Thursday, April 21, 2022

What’s UP with AZGOP/Republican Party of Arizona Episode 8 MANY MANY MORE QUESTIONS


CORRECTION: Sheila Muehling, AZGOP treasurer: “I have to make a correction. We deposited $790, 882.61. That was after realtor and sale fees. It was not $890,000. Editor’s Note: Muehling is referring to a 4-18-22 Briefs posting regarding the sale of the AZGOP headquarters. Muehling’s rapid response to reader’s questions/concerns is greatly appreciated. – ft

Correction to Correction: According Finance Report $$789,593.13 was received

Question are they wrong? According to two (2) CPA’S the sales price of $850,000.00 should have been shown on report as a sold asset and of cost of sale shown as an expenditure.

Considering all the questions readers have regarding the AZGOP Headquarters 4-15-22 Briefs Briefs asked AZGOP Executive Treasurer Sheila Muehling this past weekend for:

1.     copy of the purchase contract for the old AGOP building on 24th St.

2.     the cost of the lease for the new location.

Muehling quickly responded: “I am sorry but I do not have a copy of the purchase contract with the buyer of the 24th Street address. I never asked for it and saw no reason to.

Question?  Shouldn’t an elected treasurer have COPY ALL DOCUMENTS pertaining to finances?

We sold the building for $100,000.00 more than the appraised value. The contract required nothing in the way of improvements as a condition of the sale of the property. It was sold as is. I wish people would use their heads and think about what we were dealing with by keeping the property. Here are just a few of the issues.

1.     The sewer system was completely crushed under the building from age. It had been showing issues by backed up toilets for several years but no one, not (former Chairs Robert) Graham and (Jonathan) Lines or (current chair Kelli) Ward in her first two years paid any attention to why the plumbing issues were there.

2.     As a building contractor, I gave an in-depth review of the condition of the building including plumbing, asbestos, roof issues, mold issues, electrical issues, security issues as it relates to the Internet and Wi-Fi connections. That was in the first quarter of Ward’s first term. No one wanted to address the issues. Everyone was ok if I, as a contractor, wanted to donate the upgrades but putting money into the building was never something anyone wanted to consider. When I asked Lines about getting his roofing company in to update the roof system he said he would but never did anything.

Question? As a reputable contractor I’m sure that is was obvious that the condition of building was from many, many years of neglect?

3.     The 24th Street building became a magnet for the homeless and drug pushers. Ward approved numerous cleanup efforts and we asked Phoenix PD to patrol the area both in the daytime and at night. That never happened. They told us to post signs saying private property.

4.     Employees, GOP PC’s and our constituents did not want to go to the building during the day because of homeless people approaching them. Every morning our receptionist Felecia had to pass by a sleeping woman on the bench at the front door. The day time was not great but the nighttime was very dangerous. I personally would never go down to the building by myself after dark. You couldn’t leave the building without more than one person towards the end of our ownership.

5.     The last straw was finding asbestos in the drywall, ceiling and flooring. When we had to open the wall due to the flooding of the toilet we were advised that people working in the building were being exposed to a dangerous level of asbestos.

Leadership looked at remodeling and adding a second story to allow for more meeting space. That was doable but we had two major issues:

1.     Cost to build up because we could not expand the footprint was astronomical. With the plumbing and asbestos issues, we would have had to gut the building and start over.

2.     With the additional space we had to also add additional parking. There was nowhere to get the property to create the parking the city would have required.

All of the above and many other related issues left us with no choice. Sell the building, rent an office to get through the next two to three years and buy or build a new office closer to the state capital.

Question? Why close to Capital that location is not any safer than 24th St. If the goal was to be closer to Capital why rent space in far North Scottsdale? Why Not Camelback Corridor or Central?

 This was our long-term goal. With that goal in mind, we put the $890,000 into a protected account and started looking at a plan to raise funds and invest in the future. That was the unanimous vote of the members of the Executive Board.

A bylaw was passed at the annual meeting prohibiting this money from being used for anything but investment in a new headquarters for the AZGOP.

Question: I’ve read Bylaws four (4) times and haven’t been able to locate a Bylaw being passed. Could it have been a resolution? Where would be a copy of said document?

On your second question, we pay $4803.79 a month which includes all utilities except our COX expenses.”

Question: What is square footage of new space? How much per square foot?