5g3b/lot_2.jpg)



Or more aptly described as parcel 304-05-008K.  Wait, the dog park?  Well dog park is recreational! Two Paws Up! 



(https://s13.postimg.org/y9a1hanav/008k.jpg)



As always, all the support is attached in pdf for your review.  Go go transparency.   ;)



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 03, 2018, 03:52:01 PM
(pssstttt....  if you are coming from a Facebook link, the information is below on your money and the town code - keep reading and scrolling.)

Time for a few up dates.  Shout out to Mr. and Mrs. Briggs on the well thought out letter in the Roundup.  The Briggs letter. (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/against-hockey-school/article_f470b80a-5e72-5829-807b-b5d4dfc24bac.html)  I am always in awe of people who can succinctly state what has taken me many many posts to try to convey.

Here is a snip.

(https://s13.postimg.org/zac4bvi13/briggs_letter.jpg)

Well worth the read.  Glad to see the Roundup allowing for some differing opinion and perhaps a more critical eye.  Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Briggs for the insight and sharing your voice. 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 03, 2018, 04:10:29 PM
Banner day for submissions to the Roundup.  Shout out to Mr. Loeffler.  Looks like a kindred sprit?  The Loeffler letter. (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/short-memories/article_0c18a889-2bc3-5622-aa56-2885656fc176.html)

Like the Briggs letter, Mr. Loeffler's is well worth the read.   

Have a snip:

(https://s13.postimg.org/av3wasvyv/loeffler_ltr.jpg)

Wait..."We will begin another petition drive to allow ALL citizens to vote on their park’s future." Well, it looks like you read my mind! 

(psssssttttt!  we could always use more help!   ;)  )



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 03, 2018, 04:18:13 PM
So, other than the deeds from earlier this week, it may seem like a short week?  Not so.  Just behind the scenes. 

We have filed two initiative petitions, made a website specific to them.  Meet briefly with the Town, etc. 

Curious?  Of course you are.....

Here, click on this snazzy link   www.TransparentPayson.org (http://transparentpayson.org/) .


(https://s13.postimg.org/kgxgqws7r/transparent_payson_snip.jpg)

Want a Facebook page instead?  We can do that.....  https://www.facebook.com/transparentpayson/ (https://www.facebook.com/transparentpayson/)


(https://s13.postimg.org/5xqbpjh3b/transparent_facebook_cover.jpg)



Keep an eye out for the fine folks who will be circulating the petitions.  Say hey, give a wave and maybe sign the petition? 

Thanks!  ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 03, 2018, 04:24:15 PM
So, About Transparent Payson

Who it is / who they are:

We are citizens of Payson, Arizona who are striving to make our local government more transparent.  We believe in the people having a vote as to what happens with their money, their land, their town.  We believe that the elected officials are there to serve the public and as such we should have a voice in making decisions that affect us all.  We are bipartisan with no party affiliation, no hidden agenda, and therefore we are YOU.  We believe in Payson, Arizona and its future.  We support growth that will better serve all of its citizens while also remaining financially sound.

Currently we are working to change the current Town ordinance that any contract over One Million Dollars be decided by a vote of the people.  Concurrently we are working to require that any lease of Town real property exceeding three years be voted on by the citizens of Payson.

Our vision is that our leaders provide all the information as to proposed spending of Town money as well as utilization of Town property so that we, the citizens, can choose how and where our money and our land is utilized.  We encourage you to read the debt initiative and the lease term initiative.  These issues are important and your voice and vote does matter.

We welcome YOUR involvement in this process.  Sign the petitions, cast the votes, and dare we say, support the cause.


 ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 03, 2018, 04:26:42 PM
A funny thing happened on the way to get signatures. Many long time Payson residents may recall the YMCA deal.  That was challenged in part based on deed restrictions.  From what I understand an initiative, just like this one, was started.  To understand that process, it is important to understand where that “right” comes from.  Article IV of the Arizona Constitution reads as follows:

Quote

PART 1
Section 1

( 7 ) Number of qualified electors. The whole number of votes cast for all candidates for governor at the general election last preceding the filing of any initiative or referendum petition on a state or county measure shall be the basis on which the number of qualified electors required to sign such petition shall be computed.

( 8 ) Local, city, town or county matters. The powers of the initiative and the referendum are hereby further reserved to the qualified electors of every incorporated city, town, and county as to all local, city, town, or county matters on which such incorporated cities, towns, and counties are or shall be empowered by general laws to legislate. Such incorporated cities, towns, and counties may prescribe the manner of exercising said powers within the restrictions of general laws. Under the power of the initiative fifteen per centum of the qualified electors may propose measures on such local, city, town, or county matters, and ten per centum of the electors may propose the referendum on legislation enacted within and by such city, town, or county. Until provided by general law, said cities and towns may prescribe the basis on which said percentages shall be computed.

Generally that would mean that the bar is set at 15% of “qualified electors.”  It appears the basis to establish “qualified electors” would be the last Mayoral election?  That election appears to have had 4,394 votes or “qualified electors?”  So, about 650 signatures or so?

Looks like long ago, (After the YMCA deal and Mr. Loeffler?)  the Town of Payson Town Council changed that threshold. 

The Payson Town code was modified to be more stringent than the Arizona Constitution on “initiative measures.”  Specifically, the Town requires a 15% threshold of “registered voters,” as opposed to a 15% threshold of “qualified electors.”  It seems odd that the Town can be more restrictive than the State when it comes to this basic voting method / right of the citizens?

By using “registered voters” instead of “qualified electors” to place an intuitive on the ballot it works out to be about a 30% threshold of “qualified electors.”  I suspect some of the “registered voters” are now dead or moved on?   

The Town code reads as follows:

Quote
§ 30.66  NUMBER OF SIGNATURES.
   (A)   Initiative.  The total number of registered voters qualified to vote at the last municipal election, whether regular or special, immediately preceding the date upon which any initiative petition is filed shall be the basis upon which the number of qualified electors of the town required to file an initiative petition shall be computed.
   (B)   Referendum.  The basis upon which the number of qualified electors of the town required to file a referendum petition shall be as determined by state law.

(`82 Code, § 2-6-2)  (Ord. 386, passed 1-14-93; Am. Ord. 839, passed 10-17-13)
Statutory reference:    Initiative and referendum petitions in cities, towns and counties, see A.R.S. §§ 19-141 to 19-143

So, the Town wants and needs your money, just not your input on the issues. 

Your money, your land, your VOTE!

Proceed accordingly. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 07:35:42 AM
Emails; personally and professionally I would be lost without them.  I suspect most business is conducted via email anymore?  So handy.

You remember I have made two attempts to see the emails prior to the 09/21/17 Council meeting?  As discussed in this post. (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2975/#msg2975)  I mean, the Town was charged for work from 06/21/ to 09/21, seems there should be an email or two?

Well, the Town got back to me.  The full document is attached in pdf if you are logged in and care to see it.  Guess the Town and CCP have no emails?  You decide:

(https://s13.postimg.org/du6pqvz5j/IMG_6660_Large.jpg)

That is right. "the Town does not have any documents" No emails.  Maybe the request was too specific?  Maybe? 

OK then, lets try this? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/ejpi3ekbb/snip.jpg)

There has to be "written communication" right? 

"Transparency" sure aint what it used to be. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 07:51:32 AM
There was another records request outstanding. Figured it was time to to check invoices again.  Curious deal.  The last go around as discussed in this post (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2510/#msg2510) there was no "monthly report."   They have some now.  Curiously the planing team approved the minutes from the November 14th meeting, but that was not included in the prior documents. 

Again, full pdf package is uploaded as an attachment if you are logged in.   

Not much there that I saw.  But, the project is now 68% complete.  Oh, and some invoices for the architects.  That has a sub contract value of $60,000.00. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/p936vt90n/IMG_6688_Large.jpg)

68% through the project?  Cool.  Looking forward to the completion. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 08:05:45 AM
So, what else has been happening this last week?    Well, we found the deed last week.  I was curious what the Forest Service had to say, so, yes, an email to them.......  Specifically to the Forest Supervisor of the Tonto National Forest, Mr. Neil Bosworth.

(https://s13.postimg.org/kczk3rlmf/020718_email_snip_to_forest_service.jpg)

Waiting on a response.   

Oh yea, because me.  Went ahead and added this blurb and sent a copy to the FOIA / Government Information Specialist.


(https://s13.postimg.org/ccl9fpk8n/finally.jpg)

Again, the full pdf is attached. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 09:00:40 AM
Speaking of emails.  You may remember that CCP was in discussions with AZIDA?  Here you go,  as discussed in this post. (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2510/#msg2510)

Despite that the Town is saying "no bonds"  they are talking to the folks that, well, place bonds. 

Quote
ARIZONA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Through the Arizona Industrial Development Authority (AZIDA), private borrowers can reduce their financing costs through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.

Nationally, private activity bonds (PABs) are issued by industrial development authorities for the benefit of private users. Repayment of the bonds is an obligation of the private user, not of the issuing authority. The proceeds of these bonds are used for industrial and other private purposes and the interest on the bonds may be exempt from federal income tax (IRC Sec. 103). In Arizona, the interest on the bonds is also exempt from state income tax.

The AZIDA issues both taxable and tax-exempt bonds for commercial activities using a streamlined process at competitive rates.

So, I figured we could see what they been talking about? Yes, another email. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/fkpqse3tz/azida.jpg)

And again, the full email is an attachment in pdf.   

Waiting on a response. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 09:49:24 AM
So what else has been going on this week?  This one gets into the weeds a bit.  I will try to keep it easy to read.   

My understanding is the Town of Payson used to run their own elections.  Then, consolidated elections came.  The town now contracts with Gila County for election services.  As you know, we have started two petitions to address some concerns.  To qualify for the ballot, we need 15% of registered voters.  The town pays for the election services to Gila County based on “registered voters.”   Here is where it gets interesting.  The last election at the town level was August 2016.  The elections department reflected the following. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/xfzs0othj/offcial.jpg)


So, because that number, 9,315 determines the total number of signatures required, I was curious how that number was obtained.  Come to find out the Town of Payson has nine (9) precincts.  Only four of them are exclusively inside of Town limits.  Here is a map.  Boundaries in blue, dashes are town limits, and roads are red

(https://s13.postimg.org/7x7fnp4sn/precinct_map.jpg)


Why not just add the precincts?
  From review of the prior elections at the precinct levels, here are the totals from the prior elections. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/kollu94av/precinct_totals.jpg)

You will note the total number of registered voters increases as anticipated with a Presidential election.  OK, so we can’t just add up the precinct totals.  But how does that 9,315 get established? 

Let’s just a say a series of emails to the Town Clerk, Ms. Smith, Gila Elections, Mr. Mariscal has led me to the Gila Recorder’s office.  Why?  Well, so far nobody can tell me how that 9,315 is obtained.  As Payson pays an invoice from it, and it impacts the signatures required, it seems important to know how that number is obtained? 

Currently waiting on a response from Ms. Bingham of Gila Recorder’s office.  Hopeful she can elaborate?    Here is the email:

(https://s13.postimg.org/iwsmze2yf/bingham.jpg)

Hope we can figure out that 9,315 number soon.  Seems important to be able to verify it?  ;)


As always, everything is attached in pdf for your full review. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 10:21:10 AM
Time to see whats been going on in the Roundup.  A roundup of the Roundup?

First, thank you to Mr. Dave Golembewski for taking the time to write the paper and become involved.  The Golembewski Letter (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/let-s-be-kind-to-each-other/article_18011366-a8c9-5b51-8a28-554b952b4d6a.html)  Good points.  Can't disagree with a bit of it.  Heck, show me, I might just come around too.  ;D

A snip. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/pscvinxh3/020618_golembewski_letter.jpg)

Thank you again Mr. Golembewski. Yes, you can vote on these issues.  www.TransparentPayson.org. 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 10, 2018, 10:39:04 AM
Elsewhere in the Roundup..... Looks like Star Valley is in the mix? <a href="Star%20Valley briefed on Payson parks plan">Star Valley briefed on Payson parks plan[/url] 

Looks like we have a new "goal." 

(https://s13.postimg.org/gzvwutrpz/the_goal.jpg)

Great goal.  But, what happens when Varxity maybe does not pay their fair share?  Yes, that in a nut shell is the concern.

Elsewhere?  Oh this is good.

(https://s13.postimg.org/5arx74g9j/fluid.jpg)

Wait, did I just read that right?  No decision on where to site the project?  What?  Seventy percent (70%) through a $250,000.00 contract and no idea where to put it?  But, the pictures show it in Rumsey Park.  The $60,000.00 architects have been planing Rumsey Park. Does all that just go "poof?" 

Besides, that was not the deal was it?  Lets take a peek......

(https://s13.postimg.org/rbcv1koc7/the_project.jpg)

Well, I guess they can plan stuff not being in Rumsey Park?  Despite everybody saying Rumsey Park?  Besides, if you are in the consulting business, change orders are good.  Very good.   ::)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 11, 2018, 12:28:13 PM
Care to take part in a survey?  Less than two minutes.  Promise it won't take long.  We would apprentice the feed back.

http://transparentpayson.org/transparent-payson-survey/ (http://transparentpayson.org/transparent-payson-survey/)

Thanks in advance!    ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 16, 2018, 04:14:42 PM
Thank you to the Round up for their coverage of our last speaking event.

Our goal is engagement and the process.  Any news coverage is helpful in that regard.  A good process, including good debate, will ensure a good outcome. We appreciate that the article touched on a number of topics and was balanced.  The picture?  We again appreciate the article was balanced.

Generally we refrain from posting others works in their entirety.  This time is no exception. Some blurbs for you, but please review the original on the Roundup's Site (http://www.paysonroundup.com/).  If you don't have a subscription, please purchase one to support local businesses.

The Full article can be found here:

Group trying to get two initiatives on August ballot that could impact Rumsey Park plans (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/group-trying-to-get-two-initiatives-on-august-ballot-that/article_0c703fd8-1d68-5943-967d-b9c357ffadad.html)


The blurb:

Quote
Now Aal is leading efforts to get two initiatives placed on the August ballot. They need to collect a minimum of 1,400 signatures by April 30 to get them on the ballot, but they hope to collect 1,800 as a buffer.

The first, a debt obligation initiative, would require a vote of the people if the town wants to take out a revenue bond or that involves a contract or lease in excess of $1 million.

The second would require the town to get voter approval for leases longer than three years.

“We tried to mitigate unintended consequences,” Aal said, tailoring the language of the initiatives to fit the Rumsey Park project.

A second blurb:

Quote
“Again, I am a process guy. Our town process is broken. Every safeguard we have in place, from town staff, to town legal, town manager, town council and to some extent, local media, has seemingly failed trying to get the winning lotto ticket.”


The article does reference a follow up email, that in its entirety, is as follows:
Quote
Good morning Alexis,

Thank you for your questions last night.  After the meeting several people told me who you were.  As I stated last night, I am a “process guy.”  This process has had several areas of failure along the way.  When the process fails, collectively we all suffer.  When it is down to one person to ensure the process, we are all in a world of hurt.  I would like to outline some process failures for you.

In July 2017 the Parks Department was discussing a RFQ / RFP.
In August 2017 an executive session was held to explore a rec center.
September 2017 the Council voted for the contract.

The failures?

No RFP / RFQ per the Town Procurement Policy.  Parks and Rec knew one was required.  Town Legal should have known?
Town Manager recently stated the Town can’t afford a $20,000.00 upgrade on computers, but said yes to a $125,000 expenditure?
The contract has significant long term, high dollar concessions.
The “advisor” CCP has a vested interest in a positive outcome of their “study.”
Town staff did not vet or research the players; it took me 15 minutes.
Nobody asked the basic question of can it be placed on North Rumsey given the deed restrictions?
The public messaging has been in flux as dictated by public response.
There has been very little “transparency” as reflected by my records requests.
KMOG, Randy Roberson, has a conflict as he sits on the Parks Board.  He has dismissed my concerns as “conjecture.”
KRIM is owned by Council member Higgins.
The Roundup?  Again, I appreciate your questions last night.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

In no way shape or form am I anti-growth, anti-rec center, etc.  I simply recognize there are no shortcuts.  If there were shortcuts in town growth or life, we would all be on the beach drinking rum or driving Mercedes.  Our sidewalks would be paved with gold.  Sadly, that is not the case.  It can be; but it takes work and planning.  No shortcuts.  No magic bullet.  No winning lotto ticket.

Again, I am a process guy.  Sometimes I don’t like the process, oftentimes I don’t like the outcome.  I value the process.  I respect the process.  When I am the last guy asking questions, the last guy trying to preserve the process, despite all the safeguards, we have real problems beyond the proposed deal.  Our town process is broken.  Every safeguard we have in place, from Town staff, to Town Legal, Town Manager, Town Council and to some extent, local media, has seemingly failed trying to get the winning lotto ticket.  The magic bullet.

Trust me, nobody ever wants to take on an uphill battle.  Nobody wants to be subject to the social media scorn, or the snide comments of people from the platform.  Nobody wants their legitimate concerns dismissed.  Had somebody told me a year ago I would be in this position, I would have said “no.”

I am pleased others have been extremely helpful and supportive along the way.  That the group continues to grow shows me that others value the process.  The process is the key.  Not the outcome.

I honestly don’t know what the outcome will be.  I do know that I will have done my part to ensure the process was honored.

Again, thank you for the questions last night.

Oh yea, the picture?  Do we have to?  Transparency and all......   ;)

(https://s13.postimg.org/7k5zh8gk7/5a84842beb8ae.image.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 06:04:59 AM
Quick shout out to Mr. Golembewski.  Another letter to the Roundup that makes some valid points.  The letter may be found here. (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/vote-on-the-rumsey-park-plan/article_c8896b39-c859-5db0-8653-7390bf65e904.html) 

Here is a blurb:

(https://s13.postimg.org/x1alvfmdj/021718_ltr_to_editor.jpg)


Yes, lets do just that.  Trouble is Town Code makes that really tough.  Trust me I know. 

Thank you again Mr. Golembewski.

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 06:30:56 AM
Even the Roundup had some words this week.  Taking a careful look at transparency (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/editorials/taking-a-careful-look-at-transparency/article_fb2da836-f9a6-52ee-a2bb-d33ef614f532.html)

So, read the editorial and come back here.  Time for some rebuttal? 

First some snips. 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/fciv3vfs7/editorial_snip.jpg)

Next:

(https://s13.postimg.cc/9ockczqvb/harmless.jpg)

Well, you get the idea.  So lets dissect. 

Quote
But don’t say Payson hasn’t been transparent when it comes to the creative but faintly implausible plan to build a hockey prep school in our little town.


Transparency is part of the process.  Not the whole process.  Good process includes transparency and good debate.  You do that, more than likely a good outcome.  So lets take a look at some non transparent issues?

The Town during the Town Hall meeting stated no discussion of financials.
The Town has indicated no emails between the period of 06/21 to 09/21
The Town has said no bonds, etc, then turns around and says "financials are unknown."  One of those statements is not true.

I guess we define "transparency" differently?

Quote
Moreover, it seems like a pretty harmless way to inject millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs into the community, which has become far too dependent on the fickle tourist economy.

Hmmm....  Well, if Payson ends up on the hook for the build out, and Varxity defaults, how harmless will that be?  See, harmless assumes everything goes to plan.  What was it Tyson said?  "Everybody has a plan till the get punched in the face?"  All things being equal I would just as well the taxpayers not get punched in the face. 

Quote
But it turns out a network of such schools do actually exist

Well, that one is true.  Average enrollment at about 100 students.  Not the 600 promised.  Average ramp up to 100?  About ten years.  Details are important? 

Quote
And readers can be assured, the Roundup will scrutinize those plans carefully. 

The Town can't afford $20,000.00 to upgrade to Windows but swung at this deal?  Where was the scrutiny? 
The Town knows a RFP/RFQ is required.  Where was the scrutiny?
The Town has been silent on the deed restrictions of North Rumsey.  Where was the scrutiny?

Quote
But don’t accuse the park redesign backers of keeping too many secrets.

Of course not.  Because a "transparent process" includes placing a $125,000.00 bid item on the Council agenda 32 hours before the meeting.  It includes no bid concessionaire deals.  No bid development deals, etc.  Not a single secret. 

Yes, it appears "transparency" is not what it used to be.


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 06:39:19 AM
We love involvement here.  Repeat this as many times as necessary. 

Good process, including good debate, results in good outcomes.
 

So, when people ask questions, always happy to answer.  A snip from our Facebook page. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/80dey7uyf/facebook.jpg)

Feel free to log in here, this is a discussion forum, not a blog.  Feel free to ask on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/260Chat/ (https://www.facebook.com/260Chat/) 

We embrace the debate. 


Good process, including good debate, results in good outcomes.
 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 07:14:58 AM
The other day I was talking to a friend.  (I know right? Sometimes I am just as surprised as you would be that I have those.  I can be, shall we say, direct?)  He made the mistake of asking what I have been up to.  Well, 20 minutes later he commented that this sounded like the Saint Xavier deal in Gilbert. 

IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM IS THIS COMMENTARY ON THE MHA / RCEA / RCEF.  It merely involves the development of a college campus.  Focus on the process and outcome, NOT THE COLLEGE. 

So, in a nut shell, Saint Xavier University partnered with the Town of Gilbert for a $37 million build-out and lease back on a campus.  Less than one year in, they pulled the plug.  Here is the full story via AZ Central. 

Saint Xavier University to close Gilbert campus less than a year after opening (https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/gilbert/2016/05/31/gilberts-saint-xavier-university-close/85207474/)

Now, here is the kicker and where a "sweetheart" deal gets tax payers into a world of hurt.   

Quote
Under the terms of a 15-year lease, the university must pay $250,000 in damages if it does not fulfill the contract. The lease also requires the university to pay rent to the end of the agreement, or for at least six years, according to the town.  The lease payments were to cover the cost of the campus construction paid through revenue bonds. The town took out $37 million in bonds for the design and construction of the campus, and the building was leased under a lease-purchase agreement.

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis lauded the campus in his final state of the town address in February. He said it was “helping transform the face of our Heritage District.”

I would encourage you to read the article.  Plenty of links.  Plenty of quotes from excited town officials promising great things. 

Notice any parallels? 

On the bright side the space can likely be converted to office space.  A hockey rink or two?  Not so much. 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 07:18:33 AM
There was a question on the precincts and total number of votes required. That has been resolved. 

The Gila Recorder and I had an approximate 45 minute conversation the other day where I learned more about districts, precincts, and layers than I ever anticipated I would.  Honestly, despite being a somewhat “detail guy,”  that is not a job I would want for love nor money. 

The total number of registered voters in Payson at the 2016 election is correct at 9,315.  A pdf of a report submitted to the Secretary of State is attached for the 2016 Election breaking out all districts, incorporated areas, etc.   I am satisfied the number is correct. 

Thank you Ms. Bingham for your time. 


Some support information is attached in .pdf

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 07:22:45 AM
There was an outstanding request to AZIDA.    Curious, no apparent contact from CCP.  The invoice from them shows it, but AZIDA does not? 

Quote
Hello Mr. Aal,

Thank you for your inquiry.   
 
The AZIDA Board has not received an application or other documentation related to the financing you describe.  AZIDA Board meetings are always open to the public and you are certainly welcome to attend.  As soon as an application is filed, it becomes a public record and is available pursuant to an AZIDA public records request.  At such time, you only need to make the request and I will have it forward it to you electronically for no charge or I can make a physical copy for $0.08/page plus postage.
 
Best regards,
Kelly

We can monitor future activity of board minutes, but at least a month delay. 

Quote
Thank you for your response. 

Are minutes posted online?  It would be challenging to attend public meetings as I am located in Payson.  I suspect I could monitor the meetings if agendas or minutes were posted online?


Quote
Yes, agendas and minutes are posted at the link below.  The minutes for the December 2017 meeting are not yet posted as they haven’t been approved by the AZIDA board (January meeting was canceled)  – approval of those minutes will be on the agenda for the February 28, 2018 meeting.  As required by law, agendas are posted no fewer than 24 hours in advance of each meeting.
http://www.azcommerce.com/financing/business-and-project-financing/arizona-industrial-development-authority/meetings/

We may have to come back to this? 





Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 07:26:26 AM
Quick update on the USDA/ Forest Service deal.  Ms. Tsosie has been very helpful.  We should have an answer soon.  Have a snip:


(https://s13.postimg.org/6gd4wyvgn/usda.jpg)

As always, the full exchange is attached in .pdf if you care to review. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 07:36:01 AM
It is good to have smart friends. Some take an interest in details that may otherwise be overlooked.  I suppose that is the benefit of a group effort? 

So where does this lead to?  Well, sales tax. 

I have included a couple of pages from the January operations report that deal with the sales tax revenue. It's kind of interesting to see where the Town says the incremental sales tax revenue is being spent. Note that they say the $125K for the park study was funded by the incremental sales tax revenue. 

Yep, right here:

(https://s13.postimg.org/ldllxv63b/master_plan.jpg)

The report complete with pretty pictures is attached in .pdf. 

So, wait.  What exactly was that "emergency tax" for again?  I don't remember ear marks of "parks master plan."   


Transparency sure aint what it used to be.
  ;)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 17, 2018, 07:37:39 AM
Quick reminder - survey is still open.  Some interesting comments we will share later. 


If you have not yet done so, please take part.
  Less than two minutes.  Promise it won't take long.  We would apprentice the feed back.

http://transparentpayson.org/transparent-payson-survey/ (http://transparentpayson.org/transparent-payson-survey/)

Thanks in advance!    ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 09:34:04 AM
Wowsers, busy week.  Not much time to do updates.  Lets get to it?

Another good letter from Mr. Dave Golembewski.  Who regulates the town council? (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/who-regulates-the-town-council/article_db47b3f4-a2c9-55bf-8bbf-3c8f3ea4cedc.html)

Quote
Just wondering, as I’m not a lawyer, how the town residents can be assured the mayor and town council follow federal state and constitutional laws when voting on giving developers such as Varxity prep schools special tax exemptions.

Good questions.  Maybe we can find some answers? 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 09:38:44 AM
Not much on the research side this week. Still now word from Town on my document request.  No update from Forest service. 

But, as always, it is good to have friends.  So, going to post some information sent to me from others.  Primarily as reported via the Roundup. 

First up? 

Attorney General asks court to halt Scottsdale school construction over procurement violations

Link: http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/attorney-general-asks-court-to-halt-scottsdale-school-construction-over/article_2abbb066-1806-11e8-9c19-ffb90b9ae893.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/attorney-general-asks-court-to-halt-scottsdale-school-construction-over/article_2abbb066-1806-11e8-9c19-ffb90b9ae893.html)

We discussed the possible procurment violations on the CCP / Varxity deal long long ago.  Looks like not following them may have some teeth? 

A snip: 

Quote
The Arizona Attorney General’s office filed a civil injunction Thursday against Scottsdale Unified School District seeking to prevent further construction on Hohokam and Cheyenne elementary schools, following multiple investigations into possible procurement and conflict of interest violations that have roiled the district’s administration.

I guess the policies are in place for a reason?

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 09:45:29 AM
The real big news this week comes from the Roundup.  Moore discusses prep school (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/moore-discusses-prep-school/article_cb9bdc00-5a71-5ac7-bbf9-2782ecce21ce.html)  I guess there was a lunch?  I was not invited.   :-[

After reading the article, a friend sent me these observations.  I don't suspect he will mind if I copy and paste? 

Wow!  The report of Lane Moore’s exclusive business luncheon was quite revealing.

•   “If they (the town/us) build the arenas (note plural) on public land (our Rumsey Park), then that is a benefit to me (Lane Moore) because I don’t have that cost.”

I understand this to say that we are funding the costs of the arenas which are to be built in Rumsey Park.  And Varxity will control it.

•   “I need access to their (our) fields.  That is truly what we need.  We need access to those (our) ball diamonds and they are willing to allow an arena (arenas?) to be built on their (our) property that we can LEASE from them (us) and use (manage & control).”

They will control our park and its facilities as stated in the Triparty Agreement; and they will lease the arenas from us using what source of revenue?  And if Varxity has insufficient sources of revenue?  Someone pays.  Doesn’t sound revenue neutral (bulletproof) to us tax payers.  My Kevlar vest is feeling awfully thin.

•   “Moore said he focused on the Southwest due to market research a friend and university professor completed for him.”

Really!  Was this research done by a friend and a university professor, or was it a friend that was a university professor.  Oh, and what is his experience in doing market studies in the prep school/hockey rink industry?  Would you be so kind as to share that study with us?  All the tough questions Moore and Swartwood must have had to face at this grueling luncheon.


•   “Moore said that some of the communities wanted facilities, but wanted him to pay for everything.”

Imagine that, other communities they looked into actually required him to pay for his venture.  With all his past success in other endeavors like this; lack of capital; negative market studies – why wouldn’t any community want to pay for his private business venture on their property?

•   “The state (Arizona?/you and me) would back the bond, but a banking partner would underwrite it.”

Underwrite it – with no backstop?  The Town of Payson is not involved at all? 

Five years down the road, no one will be taking responsibility, and we will have no satisfaction of at least saying ‘I told you so’,  because no one is responsible. 




Thank you Jim for your insight.  Hope you don't mind that I copied and pasted.





Pretty well seems to sum it all up?

 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 09:51:27 AM
Personally, I could have thought of a bunch more questions.  Maybe someday we can get answers to all these?  Till then I do appreciate that the Roundup obtained additional information.  My questions?

1.    What sort of prior professional experience does Mr. Moore in running multi-million dollar private school operations in the private sector?
2.   How was the anticipated student population derived? Have there been any independent studies?  If so, will these studies be provided to the town of Payson to the extent that Varxity will be a partner with Payson?
3.   Recently Ron Chambliss stated that the hockey rinks and training facilities may be placed on private land.  Is Varxity Development committed to the Town of Payson in the event that no public land and/or public financing is used for this project?
4.   Is there any potential exit strategy in the event that Varxity proves to be non-viable?
5.   What is the nature of the educational operation?  From review of similar type properties located throughout Canada the majority of educational operations appear to be online in nature.  Will there be direct educational staff at the school?
6.   What is the anticipated ramp up for student population?
7.   A typical hockey academy with 100 students requires two ice rinks.  In the event that the 600 student threshold is reached will this require additional hockey rinks and will those hockey rinks be necessarily placed on public property?
8.   The nature of the school has been described as a hockey prep school.  There has been indications tht additional activities to include golf and rodeo prep school will occur.  Please clearly define the prep school’s goal and/or anticipated focus.
9.   Is there concern with respect to the utilization of town land and the potential negative feedback from current citizens of Payson Arizona in utilizing public property for private development?


Don't want to exceed my limit of ten.  No sense in being a question hog.   ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 09:54:57 AM
Mr. Moore was on KMOG.  Here is what struck me.  This plan is in flux.  Seriously.  We now include hockey, rodeo, baseball, barrel Racing, possibly curling and figure skating? 

The one common element is that they all require town resources for private use.  Is the Rodeo arena now part of the discussion?

I wonder if our Town has approached the local bowling alley to start a bowling prep school? 

There is nothing that can't be done with other people's money.   


Strike!  ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 10:11:47 AM
So, another friend sent me this.  She was contemplating sending this as a letter to the editor, or posting on her Facebook page.  The trouble is, well, best if she does so somewhat anonymously.   Sad that people have fears about speaking their minds. 


Quote
What TRANSPARENCY does not look like.

At our February at Chamber Luncheon, Mayor Swartwood announced that a luncheon was happening last Tuesday for Lane Moore from Canada who wants to bring an elite hockey school to Payson.  This project also includes the possible use of Rumsey Park.
I was encouraged and hoped that lots of questions that have been surfacing might be answered.

I contacted two Town Council members who I know have been doing there homework and asked if they would be attending, and who I also voted for.  They asked and were told that "No" Town Council Members were invited, just local business owners. Understandable since I realize that support by our business leaders are needed to pull this off.

This project will effect everyone in our community, and having every member of the Town Council should have been invited.
Very disappointed that exclusion not inclusion is again the norm for our existing Town Council.

Good observations.   Wonder how many council members did attend? 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 10:17:37 AM
Speaking of lunch!

Transparent Payson has a host of updates.  One of them is a "Lunch and Learn."

(https://s13.postimg.org/jfbtjnztz/lunch_and_learn.jpg)

The full rundown of last next week's events can be found here:

http://transparentpayson.org/updates/transparent-payson-lunch-and-learn/ (http://transparentpayson.org/updates/transparent-payson-lunch-and-learn/)

Now, because we encourage participation.  Went ahead and extended to the Mayor and ALL council members a personal invite. 

See for yourself:

(https://s13.postimg.org/5mxenotjb/mayor_email.jpg)

We do hope the Mayor attends and signs the petitions to support democracy and transparency   ;)


The  "Lunch and Learn" is sponsored by Ms. Deborah Rose.  Sorry, can figure out how to embed the video.  So, have a link to view it, and a screen shot just in case.  http://www.covideo.com/v/L1cna14gfl (http://www.covideo.com/v/L1cna14gfl)

(https://s13.postimg.org/8v6her04n/deborah.jpg)

Thanks Deborah! 

http://www.covideo.com/v/L1cna14gfl

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 10:20:24 AM
Back to the Roundup real quick. They have a new survey.  Presented without comment. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/7rhrowd7b/roundup_survey.jpg)

You can participate here:

http://www.paysonroundup.com/poll/consultants-are-working-on-a-master-plan-for-rumsey-park/poll_ea683a5e-80d1-5be7-b899-8d63088022d5.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/poll/consultants-are-working-on-a-master-plan-for-rumsey-park/poll_ea683a5e-80d1-5be7-b899-8d63088022d5.html)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 10:28:50 AM
Speaking of surveys:

The Transparent Payson survey is still open.  http://transparentpayson.org/transparent-payson-survey/ (http://transparentpayson.org/transparent-payson-survey/)

 Not quite time to share the results.  But, some comments?  Even some that appear critical? 

Quote
If you are going to take decision-making out of the hands of the elected officials why elect them? You are proposing to run government by committee. If you don't have confidence in your elected public officials vote for someone else...!


Quote
Let us vote on major projects!

Quote
Politicians are public servants. If we don't like their ideas, we should throw them out of office and replace them. It is truly that simple!


Quote
Mesa Del is almost a part of Payson but we cant vote Thank You for watching out for us

Quote
Thank you.Having a voice of how our tax dollars are spend and public land use is important. We have seen our current Mayor and Town Council move forward on projects without a vote from the people. Lots of great info and incite here and we now have the ability to measure what is happening locally.


We will print all of the responses soon.  Thank you for taking the time. 




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on February 25, 2018, 10:37:27 AM
OK, one last thing for this week and this topic.  Personal in nature, and I debated whether to share. 

A heart felt thank you.
This was posted on my personal Facebook page. 


Quote
I just love people sometimes. I have taken on a large political process. Not my goal, and had you asked a year ago, I would have said “no.” My day job can be brutal enough. This political task can be brutal.

Then folks make a point to reach out to you. Random phone calls, or notes. Each encouraging you, backing the effort both large and small. That makes it all worthwhile. The unsolicited support. The people that are involved and the people that want to get involved.

Today I had a gentleman who has been married 60 years call me. He wants to share some relevant local history with me. He too is interested in preserving the process. He has likely forgotten more in the last fifty years than I have learned in my first fifty years. A real treasure to speak with. That he is willing to take his time, reach out, share his knowledge with me, give me his trust; that makes the process all worthwhile. I am so looking forward to meeting him.

I suspect I get to meet a lot more good people along the way.

Again, thank you for reading and participating.

Good process, including good debate results in good outcomes.     ;)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 12:49:03 PM
Time for some updates. 

First up, surveys.  We have closed the Transparnet Payson survey.  Results are attached in full .pdf.  Also, here http://transparentpayson.org/updates/survey-said/ (http://transparentpayson.org/updates/survey-said/)

Here are the full results complete with snazzy video with benign music.   ???  (Hint you may have to go to "full screen" to read the questions. 

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/030318-Transparent-Payson-Survey-Results.mp4

The one question that really stood out to me was this:

(https://s13.postimg.org/xvpxu2htz/parks_question.jpg)

While a small number, that did surprise me. 

Onto the comments.  Twenty one people responded / provided input.  Some disagree.  Fair enough.  All the voice matter.  So, let's give them all equal credit.  Uncensored:

(https://i2.wp.com/transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/17-21-of-21.jpg)
(https://i2.wp.com/transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/13-16-of-21.jpg)
(https://i1.wp.com/transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/9-12-of-21.jpg)
(https://i1.wp.com/transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/5-8-of-21.jpg)
(https://i1.wp.com/transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2-4-of-21.jpg)
(https://i1.wp.com/transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/1-2-of-21.jpg)


Thank you for your participation. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 01:51:56 PM
Time for the Roundup roundup.

Looks like five letters to the editor?   I think they allow reading of ten articles per month without a subscription?  You can go buy one here.  https://www.paysonroundup.com/site/forms/subscription_services/subscribe/ (https://www.paysonroundup.com/site/forms/subscription_services/subscribe/)

So, snips from each, links to each and rear them at the source. 

First up "Ponder This" 

(https://s13.postimg.org/e67nhtck7/pondeer_this.jpg)

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/ponder-this/article_36631614-6aed-55bb-8f3a-15e9d2315223.html
 (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/ponder-this/article_36631614-6aed-55bb-8f3a-15e9d2315223.html)

Next;  "Revolting Support"

(https://s13.postimg.org/5b6t7c5s7/revolting.jpg)

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/revolting-support-for-prep-school/article_068a3376-8ff5-5865-9e1c-ba46ffc43997.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/revolting-support-for-prep-school/article_068a3376-8ff5-5865-9e1c-ba46ffc43997.html)

"Deserve Better"  this one references both the cable concern and the Varxity / CCP / TOP deal.


(https://s13.postimg.org/bovwamkyv/deserve_better.jpg)

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/we-deserve-better/article_ca11eb64-6e34-547f-858c-31f1d39adfd4.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/we-deserve-better/article_ca11eb64-6e34-547f-858c-31f1d39adfd4.html)

"Don't let School Run Rumsey Park"

(https://s13.postimg.org/jj1398ffb/dont_let_school.jpg)

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/don-t-let-hockey-school-run-park/article_61a6453d-20ca-5455-a84c-b4631d242f41.html


And finally, "Response to editorial on prep school plan"

(https://s13.postimg.org/jvshfgfpj/resposne.jpg)

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/response-to-editorial-on-prep-school-plan/article_2c34e75f-9d4d-5301-af1b-6b587ea914df.html

Again, the full reads are at the Roundup.  Support local, buy a subscription and read away. 

Now, first, thank you to each for taking the time to write and express your concerns.  Most have similar concerns to myself.  Some do not.  Even people who disagree with me, need to have their voices heard. So, bravo to everybody who is getting involved.     :D  Also, thank you to the Roundup for printing a good cross section of opinion.  I suspect your subscribers appreciate that. 

Good process, including good debate, will result in a good outcome.



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 01:55:46 PM
Looks like the Town of Payson will be providing some input or links on the initiatives?  Hyper link does not work, just underlined text at this point. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/wn6nm3myf/transparency.jpg)

We will see.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 02:06:07 PM
Quick note.  This is a discussion forum.  If you have any comments, concerns, etc.  Please feel free to post it up.  We have no monopoly on the conversation. 

If you have trouble posting, let me know.  jeffrey  @  jsaal  . com (spammers - gotta hate em  ;)  )
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 02:35:21 PM
OK,  Busy week. How busy?  Sometimes I think this is a full time job.  That is cool, I just, you know, have a full time job.

First - Republican's at Tiny's

Nice group.  I appreciate their support.  I understand some do not support the initiatives, and welcome that feedback.  Some in the room were part of the group "Transparent Payson." 


Second - Lunch and learn.   Thank you Debroah Rose for your help with that project.  You are a very valuable member of this process. 

Personally, I thought it went well.  Now, I freely confess I am not a public speaker.  I get by, but do much better with questions than some canned gig. The power point was helpful.  I enjoy the questions, they really help me form the issues and I enjoy the scruntity.  By all means, if I am wrong, point it out.  So thank you to everybody that came. 

This photo is a bit before it started.  We filled the room, had to look for more chairs, etc.  I would guess 70 people or so. Town Manager, Mr. Garrett, Council Member Underwood,  Police Chief Engler, Town Legal Mr. Figueroa were all there as was Ms. Bechman from the Roundup.    Thank you all for coming.   

(https://s13.postimg.org/emxghv7nr/4973_resized.jpg)



At one point Mr. Garret was offered to refute any statements, he elected not to.  More on that in a bit. 

After the event, Council Member Underwood and I had the chance to visit.  Imagine my surprise when she told me about a meeting scheduled with Mayor Swartwood.  Not that I was unaware of the meeting, I was electing to keep it private.  As it was apprently public knowledge, might as well confirm it. 

So, Friday I met with the Mayor, and Mr. Garret.  They have some valid criticism of me.  I have some valid criticism of them.   We all agreed that we all want what is best for the town.  Don't misunderstand, I don't suspect I am getting invited over for dinner anytime soon.  But, a pleasant enough outcome and I appreciate their time.  They may even ask me to the next lunch with Mr. Moore?   ;D

Friday, Lincoln Dinner with GOP.  Thank you for allowing us to have a table at the event.  Ms. Darlene Younker did a very cool thing.  She had a Sheriff Joe Bobble Head, had the Sheriff sign it, than it was a raffle prize.  Yes, I know he is polarizing.  If you have never met him. He is a genuine guy. Very approachable, very engaged in a conversation and good sense of humor. I have come to appreciate that this is his smile. Kind of like grumpy cat?

(https://s13.postimg.org/6jza694zb/5086_resized.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.org/54xphn6hz/5123_resized.jpg)

So yes, that was a busy week. 




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 02:47:16 PM
So enough about my social life. 

Back to the task at hand.  Did you know there is a Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation?  I kid you not.  The things you learn. 

http://friendsofpayson.org/Home_Page.html (http://friendsofpayson.org/Home_Page.html)

Quote
We as the Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation support not only all of these events and activities through financial contributions but we also volunteer in helping these events and activities happen.

Sounds like a fine group and a worthy cause.  Now if you care to support them, or become involved, you can do so at a nominal rate:

(https://s13.postimg.org/8bs91ljbr/friends.jpg)

So how does all of this come into play?  A lady provided a letter from the group to us that states:

(https://s13.postimg.org/6l97zn487/friends_2.jpg)
 
I don't know how many people will have to join to make them a "major player in financing" but it seems like it would be a lot?   





Full pdf is attached. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 03, 2018, 03:03:55 PM
Speaking of friends, while I was out gallivanting around on the social circuit another friend pointed out that the town had released the updated "Corporate Strategic Plan." for this year. 


http://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2018/03-06-18-SPA-CSP/Corporate-Strategic-Plan.pdf (http://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2018/03-06-18-SPA-CSP/Corporate-Strategic-Plan.pdf)

Lets take a peek?  Things that caught the eyes?  Pages, 11, 15, 17 and 22.  It appears that newer additions / updates are in blue?

Page 11

(https://s13.postimg.org/in4luc3c7/pg11.jpg)

Page 15

(https://s13.postimg.org/w5bi62a6f/page_15.jpg)

Page 17

(https://s13.postimg.org/9gmb6j33b/pg_17.jpg)

Page 22

(https://s13.postimg.org/3sg0fpbmf/pg_22.jpg)


Well, encourage citizen involvement? Sounds like a fine fine goal to us.     :)  Some of the financial goals seem inconsistent with a new rec center?  Well, except the ones that state "new rec center."   

Thank you friend for bringing this to my attention.




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 04, 2018, 12:34:59 PM
Way back on 12/24/17 we started looking at the "26 Acres" that was reported in escrow. 

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2371/#msg2371 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2371/#msg2371)

It appeared that the property was undergoing a "Trustee Sale" to be completed by 2/23/18.  Well, the documents are up.  No sale.  That may mean the property is under contract, sale postponed, etc.  But, currently, the property remains in control of TTLC. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/84jbcvfh3/parcel.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.org/qk3saaogn/parcel_report.jpg)
(https://s13.postimg.org/dfy7xmyzr/no_sale.jpg)

Time will tell on the resolution of the 26 acres. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 04, 2018, 12:38:09 PM
Long as we are checking .gov resources, lets see if Varxity has become a AZ corp? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/jgvwuv687/corp_comm_search_1.jpg)

Does not appear so.  Mr. Moore and another name? 

(https://s13.postimg.org/hcbjtsk13/moore.jpg)

Hmmm....  Well OK.  These things take time. 

Soon, we get to learn all about PPP's.  OH goody.  Will try to keep it brief, but this is looking like a complex venture.

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 07, 2018, 10:43:04 AM
Roundup Roundup might come twice this week? 

The group Transparent Payson had some coverage on the Lunch and Learn.  Always grateful for that.  Good process, including good questions and debate results in good outcome.  Besides, the picture is better this go around. 

Quick snip, and link below for full read. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/8g7ns95pj/snip_1.jpg)
(https://s13.postimg.org/x9h7sxz0n/snip_2.jpg)


http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/meeting-spurs-debate-on-effort-to-require-vote-on-prep/article_5c5f549e-90af-515d-85e7-7e302966eee8.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/meeting-spurs-debate-on-effort-to-require-vote-on-prep/article_5c5f549e-90af-515d-85e7-7e302966eee8.html)

OK, the article touches on referendum vs. initiative.  That is a tricky deal.  Here is a link to the original response. 

http://transparentpayson.org/updates/initiative-instead-referendum/ (http://transparentpayson.org/updates/initiative-instead-referendum/)


Here is the entire read:

Recently Transparent Payson was asked “Why an initiative instead of a referendum.” That is both a simple and complex question. Trust us, a “referendum” would be easier to place on the ballot as the Town Code requires 15% of “qualified electors” for a referendum versus 15% of “registered voters” for an initiative. A significant difference.

Let’s start with the easy answer. We are attempting to modify current Town Code to prevent an action. We are “initiating” a change. We are not “reforming” a prior action.

Now, for the bit more complex concerns. First, by our current charter, and Section 527 of the Tax Code, Transparent Payson is limited to advocating, acting on behalf of, and ultimately defending the initiatives once they pass. We currently have no standing to advocate on behalf of a referendum. We simply cannot do that. Further as there has been no Town action taken beyond a current study, there is nothing to “reform.”

Second, assuming we are not successful in our efforts to place the initiative on the ballot via our signature drive, or assuming the initiative does not win the popular vote once it is placed on the ballot, the town will be free to proceed with any agreement that the initiatives address. Taken together, the initiatives preclude the long term lease of public land and debt over $1,000,000.00. Should the Town Council proceed with either, a referendum could be filed. Such a filing might prove to be very problematic.

Assume for a moment the Council enters into multi-million dollar, multi-party agreement and a referendum is started in response. A “special election” to vote on the “referendum” could be held at the Town’s discretion. That may not occur. The referendum would then roll over to the next election cycle. About two years away. Meanwhile, the contract would move forward with all parties. Citizens directing the Town to cancel the agreement will not cancel the agreement or void the contract. This differs from a referendum involving only the Town and citizens such as a tax issue, or other issue where there are only two groups; the Town and Citizens. Under a finance or lease agreement, the outside party, such as developer or vendor, would have standing under the contract.

Should the Town be forced via referendum to cancel the contract, it would likely subject the Town to a breach of contract claim by any other parties to the contract. The other parties would then have grounds to file a suit. The suit would include all liquidated damages under the contract and attorney’s fees as the matter flows from a contract issue. Additionally, the suit would likely allege unliquidated damages. Typically this includes the present value of the lost profits for the plaintiff(s) caused by the breach of contract. That could be a significant sum, far exceeding the total contract value, depending on the projected life and revenue of the project. Additionally, any private development contingent on the public development would be able to file a suit for damages. Essentially, unless Transparent Payson can prevent the action, via an initiative, AND should the Town commit to a contract, a referendum could force the Town into bankruptcy under a breach of contract claim. The Town would lose both the benefit of the project and the money for the project PLUS anticipated profits from the project. A very, very, bad deal.

Our goal at Transparent Payson is to prevent potential financial missteps by the Town via citizen oversight. We would anticipate that should the Town enter into a bad agreement, a referendum action could cause significant harm to the Town. That is NOT our goal. Therefore Transparent Payson would have no desire to pursue, and would not participate in advocating, any referendum action that could result in a potential breach of contract claim being made against the Town.

It is imperative that citizens prevent such a contract from occurring as the costs to extricate the Town from a bad deal could simply be too great.


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 07, 2018, 11:06:38 AM
Couple of letters to the Roundup on the prep school plan.  Hard to keep up.  All valid points. 

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/ (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/wez9kcygn/smartest_man.jpg)


(https://s13.postimg.cc/jnl3dvjjr/dont_fall.jpg)

It is very good to see people involved, expressing themselves.  Glad to see the Roundup provide that forum. 

 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 07, 2018, 05:29:01 PM
This is going to be fun.  As you may recall we had an open records request as follows:

(https://s13.postimg.cc/ejpi3ekbb/snip.jpg)

To include any and all written communication.

Recently we were contacted via the Town of Payson indicating that the records request was fulfilled.  Here is what they gave us. 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/uoym21kt3/IMG_7472_Medium.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/kew72tpsn/IMG_7471_Medium.jpg)

A total of seven packages of documents were secured representing approximately 120 pages at $0.25 per page.  At first blush, our observations are as follows:

1.   In no way shape or form is this the totality of written communication occurring between the Town of Payson and CCP.
2.   The original contract was contemplated exclusively between the Town of Payson and CCP on a time and expense basis (T/E) with an initial retainer fee of $50,000.00 and an hourly rate fee to be set against the retainer fee.
3.   Select council members were provided access to the information prior to the meeting being placed on an open agenda item.  The council members are identified as Mayor Swartwood, Council member Barbara Underwood and Council member Chris Higgins.
4.   The Town of Payson, despite explicit previous record requests for emails containing the email address "LPloszaj@aol.com" and/or emails to or from “Lee Ploszaj” indicated that there were no emails of this nature.  This is simply incorrect as we now have some of the emails. (1)
5.   The Town, inclusive of Mayor Swartwood, Town Manager LeRon Garrett, Ms. Sheila DeSchaaf and Mr. Cameron Davis were provided “talking points” via CCP  to provide a uniform response with respect to questions and a focus agenda.
6.   It appears that Varxity and/or Mr. Lane Moore were brought into the process relatively late at which time the contract agreement was transformed to a "tri-party agreement." 
7.   Town Manager Mr. Garrett had significant input into the drafting of the agreement to include invoicing timeline concerns et cetera.
8.   Town Manager Mr. Garrett provided a direct email to "LPloszaj@aol.com" on September 12, 2017 providing input on the contract revisions.  Mr. Garrett provided a document that states “The Town has $75,000 available for this project ($50,000 by deleting the parks masterplan and $25,000 from contingency).  If the Towns (sic) share of the predevelopment cost is $125,000 then we are short $50,000.” This is in direct conflict with public statements made by Mr. Garrett with respect to the financing as outlined in the September 21, 2017 council meeting. (2)
9. There are large gaps in the time line of documents provided to exclude revisions and discussion on modifications to the agreement. 
10.   CCP was apparently in attendance for an executive session of the Council on Thursday September 7th.  That session includes minute item J4 "Motion: to direct staff to negotiate a contract and bring it back to Council for final approval." (3)

In the coming days all of this documentation will be scanned, reviewed, and analyzed for inconsistencies and set against prior record requests.  We will also note inconsistencies with respect to prior public statements made.  We hope to educate the public with respect to the development of this extensive contracting agreement between CCP, Varxity, and The Town of Payson. 

We will be making a timeline of the documents to note large time frames where there is apparently "no written communication."

Stay tuned, I anticipate this is going to be entertaining.    8)

* * *

(1)  The Town indicated no emails to "Lee Polszaj" in this response. 
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3084/#msg3084 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3084/#msg3084)

(1)  The town indicated no emails to or from the email address "LPloszaj@aol.com"  in this response.
http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2975/#msg2975 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2975/#msg2975)

(2)  Here is the video - fast forward to minute 34:49  to see the discussion on financing the $125,000.00
http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2118 (http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2118)
35:28 - "We do have money budgeted."

(3) http://payson.granicus.com/MinutesViewer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2113
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:08:25 AM
It is time to take a look at the packages.

Previously we noted that the documentation was vastly incomplete.  How are we aware of this?  Simple. Many of the emails reflect copies to various city employees and/or council members.  We have not received duplicative information.  You will note that our latest request for documents that resulted in 120 pages of documentation included the request

Quote
“Any and all written communication between the Town of Payson and Community Center Partners (CCP) in support of invoice number 1 from CCP, in the amount of $25,000.00, dated 10/10/2017, for the period 6/20/17 through 9/21/17 prior to adoption of Town resolution 3065.” 

There are significant lapses in the documentation and there are no apparent overlaps.  This clearly indicates that the records request was not honored in its entirety.  Further, we now have in our possession documentation that was previously requested and the Town maintained there was no such documentation.  We anticipate that the Town is not being forthright in fulfilling the records request. We are uncertain if there is any recourse in this regard. 

The packages were presented in no particular order and have been identified as one through seven simply by paperclips provided via the Town.  They will be reviewed in the order previously identified. Each of the packages is uploaded in its entirety in pdf format for your review.  Highlights will be provided.

Package number one:  Package number one consists of the following:
•   Receipt for purchase of 120.00 pages
•   CCP Invoice number one dated 10/10/17
•   Email from LaRon Garrett dated 9/19/17 to Mayor Swartwood, Council Member Underwood, Mr. Higgins, Sheila De Schaaf, Cameron Davis and Hector Figueroa regarding proposed changes to the 9/18 version of the CCP contract. 
•   9/18/17 Email from Larry Allen to Garrett, Swartwood, Ploszaj, Chambliss, Eagleburger regarding tri-party agreement.
•   9/08/17 Email from Larry Allen to various regarding revised document.
•   9/06/17 Email from Larry Allen regarding tri-party consulting agreement
•   9/05/17 Failure to open
•   8/31/17 Email from Larry Allen regarding conference call with Lane Moore of 8/13/17
•   9/20/17 Email from LaRon Garrett to various with final version of tri-party consulting agreement
•   9/19/17 Email from LaRon Garrett with distribution to Mayor Swartwood and various members of CCP regarding section 7 of the proposed agreement.
•   9/19/17 Email from LaRon Garrett to Mayor Swartwood and all members of CCP regarding section 7E.
•   9/20/17 Email to LaRon Garrett to all members of CCP, Council Member Higgins and Underwood regarding section 7B.
•   Copy of Resolution 3065 with date stamp 2/22/18 – 2 Pages.  Appears to be identical to the adopted resolution exclusive of the contract elements provided via CCP.

In general this package is somewhat unremarkable with the exception of the significant conversation of Section 7 A, B and E.  Generally speaking section 7 discusses payment agreements and timelines for these agreements.

Many of the emails are reflecting copies to Lee Ploszaj.  Previously the Town indicated there were no email communications with Mr. Ploszaj. From review of the emails it appears that this is factually incorrect.

One item of note is the email of 8/31/17.  This may be the first indication of the involvement of Lane Moore with Varxity Development and a conference call at 3:00 PM Arizona time. 

The second item of note is an email from Mr. LaRon Garrett to Larry Allen and Craig Swartwood with the notation “How are we coming on getting the property tied up?  I think that this is a must before we go to the council with this.” As you will recall, the council meeting indicted that there was property in escrow, i.e. the twenty-six acres.  This does not appear to have been a completed transaction to date. 

Again a full copy of the documentation is attached in pdf format. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:10:04 AM
Package number two consists of an email to Sheila DeSchaaf via Mayor Swartwood forwarded via an iPhone device.  The forwarded email is from Larry Allen to the Mayor dated 8/04/17.  The email thanks the Town for posting a lunch meeting of the presentation and provides marketing documentation via CCP.  The marketing documentation indicates the following principals of CCP:

1.   Lee Ploszaj Managing Partner
2.   Ron Chambliss Partner, Director of Operations
3.   Greg Eagleburger Partner, Legal Counsel
4.   Larry Allen Partner, Director of Development
5.   Steve Barres Director of Construction Services

CCP provides a summary statement of their qualifications that reads in part as follows:

Quote
“Community Center Partners, LLC is a conservatively-managed, privately held real estate development company with extensive development, design, financing and construction management capabilities and experience.”

You will recall that CCP was formed 7/27/17 as verified via the ECorp filings via the Arizona Corporation Commissioner. 

This package also contains the initial proposal for services of CCP to the Town of Payson as a “Consulting Services Agreement”.  Primarily the purpose and scope is for a new community recreation center, aquatic pool facility, and master plan for Rumsey Park.  There is no indication of a tri-party agreement.  With respect to payment, CCP requested a retainer of $50,000.00 to be set against monthly draw requests.  The hourly rates for services can be found on Exhibit E and include the Project Executive at $350.00 per hour, Project Manager at $225.00 per hour, Secretarial at $125.00 per hour.  All expenses will receive a standard markup of fifteen percent.  All expenses inclusive of miscellaneous materials, gas and mileage, will receive a markup of fifteen percent. 

Again, the full copy is attached in pdf format.  (You need to be logged in to view .pdf documents.)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:12:48 AM
Package number three is a relatively small package consisting of approximately eight pages.

The eight pages are comprised of an email dated 8/31/17 from Ron Chambliss to Sheila DeSchaaf indicating that discussions were occurring regarding CCP acting on behalf of the Town prior to authorization via the council resolution for “seed funding”.   The secondary email is dated 9/05/17 again from Ron Chambliss to Sheila DeSchaaf.  This email indicates that:

“We are scheduled to be in Payson Thursday for the council executive session, hope to see you then.” 

Council executive session occurred on 9/07/17 directing the town to formalize the contract.

The third and final email is from LaRon Garrett to LPloszaj@aol.com and reflects as a copy Mayor Swartwood, Council Member Underwood, Council Member Higgins, Town Legal Mr. Figueroa, Sheila DeSchaaf and Cameron Davis.  The email reads:
 “I think we are getting very close to having everything ironed out.  Attached are the Town’s comments on the latest draft of the contract.  Item 16 is long but basically harmless boilerplate that we need in our contract.”

The apparent attachment includes five pages with request to modifications to various paragraphs and sections of the payment terms and other concerns.

Paragraph 7A and 7B are a concern as “First, this is still set up on a retainer basis with no guarantee of performance.  The Town will pay after the fact on a percent complete basis, not upfront or on a time schedule. Second, the Town does not have the funding available to meet the scheduled shown in Exhibit E.”

These documents also include the information with respect to a $75,000.00 maximum budget via the Town and a potential $50,000.00 shortfall. 

The Town clarified the right of assignment of the agreement and requested modifications to the assignment basis.
Finally, paragraph 17 indicates that “Somewhere in the list of tasks and scope we need to include an element for public outreach.”

Again, the full copy is attached in pdf format.


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:18:47 AM
Package number four is the smallest of the packages, it consists of three pages.  The first is an email from Ron Chambliss to members of Community Center Partners, Mayor Swartwood, Town Manager Garrett, Sheila DeSchaaf, and Cameron Davis.  This is talking points.  They are attached.  It also includes a letter dated 8/25/17 from Lee Ploszaj regarding additional meetings to be scheduled subsequent to 8/25/17.  Copies are attached in pdf.
 
As this appears to be somewhat telling, here are the pictures of the documents. 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/4kv4lzkcn/talking_points_1.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/lzjy7g1k7/talking_points_two.jpg)


Our observations on the talking points and the “focus agenda” is that it seems disingenuous that the Town would present this as being anything other than a “fait accompli” to the extent that talking points had been provided via the vendor.  A case of the tail wagging the dog?

(https://s13.postimg.cc/tu7iq4d0n/tail_wags_dog.jpg)



Generally speaking, we appreciate candor in our politicians, elected officials, and civil servants.  When that candor is subject to a uniform talking points memo presented via a vendor who has a financial interest in the outcome we find this to be a less than genuine effort.  Your mileage may vary?

Image credit: http://clipground.com/image-post/74011-animated-clipart-dog-wagging-tail-19.jpg.html


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:35:58 AM
Package number five is relatively unremarkable.  It is an email chain from Larry Allen of CCP dated 9/19/17 to LaRon Garrett with distribution by Mr. Garrett on 9/20/17.  This appears to be primarily the complete revised contract prior to adoption of 9/21/17 by Town Council.
The full pdf package is attached in the event that you are logged in an wish to review the entirety of the material.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:37:00 AM
Package numbers six and seven are unremarkable.  Package six contains an email from Mr. Garrett indicating that the full contract will be placed on the agenda momentarily on 9/20/17.  It is the contract as previously referenced.

Package seven appears to be the same package as package five and is unremarkable. 

Both are attached. 


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 13, 2018, 09:39:28 AM
So what do these various packages tell us? 

The biggest takeaway for myself is that the Town of Payson is not being transparent.  Meeting with Mayor Swartwood, he believes that the process has been wholly transparent.  The Payson Roundup has indicated again that the process has been transparent.  This is factually incorrect. 

There are clearly documents in the possession of the Town that they will not release despite multiple, repeated requests.  Recently, we had the pleasure of meeting a member of Judicial Watch and inquired regarding failure of Communities to provide documents. The short answer is that there is no effective way to compel documents short of filing a lawsuit against the Town. 

While I am confident that the documents exist, I am equally confident that the Town, the elected officials and the third party vendors involved do not want the documents to be revealed to our Town. 

Why is this important? It is the cornerstone of oversight of your Government.  Without oversight Governments can and do engage in unscrupulous activity and behavior.  It is up to the citizens of Payson to determine what, if any, implication this has with respect to Mayor Swartwood’s service and/or Mr. Garrett’s service.

Should you wish to file a complaint, multiple email addresses for various Town Council Members as well as staff are readily available online.

We had contemplated additional record requests, however the reality is there would be no apparent basis to do so.  It is again apparent that the Town does not want nor will they facilitate citizen oversight. 

That is unfortunate to say the least.


I suspect a more formal response to the Town will be required?   ;)



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on March 13, 2018, 05:51:11 PM
And thus, the reason "TRANSPARENT PAYSON" exists.  it is time to end the backroom deals and let the taxpayers of Payson in on these decisions, PRIOR to them being made!  BE SMART WITH OUR MONEY! The town council, mayor, and staff need to be reminded (rather abruptly it appears) that they work for US!  This whole process borders on corruptions.  AZ Attorney General, anyone??  Could get ugly!
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 07:43:33 AM
Something struck me and I wanted to be certain to point it out as it may strike you too? 

What is it?  This quote from Mr. Garrett. 

“How are we coming on getting the property tied up?  I think that this is a must before we go to the council with this.”

I understand the use of the "Royal" or "Editorial" we.  I use it frequently as most of what I do is done in conjunction with others efforts; whether it is for this adventure or on a professional level.  Rarely do I do things without some input from from others.  Still it strikes me. 

“How are we coming on getting the property tied up?" 

So, is Mr. Garrett involved in securing the property?  The private land for private development?  Is he sharing the credit for that effort? Is he actively involved? 

Very odd use of a word. Maybe just a grammatical slip?   Why use it twice?  Maybe not?

So, here it is in full context. 

(https://s13.postimg.org/9zqko8vxj/image.jpg)


I wonder what Mr. Allen's response was?  Oh wait.... that's right.   An incomplete package was provided by the Town.  Guess I will just have to wonder for now?   ::)




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 07:47:21 AM
The time line. 

Yes, that is still in the works.  Tedious, very tedious.  I like it about as much as I like Zumba! and weighted averages. They are so very useful once done.  Just grrrrrr......     >:(

Hang on. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 04:27:28 PM
I have mentioned before how fun it is to have friends. 

Go to the mail box - wowsers!  banner day.  First up - a letter with no return address.  No return address?  Hmmmm.....  OK, this is not global espionage.  Open it up.    No white powder!

New Friend sends me a letter with a post it note, no return address, and a newspaper clipping. 

The news paper article? 

The highlighted part is. 

Quote
In Arizona, it should be up to Glendale, Phoenix, Maricopa County or any other government entity to decide whether to pay for sports arenas or not.

The fight should play out at the ballot box or at city halls. Residents – the taxpayers – are capable of deciding for themselves whether to take on any kind of debt to subsidize the venues of sports franchises.

The full read is here.  https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/elviadiaz/2018/02/15/stadium-funding-bill-arizona-petersen/339212002/

This local issue is not some big name stadium, but the parallels are very similar.  Taxpayers building sports venues for others.  Just a loosing deal. 

So, here is the article, no picture of the post it note in case international handwriting experts get involved.  Safety and all ;)

(https://s13.postimg.org/lpml67jw7/IMG_7621_Small.jpg)


Thanks new friend. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 04:32:09 PM
Next up in the mail box? 

Well, Senator Allen responded to our letter.  Very nice, a hand written note.  Full copy attached in .pdf.  But a picture to show that people still do this sort of thing.  Really, a nice gesture. 

Maybe she can start the process of addressing "combination bonds" via ARS? 


(https://s13.postimg.org/5rdvg47on/IMG_7622_Small.jpg)


Thank you Senator Allen. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 04:35:20 PM
But wait, there is more. 

The Forest Service provided not one, but TWO responses to my records request.  Records issue only.  No response on deed restrictions.  I will have to follow up on that aspect.

(https://s13.postimg.cc/6gwnsl347/usda_response.jpg)

Again, full .pdf is attached. 

All in all, a grand day at the mail box. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 04:44:16 PM
So, speaking of mail... and being generally dissatisfied with the response from the Town of Payson on some records request(s), I figured a good ol fashion letter was appropriate? 

So, went ahead, did a letter to Town Legal and Town Clerk.  Yes, the accompanying email is attached in .pdf as is the letter, but this one is fun.  So lets do all four pages as images?  Might be kind of hard to read, but you will get the idea.  Besides, log in and download to your hearts content. 

Here you go...

(https://s13.postimg.cc/j9krs5c1j/top1.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/jz3k4is0n/TOP_2.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/su4ef1oiv/TOP_3.jpg)

(https://s13.postimg.cc/lqwizfyiv/TOP_4.jpg)

We will see if that can clear up / help find some of the missing documents?


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 05:14:07 PM
Just in case you were curious, the letters to:


Arizona Attorney General
Mr. Mark Brnovich
2005 N Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Consumerinfo@azag.gov
Via electronic delivery
Via US Mail

Arizona Ombudsman
7878 N 16th Street Suite 235
Phoenix, AZ 85020
ombuds@azoca.gov
Via electronic deliver
Via US Mail

Are attached in .pdf.

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 14, 2018, 05:22:38 PM
Long as we are gung ho on letters today.    Lets knock out the Forest Service. 

(https://s13.postimg.cc/ksg5x2svr/usda_rq.jpg)

They are very helpful there. 

Full .pdf attached
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on March 16, 2018, 04:16:43 AM
Nice touch including the Arizona Attorney General and Arizona Omnibudsman here.  Perhaps now it may get the attention of someone who can legally put pressure on our town government to clean up their act!  Perhaps now they finally realize...WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 25, 2018, 08:17:23 AM
Not much going on this week.  Spring break?  Nothing in the Roundup, so now roundup roundup.  Still working on getting to the truth of the deal, just nothing of late to come through. 

I suspect it will pick up in the near future.   ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 27, 2018, 11:19:24 AM
Well, still now word on the letter to Mr. Figueroa.  Poop.  Maybe soon enough? 

Lets try something different? 

(https://s14.postimg.cc/x7tyjlbqp/snip_garret.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/4i72myuw1/deshaff.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/p2bwlhd81/davis.jpg)

We tried the specific route, that went no where, so lets shotgun the deal?   


Long as we are at it, might be time to check invoices again?  Thgis seems like we should be done at 100% of contract? 

(https://s14.postimg.org/qhdha8wbl/invoice_snip.jpg)


As always, full document attached in .pdf format. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 27, 2018, 11:29:28 AM
Speaking of records requests, the Forest Service was very helpful.  No records of recent on the parcel.  We posted that a while back.  But still, an answer to the deed restrictions was not provided.  So, you guessed it.  Follow up. 

Here is where we stand.  A reverse order, so it makes sense to read:

Subject: RE: Update on #2018-FS-R3-02496-F

Quote
Good Morning Mr. Aal.
Please be advised that the Freedom of Information Act does not have provisions for answering questions or inquiries, specifically to “ … whether the Forest Service had a position with respect to the interpretation of the deed restriction as it relates to the proposed placement of a public private partnership to include the construction of approximately 114,000 square foot buildings of which approximately 75,000 square feet are for limited public use and private utilization.”
I have forwarded your email to Mark McEntarffer in the Recreation/Special Uses Office regarding your inquiry.  As the FOIA portion of your request has been completed, you may contact Mark for further information.


Mr. McEntarffer  followed up:


Quote
Subject: RE: Update on #2018-FS-R3-02496-F

Mr. Aal,
Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you.


Thanks!

My response: 

Quote
Subject: RE: Update on #2018-FS-R3-02496-F

Good morning,

Thank you for reaching out.  My specific question has to do with a proposed private development, for a private enterprise, on a parcel the Forest Service deeded to the town of Payson locally identified as “North Rumsey Park.”  I will copy and paste my prior question to Mr. Bosworth.  I am trying to see if the Forest Service has a position on the deed restrictions?  The full detail is below.

I can of course provide any additional detail on the proposed project, or the deed, you may need.

Thank you in advance for any clarification you can provide. 


*-*-*

March 14, 2018


Ms. Helena Tsosie
Htsosie@fs.fed.us

Dear Ms. Tsosie,

Thank you for your assistance in the recent records request case number 208FS-R3-20496-F. 

The original request to Mr. Bosworth included a request for a position with respect to parcel number 302-23-444.  When the Forest Service deeded the property to the Town of Payson in 1987 there were deed restrictions via the conveyance.  The deed read in relevant part as follows:

“Title to any real property acquired by the Town of Payson pursuant to this Act shall revert to the United States if the town attempts to convey or otherwise transfer ownership of any portion of such property to any other party or attempt to encumber such title, or if the town permits the use of any portion of such property for any purpose incompatible with the purpose as specified in section 3 of this Act.” 

Section three reads as follows:

“Real property conveyed to the Town of Payson pursuant to this Act be used for public open space, park and recreational purposes.”

The original request to Mr. Bosworth requested clarification whether the Forest Service had a position with respect to the interpretation of the deed restriction as it relates to the proposed placement of a public private partnership to include the construction of approximately 114,000 square foot buildings of which approximately 75,000 square feet are for limited public use and private utilization. We are requesting a formal response from the Forest Service with respect to the apparent deed restrictions and the proposed development of the land for a public private partnership.

Thank you again for your assistance completing the Freedom of Information Act request.

Mr. McEntarffer:


Quote
Good Morning Mr. Aal,
We have not received any information or notice of a private development planned for the parcel in question.
If you have an official notice of the project please forward it on to us.
I have copied our Regional Land Adjustment Program Manager on this email so she is aware of the potential situation.


Thanks!

Me:


Quote
Good morning,

Thank you again for the follow up.  The matter stems from a proposed deal with the Town of Payson, (TOP), Community Center Partners, (CCP) and Varxity Development, (Varxity).  I am not surprised that the Forest Service has not been placed on notice.  My conversations with Mayor Swartwood and Town Manager Garret, clearly reveled that to be the case. 

By way of background, the Town has commissioned a feasibility study to use “North Rumsey Park” for placement of a recreation center, training facility, and two hockey rinks.  The total estimated size is 114,000 square feet.  Of that, approximately 27,000 square feet is for a community rec center.  The balance is for use by Varxity for development of facilities to be used in conjunction with development of a proposed 600 student private “Elite prep school” focused on hockey training for future division one scholarships.  There is limited public use envisioned as the majority of the park complex would be for use of Varxity.  The conversation has changed to now include use of ball parks, etc.  The ballpark parcels were not deeded via the Forest Service.   The parcel deeded via the Forest Service is the build out area of the hockey rinks and training facility.   

The proposed deal is contingent on use of public lands.  Most recently the principal of Varxity is quoted as saying:

“I need access to their fields. That is truly what we need. We need access to those ball diamonds and they are willing to allow an arena to be built on their property that we can lease from them and use. That is what we need: a willing partner that sees the economic benefit,” Moore said. “If they build the arenas on public land, then that is a benefit to me because I don’t have that cost.”

Attached please find a copy of the Town ordinance commissioning the study (# 3065), a copy of the deed for the parcel with restrictions from 1987, and two articles from the local paper detailing the plans. 

There is of course additional information available if it would be of help.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for any additional information.  The deed restrictions on the land stipulate the land will revert back to the Forest Service if the deed is “encumbered.” 

I am inquiring if the Forest Service views a commercial build out for a private enterprise, and an anticipated long term lease(s), as an “encumbrance” on the title or if this would be consistent with the “open spaces” and “public use” envisioned by the Forest Service during the transfer of the land and required via the act of transfer.   


Thank you,

Really, two thumbs up to the Forest Service - So very helpful.  They are doing smokey proud! 


(https://s14.postimg.org/4w8emnmq9/S18367_VSB_Small.jpg)

As always, full  .pdf is attached.  Go go "transparency"    ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on March 28, 2018, 09:24:25 AM
A very productive meeting yesterday with Congressman Dr. Gosar.  Honestly there is not much he can do to shed light on a local issue.  But he was very receptive to having the USDA / Forest Service take a look at the issue of deed restrictions.  That will help expedite resolution of that issue? 

Pleased that Council members Ms. Sterner and Ms. Connell were present. 

(https://s14.postimg.cc/jsprwnt75/gosar.jpg)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 01, 2018, 09:04:47 AM
Happy Easter! (Hoppy?!) Time for some updates. 

Mr. Figueroa was kind enough to respond to my letter.  It did not result in any additional records but Mr. Figueroa was kind enough to provide a definition of "duplicitous" both in the content of the letter and the "exhibits" provided.  "Exhibit E"  contains a print out of the definition from Google as well as a definition from Merriam Webster.  So we are all on the same page here you go:

Quote
Definition of duplicitous
: marked by duplicity : deceptive in words or action

    duplicitous tactics

— duplicitously adverb

It appears that great offense was taken by the use of that word?

Elsewhere? Well, a very nice touch was to have the package delivered by the Constable's office. They were very pleasant gentlemen.  But, sending court officers with guns to deliver a letter seems somehow over the top?  Maybe it was to intimidate?  I don't know; we spoke of Jeeps, etc.  Really now, how intimidating is a Jeep? 

Now, in the Town's defense, they did send a certified letter. I saw the notice just before the Constable called.  I am often times out of town, so did not see the notice in the mail box right away.  I picked up the letter the next day. 

Mr. Figueroa was kind enough to admonish me regarding quorum and possible violation of open meeting laws.  Mr. Figueroa also discusses "TRANSPARENCY."  He notes that "You and your organization take pride on the notion of TRANSPARENCY.  Town Clerk Silvia Smith expects and deserves the same treatment via the notion of TRANSPARENCY."

Parenthetically I note the letter was on 260Chat letter head, nothing to do with Transparent Payson.  Details man. Details. 

So beyond providing a definition of "duplicitous" and demanding "transparency" what else did it say?  The Town is conducting an investigation into the allegations.  It appears they did not take the opportunity to do so prior to drafting the response?  The upshot is they want me to prove they failed to fulfill the records request by providing records and evidence.  Yes, they want me to give them what they won’t provide, to prove they did something wrong.   ::)

Well, OK. 

So, let’s start with this?  Way back when I asked for emails from lploszaj@aol.com, the Town said nope, none for a long time.  Trouble is, on September 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm Mr. Garrett sent an email to that email address. 

Here you go:

(https://s14.postimg.cc/tvl3cy5wx/IMG_8087_Small.jpg)

Keep in mind, I asked for "all written communication"  I received only emails from Mr. Garret and Ms. DeSchaaf.  There were clearly other recipients on the same emails, so I would have expected duplicates from those accounts.  Not a one was provided. 

In any event, a more formal response will be provide to Mr. Figueroa and the Town once it is drafted.  Maybe soon enough I can be provided with new definitions and chat about Jeeps with the Constables again? 


As always, the full copy of the Town' s response is attached in .pdf format. All nineteen pages including four for a definition. 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 01, 2018, 09:08:33 AM
Elsewhere?

We (Shana and others did – I can be somewhat distracting at meetings)  attended the Parks and Rec meeting Thursday 3/30/18. 

Mr. Ron Chambless was speaking on the progress of the Varxity and the Town’s plans for Rumsey Park.  He advised that April 12th would be when they presented their completed report to the Town Council.  He recognized this would take some time to review and stated a copy of their report would be available online to anyone who wished to review it.  He also reported a potential date for the Town Hall Meeting of April 26th however did state that he was unsure if that was solidified at this time.  The meeting will be at the Nazarene Church. 

Mr. Chambless stated that Varxity is now going by the name Arizona Prep Academy and that Mr. Moore is working to obtain the financial backing that he will require. He has not been successful as of yet.  It was stated the school will be a hockey, soccer and golf elite prep academy.  Mr. Chambless did state that the rolling out attendance of students will be 200 ramping up to the numbers previously discussed.

The 26 acres behind Wal-Mart has not been secured.  The property was in pre-foreclosure, then a trustee sale and again in foreclosure proceedings.  Mr. Moore had previously placed a bid on the, property, it was taken into consideration however the pre-foreclosure / trustee sale/foreclosure proceedings bumped his bid out.  He did place another bid that was rejected and according to Mr. Chambless yesterday Mr. Moore was asked to again place a bid.  Mr. Chambless advised this is all the information he could provide as his firm CCP is not a part of Mr. Moore obtaining the property for the school site. 

Mr. Chambless spoke regarding the overall choice of plans as chosen by the community.  The third plan for Rumsey Park was the most popular.  When asked regarding the ability to afford the additions, he stated that is what they are working towards.  It has been considered that the hockey rinks would be placed on the private property.  It was also pointed out that when a plan is chosen that is usually the desired outcome however most often the plan has to be scaled down in order to make the plan viable.  For instance the plan calls for two hockey rinks and it would be most likely one. There could be other desirable items removed as well.  In my mind this is similar to touring model homes where all the upgraded amenities are presented however the final build of the layout chosen appears much different.  Oh you liked the marble bathroom?  The plan you have chosen at the price point you can afford has vinyl flooring.  It will be interesting to see what shakes out. 

Mr. Chambless also discussed community partners to assist with going forward with the plans.  He is hopeful to have the participation of Banner Hospital but at this time they do not.  There is a lot riding on the ability to complete the project that includes more than Mr. Moore going forward.  It also requires additional investors to take part.  At this time, and from the information provided the only thing that has been completed is the plan.  The dream of what the park could be. 

So, mark the calendars for the Town Hall Meeting of the 12th.   


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 05, 2018, 10:41:57 AM
(https://s14.postimg.cc/4syuicdv5/snacks_and_facts.jpg)

Join Transparent Payson for a “Snacks & Facts” event to discuss "ALL THINGS NEW" on our two Initiative efforts and the underlying issues.

It is the dinner hour, so we will be providing a "Taco Bar, Deserts and Drinks."

We encourage you to bring your "Questions, Concerns, Suggestions and an Open Mind."

Topics:
> Was the park plan a done deal before it was announced?
> Do you or our Town Council have enough information to make an informed decision?
> We will provide updates on record requests from Town.
> We will discuss where do we go from here and how you can be involved as we work towards our goal??

Payson Senior Center
514 W Main St, Payson, AZ 85541
Doors Open at: 5:30pm
Presentation and Q&A begins at: 5:45pm.
 
We look forward to seeing you!!

For More Info:
Website: www.transparentpayson.org
Email: info@transparentpayson.org

We are at 1,300 signatures and going strong. 
We need a minimum of 1,400. 

Hope to have 1,800 for some cushion in the event some get tossed out. 


The last big push is now! 

Follow us on Facebook!   https://www.facebook.com/transparentpayson/
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 05, 2018, 10:48:53 AM
Quick Round Up of the Round Up. 

Great letter by Ms. Della Garrett.  Thank you for taking the time. 

(https://s14.postimg.cc/479vmcdox/del_letter.jpg)

 Read the full letter here: 

Worth the click.  http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/open-letter-to-payson-voters/article_f8d6b5db-2c3f-538a-9ea9-9aba09c8c60c.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/open-letter-to-payson-voters/article_f8d6b5db-2c3f-538a-9ea9-9aba09c8c60c.html)

Also, Town Hall Meeting planed.  Transparent Payson had a shout out. 

(https://s14.postimg.org/jrh9czipd/TP_Round_up_snip.jpg)

Full article here:

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/date-of-next-town-hall-on-park-announced/article_9102065f-eca9-56b3-aec3-6629c967558c.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/date-of-next-town-hall-on-park-announced/article_9102065f-eca9-56b3-aec3-6629c967558c.html)

Things should start piking up soon. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 05, 2018, 10:51:42 AM
We did get a response from AZ Attorney General regarding records requests.  They can be of no assistance. 

(https://s14.postimg.cc/ypzo7709t/az_ag_snip.jpg)

Maybe the Ombudsman? 

Full letter in .pdf attached.  (As always)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 05, 2018, 10:56:35 AM
We also got the most current invoices.  Project is 97% invoiced, but yet no Fiance Plan to date?  Also, more discussions with AZ IDA.   Going to have to follow up with them again?



(https://s14.postimg.cc/3kfkalo75/97_percent.jpg)

Full .pdf attached.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 12, 2018, 04:10:26 PM
Oh!  Like a kid in the candy store.  Goody goody goody.  The fiances have been released. 

This will give us something to do.  So, upshot?  Well, how about a $43 Million price tag?  WOW!  I had it at 30 - 35m.  Guess I was light? 

Varxity - about a $800,000 lease against a 5.2 million annual  budget. Filed with "hopium."  How much?  How about 1.5 a year for "donations and sponsorship."   So many questions.  Just so many. 

Will post a few later today.  Guess there is a Town Council Meeting and presentation tonight?  Tune in to Chanel 4, to watch. 

Here is the plan, 

http://www.paysonaz.gov/Rumsey-Park-Master-Plan-Report_FINAL.pdf


Would attach as .pdf but it is 12MB.  (Thats a lot of pretty pictures and words. )
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 12, 2018, 04:19:50 PM
More Roundup. 

Quick article on Master Plan. 

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/parks-plan-on-thursday-council-meeting-agenda/article_49171523-9187-5d05-9604-51aa633a6ae3.html

(https://s14.postimg.cc/4u9airwap/town_hall.jpg)

Looks like a Town Hall meeting?  Mark the calendars. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 12, 2018, 04:27:24 PM
GRRRR!!! 

To post images we use "post image." so folks dont have to log in.  Well, something is going on there.  All attachments are attached if you are logged in. 

Will have to go through and update all the codes, etc.   

Grrrrrrrr..... >:(
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 13, 2018, 09:37:07 AM
Well, the Council meeting shed no real new information.  I will say this, Mr. Chambless can talk.  A. Long. time.  I think the Mayor suggested he take a breath?  Impressive. 

So, time for questions.  By no means is this list comprehensive.  But a good start to get the wheels spinning.  Lets start with fourteen?

Fourteen Questions:

On page 4 the report states: Ten Major Discovery and Communications Findings; 3. “There is a resistance to growth and a status-quo culture within the Payson primary market area that impacts progressive future planning.”

Can you provide the empirical data for that statement or is that an    opinion?  If it is an opinion, is that outside the scope of the contract?

As a follow up, page 21, states under Major Findings and Recommendations;
“(O) ver 90% of the written comments were in positive support of the work done to date.”

Is that consistent with “resistance to growth and a status-quo culture?”

On page 2 of the report, the report states: “Under the leadership of Community Center Partners, The Town of Payson recruited Varxity Development Corporation from Alberta, Canada to partner with the Town for the six month study and Varxity agreed to fund half the proposed consulting service fee for the effort.  The Town council minutes indicate the proposal was “unsolicited.” 

   Did the Town of Payson recruit Varxity?  If so, why would there be no    Request for Proposal, or Request for Qualifications? 

   How exactly did the solicitation occur?


On page 4, the report states 5,200+- youth in the area. 
   
   Payson Unified School District school enrolment is approximately 2,300    students, where do the other children live or attend school?

On page 17, the final master plan deviates considerable from the concept drawings discussed during the “Town Hall Meeting.” 
   
   Can you explain who was involved in that significant rework?

The dog park as envisioned is a significant distance from parking.  Some of the current patrons of the Dog Park and Payson Areas Woofers Society are elderly, or handicapped. 
   
   Can you address their access to that element?

Page 34, indicates “operational revenues” of $1,275,000.00 to $1,425,000.00 (1.2 to 1.4 million). Page 36 lists “Ancillary Revenues” of $3,880,000.00 for a total yearly budget of roughly 5.3 million. 

   What / who is the back stop should any of the 3.8 million fail to    materialize?

Page 37 reflects an Estimated Annual Debt Payment on $43M of $2,600,000. (2.6 million) That works out to be 6.05% of the total debt per year. 
   
   What is the duration of the note? 
   

Page 37 also lists the Training Center and support facility venues with a cost of $13,000,000.00 and a lease value of $780,000.00.  That works out to be 6.00%. 
   
   Why would CCP suggest the town of Payson agree to lease land or space with an effective loss against the debt burden?

The sponsor / donor funding is listed at 1.5 million per year. 

   Have any sponsors or donors been identified and if so, who are they?

Page 46 has a recommendation to “move forward” on option “3.” 
   
   What is the expected budget to “move forward?” 

Page 3 of the report lists Cameron Davis as part of the committee.  Mr. Davis is no longer employed by the Town of Payson. 
   
   Is Mr. Davis still on the committee and if so who does he represent?

   If Mr. Davis, or the Town’s Seat, has been replaced, by whom?


Confident there will be more, this is just a start.  Lots of information to go through. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 13, 2018, 09:53:44 AM
Now, the report discusses use of 63-20 financing.  That is somewhat complex.  So, here is a link, and some snips. 

http://coppfs1.asu.edu/spa/abfm2009/papers/robbins%20vandermeulen%20abfm%20paper%202009.pdf   (http://coppfs1.asu.edu/spa/abfm2009/papers/robbins%20vandermeulen%20abfm%20paper%202009.pdf)

Just a little light reading.   :o


Some snips:

Lets define it?

(http://www.260chat.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.260chat.com%2Fgallery%2F52_13_04_18_9_50_17.jpeg&hash=1ab383fb982454b593219524645cc444)

Here is the structure – that looks simple? 

(http://www.260chat.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.260chat.com%2Fgallery%2F52_13_04_18_9_49_16.jpeg&hash=6fb9b8cc5766d5fe21cadfe4335291b1)


FREE FROM DEBT LIMITS? 


(http://www.260chat.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.260chat.com%2Fgallery%2F52_13_04_18_9_48_19.jpeg&hash=966ac0cdd456515e6da3fe2ab90b1474)

Something tells me this is going to take a lot of work to understand?
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:25:38 PM
As you will recall we have made several requests to the Town of Payson for various records and documents in support of the charges inflicted via CCP for the period 6/21/17 through 9/21/17.  Ultimately these requests were filled in what is in my estimation a sub-standard fashion.  I provided the Town a formal response discussed in this post:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3350/#msg3350 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3350/#msg3350)


Subsequently Town legal, Mr. Figueroa, provided a response discussed in this post:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3485/#msg3485 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3485/#msg3485)
 

To the extent that Mr. Figueroa did not take the opportunity to address any of the underlying concerns it appeared best to seek the assistance of outside counsel.  So, that letter went out, and then an immediate response from Mr. Figueroa. 

So, as these are kind of fun, I will post them all in easy to read .jpg format.  All four are attached in .pdf if you are logged in. 

Here we go:

My original letter:


(https://s14.postimg.cc/f548iauf5/top_1.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/57t7pa4tt/top_2.jpg)


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:27:30 PM
The Town of Payson response:

(https://s14.postimg.cc/5kp79cpdt/top_response_1.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/ddfv1cq81/top_response_2.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/9ttxbkanl/top_response_3.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/qhlfe2kup/top_response_4.jpg)



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:33:09 PM
Letter from Mr. Collins to Town of Payson:

(https://s14.postimg.cc/s6z3ztd29/collins_1.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/ru7ptna81/collins_2.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:35:23 PM
Letter from Town of Payson to Mr. Collins:

(https://s14.postimg.cc/uoav759u9/top_to_collins_1.jpg)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/e0jd4nui9/top_to_collins_2.jpg)



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:39:51 PM
Call me cynical, but I am beginning to think that the Town does not want any overview of the records?  ::) 

So, the issue remains; I know the town has more than what they gave in response to the records requests.  How so?  Well, discussed here:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3485/#msg3485 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3485/#msg3485)

Instead of addressing the prior records, the Town of Payson response is to address the current requests from this batch:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3453/#msg3453 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3453/#msg3453)


It appears that the Town of Payson is unwilling to provide requested documents?  Further it appears that the matter will necessarily require judicial intervention? 

Seems to me a little less letter writing and a little more document production would be a good thing?


By the way, a quick public thank you to Mr. Collins. I appreciate his time and willingness to help. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:53:45 PM
So, as it currently stands, Mr. Figueroa and Mr. Collins are working on a meeting to see if some details can't be hammered out. 

We will keep you posted. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 02:55:43 PM
Time for a Roundup roundup?

This is fun, an online poll.  We appreciate the Roundup showing some interest.  If you care to participate, follow this link:

http://www.paysonroundup.com/poll/do-you-support-transparent-payson-s-efforts-to-put-two/poll_db33a4aa-7fe9-5979-ba05-461459b49e51.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/poll/do-you-support-transparent-payson-s-efforts-to-put-two/poll_db33a4aa-7fe9-5979-ba05-461459b49e51.html)

(https://s14.postimg.cc/8dn07gun5/roundup_roundup.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 03:02:09 PM
More Roundup?  An article on the 43 million parks plan can be found here:

http://www.paysonroundup.com/government/detailed-parks-community-center-plan-unveiled/article_1869da3b-f265-5728-b645-43f18bad351e.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/government/detailed-parks-community-center-plan-unveiled/article_1869da3b-f265-5728-b645-43f18bad351e.html)

Very good overview of the plan.  Here is some of the funding. 

(https://s14.postimg.cc/my431zs35/1.5_million.jpg)

So, 1.5 million a year in sponsorship and donations?  That might be kind of tough? 


Anyway, worth the click for the full read. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 03:07:56 PM
More Roundup!  A separate article.  More about the meeting than the plan. 

Seems things are heating up a bit? 

(https://s14.postimg.cc/582eh1m8x/art_2.jpg)

So, the town has a facility that they can keep even if the group does not make the payments?  So, the banks just forgive the notes with no additional monies?   That is well, remarkable. 

On other item of note:

Quote
Chambless said the finance model is risk-neutral for the town and requires no major debt accountability on its part.

See, that to me is a workaround on debt.  A way to circumvent actual debt on the books.  That does not change the fact that it is still debt.  A rose by any other name? 

Full read here: 

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/council-gets-parks-plan/article_0e56dd63-eb83-54f4-831e-2f5af25aa1e5.html (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/council-gets-parks-plan/article_0e56dd63-eb83-54f4-831e-2f5af25aa1e5.html)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 03:57:53 PM
So, there have been planning meetings on the matter.  Need to watch the whole video of both meetings  As always very informative.  One thing did catch my eye / ear. While I was unable to personally attend, it was my understanding that Mr. Figueroa had several areas of concern.  A video of the meeting may be found here at the 38:22 mark:

http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2171 (http://payson.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=2171)

Or here:  look for the April 16th Special meeting.

http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html (http://www.paysonaz.gov/Video/Council-Meetings.html)

Mr. Figueroa appeared to have some words directed at certain folks.  Following is the verbatim discussion of Mr. Figueroa:


(https://s14.postimg.cc/9jr068vsh/041918_figurorea.jpg)


“Mr. Mayor, I have some um not just legal observations but just uh logistic observations.  I want to make sure that the message gets out to the public, this is the planning stage, these are the development of a comprehensive plan.  These are you know potential options that Mayor and council and the community has.  There has not been a vote up or down as to any concept that is preferable over another concept.  What you’re doing today and you are going to do Wednesday and you are going to do in the Town Hall is to provide all the information not only for yourselves but for the community so that the community understands that when you say X, Y, and Z that’s what is proposed.  There’s no such thing as eh ah you’re not going in with a set of ideas that that’s what you’re going to do. 

The other observation I have is that the terms of art that are being used whether it’s uh uh a certain person that didn’t breathe very much the other day would repeat the same word but yet, get out there what we’re talking about, get out, you know, these are terms of art that are used in this type of business, so an explanation of those terms uh with examples may alleviate some of uh uh the fears or the misconceptions that are out there. 

The big thing that I would point out to CCP is this, when you utter a name, whether it’s a CEO Lee that you mentioned today, I guarantee you before you get back to the valley it’s going to be Googled and the ice person that uh retired uh uh some hockey player, will no doubt be called or emailed to verify whether they are participating in this. 

Uh uh Ron Chambless ought to know because the minute he said he was doing something in I think Scottsdale they contacted the Scottsdale Mayor, which was not the person that you were dealing with.  You were dealing with the Town Manager and the Recreation Director or whatever, but the way it came out is that you were never doing anything in Gilbert.  What I’m saying to you as the CCP when we’re making these presentations we need to keep in mind that there are going to be people that aren’t you know on the same level as you are with regards to how the concept for this community. 

And you’ve got to be able to address that.  We can’t uh overlook it, we’ve got to head on, you got to take it head on and you’ve got to address those things and uh so fars what I’ve heard we haven’t, my expertise is not in trying to determine everything that is being asked here, mine will be later when the nitty gritty has to come.  And when everybody has made their decision or getting ready to make a decision then prepare the documents necessary for Mayor and council to approve, but I just thought of those observations since we are being televised you know we need to get this message out there to the community and if there’s any questions they need to come to the Town Hall to you know to ask those questions and to be informed.  And I thank you Mr. Mayor.”

Wait, did I hear that right? 

“(T)here are going to be people that aren’t you know on the same level as you….”


Well, there you have it. 



Based on Mr. Figueroa’s response in his letter dated 03/21/18 (above) and in his statements made above, it appears that Mr. Figueroa has concerns with vocabulary and education standards?  As you will recall Mr. Figueroa provided four pages of a nineteen page letter devoted to the definition of the word “duplicitous.” 

Yes.  Not on the same level. (I really should have paid more attention at school.   ;) )   
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 04:02:46 PM
Some additional details have emerged.

We had the project at about 114,000 square feet.  We were off just a touch.  Total size?  155,000 square feet.  Now, no mention if that is foot print or floor space. 

But wow!  That is really big! 

BIG!

Bigger than Home Depot locally.  Much bigger. 

But, don't take my word for it.  Here you go.
(https://s14.postimg.cc/ig6dnibo1/sq_footage.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on April 19, 2018, 04:04:39 PM
All right, be back to this topic soon. As always, feel free to chime in if you want. 

Oh, wait, one last thing.  The next step? 

Option # 3 - "Validation"  I have heard a $500,000.00 process? 

Not a bad lick for a town that cannot afford $20,000.00 to update software for better productivity of employees.     ;)



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: espiritgamine on April 22, 2018, 08:56:49 AM
Another perspective on this 155K sq. ft. structure ...the total area is 3.56 acres or, an even better perspective; the Payson Library is 16K sq. ft....9.69 library buildings will fit inside the "conceptual" sq. ft. of the structure. Yes,BIG!
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 08, 2018, 09:27:51 AM
Wow, a couple of weeks off did some good.  Seems like it is time to play catch up?

This has been very time consuming.  So, first up, quick Roundup roundup.

First, a shout out to Richard K. Meszar, Ed.D.,  His leter while not specifgic to the Rumsey issue encourages voter participation.  We could not agree more!

Quote
While I have very little confidence in or respect for our elected officials in both Washington and in Phoenix (including our three state Rim area legislators), I have the utmost confidence and appreciation for the overall intelligence and insightfulness of us the voters. We, the amalgamation of voters, will eventually properly take care of any political problems we currently have by doing what we’ve always done, i.e., showing that collectively we’re much smarter than the collection of politicians we elect to represent us.

Full read:  http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/voter-intelligence/article_552e2c25-7851-5757-a604-bcbed1d3c887.html

Next up - Dave Golembewski - Let the kids pay for it.  Good points. 

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/let-the-kids-pay-for-it/article_02ac642e-b2cd-53fe-a2c4-9dfc107208da.html


Now, Mr. Golembewski has been on a tear of late.  So, community member Mary Kastner offered a response.  In part: 

Quote
Each week Mr. G. enjoys filling the pages of the Roundup with anti-council rants. He seems to enjoy throwing out unsubstantiated claims of corruption and cronyism. He misrepresents information about the Rumsey Park Master Plan and usage of park facilities by our townspeople.

Mr. G. clearly doesn’t understand the financial structure involved with this project despite the transparency by the Town to explain the concept in detail at council work sessions and the well attended town hall meeting on April 24.

We support all the voices and would encourage you read her letter as well.  Does she have valid points?  Not in my estimation, but we have welcomed her participation; she is free to log on here and debate if she would like?

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/support-rumsey-plan/article_9f74c6c6-80ed-5e86-898c-a23969390f76.html

Again, click on links, buy the subscription, and be involved.

I may have missed some, but playing catch up is hard.   ;)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 08, 2018, 09:43:40 AM
More? 

Look, the Roundup covered Transparent Payson. 
Quote
After months of collecting signatures, a local group submitted paperwork to the Payson town clerk Wednesday to get two initiatives placed on the ballot.

Both initiatives require a vote of the people if the council either signs any contract costing more than $1 million annually or leases town property for more than three years.

Transparent Payson backed the initiatives out of concern for plans to improve Rumsey Park, including adding two ice skating rinks leased to a proposed college preparatory school.

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/group-submits-signatures-to-get-initiatives-on-the-ballot/article_6b2cfbda-50e8-59b2-954c-256aa90b6c21.html

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 08, 2018, 09:46:15 AM
A whole flurry of activity on Council meetings, Town Hall, etc.  and how to pay for the "next phase."

My take?  Some inconsistent messaging at the Town Hall.  Hope to go verbatim on it.  Time is a wicked thing. 

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/company-pledges-for-parks-plan/article_e8af5770-ec0c-5559-9ada-d81cbb085981.html

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/council-discusses-next-steps-in-parks-plan/article_154667b2-70ee-58dc-8c3b-5936113113cb.html

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/second-town-hall-held-on-parks-plan/article_6d28cbda-416e-5c00-a5d2-3329c39ebd22.html

http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/council-discusses-finances-of-parks-plan/article_a7c3d87d-6d64-55f9-8929-79b76531fd54.html

Good to see all the faces at the Town Hall. 





Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 08, 2018, 09:48:46 AM
So back to reality. 

Look, an invoice for a memory stick.  Hopefully some of the requested emails, etc are there?

(https://s9.postimg.cc/udoypckpr/invoice.jpg)

We will see soon enough what was provided?
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 08, 2018, 09:49:17 AM
Forest Service Deed?

Still waiting.  Will update when we can. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 08, 2018, 09:50:06 AM
That is it for now.  I have enjoyed the break, but time to get back.  No doubt I missed some stuff, but the day job and all. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 05:00:17 AM
Like a kid in a candy store! 

(https://s31.postimg.cc/lwicqtxjf/kidincandystore.jpg)

Look what was delivered.  A letter, and other goodies. 

(https://s31.postimg.cc/ak5r941q3/kid_in_candy_store_Medium.jpg)

The .pdf is attached two fold.  First is just the cover letter, next is additional information, i.e invoice, privilege list, etc.  The balance is not attached.  Not really worth the hassle of scanning.   Go ahead, log in, down load them to your heart's content. 

One item of note from the onset. The letter states:

"I would request that our communications be treated as confidential communications.... I would expect that this Letter not appear on social media."


Isn't that special? See, I would expect that valid document requests would be honored.  I would expect that the Town not withhold information when requested and required to produce it.  I would expect that a deal not be made in a back room fashion. 

The point is, we all have expectations. 

I have found in my travels that if your give respect, you get respect.  You give consideration, you get consideration.  Demanding or asking for it after you fail to provide it is a losing proposition.  Of course your mileage may vary  ;)

So, lets have some fun!   Oh, yes what fun it will be.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 05:10:51 AM
So what does the package hold? 

First, the cover letter. 
Second about 100 pages of redacted material.  Fair enough, not concerned on most of it.  No the point of this project, and would not be inclined to publish personal stuff in any event. 
Third the USB drive.  10,315 emails with attachments. 

So, before we start, it is very important to note that this is an apparent response to the requests for all emails between a time period of 06/21 through 09/21.  The original requests can be found here: 

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3453/#msg3453

They are dated 03/27/18. 

IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM does this response address any of the concerns outlined in prior requests.  Those are detailed here:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3350/#msg3350

My formal request to the Town to review the prior requests for accuracy and fulfillment resulted in a lengthy response from Town Legal.  It did not result in those requests being reviewed or fulfilled.  This batch of information does not fulfill those requests.  In fact the only thing it does do is provide additional clear evidence that the records requests were not honored. 

So, lets start with the original requests.  For review here they are:

Quote
One such records request was dated 12/29/17 for records of the specific email LPloszaj@aol.com for the time period 6/21/17 through 9/21/17.  The Town provided a response indicating that there were no emails associated with this email address during the specified time period and provided documentation via the “enterprise vault search” indicating that there were emails associated with this address as far back as 3/10/11. 

A separate request for documentation was for all email communication with “Lee Ploszaj.”  The Town provided a written response, dated February 8th, indicating that there were no emails and/or written communication with “Lee Ploszaj.”

The most recent request was for “all written communication” for the time period 6/21/17 through 9/21/17 regarding resolution 3065 in support of invoice number one from CCP.  The Town provided approximately 120 pages of documents.  Twenty four of the pages were duplicative in nature.  The balance of the pages clearly indicate that there was email communication to both “Lee Ploszaj” as well as LPloszaj@aol.com.  Based on the number of recipients reflected on the emails, utilizing the Town of Payson domain name, it is self-evident that the 120 pages of documents submitted for review are inadequate and incomplete. 



 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 06:14:23 AM
First up? 

12/29/17 for records of the specific email LPloszaj@aol.com

The Town said - Nope, not a one.  We already know that to be incorrect.  Discovered that one here:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3289/#msg3289

So, exactly how many do we have?  About a dozen or so now.  Keep in mind, the original request was for all via the AOL address, we only have three Town employees.  So, confident there are more.  Very confident. 

Here are a few:

(https://s31.postimg.cc/552356vwb/2lpataol_for_garrett.jpg)

(https://s31.postimg.cc/42rwmpxob/at_least_8.jpg)

Oh, wait, my personal favorite, one from Mr. Figueroa to that exact same email address where none were reported to have been found.  Damn the bad luck!  Sure hope this does not make it onto social media.   ;)

(https://s31.postimg.cc/rxpoyxnmj/lets_do_it.jpg)

Lets do it?  Well OK.  LETS!  ;)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 06:44:54 AM
Next up?

How about this?  A separate request for documentation was for all email communication with “Lee Ploszaj.”  The Town provided a written response, dated February 8th, indicating that there were no emails and/or written communication with “Lee Ploszaj.”

Now, the Town provided a letter saying – nope – not a one.  You remember right?  They typed a letter on February 8th.  Here you go:

(https://s31.postimg.cc/s5hx9blfv/nope_not_a_one.jpg)


Trouble is, well, that is not true.  How do we know this? 

Of the 10,314 emails from three accounts, there are at least 27 to “Lee Ploszaj.”    Don’t take my word for it.  Look at the pretty picture:

(https://s31.postimg.cc/x45fnxwzf/at_least_27.jpg)

Again, keep in mind we only have access to three accounts from the Town.

Maybe a little less letter writing and a little more data search?   

I am beginning to think the Town does not want anybody to see the truth?




Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 07:08:17 AM
Finally?   Lets start with this:

Quote
The most recent request was for “all written communication” for the time period 6/21/17 through 9/21/17 regarding resolution 3065 in support of invoice number one from CCP.  The Town provided approximately 120 pages of documents.  Twenty four of the pages were duplicative in nature.  The balance of the pages clearly indicate that there was email communication to both “Lee Ploszaj” as well as LPloszaj@aol.com.  Based on the number of recipients reflected on the emails, utilizing the Town of Payson domain name, it is self-evident that the 120 pages of documents submitted for review are inadequate and incomplete.

Well, we got about 120 pages.  That one gets tricky.  See, the trouble is Lee Ploszaj, Ron Chambless, Larry Allen all have various emails.  Frankly that is not my burden or my challenge.  My challenge is that what was provided was incomplete and inaccurate.  My challenge is that we get to keep getting this in a piece meal fashion.  The records requests are NOT ambiguous or vague.  The law IS clear.  Despite all of that, it comes in some haphazard fashion.  So much for expectations huh?

Here are a few screen shots of information not previously provided.  First up – a quick search for “Chambless”  He is a partner of CCP.  So, that should work right?

(https://s31.postimg.cc/oofv6gozf/chambless.jpg)


OK, how about Mr. Allen?   

(https://s31.postimg.cc/kxavxml6j/larry_allen.jpg)

Again, keep in mind this is for a 90 day period from three email accounts.  NOT EVEN CLOSE to the totality of the documents requested. 

Maybe Mr. Figueroa and Mr. Collins can have a discussion on actually fulfilling the prior records requests? 

Next time somebody from the Town says something silly like “trust us” keep this in mind?
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 07:54:07 AM
So, enough about the lack of Transparency from the Town.  What is in the emails? 

Long time ago, we discussed the need for a Request For Proposal (RFP).  The Town procurement policy has one.  Parks and Rec was clearly working on one.  How do we know this?  Multiple drafts by Mr. Davis. 

Here you go.  Note the proposed timelines? 


(https://s31.postimg.cc/xkv8nxumz/rfp_samples.jpg)


(https://s31.postimg.cc/f6kpk5kyz/hey_laron.jpg)


The kicker?  The Town is / was well aware of the budget constraints.  What were they before the grand CCP/ Varxity deal? 

Here you go:

(https://s31.postimg.cc/nvcg58i9n/budget_range.jpg)

The RFP went through at least four revisions.  Two of them are attached in .pdf

So, seems pretty clear to me the Town knew an RFP was required for the "Parks Master Plan" and seems equally clear the Town had no where near the $125,000.00 budgeted?  So how then did CCP get involved? 

That we don't know yet.  I have a theory, but unless we can find that document I will just keep it to myself. 

Having said that, there are some clues.  Like what? 

Glad you asked.   ;)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 08:05:59 AM
The First thing that comes up is this "Letter of Intent" sent to Mayor Swartwood from Mr. Ploszaj.  Just about the time the RFP for the Parks Master Plan was being finalized.  That is certainly fortuitous!

Here you go:

(https://s31.postimg.cc/qrzh5e623/loi.jpg)

You will note the email address for Mr. Ploszaj is not the AOL account. 

So what does that LOI say? 

(https://s31.postimg.cc/q2gotb863/loi1.jpg)


And executed by Mr. Moore. 


(https://s31.postimg.cc/55kgonpkr/loi2.jpg)

The full document is attached in .pdf

So, August 14th via the Mayor?  No RFP, despite one being in the works.  Hmmmmmmmm.....

The style somehow seems familiar?  Looks kind of like the "Tri Party Agreement?" 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 08:31:38 AM
Well, this just is no fun some time. 

EDIT  05/19/18 @ 7:22 am

(https://s31.postimg.cc/5359wfrq3/ringing_bell.png)

Here is the link to the explanation for removal of this content.   http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3854/#msg3854
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 08:40:38 AM
Need more?  Well, Mr. Garrett was preparing remarks.  Course, Mr. Davis was cautioning about Mayor Swartwood's agenda. 

You decide......

(https://s31.postimg.cc/wgada52e3/garrett.jpg)

So, before the public meeting, all of this appears to have been well in place?  No Citizen (Nay Sayer) input.  No discussion, no nothing. 

Your tax dollars hard at work.

 :)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 12, 2018, 09:55:25 AM
No worries, more to come.  Curious about the 26 acres?  A few people were. 

Right now, off to the car show. 

Have a good weekend. 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 07:37:22 AM
Message # 196 above was based on an email that was released by the Town.  It contained what Mr. Figueroa believes to be "Attorney Client Privileged Information."    Simply stated it was not flattering, particularity to Mr. Figueroa and his outright contempt for citizens.  You know, the pesky folks who pay his wages. 

Mr. Figueroa requested that the content, including commentary, be removed based on that "privilege."  Yes, you read that right.  Mr. Figueroa made a clear error, then demanded that I be responsible for correcting his error.  That information has been "clawed back."    The bell had been rung so to speak, and that can never be undone. 

I freely admit that is very disappointing. I have said before I am a process guy.  The process and the rules are in place for a reason.  Had the Town followed the "process" this site may not exist.  Had the Town followed the process we would have substantially more records to review.  The Town appears to be "Above the Process?" 

Sometimes I don't like the process, sometimes I don't like the outcome, but I respect both. 

Maybe the Town can learn from example? 



(https://s31.postimg.cc/5359wfrq3/ringing_bell.png)







Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 07:59:16 AM
Seems like time for a Roundup roundup?  Before that, how about a Chicago Tribune roundup? 

It appears that former President Obama's Presidential Library has designs on public land? 

Obama center organizers of pulling an 'institutional bait and switch'

How so? 

Quote
Protect Our Parks Inc. also claims in its lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, that the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago don’t have the authority to transfer public parkland to nongovernmental entity such as the Obama Foundation.

It has long been expected that the Park District would sell the land to the city for a nominal amount and the city would enter into a long-term lease with the Obama Foundation. The lawsuit, which also names three Chicago-area residents as plaintiffs, argues that such a maneuver would violate state law and represents “a short con shell game, a corrupt scheme to deceive and seemingly legitimize an illegal land grab.”

“The City and Park District clearly realize and fully understand that this established law precludes the Park District from arbitrarily transferring possession, use and control of this dedicated ‘open, clear and free’ public parkland in Jackson Park to a private nongovernmental … entity’s self-determined use,” the complaint says.

Quick read, worth the click.

Wonder how it will play out?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obamacenter/ct-met-obama-center-lawsuit-20180514-story.html
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 08:16:07 AM
OK, Roundup time. 

Mr. Morris got in on the act. 

Park plan could bring more tournaments, dollars to Payson


http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/park-plan-could-bring-more-tournaments-dollars-to-payson/article_8754f01d-c4ad-5cdc-905e-9417920cb783.html

Yes, it COULD.

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 08:18:52 AM
With the Budget talks, the Rumsey deal seems to be falling by the wayside for the time?  Did not find much. 

Letter to the Editor:

http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/stand-up-for-kids-in-town/article_8f67875b-2d69-5952-9bcc-2a1cd34005d6.html

Just a note, the comments on the proposed budget appear to show some deep frustration with the Town?
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 08:25:47 AM
Looks like the Town is planing on adopting the Rumsey Master Plan on the 24th?

http://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2018/05-24-18-A/H4Res3104.pdf

There are a few number of whereas.  It appears Town Legal has really gone to town to silence any "nay sayers?" 

(https://s31.postimg.cc/yot8m12ff/3104.jpg)

This appears to be fun? 

Allows Town Staff and Manger to take further action?  Does not appear to define that "action?"  Carte Blanche and away we gooooo......


(https://s31.postimg.cc/rlld6jmqz/actions.jpg)

I suspect it will pass with one "no vote." 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 08:39:56 AM
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Democratic meeting at Rumsey Park.  I am kind of a non-partisan guy, (Registered as Libertarian ) I like to hear all of the views.  Remarkable that they were able to have so many of the candidates there.  Good for them.   Glad I made the time to learn more about some of the candidates.  As a bonus the food was good! ;)

Here is a rundown via the Roundup

http://www.paysonroundup.com/government/candidates-descend-on-payson/article_7f988a5c-a0b4-5b2e-a0b3-61527566b469.html

While there I met a lovely lady, Ms. Dobbins, who shared some thoughts on the Rumsey deal.  She followed up with a letter, and I hope she submitted it to the Roundup as well?

It is attached in .pdf.  For ease I went ahead and took screen shots. 

(https://s31.postimg.cc/98pd9w9ff/dobbins_1.jpg)

(https://s31.postimg.cc/4a1uvevcr/dobbins_2.jpg)

(https://s31.postimg.cc/5cc1dzw6j/dobbins_3.jpg)

Attached in .pdf. 

All very good concerns.  Last week at just the car show, traffic was rough around the park for just one BBQ.  We have been assured it will not be an issue? 

Course we were assured the Town would not raise taxes without a vote, we were also assured (insert your gripe here.)  Lots of assurances. 

Thank you again Ms. Dobbins. 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 08:45:53 AM
So, this is cool. 

Transparent Payson got "Official Word" the initiatives have made the ballot.  WOOT!

(https://s31.postimg.cc/vzyfvy77v/tp1.jpg)
(https://s31.postimg.cc/nhozrnazv/tp2.jpg)
(https://s31.postimg.cc/dkdyym5yz/tp3.jpg)

Full .pdf of the announcement is attached.   ;)

Time to go update that site?



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 19, 2018, 08:50:07 AM
More to come in a bit.  Have a good weekend. 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 31, 2018, 10:09:03 AM
Roundup roundup:

Looks like it has passed.  http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/council-adopts-rumsey-master-plan/article_177d1016-2d9b-5694-bfc8-b5c1561a3ca1.html

Quote
The Payson Town Council adopted a new master plan for Rumsey Park Thursday night and could vote on moving forward with validating the plan as early as next month.

The town has been working with Community Center Partners LLC for months on a new schematic for the park after a Canadian firm approached the town about adding ice-skating rinks and additional ball fields to accommodate student-athletes. Varxity wants to open a college prep school in Payson by the fall of 2018, but needs training space. Varxity and the town each put up $125,000 for the plan, which the town had wanted to do in the coming years, but moved forward more quickly with Varxity as a partner.

Congrats to Ms. Sterner for voting no. 

The $500,000.00 to pay for it?  Guess that is in the works.  I suspect a grant from a local 401c3, Maybe Friends of Parks and Rec?  Already $100,000.00 has been pledged via a concrete vendor.  So, time for the fund raising to begin? 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 31, 2018, 10:13:25 AM
So what exactly did they pass?  Full .pdf copy attached.  Resolution 3104. 

Sure hope Town Legal worded it to preclude "naysayers." 

Here is the kicker. 

(https://s33.postimg.cc/hopqvbja7/3104.jpg)

Looks like the whole process has now been transferred to Town Staff?  Carte Blanche? 

So much for Democracy?

(I stripped out "Exhibit 'A'" on the .pdf attcahment- Band width and all.)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on May 31, 2018, 10:17:08 AM
On the good fight front:

We have submitted to "Persuasive Arguments" under the Transparent Payson group.  They are as follows:

Argument for Proposition 401

Proposition 401 will require that prior to entering into a long term lease agreement, of three years or longer, on publicly owned property, a vote of the Citizens will be required.  Payson Leadership has failed to account for the Citizen’s wishes in the proposed leasing of Town assets to private and or non-profit entities. 

To ensure this right of self-determination, at the local government level, and with your “Yes” vote, the Town Code will be modified to require a public vote for any lease of Town real property; such as parks, activity centers, or other Town properties.   The proposition has specific exemptions for utilities, telecommunications, intergovernmental lease agreements, water department and airport commission lease agreements. 

Proposition 401 does NOT preclude long term leases, stifle growth, or impede development in any fashion.  It simply requires that the matter be placed before the Citizens on any project that impacts Town land via a long term lease agreement.  The public lands owned by the Town are owned for the use by all the Citizens of Payson: Not for the exclusive use or benefit of a few, or the exploitation of Town lands by private entities, with little to no significant oversight potential.   

The Citizens of Payson, collectively, know and can intelligently control the best and highest use of public lands.  A “Yes” vote on 401 establishes and safeguards that this decision process is held exclusively by the Citizens and modifies Town Code to honor that right. 
Thank you for voting “Yes” for Proposition 401, the “Transparency in Payson Lease Term Provisions.”  It is the Citizen’s money, the Citizen’s land, and the Citizen’s right to vote.  Voting “Yes” on 401 protects your voting rights and control over your land.   

Jeffrey S. Aal, Chairman, Transparent Payson
Sponsored by “Transparent Payson.”

Argument for Proposition 402

Proposition 402 provides Citizen oversight by requiring full and complete information on source funding for Payson debt obligations.  Traditionally, a ‘General Obligation’ bond would be subject to the will of the voters.  Hybrid finance agreements or ‘creative debt,’ which include ‘Combination’ or ‘Double Barrel’ bonds, and long term lease agreements, are being used by governments to circumvent the input of  voters as they require no direct Citizen vote. 

Proposition 402 will prevent the use of such financial instruments, at the local level, without a direct vote of the Citizens who are ultimately responsible for the debt.  Proposition 402 will provide greater transparency in the finance details of local government debt. 

To ensure this right of representation, to protect Citizens input on expenditure of tax dollars, and with your “Yes” vote on 402, the Town Code will be modified to require a direct vote for any form of ‘debt’ incurred by the Town that is backed in part, or in whole, by your tax dollars when the debt exceeds one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars.  The Proposition does NOT prevent fully funded debt, such as ‘Revenue Bonds,’ being issued.   

Fiscal responsibility is the key to long term growth and development.  The Citizens of Payson, as taxpayers, are best able to authorize expenditures or impose fiscal control.  Voting “Yes” on 402 establishes and safeguards that the decision making process is held exclusively by the Citizens on matters of long term debt in excess of one million dollars, regardless of how the debt is structured. 

Thank you for voting “Yes” on Proposition 402, the “Transparency in Payson Debt Obligation Ordinance.”  It is the Citizen’s money, and the Citizen’s right to vote.  Voting “Yes” on 402 protects your input on government spending.   

Jeffrey S. Aal, Transparent Payson
Sponsored by “Transparent Payson.”

My understanding is that a second "argument for" was submitted as well?  I don't know if any were submitted against?  We will see.

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 14, 2018, 10:15:02 AM
The Town of Payson has secured "Special Counsel" to make demands of me and future document requests.  Specifically requesting that the documents, under the Freedom of Information Acts, "may not be used for any purpose." 

Yes, you read that right.  They are requesting that any documents, including future requests "may not be used for any purpose." 

I guess they don't want them public?  Wonder why?

I will fill in the blanks soon, have to do the pesky day job now.   >:(

(https://s15.postimg.cc/i3d9yyb5n/wackadoodle-doo-good-morning.jpg)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Paul Frommelt on June 14, 2018, 09:39:02 PM
So by hiring 'special council', does that imply that our town attorney is not up to the task of doing his job?  Just a question....
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 15, 2018, 08:15:58 AM
That is not for me to say.  So, lets take a look?

Quote
In the United States, a special prosecutor (or special counsel or independent counsel or independent prosecutor) is a lawyer appointed to investigate, and potentially prosecute, a particular case of suspected wrongdoing for which a conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecuting authority.

Well, suspected wrong doing?  Not so much?  Maybe?  Told the truth?

Nah, I suspect that Town Legal has a conflict?  My guess is it would be of his own making? 

This all stems from various records requests.  The Town released some documents they should not have.  We posted one of them here. 

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3804/#msg3804 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3804/#msg3804)

We then took it down, as well, it was the right thing to do.  Lets just say Mr. Figueroa does not hold citizens of Payson in high regard?   We had hoped the Town could learn from that example.

So, instead of providing documents as previously requested, letters were exchanged.   What letters?  Glad you asked.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 09:36:49 AM
Here is the first letter from Mr. Collins in response to a prior one from Mr. Figueroa. 

It appears Mr. Figueroa wants some material removed?  To make the case he cites a criminal statue. 

Figured out how to embed .pdfs, so with luck this will go quicker?

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/051518-ltr-from-collins-to-top-legal.pdf
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 09:49:06 AM
The Town of Payson elected to secure Special Counsel.  There is a dispute about two documents released. 

One has been removed.  Does it strike anybody else as off that the Town demands rules be followed yet they don't follow the rules?  Anybody?

Anyway, here is the letter from the Town's firm. 

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/053018-ltr-from-top-special-counsel.pdf

That is the letter that states the documents "(M)ay not be used for any purpose." 


That seems odd, I mean why request them if they can't be used for "any purpose?"


So, it appears that Mr. Collins has the same questions.  So, here is his response. 

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/053018-ltr-from-collins-to-special-c.pdf

I guess we await the response?

As always, we appreciate Mr. Collin's help in this matter
.   :)

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 10:06:59 AM
So, as you may have guessed, at the same time they are discussing a promise to completely fulfill prior requests, we went ahead and dropped of another.  We have 2,561 emails for an approximate six month period from Mayor Swartwood. 

Funny part?  Despite the Town insisting that I remove information, they are not providing information.  This is not rocket science.  Simple stuff.  Compare one request to prior request and note what is missing from each request.  When one shows up, you know the request was not fully complied with. 

So, they are enlightening.  The first thing I checked was my last name.  That lead to an exchange between Mr. Garrett and Mr. Swartwood.  It also involved a response from the Town Manager of Globe.  He called me as "An Agitator." 

So, don't for a moment think that the government wants your input.  Between that and Mr. Figueroa's comments, it would appear that citizens are held in low regard?  We are just tax donkeys? 

So, that email will be discussed below.  But this is fun.  I went ahead and replied to the Town Manager of Globe. 

Here you go:

(https://s15.postimg.cc/3v3fexkqz/jepson.jpg)

So far, no response from Mr. Jepson.  (OK, I don't really expect one.  ;) )
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 10:28:32 AM
So what did that chain say?  Well, it clarified some information.  Lets discuss.   And I took the opportunity to review a "combination bond" and the Propositions. 

* * *
Conjecture, Speculation, Potential for Abuse?  Voters will decide.

Time to revisit a “Combination Bond” with a little input from the Town Manager.


Oftentimes people will ask about the debt initiative, specifically, the zeroing in on a "Combination Bond."  We can explain that.  Before Transparent Payson was formed as a group, a fair amount of research went into an underlying proposal before the Town of Payson regarding the development of “Rumsey Park.”  That research lead to the realization of the use of a “combination bond” or “double barrel bond.”  Traditionally municipal bonds come in two flavors.  A general obligation bond, subject to a vote of the electorate, or a revenue bond, that requires no vote of the electorate.  A hybrid bond was then put into place.  That is known as a “combination bond.”

A "combination bond" is structured as a “revenue bond” that requires no vote of the people.  As long as there is sufficient projected revenue, the bond can be issued.  To “back stop” the bond, and reduce the risk of default, the indenture agreement requires that the issuing authority access general funds in the event the revenue falls short.  So, a “combination bond” is a work around to a direct vote of the people, but with identical obligations to the citizens to minimize default risk.  All the research can be found here (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2380/#msg2380), or here. (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg2383/#msg2383)  Poke around a bit?  To further lead in the right direction, it is important to note that Arizona Law has a provision that allows for issuance of a “Revenue Bond” specific to a "rec center" for municipalities smaller than 75,000 people (https://law.justia.com/codes/arizona/2014/title-9/section-9-521.01/).  Finally, given the deed restrictions of the land, it became clear that an alternate form of “back stop” would be required.  Deed restrictions are discussed here (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3012/#msg3012).

All those clues pointed towards only one logical financing method: A Combination Bond.  A method that requires no vote of the people, but subjects them to terms just like a "General Obligation Bond."  Your money, NOT your vote.


That recognition of a “combination bond” and the realization of the implications was the start of “Transparent Payson.”  By way of example as to the obscure nature of a “combination bond,” conversations with a candidate for State Treasurer, Senator Yee (https://www.kimberlyyee.com/), revealed that she was unaware of the feature.  She quickly realized the potential for abuse by municipal agencies and or towns.  Further conversations with other elected officials suggested most were unaware.  Certainly all that we spoke with directly were unaware.

During that time, Transparent Payson was labeled as “conjecture” and or “speculation” as the financing had not been released.  Town officials maintained that the financing was simply unknown.  That seemed odd.  Generally most people, and certainly professionals discussing multi-million dollar deals, know how to finance or pay for purchases.  What was labeled as “conjecture” was in fact the only logical conclusion on the financing method that COULD  be drawn.  That is why the initiative for debt specifically addresses “combination bonds” or "double barrel" bonds and defines those terms.


To gain a better understanding of the issue, various State and Local Representatives were contacted.  The goal was addressing this concern at the State level.  Most did not respond.  Those that did respond by and large disavowed any knowledge of this “combination feature” in the bond process.  Again, most agencies contacted provided no response.  Our correspondence referred to the suggested revision to State Law as the “Payson Provision.”

One of the inquiries regarding the “Payson Provision” was sent to Globe, Arizona.  The Town Manager of Globe forwarded the inquiry to the Payson Town manager, Mr. Garrett.  Mr. Jepson, the Town Manager of Globe, referred to the question as coming from an “Agitator.”  Mr. Garret then forwarded the email to Mayor Swartwood indicating that:

Quote
It sounds like he already knows how we are going to fund the Activity Center.

The full pdf is as follows, it may be best to read it from bottom to top, note the dates, for the chronological context.  The header information does not print, so it is embedded in a .jpg format below.

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/011718-exchnage-with-grarett-to-swartwood.pdf



(http://www.260chat.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftransparentpayson.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2F010818-header-information.jpg&hash=faf73bf94fccc2b6b983ac690d90bd05)

You will note that exchange occurred on 1/8/18.  Also attached is a 01/17/18 exchange with Mr. Garrett where it is confirmed that the financing options have not been “determined.”  Again, best to read bottom to top for a chronological perspective.  Parenthetically, we note it appears "the dark side" may just be the truth?


http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/011718-exchnage-with-grarett.pdf



“Conjecture,” “Speculation,” you can decide what Mr. Garret meant when he said:


Quote
It sounds like he already knows how we are going to fund the Activity Center.


Potential for abuse?  Logical conclusion?  The voters will decide in August whether the safeguard against a “combination / double barrel bond” is worth having.

As to the potential of using any other method that would result in a lien on the land?  Mayor Swartwood was kind enough to address that himself:

Quote
Direct answer to your question the only recourse to the bond holders is to foreclose on the park which is deed restricted to only be a park.

In the Mayor's defense, he does state he would not proceed if it was a "remote possibility"  but, he does not rule out use of a "Combination Feature" to preclude that "remote possibility." He just precludes a lien on the land.   Again, a full copy is attached in .pdf below for context.

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/042418-email-from-swartwood-to-nossek.pdf


Again, the voters can decide the merits of the use of a "Double Barrel" bond without their direct input.

Your Money, Your Land, Your Vote.


(http://www.260chat.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftransparentpayson.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2Fshtgun2.jpg&hash=a0e6f2aaa8b34850e656a1083e3ff54d)



http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/rumsey-deed-sorted.pdf


* * *
This has also been cross posted here:
http://transparentpayson.org/updates/conjecture-speculation-potential-for-abuse-voters-will-decide/ (http://transparentpayson.org/updates/conjecture-speculation-potential-for-abuse-voters-will-decide/)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 10:36:09 AM
Now, there was more fun stuff.  But first, how about a Roundup roundup?

Some letters - all worth the click, or buy the subscription?

Letter from John Metzger:

(https://s15.postimg.cc/6uexfwei3/we_deserve_better.jpg)

https://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/we-deserve-better/article_d9f1ec6e-df88-5da0-affe-698c636ee2ee.html (https://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/we-deserve-better/article_d9f1ec6e-df88-5da0-affe-698c636ee2ee.html)

Letter from Tom Loeffler:

(https://s15.postimg.cc/aqs9c0hiz/plan_cautions.jpg)

https://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/park-plan-cautions/article_c9783f57-a776-526f-8bc8-055dfeee0388.html (https://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/park-plan-cautions/article_c9783f57-a776-526f-8bc8-055dfeee0388.html)

Good to see other voices. 

I expect to see an article Tuesday about the recent council meeting? 



Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 10:38:32 AM
So what did the Council vote?  Yes to both of the following.  Essentially funding via "Friends of Parks and Rec" and a $500,000 contract to CCP. 

http://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2018/06-14-18-A/H2Res3105.pdf

http://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2018/06-14-18-A/H3Res3106.pdf

Full steam ahead! 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 10:40:19 AM
It would have been good had the council spoken with a couple other places first?

That was worth its own thread -

Thank you again Michael Mills for the insight. 

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/take-a-look-at-wenatchee-wa-not-good!/ (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/take-a-look-at-wenatchee-wa-not-good!/)

Really, take a look!

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 10:47:56 AM
So, doing this, it can be a challenge.

We must be making an impact?

I don't know whether I am the boxer or the bag.

This week, I have been called:
 
1.   Agitator
2.   Stupid
3.   Carpetbagger
4.   Cave Dweller
5.   Californian

I have to confess, I have not quite figured out the last one.  Guilt by association?

That is just the ones I am aware of.  As an added bonus the Town of Payson has engaged "Special Counsel" to address me. (Discussed above)

I know some folks don't do the Facebook thing.  Here is one exchange, I have a typo or two, but you get the idea?

(https://s15.postimg.cc/yx2wmtyez/mary_kastner_-_facebook_061618.jpg)


Fortunately this is not about me.
  It is about letting citizens have input into their government. I figure the name callers may just be worried?  Maybe they don't want people to have input?  So lets concentrate on better things?

What ever happened to adults?  :o
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 11:20:39 AM
Back to our new found treasure trove of emails?

When we got the first bunch we noted that CCP was "Wagging the dog."  Fair enough, we all have agendas.  Just really seemed like a bad deal when Town officials were using a vendor's talking points? 

As a refresher, here is that discussion:

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3328/?topicseen#msg3328 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/hockey-in-payson/msg3328/?topicseen#msg3328)

So, new group?  It appears they were trying to "wag the Roundup" as well.  I know a lot of folks disagree with the Roundup at times.  But after finding this, and my experiences with the Roundup, I am confident they are doing the best they can. So much so, I did a whole piece on my impressions:

The Roundup: A Good and Healthy Thing (http://www.260chat.com/riding-the-high-horse-on-a-soap-box-(opinion-)/the-roundup-a-good-and-healthy-thing/).

So, read the following with an open mind, till you get to end?

So, here we go.......

It all occurred in October of last year, just about the time this all go going.  Now, the Roundup permitted CCP to have some input.  Nothing wrong with that, new concepts, terms, etc.  So, CCP made some "Redline Revisions"

Here we go:

October 13th - "Redlines"

(https://s15.postimg.cc/os48xjii3/101318_allen_email.jpg)

The attached word document reads as follows:

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Roundup-Article-10.11.pdf

The file name suggest it was a work in progress on 10-11-18?

Now curiously, Mayor Swartwood forwarded the email to "Mary Kastner"  The same lady above who calls me "stupid." 

Here you go:

(https://s15.postimg.cc/isl37cs5n/101318_forward_to_kastner.jpg)



Ms. Kastner then responds - "Great Edits" and the Mayor forwards that to Mr. Garrett.  Really, I kid you not!



(https://s15.postimg.cc/5bo4ona63/kastner_2.jpg)

I wonder if their is a connection there?   I bring this up because there are emails to the Town regarding the 26 acres behind walmart prior to the deal being announced.  Seems like Ms. Kastner has more than just a passing interest in this deal?

Don't believe me?  Here you go - check the dates......


(https://s15.postimg.cc/rh88f7nd7/prior_kastner.jpg)


That's cool, I am the "Stupid" one. 


So, the Redlines,  wow - that looks bad for the Roundup?  NOT SO FAST. 


Not. So. Fast.



Oh, on the 26 acres?  Yes, I think there is more there.  Do you? You know we revisit that sooner or later.    ;D 

Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 11:43:34 AM
Some more follow up October 16th:

(https://s15.postimg.cc/zdo49povf/101618_email_to_mayor.jpg)

And some further "revisions" on 10/16:

(https://s15.postimg.cc/wc1xdedy3/further_revisions.jpg)

Updated word document:

http://transparentpayson.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/updated-revisions.pdf

Compare and contrast if you care to?

Now, I agree that looks bad for the Roundup.   >:(

Wait for it,

wait for it.....

The Roundup did not take all the changes.   :)

Here you go - full read. 

https://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/work-on-parks-master-plan-begins/article_1e02c629-08c6-5b51-837c-4953b04c2c2d.html (https://www.paysonroundup.com/news/local/work-on-parks-master-plan-begins/article_1e02c629-08c6-5b51-837c-4953b04c2c2d.html)

Come to find out, that made some people, well, you decide how they felt?

(https://s15.postimg.cc/6j22gqxor/damage.jpg)

Quote
(D)isregarding their conversation with you not to.

Hmmmmm....  Guess not everything goes the way you expect sometimes?   ;)

So much for "wagging the Roundup?"


So, I called the Roundup.  I am confident they are in nobody's "back pocket."  Again, my thoughts on the Roundup can be found here:

The Roundup: A Good and Healthy Thing (http://www.260chat.com/riding-the-high-horse-on-a-soap-box-(opinion-)/the-roundup-a-good-and-healthy-thing/).


Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 01:08:42 PM
OK, enough torment for one day.  With luck I don't need to start a "Legal Defense" fund.   8)

Sure hope Mr. Figueroa does not see all of this.....

Wait.......

He follows us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/260Chat/)  You can too! 

(https://s15.postimg.cc/v62is4wyz/052918_mr_h_followed_us.jpg)



Time to walk the dog, and salvage out the weekend.   ;)
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Leonard Kravitz on June 17, 2018, 02:14:04 PM
May I make a suggestion? One might want to research a little history of the Prescott, Arizona, Tim's Toyota Town Ice Hockey Rink / Event Stadium and all it's financial woe's. FYI> https://www.dcourier.com/news/2010/oct/02/tims-toyota-center-turnaround-will-take-over-a-ye/
This was a 2006 article on the some of the debacle. I have been to the facility for a yearly gun show only. As of 2018 you might want see how much event activity and attendance actually takes place. Here is the 2018 list of remaining events scheduled. I see no ice hockey events.> http://prescottvalleyeventcenter.com/events I don't know how it was all financed, but some entity has lost a ton of money.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Leonard Kravitz on June 17, 2018, 02:33:33 PM
Just found this with little digging> https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2015/08/19/prescott-valley-events-center-files-bankruptcy/31957961/
Article briefly explains the "funding bond structure and who holds the bag now for the Bankruptcy of the facility> Sounds suspiciously similar to the projected Payson facility plan, minus the school private plans. You buyers of this Payson scheme should read and beware.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on June 17, 2018, 03:32:39 PM
Just found this with little digging> https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2015/08/19/prescott-valley-events-center-files-bankruptcy/31957961/
Article briefly explains the "funding bond structure and who holds the bag now for the Bankruptcy of the facility> Sounds suspiciously similar to the projected Payson facility plan, minus the school private plans. You buyers of this Payson scheme should read and beware.

Wow.  The AZ Central Story is worth the read.  The kicker?  Global Entertainment was involved in both Rio Rancho and Prescott.  Something tells me we get to learn more?

Quote
Problems from start

But the facility struggled from the beginning, hurt by the recession and later by litigation from bondholders, whose financing allowed the arena to be built. The bonds were issued by the Industrial Development Authority of Yavapai County and backed by sales taxes collected in a downtown section of Prescott Valley and by the arena’s operating income
.

Don't know if there is a connection to the current efforts, but the funding, revenue hopes, etc all sound the same?

http://www.260chat.com/town-government/take-a-look-at-wenatchee-wa-not-good!/msg4076/#msg4076 (http://www.260chat.com/town-government/take-a-look-at-wenatchee-wa-not-good!/msg4076/#msg4076)

Clearly need some more?  Nothing other than the plans, defaults, etc jumps out as a connection between all these plans.  Will be curious to see if there is a connection?
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Leonard Kravitz on June 19, 2018, 03:14:02 PM
Here is the end result (for now at least) >
https://www.pvtrib.com/news/2017/oct/06/breaking-judge-signs-pvec-bankruptcy-plan/

It explains what Prescott Valley Town is now on the hook for, and how it plans to pay off it's portion (can you say taxpayers $$$$) to the Bond holders!
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Leonard Kravitz on July 31, 2018, 11:08:56 AM
Well, it would appear the proponents of the Rumsey Park Plan, are in full swing now. Bad mouthing the council candidates and citizens who are skeptical and dare question. In the  letters to the editor  Friday July 27, their largest ally, is the Payson Roundup Newspaper. Apparently, the word limit restriction does not apply for them. But such is life. The words are clear. The battle is joined. Read  Town propositions 401 and 402 on your voter information pamphlet. Vote yes on both of them if you truly want any voice and control as to how the Town of Payson uses our public lands and dedicates our money to projects costing over 1 million dollars. The choice is a simple one.
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Leonard Kravitz on August 07, 2018, 03:01:18 PM
Mr. Moore of the Payson Varxity School / Rumsey plan fails to show up again at a scheduled public meeting to answer citizen questions? The public meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, at 5:30PM. One question I have not heard asked of him; how much of his "personal" finances is he individually putting up and contributing towards his own plan? His total projected amount? With his second no show,many are beginning to see a pattern develop. Do you think he and ccp might want to wait to see how the upcoming local council and propositions 401 & 402 turn out......DUH
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Jeffrey_Aal on August 14, 2018, 12:10:08 PM
We suspect there are a lot of folks sitting on the sideline pending the election? 
Title: Re: Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
Post by: Leonard Kravitz on August 15, 2018, 10:51:04 AM
So the major proponents cancelled the public meeting a week prior. Just could not make it? Then we are all told that it would happen in about sixty days. All of a sudden an "invitation only" takes place at the Rim Club last Wednesday. Hosted by the Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation at the exclusive Rim Club. Oh, and it was by invitation only! Payson taxpayers (naysayers) not wanted with their questions. Seems Mr. Moore was available to attend this one along with the CCP gang. Then it is revealed that apparently the property behind Walmart is no longer available for him to build his school for Hockey players. Can't wait to hear where the new build location will be. Maybe at the road to no where off hwy 260. LOL. The game of thrones is alive and well.