City & Local Reform
It turns out that you can fight town hall. Here’s how we’re standing up for local citizens and winning.
For many, the name Hugh brings to mind the disarming grin of British actor Hugh Grant. But today another Hugh should be in the spotlight, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman.
According to Wikipedia, the name Hugh means bright in mind and spirit" or "thoughtful. Mayor Hallman's recent comments on fiscal policy were certainly all three.
In The Matrix, citizens live in a fantasy world where every move is controlled by an omnipresent government. Enter Mohave County and its proposed land development matrix.
Last week, the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the "Matrix" (their title, not ours) land development guidelines.
This probably won't surprise you: Arizona is hot and dry. In fact, much of Arizona is coping with the 11th straight year of drought.
This won't surprise you either: what's commonsense here at home isn't always so in Washington. In the early days of the Clean Water Act, the federal government largely had authority over real sources of permanent water. But the Army Corps of Engineers now regulates not-so-wet-things like road-side ditches and sandy desert bottoms that might contain water once a year, if ever.
Phoenix's recent crime wave has put public safety in the headlines. As our hardworking police force works to make our streets safer, we should study successful crime fighting models like New York.
Once the inspiration for Batman's Gotham City, New York is now the safest big city in America. By comparison, Phoenix has the third-highest overall crime rate among the nation's ten largest cities.
If Proposition 402 passes on May 16, Scottsdale residents will be $80 million poorer.
At a recent townhall appearance, Governor Napolitano shared her concerns about Arizona’s growing population and stressed her support for “smart” growth. Of course, “smart” growth is just a smart euphemism for more central planning.
Instead of letting developers, businesses, and citizens figure out for themselves where to live, work, and build, “smart” growth puts those decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats. One need only look to the Pacific Northwest to see the effects of “smart” growth.
Responding to the January Stossel special, “Stupid in America,” Ed Ott, director of public policy for the New York City Central Labor Council, said ABC does not understand that “public schools are what distinguish democracy from every other system in the world.” He said he found it “appalling” that ABC would “risk its own freedom by undermining public schools.”
Mr. Ott should consult a dictionary for the definition of “democracy,” but what of his broader point that public schools are the bedrock of civic society?
In the game Monopoly, players buy properties and trade with each other to build their empires. Imagine if the Monopoly City Hall arbitrarily decided that your “St. Charles Place” should be razed to make way for “Park Place II”? That’s the type of gamesmanship common in eminent domain cases.
City of Phoenix officials are cheering on Phoenix’s bond election, hoping to push it to electoral success. Mayor Phil Gordon calls the March 14 election “the day we boldly define our future.” Bold indeed. Boldly irresponsible.
Bonding always costs more than advertised. Phoenix wants to issue $878 million worth of bonds’"a.k.a. go into debt’"to fund various projects. But according to city estimates, residents will have to pay an additional $1 billion in interest alone, putting the real cost of the package at $1.8 billion.
"Sprawl" is a dirty word in Phoenix these days. According to one Arizona Republic columnist, "Limiting sprawl and turning development back into our cities would go far to addressing a host of ills, including balkanization and destructive competition."