The council member from District 6 represents about 1/6 of the city of Phoenix, or 250,00 citizens. This includes about 1/6 of the people who work for the city of Phoenix, or 2,500 citizens. Ignoring the charges thrown, the major issue becomes clear from listening to the candidates recently, reading letters from their supporters and looking at the signs posted in the neighborhood. It is whether our next council member will represent 2,500 citizens or the other 99 percent.
Keogh Parks has focused her attention on the 2,500 employees, as well as the 12,500 other employees who do not live in her district. To her, their raises, pension plans and job protection are the most important issues facing us. We were told, for example, that future raises have already been locked into the budget and are not open for discussion. A pension reform plan that includes a 401K plan for future employees will cost too much (and she is a math major), even though many of the rest of us have 401K plans. Questions about Phoenix bureaucratic dealings with District 6 constituents are “intimidating and bullying” because they were asked in open council meetings and not dealt with privately — as government dealing are supposed to be carried out, apparently.
Her high priority for the concerns for the 15,000 employees is reflected in the massive outpouring of literature and signs that employee unions have paid for. If I were a city employee, I, too, would be a strong supporter of Keogh Parks (and expect that she would return my support). For the rest of the District 6 population, however, I believe our interests are not served by the election of a candidate so closely wedded to the special interests of one small group. Our city government needs at least one representative who believes that there are more than 15,000 citizens in Phoenix. The rest of us are not just taxpayers living in the suburbs.