CAMMAZ Meeting Minutes

CAMMAZ Meeting Minutes

CAMMAZ Meeting Minutes: February 18th, 2016

A CAMMAZ meeting was held at 425 East Greenway Drive in Tempe on Feb 17th at 7:00 PM. The meeting was called to plan support for Senate Bill 1440 which will enable restoration of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix if it becomes law.

The meeting began with a detailed review of the museum status, covering the veto of SB1200 in 2015 and the progress of SB1440 (a nearly identical bill) in 2016.  There was only one supporter present at the Senate Government Committee meeting, but the bill was passed out of committee by a 4 to 3 vote.  The 3 no votes are a concern, because SB1200 passed both House and Senate with only 5 no votes (out of 90) in 2015. The AHS took a neutral position in 2015, but is very actively opposing the bill in 2016, even though it has no plan for the building.

The next public hearing will be before the Senate Appropriations Committee next Tuesday.  All agreed that CAMMAZ needed to provide better support at that hearing.

Two means of support were discussed; submission of comments on and personal appearances at public committee hearings. Action to solicit online comments from the public will include a call to action on and personal communication via email lists.

Five people volunteered to speak in support of SB1200 at the upcoming hearing on Tuesday.  They coordinated their plans for comments, so they will not be redundant.  They also reviewed the hearing process, and understand that public comments may likely be limited to two minutes. They will prepare their presentations accordingly.

The group also discussed reaching out to other CAMMAZ supporters not able to attend the meeting. A number of candidates were identified and will be contacted by CAMMAZ. If additional people are willing to speak in support of the bill, their comments will be coordinated with the other speakers in advance to avoid redundancy and to present the best overall public support for SB1440.


Scott and Robin Evans

Harvey Jong

Charlie Connell

Doug and Lee Lindsay

Jack and Genie Howell

Bob Holmes

Dick and Mardy Zimmermann

CAMMAZ meeting minutes: Oct 29, 2015

The new website was reviewed and plans to involve more supporters via the website were discussed. The attendees were very pleased with the website.

The current museum situation was reviewed, including past and future action on SB1200, the competing UA plan to move the mineral collection to Tucson, and current AHS efforts to support the claim that the mineral museum is now in Tempe.

Most of the time was spent discussing how CAMMAZ can support mineral museum restoration during the next legislative session. Groups that CAMMAZ can reach out to be identified and the following actions items were established;

Tony: Get info on CAMMAZ in ASTA newsletter; Dick to provide draft text

Tony: Invite AzGS (AZ Geographical Alliance) (Cathy Davis) to join

Shirley: Invite t people that loaned or donated material to the mineral museum to join CAMMAZ

Shirley: Ask rock clubs to sign letter of support (Zimmermanns to draft letter)

Cyn—  : Coordinate with Charlie to invite Monday Crew, APA, and Freeport contacts to join

Jan: Invite AGS and ASARCO to join (Sterling Cook)

Mardy: Invite students and teachers to join

Ed: Submit article to Rock and Gem

Janet: Try to get air time on KFNX talk show

Dick: Invite Deborah Miller (Republican Party) to join

All: Think about other ways that CAMMAZ can reach out to the community for support.

Additional groups to potentially be asked for support included:

  • Arizona Mining Association
  • MFSW
  • Other mining companies
  • Railroad Museum (to save badly gauge locomotive)
  • EDGETA (historic equipment interest)
  • Retired miners
  • Civic groups
  • Channel 8 – PBS Horizon

Other actin items: Harvey is going to design a CAMMAZ postcard

Another envelope stuffing and mailing session for the Legislature was discussed.  Jan recommended waiting until the end of the year, when the next Legislative session is about to begin.


Doug Duffy

Shirley Cote

Harvey Jong

Susan Celestian

Stan Celestian

Janet Stoeppelmann

Ken Ryan

Cynthia Buckner

Ed Winbourne

Tony Occhiuzzi

Jan Rasmusseum

Lynne Dyer

Dick and Mardy Zimmermann


The meeting began with a quick review of the events of the past five years following the passage of legislation giving the Arizona Historical Society control of the mineral museum. The group then discussed the value of the mineral museum and reasons why the Legislature and the Governor should support the restoration of the mineral museum. The reasons for restoration were as follows:

  1. To support STEM* education, especially K-12
  2. To properly preserve specimens with scientific value
  3. To reunite mineral collection with supporting data (already in possession of the AGS**)
  4. To make mineral specimens available for scientific research
  5. To preserve Arizona’s heritage (especially historic mining equipment)
  6. To reopen a formerly top rated, international tourist attraction in the Southwestern USA
  7. To permit visitors to view unique Arizona mineral specimens in a scientific context
  8. To provide a venue for scientific conferences and symposiums
  9. To permit the community to broaden the scope of the museum to provide education on earth science and natural resources

*Science, technology, engineering, and math

**Arizona Geological Survey

The group then developed the following mineral museum restoration plan:


The mineral museum can be restored without new funds if state government performs the steps in part A below. The community (volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and corporate donors) can then return the museum to operation by performing steps in part B below. At least step 1 in part A must be accomplished before the community can effectively proceed with the steps in part B

A: Government (legislative / administrative / agency) action required:

  1. Pass legislation* transferring museum authority to the Arizona Geological Survey (AGS)
  2. Transfer existing mineral museum state budget to the AGS (rent and 1employee)
  3. Transfer AZ centennial license plate funds (retroactively) to AGS.
  4. Transfer mineral museum property to the AGS (mineral collection, artifact collection, displays, cases, gift shop inventory, equipment, furniture, tools, supplies, and educational resource material not formally a part of the mineral collection)
  5. Transfer gift shop cash account as of April 2011 plus cash from subsequent sales of mineral museum property at AHS facilities to the AGS
  6. Coordinate transfer of museum property from AHS to AGS (identify locations and arrange for access)
  7. Inspect mineral museum building and document any changes to the interior that might prevent reopening the museum (the AHS may have altered or removed existing interior features).
  8. For any unrecoverable mineral museum property, transfer compensating funds from the AHS budget or AHS accounts to the AGS**
  9. For any detrimental alterations to the interior of the mineral museum building, transfer compensating funds from the AHS budget or AHS accounts to the AGS**

* Applicable statutes identified in current SB 1016

** These conditions are believed appropriate because the AHS knowingly violated state statutes (Allen amendment to centennial museum bill in 2010) when it closed the mineral museum and disposed of its contents, and because compensation for any missing property and negative facility alterations will be necessary to permit the mineral museum to reopen.

Note: Former mineral museum supporters were deeply offended when the AHS was permitted to close and dismantle the mineral museum. They felt their decades of support were unrecognized and unappreciated by state government. The state will have to take positive action (at least pass corrective legislation) before active community support can be regained to complete the steps in part B..

B: Community action (coordinated with AGS) required:

  1. Secure commitments from 501 c 3 nonprofit support groups
  2. Reestablish private grant programs
  3. Recruit and train volunteers
  4. Solicit donations
  5. Inventory mineral collection
  6. Assemble museum displays
  7. Restore gift shop operations
  8. Hire part time employees (supported with gift shop proceeds)
  9. Restore K-12 education programs for both students and teachers
  10. Sponsor two family days a year, as before
  11. Provide researchers with access to collections*
  12. Broaden scope beyond minerals (geology, other natural resources) to enhance educational value and broaden the base for public support (especially private grants).
  • Less than 20% of the collection was on display


Appendix: Attendees

The following people attended the planning meeting:

Doug and Lee Lindsay, Board Member, Flagg Mineral Foundation

Stan Celestian, geologist, Arizona State University

Sue Celestian geologist, Arizona State University, former mineral museum curator

Janel Stoeppelmann, educator, East Valley Academy

Ken Ryan, educator East Valley Academy

Lynne and Terry Dyer, Mineralogical Society of Arizona

Harvey Jong, Flagg Mineral Foundation, President of Earth Science Museum

Shirley Cote, former museum staff member

Dick Zimmermann, retired engineer, Flagg Mineral Foundation

Mardy Zimmermann, retired teacher, Earth Science Museum outreach program

Gordon and Terry Byrn, Flagg Mineral Foundation

Cynthia Buckner, mining equipment donor

Judy Dixon, Secretary of Arizona Prospectors Association

Ev Dixon, former museum volunteer

Stuart Harrah, retired engineer

Steven Corrigan, Arizona Prospectors Association

George Busby, VP of Arizona Prospectors Association

Joy Parker, President, Arizona Leaverites Gem and Mineral Society

Robin Evans, geology student

Scott Evans, Maricopa Lapidary Society

Tom Parks, former museum staff instructor

The following people responded to the short meeting notice to offer support, but were unable to attend due to other commitments (the meeting notice was released only 4 days prior to the meeting via email). Many had commitments at the opening of the annual mineral show in Tucson.

Jan Rasmussen, geologist, former mineral museum curator

Tom LaBonte, Mineralogical Society of Arizona

 Alice LaBonte. Editor of the Rocky Mountain Federation Mineral clubs newsletter and Mineralogical Society of Arizona

Steve Decker, Board member, Flagg Mineral Foundation

William Hawes, Former president of the Mining Association of the South West

Tony Occhiuzzi, science teacher

Ann Baker, former gift shop manager at the mineral museum

Les Presmyk, mining engineer SRP

Genie Howell, AZ Department of Water Resources retiree, Flagg Mineral Foundation board member

Steve Pegler, engineer

Karen Bagwell, mining equipment donor

Ray Grant, geologist, Mesa Community College

Cynthia Grant

Sandi and Gene Sawyer

Phil Richardson, engineer, and Chairman of the Flagg Mineral Foundation

Chris Whitney Smith, President, Mineralogical Society of Arizona

Mike Williams, Secretary, Flagg Mineral Foundation

 Jennifer Jordan, teacher

Doug Duffy, former mineral museum instructor

Bob Holmes, meteorite collector