Friday, July 17, 2015

Governor's office nonresponsive?

The following letter was sent on June 4th. To date, there has been no response.

Mr. Daniel Scarpinato
Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications
State Capitol
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Mr. Scarpinato,

In her May 23 article about SB1200 and mineral museum restoration, Mary Jo Pitzl quoted you as follows: "There's been no discussion, there's no plan."  However, there are in fact indications of ongoing discussions with someone in the governor’s office.  Lines 25 through 27 of the May 9, 2015 Arizona Historical Society State Board meeting minutes read as follows (italics added):

Woosley also noted that she with the assistance of R&R Partners have been working closely with the Governor’s office to make the transition of the governance structure as well as the Shrine building as smooth as  possible.

What the minutes refer to as “Shrine building” is formally the Polly Rosenbaum Building and informally the mineral museum building. The brief statement in the AHS minutes appears to follow up on action recommended by lobbyist Jim Norton at the April 17, 2015 Board meeting.  Although his statements are not included in the public meeting minutes, witnesses heard him say that the building should become a “protocol meeting space or a reception area for the Governor.” He also urged taking action with the Governor’s office before the Legislature has an opportunity to act again in January of 2016.

Therefore, it appears that someone in the Governor’s office is indeed having ongoing discussions with lobbyists and the AHS in an attempt to subvert the will of the people and the Legislature.  SB1200 received nearly unanimous yes votes in the Legislature, and the communications to the Governor’s office were 1376 for and only 5 against.

The unfortunate veto of budget neutral SB1220 has assured that a minimum of 200,000 children will now be deprived of the mineral museums K-12 science education programs.  Furthermore, it enables continued illegal activity on the part of the AHS (See May 21 post on the blog Mineral Museum Madness for details - 

Please determine if there are in fact ongoing discussions about the mineral museum in the Governor’s office, and if the participants are giving lobbyists priority over children and education.


Dick Zimmermann


  1. Governor! It's time to rein in the AHS. Do any of your State agencies act like this? Do they make decisions like this? Do they commit state funds to stupid projects like the Rio Nuevo? ($1,400,000 in tax money for nothing!)
    And who gave the AHS Director the power to take over a mineral museum and destroy it's program just to get a mineral exhibit "gallery". Who gave such powers to a director and small state agency?
    And what small state agency has a Board of Directors who has no power to stop a director like that? These board members either have no voting power to stop such stupid decisions or they don't know that they are involved. Director Ann Woosley never tells them!
    Time to do something. They are making a mockery of the State of Arizona. Their AHS employees have got to be ashamed of their director. At this point I don't think the Board even cares. They seem only to worry about the lunches served at the next board meeting.
    Do something Governor.

  2. At some point in the future the Governor will look at Dr. Ann Woosley as a problem. No other Stae agency is in the news like this.
    I have never seen the State Library and Archives or Arizona State Parks immersed in such mess. For that matter any state agency.
    Time to clean up this mess. What else can go wrong? LOL

  3. The lack of response from the Governor or his staff does give rise to concern. The veto of SB1200 despite the overwhelming vote in both houses of the legislature was disturbing. The veto suggests that Ducey is possibly more concerned with building use, previously determined by the legislature, than he is about science education. The lack of response from the Governor's office to those who can restore the program for kids, teachers and schools is glaring. Obviously there is penty of time to talk to AHS, the cause of the loss of a very reputable science museum.

  4. Can you think what would have happened to an Arizona Highway Dept. director who pulled stuff like this? or the Director of Arizona State Parks?

  5. The AHS Board, the Board, the Board! When will they wake up. I wonder how many of them have ever toured the history collection and the library and archives or even have seen the photographic collections? You can guess they don't know any of the staff.
    Hey AHS Board....what's for lunch? That seemed to be a point of interest in the board minutes.
    With concerns like this it had to be easy for Ann Woosley to involve the AHS in the Rio Nuevo mess and destroy the Mineral Museum in Phoenix. If the AHS Board members don't even take an interest in their own agency they claim to operate then it would be real easy to mess up other museums that they would never have visited.

    1. I wonder how many of them even visited the Mineral Museum before or after AHS destroyed it?

    2. AHS management saw the mineral museum operating and they saw bus loads of children arriving. Apparently, they have no interest in children or education. They appear to be more interesting in building a comfortable place for lobbyists to ply their trade.

    3. I don't think they have an interest in anybody coming in the building! Kids or adults. 3,000 a year is beyond any hope. Looks like the public has voted with their feet. They don't go and they don't care. They use their time and money to educate themselves and entertain themselves somewhere else.

  6. But the question is ---is that what they wanted in the first place. Remember they wanted a Centennial Museum, then a "5 C's" Museum the an Arizona Experience Museum, then a 48 Womens Center (Guess the "Women" saw through that situation now it's a "Lobbyist Retreat and Conference Center/Bar".
    These people are nuts. You can't make this stuff up.

    1. Some think that it is. A restaurant and cocktail bar were mentioned when the centennial musuem plan was presented.

      The high dollar Gallagher museum displays may have been a ruse to get state support for a posh lobbyists hangout, just like the nearly hidden and unused museum at the Marley is used to get state support for a party house with huge kitchen and cocktail bar.

    2. Guess they built a "Party House" and nobody came? How depressing.

  7. I worked for over 10 years at AHS Papago Park and the ineptness was astounding. I was one of three staff who blew the whistle with New Times for this article I have it on good authority from a current staff person that the AHS Papago Park Museum has been without a security system for over one year. That's right. No alarms, nothing. Just the lock on the gate. How is that for protecting Arizona's heritage. Gawd, if I wrote a novel about the circus that was/is AHS with their racist boards and incompetent leadership, people would not believe it!!!