DiCiccio speaks to chamber group - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

DiCiccio speaks to chamber group

Promises focus on fiscal accountability, restored city services

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:45 am | Updated: 8:57 pm, Thu Sep 26, 2013.

Straight off his win in a vicious City Council race, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio promised the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce he’ll be focusing on ending pension spiking, promoting job creation, restoring city services, and providing more funding for domestic violence and homelessness in his next term.

DiCiccio was the guest speaker at the chamber’s Public Policy Speaker Series on Friday, Sept. 6. He gave an outline of what he is working on right now and what will continue to be at the top of his agenda, the reasons labor groups were spending thousands trying to promote his opponent, DiCiccio said.

DiCiccio said he began looking into the problem of pension spiking in 2010 when it was first written about by Craig Harrison. Since then, he has discovered several statistics that were shocking to him.

“We’ve got to take care of our long-term obligation,” DiCiccio said. “We’ve got to figure out how to pay for this long-term $2.4 billion in unfunded debt for pensions. That’s just keeping the system the way it is now. The other part is fixing pension spiking and fixing it now.”

The councilman has asked the mayor several times to call for a council vote on pension spiking and to take a clear stance. Mayor Greg Stanton has said he does not like pension spiking and that the next city manager will not be able to spike his or her pension, but DiCiccio wants to put an end to pension spiking for everyone now.

Job creation has been a big focus for DiCiccio in the past few years, and it’s something he’d like to continue.

“We instituted some really great policies making us the best in the country, the idea now is to step it up,” he said. “We have the structure in place for great job creation in the private sector. Now, how do we step it up? We need to look at the bigger picture.”

Business clustering is one option DiCiccio said he and the Planning and Development Department will be looking into.

DiCiccio has been outspoken about stopping all pay raises to city employees while city services are being cut. He said the city has cut more than $27 million in public services and that he’d like to see those restored.

Among services DiCiccio would like to see more funding for are domestic violence and homeless services in Phoenix. While the city does not have its own programs to help those populations, the city does offer grants to local nonprofits with the best methods and results.

In Ahwatukee Foothills DiCiccio said he’s working with homeowners associations and the Arizona Department of Transportation to ensure that the Loop 202 construction will not affect water wells in the area. He’s also meeting with Save the Lakes to try and find a solution to the closed and deteriorating Lakes Golf Course.

For more information on City Council District 6, visit phoenix.gov/district6.

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

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