Saturday, December 22, 2007

Early View of a Tribune endorsement perhaps?

I don't know how I missed this, but here is an interesting editorial from Jim Ripley talking about Mesa as a big city and heaping the kudos on Mayoral candidate Claudia Walters. In some ways, he is right, there has been a lot of progress in Mesa. The city is certainly not the backwoods that some people make it out to be. However, Ripley certainly seems to smooth over all of the rough patches.

While Walters would like us to get past it, I think that the budget and Mesa's current financial situation cannot be glossed over. The current budget is tens of millions short and the council is pushing a bond package with no citizen committee and no way to fund the operations of the stations they are building. Where is the big city thinking on that?

Riverview and Waveyard only came after two time consuming votes of the people and tremendous investments from their owners. If these happened in other "small" cities like Tempe or Scottsdale, I doubt that there would have had to be a vote. Its almost like its hard to get things done in Mesa. Things like Dana Park, Riverview, and Waveyard seem to happen in spite of the business climate, not because of it.

Finally, Ripley seems to be forgetting the kind of city that Mesa was. Christmas time makes me a little sad because it reminds me of the way Mesa used to be. We used to drive downtown and look at all of the decorations with the moving Snoopy and whatnot and then park and walk around the Temple. Then we would hop back in the car and drive around to all the different neighborhoods that would be filled with houses covered in Christmas lights. You don't really see much of that anymore outside the gated communities. Plus, Fiesta mall would be jumping with Christmas shoppers - which would help the tax revenues. Now, those people are down at Chandler Fashion Center or the new Gilbert shopping plazas.

I agree that Mesa is a big city, but I think its time that more people started acting like it. If they were, companies like MD Helicopters wouldn't be looking to leave. We wouldn't have a Mayor who everyone tells me has already checked out and a vice-mayor that sounds so defensive.

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