By Sal DiCiccio
4551 new teachers for Phoenix… that is how many NEW teachers we could hire for the cost of just one new mile of rail.
Mayor Stanton and others are pushing a new $30 billion tax and spend proposal for transit costing $209 million per mile to build and operate.
Make no mistake about it, every penny taken from our citizens and wasted on these boondoggles and government waste is one less dollar our hardworking taxpayers can use for critical services we really need. Now is not the time and place for us to waste money on ideas meant to benefit city insiders who will benefit from this money.
As a city and as a state we need to do a better job of prioritizing limited dollars. We must do better and we must start to make choices based on things that matter.
Our families must be protected first and be the priority.
From my family to yours,
Phoenix City Council
District 6Read more
Since the closing of Los Arcos Mall some 15 years ago and a number of automobile dealerships more recently, Scottsdale’s primary political sport has been hand wringing about the future of McDowell Road.
An arena for the Phoenix Coyotes, SkySong, large new apartment projects, light rail, a New York City-like “High-Line” trail. There has been no shortage of ideas big and small to lift the area from perceived decline.
Yet, as took place up the street in downtown Scottsdale something more organic than planned seems to be occurring. After all, “south Scottsdale” is in the middle of it all.
Five minutes to the south is a thriving ASU. Just north is the fun and entertainment of downtown Scottsdale. To the east lies a recreation jewel, the Indian Bend Wash. The 101 Freeway is just beyond. Adjoining to the west is Papago Park with the Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden and now the new home of ASU Baseball.
Pretty good neighbors indeed.
Sometimes the market is slow to recognize such strengths. This is changing in south Scottsdale. And often times the best changes are not prompted by master plans but by the imaginations of entrepreneurs.
Like those at Fate Brewing Company. It’s interesting. Most cool bars and restaurants go through an understood progression. Downtown Scottsdale. Mill Avenue. Maybe Chandler or Biltmore. Then North Scottsdale. But this brewery which started near Scottsdale and Shea is going from north to south. Unheard of!
And that’s why this is so encouraging. First movers will benefit from taking a chance on this area. It would be recognized as the next great neighborhood in the Valley, if it already wasn’t one. As smart business people are understanding.Read more
For those of you who are concerned about Scottsdale’s future and the direction it has been moving (or not moving) over the last few years, I offer you a way to keep in touch and up-to-date on what is going on in Scottsdale. For you Clint Eastwood fans, discover “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”
Please take a moment to read the following letter, inviting you to join COGS, a group of other concerned citizens like yourself. You can also read about COGS and what it does on their website www.cogsaz.net. Remember: The future of Scottsdale depends on her citizens. This is a way to help you stay informed and let your voice be heard!
Councilwoman Kathy LittlefieldRead more
By Scottsdale City Councilman David Smith
This Tuesday evening, February 24, the Scottsdale City council will debate the first real tax reform in recent memory. A workshop has been scheduled to discuss the proposal I made last month to eliminate the sales tax imposed on retail sales of food for home consumption.
Scottsdale's food tax collections amount to $11 million a year, borne substantially by Scottsdale's 220,000 citizens. A family of four might pay as much as $200 per year. More troubling, the burden of this tax weighs most heavily on those least able to afford it.
The Scottsdale Independent ran an editorial I submitted arguing for the elimination of food taxes, available at: http://www.scottsdaleindependent.com/opinions/smith-scottsdale-city-council-debate-real-tax-reform-feb-24/
I hope you'll take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the issues and follow this important debate. If you have questions to ask or opinions to share, I encourage you to email me. email@example.com
David N. Smith
Scottsdale City CouncilRead more
Republicans are evil. Single handedly they are responsible for squeezing the middle class. This is the constant Democratic Party refrain.
Except in Arizona, apparently.
Once upon a time she led a proper fight against pay day loans in Arizona. And voters agreed with her.
Congratulations Debbie, you won.
But the opposition by her and other Democrats to HB2611 is like the head coach who gets upset at the quarterback for calling a successful audible. Like the Republicans are now doing as it relates to the financial circumstances for so many that have changed in recent years. Banks won’t make post Great Recession small loans to lower credit individuals. Enter the wisdom of state legislation posed by Arizona State Representative J.D. Mesnard. He proposes so called “flex loans,” which are unsecured ones for people with lower credit scores. The interest rate is capped at 36%. But that’s not where opponents get riled. It’s the additional fees.
You mean like Wells Fargo just added? Going from $5 to $10 per month for low balance accounts? Or banks charging as much as $35 for a bounced check no matter how much the amount?
Opponents say this is “predatory lending” even though they don’t criticize credit card companies for luring millions of college students into high interest programs with minimum payments. Nor do they have an answer when people properly ask what their solution is to providing unsecured loans to people with low credit scores. There is a need after all. Go find a family member or friend they say. Right. Or Larry The Loan Shark.Read more
An analysis of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) residential sales data for the
past six months show that homes with solar actually sell faster and at much higher prices than
homes without solar.
Through the end of 2014, homes with either owned or leased solar systems outpaced sales of
non-solar homes significantly. Contrary to what proponents of APS-backed SB1465 would like
the public to believe, solar leased homes sold the fastest of any home and at a higher price.
"This data proves what we have known all along; solar is a benefit to Arizona consumers and
makes homes more attractive to prospective buyers whether systems are leased or owned by
the original homeowner" said Mark Holohan, President of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries
Association (AriSEIA). "We ask that legislators take notice of this information the next time a
utility lobbyist sits in their office making baseless claims that solar makes it harder to sell a
home or doesn't add value for homeowners."
Two Year Adjustment Announced for Upcoming Elections
PHOENIX – Secretary of State Michele Reagan has unveiled the funding amounts available for qualifying Clean Election candidates in the 2016 election cycle. State law provides for these funding levels to be adjusted by the Secretary of State every two years.
The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed as an initiative by the voters in 1998 provides public funding to qualified statewide and legislative candidates.
The 2016 election cycle will be the ninth time candidates in Arizona will be permitted to take part in the Clean Elections system as participating candidates. The choice is strictly voluntary, although public funding is available only to participating candidates who qualify for funding. To qualify, participating candidates are required to gather $5 qualifying contributions from eligible voters and adhere to spending and contribution limits.
According to Secretary Reagan, the numbers released today establish the new Clean Elections spending limits for the 2016 election cycle and take into account recent inflation figures as well as the percent increase in state resident income tax returns as required by law.
Secretary Reagan revealed the new figures in a letter to the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission and a copy of the 2016 Clean Elections Biennial Adjustments chart is included with this press release. Copies are also available at the Secretary of State’s office on the 7th floor of the State Capitol, by calling the Elections Services Division at 602-542-8683 or 1-877-THE-VOTE or www.azsos.gov.Read more
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio once did a campaign television commercial where he threw copies of the Arizona Republic in the trash. While a congressional candidate over a decade ago current Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio ripped the Valley’s paper of record similarly in direct mail. Others, most notably conservative blogs, cheer daily its hoped for demise. Don’t count us as one of them. There’s no doubt the Republic’s editorial page can be frustrating to Republicans, conservatives in particular.
Sheriff Arpaio can do no right. SB 1070 was wrong, notwithstanding the deaths of police officers and other community problems associated with massive illegal immigration. Fox News it is not.
But the Republic’s editorial page also endorsed popular Republican Governor Doug Ducey – in the primary and the general. Former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl received similar treatment. And just today they termed Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton a “political liberal.” But arguing for their editorial page is not our key point. That has to do with their investigative reporting.
Government, business and society always have had and always will have actors operating in the shadows. What’s different now is the disturbing confluence of a decline of the fourth estate with the privileges granted corporations to wield more influence in elections. Who is left to point out the concerns? Who is left to peek in the darker corners and shine a light?Read more
A good man used to say “all politics is local.” Whether true or not there’s no doubt it’s cyclical.
Today, Arizona Public Service (APS) is feeling pretty good about itself. Attempting to foil innovation and more energy choice is its new way of doing business. After all, the company effectively owned, in the political sense that is, immediate past Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce.
And after its recent, robust election activity it thinks it owns at least two others. Whether that’s right or not remains to be seen.
APS’ largesse wasn’t about regard. It was about their bottom line. And they will squeeze whoever they have to, most especially their acquired allies, to beat stock expectations or qualify for bonuses.
No matter the issue – rates, solar, regulation, power lines – they will inevitably go too far. Power can’t help itself. Neither can arrogance or the demands of Wall Street.Read more