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Hockey Prep School in Payson? Or Town funding boondoggle?
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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.



Again, full .pdf is attached. 

All in all, a grand day at the mail box. 

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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...









We will see if that can clear up / help find some of the missing documents?



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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.


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March 14, 2018, 05:22:38 PM
Long as we are gung ho on letters today.    Lets knock out the Forest Service. 



They are very helpful there. 

Full .pdf attached

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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!

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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.   ;)

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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? 







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? 




As always, full document attached in .pdf format. 

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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! 




As always, full  .pdf is attached.  Go go "transparency"    ;)

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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. 


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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:



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. 




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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.   



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April 05, 2018, 10:41:57 AM


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/

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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. 



 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

Also, Town Hall Meeting planed.  Transparent Payson had a shout out. 



Full article here:

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. 

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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. 



Maybe the Ombudsman? 

Full letter in .pdf attached.  (As always)

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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?





Full .pdf attached.

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