Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon: "I'd Love To Be Mayor Again"

Categories: City Hall

Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon
We shouldn't be surprised that former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon appears to be exploring a possible run for mayor.

This is the same elected official who tried a few times, albeit futilely, to extend the city's two-term limit for mayor.

During a recent television appearance on 12 News "Sunday Square Off," Gordon said that he'd "love to be mayor again," and disclosed there were "legal issues" that might prevent him from doing so.

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Phoenix "GRID" Bicycle-Rental Program Will Earn Money for Taxpayers, City Says

Categories: City Hall

Image: Facebook
Say hello to "GRID" bikes.

This morning, city of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton helped unveil the logo and name of the bicycle-renting program expected to launch by early next year. The bikes are bright green, sport a girly-basket on the handlebars, and come with a high-tech locking system to prevent theft.

The best part of the program, as far as we're concerned, is that officials say taxpayers won't spend a dime on it -- and that the city will share in expected profits in years to come.

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Phoenix Council Subcommittee Recommends Ways to Eliminate Pension Spiking

Categories: City Hall

New Times

Phoenix officials this week wrapped up the last in a series of four public meetings to gather input on how to fairly eliminate the bank-breaking practice of pension spiking.

The City Council Pension Fairness and Spiking Elimination Ad Hoc Subcommittee unanimously recommended preventing employees from using the following streams of revenue to bolster pension payouts: communication and transportation allowances, retirement contribution reimbursement, Public Safety Enhanced Regular Compensation payments (which includes money for uniform allowances), and future payouts for unused sick time and vacation leave.

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Mayor Greg Stanton, Councilman Bill Gates Won't Approve Contract for Next City Manager Allowing Pension Spiking

Categories: City Hall

Ed Zuercher, David Cavazos
Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Bill Gates released a statement -- just before the Phoenix City Council considered the appointment of an Interim City Manager -- pledging not to approve a contract that would permit the next city manager to engage in pension spiking.

That is, the two said they would not support a contract that allows for unused sick and vacation time to be a part of the calculation for long-term pension payouts.

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Phx Council Approves $2.5 Million to Help Transform Hotel Into Affordable Housing

Categories: City Hall

Google Maps
Travel Inn, 2011.

Phoenix officials approved on Wednesday a loan of up to $2.5 million that will help transform Travel Inn Apartments into 90 studio apartments for homeless and low-income individuals.

Part of the loan agreement ensures that 38 of those remain earmarked as affordable rental units for at least 40 years.

The money to rehabilitate the vacant hotel comes from the HOME program, the federal government's largest block grant designed to create affordable housing. Each year, states, cities and towns across the country receive about $2 billion from the feds.

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Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos Leaving Phoenix, Taking Job in California

Categories: City Hall

David Cavazos at Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos announced on Thursday that he is calling it quits in Phoenix.

Cavazos, the first Latino to serve as city manager, has brokered a deal to become the next city manager in Santa Ana, a community in Orange County with about 300,000 residents.

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Phoenix City Council Adopts Ethics Policy for Elected Officials, Details Still In the Works

Categories: City Hall

The Phoenix City Council adopted on Tuesday what officials are saying is one of the "toughest ethics policies in the nation," a set of rules that guide how elected representatives conduct themselves in office.

Although some of the details are still being worked out, policy provisions will require elected officials to report gifts valued at more than $50, including meals paid for by lobbyists.

Council members directed city staff formulate a proposal that would outright ban most gifts, but allow for some exceptions. The policy also calls for the formation of an Ethics Commission comprised of judges to investigate alleged violations, and adds some teeth with penalties for violations.

Of course, the harshest penalty would be removing the offending official from office.

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Pastor Warren Stewart's Campaign Touts Thousands Turned Out for Teleconference Town Hall

Categories: City Hall

Pastor Warren Stewart
Tuesday night, Warren Stewart's campaign says it logged a first in Phoenix politics -- a town hall where participants called in and asked questions, listened to a few stump speeches, and voted on a few questions asked by the moderators.

Stewart is seeking a seat on the Phoenix City Council, and he's running against Lawrence Robinson, a law professor and member of the Roosevelt School Board, and Kate Widland Gallego, a business liaison for SRP (who has taken a leave of absence from her job) and wife of Arizona lawmaker Ruben Gallego.

See also: Black Leaders in Phoenix Struggle to Retain Power in a District They've Historically Controlled
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Phoenix Seeks Plans for Downtown Observation Tower; "The Pin" Would Rise 420 Feet and Charge Fee for Visitors

Categories: City Hall

phoenix pin from above.JPG
Image: BIG
Phoenix is getting serious about a proposal for a 420-foot observation tower in the downtown area.
The city of Phoenix is taking a step toward the possibility of having a 420-foot observation tower built with private funds in the downtown district, issuing a call for detailed plans for the project.

Last week, the online news site wrote about Phoenix's recent issuance of an "RFP" -- for non-wonks, that's a request for proposal -- for "development and operation of entertainment and tourism attractions." Los-Angles-based writer Guy Horton speculated that the RFP meant that Phoenix was getting serious about the tower, nicknamed "the Pin" by its designers. Eric Johnson, the economic development program manager for Phoenix, agrees with that assessment.

See also: Guggenheim-Inspired Observation Tower Proposed for Downtown Phoenix

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Pension Reform: Phoenix Voters Adopt Changes Expected to Save Taxpayers Nearly $600 Million Over Next Two Decades

Categories: City Hall

Phoenix voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to reform the city's pension plan -- a plan city officials say will save taxpayers about $600 million over the next 23 years.

According to unofficial results, 71,086 voters, or 79.54 percent, said yes to Proposition 201, compared to 18,284 voters, or 20.46 percent, who opposed the measure.

A related pension-reform measure that changes how the city invests pension funds also was approved with 68,029 yes votes (77.17 percent) and 20,130 no votes (22.83 percent).

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