FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2011
CONTACT: Jason Rose
(Tempe, AZ) – The City of Tempe has done very well in the last seven years despite two recessions, one mild and one that deserves the term “the Great Recession.” Tempe’s fiscal house is in good order, our employees have met the challenges of doing more with less, and our leadership is forward-thinking, proactive and conservative in planning, but also aggressive in pursuing and capturing new opportunities. Our current condition, community character and quality of life are the envy of the State and much of the Country. With future opportunities of which we are nearly perfectly positioned to take advantage, Tempe is a community poised to reach an even brighter future.
Despite all that we have done and continue to do, our community, Tempe, is a captive of the leadership that now rules the direction and future of our Great State of Arizona. As hard as we might work to address every challenge presented to Tempe, we are limited in the results Tempe can achieve because of the limitations of vision and ability of many who are dictating our State’s direction. In the coming years, I will continue to commit myself to address the State’s need for leadership and to assist those who demonstrate a capacity and vision to build on the greatness of this State and its people.
Further, I have committed myself for the next year to continue addressing the issues facing Tempe that only can be addressed by working regionally. Tempe’s access to a fair share of federal dollars for roads and highways currently is at significant risk due to the arcane and bizarre federal rules governing air quality, and yet this challenge only can be met through the regional work conducted by the Maricopa Association of Governments, of which I currently am Vice Chair and for which I will provide service as Chairman for the next year. Beyond such “formal” work, the economic development of Tempe is inextricably tied to the successes and failures of Phoenix, certainly, but perhaps more, to the opportunities and challenges faced by our fellow East Valley cities. Success in these, and other, regional efforts are essential to Tempe’s future success. These efforts will take significant time and effort on behalf of Tempe.
We also are approaching the time for an election of a citizen who will provide the leadership for our community as Mayor, as well as an election of three others to serve on this Tempe Council. Such an election should encourage the full discussion of policy and capacities of those who seek to govern on behalf of the residents of this Great Arizona City. Further, with my parents’ principles and ethics as my guide, I also believe that these positions of trust should not be considered any form of “birthright” or be too long held. As we observe in far too many examples, longevity breeds arrogance, and arrogance breeds corruption. In such light, and with the knowledge that Tempe is well placed for the future, understanding the constraints imposed on directing important regional work while also seeking election, and recognizing that the future of our City and State may compel me to offer leadership in a broader capacity, I believe it appropriate now to apprise our community of my resolution that I will not seek reelection as Mayor of Tempe.
This has been a difficult decision to make, but I make this decision with my great thanks, love and affection, first to my wife and family for accepting the burdens of my service, and then to the great staff members of Tempe and all of my many friends and supporters who have provided such full encouragement and assistance during my years in elected office and other service to this community that, cumulatively, exceeds two decades. Our successes have been as a result of great effort by many, and for any failures I hope our community will forgive me my limitations. I remain grateful for the opportunity to have been of some service to our community.