Thursday, July 29, 2010

District 4 only competitive race

Of the three city council seats that are up, (4, 5, 6), only District 4 features a competitive match up between Vic Linoff and Christopher Glover. Higgins and Somers were both let off without a challenger, which some will take to mean that they are doing a great job, while others will consider it a case of voter apathy.

The Republic is featuring articles from both Linoff and Glover on why they would be best for the council. District 4 is the downtown Mesa district and it typically has the lowest turnout of the entire city. It will be interesting to see how much attention this race gains in the busy primary elections.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Molina is out

Just as early ballots start to hit households, David Molina, the recruited challenger to take on Rich Crandall, has decided to drop out of the race. After deciding not to run himself, Chuck Gray and fellow LD19 ultra-conservatives had drafted Molina to run. They spent the next few months attacking Crandall in Molina's name. It appears that Molina chose his business over a busy legislative race.

With Kevin Gibbons from the left last year and James Molina from the right this year, it seems that drafting candidates whose hearts aren't really in the race is a losing proposition, especially in Mesa.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

We noticed in the past few weeks that there appeared to be fewer campaign signs around town, but we assumed it was the typical vandalism and weather taking its toll. However, it turns out that Mesa is cracking down on campaign signs.

Hundreds of signs have been taken down and hauled in by Mesa's compliance department. While we thank the city for its attention improving the landscape, our real question is if sign enforcement is the best use of resources. Letters, pink ribbons, and pick up trucks seem like a lot of work to pick up signs. Its one thing if they are blocking views, its quite another if they are 14 1/2 feet from the Curb instead of 15.

In addition, the threat of a civil violation and a fine for sign placement it fairly outrageous. Who do you fine? The candidate? What if a volunteer put up the sign? What if an opponent moved the sign to be out of compliance?

Getting tough on signs while Mesa has made major cuts to other city services is one of the reasons why voters will never believe that there isn't more to be cut from government. When we are cutting back on police and fire, its hard for people to think that strict sign code enforcement carries equal weight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Florida backs out... for now.

The business interests in Florida have announced that they have withdrawn their offer to the Cubs. While this is great news, it should only be considered a small victory. There is still no deal in place to keep the Cubs in Mesa, and while Florida is temporarily out of the race, you can bet that they will jump back in at the first sign of trouble.

Also, shouldn't we be worried that there is still a chance that the team could move elsewhere in the valley? Mesa is on the right track to get something done with or without the legislature, but we cannot rest easy until the Cubs are guaranteed to stay in town for many years to come.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mesa will enforce 1070

We haven't said much about SB1070, instead letting it to be worked out on its own. For the most part, its a state and federal matter, but when it comes down to it, it will be the cities that uphold the law. To that end, Mayor Smith has stated that he will enforce the law.

Despite claims that somehow Mesa is a "sanctuary city," Mayor Smith has said that he will follow the law, while ensuring that people's rights are protected. Its the right move and the appropriate message especially to those who fear an expansion of the Sheriff's sweeps.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Despite decline, Spring Training is still critical

Spring Training brought in an estimated $348 million economic impact to the state. This is down from last year, which is understandable from the sagging economy and the fact that 27 fewer games were played. Nevertheless, nearly $350 million in impact is nothing to shake a stick at. In comparison, it is estimated that the Super Bowl in Glendale brought in $500 million.

Once again, the Cubs lead in per game attendance, but were narrowly beat out by the Giants for largest total attendance because the Cubs played one less game. Regardless, we can see that once again, the Cubs are a significant draw.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fireworks are back!

Make sure to check out the new freedom festival in Downtown Mesa and the fireworks display on Saturday. This has a potential to be a signature event for Mesa for many years to come, and though its not clear if this was intentional, not going up against the display at Tempe Town Lake was probably wise.

It was disappointing that the fireworks at MCC were cancelled last year, but it is neat to see a new tradition grow out of that situation. Let's see how it turns out.