Council honors new and old service members, passes new pool rates

Photo Jun 06, 9 56 33 PM.jpg

Two new members were welcomed to the Superior Town Council: Michael Alonzo and Steve Estatico. (Mila Besich-Lira photo)

By Chase Kamp

Superior Sun

The regular meeting of the Superior town council on Jun. 6 was rather busy, meaning its two newest members had a lot to consider in their first meeting before the public.

New councilmen Michael Alonzo and Stephen Estatico were sworn in and took their seats at the beginning of the meeting. The two replaced Chris Tomerlin, who lost the election held in March, and Irene Hansen, who sat in for resigned member Hank Gutierrez beginning in Aug. 2012.

Mayor Jayme Valenzuela and councilman Gilbert Aguilar were reelected to the new Board in the March election.

In addition to the two newcomers, two longtime faces of Superior officially said goodbye at the meeting. Former Superior Police Department Chief Lou Digirilamo, who announced his retirement in April, was honored with a plaque for his seven years of service and given a standing ovation at the meeting.

Several council members and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu offered their praise of Digirilamo’s service. To replace him, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Pat Ramirez was appointed in charge of the Superior Police Department.

Rita Wentzel also announced she will step down as finance director and town clerk effective June 21.

Councilmember Olga Lopez praised Wentzel for her years of service in performing many flexible roles in the town government. “I don’t know how we’re going to manage without her,” Lopez said. “I hate to see this resignation, but it is her choice.”

The new Superior town code is available for viewing on the town website, Superior-Arizona.com. The code will seek approval at the next council meeting.

Town manager K. Kane Graves, who worked on the updates to the town code, said the town would still have 30 days after approval of the code to make any overlooked changes.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu also presented a number of donations to local entities. The money was drawn from RICO funds, or dollars obtained from criminal activity.

Donations of $5,000 were given to the Superior Little League and Superior Junior-Senior High sports. The Superior Robotics club also received $2,500.

Babeu gave $5,000 each to Town of Superior winter programs, recreation programs and substance abuse assistance programs as well.

Lastly, the council passed some slightly higher prices for the town pool this summer. Instead of $30 for a season family pass, the rate was changed to $50 for an immediate family of six and $8 for each additional member.

While the daily entry fee for children was kept at $1, seniors will be charged $2 and adults $3, a bump of $1 each. Private parties will also cost $75 per hour instead of $50 an hour.

Elizabeth Magallanez, who made a presentation on behalf of the pool, said even after these new changes, Superior is charging less than Kearny does for its pool entry.

Photo Jun 06, 7 55 01 PM.jpg

Chief Lou Digirolamo was presented a plaque of appreciation at the Superior Council meeting last week. He has served the town for seven years. (Mila Besich-Lira photo)

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