City of Phoenix Manager’s Message: Budget Update & “Thank You”

[Source: City of Phoenix]

This message was sent to all City of Phoenix e-mail users:

Dear fellow employees:

As you know, last Sunday was the Super Bowl. As millions of Americans spent the day enjoying the big game, a Water Services crew was busy repairing a water main break at 48th Street and Charleston Avenue.

Few motorists paid attention to the city crew as they worked in the cold and dark to fix the leak. But one person noticed, and he took the time to send the city an e-mail, which says:

“I would like to thank the crew of the City Water Department who came out yesterday (Sunday) because of a water main break and stayed into the late evening to get it repaired. Then, they came back this morning and cleaned up the mud in front of our home as a result of that break. They did a great job and I’m much appreciative of their efforts.”

I, too, appreciate their efforts and the efforts of all our city employees. I know you work long hours, weekends and even some holidays to serve the community. Even if you have an 8-to-5 schedule, you’re probably checking your Blackberries, responding to pages or taking phone calls throughout the evening. Many of you probably attend community meetings at night or staff facilities that are open late. I have no doubt that some of you have missed out on important family events and celebrations because you had a job to do serving the residents of Phoenix.

The city has formal programs, such as the Employee Excellence Awards and the Employee Suggestion Program, to recognize city employees. However, there’s nothing like a heartfelt “thank you” from a customer or resident. I’m pleased to share a few more recent examples:

  • Solid Waste Equipment Operator Adrian Lopez received a special Christmas card from a little customer, a boy who is fascinated with garbage trucks. Adrian always takes the time to honk and wave to the little boy each time he passes the house. To show her gratitude, the boy’s Mom made a Christmas card especially for Adrian.
  • An Arizona Republic reader recently commended an unidentified Phoenix Police officer who bought breakfast for a homeless man who had entered a restaurant to ask for directions. “The homeless man thanked the officer, who seemed embarrassed by the attention,” the reader wrote in a letter to the newspaper. “I felt it was important to pass on this kind gesture of one of Phoenix’s finest.”
  • And this, from a library customer: “I just wanted to let you know the great experience I had at the Library on Saturday… Visiting the Library is always one of the greatest pleasures for my family.  Thanks for all that you and your staff do.”

The Mayor, City Council and I would like to join the chorus of thanks and express our gratitude for all you do for the city.

On Tuesday, we honored three city employees who were also dedicated public servants: Officer Travis Paul Murphy, Robert Scully and Hugh T. McMurray Jr. They were remembered at the annual Employee Memorial Ceremony for employees who have passed away in the course of their duties.  Thanks to everyone who attended the event or worked hard to organize it. I am especially grateful to the Mayor, Council members, department heads and other leaders of our city organization for their continued support of the Memorial Ceremony.

On a final note, I am happy to share some exciting news with you. City holiday sales tax collected in January (December 2010 sales) was 12.5% higher than the same period last year! The largest and most encouraging aspect of city holiday sales was the retail component of General Fund sales tax, which grew by 14.8% over the same period last year.

This is the highest January growth rate in total City General Fund Sales tax since January 2005 and the first positive January growth since 2008. Several categories of sales tax contributed to this positive growth, including retail, contracting, and restaurants and bars. I know many of you did your part by shopping Phoenix during the holiday season.

Thank you for your commitment to the community and for your continued hard work.

— David Cavazos


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