Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More details and renderings of Cubs in Mesa plan

The Cubs have released their concepts of what the stadium would look like on the Riverview location. That topic, of course, has not been finalized yet, but you can see that the renderings are pretty amazing.
You can see the images and learn more at their website. The article has a lot more details about the project including the financial caps and where the money is coming from.

There have been some dicsussions about if Riverview is the best site or if somewhere else in East Mesa is preferable.

East Mesa proponents point to the potential of more money being spent in Mesa - what they fail to point out is the opposition in the Red Mountain area and the lack of development in the Gaylord area. We have been a fan of this concept in the past, but expect a free standing stadium in the middle of nowhere like Glendale and Goodyear for awhile.

Riverview is indeed closer to Tempe and Scottsdale. It is however, closer to Mesa retail than Hohokam ever was with development across the street in Mesa Riverview shopping center.

To be sure, there are pros and cons to both locations, but the Wrigleyville West concept is something that will be attractive in either locations. In reality, the best part about both of these sites is that they are in Mesa. It is critical that we keep the team in town. The details beyond that should be discussed with great interest, but we must be mindful of the ultimate goal here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cubs deal capped at $99 million

Mesa announced the more details surrounding the Cubs deal today including the announcement that the project hosts are hard capped at $99 million to the City. This announcement comes as more people were seeking details about the plan as early voting approaches.

Mesa and the Cubs revealed a term sheet explaining some of the main tenets of the deal including a $84 million for the facility and $15 million in infrastructure and park improvements making the total deal around $99 million - far less than the critics have been shouting from the rooftops.

Speaking of critics, the VBO has reared their ugly head saying that they oppose the deal (what else is new). Last year, we hailed their move to Gilbert, saying good riddance. Too bad they didn't stay gone. Ironically, they are complaining about Mesa's ballot language, which is written in accordance with the law that they wrote. Again, they are the reason why we must have an election every time the City has a project - which creates another step standing in the way of those who want to invest in our city.

Also, some more detail on the funding, which will come from the enterprise fund and the sale of land in Pinal County. This has nothing to do with the General fund. These details will be helpful in the last few weeks of the election to help assure voters that this isn't just a blank check.

This is a critical election to make sure that we are able to keep the Cubs in Mesa long term. Without the Cubs, what would Mesa have?

The Race for Congressional District 5

A little over a year ago, everything was looking great for the Democrats. At the time, we wondered if the Democrats were taking aim at Mesa to try to expand their influence. We also discussed how the frequent visits from the President and his cabinet could be seen as an attempt to appeal to Mesa or at the very least, give support to Congressman Harry Mitchell.

Now, a mere month prior to the election, it doesn't look like all the favors have made a lick of difference. In fact, with Obama's mounting unpopularity, it might even be part of what is reflecting poorly on Mitchell.

Its no secret that Harry Mitchell is in the fight of his life - and though he was given some flexibility to satisfy his conservative district, his votes on healthcare, the stimulus, and the bailouts may spell doom for him.

We have heard the phrase "enthusiasm gap" repeated time and again, but the reality is that its more like an enthusiasm canyon. We receive a lot of email from all over the East Valley and its difficult to tell how many tea parties there are, but we can say with certainty that there are far more tea party groups than democrat clubs. Mitchell's upset of Hayworth required Republicans who were sick of JD to cross the aisle. In this current environment, we don't see that happening.

Civic duty

Sorry Mayor Smith, but you can't get out of jury duty. Not that you don't deserve to - we very much appreciate your civic pariticpation, but the jury process is fairly set. He's right that they will probably let him go once he goes down there, but it is good to see that he is not above doing what he is supposed to do and let the process work.

In this day and age, elitism has crept into our elected officials (see President Obama), and they tend to forget that they are elected by the people and should live to the same standards as everyone else. Perhaps the President wouldn't be facing such mounting criticism if he followed the lead of local leaders. We also think that he would have been wise to follow Mesa's lead on balancing the budget instead of going down the road of overspending.