Got your latest city water bill? Shocked?

Are you bothered that Phoenix imposed a food tax that paid for government employee raises?

Early voting already started and only you have the power to stop the nonsense.

Never before has a mayoral election meant so much to our citizens. You have a decision between Greg Stanton, who has been a career politician his entire life and represents the status quo, or Wes Gullett, who is a small businessman who started his own business and wants to make city government responsive to you, the boss.

Gullett is the only candidate that has a real plan in place to create jobs, and a real plan that will bring real reforms that include job-creating solutions like same-day permitting and cutting fees to small business owners so they can operate and hire new employees. Reforms that will stop the pay raises, huge pension benefits, and sky rocketing water rate hikes that raised your water bill 203 percent. Stanton voted for every pay raise and water hike that came to his desk. Stanton voted to increase pay raises over $550 million in just the past six years in office - this alone created the budget mess we are now in.

We need a change. You have seen a cut in kid's programs, senior services, library hours, and fees increased on all businesses and families. All at the same time Phoenix was doling out huge pay raises for employees. Here are just a few of the shenanigans that Gullett will fix his first month in office:

• Food tax = Pay raises: You were told the money was needed to protect police and fire positions. Fact: Phoenix gave $28 million in pay raises this year, equaling the food tax revenue. Gullett supports immediate repeal and Stanton does not.

• Bidding process: My office, along with a group of community leaders, looked into problems and provided solutions last year to our procurement system. With no standardization and little transparency, procurement is ripe for abuse and insider dealings.

• Budget transparency: City Manager David Cavazos refused to release the amount of union pay raises until after the food tax was approved (pay raises = the food tax), the budget was approved, public hearings were conducted citywide and the union contracts were approved.

• Debt fund shift: Last year, the city manager's office said the fund that repays the city's debt obligations was seriously under-funded and the tax rate needed to go up. When the City Council said no, staff shifted tax funds around so the debt repayment fund got less, and paying today's bills got more. That will mean higher property taxes for you down the road.

• Outrageous benefits: I uncovered that taxpayers fund benefits for unionized public employees much greater than what you, the taxpayer, get. Starting clerks get 40.5 days off their first year, average compensation increased 23 percent up to about $100,000 a year for 15,000 employees, city employees can retire in their 50's with generous pensions.

Arizona lost 300,000 jobs during the Great Recession. Guess how many people were let go from the city? Just 15. How does that compare to the private sector world around you?

What can you do about this?

Please don't be fooled by the police and fire signs supporting Stanton - those are paid for by the unions wanting to keep the status quo.

The National Union Bosses, special interest and beneficiaries of the current system have all endorsed Stanton. Gullett is asking for yours.

If you believe we need a change, then I ask that you vote for a change. Please vote for Wes Gullet for Phoenix mayor.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio lives in Ahwatukee Foothills and represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at council.district.6@phoenix.gov or (602) 262-7491.

(1) comment

El Ocho Loco
El Ocho Loco

Sal,
Really? You are going to lie again? Can you please explain the truth to all the good citizens of Phoenix?
The water rates increased to pay for clean water you baffoon. It is an enterprise fund, the rates went up to cover the increased costs, not to pad the city's check book. Do you drink City tap water or do you still drink bottled water in your office?

Tell us the truth. Did the food tax really pay for employees raises? Sal you know that the current labor contracts were approved and in place well before the food tax was ever voted on. You know that you knew the contents of the contracts and YOU voted in favor of them. You know that ALL City employees took a 3.2% cut in pay and furloughs....you know days off without pay! Did YOU? Sal you are a LIAR!

Sal tell us the truth. The food tax is less than $2.00 per month per household. The food tax kept cops and fire fighters on the street to protect the public, it kept community centers from closing, it restored services to seniors and children. Did you know that fire fighters contribute well over $50,000 annually back into the City because of the food tax? (they grocery shop everyday). So there is no question, they are available to run 911 calls 24/7..even at the store. Sal nobody likes a LIAR!

Sal you may be right when you say 15 people were laid off. What you don't mention is the ammount of vacant positions in the City. Fire has well over 150 vacant positions.
3 fire stations were opened with existing resources, which means other areas of the city are not as well protected. Let the citizens know that every day at least 2 additional fire trucks are out of service because of budget cuts! That equals bad news if you happen to live in that area. I guess it wouldn't matter to you. You're just a LIAR!

City employees go to work every day and provide the best service they can to every citizen they come in contact with. City employees get days off just like everyone else. Sal do your figures include weekends, holidays, sick and vacation time? Sal what hours do you work? How many days off do you get. How many lies are you spreading on city time? How come you sent out political emails on the city computers using the city email addresses? C'mon tell us. You should be setting the example for the city employees. Oh maybe you are...of how not to be.
What we need is city council members who don't LIE. Yes as a tax payer I expect you to do your job, the one you were elected to do. As a tax payer we can also elect city council members who treat everyone fairly....you know ones who don't LIE...or get rid of them!

In case you haven't figured it out I am PROUD Fire Fighter. I come from a PROUD family of Cops and City workers. What we are not proud of is your LIES.

Yes we support Stanton and are proud of it!
Thank you to all the citizens of Phoenix who support us...the public servants. Not you Sal.

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