Gilbert and Chandler Place Well In Annual US City Fiscal Health Rankings

Town of GilbertCongratulations to the Town of Gilbert and City of Chandler for placing high in the annual US City Fiscal Health Index.

The index, prepared by The Fiscal Times, looks at five factors to derive the rankings including: ratio of city general fund balance to expenditures, ratio of long term obligations to total government-wide revenues, ratio of actuarially determined pension contributions to total government-wide revenues, change in local unemployment rate and changes in property values. Data is reported by the cities themselves from 2015. Only cities with populations of 200,000 were evaluated. (Tempe, Peoria, Surprise, Yuma, Avondale and Flagstaff have populations less than 200,000.)

City of ChandlerThe Town of Gilbert placed 17th while the City of Chandler placed 20th.

Other Arizona cities placed lower on the list:

Phoenix – 43
Glendale – 77
Tucson – 81
Scottsdale – 84
Mesa – 85

At the bottom of the list were Chicago and New York City.

To view the full index, click here.

POLL: Maricopa County Voters Say Raise Age to 21 to Buy Tobacco, Keep Coyotes in Glendale

MBQF
MarsonMedia

Poll also shows voters want Arizona Coyotes to stay in Glendale

(Phoenix, AZ) — Only adults 21 and over should be able to buy tobacco products, according to a new poll of Maricopa County voters.

Of the 584 respondents to a poll conducted Dec. 29 by MBQF Consulting and Marson Media, 72 percent said they support increasing the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. Just 28 percent oppose the move.

The poll also found Maricopa County voters prefer the Arizona Coyotes remain in Glendale, 55-45. And finally, Maricopa County approve of Indian tribes opening Las Vegas-style casinos off traditional reservation land by a margin of 45-39.

“It is clear among all political stripes that voters want to increase the legal age to buy tobacco to 21,” said Barrett Marson, CEO of Marson Media. “As cities in Maricopa County consider these proposals, they can move forward knowing voters support the move.”

Mike Noble Added, “What was interesting was that support to increase the legal age was basically the same between Republicans, Democrats and Independent voters.”

Despite spotty attendance performance throughout its years in Glendale, voters don’t support moving the Arizona Coyotes to a downtown Phoenix or East Valley location, the poll found. The team has said it will explore a move to a new arena downtown or could build an arena on the Salt River Pima Indian Community near Scottsdale.

“The Coyotes are locked in a battle with Glendale but voters actually prefer the team stays in the Gila River Arena,” said Mike Noble, CEO of MBQF Consulting.

As for Indian gaming, county voters appear OK with tribes opening casinos off of traditional reservation land. The Tohono O’odham recently opened a casino near Glendale though it lacks table games like blackjack that are at other casinos.

“Voters don’t mind Indian casinos in the metropolitan area even if they are operated by tribes far away,” Marson said.

In the automated telephonic non-partisan survey of 584 high efficacy voters, conducted on December 29, the survey calculates a 4.06% theoretical margin of error, plus or minus in percentage points.

For more information about this survey, or a summary of topline data and wording, please contact Mike Noble or Barrett Marson.

Poll: Glendale Voters Torn Over Arizona Coyotes

Some Voters Believe Losing the NHL Franchise Will Have a Negative Impact on the City – Others Lean Toward Financial Responsibility

(Phoenix, AZ) — MBQF, a public opinion survey consulting firm, announced today the results of a recent public opinion survey conducted on June 10, 2015.  Results from the automated survey show likely Glendale City voters with 81.2% awareness of this issue. Glendale voters initially view the loss of the Arizona Coyotes as having a negative impact on the city.  However, when voters were asked to make a judgment call, they chose their wallets over a handshake.

When asked if the agreement made two years ago with the Arizona Coyotes should be honored, a majority of respondents said that, if given the opportunity, they would try to find a way out of the agreement.

The Question was read as follows:

The Arizona Coyotes spokesman says that they are in complete compliance with the contract with the City of Glendale. The City of Glendale is considering terminating the contract on a technicality because hosting the hockey team is costing the City of Glendale in the last two years 12 million dollars.  In this situation would you honor your agreement or would you find a way to get out of the agreement? 

Press 1 if you would honor your agreement     42%

Press 2 if you would try to find a way out of the agreement    58%

MBQF Principal Mike Noble concluded, “Based on the results of this survey, the Council’s actions were a direct reflection of what the likely Glendale voter would do if placed in that situation. You cannot fault the Council for its financially prudent decision to terminate the contract.  However, it begs the question– What does a handshake mean in Glendale?”

For more information about this survey, or a summary of topline data and wording, please contact MBQF Consulting.

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by MBQF Consulting on June 10, 2015, from a sample of likely voters who reside in the City of Glendale. The sample size was 443 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4.63

Follow @MBQF_AZ on Twitter for breaking polling news.

Rev. Jarrett Maupin to Attend, Speak Out Against Glendale – Phoenix Coyotes Deal

Civil Rights Activist, Rev . Jarrett Maupin will attend tonight’s Glendale City Council meeting and speak against keeping the Phoenix Coyotes NHL Team in the city. “We must stop the abuse of Glendale’s hard working tax payers, people of color, the jobless. We must work to find a solution, without the NHL, that helps the city and relieves some of the financial burdens her citizens are carrying,” Maupin says. 

Glendale, AZ – Arizona Civil Rights activist, the Rev. Jarrett Maupin says he will be present at tonight’s Glendale City Council meeting to protest the city keeping the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey team and “bending to the will of NHL leaders and Investors with no love or loyalty” to the city and it’s residents.

Maupin labels the deals that prospective ownership and investors have pitched as unfair, “Glendale is not the NHL’s sugar-mama, poor folk in this city are not interested in being possibly paid back in the hereafter,” he says. With 11.9% of Glendale families living under the federal poverty level, the Preacher says city leaders must do what’s in the best interests of their poorest constituents. He hopes Glendale Councilman Sammy Chavira stands up for black, latino, and poor families with nothing to gain from making a deal. “As a firefighter he should understand that cutting city services puts people’s lives in danger, cutting city jobs takes bread off people’s tables, draining the city’s accounts harms the quality of life of poor and underserved residents the city should be serving first and who needs the help the most,” Maupin says.

Maupin will speak at tonight’s meeting to ask city leaders to move forward with a plan to solicit bids for an Arena Management contract. The Activist feels multiple events and varied use is the key to Glendale’s success: “Concerts, expos, sports events, fairs, and other entertainment events need venues. Multiple-uses mean thousands of revolving jobs. The potential for putting people to work, particularly the low-skilled, increases explosively.”

“This is about jobs and fixing a municipal budget weakened by exploitation,” Maupin says, “The NHL and investors will just keep on using Glendale, until they use it up. This cannot be, it is not fair.”

Weiers Asks Cruz To Repudiate Endorsement From Top Supporter

Cruz Supporter Wants To Shut Down Luke Air Force Base

(GLENDALE, AZ) You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. One of the people Manuel Cruz proudly touts as an endorser is former State Senator Kyrsten Sinema. While many know about her far left politics, few know that she wants to close down Luke Air Force Base. Here is what she told the Arizona Republic:

I do not support our country’s trend of expanding and increasing militarization. The U.S. military spends more money on weaponry and equipment than many countries spend altogether. The money spent on planes that are too heavy to fly, missile systems that don’t work, and weaponry in numbers too large ever to be used should be used to create useful jobs for working people. For this reason, I do not support keeping Luke Air Force Base open.- Kyrsten Sinema

Cruz is aware of Sinema’s outlandish beliefs yet he still proudly lists her endorsement on his website. That’s because Cruz is a Vice-Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, and when he isn’t trying to get himself elected Mine Inspector or Mayor, he is trying to get liberals like Barack Obama and Kyrsten Sinema elected to office.

Weiers said, “Extreme partisanship prevents Mr. Cruz from distancing himself from politicians who would devastate Glendale. What is even more troubling is that Ms. Sinema is seeking a seat in Congress, giving her the ability to start making good on her threat to close Luke. If Mr. Cruz is serious about saving jobs in Glendale and preserving Luke Air Force Base, then he needs to publicly denounce Sinema’s statement and repudiate her endorsement.”

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Jerry Weiers: Why Manuel Cruz’s Liberalism Is Wrong For Glendale and Its Economy

(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.

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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 

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Sewers vs. Sports Arenas

By Stephen Slivinski, Goldwater Institute

When government issues debt, you probably think it’s paying for the construction of a highway or water and sewer improvements – the sort of things that we usually expect government to provide.

For almost a quarter of state and local government debt in Arizona, however, the bonds pay for projects that directly benefit private interests instead of the public at large. And none of this debt is subject to the constitutional debt limits, nor did voters approve much of it.

The city of Glendale, Ariz. is a prime example of what can happen when government is not bound by constitutional debt limits. Over 40 percent of Glendale’s current long-term debt load ($475 million out of just over $1.12 billion in debt) goes to finance the hockey arena, the Cardinals stadium, hotel and retail centers, and subsidies to retail giant Cabelas. Glendale has used financing methods that keep its debt outside of the debt limits in the state constitution.

Repayment of the bonds is premised on the revenue that these projects are expected to generate from, say, well-attended hockey games or highly popular retail centers. But if that revenue never materializes, as has happened often, someone else will have to pay the bonds. Taxpayers are the likely target.

One way to protect the public’s money from special debt-financed subsidies to private interests is to put an overall cap on all government debt and to subject all local debt issuance to voter approval. These steps would require elected officials to make the case to voters that a bond to give subsidies to a sports team or a big retail corporation is more important than keeping open some of their bonding capacity for things like sewer improvements or public safety. When the trade-offs are so explicit, it’s unlikely that voters will approve letting local governments abuse their power to issue debt.

Stephen Slivinski is a senior economist at the Goldwater Institute.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Cutting up the Credit Cards: Seven Ideas to Reform the Culture of Debt in State and Local Government

Goldwater Institute: Debt and Taxes: Arizona Taxpayers on Hook for $66 Billion Tab Run Up by State, Local Governments

City of Glendale: Debt Management Plan

Jerry Weiers — Friend of Special Interests, Enemy of Glendale Taxpayers

Note to Readers:  This post is a repost and being reposted without any knowledge or approval by Shane.  This post was originally posted a few days ago but removed after Jerry’s campaign complained to their friends on 24th Street.  Seems certain Party leadership doesn’t believe in free speech anymore. They seem to believe it is ok to attack Republicans on this or another blog run by a certain county party chair as long as the posts don’t attack their sacred cows.

Jerry Weiers, a candidate for Glendale’s mayor, tries to hold himself out as a conservative.  But after reviewing his positions and legislative history, he is misleading the voters.  In reality, Jerry is a friend of special interests and an enemy of Glendale’s taxpayers.

Jerry claims to support lower taxes but vehemently opposes Glendale’s initiative to reverse the recently passed sales tax increase.  With this 0.7% tax increase, Glendale has the highest sales tax (10.2% on retail purchases; 11.2% on restaurants and bars) of any large city in the County.  Glendale currently has the third highest sales tax rate of the 107 largest cities in the country and became #1 with this increase.  Wouldn’t someone claiming to oppose tax increases be aghast and oppose this increase?

NOT Special Interest Jerry.  This $23 million sales tax increase will go towards paying Glendale’s $30+ million dollar a year subsidy to a special interest, the Phoenix Coyotes.  So Jerry thinks it’s OK for Glendale’s citizens to pay the highest sale tax in the county to subsidize professional hockey.  True fiscally conservatives oppose the sales tax increase that is being used to subsidize a pro hockey team.

While supporting a tax increase affecting Glendale’s citizenry and small businesses, Jerry does support an exception of the sales tax increase applying to two millionaire new car dealers in Glendale, one of whom doesn’t even want the special tax break.  Jerry thinks it is fine to give tax breaks to two millionaire new car dealers while raising taxes on groceries bought by Glendale taxpayers.   That’s Special Interest Jerry for you!!

But these positions by Jerry should not come as a surprise to anyone who followed his legislative career.  Overall, Jerry’s legislative career is unsurprisingly unaccomplished.  Jerry’s biggest accomplishment in his eight years at the Capital is his constant and persistent shakedowns of lobbyists and others at the Capital for money for the special interests he supports.  His constant shakedown of lobbyists became so blatant and offensive that another Republican state legislator introduced a bill last session to stop Jerry’s shakedowns.

Jerry claims to be a fiscal conservative – also a lie.  Jerry was recently graded as “Needs Improvement” by Americans for Prosperity, a leading fiscally conservative taxpayer’s group.

The proclivity of this current city council to give millions of taxpayer money to special interests has taken Glendaleto the brink of bankruptcy.  Does Glendale really want a new Mayor who will continue those policies that have made Glendalethe worst run city in Arizona?  Does Glendale really need another mayor who cares more about special interests than Glendale’s taxpayers and citizens?   Glendale needs a truly fiscally conservative mayor – and that’s not Jerry Weiers.

 

 

Candidate For Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers Secures Another Key Endorsement

(GLENDALE, AZ) Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson has endorsed Jerry Weiers in the race for Glendale Mayor. Wilson joins a growing list of leaders, including congressman Trent Franks, in endorsing Weiers.

Wilson has been serving on the Board of Supervisors since 2002 and is currently its Chairman. One of Supervisor Wilson’s main focuses is the protection of Luke Air Force Base. Wilson said, ““I could have no better partner that Jerry Weiers in protecting Luke Air Force Base. In addition, Jerry knows the issues that are important to the West Valley and he has the experience to work with regional governments to secure Glendale’s future.”

Weiers said, “I am honored to have Max’s endorsement. He and I are both aware that cooperation and communication between governments are what’s needed to grow our economy and protect local assets such as Luke.”

Weiers moved to Arizona in 1966. He has represented the West Valley in the State Legislature for nearly eight years. He helped lead 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 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

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Walt Opaska Files Signatures for Glendale Mayoral Race

GLENDALE, Ariz. –Walt Opaska, candidate for Glendale mayor, filed more than the 934 signatures required to get his name on the ballot. Opaska filed 1266 qualified signatures of Glendale voters. Opaska’s impressive filing shows that residents are ready for a mayor who puts Glendale first.

“Glendale residents are ready for a change,” Opaska said. “As mayor, I will work for them, not special interests. I will fight to lower taxes, restore city services, and enhance Glendale’s image.”

More about Walt Opaska

Walt Opaska is the son of a teacher and a small businessman. A graduate of the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, Opaska works for Bryan Cave LLP where he specializes in intellectual property rights.

Opaska is a long-time leader in the Arizona conservative movement. He serves on the executive board of Arizona Right to Life, and he cofounded the Arizona Republican Attorney Association with Phoenix Councilman Bill Gates. He has been active in the fight to lower taxes and end corporate welfare. In 2007, Opaska chaired the No New Sales Tax for Glendale campaign, a grassroots effort opposing Glendale’s ballot initiative to raise the city’s sales tax. In addition to professional and political involvement, he has been actively involved in numerous charitable groups, including the 20-30 Club and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Opaska is married and has a four-year old daughter. To learn more about Walt Opaska and his campaign to be the next mayor of Glendale, please visit www.opaskaformayor.com.

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