On Monday, June 18, 2018, Leah and I attended the Mesa, Arizona City Council Office meeting in which the new Senate Bill 1465 and its statewide implementation was discussed. Senate Bill 1465 is the recently approved state law which aims to create uniformity throughout the State of Arizona regarding Sober Living Homes and the various names under which they are often titled to avoid existing municipal regulations. I informed the Council that I would like to speak on behalf of Valjean Society in response to any questions or concerns any Mesa resident might share at this meeting. I was called on to speak first…. of course.
I am grateful to the City Council and to the Glenwood/Wilbur Historic District residents who were in attendance and shared their thoughts and concerns about Valjean Society joining their community. Each person brought up valid concerns, as it pertained to their experience, family and community and I look forward to an ongoing dialog with each of our new neighbors. In fact, our Board of Directors and I invite them to participate with Valjean Society to what ever degree they are compelled to do so. I appreciated each comment regarding their previous experiences with a new non-profit operating in this historic district, which many have not only come to love, but actually created. Valjean Society is striving to address each of these concerns and will be crafting policy to encourage ongoing community goodwill between Valjean Society, the residents of the Glenwood/Wilbur Historic District and the Mesa City Council. Special thanks go out to Barb and Jeff Klinder for purchasing this home for our use, Jim Walsh of the East Valley Tribune for getting us involved with the Mesa City Counsel in time for this meeting, my beautiful wife Leah Harris for supporting me and taking on this dream with me and to two of our new neighbors, Janice and Cane, for taking the time to speak with us after the meeting. For all of this, I am humbled and grateful.