City & Local Reform

It turns out that you can fight town hall. Here’s how we’re standing up for local citizens and winning.

<p>It turns out that you can fight town hall. Here’s how we’re standing up for local citizens and winning. </p>

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.

Watch it here

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.

Glendale officials insist it’s time to end the debate over a $197 million incentive package the city is offering to a Chicago investor who wants to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and keep the struggling hockey team playing at the arena.

The deal that has been proposed is legal, they say.

The taxpayers are protected.

There are iron-clad guarantees the team will not be moved, even if it goes into bankruptcy again.

All of the relevant questions, advocates claim, have been answered.

By Warren Meyer

A  critical battle is underway challenging the very heart of the professional sports economics model — and it is not the NFL labor negotiations.  The unlikely fight is between a struggling league (the NHL), a suburb with delusions of grandeur (Glendale, Arizona), and a small, regional think tank (the Goldwater Institute). At stake is an important source of value for nearly every professional sports team:  taxpayer subsidies.

Chandler police Detective Carlos Ledesma was sitting at a card table when the drug bust went sour. He did not even have time to stand before being cut down by four rifle shots to the chest, and he died a short time later.

The Goldwater Institute's Christina Kohn joined Garret Lewis, host of The Morning Ritual on KNST in Tucson, to talk about Pima County's apparent plan to use federal stimulus funds to implement so-called 'obesity zoning' in southern Arizona.