Negotiations Update

Originally posted Sept 30, 2013

Negotiation began in January, 2013.  We submitted 25 proposals.

1.            The city to increase wages $2.50 for all covered employees

2.            All-time to be considered in those calculations of overtime, which includes holiday pay, comp-time, sick-time as time worked.

3.            Stand-by pay to be calculated at federal minimum wage level of $7.80 per hour.

4.            Out of class pay shall be paid whenever the full range of duties and responsibilities of higher classifications are met.

5.            Health and Dental insurance for AFSCME to audit and review benefited proposals using our own agent.

6.            The city to continue the health and dental plans for retirees to the same cost as unit personnel.

7.            Article 13 Wages; to reinstate each merit step increase to be equivalent to, two and one half percent (2.5%) step increase for a maximum of five percent (5%) and pay scale.

8.          Increase each shift differential pay scale.

9.            Increase personal leave

10.          Increase sick leave for anyone working 4/10 from 8 to 10 hours.

11.          To maintain seniority if rehired within 12 months.

12.          To cash out twice per year after 5 years of service maintain a minimum of 120 hours, (mirroring other bargaining units).

13.          Increase safety boot allowance to $300.00 a year.

14.          Cesar Chavez floating holiday to be recognized as a fixed holiday.

15.          Full-time pay for trainers.  Employees assigned as lead field training personnel will receive the regular rate plus 5% of their base pay for FTO Assignment pay, upon successful completion o f the certification requirement for FTO employees assigned as part-time FTO’s will receive their regular rate of pay plus 7.5% for hours worked in the FTO capacity.

16.          Increase shift differential pay and increase of ICMA contributions.

17.          Employees’ sick time payout for employees who have accumulated a minimum of 200 hours of sick time leave at the time of retirement should be allowed to cash it out at 100%.

18.          Employee shall be covered by the “WHISTLEBLOWER ACT”

19.          Certification pay will continue to be paid according to current department scales.

20.          Any change to job description will be allowed. At contract negotiations, employee has a right to get a cost adjustment for the increased work load.

21.          Vacations will not be able to be interrupted within 20 days by a more senior person

22.          Increase bilingual pay.

23.          Over-time rest period to be increased from 6 to 8 or 10 hours depending on work schedule.

24.          The City to supply winter wears annually.

25.          Formal grievance procedure will not include the city attorney unless it is the city manager’s decision to do this.



City accepted three of the 25.   They originally signed Tentative Agreements on 4 proposals.

11.          To maintain seniority if rehired within 12 months.

22.          Increase bilingual pay.

Bereavement Leave extended.   (Proposal we added later on in negotiations)

23.          Over-time rest period to be increased from 6 to 8 or 10 hours depending on work schedule


They signed a tentative agreement on additional Vacation time but at the very next meeting they took it back.

They also agreed to some of the language in the “Whistle blower “proposal, saying they would clean up the language for the next meeting.  At the next meeting they advised they were no longer interested in this proposal.


City offered 3.1/2 percent raise for employees who were not topped out and a lump sum of $850.00 one time payment to all employees not topped out but we didn’t accept that offer.  We fought for 7 months and City refused to give any movement.    They even brought in what they called a facilitator to the last couple of meetings before we declared Impasse.  During the beginning of negotiations we found out the COPPS (Police Sgt. Union) had been offered a bonus if they signed their contract first but didn’t offer this is any of the other unions.  COPPS is a union for management, funny how they got a sign on bonus but no one else did.


We served City Manager three Unfair Labor Practices:

1.  Continuing to harass an employee that had just won a grievance against the management for not paying her overtime.

2. COPPS were offered a bonus when no one else was given the same consideration?

3. Changing wording in our M.O.U without our permission.


Randy was pulled aside by a Council member who told him that the council had come to a positive agreement on the wage increase for AFSCME and they were just asking that there would be no problems.   We had the Chief of Police, Lieutenants and Sergeants monitoring our every move.  We believed the Councilman’s word and trusted him.  Unfortunately they still voted against us but what people don’t understand is that no matter what we did this was going to be the outcome.

Some people said Randy should have said more. Randy said more than enough as he was very respectful to Council and spoke in a professional manner.  The expectation was stereotypical on their part as perceiving that Union people are uneducated, uncouth and non professional. What President Cordero showed was respect, knowledge in which the City didn’t seem prepared. All union members attending presented themselves with dignity and pride!

We need to come together as one to be better preparing for the next time!  We have more and more people joining as they’re understand how important it is to get involved. We need to fight for our own wages, work conditions and get family and friends involved for the upcoming elections, which will take place the New Year. We have a say on the upcoming Mayor and Council election, so get involve and be heard. Positive results will come when you get involved!

We need you to support your union and your contract.

These three councilmen voted in our favor.

Acacia – Tony Rivero (Vice Mayor):  Office# 623-773-7538

Pine – Carlo Leone:  Office# 623-773-7538

Palo Verde – Ron Aames: Office# 623-773-7328



These four councilmen voted against us. 

Willow – Jon Edwards:  Office# (623) 773-7328

Mesquite – Cathy Carlat: Office# (623) 773-7306

Ironwood – Bill Patena: Office# (623)-773-5133

Mayor – Bob Barret: Office# (623)-773-7368

You all have a voice, talk to your friend and family and tell them how the same four voted for to give a failing business in the City of Peoria 350,000.00 to keep them in business,  the city already provides them the building and they just pay $1.00 a year to rent the building, the city also provides another $80,000.00 per year to maintain the grounds.  The Director of this business pays himself $80,000.00.   These Councilmen gave them free money but didn’t see anything wrong with allowing some of our members to continue to live at poverty level.  Some of us are making less money now than we did five years ago.  Do your family and friends want their taxes to be used in this manner?


The 5% raise they keep taking about that we got last year, well not all got that 5%, some only needed two cents before reaching the topped out level, add to that the rise in medical premiums rate of about 3.45% and another .40% increase for ASRS retirement and you actually got paid less money than the four-five years before.



Council votes 4-3 to reject employee union offer

By CAROLYN DRYER, Editor | Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013 1:41 pm

It was a packed house, with most of the seats taken by City of Peoria employees and friends who are members of AFSCME, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They sat quietly and listened as Deputy City Manager Jeff Tyne explained the city’s position when it comes to employee raises.

Tyne explained the city’s financial position, saying revenues are slowly recovering, there has been a 15-percent budget reduction, and at the same time an attempt to avoid a burden on the workforce.

He said Peoria is above the benchmark when it comes to comparing its employee salaries with other cities and towns. Going forward, Tyne said, the city anticipates an annual growth of 3.2 percent. He said actual salaries of AFSCME employees are 6 percent over benchmark comparisons.

Council, after much debate and two failed amendments – one by Councilmember Ron Aames, one by Councilmember Carlo Leone – voted 4-3 to give AFSCME members a 3.5 percent raise this year and next year. The last offer from AFSCME, Tyne said, was $1.50 per hour for all members.

Tyne and Human Resources Director Julie Ayers made a PowerPoint presentation that broke down all of the numbers. They told council and audience members that the current average AFSCME salary is $45,880. Ayers said the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Statistics reported $23,497 annual salary is the poverty level for a family of four in 2012.

Vice Mayor Tony Rivero asked Ayers to talk about the process and asked why it took 18 sessions with the union. He also asked for clarification on how the 3.5 percent salary increase was reached.

Leone asked when negotiations began and ended, how many hours a day.

Chris Calcaterra, sports facilities manager for the city, who sat on the city staff negotiating team, told Leone they met 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each session, and some days until 4:30 p.m.

“Mornings, we reviewed notes and several lists every day,” Calcaterra said.

When Leone asked how many years AFSCME went without a pay raise when the economy went into a recession, he was told three years, and that in 2012, they received a 5-percent pay increase.

AFSCME Peoria President Randy Cordero said all the union was asking for was “a fair and equitable wage for everyone.”

He said percentages hurt quite a bit on the lower end. He mentioned a number of employees at the poverty level.

“If you continue to do that, they will never rise to that higher level,” he said. “Reward your loyal, good, long-standing employees.”

Councilmember Bill Patena said the city had a finite amount of money, and that “in many ways, we’re doing a balancing act.”

Patena calculated the raises given last year (5 percent), plus this year (3.5 percent), and next year (3.5 percent) and concluded they added up to 12 percent over three years. He noted both sides had “been at it now seven months and made no headway.” He made the motion for the 3.5 percent raise, and Councilmember Cathy Carlat seconded.

That is when the amendments were offered. Aames agreed with the union that 3.5 percent was unfair, and acknowledged the union’s desire to have a dollar amount increase instead of a percentage. He suggested for employees not topped out a 75-cent-per-hour increase with $850 over the course of a year instead of in a lump sum for those employees whose salaries were topped out.

Carlat said she felt that was a bad policy to put in place. The amendment failed 5-2, with Rivero joining Aames in favor.

Leone’s suggestion was also in dollars instead of percentages. He offered $1 per hour per person increase for two years, with $1,000 to employees whose salaries were topped out, plus back pay of $1,000 per year for two years.

Rivero commented that his first two years on council he “always made citizens my priority.”

He said he sympathized with the AFSCME employees, citing the fact that they were custodians, they picked up trash, and they don’t get noticed. He said at times, the council has supported theaters not in the best interest of citizens.

Leone said AFSCME employees have gone two or three years without getting a raise.

“They didn’t make any fuss,” Leone said. “They took it on the chin. What they have done for the city, we should do for them.”

Audience members clapped at his remarks, at which time, Mayor Bob Barrett harshly warned he did not want to empty council chambers.

Tyne said the cost to city for what the union (and Leone) is asking would be considerably more than $1 million of ongoing costs instead of $573,000 the first year.

Leone’s amendment also failed by a 5-2 vote, with Rivero joining Leone.

That brought the council back to the original motion, which passed 4-3, with Leone, Rivero and Aames the dissenting votes.

After the AFSCME members filed out of the council meeting, they gathered outside to discuss their situation.

AFSCME’s Cordero said the vote showed the council “has no respect for their city employees. It clearly shows customer satisfaction was not adhered to. They acted on management recommendations.”

He said the costs given by management was nowhere close to the true cost, saying it would not be $1 million; rather $880,000.

Cordero mentioned the $350,000 given to Theater Works to help in its operations, then called what management did during the meeting “a contrived effort to sit there and show disrespect for this union. They have no respect for their assets.”

“The $1 million-plus is an outright lie,” Cordero said. “They lied to council. These politicians that voted against us have no respect for us.”



Highest and lowest wages in city

By CAROLYN DRYER, Editor | Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:47 pm

City council and AFSCME (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees) representatives faced off Tuesday during a regular meeting after months of unsuccessful negotiations.

There were no threats of strikes; by law, the city employees are prohibited from going on strike. (Because the council meeting took place after this newspaper went to press, the report on the council meeting will be published in our Sept. 27 issue, and posted online by Sept. 20.)

In the meantime, Julie Ayers, human resources director for the City of Peoria, provided the following information concerning the lowest and highest range of pay for regular, benefited classifications.

The lowest range of the city’s regular, benefited classifications is AFSCME 310 ($22,110 to $29,736) and contains the position Recreation Specialist I. The city’s lowest full-time Recreation Specialist I earns $29,736. The lowest-paid full-time benefited employee with the city earns $27,667. This position is in a higher pay grade than listed in the pay range schedule, and is a custodian position, but lower in the assigned range.

The highest range of the city’s regular, benefited classifications is Executive Pay Plan D4 ($130,000 to $195,000) and contains the position Deputy City Manager. The highest paid Deputy City Manager earns $174,695. The City Manager, City Attorney and City Judge are under contract with the city council and are not assigned to pay ranges.

The city has a contingent “Misty Worker” at minimum wage who is the water drop mascot that attends environmental events.


June 4, 2013  Council Meeting Minutes -  Voting against Theatre Work

18R. Lease Agreement Amendment, Theater Works

Jeff Tyne, Deputy City Manager, presented an overview of a proposed amendment to

the lease agreement with Theater Works regarding the use of the Peoria Center for the

Performing Arts. Information included:

· History of the agreement with Theater Works

· Other theater arrangements in Central Arizona

· Recent discussions and activity

· Financial challenges facing Theater Works

Mr. Tyne noted that the Theater Works Board has requested $200,000 in one-time

funding to assist with current funding requirements and an additional $150,000 in onetime

funding to support their operations in Fiscal Year 2014.

City Council Meeting Minutes

June 4, 2013

Page 8 of 14

Mr. Tyne highlighted the City’s interests outlined in the proposed amended lease

agreement. Information included:

· Number of days for City access increased from 12 to 20

· Participation in City-affiliated events

· Three different performance series during the next 16 months

· Theater Works to promote defined events showcasing cultural diversity

· Periodic updates regarding the status of the Theater’s workplan, financial

condition and performance measures

· Continued support to special population groups

Discussion ensued regarding:

· Financial support to Theater Works to date

· Performance-based funding options

· Return on investment

John Buonagurio, Board Chairman of Theater Works, addressed Council and provided

a history of the organization. Mr. Buonagurio also discussed the financial challenges

Theater Works has experienced.

Dan Schay, Executive Director of Theater Works, addressed Council detailing

performances scheduled for the upcoming season.

Thom Gyder, spoke in support of Theater Works and the Peoria Center for the

Performing Arts.

Motion was made by Councilmember Carlat, seconded by Councilmember Carlat, to

approve an amended lease agreement with Theater Works regarding Fiscal Year 2014

funding, terms for facility maintenance and programming opportunities.

Upon vote, the motion failed 4 to 3, with Vice Mayor Rivero, Councilmembers Aames,

Edwards and Leone voting “no”.


City Manager  and Mr. Tyne put this back on the Agenda for another vote for the very next  Council Meeting and this time it was passed by one vote.  Ask yourself why City Manager and Mr. Tyne worked so hard to pass this when the employees who actually contribute to the City only deserve 3.5% or a on time lump sum of $850.00 for loyalty, hard work and dedication . 




New Business:

23R. Reconsideration of Lease Agreement Amendment, Theater Works

Mayor Barrett explained that the agenda item requesting approval of an amended lease

agreement with Theater Works failed at the June 4, 2013, City Council Meeting; and

only those members of Council who were on the prevailing side may make a motion for


Motion was made by Councilmember Edwards, seconded by Councilmember Patena, to

reconsider City Council action taken on Agenda Item 18R on June 4, 2013.

Upon vote, the motion carried 4 to 3 with Vice Mayor Rivero, Councilmember Aames

and Councilmember Leone voting “no”.

Jeff Tyne, Deputy City Manager, recapped the history of the agreement and recent

discussions with Theater Works’ leadership. Mr. Tyne reported that the Theater Works

Board requested $200,000 in one-time funding to assist with current funding

requirements and an additional $150,000 in one-time funding to support their operations

in Fiscal Year 2014. Mr. Tyne reviewed the terms and conditions contained in the

proposed amendment to the lease agreement. Information included:

· Number of days for City access increased from 12 to 20

· Participation in seven City-affiliated events

· Three different performance series during the next 16 months

· Theater Works to promote defined events showcasing cultural diversity

City Council Meeting Minutes

June 18, 2013

Page 9 of 15

· Periodic updates regarding the status of the Theater’s workplan, financial

condition and key performance measures

· Continued support for programs related to youth, seniors and the

developmentally disabled

Motion was made by Councilmember Edwards, seconded by Councilmember Patena, to

approve the proposed amended lease agreement with Theater Works, provide

$200,000 in one-time funding immediately and $150,000 in Fiscal Year 2014 subject to

reviews being conducted by staff and brought to Council in October 2013 for the release

of the additional funds.

Councilmember Leone amended the motion to have the City assume responsibility for

the building and maintenance of the facility, including the utilities, estimated at $140,000

per year; provide one-time funding in the amount of $160,000 to allow Theater Works to

pay off its current credit line and utility bill; Theater Works would not request additional

funding from the City in the future; and the number of days for City access to the facility

be increased from 12 to 20. The amended motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Rivero.

Upon vote, the amended motion failed 6 to 1 with Mayor Barrett, Vice Mayor Rivero,

Councilmember Aames, Councilmember Carlat, Councilmember Edwards and

Councilmember Patena voting “no”.

Discussion ensued regarding taxpayers’ monetary support of Theater Works since its

inception in 2006 and Theater Works’ obligation to market itself.

Councilmember Aames amended the motion to approve the proposed amended lease

agreement with Theater Works; provide $200,000 in one-time funding immediately; City

staff to conduct a review of Theater Works’ operations in December 2013; a request for

$150,000 in Fiscal Year 2014 to be submitted to Council for approval, if needed, based

on the reviews conducted by staff in December if Theater Works demonstrates selfsufficiency;

and City staff to recommend an alternative plan to the Council in the event it

is determined the theater cannot demonstrate self-sufficiency.

The amended motion died for lack of a second.

Upon vote, the main motion to approve the proposed amended lease agreement with

Theater Works, provide $200,000 in one-time funding immediately and $150,000 in

Fiscal Year 2014 subject to reviews being conducted by staff and brought to Council in

October 2013 for the release of the additional funds carried 5 to 2 with Vice Mayor

Rivero and Councilmember Leone voting “no”.


Clerk’s Note: Councilmember Aames abstained from voting. In accordance with

Article II, Section 18, of the Peoria City Charter, should the mayor or

councilmember fail to vote, his vote shall be counted with the majority vote on the



Second chance vote successful for Theater Works

By CAROLYN DRYER | Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 3:30 am

A review would not label Tuesday night’s encore presentation of Theater Works’ request for funds a “smash hit.” But, the curtain did not come down for the last time, giving the local community theater company some breathing room, or at least by some observers, a chance for the struggling organization to become self-sufficient.

After Mayor Bob Barrett explained the process of reconsideration of the agenda item that was voted down last week, Councilmember Jon Edwards made a motion to reconsider the Theater Works request for funds. Discussion was short, and the vote was taken to reconsider with Edwards, Councilmembers Bill Patena and Cathy Carlat, and Mayor Barrett voting yes, while Vice Mayor Tony Rivero and Councilmembers Ron Aames and Carlo Leone voted no. The next step was to vote on the lease agreement with Theater Works again.

Deputy City Manager Jeff Tyne gave a history of the agreement, citing Theater Works as the master tenant responsible for all utilities and upkeep, with the city paying $80,000 per year for maintenance. Theater Works has requested a one-time $200,000 payment from the city immediately, plus an additional $150,000 after July 1. Tyne mentioned the discussion by Edwards and Patena that they would like to see the $150,000 held back until after a review of the theater company’s finances and programming.

Tyne said part of the stipulation should be Theater Works submit for review its approved board meeting minutes.

The staff recommendation this time around was to give Theater Works $200,000 immediately with $150,000 available in fiscal year 2013-2014 following a review of programming, approved minutes and other improvements to its operation.

When Edwards asked about a timeframe for review, Tyne said it would be bi-monthly, beginning in September, when city staff would meet with Theater Works leadership, then report to council in October. Edwards asked if there would be council option on the $150,000 if Theater Works did not live up to benchmarks, and Tyne responded in the affirmative. At that time, Edwards made a motion to approve the staff recommendation.

More discussion followed, with Rivero emphasizing his and council’s support of the theater. But he argued that the 20-year lease in place charges Theater Works just $1 per year while taxpayers pay $85,000 a year for maintenance, and paid $346,000 in 2008. When the 20 years is up, he said taxpayers will have paid anywhere from $750,000 to $800,000 for the theater to operate.

“The city does support the theater with district funds,” Rivero said. “The question is, is the business model sustainable?”

He said the answer was that it was not sustainable and staff has said more money is needed. He said what was being presented was short-term when what was needed was a long-term solution. Rivero said the downtown has needed revitalization for years, and Theater Works was supposed to help that, but that since 2006, when it opened, the downtown is still suffering.

“At a time when citizens are suffering, this is not the right approach,” Rivero said.

Councilmembers Leone and Aames each presented amendments to Edwards’ motion, but both were turned down by council votes.

Leone proposed the city give Theater Works a break by paying all the utilities and maintenance yearly, which total about $140,000, plus give the theater company $150,000 now to pay off its credit line with Wells Fargo, plus $10,000 to pay its current utility bill.

“I also want to make sure Theater Works doesn’t come back to the city for more money,” Leone said.

With Leone’s amendment, at the end of 14 years, the city would end up paying $2.020 million.

Aames’ proposal was $200,000 down with a December review of Theater Works’ operation, but have the city staff come up with a Plan B if a review shows the theater company cannot demonstrate self-sufficiency. He said if the council becomes aware Theater Works cannot achieve self-sufficiency, there would be no additional funds. But he said if it is self-sufficient, it did not need the funds. This motion died for lack of a second.

Following that, Patena said in his talks with people following the publicity about Theater Works’ predicament, response was “overwhelmingly positive.”

He asked why, with the rehabilitation of Wagoner Plaza I and II, the city would want to close the theater. He said the city has an obligation to taxpayers to demonstrate good stewardship of tax dollars. But, he said Theater Works also has an obligation to market itself, be more diverse and take its shows on the road to schools.

Patena looked around council chambers and said, “It is also the responsibility to citizens to support Theater Works. This is not a district issue, it’s a city issue.”

Rivero said he wanted to “respectfully respond” to Patena, emphasizing he was not advocating for the theater to go dark.

“My goal is to have a sustainable theater, whether Theater Works or someone else,” Rivero said.

After that statement, the vote was taken, with a 4-3 approval. Aames abstained, Rivero and Leone voted no.

Theater Works issued a statement June 19, thanking the council for its support. Executive director Daniel Schay said the theater company has continued to operate by not raising tickets prices for its patrons, which resulted in it going “into the red.”

“We have continued to be a performing arts hub for the community and provide the same opportunities to our fellow Peorians,” Schay said. “With the help of the city, we can recover financially and expand our service to Peoria.”

For more information about Theater Works, call the box office at 623-815-7930, or visit



City rejects AZ Broadway Theatre offer

By CAROLYN DRYER, Editor | Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 12:00 am

It was a packed, standing-room-only crowd at Tuesday’s city council meeting, the majority of which were present to support Arizona Broadway Theatre. On the agenda was a discussion of ABT’s ground lease agreement with the city, which owns the land where the theater is built.

The arrangement began in 2003, when ABT signed an agreement to pay 48 cents a square foot, with the total of $2.4 million scheduled over the term of the lease. In 2007, an amended agreement was signed, and there have been four subsequent amendments since then, the last one in March 2012. The current agreement ended with ABT paying no rent through March. The original land lease terms had ABT paying $6,000 per month for 25 years.

At Tuesday’s meeting, options going forward were discussed, including an option for a path to ownership for ABT. This would involve the city selling the land to KLOS, the investment partner of ABT.

Deputy City Manager Jeff Tyne said at this point, city staff is going ahead with the current agreement.

ABT CEO Kiel Laphake gave a breakdown of the theater and its vision. He said KLOS is the financer of the theater, and that no taxpayer dollars were used in the construction of the theater (Klaphake, his wife Cassandra, and his parents are the owners of KLOS). He said ABT was a nonprofit that has a vision for the future. Klaphake also said ABT not only represented a contributor to the arts for the city, and a meeting place, but was also an economic generator for the city.

Klaphake said he wanted to clarify some misconceptions, that ABT was not asking taxpayers to give anything away.

“We’re simply asking to operate as we have without further impediments,” he said. “My board wants control. KLOS wants to pay off its debts and get out of town. The city wants us all to succeed.”

He said ABT wants a path to ownership, and KLOS is willing to sell the building to ABT below market value, and that a sale was definitely in the realm of possibility. He asked council to keep the current lease in place while ABT and KLOS worked out a sales agreement.

“My job as custodian of this theater is to do what is best for this community,” Klaphake said. “The work we do is valuable.”

A member of the ABT board of directors told council ABT was “unquestionably the finest theater in Arizona.”

Another ABT supporter voiced concerns about children’s programs going away, and he wanted to keep the theater’s “strong artistic” presence in the community.

Cassandra Klaphake, artistic director and co-owner of ABT, said she and her husband came to Peoria 12 years ago to raise a family, and they now have a loyal family of 200 dedicated volunteers and 1,500 subscribers.

“They are my family, and we are Peoria,” she said.

She, too, asked for support from the council for the ABT’s proposal.

All of the calls for support, however, did not influence council’s final decision.

Although she said, “I am very proud of what ABT has brought to Peoria,” Councilmember Cathy Carlat added, “but we are not talking simply about heart.”

She said council must address business, city needs, taxpayer dollars, and obligations.

“While the ABT is stealing our heart away, there are for-profit investors making money” while there is a deficiency, Carlat said. “That’s where I have trouble moving forward. We have shown a lot of good faith. There’s a group of investors (KLOS). We don’t know what they’re paid. So, I don’t have enough information to make a decision.”

Councilmember Bill Patena said, “There’s more than just entertainment here. We have citizens who may not be as passionate about the arts as you are. The city simply said the proposal before us was not good enough. Nobody wants to see ABT go.”

Councilmember Ron Aames was not as kind.

He said, “There are other entities. We can’t have everybody coming here and saying, ‘bail us out.’ We haven’t seen anything from KLOS, a private entity. The offer brought to us was a very poor offer.”

Vice Mayor Tony Rivero, who said he had worked with ABT the last two years, said the city was very large, and there are “not a lot of residents I represent who go to ABT. But I’m open to a middle ground approach protecting citizens.”

Councilmember Jon Edwards said, “I’m in favor of the arts as well. What we need to do is work out an agreement.”

But Edwards, too, wanted more information.

Councilmember Carlo Leone said he was a season-ticket holder eight years, but also wanted more information.

Mayor Bob Barrett said the city has “kicked the can down the road” by not collecting rent. But, he said they also need to consider ABT employs 350 people and collects sales taxes. Saying he understands the West Valley and City of Peoria does not want ABT to close its doors, he suggested the theater start paying $1,000 per month rent and open the books to the city. He said the commercial piece, KLOS, should be out of ABT.

Aames said $1,000 a month was not acceptable. He wanted “noticeably more than that,” and also noted he has not seen full disclosure.

Carlat agreed with Barrett on removing KLOS from the picture.

Edwards made a motion to require ABT to pay $2,000 per month for a six-month period to allow for continued negotiations for a contract, and have city staff take a look at it.

Aames objected to the $2,000 figure, citing the Challenger Center’s request for financial help and did not get a penny from the city.

But, the majority of council approved the $2,000 figure by a 4-3 vote, with Aames, Leone and Rivero dissenting.


Peoria Center for the Performing Arts

In 2007 the city of Peoria completed construction of the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. Designed by the architectural firm Westlake Reed Leskosky, this $13 million facility is the cornerstone of a five year downtown revitalization project that will eventually bring retail, residential and business additions to our downtown.

The Peoria Center for the Performing Arts is a joint venture with the city of Peoria and Theater Works. Through a 20 year lease agreement, Theater Works will serve as the anchor tenant and operate the 20,000 square foot building. The Peoria Center for the Arts consists of a 280 seat main stage auditorium, an 80+ seat black box theater, classrooms, elegant lobby, dressing rooms, backstage support areas and office space for Theater Works.

Understanding the importance of arts on economic impact and development, the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts will bring not only award winning community theater to the downtown area, but also kids programming with summer camps, a traveling “Youth Readers Theater” program and special events throughout the year. Ongoing tours are also available of the facility on a monthly basis.

For more information on Theater Works, as well as shows, programming, special events and tours at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts go to or call the Box Office at (623) 815-7930.

Peoria Center for the Performing Arts
8355 West Peoria Avenue
Peoria, Arizona 85345