Tempe leads the East Valley in crime, taxes and city costs, except for Mesa’s water and solid waste disposal charges. In those two cases Tempe places second in costs behind Mesa. Tempe has a serious crime rate that is considerably higher than the rest of the East Valley.
Tempe officials continually blame Arizona State University for city woes, but I find it hard to believe the 35,000 or so students that attend classes at the Tempe campus are the culprits for all of Tempe’s fiscal and crime problems.
In the May, 2011 East Valley Tribune column, Tempe should spend less, cut more before raising taxes, it said “If Tempe spent per resident what Mesa spends on policing, they’d save taxpayers over $14 million a year.” Those savings would pay for the new dam in two and a half years. Even with reduced spending, Mesa continues to have a significantly lower crime rate than Tempe.
|Average Amount a Residential Household Pays in Sales Tax|
|City Property Taxes|
|Water and Wastewater|
|2013 Annual Rate for Solid Waste Pick-up Costs|
|Source: City of||Tempe|
|2011 FBI Crime Rate per 100,000 Residents|
|Violent Crime||Property Crime|
|Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports|
|Policing Costs per Resident|
|City Employees per 1,000 Residents|
|Source: East Valley Tribune, May 25, 2011|
Until the residents step up and demand accountability and transparency the Tempe leadership will continue to act like it has money to burn, your money to burn that is.
Matthew Papke is graduate of Corona del Sol and a Marine. He is running for Tempe city Council in 2014 on a platform of fiscal responsibility and civic duty. Matthew’s website is freetempe.com