The following is a presentation I made at the Town of Florence council meeting on 6 May 2019:
At the April 15th council meeting, I did not have a chance to respond to Council Member Cordes’ invitation to attend the Historic District Advisory Commission meetings. If I may, I would like to continue:
* I served as Chairman of the HDAC from 1985 to 1991.
* I worked for Arizona State Parks for 34 years on six parks/ three historic parks including nine years at McFarland Historic State Park.
* Our house has been part of two Federal stabilization grants, sponsored by the Town of Florence. The small house on Bailey Street was part of one of these grants so it had been stabilized -- there was no reason to tear it down.
Since 1983, we have lost at least nine historic buildings; four in the last year.
The Town of Florence leads in alterations on our historic Main Street.
How often has the council asked for, listened to or followed recommendations from the HDAC?
From my perspective, the Town is saying “Do as I say, not as I do.”
The Town needs to lead by example.
In reference to the Cuen building, in the last issue of the Florence Reminder, it was reported Deputy Director of the State Historic Preservation Office, Chris Cody told Tom and Lynn Smith not to plan too far ahead.
Yet the Town still insists on placing an unrealistic deadline for completion of the project. After the building has been sold and stabilized, the Town should not have any involvement other than support. Of course, the proper building permits should be issued, as needed.
Remember the Town has received the Cuen building twice, and both times the first response was to demolish the building. Here is the second person wanting to preserve the building and the Town is trying control the project with a two-year deadline which even the Town could not accomplish. This deadline does not reflect well on the Town as business-friendly community.