City & Local Reform
It turns out that you can fight town hall. Here’s how we’re standing up for local citizens and winning.
No one has lately accused the Valley of lacking enough hotel space.
And, yet, both the cities of Phoenix and Glendale are pouring tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money into publicly-financed hotels and convention centers.
Glendale is planning a new "upscale" hotel, estimated to cost between $40 and $60 million and financed primarily by the city.
With over $500,000 in campaign money and the backing of many of Mesa's leading officials and developers, one would think that the City of Mesa's effort to develop Riverview at Dobson would be a foregone conclusion.
But not so fast!
The plucky Valley Business Owners and Concerned Citizens Inc., a group that in the past has used shoestring budgets to help defeat Mesa's city food tax, is on the watch.
Like mushrooms after a wet winter, convention centers seem to pop up almost out of nowhere. And much like the accidental fungi, once in a long while you can come across a treasured tuber, like the prized truffle or Maitake. But most of the time you're probably better off not consuming random mushrooms, because they can be poisonous. So goes the city in search of a convention center.
An environmental expert has contradicted the City of Tempe's claim that the only way to clean up property at a proposed commercial development site is to condemn private property. In other words, Tempe's use of the despotic power of eminent domain is not about cleaning up the environment. Instead, as we've suspected all along, Tempe is using eminent domain as a tool for economic redevelopment, which is prohibited by the Arizona Constitution (Art. 2, sect. 17).
A recent federal study, as reported in the Arizona Republic, notes that Maricopa County's workforce averages a slightly higher weekly wage than the rest of the nation, though it is toward the bottom of the top 10 counties by workforce size.
But as ASU researcher Tom Rex notes, employers are able to pay relatively less because people perceive Arizona as offering a higher quality of life.
Goldwater Institute attorney Christina Kohn appeared on the Fox Business Network's Freedom Watch to discuss the chaos in Quartzsite, Ariz., where the town council has shut the mayor out of power and put the chief of police in charge.
Phoenix has no uniform set of procedures and policies for outside contracting and the guidelines it has relied on have been kept from both public view and City Council oversight, a situation that critics say could lead to unfairly awarded contracts and the waste of taxpayer dollars.
The nation's sixth-largest city issues hundreds of contracts each year for millions of dollars in goods and services from private companies for everything from copy paper to multimillion-dollar services such as airport-restaurant concessions.
PHOENIX – Suburban Glendale is less a community with professional sports facilities than a sports enterprise with a community held hostage to previous improvident decisions. Now Glendale’s government may multiply its follies — unless Arizona’s constitution saves the city from itself.
Arizona stands poised to take the lead in restoring fiscal responsibility to local government. With near-unanimous support from Republicans in the state Senate, both houses of the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1322 to furnish all large scale city services, other than police and fire protection, through open and competitive bidding. Based on similar “managed competition” approaches adopted by cities throughout the country, this crucial reform promises to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.