City Councilman Sal DiCiccio of Ahwatukee Foothills is vowing to keep pushing for efficiencies in Phoenix government after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1322 on April 28.

The governor's veto put an end to a bill promoted by DiCiccio that would have required Phoenix and Tucson to seek bids from the private sector for some costly services.

"While I can agree that all levels of government must find ways to cut costs, I am becoming increasingly concerned that many bills introduced this session micromanage decisions best made at the local level," Brewer said in a statement declaring the veto. "What happened to the conservative belief that the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people?"

DiCiccio said this week that he was very disappointed by the governor's decision.

"Everybody that helped work on this thing, especially a lot of the citizens, were very disappointed in the outcome," he said. "We've all been talking and meeting on it and we're going to continue to move forward because it's the right thing to do for the city of Phoenix. We need to restructure. When your average cost per employee is $100,000 per person and then your first-year clerk gets 40.5 days off you've got a significant problem that needs to be fixed."

DiCiccio believes that by requiring the city to seek private bids for services costing more than $500,000 the city could have found more efficient ways to do things and it would help them compete in a global market. He added that the bill does not require cities to accept the cheapest service and that they would still have control, just more choices.

Those opposed to the bill said the veto shows Brewer's support of local government.

"I think basically that her general feeling was that as state government does not appreciate the federal government dictating to them how they should operate, the city government should have their own local control," said City Councilman Claude Mattox, who is a candidate for mayor. "(Brewer) did not believe that this was proper for the state to be dictating to Phoenix and Tucson."

Mattox said the city of Phoenix has no need for this kind of legislation because it's currently conducting efficiency reviews and has no problem outsourcing services when appropriate. He added that the city has almost a half-billion dollars in contracts with the private sector.

DiCiccio believes the efficiency reviews are good baby steps, but that the city needs to be doing more. He does not plan to stop promoting this kind of change to city government.

"We're going to take more than one track," he said. "We're going to continue to work with the city and get them to move a little faster in fixing things. They're taking some baby steps and that's fine. Those are steps that are necessary at this time. Second step is we're going to talk about what the next bill looks like through the Legislature. Third is going to be taking it directly to the voters through a state-wide initiative, which would be a constitutional change that would require efficiencies in local government. From what we've seen the majority of the public wants to see better efficiencies in local government."

DiCiccio said he received many threats from city union workers about the bill, including a group called Save Phoenix Taxpayers, who filed a recall petition. Employees working for Petition Partners, a company that collects signatures for political purposes, have been outside grocery stores in Ahwatukee Foothills asking for signatures to get DiCiccio out of office. Attempts to reach Petition Partners or Save Phoenix Taxpayers went unanswered.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

(4) comments

ArizonaCentral

This is not politics, this woman VETO's rather than letting the system work by voting, I guarantee she will not get any votes from me or anyone she supports for that matter!

pope307

I didn't vote for Brewer, nor would I, but she is right on this veto. Just a fundamental difference in what I think government is supposed to do versus what DiCiccio beleives it's purpose is. Also, he often quotes the average salary of Phoenix city employees at 100K without ever providing data to support that assertion, which leads to his conclusion that private enterprise (for profit) could provide services cheaper and more efficiently than those unionized city employees. He's been on this anti-union rant for quite awhile...teachers, city workers, et al. Suggesting too, that rather than workers of all stripes strive for better working conditions, higher wages to keep pace with inflation, and the health benefit packages that collective bargining provides, that instead, individuals should not want those things and I guess, be thankful they even have a job. Huh?

highbar480

Diciccio wants press and thats all he cares about. I made a huge mistake by voting for him. Ahwatukee has lots of problems that the city needs to solve, like the darn traffic. Since I voted for this man to be my councilman and now he is wasting time at the legislature I want my vote. Run for the state senate if thats what you want to do. But do your job at the city of phoenix. Ahwatukee doesnt need a 91st legislator.

libraryofcongress

The main focus of SB1322 is it gives jobs that could be done by Arizona companies and gives them to california and texas companies. We lose jobs in Phoenix and Arizona. SB1322 had a ton of Cal. lobbyists pushing for it. Where are chambers of commerce on this?

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