(GLENDALE, AZ) After an anemic election result on August 28th, Manuel Cruz fired his campaign consultants and embraced the largest proposed tax hike in Glendale history. That’s what liberals do. They always fall back on higher taxes and bigger government as their solutions to everything.
When the Glendale City Council passed a seven-tenths of one cent tax increase without allowing a public vote, I opposed it. Conversely, my opponent thinks the public should be shut out of this process and that hoisting this punitive tax increase on local business, seniors and residents is appropriate. I don’t.
When some of Glendale’s largest employers and tax generators like jewelers, car dealers and others said the tax hike would destroy business, I supported their efforts to create an exemption, a decision that would also alleviate the tax burden on Glendale citizens looking to make and keep those purchases in our city. Manuel Cruz opposed providing this job saving tax relief.
When I entered this race months ago, I proposed the creation of a citizen Budget Commission to aid the city budgeting process just like our Planning Commission aids land use decisions. I am pleased to see the city is moving toward such an approach.
While I want to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale and understand their importance I am not willing to do so at all costs. This is why I opposed the deal most recently negotiated with the City Council as being overly generous to proposed ownership, including payments even if disagreements between National Hockey League players and owners led to the cancellations of games, as is now occurring! We must renegotiate with the NHL and Phoenix Coyotes ownership, and recognize that the latest Phoenix Coyotes agreement is an improvement over the deal that was first proposed, and opposed by people like me. It needs to improve further before the Council can vote to support it.
This same approach should be taken with the new ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the owners of the Chicago White Sox, who together anchor Camelback Ranch. This is yet another venture that is draining Glendale coffers. If they can pay $2.1 billion to buy a team, they can come to the table to help a city that has helped them in the past.
Finally, making the best decisions for Glendale taxpayers means having sufficient information. Why would anyone, including my opponent, endorse raising taxes so significantly and shutting the public out of the process while the Phoenix Coyotes’ saga remains in flux and new city management has yet to conclude its report on city finances, including proposed reforms that could save taxpayers even more money? This is the difference between a liberal philosophy and one rooted in common-sense.
I have strong political beliefs but I do not think one can best serve as Mayor by serving as an ideologue. Manuel Cruz is a Vice-Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party. He is an ideologue, supported by out-of-state labor unions and left-wing radicals who share his vision of government spending as the solution to every problem. I do not. He will put the Democratic Party’s best interests above the City of Glendale’s. One cannot hold a top level party leadership position and be expected to serve the residents of Glendale at the same time. That is why I am publicly calling on Manuel Cruz to resign his position as a Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Party.
I will never support shutting the public out of the tax-raising debate as my opponent does. And it is true I do not support a seven-tenths of one cent tax increase that simply pours money into the black hole of the General Fund. However, when all the information is in I will not categorically reject the notion of asking voters to weigh in on tax measures if I believe they could be necessary to our public safety, parks, libraries, roads and other core functions of government.
Much in the way city bond projects are often divided into a series of packages for voters to consider, the same should be done for emergency sales tax increases.
For example, a much smaller and dedicated tax increase might be proposed to ensure our police and fire departments are able to protect the community. This is a tax increase I could support after all of the information has been disclosed and if I am convinced it is the only way to protect the public and the good men and women who serve us.
Similarly, smaller tax increases could be offered for parks, libraries and other needs so our citizenry could decide if all, some, or none of it is worthy of tax hikes.
And we should have sunsets on any temporary taxes of less than 5 years. My opponent supports the one huge tax increase for at least five years, perhaps permanently. I do not. Any tax increase to help manage Glendale’s budget crisis should be short and temporary.
I am proud of the work I did in the Arizona State Legislature, helping to turn our old $3 Billion deficit into today’s $800 Million surplus. A turnaround like that can happen in Glendale too, and it will if we reject the failed liberal ‘tax and spend’ proposal of my opponent and instead pursue common-sense solutions that bring our city together around shared priorities and common goals.
Jerry Weiers is an award-winning Friend of the Taxpayer who has been endorsed by Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, Governor Jan Brewer, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, The Arizona Police Association, the Glendale Chapter of the Phoenix Firefighters Association, and Republican and Democrat leaders alike.
Weiers moved to Arizona in 1966. He has represented the West Valley in the State Legislature for nearly eight years. He worked alongside Mayor Scruggs in efforts to bring the F-35 to Luke Air Force Base, solidifying this critical economic engine for Glendale. As a state lawmaker, Weiers has also helped Arizona recover from years of previous over-spending, turning a multi-billion dollar deficit into this year’s nearly $800 Million budget surplus.
Jerry is an accomplished pilot who flies out of the Glendale airport. He is a motorcycle enthusiast, and he is a member of the El Zaribah Shriners Motorcycle Unit. He performs in parades across the state and is also a reservist for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. For more information go to www.weiersformayor.com