Corporate welfare at Tempe Town Toilet!!!!I have these problems with Tempe Town Toilet or Tempe Town Lake as the royal members of the Tempe City Council call it.
1) A large part of the time the park is not open to the public, but used for events to raise money for the royal rulers of Tempe. And these events are expensive to attend and most of the working class people that live in Tempe can't afford to attend the events, despite the fact that these people were forced to pay for Tempe Town Toilet with their hard earned tax dollars.
2) These events cause huge traffic jams and parking problems in the downtown Tempe area
3) When these events are concerts they routinely keep people awake late at night in the entire downtown area, and as far north as Roosevelt Road in Scottsdale which is also Continental Drive in Tempe. I am not sure how far south the concerts can be heard.
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Tempe to weigh revising Town Lake plan
By Dianna M. Náñez The Republic | azcentral.com
Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:10 AM
The Tempe City Council took a leap of faith more than a decade ago when it sank $44.8 million into building a 2 1/2-mile-long lake in the desert.
The council hoped that risking the debt to create high-profile waterfront property would pay off in the long run for Tempe, then a landlocked city desperate for new development.
But 14 years after the lake opened in 1999, city finance officials say Tempe is faced with a reality check that Town Lake is far from reaching the city’s development goals.
Tonight, the council is expected to consider revising a financing plan for Town Lake.
City finance officials have said the revised plan would give developers a financial break on their share of costs tied to the man-made lake [i.e. - stiff us taxpayers with the cost], make private development more affordable [i.e. stiff us taxpayers with the cost] and, ultimately, advance Tempe’s plans to secure sufficient lakeshore private development to ease the hefty public costs of maintaining Town Lake. [now the last phrase certainly is an oxymoron - give tax dollars private developers to lower the cost to taxpayers - now that's an impossibility - the more we give them the more it costs us]
But critics argue that taxpayers have long carried the financial burden for private lake development.
The new plan offers no guarantee that economic breaks for developers will actually spur construction, argue Joe Pospicil and Art Jacobs, two longtime Tempe residents who regularly question city finances and criticize lake expenses.
If approved, the revised plan also would shift the burden of paying for a new west-end lake dam, which the city has estimated will cost at least $37.4 million, to Tempe taxpayers, freeing developers from sharing the expense to replace the dam. [That a fancy way of saying give boatloads of our hard earned tax dollars out in corporate welfare rich corporations - the rich corporations that give bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions to the members of the Tempe City Council]
Approval of the city proposal would mark the second time a Tempe City Council, aiming to drive development, has tweaked the original 1995 lake-financing plan in favor of developers. The first was in 1997.
Mayor Mark Mitchell said he believes the proposal merits more time in the public realm so that council members may gain sufficient community feedback. [Translation - he wants to make it look like the taxpayers approve of the members of the Tempe City Council giving boatloads of our cash to the rich corporations that gave the members of the Tempe City Council bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions]
But it remains to be seen whether Mitchell’s colleagues agree that the council has a responsibility to arrange future forums for the public to question and comment on the proposal.
As of Monday, the proposed changes were included on the agenda for today’s council meeting.
The finance proposal is not set for a two-hearing process, which would have allowed for public comment at the first hearing and then required a vote and a second opportunity for public comment at a future council meeting.
That means the council could choose to approve the revised Town Lake financing plan with little opportunity for public input.
But before the council agenda was posted on the city’s website Friday, Mitchell said he still had questions about the financing plan.
“When we initially developed the lake, we had a plan, but it’s a working document,” he said. “We might change it, we might not. (But) we’ll have enough time to thoroughly review (any formal changes).” [translation - we know how to run your life better then you do, but if we screw it up don't blame us]
Mitchell said he expects staff today to merely explain the long-term impact of the proposed changes. [That pretty simple Mayor Mitchell, you and the other royal members of the Tempe City Council will be giving our hard earned tax dollars out as corporate welfare for years to come to corporations that give you bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions]
The proposed finance changes were triggered by an economic reality check, Roger Hallsted, the city finance analyst for the Rio Salado Community Facilities District, told The Arizona Republic.
“From all of our original projections, (we were) thinking really by about this time ... the lake would be built out,” Hallsted said.
Tempe’s goal is for private development on 120 acres to generate assessment fees covering 60 percent of annual operations costs. [So us taxpayers will be forced to pay for 40 percent of the developers costs]
But a Republic analysis last year revealed that in the 13 years since the lake was filled, private development still only covered about 20 percent of operation and maintenance costs, well below the 60 percent envisioned in the original city plan. [So in stead of us taxpayers being stuck with paying 40 percent of the developers costs, we are stuck with paying 80 percent of the developers costs - if you ask me us taxpayers are getting screwed on this deal]
Tempe taxpayers have and continue to pay the majority of the $2 million to $3 million in annual costs for operations and maintenance as well as most of the bill for the $44.8 million in original construction costs. [translation - us taxpayers are getting screwed - also did you know that the city of Tempe spends more on Tempe Town Toilet, aka Tempe Town Lake then on all the other parks in Tempe combined???]
Private investment has spurred construction of about 24 acres of condos, high-rise office and commercial space around the lake. Town Lake supporters blame the recession for slower-than-expected development. [Well why didn't the freaking geniuses on the Tempe City Council figure out this??? I guess they were too busy taking bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions from the rich developers]
The proposed changes to the financing plan are aimed at making land surrounding Town Lake more attractive to private development, Hallsted said. [yea, like giving then 10 times as much corporate welfare as originally planned]
If the council approves the changes, Town Lake developers would pay less toward their share of payments for the original construction costs. [And us taxpayers get screwed again and will have to make up the difference]
The proposal emanated from Tempe’s Enhanced Services Commission, Tempe Finance Manager Ken Jones said. [It sounds more like it came from the developers who will be getting the corporate welfare if you ask me!!!!]
The commission includes representation from Jones; Town Lake developers; Nancy Hormann, the president of the group that manages the downtown Tempe district; and Arizona State University, which owns and is attempting to develop acres of lakeshore property. [yes I was right, it did come from the developers who will are getting the corporate welfare!!!!]
A Republic review of public records from the commission meetings shows that commission members have spent the past year discussing development and maintenance plans for the lake.
At a January meeting, Jones asked for “the logic behind asking the council to cover the cost of replacing the dams,” according to public records of the meeting. [If you remember it was the idiots on the Tempe City Council who get screwed on the damn. The accepted a worthless ORAL 30 year guarantee on the damn, which failed after 10 years causing us taxpayers to get stuck with the replacement costs]
Hallsted said shifting the cost of the dams from being a shared debt with private developers to a taxpayer-only-funded cost is the result of the original rubber dam deteriorating years earlier than expected. [yea, like I just said]
“These new dams, at $38 million to $50 million, if we were to put that in at the true cost, just the (Town Lake) infrastructure replacement budget would have gone from $531,000 (annually) to $2 million,” he said.
The city had to face facts, he said, that it would have to shoulder the dam’s cost rather than “bankrupting every single (lake) property owner,” Hallsted said. [f*ck you!!!! bankrupt the developers for making dumb decisions, not the taxpayers. Or let the members of the Tempe City Council pay for the whole thing.]
The commission questioned whether it’s “more expensive to build at the lake than anywhere else in the Valley” and whether the city was “willing to offer an incentive to level the playing field,” according to public meeting records. [Well maybe the idiots on the Tempe City Council should not have build the lake, since it is a money losing experience]
The commission recommended a plan that would lower an annual “holding fee” of sorts that developers pay until they build on their lake property. [translation - make the taxpayers pay more of the developers expenses - i.e. more corporate welfare for the rich corporations building stuff on Tempe Town Toilet]
If the revised plan is approved, that fee would be reduced from the current 5 percent to the rate of inflation, which is currently 2.2 percent, Hallsted said. [which the Tempe taxpayers will pay]
The financing proposal also includes lowering the annual interest rate developers pay over the 25 years they are allowed to pay back their share of lake construction. [again, which the Tempe taxpayers will pay]
The current interest rate is 5 percent, and the proposal would lower it to 3.64 percent, Hallsted said. He added that the proposal calls for the council to make the rate reduction retroactive to July 1, 2009.
If the council approves rolling back the fee, developers that have built existing commercial and residential development at the lake would receive credits on biannual debt payments they are currently making. [and us taxpayers will be stuck with even bigger bills. Of course the members of the Tempe City Council will get to keep the bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions they accepted from the developers of property at Tempe Town Toilet]
While critics worry that taxpayers are funding too much of the cost for Town Lake, Hallsted reasons that the revised plan will establish a realistic financing plan for the lake and encourage development that will help pay a greater share of the lake’s annual operations and maintenance costs. [why expect the developers to pay for their costs, when they can give small bribes, oops, I mean small campaign contributions to the Tempe City Council members who will stiff the taxpayers with the bill]
“The key thing,” he said, “is being fair to the citizens, but try to make it more enticing for developers to come in.” [translation - the key to this is SCREWING the taxpayers and forcing them to pay the developers bills]
Joanna Allhands thinks Tempe Town Toilet will be a disasterJoanna Allhands thinks Tempe Town Toilet will continue to be a disaster for the taxpayers of Tempe????
Joanna Allhands | azcentral opinions
Posted on July 30, 2013 3:12 pm by Joanna Allhands
Incentives for Tempe Town Lake? Yeah, because that worked so well before
Truth: Tempe Town Lake development has never met its financial expectations. It doesn’t generate anywhere near the revenue necessary to cover the lake’s significant operational costs.
Truth: Over time, it’s smart to re-evaluate the city’s approach to speed lakeside development — even more so after a prolonged economic downturn. We must ensure that deals are fair to residents and enticing for businesses.
But is offering incentives the best way to do that? I’m skeptical, and Tempe residents should be, too. Let’s not forget:
– The previous City Council set a policy not to offer incentives unless they were for specific uses, such as historical preservation and environmental cleanup. That was under former Mayor Hugh Hallman, and I get that things are different now. But so different as to abandon that policy? I need convincing.
– Tempe has a poor track record of incentives and development deals, particularly when it comes to the lake. The city was embroiled in lawsuits and failed deals in the lake’s early days, which took years and cost millions of dollars to resolve. Do we really want to go down that road again, especially without specific performance expectations from businesses that receive the incentives?
Let me be clear: I was skeptical of plans city leaders floated to fund replacement Town Lake dams solely with land sales and private development. There just isn’t that much land left to produce the kind of cash we’re talking about.
But I’m equally skeptical of plans to have businesses pay less, if anything at all. Not so long ago, lakeside land at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway was named the Valley’s most desirable.
Has the market really changed so much that that’s no longer the case without giving businesses a financial break? Maybe. But I’d like proof.
Tempe OKs controversial lake plan
Tempe City Council sells out to special interest groupsAll it takes is a few well placed bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions and you can own you own Tempe City councilman or councilwoman.
Well it's a little bit more complex then that. A $1,000 bribe, oops, I mean $1,000 campaign contribution to a Tempe City Councilman will get you $1 million in corporate welfare if you want to build something on the Tempe Town Toilet, which they call Tempe Town Lake. No I didn't document that, that's just my estimate of how corrupt the Tempe city government is.
The members of the Tempe City Council that sold us out to the developers are: Mark Mitchell [His daddy is former Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell and Congressman Harry Mitchell, I think his brother is Robert Mitchell, a Tempe cop I sued in Federal court for false arrest and civil rights violations], Onnie Shekerjian, Robin Arredondo-Savage [yes I think she is related to convicted crooked Tempe City Councilman Ben Arredondo], Shana Ellis, Kolby Granville [he seems think he is the nut job neat freak Felix Unger of the Odd Couple and seems to be on a crusade to rid Tempe of messy yard criminals], Joel Navarro and Corey Woods
Tempe City Council sells out to rich developers of Tempe Town Toilet
Tempe OKs controversial lake plan
By Dianna M. Náñez The Republic | azcentral.com Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:56 AM
The Tempe City Council voted Tuesday to revise the city’s Town Lake financing plan to offer greater incentives for developers. [translation bribes, oops, I mean campaign contributions in exchange for millions of dollars in corporate welfare]
The plan was unanimously approved despite a small window for public review and little opportunity for public comment on changes that would shift millions of dollars in lake costs to taxpayers. [That because the crooks on the Tempe City Council want as little media coverage of this theft as possible]
Early Tuesday, Tempe resident Ron Tapscott, a member of a city neighborhood association, sent Mayor Mark Mitchell and the council an e-mail pleading on behalf of taxpayers for a delay on the vote.
“I strongly encourage you to postpone a decision on this matter until it has been discussed and considered with community input,” Tapscott said.
Mitchell had earlier pushed to postpone a vote and allow input from taxpayers and businesses.
“This is something that’s important,” he said. “We’re going to have plenty of opportunity for (public) engagement.”
But Tuesday, Mitchell shifted his position and voted with the rest of the council to approve the changes.
The mayor asked Tempe Finance Manager Ken Jones to clarify the plan and note that it would not directly increase residents’ taxes nor delay improvements to community parks. [Those numbers are usually done using "politician math" which any 5th grader will tell you isn't the same math the rest of us use. "Politician math" can be call math that uses smoke, mirrors and lies to justify the users points]
Jones contended the developer incentives were “clarifications” to the lake finance plan. ["clarifications" my *ss, they are just more corporate welfare]
City finance officials have said the revised plan would give developers a financial break on their share of costs tied to the man-made lake and make private development more affordable. [That's government double talk that says the revised plan will make the TAXPAYERS pay the developers BILLS] The goal is to advance Tempe’s plans to secure sufficient lakeshore private development to ease the hefty public costs of maintaining Town Lake, finance officials said. [That's an oxymoron. Stealing money from the taxpayers and giving it to the developers isn't going to reduce the taxpayers costs. In fact it's going to increase the taxpayers costs. It's just smoke, mirrors and lies from the city of Tempe to cover up this outrageous corporate welfare]
While the plan was pushed as a solution to spur development that slowed as a result of the the Great Recession, the incentives for developers would come as the Tempe and national economy are improving.
Today, Tempe and state leaders were scheduled to attend a celebration in Tempe to mark the beginning of construction on Marina Heights, a $600 million project touted as the state’s largest office development.
Developers unveiled renderings of the 2 million-square-foot project that city leaders have boasted would drive Town Lake commercial and residential development.
Town Lake critics say that taxpayers have long carried the financial burden for private lake development, and the new plan offers no guarantee that economic breaks for developers would actually spur construction.
The revised plan would shift the burden of paying for a new west-end lake dam, which the city has estimated will cost at least $37.4 million, to Tempe taxpayers, freeing developers from sharing the expense of replacing the dam. [Again, when the damn was built the royal rulers of Tempe got screwed with a ORAL 30 year guarantee on the damn. When the damn failed 10 years after being built the guarantee was worth as much as the hot air that it was created with.]
Developers would pay a lower annual “holding fee,” which they typically begin paying when they build on their lake property.
The financing proposal also includes lowering the annual interest rate that developers must pay over the 25 years that they are allowed to pay back their share of lake construction.
Tapscott counted himself among the many Tempe residents who have endured community-service cuts. Under the revised lake-financing plan “substantial costs will be shifted to Tempe residents,” he wrote to council members.
Some Tempe residents have criticized the city for shifting millions of dollars to the Town Lake dam costs from spending that was approved by voters in a past bond election for community parks.
“The Alta Mira (Goodwin Park) neighborhood has diligently worked to improve our park, acknowledging the effects of a restricted city budget,” Tapscott wrote. “We sacrificed hours of master planning and hopeful expectation to accommodate the loss of city revenues from the economic recession.”
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts