Such a great headline.
Mr. Dougherty had a way with words. Don’t know Mr. Dougherty? He was a writer for Phoenix New Times. Like all great quotes it requires context. So, let’s start there…..
Want to throw the fear of God into Phoenix elected officials, downtown business tycoons and their self-serving cheerleaders at the Arizona Republic?
Want to get them to finally pay attention to you, the little guy, whose taxes keep getting sucked up into massive big-box projects that line the pockets of the wealthy and do nothing to make downtown Phoenix more beautiful, much less more livable?
Want to save taxpayers more than $600 million for the construction of the new convention center and from the huge operating losses it will certainly generate for decades to come?
Want to screw with the elite — just for the hell of it?
Well, now’s the time to strike.
And here’s how.
Back in 1989, a group of angry citizens, honked off over plans by the city to build a domed stadium and an amphitheater, launched an initiative drive that resulted in the passage by Phoenix voters of Proposition 200.
We only wish that Mr. Dougherty lived in Payson. Trust on this, the full read is worth the click. Follow this link for the full Phoenix New Times Article.
The full article discusses Proposition 200. Let’s just say that it is strikingly similar to Proposition 402? But what does it say?
The city shall not expend public funds, grant tax concessions or relief, or incur any form of debt in an amount greater than three million dollars . . . to aid in the construction of any amphitheater, sports complex or arena, stadium, convention facility or arena without approval of the majority of the electorate voting thereon at the next general election.
We suspect that Mr. Dougherty was labeled “anti-growth,” or dare we say a “naysayer?” His opposition to the $350 Million project was likely based on the realization that it was a loser. While the project was ultimately built, Mr. Dougherty was 100% correct. The project was a loser. How bad?
Annual operating losses of $50 MILLION. Sold for $225 MILLION. Yes, all told a significant loss. The $600 Million feared by Mr. Dougherty? We suspect it was close. Nothing but a “gift” to the developers on the back of the taxpayer. Don’t take our word for it. Read about the ultimate sale of the boondoggle here.
Again, please take a look at Phoenix Proposition 200, and Phoenix code Chapter 27. While you are there, take a look at Chapter 26, the use of public lands. You can find the full City of Phoenix code here.
Taxpayers have long been tired of “the game.” In this case going all the way back to 1989. In this case two land development deals, South Mountain Preserve and the Downtown $350 MILLION convention center. Both losing deals for the Citizens Tax Mules.
Stick it to ‘Em! Save Payson from the same fate!