BISBEE — Bisbee’s mayor and city council unanimously agreed to open contract negotiations with Heather Ruder for the city manager position during Monday night’s meeting.
Ruder, who currently works for Tucson, was previously a town manager for Clifton, an eastern Arizona town of about 4,800 people, for five months. When asked by Mayor David Smith why she left the position, she said her departure was not due to the town council or staff, but to a personal issue which caused concern for her safety.
She is a civil engineer and has a master’s degree in public administration and has held public positions since 2007 in Pima County, Eloy and Marana.
She told the council, “I believe I’m a great fit with my background in civil engineering.”
When asked about outsourcing jobs, she replied, “I would love to keep all services in house. But, there are instances when you have to contract them out, especially if you’re in a jam or if it’s a matter of compliance.”
As for what makes a sound budget, Ruder does not like the idea of taking funds out of reserves to balance a budget. “Those fund should be saved for emergencies and capital projects. And, I don’t believe in using reserve funds for ongoing expenses.”
Ruder likes the “distinctiveness of the wards” and would like to create a bike route to connect them all.
The other applicant interviewed was Theresa Coleman, who is the city administrator in Kasson, Minnesota. She also had extensive experience in the public sector and has a master of science degree in economic development.
The two candidates spent Monday talking to council members, staff and residents prior to the meeting.
The former city manager, Robert Smith, resigned abruptly in February. After a few months with no one to run the city, former city manager Steve Pauken agreed to serve until the end of July.
SIERRA VISTA — The official start of the monsoon was June 15, and with temperatures in the 90s all week and no sign of precipitation anytime soon, meteorologists are predicting a delayed rainy season this year.
Meteorologist Maddie Powell with the National Weather Service in Tucson said that their best estimate for monsoon rain isn’t the “proverebal Fourth of July date” but will come later in the month.
An El Niño weather pattern, which is characterized by unusually warm water in the tropical Pacific, is to blame for the delay in the state’s famed walls of rain and wind.
“What El Niño does for the winter weather season is that the Pacific Ocean temperatures get warmer than average, which provides more moisture to the southern United States,” Powell said. “Wind patterns drag low pressure systems to come more south and it’s still holding on and being stubborn.”
“El Niño is lasting a little longer and we need moisture — that’s what keeps low pressure systems, until there’s a break in the weather pattern.”
Powell explained that moisture is just one of part of the equation when it comes to ideal conditions for monsoon rain.
“Moisture is one bit of it, but it needs to be a saturated profile of moisture,” she said. “Moisture in the south needs to be prolific and reach higher heights for storms to form and grow vertically.”
“It wouldn’t be monsson if we didn’t have the wind patterns.”
Essentially, a monsoon pattern is formed when moisture meets the summer heat and creates humidity.
Dry weather patterns have been seen all across the state, except for some development in Northern Arizona Monday, though she said that activity wasn’t necessary monsoon related.
Mary Ann Capehart, community senior instructional specialist for Water Wise, specializes in water conservation and education. Water Wise is an organization out of the University of Arizona with a mission of educating the public on water conservation through outreach and events.
She said that the monsoon, or lack of one, can be felt by local gardeners.
“The monsoons have a great deal of effect on landscaping and gardening, open lands and vegetation,” she said. “It has a very positive effect and helps with planting.”
Capeheart recommended several resources to people to keep up with rainfall and other weather news in Southern Arizona.
At rainlog.org, users can enter in their own data regarding rain as well as see what others have entered.
“The more people on there recording rainfall, the more accurate we can be,” Capeheart said. “They can go to the site and look at the entry closest to their location and especially for people moving to the county it’s really helpful.”
The UA also produces The Southwest Climate Podcast, which does a monthly show about climate and weather in the region.
The June podcast debuted on Monday and the hosts discussed the run of very good weather that occurred in May, highlighting the fact there were no 100 degree temperature days last month.
They also talked about some of their predictions for the monsoon season, as well as the challenges of predicting the exact onset of monsoons.
To listen to the podcast, visit www.climas.arizona.edu/outreach/southwest-climate-podcast. To check out the rain log, or add your own information, visit rainlog.org.