Letters to the Editor (8/26) - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

Letters to the Editor (8/26)

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Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:53 am, Wed Apr 18, 2012.

DiCiccio sees all sides

Dear Editor:

Driving around Ahwatukee and Phoenix, I am sure you have seen the signs posted for City Councilman. And, you may have received your early voting ballot or instructions on where to vote on Sept. 1. This year, especially, is a critical time to cast your vote and make sure we are well represented by our City Council.

As an Ahwatukee Foothills resident, I strongly urge you to elect our incumbent, Sal DiCiccio. I have personally known him for over 15 years. I have worked with him professionally in my job in the title industry and found his knowledge of the Ahwatukee area to be unsurpassed. DiCiccio worked hard to help secure the purchase of 247 acres of State Trust land.

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce, I firsthand saw his dedication to the Red, White and Boom fireworks event. Without his help, the event would not have occurred.

Most importantly, his ability to see all sides of an issue yet explain it in terms a resident can understand is what secured my vote. His decisions are well thought out with consideration for what is happening in his entire district, yet he speaks in terms that a non-politician can understand.

DiCiccio has lived and worked in Ahwatukee for over 20 years and represented our area from 1994 to 2000. He was asked to complete Greg Stanton’s term early this year and has decided to run for re-election because he believes that someone with experience is necessary to lead our community and city through these tough fiscal times. As a fellow resident, I believe his experience, community involvement and dedication to our area warrants your vote.

Patty Durant

 

DiCiccio saved PAC

Dear Editor:

Every September I receive a mailbox full of election material. Every candidate has a good reason you should vote for them and reject their opponents. When it comes to picking a councilmember to represent Ahwatukee Foothills, my mind was made up a long time ago and I keep getting reinforcement that I am backing the right person.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio has a long history of fighting for the residents of Ahwatukee. He was responsible for getting the first police substation in Ahwatukee, for getting more firefighters into Ahwatukee and for expanding the city’s after-school programs to the Kyrene School District.

Well, he’s done it again. Thanks to a pitch to the business community from Councilman DiCiccio two after-school programs in Ahwatukee have been rescued from closure due to budget pressures. Both Lagos and Monte Vista would have been forced to cut their after-school programs if Councilman DiCiccio hadn’t found funding. I know parents that send their kids to the after-school programs at both schools and I know that they didn’t have a good, affordable, alternative.

I have personally known DiCiccio for a long time and I know that when it comes to getting things done there is nobody who will work harder.

Max Masel

 

Serious conflict of interest you are creating!

Dear Councilman DiCiccio:

I have heard you speak on several occasions (in a political environment), expressing your intention to engage “very early” in discussions between a development interest with a specific proposed development in mind and the residents of the neighborhood(s) in close proximity to the proposed development. You have further indicated that it is your intention to “create negotiations” before any zoning application is submitted to the city by the development interest for rezoning of the property in question.

While this all sounds nice, “politically speaking,” and while I would be the last person to avoid such a discussion with a developer on behalf of my neighborhood concerns, I believe what you propose to do is inappropriate, unethical and perhaps illegal, as an activity for you to be involved in as an elected official of the city of Phoenix.

I will explain.

I believe your actions and involvement in discussions/relationships between developers and neighborhoods, prior to a pre-application meeting and actual application for rezoning, is totally inappropriate, especially with regard to the two instances in which I know you have pursued this plan or scheme of yours. I refer to the Ellman properties located on the 2700 block of Camelback Road, and the property located in the northwest quadrant of 44th Street and Camelback Road. In both instances, you have been engaged in conversations with neighbors in the area proposed for rezoning in a manner which has been interpreted to be sponsoring and/or supporting the developer’s interest in pursuing a redevelopment of the property that will only be able to take place after they have successfully received enhanced zoning entitlements.

To the extent I have personally heard you speak with regard to Ellman, you are lobbying on his behalf. That experience, combined with the very substantial financial support your campaign is receiving as a result of your relationships with these two development interests, suggests you are acting as a paid lobbyist or representative of the two entities.

Therefore, if and when these matters come before the City Council, assuming you are the elected representative for District 6, you have “a problem” that at the very least can only be solved by your recusing yourself from any official action in response to the developers’ requests for rezoning. And if you do that, you are creating another problem in that you are failing to meet your fiduciary responsibilities as an elected City Council representative for District 6.

I suggest very strongly that you immediately cease and desist from this activity of representing developers, or however else you wish to refer to your activities. Consider giving more credence, support and consideration to the role of the Village Planning Committees in being the “first responders” to zoning applications in the community.

On the subject of your involvement, your public comments and behavior concerning the Biltmore Resort PUD zoning case have been, in my opinion, disrespectful as relates to ABEVA’s sub-committee, which worked thousands of hours, and the Camelback East Village Planning Committee, whose members held numerous hearings and spent hundreds of hours reading and studying two completely different versions of the PUD over a period of many months.

Further, it’s my understanding that when you injected yourself into the Biltmore Circle Road element of the PUD, which was done even before the matter went to the Village, you created an issue that is controversial even today, after the City Council has approved the PUD. I hear you have left the issue to the neighbors and their attorneys to resolve.

I, again, respectfully request that if you want to represent your constituents in District 6, you can best do that by satisfying yourself with facilitating discussions and negotiations, but not being personally involved, until the matter is properly scheduled to be in front of the City Council.

Jeffrey N. Fine

 

Support DiCiccio if the freeway is one of your issues

Dear Editor:

Many opinion pieces have been written recently about the proposed South Mountain Freeway – some in opposition, others in support.

One writer recently stated in an AFN letter to the editor that ADOT is “focused on making this (freeway) the best fit for our community.” As a member of the ADOT South Mountain freeway Citizens Advisory Team and a person who has followed this issue closely for many years I find that a very difficult statement to agree with.

The Maricopa Association of Governments and ADOT’s 10-lane, above-grade SM202 freeway design preference along Pecos Road is hardly the best fit for our community. I think that is one of the few things most opponents and supporters of the freeway can actually agree on. The design as currently proposed is inconsistent with the way ADOT has built freeways through residential areas in virtually all other segments of the Valley’s regional freeway system.

It will be a tough battle altering the current proposal into one that has no impact or at minimum an impact equal to what other communities experience. Only one person running for City Council in our district has the thorough understanding of this complex issue, the experience and relationships to do just that. Sal DiCiccio is that person.

Chad Blostone

 

DiCiccio’s got the experience

Dear Editor:

The residents of Phoenix District 6 are currently electing a councilman to serve their district for the next four years. Our northern portion of District 6 is (in good times) the favorite target of developer attempts to change the physical face of our city, and that often means that those developers are challenging land use maps and earlier zoning decisions.

The northern portion of District 6 was the focus of a “people’s effort” to repel Donald Trump’s attempts in 2005 to violate height restrictions on the eastern side of the “Core Plan” area at 24th Street and Camelback. District 6 continues to be where the action is regarding land use issues.

With the knowledge that our district will once again be “in the crosshairs,” I would like you to consider Sal DiCiccio on the following three criteria:

1. Track record.

2. History as being receptive to neighborhood stability.

3. Drive and motivation.

I have known Sal DiCiccio since the late ‘90s and I remember well his two four-year terms on the City Council, which occurred well before his completing Greg Stanton’s current unexpired term (Sal started completing Greg’s term in February 2009). He has demonstrated that “he is no one’s captive.” He has a determination to fairly hear out all sides of an issue and will not commit to helping any side before reaching a thorough understanding of the forces at work – and the implications for threatened neighborhoods in the instance of land use issues.

DiCiccio’s track record of being an independent thinker is impeccable. His determination to understand all aspects of the city budget is legendary. His receptiveness to neighborhood concerns is demonstrated by his role in the Biltmore Hotel area’s recent zoning case involving the new zoning. He could have side-stepped that dispute, but he got involved early and actively helped create a very good solution to the problem.

Sal DiCiccio understands how to work for his district and how to get results in the “broken-field running” that occurs when a problem gets up to the council after a six-month work-up in the Urban Village Planning Committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

None of DiCiccio’s opponents have been seen in the “land use wars” occurring around the continuous Camelback struggles. DiCiccio has a track record of caring, listening and deciding well. His opponents have that desire (it would appear), but not the track record of doing it and doing it well.

This is not a time to bet on promises. This is a time to cast your vote for the candidate who has demonstrated his caring, listening and deciding well. We cannot risk getting something less than Sal DiCiccio brings to the office of councilman for District 6.

David Tierney

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