Transit, knowledge-worker base put Tempe in great position
Our Turn by SHANA ELLIS AND ROBIN ARREDONDO-SAVAGE
Tempe is a lively and distinctive community brimming with possibilities. We can claim high quality of life, a vibrant downtown, strong schools, an excellent transit system and surging economic activity. [Did you expect Tempe politicians Shana Ellis and Robin Arredondo-Savage and to say anything different? Especially when they are running for office again???]
As co-chairs of the City Council’s Economic, Downtown, Lake [also know as Tempe Town Toilet] and Advanced Transportation Committee, we’re charged with moving our positions in these areas forward. Most recently, we are focused on business attraction and retention and expanding our widely known standing as a city with a robust transit network.
In both areas, we are literally and figuratively “going places.”
First, let’s tackle the business environment in Tempe. There are many proof points that demonstrate how Tempe has emerged among national and international peers as a true knowledge-worker emporium. Every year, Arizona State University graduates more than 2,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students ready to work in those sectors. [So what!!! Although I suspect that Tempe politicians Shana Ellis and Robin Arredondo-Savage want you to think they are personally responsible for these 2,000 science graduates!!!]
An estimated 20 percent of our jobs are in technology. With our local K-12 schools providing a high number of college-ready graduates, ASU and community colleges also support the local workforce by offering professional training and certification programs.
In addition, we have welcomed more than 3,000 new jobs to Tempe since February 2012. Recent successes like Union Bank and Direct Energy locating in our city are making it clear that Tempe is the place to start, relocate or expand a business. [Translation, if you bribe, oops, I mean give campaign contributions to Shana Ellis and Robin Arredondo-Savage you can probably get a cut of the corporate welfare Tempe gives to businesses!!!]
We’re focused internally, too, on ensuring that we provide top-notch services to small- and medium-size businesses. Tempe recently created the position of business project coordinator. This employee walks businesses through city permitting processes from start to finish, whether they are opening for the first time or expanding. [Translation, the city of Tempe is so laced with government bureaucracy that you will need a government bureaucrat to help you fill out the paper work???]
When it comes to transportation, getting around Tempe has never been easier. Our comprehensive system includes 15 bus routes, four express routes, five Orbit neighborhood circulators, light rail, 175 miles of bikeways and options for seniors and people with disabilities. Ridership on light rail and buses continues to exceed expectations, and Tempe has one of the highest percentages of bicycle commuters in the country. [Did you know every time somebody hops on one of those silly Orbit buses it costs the taxpayers $5 to provide the services??? Or that a $6 all day bus pass costs the city of Tempe $30 to provide the services??? Or that a single trip on the light rail which you have to pay $2 for costs the city of Tempe $20 to provide the services???]
The Tempe Streetcar is the next step in improving our community and helping to lead the region with a new first in transportation. [And that is going to be super expensive just like the silly light rail is!!!]
The council continues to move forward, in partnership with Valley Metro, to build a streetcar starter line that will be funded through regional Proposition 400 money and federal grants. The streetcar will link assets like ASU, Gammage, historic neighborhoods, Mill Avenue, Tempe Beach Park, Hayden Butte and Town Lake. It’s a great next step for Tempe because it will be built on existing roadways, and compared with light rail or freeways, it takes much less time and money to construct. Future streetcar opportunities include phases to link our strong downtown with Rio Salado Parkway, Sun Devil Stadium and Tempe Marketplace. [And again the silly street car is going to cost the taxpayers of Tempe an arm and a leg to provide the services]
Finally, Tempe has you. As community members, you’re essential to our economic vitality. We encourage you to engage with us in taking Tempe to the next level. Sign up for e-mail updates on the committee’s work at www.tempe.gov/enews. Visit www.tempe.gov/clerk for committee agendas and minutes. [Translation we want to use your tax dollars to help us get reelected]
To contact us: Shana, 480-350-8813, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Robin, 480-350-8792, robin_arredondo-savage @tempe.gov.
Shana Ellis and Robin Arredondo-Savage are members of the Tempe City Council.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts