Editor’s note. This is a reprint of a post I wrote January 2014. I’m reprinting it because I just got the city of Goodyear’s propaganda letter in the mail telling me to vote for their new General Plan. IF YOU ARE TIRED OF THE PROPERTY TAX INCREASES AND WANT TO SEND A MESSAGE TO GEOrgia et al, VOTE AGAINST GY’S GENERAL PLAN.
Now here is the article, telling you why you should vote against it.
The state of Arizona requires cities to produce a General Plan every 10 years. For a city the size of Goodyear, there are 17 required “elements” to the plan which I have summarized in an attachment below. If you read the statute you will see, that most of the requirements of each element are to catalog existing uses of land, water, traffic areas, public buildings, open space and then provide “policies and strategies” for how to deal with development impacts on each of these public elements.
Here is a link that summarizes each of the 17 elements. General Plan Requirements Summary
You can compare my summary to the link at the end of this article which will take you to the actual Arizona statute.
By now you have probably received a postcard from the city of Goodyear (and now in October a propaganda mailing) telling you they want you to come and “learn” about their new 2025 General Plan (GYGP) (and of course now they want you to vote YES for it).
This is the “foundation” (they say) for how the city will grow and develop. They don’t say they want you to comment on it, they just say they want you to “learn” about it, or in other words, this is a done deal, don’t bother us with your comments.
If you go to the meeting I can assure you that after reading through Goodyear’s TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY EIGHT PAGE plan, that the GYGP and going to the meeting to “learn” about it, are both a colossal waste of time. Cudos to the 15 – 20 good citizens who volunteered to participate on the committee who the city claims wrote and developed the plan. I feel bad for you, as it is obvious that the city had an agenda and all of you were just its pawns to put a good face on producing a Christmas wish list of all the things local politicians might want to spend taxpayer money on over the next 10 years.
Let me repeat that. THE NEW GOODYEAR GENERAL PLAN IS MERELY A CHRISTMAS WISH LIST OF ALL THE THINGS LOCAL POLITICIANS MIGHT WANT TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS.
Is there anything in the plan that they have NOT wished for?
THERE ARE OVER 100 “ACTION ITEMS” IN THE APPENDIX TO THE GYGP, and I can assure you, each and every action item is designed to spend your money. Do the state statues require or even ask for “Action Items”?
Can you find a simple recitation of the 17 required elements and a simple statement or reference to where either in planning or zoning ordinances, or public safety guidelines they have provided for the policies and strategies that the state statute requires?
No, that is because it’s not there. Politicians in this case have hijacked the intended process to merely list, catalog, and comment on, how important requirements like water, traffic, and public safety will be handled in the years to come, and instead put together a liberal progressive agenda of exactly how they want you to live your life and how they want to spend your money.
Here are some examples of the feel good drivel that defines all 248 pages of the GYGP. According to the GYGP, Goodyear wants to:
- Become a unique and exciting destination city
- It wants a cohesive identity
- Keep or expand services to residents
- Become a cultural and arts center and encourage art in the public
- Attract high tech, medical, and education jobs
- Promote desirable neighborhoods
- Improve older neighborhoods
- and even this; encourage and promote healthier life styles among its citizens. Sorry, but when did my life style become the purview of some local city political hack like GEOrgia Lord?
They needed a committee to spend nearly two years to come up with this? How can you say no to any of this (except number 8)?
As I said, there are 248 pages of this kind of LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE hope and change, mom and apple pie grandiose statement nonsense. It sounds exactly like how politicians and flip chart addicted facilitation counselors speak. Of course, that is exactly who was running the show for our fine citizen volunteers wasn’t it?
In short, the GYGP gives GY elected officials something to point at for the next 10 years that will justify nearly any and every spending proposal they might possibly dream up and they can say with a straight face, “this is consistent with the GYGP, that’s why I’m proposing it”. AND THAT IS WHY THEY WANT YOU TO VOTE YES FOR IT.
Not that I am a big fan of VISION STATEMENTS, but GYGP can’t even get that right. If I were to guess, it appears that the citizen volunteers were handed a vision statement from the start and they didn’t like it. They apparently wrote a shortened one which maybe did not survive in tact throughout the editing process. In chapter 1, the old original vision statement is shown, with reference to another one in chapter 3. Turn to chapter 3, and there appears to be a partial statement (which refers back to chapter 1) that says, and I quote:
“Create a highly desirable and sustainable place for all to live, work, and visit and”
AND? And what? Are you kidding me? Yes, this vision statement appears to end with the word AND. Maybe that’s the latest in facilitation counseling? End vision statements with AND.
I defy anyone to explain to me exactly what the vision statement is for the GYGP based upon reading what is posted online in the version available yesterday.
And on page 7 of chapter 3, a bunch of “statistics” are listed. One of them shows employment data. And in a column next to the number of unemployed Goodyear residents (2,115) is a percentage. 4%. Now, you would think that 4% must be the unemployment rate in Goodyear since it is listed in a column next to a row labeled “unemployment” on a table titled statistics. At least anyone who is a casual reader of this document would probably arrive at that conclusion if they did not check further.
But it is not.
Or at least it is not calculated correctly if that is what the designers of the table thought they were showing. In fact, based upon the “statistics” in this same table, the unemployment rate in Goodyear is not 4% but actually it is 6.9%. Could it be that GEOrgia does not know the unemployment rate in her own city because some of her many city assistants don’t know how to calculate it?
Next you will find a list of “strategies” in the GYGP. These strategies include the following action words; create, develop, expand, cultivate, advance, maximize, and foster.
You won’t find the words, reduce, save, conserve, or measure here.
Just do, do, do, more, more, more.
Watch Out, Here It Comes
Besides 47 pages of “introduction” and full color photos throughout the GYGP, and pages and pages of explanations (from their consultant of course) explaining to all of us simpletons out there in taxpayer land the proper way that one gets from “vision” to “strategy”, to “goals” to “actions items” as if this was some kind of management gospel, you finally arrive at the crux of this entire GYGP fiasco;
ACTION ITEMS!!! (appendix F or pages 172-185)
There are over one hundred ACTION ITEMS in the GYGP. Over one hundred new make work, busy body, lists of “stuff” to “do”. And who do you suppose is listed as the “doer” of most of this crap? Why of course, the City of Goodyear, AZ. So besides the GYGP being a rock of Gibraltar for politicians to use to spend your money, it is also a FULL EMPLOYMENT roadmap for all the extremely busy over 500 Goodyear employees current and future until the next GYGP is produced sometime in the future so that they can guarantee their employment for even longer.
What You Won’t Find
Here is what you will not find in the GYGP.
- There is nothing there saying GY should aim to be the most efficiently run city in the valley,
- with the lowest property and sales taxes
- in order to attract more businesses and residents.
- There is nothing in there saying GY should NOT borrow money it does not have.
- There is nothing in there saying GY should reduce its debt by X% over some period.
- There is nothing in there saying that the ball park should be operating at a profit by 2025 and here is what should be done to plan that.
- There is nothing much in there at all describing stuff that the citizens DO NOT WANT the politicians to do. Just stuff for them to DO.
Whatever happened to democracy that “limits” the government in order to expand citizens’ freedoms?
When you try to be all things to all people you usually end up not doing anything well, or going broke, or both.
Yeah, that’s Goodyear.
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