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Eloy mayor calls for special meeting to address city landfill
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ELOY — The Eloy landfill is one of the oldest still operating in the state. It serves city residents as well as residents all around Pinal County.

However, a flyer of unknown origin was delivered not only to city employees, but every Eloy household, stating that the city is planning on selling the landfill to a national waste company.

The anonymous flyer was sent to residents over the weekend. At Monday’s City Council meeting, in order to clear the air on the issue, Mayor Micah Powell announced that the city’s stance has not changed on the landfill, and that the information on the flyer is false and misleading.

“The facts are as follows: On April 12, 2021, after staff presented information regarding the current economic state of our landfill, council approved staff to solicit proposals to consider privatizing our landfill. On June 22, 2021, all proposed bids were received, and the received bids were all read out loud. At the direction of council, staff entered into negotiations with the winning bid, who is a national waste company,” Powell stated at the meeting. “As of now, council and staff have not entered into any agreement with that company, and there has not been a decision made to sell the landfill. To my knowledge, selling the landfill is not an option.”

Powell continued to refute the claims made on the flyer, mentioning that care for the city and the residents who call Eloy home are a top priority.

“We will not compromise the integrity of our city by allowing wear and tear on our streets, toxins in our groundwater or turning into the largest heap of trash visible from all parts of the city,” Powell said. “We are only exploring options and will only do what’s best for the community. Decisions will not be made without public acknowledgement and full transparency.”

Powell called for a special City Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 16, to allow for residents to have their concerns on the issue heard in front of the council.

Powell said in a separate interview that the special session is a way to show residents that their voice matters and they have a direct impact on the direction the city goes in.

“We were going to (hold a session) anyways, but I thought let’s just do it now, so (residents) can get more in-depth information on it. We have had meetings about this already, so it’s not like we are hiding anything,” Powell said. “If people have questions, we will give you answers, come to the meeting and we’ll talk about it. If it doesn’t work to Eloy’s benefit, we will walk away, nothing is set in stone right now.”

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the chambers at Eloy City Hall.

Eloy chamber hosts annual awards banquet
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ELOY — After almost two years of Zoom meetings and virtual ceremonies, the Eloy Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2021 annual dinner and awards banquet Friday at J. Warren Funeral Services in Casa Grande in front of members of the chamber, the Eloy City Council and guests.

Five awards were given to members of the Eloy community: the H.B. Christy Award, the First Responder Award, the PRIDE Award, the Good Neighbor Award and the SPOKE Award.

Current Chamber Vice President and incoming President Richard Rosales spoke about how happy he was to be hosting the awards banquet in person once again after being forced to virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s exciting and very nice to see all the residents and the community members of Eloy. We have been on many calls via Zoom, but it’s not the same. It’s awesome to see everybody in one place,” Rosales said. “This is a nice event to honor the community members, business members of the chamber. They do great things in Eloy, so it’s our pleasure to honor them with this event.”

AnnMarie Trujillo was awarded the H.B. Christy Award, presented to a chamber business leader who contributes above and beyond for the growth and betterment of Eloy. Trujillo works as the office manager at Precious Dental Service. She was presented with the award for her caring for Eloy patients.

The First Responder Award went to Lt. Brian Jerome of the Eloy Police Department. Jerome came to Arizona in the 1990s and came to work for the Eloy department in 2000. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant almost four years ago and has been an incremental part of the improvements of the department as well as accomplishing goals to improve service to the community.

Economic Development Specialist Jeff Fairman was awarded the PRIDE Award, given to a city employee for their innovative efforts and going above and beyond to serve the community. Fairman joined the team in Eloy in 2018 and has played a key role in growing the city of Eloy.

Three members of the community were given the Good Neighbor Award, which is for volunteer efforts, donating services and good deeds throughout the year. Lupe Rodriguez, Shawn Vasquez and Mary Salazar all went home with the award for their volunteer efforts around the area as well as for the Santa Cruz Valley Food Bank and the Eloy Food Pantry.

The last award of the night was the SPOKE Award, presented to a chamber member who has given outstanding service, knowledge and enthusiasm to the community. The honor was given to Richard “Dick” Myers, who died in April at age 80. Myers was the president of the Santa Cruz Valley Historical Museum and was instrumental in the museum building being restored.

Vice Mayor Andrew Rodriguez, who has accepted the executive director position at the chamber, spoke about Myers' impact on the community.

“I have known Dick for about 20 years, and I got to know him even better on the council, he knew exactly everything that we needed,” Rodriguez said.

“We helped him out with the museum; with him, he was always an honest guy. If you had a question, and you wanted the honest answer, that is where you were going to get it from.”

Organizers said the event is another example of how the community of Eloy is a very tight-knit and connected group, filled with people who are willing to extend a helping hand to those who seek it.

“It’s very important to the residents of Eloy to have that family feel and have a close-knit community,” Rosales said. “You get that sense of community in the town, everyone knows what’s going on, everybody supports it and that is what we are looking forward to at the chamber with these events. It’s to honor that.”

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Vice Mayor Rodriguez named executive director of Eloy chamber
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ELOY — Vice Mayor Andrew Rodriguez was first elected to the Eloy City Council in 2014 and was named vice mayor in November 2020. Rodriguez, a native of Eloy, will be adding executive director to his list of jobs, as he was recently named to the position on the Eloy Chamber of Commerce.

Rodriguez went through the application process and was selected unanimously by the chamber board to take over the position. He decided that this was another chance for him to serve the community he grew up in and help make positive changes. He doesn’t plan to resign from the City Council, he said.

“I wanted to be on council because there was a need, there were changes that needed to happen. So it’s the same thing with this position. I know there’s a need to update some things with the chamber and I thought I could do that.”

Incoming chamber President Richard Rosales mentioned that Rodriguez brings skills and abilities that will benefit both the position and the chamber as a whole. 

“We are very excited to have Andrew here with us as the next executive director. Andrew brings a different skill set that we are looking for now,” Rosales said. “The chamber has evolved, our programs have evolved, so it’s not just a luncheon every month, it’s more about business retention and helping our businesses survive. As well as promoting businesses through social media and digital strategies, Andrew brings all of that experience and knows the community, he is very personable and we are happy to have him.”

Rodriguez has already started to lay the groundwork of his vision for the position and what he wants to do through the chamber.

“I want to be more hands-on, more in front of people and especially work with our businesses,” Rodriguez said. “I want to make sure that everybody has a voice, no matter what industry they belong to. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that we are all working together as one to help build the city.”

One of Rodriguez’s biggest supporters is Mayor Micah Powell. Powell said that he is really happy for Rodriguez and thinks he will do a great job at the chamber and continue to help grow the city of Eloy.

Mark Benner announced last month that he would be resigning from the position effective in August.