Monday, March 31, 2008

Richins, Kavanaugh, Finter endorse Smith

Its another big week for Scott Smith, with all three of the newly elected councilmembers endorsing his bid for Mayor (here is the Republic version as well). Smith already did well in Districts 1, 2, and 3, and I assume this will help him even further.

Dave Richins, Dennis Kavanaugh, and Alex Finter mounted successful campaigns, and I think this move helps build Smith's momentum as a winner. Also, last time I checked, it takes 4 votes to get something done on the council, and so it looks like Smith already has the beginning of a coalition built. What's even more telling to me, is that these new councilpeople clearly have spent time with both candidates (through forums and whatnot) and they all came to the same conclusion that Smith is a better fit.

It will be interesting to see if these little articles develop into full stories for tomorrow's print edition and see what Griswold has to say about it. My guess is that he will try to play the "outsider" as if these three guys newly elected are part of some conspiracy against him.

Be careful at Fiesta Mall

There were stabbings two days in a row and Fiesta Mall. I am sure this will do wonders for Mesa's sales tax revenues. Fortunately, it looks like they now have someone in custody. Its a bummer that these things happen, and its not really the fault of the mall. Just some crazy person running around making trouble. Maybe the malls around town will start having some security guards who are in shape.

I was walking around Chandler Fashion Center during Christmas time and I couldn't believe it when I saw security guards on Segway vehicles.

Friday, March 28, 2008

What is up with Blake Herzog?

Blake Herzog seems to have a serious thing for anyone who works at the city. She has an opinion on everything, and they post it in on and near every article on the Tribune website. Its hard to escape Herzog's opinion on something.

Before the primary election, she wrote a blog singing the praises of both Walters and Griswold. I may be wrong, but it appeared like she was leaning towards Walters because of the neighborhood experience. When Walters endorsed Smith, Herzog points to it as if it might be the kiss of death for him. She called Walters' defeat a "backlash" which I thought was interesting because it made no mention of Griswold's second place finish.

Not even a week later, the Tribune posts a fairly decent article that talks about both candidates having plans and she comes out with this blog entry criticizing Smith for a lack of details. I looked back at the article, and both candidates seemed to have some general plans and some specific ones. Bear in mind, I wasn't at the meeting, but it sure seems like she is taking Smith to task for things that she is giving Griswold a pass on.

What's the deal with that?

Good and Bad News

Good news: Mesa's museums are beating their budget numbers
Mesa is going to get about $60,000 back into the general fund from the museums doing better than expected. Perhaps that money could be used to ease some of the parks and rec cuts we read about earlier in the week, or maybe they can find a creative way to turn this money into more money. Or that certainly should be able to pay the salary of one more Police officer or Fire Fighter. Mayor Hawker doesn't want to give any kudos however, who knows maybe his tummy hurts from the exotic food he ate on his trip. Money is money, and Mesa needs it. Why not shell out a little praise? Compliments are free.

Bad News: Time is running out for the train at Pioneer Park
Well, I guess this is only bad news for some. I said that they should get rid of the thing already. Anyway, the folks who are trying to save the train have only been able to raise about 10% of what they need to show their support. It appears like the train will soon be leaving the station.

Good and Bad News: Police are changing their patches
Mesa Police are changing their patches to a more muted blue and silver tone. I guess it will help them blend in better, so I guess thats good news. The bad news is that those patches are fairly recognizable and its how I always was able to tell while I was flipping through the channels if "Cops" was on location in Mesa or not.

Mesa teacher indicted

Interesting story from Arizona Political Heat with video. Defrauding 300 people a big time allegation. It will be interesting to see how the school handles this.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Candidates start to share their plans

Rex Griswold and Scott Smith have started to reveal their plans for Mesa as part of ramping up for the May Election. Both of them have selected semi-catchy names for their plan, which seems to be the rage when it comes to rolling out an idea. Makes you wonder which takes longer, the name of the plan or the plan itself. Here is a summary of what they have to say:

"Moving Mesa Forward"
Rex Griswold's 100-day plan

-Participate in federal immigration training for Mesa police officers
-Push a four-minute fire response time, prioritize calls for service
-Create plan for sale of Pinal County land to pay for debt and infrastructure
-Identify new revenue sources, such as advertising on city buses, increase citywide recycling, reduce city's purchase of bottled water
-Reorganize city's Web site to improve access, hold online forums
-Regularly meet with city employee groups to build morale
-Develop partnership with Mesa employers and other local leaders

"Building a Better Mesa"
Scott Smith's plan

-Promote pride in the city and its assets
-Bring back community-building events such as parades
-Survey residents and customers to gauge city services
-Bring back people and recommendations from the Financing the Future 2025 project
-Establish a reward fund for employees who suggest innovative ideas
-Sell city-owned assets to reduce debt and create rainy-day funds

Both plans seem to have their merits and have some pretty decent ideas. At first blush, it looks to me like an "insider" vs. an "outsider" plan.

To me, Griswold's plan comes off with an "insider" flair. I am not saying that necessarily as a negative, I am sure some will point to that as a positive theme. Let me explain what I mean: Someone who is inside the system would know that the city uses a lot of water bottles and thus its a luxury that could be cut. They would also know how people feel about the website and would have some experience in the complaints they receive. They would understand what training is needed and the internal details of employee relations. He also doesn't focus as much on pointing out the faults in the current system.

Smith's plan comes off with an "outsider" flair. Whether that is positive or negative will depend on who you talk to. Smith focuses on how people from the outside perceive the city and how it serves its residents. Promoting pride and building community are more about getting the external things in order over fixing the internal city struggles. Bringing back the Financing the Future folks and customer surveys bring more focus on how external people feel about the city and what they think should be done. However, he doesn't have much focus on the best practices that the City is already doing to improve.

Like I said, I think both plans have some interesting things to say. I am looking forward to hearing more from both of them.

Small Signs = Easy to Steal

Interesting story about sign thefts. Wow. Those ugly monstrocities that are on every street corner are really $50 bucks. The little ones are $3. Thats like a small coffee from Starbucks dotting every corner and in people's yards all across the city. Unbelievable.

Its no surprise that the signs are stolen all the time. Kids probably build stuff out of them, opponents vandalize, people want to make yard sale signs. I am sure it happens all the time.

Dina Higgins is in a unique spot though because she opted to only do small signs. While that may be cheaper, it makes her signs a lot easier to steal. Someone usually notices when you pick up one of those big ones. The smaller ones are a lot harder to detect.

That being said, I will be happy when all of the signs are taken down in May. I have to laugh though because I never really noticed that Griswold's signs had an election date on them until I started noticing that people had put stickers all over them to change from the March date to the May date. In retrospect, either he didn't plan so well or he is a really confident guy.

I'd like an ice cream cake and foot massage too!

Police Chief George Gascón told the City Council today that Mesa needs a property tax (here is the Tribune version). I don't necessarily disagree with him that public safety should have a permanent funding source, but I don't think making outright demands is the best way to make your opinion heard.

First, voters voted down a property tax just two years ago. Nothing has really been done to change their minds since. Second, we are in a crashing economy. Gee, I wonder if voters are going to want to pay more taxes.

I like Gascón, I am not ashamed to admit it. He has implemented some good things for the city and his heart is certainly in the right place. I just think he needs to take some time to figure out how to communicate with the people of this fair city.

Here's a hint, let us know what you are doing well, and maybe we'll have a better opinion of the city. If you show for awhile that the city is getting better, perhaps then, people might be willing to open up their pocketbooks.

Public safety is essential to the city, but the first job is to prove that you are doing absolutely the best job you can with the money you already have.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What happened to Super Rex Fan Number 1?

Has anyone else noticed that Lindsay Butler has been covering all or most of the Mesa Election stuff for the Tribune since Election Day? What happened to Jason Massad? He had been covering a lot of the Election stuff, and in the perception of some, giving a lot of positive attention to Rex Griswold. He is also the first one to raise the issue of religion among the mayoral candidates which is now raging throughout the comment sections on several articles.

The last article I saw from him was contributing on the Election Night story. No peep out of him since. Have I missed something? Is he on vacation? Did he get reassigned? Is he working on some sort of expose? Did he take a leave of absence to ghostwrite Rex's memoirs?

If anybody knows whats going on, I'd love to hear about it.

Richins to leave the CDC

Newly Elected Councilman Dave Richins is going to leave his position at the West Mesa Community Development Corp. prior to taking his seat on the council in June. Its probably a smart move to step down before any sort of conflict is able to come up. It will be interesting to see where Richins ends up, since I assume that he is going to need to find another job. Maybe he should have moved to Phoenix where he would have been paid the big bucks and would have had several people on staff.

As for the West Mesa CDC, I think that this is a great opportunity for someone who cares about their area to step up and start caring for it full time. Plus, with Richins on the council, that built up knowledge will still be around. The Tribune did more for this open position than any help wanted ad in the paper could do. Let's see who turns up.

Mesa makes cuts

Well, folks, I am sure some are unhappy to hear that the city is going to make some parks and rec cuts. This is bound to happen when you barely have enough money to keep people employed and the lights on. I am torn when I hear about cuts to after school programs and the like.

On one hand, we don't have the money so something has to go. It makes some sense that the more "luxury" items should some of the first to go. However, these are also often the quality of life items that make the city a good place to live.

On the other hand, sometimes it feels like the city makes certain cuts because they know it hurts people, as if its going to guilt them to finally voting for a property tax. Does saving $39,000 from open nights at the gym really help fix Mesa's financial problems? Do we nickel and dime away the good stuff to accentuate the problem while still paying for random city security guards and whatnot?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Walters chooses Smith over Griswold

Vice Mayor Claudia Walters has chosen to endorse Scott Smith over former fellow councilmember Rex Griswold. This certainly has to hurt for Griswold, because no matter how much he tries to spin this notion after the fact, this is what he said after the election:

"I'm very pleased that 60 percent of the people want experienced leadership," he said, pointing to the combined backing he and Walters received.

My prediction is that Griswold is going to go back to shying away from his council experience, and now try to reinvent himself as some sort of agent of change You can already see it at the end of the article when he starts talking about challenging the "status quo."

So, which is it? Do you want to lump your experience in with Claudia Walters to get that 60% or now do you want to distance yourself from it? My question is, how does he make a credible argument that Scott Smith is the status quo?

The more I think of this, its not as much as an endorsement of Smith as a complete vote of no confidence in Griswold. This person has served with him for 5 years, and even after all of that, she opted going for the candidate she clearly fought with throughout the Election. What does that say about her confidence in Griswold?

I know that there are lots of people who have negative feelings about Claudia Walters, but she gathered 28% of the vote. She is not some fringe candidate that didn't have a chance.

ETA: Someone pointed it out, and I looked it up and confirmed. Griswold did beat Walters by 226 votes on Election Day.

I still maintain that she did have some momentum going for her. I still see this as an advantage for Smith.

4 more forums

The Republic is going to host 4 more forums for the run off. I have heard from several people who went to these forums that they were interesting, but the people didn't really have a chance to get to know the candidates. One minute responses without any rebuttal really keeps people making sweet generic answers that don't tell people much.

With fewer people involved, I hope they make these ones more about the one on one combat between the two. It will be interesting to hear what the candidates say when the heat is on.

Another violation for Griswold

Rex Griswold has made another campaign finance violation in his bid for Mayor. Once again, there will be no penalty for the violation. Its interesting to see the back in forth in the comments section between the Griswold fans and the Scott Smith fans. I am not going to get into the who is donating to whom stuff, but the guy should have known better than to take corporate contributions. Thats a fairly known portion of the law.

Griswold Watch has an interesting take on this and even links to the campaign finance reports which have been posted on one of our favorite blogs, the Sonoran Alliance.

Smith's Report
Griswold's Report
Walters' Report

I do have to say, its pretty funny that we have to rely on a blog to get campaign finance reports. The good old City of Mesa providing excellent customer service once again.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The plans for Gateway area

Interesting article about the Gateway area and how its going to impact Mesa's future. I think someone told me that its the largest undeveloped area left in Mesa. So, its an opportunity to make it something really unique. Or its another opportunity for a collosal failure.

One part I am interested in is this notion of an "aerotropolis." While I think the name is kind of lame, the notion is fairly intriguing. Building a core where people can live and work is great way to boost our economy and keep people from having to commute. I don't know about you, but our freeways can't handle another million people or so driving in to downtown everyday. Maybe the Gateway area can be its own sort of downtown. It sounds like there are a lot of big plans, and I will be certainly interested to hear more.

Didn't know there were so many places serving booze in Mesa

Did you know that the City of Mesa makes over $500,000 a year on liquor license fees? The fees that the city charges are apparently much higher than other cities. Once again, another indicator that Mesa isn't as business friendly as it could be. I am not saying that you give licenses away for free, but why make it harder to attract businesses that want to come into Mesa?

The argument that the Council uses is that liquor means more need for police. Well, I am sure that there are all sorts of types of places that require more police attention. I caught an old rerun of "Cops" awhile back from when they visited Mesa, and every altercation took place in an apartment complex or a trailer park. Should they have higher use fees for those to pay for more police?

This is not the problem that is impacting the city, but it certainly is an indicator of the problem. One of the commenters proposes a tiered system where the people who need the police more or have more police called should pay a higher fee than those who do not use the police as much. Maybe that would work.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More on the Budget Crisis

The Republic has a 9 page commentacular on Mesa's budget woes following today's story that 134 jobs must be cut. That is a little misleading because a large portion of these jobs are currently unfilled, but there are a portion of them that have real people in them. I know that this impacts people, but budget shortfalls impact "real people" every day. Real businesses have to do cutbacks and layoffs, why should the public sector be immune?

Layoff suck, but they are part of this shrinking economy. We need to start thinking about ways to keep the city afloat in the future. Some of the commenters seem to get it and others do not. As long as people keep rejecting the taxes, we are going to have to find other ways to pay for the things we need. Some of the people are still complaining about light rail and Waveyard, both of which could help build the economy for the future. Alas, these folks still can't get past them and keep doing the doom and gloom routine. Wake up people, taxes are not going to work right now. You aren't going to see people paying $3 for gas and shrinking housing prices lining up to pay more taxes. We need to find something that will work.

The doctor is out

Well, its not like Keno Hawker had any credibility left anyway, but apparently, he is on vacation in Costa Rica while Mesa is having to cut jobs. Go ahead and soak up those rays, its only your legacy that's being skewered right now.

Either this guy doesn't get it at all or he does get it and just doesn't really care. $5 bucks says he moves out of Mesa when his term is over.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mesa budget cuts

Mesa is going to have to finally lay off some workers to help make ends meet on their budget. If you have thoughts, make sure to meet foe the budget meeting on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. Here are the cuts they are proposing:

-Reduce Saturday bus service from every 30 minutes to every hour to save $466,000

-Cut funds to homeless shelters and charitable groups by $40,000

-Cut $7.2 million from police in reduced overtime, less equipment, fewer responses to nonserious calls

-Eliminate 35 positions from Building Safety

-Eliminate 4 positions from Solid Waste and purchase less equipment

They have been threatening these types of cuts for some time now, and its about time that they start doing them. It will impact our quality of life, but when we don't have the money to do certain things, you have to do without. The government can't be everything to everyone.

People have said no to raising taxes, yet every article talks about how the problem would be much less if we had a property tax. Really, because I see problems in Gilbert and other cities, and last time I checked, they have property taxes.

Final Numbers for Primary are in.

Sorry to be late on this, but here are the final counts from Mesa's Primary. The Republic has an interesting review of how Griswold's performance in his home district was the key to helping him make the run-off.

The Republic has an interesting spin saying that this is going to boil down to an East Mesa vs. West Mesa thing. Here is what they say:

"Voters in east-side districts 5 and 6 turned out in greater numbers than in the other four districts combined, and they favored Griswold over Smith by more than 1,600 votes.

But in the other four districts, Smith beat Griswold by more than 4,200."

Now, the stats right below the article show that Griswold beat Smith by 2,220 votes in District 5, but actually LOST to Smith by 603 votes in District 6. When you add those up, you get the "1600 votes" that they mentioned. Last time, I checked, District 6 was part of East Mesa. It doesn't really look to me like they favored Griswold. I guess that I should just be happy that the math is right for once.

So doesn't this really come down to District 5 vs. the rest of Mesa?

Glad its only their pride

A plane from Falcon Field crash landed on McKellips yesterday. I am sure that the person who owns that Cessna is probably pretty bummed right now. Luckily, only their pride is hurt. I hope they took out a couple of campaign signs on their way.

There are some creative people in Mesa

Aren't run-offs fun?

Someone sent me over a new blog, Scott Smith Watch, to follow the doings of Scott Smith and make fun of his election night pictures. The site appears to be copycatted off of Rex Griswold Watch which has been following the doings of Rex Griswold.

This appears to be the second time that Rex fans have set up copycat sites, following the Mesa Issues impostor debacle from a couple of months back. I would like to note that they haven't been "cooking up their own special brand of leadership" for almost two months now.

You have to hand it to both blogs, they are pretty funny. The "good ol boy" vs. Anchorman thing has a ton of potential. Also, the folks over at Scott Watch claim they know who is doing Rex Watch. It will be interesting to see who they accuse.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reflecting on Griswold's statements on the Mayor's Race

I look back on the stories about the Mayor's race from yesterday and I have wonder what Claudia Walters, the newly elected councilpeople and the two that are staying on the council think about Rex Griswold's statements.

From the Republic:

"I'm very pleased that 60 percent of the people want experienced leadership," he said, pointing to the combined backing he and Walters received.

If Smith is elected, Griswold said, "I think you would have a learning curve. I think you'd be more controlled by (city) staff."

From the Tribune:

One of the primary election dynamics has been whether voters wanted experience to lead a council that will have a majority of new members or someone like Smith, who has not been in Mesa’s inner political circle.

Shane Wikfors, a consultant, said Griswold’s campaign will work hard to woo Walters’ supporters.

“She knows Rex, she works with Rex, she knows he’s still governing,” said Wikfors, of Red Mountain Consulting.

The first person I would be interested in hearing from is Claudia Walters. She has been talking about the council and experience since the beginning of this thing, even when Griswold shyed away from it. Now, he is trying to lump himself in with her. He is going to act like they have been best buddies all along when he has clearly tried to shy away from her like some sort of "secret girlfriend?" Plus, does she really know that he is still governing? How is that possible? Does he pretend to still be on the city council?

I would also be curious to know if Richins and Finter think they need someone with experience in the "inner political circle" to lead them. I think that both of these guys have plenty of experience in dealing with the community, I doubt they need Griswold's leadership savvy to see how the world works. I'd be interested to hear from Higgins, Austin, or even Truitt to see if they think Griswold is still governing.

I'd also be curious to know what veteran Dennis Kavanaugh thinks about Griswold touting his experience. Kavanaugh is also known for his experience and for taking stands whether they are popular or not. Plus, Claudia Walters endorsed him during his council race. Does he need Rex's guidance to prevent him from being part of the team that gets controlled by city staff?

Scott Smith and Rex Griswold are in a run-off

Here are two great takes on the Mesa elections: one from Sonoran Alliance and one from my pals over at Exurban League. Neither of the papers felt like they had to post any election numbers, so here are the results from the Mayor's race:

Scott Smith 16,229 (38%)
Rex Griswold 14,198 (34%)
Claudia Walters 11,890 (28%)

So, Scott Smith beat Rex Griswold by over 2,000 votes and Claudia Walters by over 4000 votes. However, if you read the headlines in the Tribune or the Republic today, you'd think that Griswold had won the whole thing. Interestingly enough, Griswold assumes that votes for Walters will transfer to him because he is now the only one holding the experience mantle. I'd say that there was probably a reason people picked Walters over him in the first place, and so I think it will be a fight for every last one of her voters.

I also realized that it was Griswold's campaign manager who commented on my post about the Tribune's survey saying that the survey didn't take into account the power of East Mesa. In some ways, it looks like he was right. Griswold was not in third place like the Tribune said. However, upon further review, I think he was trying to hint that Griswold would be first, which didn't happen. Either way, it just goes to show that the polls aren't always right.

The other latest trend that is showing up in the comments section is who is giving money to whom. Its sort of funny when you think about it that people want to argue over the finances of two businessmen who have each given a bunch of their own money to their campaigns. Why is this as big of a deal as they are trying to make it out to be? Some Rex supporters are trying to tag Smith as a "good ol boy" which is hilarious because he is running against the status quo and makes no bones about it. How does that even work?

Anyway, my prediction is that things are about to heat up over the next two months. Now that its one on one, its going to be harder for the candidates to just talk about themselves.

Congrats to Richins, Finter, and Kavanaugh

Here are the results from Mesa's primary election last night. Here is the link to the County Recorder's Site which also has the early votes listed so you can see them.

Dave Richins, Alex Finter, and Dennis Kavanagh have secured their seats on the council with Dina Higgins and Phil Austin going into a runoff for District 5's seat. I have heard a lot of people say that they were surprised by the big lead Higgins was able to gather. If you look at her early ballot counts, you can see that she had a 1200 vote lead right out of the gate. That's very impressive. It will be interesting to see how having another race in District 5 will impact the Mayor's race as well.

Congratulations to everyone who was elected last night. Good luck!

City Council - District 1
Dave Richins 3,534 (54%)
Matt Tolman 2,967 (46%)

City Council - District 2
Manny Cortez 1,591 (28%)
Alex Finter 4,143 (72%)

City Council - District 3
Dennis Kavanaugh 2,337 (60%)
Mark Yarbrough 1,567 (40%)

City Council - District 5
Phillip A. Austin 2,617 (29%)
Dina Higgins 4,000 (44%)
Vern Mathern 2,462 (27%)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Remember to Vote

Tomorrow is Election Day. Remember that polls are open all day until 7:00pm. If you need any additional information before you vote, here are some resources:

Tribune's Election Coverage
The Arizona Republic's Election Coverage

Here are the candidate websites:


Rex Griswold's Web site
Scott Smith's Web site
Claudia Walters' Web site

District 1

Dave Richins' Web site
Matt Tolman's Web site

District 2

Q&A with Manny Cortez
Alex Finter's Web site

District 3

Dennis Kavanaugh's Web site
Mark Yarbrough's Web site

District 5

Phil Austin's Web site
Dina Higgins' Web site
Vern Mathern's Web site

How real will the change be?

The Tribune is saying that "change is guaranteed" in this upcoming election. I think that is somewhat of a misnomer, because while its true that the majority of the council will be new, change is really what they make it. There has been a lot of change talk throughout this election, and the question is, who are the candidates who are capable of putting those words into action?

The Tribune also states that most people think that Mesa is headed on the wrong track. Again, I can't think that this bodes well for the candidates who have been on the council before. However, I think that Kavanaugh's fundraising advantage will probably bring him back to his old seat. On the other hand, I think that this news might hurt the two incumbent mayoral candidates.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Slum Landlord law moves forward

Mesa is moving forward with a slum landlord law. Better late than never, I guess. Whats interesting to me is that this article turned into a direct competition between the two people running for Mesa City Council district 1. Who knows if Massad is making a mountain out of a molehill, but its interesting how Tolman and Richins get face time on this issue. It sort of fits, I guess, since Richins is a community revitalization guy and Tolman is a property manager.

Its interesting how the comments have blown up into a Tolman vs. Richins debate. I am not sure if the people blaming the tenants for roaches are Tolman fans, or if they have just had bad experiences with renters before. The commenter "scream" once again proves that he has no idea how development incentives work because he keeps acting like the city is dolling out money from their pocket instead of discussing how the money is generated from the project itself. The guy points out that Richins supported Waveyard and Riverview, which last time I checked, were fairly popular when they were voted on by the people.

In the end, the one thing we have learned is this: people may want to vote for Tolman, but they might want to think twice about renting from him.

Fugitive Nabbed in Mesa

I thought I saw this guy in the last X-Men movie. Turns out he was a fugitive on the run for the past 22 days. Glad he decided to come hang out in Mesa for a bit.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Early Votes continue to roll in

Maybe the Arizona Republic's last endorsement before the election is too late. According to the Tribune, there will be more people who voted early in this election than who voted in the entire election 4 years ago.

The large majority of people have more than likely voted already in this election, so the timing might be poor on the Republic's part. I know that many other bloggers have spent a lot of time on the slipping relevence of the newspapers, but this hits home to me. These days, how influential is it to have the newspaper weigh-in right before Election Day?

Maybe it would be best if the Republic started to stay out like the Tribune does.

Mesa Speaks?

I haven't had a chance to comment on the last few sections of the Tribune's survey results from this week. However, the more I have had a chance to look at this stuff, the more I really have to doubt its accuracy or at least doubt how the questions were posed. According to their survey, 49% of the people oppose Waveyard, or at least as they posed it, they oppose the incentives that are part of Waveyard. Gee, last time I checked, Waveyard was fairly popular. I think a commenter named AZMesa said it best:

"Well, this proves that the surveys the last few days were garbage. 'About 43 percent said they want the city to support the (Waveyard) park with tax incentives, 49 percent were opposed and slightly more than 8 percent weren't sure or did not answer.' Now, I have been against subsidizing this fiasco from the beginning, but the actual legal final poll at the voting booth (the only thing that counts) was 2 to 1 in favor of it. Alas, EVT, spend a little more $$$ on the poll and get a representative sample of LEGAL residents who VOTE."

Even the people who are opponents of Waveyard get that the thing has been voted on and approved.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Tribune thinks that their questionable poll may open the door for a property tax. That is wishful thinking at best. Nothing has happened in the past 2 years that will change people's minds about voting for a primary property tax. I honestly don't think that anyone's spirits should be bolstered by the Tribune's findings. True, there are a lot of new people who have moved here, but there are also a lot of old people who moved here... the difference? They vote.

I seriously doubt that there is going to be a primary property tax implemented any time soon. I think that a secondary is probably more doable, but even that is going to take some work. All this talk about the bonds makes it sound like everyone assumes that it would pass handily. I don't necessarily think that is the case.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Immigration Issues in Mesa

Here's another shocker: People want immigration laws enforced in Mesa. In fact, 75% of the people they interviewed supported "vigorous enforcement" of immigration laws. Now, I know that there are still some questions out there about the accuracy of this survey, but this one seems like sort of a no brainer. I bet 75% of people like Ice Cream and saving money on their car insurance.

So, I was curious to see what the Mayoral candidates were saying about immigration beyond what was said in that article awhile back. So, I looked through Claudia Walter's site, and found nothing. I looked through Rex Griswold's site, and again found nothing. However, on Scott Smith's site, I found his position on Immigration, and I saw this video. So, 75% of the people in Mesa think that Immigration is a major problem, and only one candidate is talking about it?

The other interesting thing is that the Trib tries to connect the enforcement of immigration and relations with the hispanic community. I would venture to guess that if you asked the member of the hispanic community about their issues, it would be more than just illegal immigration. However, people assume that would be their number one issue. In many cases, I highly doubt it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Better check that again...

Well, as a few people have pointed out to me, I think that the Tribune's survey might have a few problems. I have had a few comments and emails about the geographic balance of the survey saying that it doesn't favor the East part of Mesa like it should. I guess would be that it would Rex Griswold because it includes his district, but I am guessing that it might also help Smith. The trib says that Smith did well with older folks, and there are a LOT of older people out there. I thought I would give the survey a chance, until I saw that the Trib is reporting that the survey says people would be willing to support a property tax.

Actually, it says that people would potentially support a nebulous tax for police and fire, but it doesn't mention the amount or for how long. I seriously doubt that two years after a bitter failure of a primary property tax, the voters are ready to turn around and vote for just any old property tax. Now, they might be able to be convinced to support a very specific bond package that has police and fire in it, but even that is doubtful to me. Everyone that I talk to is not ready to start paying more taxes. Plus, the older folks I talk to remind me constantly that they moved to Mesa because the taxes were low. Now, I think that something needs to be done about Police and Fire - I just think that a little more research needs to be done before they go off and try to pass more taxes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tribune's survey on Mayor's Race

The Tribune is starting a 5 part series reporting on a survey that they have conducted. The first part is about the Mayor's race and how close it is. Scott Smith is in the lead with 18.3% of the vote, followed by Claudia Walters at 16.7%, and the Rex Griswold at 14%. Thats a VERY close race.

What I thought was interesting is that even with 10 days or so left, there are still half of the people who haven't made up their mind. Do you think that these people show up? I know that there are still a lot of people with early ballots, but do they turn them in if they don't have a strong opinion?

One thing that caught my eye was the fact that 43.1% think that the city is on the wrong track, versus only 31.3% of the people who think its on the right track. I'm not an expert, but I can't imagine that bodes well for the who have been on the council. You have to assume that lack of confidence will play well for Scott Smith when people cast their votes.