Our roads are a danger, and our pension system is a mess. The politicians have refused to fix both of these outstanding problems.
Here are the facts: the city of Phoenix needs $1.6 billion today just to bring all of our roads to standard. We have over 4,800 miles of roads needing repair.
The politicians think they are telling you they did a great job because they’ve ordered 30 miles of major streets and a few more miles of side streets be repaired each year. It’s not even close to what needs to happen.
This is a quality-of-life issue impacting all of our homes.
People move into communities because they want to feel safe and they want to feel like the infrastructure is well-maintained. We are not Detroit, and we are not Los Angeles. We are Phoenix, and we should expect better.
Our pension system is a bigger mess. We have over $5 billion of unfunded pension debt — money we don’t have to cover the bills we owe.
The politicians get a pension and a 401(k). Yes, they get both. And, they get to retire and receive full pension benefits after just five years of part time work. Do you really think they’re going to do anything that’s going to impact their own pensions?
During the last fiscal crisis, the individuals and the entities that had the least amount of debt were the ones that were able to survive the crisis.
Phoenix is not ready for another fiscal crisis. At all.
Sooner or later, the economy will bottom out once again. Instead of preparing for it, Phoenix is currently spending more money than we ever have before — while providing fewer services.
These are two top priorities I believe the city of Phoenix needs to fix, and needs to fix today.
Proposition 105 takes money from future light rail expansion, and uses it to repair our roads, increase bus service, improve pedestrian and bike access, plus make a range of other street improvements like better lighting and safety features.
And despite what you’ve likely heard, the light rail that is there today stays there — there are no cuts to existing service.
It’s a simple, effective, efficient plan to maximize transportation options for everyone, and it’s not as complicated as the insiders want you to believe.
A “Yes” vote on Proposition 105 fixes our dangerous roads, fixes all the potholes and increases bus service; using future dollars from light rail expansion to fund these repairs. That’s it.
Proposition 106 is a pension reform proposal that stops all politician pensions and 401(k)s. A “Yes” vote on Prop 106 requires all politicians in the city of Phoenix to fund their own retirement plans, just like you and your family need to do.
Why are you and your family paying for politician’s pensions? And, they get to collect those big pensions at any age and any time. No need to wait until 65.
The second thing that prop 106 does is that it increases transparency so that you can see the entire bill your politicians have rung up — which is the real reason the big tax, big spenders oppose it.
It requires full transparency and a plan to fix the problem. It requires the city of Phoenix to use real actuarial data to compute our debt, instead of politically negotiated fantasy land numbers, and the results of the new, honest calculation must be made public.
Finally, it limits the growth of the City of Phoenix budget to population plus inflation until our pension deficit is under control, while exempting police and fire entirely — so that critical public safety improvements aren’t affected.
Opponents claim that these minimal, reasonable limits in spending growth are actually spending cuts. To be clear, not a single cut would have happened this year. Not one.
Only politicians steeped in garbage Washington, D.C. math could make such a claim. A “Yes” vote on Prop 106 won’t cut a single job or program. It won’t close a single library or pool. In fact, it allows for steady, consistent increases in the budgets of those programs.
Please don’t fall for the Washington D.C. gimmicks that we are seeing in this campaign.
I strongly encourage you to vote yes on 105 and 106. I have spent years fighting on your behalf for fiscal sanity, and I am fully convinced that a “Yes” vote on Prop 105 and 106 is now the only way to ensure our future and the future of our city remain strong.
It’s now or never, it’s in your hands, it is your decision and it is your money.