City & Local Reform
It turns out that you can fight town hall. Here’s how we’re standing up for local citizens and winning.
How do you close a $35 million budget gap? Perhaps the better question is why that hole was dug in the first place. One answer for the City of Glendale is hockey. In fiscal year 2012, the city added $20 million (up from only $1.2 million the year before) to its operating budget for the Jobing.com Arena, where the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team plays. The NHL has been demanding financial support from the city since 2009, when the team filed for bankruptcy.
By Stephen Slivinski, Byron Schlomach, and Nick Dranias
Arizonans, through their state and local governments, are in debt to the tune of $66.5 billion. That’s over $10,000 for every man, woman, and child in the state. To put that in perspective, the average person’s income in Arizona is less than $36,000 per year.
Whenever local bureaucrats or special-interest groups want to neutralize conservative legislators, one of their most-potent weapons is two words: “local control.”
By Nick Dranias and Lucy Morrow Caldwell
George Lee made a comfortable living running a pair of commercial buildings in Prescott Valley, until government debt helped drag him down.
In December, the Goldwater Institute filed a constitutional challenge to the City of Phoenix's practice of "release time" within the police union. This practice takes six city police officers off the streets and puts them behind desks to work as full-time union managers, 35 to work as part-time union representatives, and one to work full time as a union lobbyist — all while collecting city salaries and benefits.
The Goldwater Institute recently filed a lawsuit challenging Phoenix’s “release time” practice that sends six city police officers to work as full-time union managers, 35 to work as part-time union representatives, and one to work as a union lobbyist. Although these employees are released from city duties to perform union duties, taxpayers continue to pay the officers’ salaries and benefits.
PHOENIX — Calling it an unconstitutional giveaway that harms taxpayers and takes police resources off the streets, two Phoenix residents today filed suit against the City of Phoenix and the city’s largest police union, seeking to end the widespread practice of allowing public-sector employees to do union work while on the city payroll.
Working with the Goldwater Institute, William R. Cheatham and Marcus Huey filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court.
In September, my colleague Mark Flatten released an investigative report showing that Phoenix and other Arizona cities spend millions of dollars every year to pay employees to perform union work on city time. Less than three months later, we are going to court on behalf of Phoenix taxpayers to put an end to the practice of union “release time.”
PHOENIX — In Arizona and across the country, small business owners and entrepreneurs spend billions of dollars and countless hours complying with regulations. But a new recommendation from the Goldwater Institute could offer these businesses help – and boost the jobs outlook along the way.