Both candidates for Tempe Mayor suck!!!
Sadly it's the usual vote for the lessor of the two evils.
It's too bad Arizona doesn't have a "none of the above" option on it's ballet so we can leave the office unfilled.
I think Mark Mitchell is the son for former Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell who was the worst Mayor in the history of Tempe. Mayor Harry Mitchell was a tyrant who ruled the city of Tempe with an iron fist, just like he ruled the history classes he taught at Tempe High School.
I also think that Mark Mitchell is the bother of Tempe Police officer Robert Mitchell who I sued in Federal Court for false arrest and other civil rights violations.
Series: Tempe mayoral candidates debate issues
Apr. 6, 2012 01:00 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com
City Councilman Mark Mitchell and restaurateur Michael Monti are vying to be Tempe's next mayor. The Republic is engaging them via e-mail to debate major issues, such as job creation and the city budget. Their answers and rebuttals will appear online and in print for six weeks leading up to the May 15 general election.
Mark Mitchell and Michael Monti agree that Tempe's economy needs a boost. Both have said they intend to seek high-wage jobs, streamline business reviews and continue investing in downtown and Tempe Town Lake.
They disagree on how to do those things. Mitchell, a Tempe City Council member, and Monti, a Tempe restaurateur, are in a runoff to be the city's next mayor. They agreed to take part in an e-mail debate in The Republic that begins today and continues until the May 15 election.
What would you do to attract jobs and strengthen Tempe's economy?
Mark Mitchell answer: Serving on the City Council, I have worked to bring jobs to Tempe with a proven track record of results, such as Hayden Ferry Lakeside and Tempe Marketplace. I fought for more than $20 million in federal investment that created jobs in Tempe. As mayor, I will provide businesses the support they need to grow while attracting new, sustainable industries. Local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and they must be prioritized in our city procurement system. The Arizona Republic endorsed my candidacy because I have been -- and will be -- the regional leader that gets results.
Monti response: No wonder Mark called himself a career "politician" on Facebook: He'll say anything to win and isn't taken seriously but for his last name. I'm ethical and entrepreneurial. I innovate, invest and employ. Monti's La Casa Vieja is successful today, thanks to this experience and lessons learned.
I'm the Arizona Restaurant Hall of Fame's youngest inductee, endorsed by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. Mark? He helped operate a bankrupt company and justified excessive, self-indulgent taxpayer travel, saying he was "unemployed for five months." Mark's massively subsidized downtown conference center will be a boondoggle. I know how to create and sustain jobs.
Michael Monti answer: I employ 100 wonderful people at Monti's La Casa Vieja. I own a small business. Mark Mitchell never owned a business. By his own admission, he's a professional "politician." I co-founded Local First Arizona, which wrote the book on supporting local businesses. The Tempe Chamber of Commerce endorsed me because I understand the need for a high-wage knowledge economy. I will aggressively identify and build new economic bases. Mr. Mitchell is committed to spending millions in public money for a Mill Avenue Conference Center. I am not. There are better ways to help all of Tempe. Learn more at www.monti4mayor.com.
Mitchell response: My opponent's business record speaks for itself. He closed the doors on two businesses, has been sued by vendors he didn't pay and failed to pay his business taxes, resulting in multiple tax liens. Tempe needs a leader you can trust that gets great things done. As mayor, I will ensure a world-class conference center is one of those next great things. This center will help leverage assets like the arts center to become the supercharged economic engine we know we can be. Our next mayor must have a vision to create jobs and protect Tempe's high quality of life.
Tempe's two mayor candidates have said that fiscal responsibility is a top priority. They know that even if the city's economic outlook is improving, Tempe must continue to trim operating expenses to wean itself off an expiring temporary sales-tax increase.
When asked in a debate before the March election how they'd trim the budget, Mark Mitchell said the city had already enacted pay cuts and decreased benefits but could do more to decrease energy costs by retrofitting buildings.
Michael Monti said he'd offer financial incentives to employees who suggest ideas to save money and eliminate more low-hanging fruit, such as travel costs.
What does fiscal responsibility mean to you and how would you accomplish it?
Michael Monti: Fiscal responsibility means maximizing every taxpayer dollar and questioning practices to find savings. By emulating Mayor Hallman's responsible leadership, who has graciously endorsed me, and respecting Linda Spears' ideas from her campaign. By innovating with rewards for city employees to save rather than spend. By leveraging ASU's ingenuity for jobs and aid for seniors. And, by rejecting my opponent's boondoggle to spend millions of our money on a Mill Avenue conference center to compete with Phoenix's. Unlike Mark, I won't stay at ritzy hotels, accomplish little, take credit for others' achievements, spend wastefully or treat the tax dollar so casually.
Mark Mitchell: Fiscal responsibility means spending taxpayer money wisely and ensuring residents get the maximum return on investments. I supported the Tempe Marketplace project, which has generated more than $23 million in sales-tax revenue for Tempe. It's just one example of fiscal responsibility in action that my opponent opposed. We turned a toxic waste dump into a thriving economic engine.
That's the kind of leadership that gets things done. It's what Tempeans want in their next mayor. My opponent wants to ignore facts and distort my record. Our next mayor needs to rise above and lead. I have and I will. His response to his opponent's response
Michael Monti: Part-time carpet salesman. Full-time, self-described "politician." Both will say anything to make a sale. My opponent is not supported by Tempe Marketplace, nor did I oppose the project. It's terrific. I do oppose using our taxes for excessive corporate subsidies. I also oppose Mark lavishly spending $300 per night for hotels on junkets that yield nothing when Tempe is cutting services and raising taxes. Pure arrogance, and why Washington, D.C., unions have come to Tempe to distract attention from Mark's record as a prince of perks rather than friend of the taxpayer. See www.monti4mayor.com for my fiscally responsible innovation agenda.
Mark Mitchell: Candidates in a tight race have two choices: deliver tangible reasons for a citizen to vote for them, or throw as much garbage against their opponent as possible and hope some of it sticks. Which one am I? The one that supported the successful Tempe Marketplace, Tempe's Emerald Center and Autoplex expansion (which have generated millions of new dollars for Tempe) and new jobs at the Rio West Development off Rio Salado Parkway. What is the fiscally responsible choice? Choose leadership with results over endless mudslinging. I am the leader who gets things done in Tempe.
A steel-gated dam is being designed for Tempe Town Lake. The City Council chose this technology after a lengthy study, determining that hydraulically operated floodgates are the least costly and longest-lasting option.
Funding has not been fully identified for construction and long-term maintenance, which could total $68.1 million over 50 years. And the clock is ticking. Tempe must replace the rubber dam on loan from Bridgestone by December 2015.
Both mayoral candidates agree that Town Lake is an economic asset that must be preserved. They also believe that the steel-gated dam is the best option for the lake. But Mark Mitchell and Michael Monti disagree on how to fund it.
The candidates are taking part in an e-mail debate that continues until the May 15 election. How would you finance the new dam at Tempe Town Lake?
Mark Mitchell: We must find a solution that is financially responsible and that our citizens support. As mayor, I would explore ways we can pay cash for as much of the improvements as possible. This can be done through the sale of public properties that could be better utilized through commercial development. Next, we can secure voter-approved bonds, which will take advantage of the AAA-bond rating Tempe enjoys thanks to decisions I have made as your city councilman. It's critically important that we ensure the sustainability of this important community asset, which is central to our long-term economic development.
Michael Monti: It is concerning that Councilman Mitchell is apparently unaware that Mayor Hallman is already leading a proposal to sell or lease 120 acres of city-owned land west of Priest Drive, south of the river. If successful, this alone could pay for the approximate $36 million for the new dam. Mesa used a similar concept to pay for its new spring-training facility for the Chicago Cubs. This is a far preferable option than Mark's suggestion to potentially impose a property tax on Tempe residents to pay for this project. Town Lake should not be a drain on taxpayers.
His response to his opponent's response:
Mark Mitchell: As I said in my initial answer, the sale of excess city land is an important part of the solution for funding a new Tempe dam. But it's not the entire solution. The land sale proposed by Mayor Hallman would cover only about half of the full life-cycle cost of the new dam. I have a comprehensive plan to ensure responsible long-term funding for Town Lake. And I will ensure any plan beyond the sale of city property has citizen input and a public vote. My plan will be transparent, honest and put Tempe residents first.
Michael Monti: My opponent's first instinct is to always ask the taxpayer for more. But I don't think that is an innovative way for our government to operate, especially in this case. If selling or leasing the Priest Drive land is not sufficient, the answer is selling more land, or creating a district or funding mechanism for future development at Town Lake to bridge the gap. We must explore all such options before imposing a further property-tax burden on seniors and residents. That's the old way of doing business and not the approach I will bring to the mayor's office.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts