City Council held first meeting of 2019 on January 15
By Bill Van Nimwegen
At the Apache Junction City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, outgoing Councilman Dave Waldron was recognized for his years of service to the city of Apache Junction. Attendees were treated to some slides of Mr. Waldron in action over the years, and he was honored with a standing ovation by the council and audience. “The honor isn’t serving on the council, the honor is being able to run for public office,” Mr. Waldron remarked. “I wish you all the best in the future. I’ll be around. I’ll be back.”
City Clerk Kathy Connelly administered the oath of office to re-elected Mayor Jeff Serdy and to re-elected Councilmembers Gail Evans and Christa Rizzi and then to newly-elected Councilmember Robert Schroeder.
The council also selected Chip Wilson for another term as vice-mayor, and designated Robin Barker as acting mayor to serve during the absence of both the mayor and vice-mayor.
There was also a presentation, discussion, public hearing and consideration of the proposed Active Transportation Plan that was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission on Jan. 8. The City Council approved the plan 7-0. The plan will serve as a tool for an integrated way to connect comfortable facilities for bicyclists, pedestrians, equestrians and other non-motorized modes of transportation within Apache Junction. It includes sidewalks and trails. In some cases, vehicle lane reductions will be necessary to accommodate the additions.
One of the controversies with the plan concerns taking two lanes away from Superstition Boulevard. The plan recommends further investigation with traffic studies to determine if the concept is viable and safe.
Throughout the discussion, the council established that what they were voting on was more conceptual than practical and that further study would be needed. “This is not set in concrete, it is just a suggested plan,” said Councilwoman Barker. She explained that all of the steps will be considered before any action is taken.
Sharon Stinard of the Apache Junction Focal Point Committee led a presentation and discussion. She introduced ideas for the 2022 100-Year Founders Day Celebration. Plans include a year-round celebration by the city, businesses, the museum and schools. Those interested in participating were encouraged to call Braden Biggs at 573-586-8787.
The council approved, 7-0, an application for a special event liquor license for Salt River Wild Horse Management Corporation, 2910 W. Apache Trail, for the Superstition Harley-Davidson event on Saturday, January 26, 2019.
They also approved, 7-0, Resolution No. 18-33, granting extinguishments on portions of public roadway easements located on Acacia Road from Pioneer Street to Smoketree Street and Pioneer Street from Cortez Road to Acacia.
The City Council discussed removal of Steve Kridler from the Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as Braden Biggs from the Board of Adjustment and Appeals, if they do not communicate their recusal from any current or future matters involving the Hitching Post/Mehmood Mohiuddin. This item died for lack of a motion.
Direction was given to staff on creating a code of conduct applicable to the council, board and commission members. Staff was asked to bring several examples of such codes back to the council. The item passed 7-0.
Council gave direction to staff on proposed Ordinance No. 1469, amending Apache Junction City Code, Volume I, Chapter 4, Fees, by repealing Article 4-4, Planning, Zoning Review And Subdivision Fees, Sections 4-4-1 through 4-4-12, in its entirety; renaming the article to “Development Services Fees,” adopting new provisions to replace those noted above and establishing an effective date and a revolving sixty month review period. Staff presented proposed fees based on the discussion held at the December 17, 2018 City Council Work Session. The ordinance was approved 7-0.
Photo above: At the City Council meeting on January 15, City Clerk Kathy Connelly administered the oath of office to (left to right) Mayor Jeff Serdy and to Councilmembers Gail Evans, Christa Rizzi and Robert Schroeder. City of AJ photos