16 May 2018

Excellent Investigative Report From Lily Altavena

Is Mesa Mayor John Giles still as goofy as he looked two years ago when he asks this question in an article that appeared online just yesterday?
"Why would we ask again when the voters said, no I’m not interested in raising my sales tax?" 
Hey! They've had two years or more to 'set-the-stage' for another chance to hit up Mesa taxpayers to pay for their ill-begotten ASU schemes on the backs of more debt burdens.
What does this all boil-down to?
Tricky plans to transform downtown Mesa based on TRANSIENT STUDENTS? 
...and exactly as your MesaZona blogger stated two years ago, it's all based on private profits for the close cohorts of the closely-connected cadres of the Friends of Giles - the FOG - for their own wealth-creation to push for unsolicited developer proposals dependent on attracting transient students to create a boom in student housing construction in an historic district along the line of light rail service. 
Back in 2012 the city lured five out-of-state colleges to move to create "a college town" in The Old Donut-Hole" - one stayed and it took five years to struggle to reach an enrollment of 500 part-time and full-time students. One historic building was adapted as a residence hall that now houses 50 students who move-in and move-out every semester.  
It is now unclear how city officials will pay for their estate speculation schemes all wrapped-up badly in another trick involving ASU and The FOG. The re-jiggered the numbers - instead of the $200-Million debt that taxpauers REJECTED in 2016, The $70 million is an estimate to construct one building . . .
GETTING DOWN TO THE NITTY-GRITTY Here's the story from yesterday
ASU proposal for downtown Mesa is projected to cost city $70M
, The Republic | azcentral.com Published 10:52 a.m. MT May 15, 2018        
"The (estimated) taxpayer cost to build a proposed Arizona State University development in downtown Mesa is estimated to start at $70 million. 
That is about $100 million less than a similar proposal Mesa voters shot down in 2016, according to the city. 
The deal is not expected to go to voters this time. That's because city leaders would identify other revenue to pay for the project instead of the sales-tax hike voters rejected. 
The Mesa City Council could vote on a preliminary lease agreement with ASU June 4. The $70 million figure is an estimate; the finalized budget has not been set. . .
Blogger Note: City Manager Chris cannot escape 'the heat' for his bogus replies and assertions made in response to the robust questions asked:
"City Manager Christopher Brady told council members May 10 that while the city is only committing to one, $70 million phase of development, he envisions eventually committing to the full 2016 proposal. . .
" . . . It's unclear how costs would stack up. 
"It would just be later on than what we originally anticipated," Brady said. 
If his 'special-interest' undisclosed associations can't get any more tax increases, he'll get it from hikes any way he can in 'adjustments' in utilities fees and charges.
Blogger Note: Mebbe City Manager Chris Brady can get a calling to look for a new job!
READ THE ENTIRE REPORTING > https://www.azcentral.com
The mayor and some other council members said the investment would bring increased economic activity, including big-name developments that hinge on the university's presence. 
Whittaker disagreed and proposed again taking the issue to the voters through a sales- tax hike, separate from the public safety measure council already agreed to place on the November ballot. 
"What’s the next corporation that comes to us and says, 'I’m going to bring so much economic growth to your city but I’m only going to do it if you speculate with your utility rate payers’ dollars,'" Whittaker said. "I just want to say, I find that appalling." 
Residents, too, have spoken up against the proposal during heated council meetings
Reach reporter Lily Altavena at laltavena@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8927.
Follow her on Twitter: @lilyalta.


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