Tempe Council Incumbent Shana Ellis's World
Peggy McClain 7-21-14
Watching the Tempe Council Candidate Forum in person on July 7th and viewing it again on tape clarifies what is wrong with the entire country.
It is well-documented that most politicians start their elected careers locally at the city council and school board levels. That makes sense. The problem I see after watching the Tempe candidates is: Where are all the qualified individuals who SHOULD be occupying council seats and possibly running for higher office at a later date? There is one Tempe candidate who seems to have reviewed Tempe's budget, taxes, and crime rates before the debate. The remaining candidates, two of whom are incumbents, seem quite happy with the status quo and enjoyed patting themselves and each other on the back for two hours. I guess that's a double strategy--marginalize the only candidate who calls them out AND make concerned voters in the audience feel they are in the wrong for not enjoying the way the city is currently operating.
There is no end in sight to correct either the spending or crime problem, and if we reelect the incumbents, Robin Arredondo-Savage and Shana Ellis, hide your wallets and protect yourself and home with either a gun or rotweiller (see crime rates attached below). Here is Shana Ellis's world:
But don't be too hard on Ms. Ellis. In the next clip, you will hear that we in Tempe have hit the jackpot with "free" money!! How you ask? Well, I'm not quite sure. I know I pay federal and state taxes, maybe Ms. Ellis doesn't.
A few years ago, there was a debate about Tempe's property tax. Then Mayor Hugh Hallman and Council called it "stabilizing." More voodoo math. A citizen brought a chart to one of the council meetings to prove that the property taxes on most of the Council members' homes would be increasing under the new formula. Again, he was marginalized as were others who disagreed with Council. I am not sure how it works, but maybe Tempe Council uses Common Core math to make its decisions? Matt Papke, newcomer to politics and the only candidate who did his homework, schooled Ms. Ellis after her comments:
And if you don't have the money for what you want, just take it from somewhere else, even if that's not what the voters decided. What did I say about these local positions setting the table for higher office? Have we come to expect this from the federal government?
Tempe voters, city council races are supposedly non-partisan. But most people do look at voter registration to get an idea of a candidate's ideology. It's especially confusing here in Tempe. Ms. Ellis is registered as a Democrat, so a high spending, big government view isn't surprising. However, Ms. Arredondo-Savage and Dick Foreman, another Council candidate, are both registered Republicans. They have been fund-raising together and are running as a slate. (David Schapira and Lauren Kuby are also running for Tempe Council and are registered Democrats).
Do you want the status quo? Do you want more big government/special interests making decisions about YOUR bottom line? Are you happy with the crime rate? Please continue to ask these candidates tough questions. Research their donor lists. Are citizens contributing or are they well-funded from unions, utilities, and developers? There is no excuse for being surprised any more with the consequences of our elections.