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Website shows how Arizona cities deliver services

PHOENIX -- There's a new way to find how Arizona cities are improving without breaking their budget.

It's as close as your smartphone or computer.

"We have a website where residents and community members can go and look at community events, find out some of the innovative things that their cities are working on, and hear from their council members and city staff about the great things that their cities are doing for them, said Samantha Wolmer, a spokeswoman for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The League's Deputy Director, Tom Belshe, says many cities are trying to cut costs while still delivering innovative services. For example, Goodyear has gone green with one of its fire stations.

"They did innovative energy and lighting uses as well as heating and cooling operations," said Belshe. "They took advantage of federal grants that are available for these types of things to make the city facilities more energy efficient."

Belshe also likes what libraries in Tempe have done to compete with local bookstores.

"They added things like a small café, where people can go in and get coffee," Belshe said. "They did that because one of the things that the private companies that sell books have done is create that atmosphere where you can kind of sit down, relax, have a cup of coffee, and read books."

The league is also recognizing El Mirage for making things more efficient by consolidating its' trash and recycle services.

You can check out the website at

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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