June 14, 2011

PCA/DPJ Mayoral Debate

by: Taz Loomans


If you missed last night’s Mayoral debate sponsored by the Phoenix Community Alliance and the Downtown Phoenix Journal held at the School of Nursing at ASU Downtown, here’s my twitter recap of what was said.  Not much was different from the Mayoral debate last Thursday sponsored by the Downtown Voices Coalition except for the fact that Anna Brennan, a candidate that did not make the ballot, was present.

Learn more about the major candidates and read the Blooming Rock interviews with Mattox, Stanton and Neely.  I’ll be posting my interview with Wes Gullett in the next few days.

Note: If you’re not registered to vote yet, please do so now by clicking here! Remember that if you’re not registered to vote by August 1, you will NOT be able to vote in the mayoral election on August 30. If you are already registered, know that your voting place is not the same.  Click here to see where the new voting centers will be.

The twitter recap of last night’s debate:

Again, everybody’s at tonight’s PCA/DPJ mayoral debate!

Anna Brennan not a lobbyist not an attorney, daughter of immigrants, was nurse, flight attendant, restauranteur in DT Phx

Wes Gullett: we’ve got to get the economy going again

Mattox: strong neighborhoods, quality schools, career jobs, been on City Council for 11 yrs

Peggy Neely: we are distinctly different, describes herself as a strong decisive leader with a proven track record

Neely listing ALL the biz she’s brought to town

Stanton: local kid, wants to build a diverse, sustainable economy, a strong DT advocate in tough economy, smart land use policy

Jennifer Wright: Worked for Goldwater Institute (boo!). Wants to emphasize fiscal responsibility

Moderator: is the city of Phx well managed? Brennan: No! Food tax sucks. We need to address the union issues.

Gullett: City of Phx has strong management but has some serious problems. Need more transparency, hates the water rate increase.

Mattox: yes the city is well managed. We have great employees. We have to respect existing labor agreements.

Neely: loves the city manager form of govt. We can’t sustain our budget. We can’t continue to borrow.

Stanton: the city is a strong institution but is not perfect, we need more transparency. For strong labor agreements.

Wright: city is not well managed. (holding up the budget) we need a system for manager to be held accountable

Gullett: independent strategic visions for each neighborhood, we need a strategic plan update

Mattox on economic dev: reach out to existing biz to retain them. Then go out and attract new biz.

Neely: some are planners, some are doers ( direct zing to Gullett!)

Neely: we need a regional approach

Stanton: we can’t just be regional, we must be internationally competetive. Local first, high wage jobs, education are important

Wright: holding up the strategic plans, says they suck and have failed. Govt gets in the way, loves Scottsdale!

Brennan: strategic plans we don’t follow cost us time and money. Commends Local First.

Mattox: on small biz, chooses local restaurants, shops. City should use more local biz

Neely: Phx needs a procurement code with a local preference. DT needs ALL (read Chains) biz

Stanton: agreed w/Neely on procurement code. We need to be smart about our bldg codes. Adaptive reuse code is important

Wright: small biz is the life blood of our country. Right now Phx is NOT small biz friendly

Brennan: we need education on the importance of buying locally! Decrease tax burden, take away union privileges

Gullett: it is important to invest locally, we need to require our banks to invest in our local businesses.

Neely on housing and job creation in the central city: we need to get businesses to help with TOD, we need multi-use dev

Stanton: we need to have smart land use policy in the rest of the city to have a strong DT. City North was a bad thing for DT!

Wright: holding up magazine says housing doesn’t bring people DT, jobs do.

Wright challenges Stanton to move DT

Brennan: let’s learn from Europe, we need plazas and affordable housing

Gullet: how do you define central city? We need a mix of housing in DT, allows for vibrancy, we have to DO it! We need planning

Mattox: we are doing it! Looking at TOD Dev. We need the jobs first though, the rooftops will follow

Stanton: it would be a hell of a reality show if Wright moved in with his family

Stanton: we need to be smart about selling off the vacant land

Wright: we need to make sure property taxes are low for existing spaces, let’s stop building new (good point)

Brennan: we need a real property inventory, we don’t have the money to operate what we have. Sell what we don’t need

Gullett: agrees on need for inventory. We can’t tear down existing bldgs (here here!) we need public private partnerships

Mattox: we need a true urban planner to be able to mix residential with biz. House flippers suck…

Neely: the DT Urban Form is a great plan. We do not drive dev, but we can have guidelines

Wright on Urban Form and parking: we have plenty of parking, not enough walkability (changing her tune a bit)

Brennan not familiar with the DT Form Code. Agrees with Wright, plenty of parking, we need more plazas.

Gullett: how do we pay for the implementation of the DT Urban Form code? Right now we can’t do it.

Mattox: we need shade for walkability but the DT urban form code is a function of the economy

Neely: the DT Urban Form does not have lots of parking, but we don’t need another parking garage (agreed!)

Stanton: it’s a false choice between economic dev and a dense DT. Walkability bikeability are good for economic dev

Brennan on city support of the arts: she supported local artists at her restaurant. Not in favor of public art!!!

Gullett: we need a more robust public art program to create real art investment like Denver

Gullett: public art should not be funded through general fund (yikes!)

Mattox: art makes a city more attractive, firmly supports the arts. They are underfunded. Explained percent for the arts.

Neely: we have shortfall in being able to maintain our arts program. Touted MIM.

Stanton: arts and smart economic dev go hand in hand. Outside investors look for a vibrant arts and culture community

Stanton: we can’t let the arts be the easy cut!

Wright: believes in arts and culture,but does not want gov in the arts (Goldwater speak)

Gullett on fav moment in DT Phx: Game 6 of the World Series

Mattox’s fav moment in DT: Rock & Roll Marathon. Way to go on being a musician!

Neely’s fav moment: the Olympic torch run

Wrights fav moment: wedding at San Carlos ( she got it right this time)

Mattox on future staff pay increases: merit needs to be based on merit

Neely: come 2012 wages go back to pre-furlough times, tough decisions coming, we have to control our pensions

Stanton: come to the table openly, continue good labor mngmt relations, don’t jeopardize in tough times

Wright: make sure payscales at the City are in line with private sector

Brennan: we can’t have our unions dictate what our budget is, we need to address our city managers position. Cavazos has failed!

Gullett: we have to get a grip on our costs, do it with labor negotiations, both sides, including employees have to give

Neely on police and firefighter unions: they are vital we need a balanced approach

Neely schooled Brennan on the Starbucks in City Hall being a non profit

Stanton: Police and fire are more than labor relations

Wright: Police and fire unions aren’t necessarily making us safer

Brennan: why can’t St.Joe’s (the non-profit mentioned by Neely) use a local roaster?

Brennan: hates the unions! Calls out Mattox and Stanton’s union support

Gullett: I don’t have any union support and I have more signs than Mattox and Stanton

Gullett: unions have a role, but city has to say no to them occasionally

Mattox: agrees with Gullett, resents being called a union totie. Says no one cares about unions when they need a cop

Stanton on public transit, LR’s west valley alignment: supports the LR extensions, wants better bus transit system, more options

Wright: public transit big part of how she got around (even though she’s never taken LR)

Wright: LR doesn’t work for Phx! It’s always empty (wha????)

Brennan: LR is a money loser but good for the environment, we need bile lanes, different modes of transportation

Gullett: we shouldn’t invest in more LR extensions until we get more ROI on current LR

Mattox: uses transit on a regular basis (kinda) we’re 150% above projections on LR

Mattox supports west extension, agrees with Gullett on need for better Station area planning

Wrights closing: 5 decades of failed planning, defined crazy, let’s get govt put of the way

Stanton’s closing advocate for DT as a neighborhood, strong public schools

Mattox closing: council has been involved in making DT better. You need people who know what they’re doing, unlike Wright, Brennan

Gullett closing: he’s a business guy, Stanton has great ideas, who’s going to pay for them? The taxpayers.

Brennan closing: lobbyists and career politicians suck, she’ll dig deep and fight for you.

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3 Responses

  1. Kurt.Urbanist says:

    Dear Taz: I commented on your Voices report and meant to comment on the PCP/DJP summary; sorry.

    Peggy Neely’s early departure stuck me as a defining moment: I have more important things to attend to. She left early and did not provise a closing statement. She must have had an awully important appointment to push away from a camera. I took it as dismissive, not mayoral behavior.

    The big winner of the night? Kimber Lanning! Each candidate underscored the need to think-buy-trade Arizona First. Its the only thread of continuity and the only consensus. So Stinkweeds is leading my informal poll of Mayoral Candidates!


    • Taz Loomans says:

      I also thought it was odd that she left early. And yes, Local First and Kimber Lanning were deservedly praised consistently at the debate. A small warning sign to me was that Neely said that Downtown has room for all businesses. This means she doesn’t mind seeing chains, a la Desert Ridge in Downtown. I wish Kimber were running for mayor too!

  2. […] mayoral candidates, check out my recaps of the Downtown Voices Coalition Mayoral debate and the Phoenix Community Alliance/Downtown Phoenix Journal Mayoral debate. Also take a look at the in-depth Blooming Rock interviews with Ms. Neely, Mr. Mattox, Mr. Gullett […]

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