Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clarificiation for "Thoughts on Mesa"

Our friends over at Conservative Thoughts on Mesa have written a response to our observation that Mesa would do well with a diversification of revenue sources. First and foremost, to be clear, we are not in any way advocating for a property tax. The voters were very loud and clear on the subject the last time around, and it is not something that should be considered in this current economic climate.

Second, when we talk about diversifying revenues, it didn't necessarily mean we were talking about increasing taxes. We agree that local government should be able to look for flexibilities within their system and always look for the most efficient ways to offer up services. Our observation is merely that, a little stability in revenues would mean that we could develop a minumum expectation of what services should be offered by government.

We agree that cuts are not a bad thing, but we also recognize, that every time you cut something, you are taking something away that you used to offer. Imagine if McDonalds went back to only offering a single cheeseburger and fries - there will be people to deal with.

All we were trying to say is that Mesa would do well to continue down the road of looking beyond merely sales tax dollars in its quest for economic development and jobs.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

Great clarification. I do agree with you that Mesa needs to diversify its tax base and how it collects them. I understood you talk about all the different options, and they should be considered at the right time. Mesa is only going to get worse if we continue down the road that "Conservative thoughts on Mesa" has. Shoot, if he would have won the District 1 seat, Mesa would be taking a step back and would be the same old Mesa. Glad that did not happen.

All options need to be on the table at the right time. Also, the old mentality of what Mesa is has to be thrown out the door. This is not 1970’s mesa anymore people. Shoot, even the good “growth” days are gone. We cannot sustain a quality of life and respectability as a city with the way we fund and take care of the nation’s largest bedroom community. Oh, and it has been called to be the most boring city too. That is not good perception. Besides taxes, we need to diversify our local stock. That means, not just more single family homes and retail. It means diversity in housing, diversity in employment. That means bringing more jobs to Mesa. We can’t wait for Gateway to reach its potential in 3-4 decades. We need to reach our potential within the next decade. We have areas like Downtown, Fiesta, Riverview, Falcon Field that have the potential and should be larger hubs of employment and densities. But for some reason, we have faltered and allowed growth on the fringe to dictate how our city looks like. That too has to change, and I think some in city hall gets that. That means marketing and finding businesses to re-locate to Mesa through incentives. Opps, that is a curse word here in Mesa. Funny thing is, I see how the Denver metro area has handled the economic recession and how they have survived unlike the valley has. That’s because they have a mix of high quality jobs, highly educated work force. Not in Mesa, and not in the valley do you have that. But with the mentality of “thoughts on mesa” you won’t get that in this city. You have to take sacrifices to make things work. That means no more incentives to places like Riverview. But incentives for more revenue making developments and relocation of high quality jobs. The state has had a ton of solar companies that want to locate in the valley, but have went to neighboring states due to better incentives. We are not competitive with regional cities in the southwest. We are big, but not competitive in attracting high quality jobs, educated, or the creative class that I am a part of. I love Mesa, but is it really going to overcome this economy when study after study suggest that AZ will be in it for a longer term, that Phx metro area is not desirable for young, educated people. Funny thing is, major companies look at these studies to find where people want to live and work. The valley is really not meeting that need any more beside cheap housing and low income work force. So, if this does not change, Mesa really is not going to change. I know the city economic model is HEAT, and the city wants to bring 100k high paid jobs to Gateway, but how are they going to recruit and entice companies to locate here in the first place?

Sorry for going off.