Local Non-Profits Receive $78,000 in City Support

City Council also recognizes AJ Parks Superintendent Nick Blake

By Bill Van Nimwegen

At their June 19 meeting, the Apache Junction City Council awarded $78,000 in funding contracts to local non-profits that will provide health and human services to the city’s residents.

By a vote of 6-1, with Councilman Jeff Struble voting no, council members approved awarding funding contracts between the city of Apache Junction and Apache Junction Food Bank ($33,000); the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley, Superstition Mountain Branch ($29,000); and Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) ($16,000).

At the request of their agency representative, a $2,000 contract with United Way of Pinal County for a literacy program through the Dolly Parton Imagination Program was declined.

At their May 15 regular meeting, the council had directed staff to bring the contracts back for consideration on the June 19 consent agenda.

Although Councilman Struble had voted to approve the city budget the night before, which included $80,000 for 2018-2019 human services funding contracts, he did not vote yes on the June 19 consent agenda.

During the roll call vote, Struble began to explain his vote and open a new discussion on the merits of Apache Junction financially supporting the non-profits, which he opposes. He was interrupted by Councilwoman Christa Rizzi as a point of order. “We’ve had this discussion, and this is a time to vote. We’ve gone over this many times,” she said. Mayor Jeff Serdy asked Councilman Struble for a brief summary. “I will finish up in a few sentences so that in the future anyone else who makes a statement about their vote can be censored, too,” Struble said.

His no vote was also applied to the three other consent agenda items, including a contract with Cactus Asphalt street crack sealing; an intergovernmental agreement with Pinal County for commercial driver license testing services; and an intergovernmental agreement for data access/exchange between the Apache Junction Police Department and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The three health and human service agencies will receive the funds in quarterly disbursements, contingent upon timely and rigorous reporting of the previous quarter’s expenditures.

According to the contracts, Apache Junction Food Bank will provide city residents—individuals and families—with nutritional emergency and supplemental food from donated sources and the United Food Bank.

The Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley, Superstition Mountain Branch will provide to city residents the Project Learn program as a means of educational enhancement.

Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) will provide to city residents intervention services for individuals and families affected by domestic abuse, including empowerment sessions, legal advocacy services and general advocacy services.

City Council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at https://apachejunction.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Photo above: One June 19, the city presented a 25-year Service Award to Nick Blake, superintendent of Parks and Recreation. Since 1993, his talent as a landscape architect was applied to award-winning projects all over the city, including the Focal Point, Aquatic and Multi-Gen Centers, Prospector Park, Silly Mountain and Flatiron Park. Pictured above, left to right, are Parks and Rec. Director Liz Langenbach, Mr. Blake, Mayor Jeff Serdy and City Manager Bryant Powell.

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