Former Goodyear Mayor Explains Why They Probably All Knew

by Jim Cavanaugh

I hope this helps to clarify who knew what.

For as long as I recall going back about 11 years, council members have met one-on-one with the city manager on a monthly scheduled basis and the mayor has met with the city manager once a week again on a scheduled basis.

The subject of increasing the size of the prison had at least three important consequences:  first, through increasing the population of Goodyear, it would increase the city’s portion of state revenue sharing and through construction services, increase construction sales taxes; secondly, impact economic development as city would become less desirable a location for upscale housing and commercial; and thirdly, bring about a significant citizen response particularly from those within proximity of the prison.

In view of the potential consequences and its impact on his job evaluation, there is no reason to suspect the city manager kept the subject of Perryville expansion to himself.  Once he knew that the State was seriously considering the expansion, I believe he would have quickly alerted each member of council, certainly to include the mayor, and sought their views.  To assume the council and mayor were not in the loop in the beginning is simply naive.

Lastly, Romina is a staff person. She does what the city manager tells her to do.  That’s part of her job. Be watchful that she isn’t thrown under the bus if this subject matter takes a disturbing turn.


6 Responses

  1. Behind prison growth politically motivated, turning human beings into commodities for $$’s:

    Prison-Based Gerrymandering – New York Times

  2. Attica’s lessons and the urgency of ending prison-based gerrymandering | Prisoners of the Census

  3. I learned a lot by running for public office this past spring. While the experience was 90% positive some of what I learned was very disheartening. Until running for office I had no clue how much lobbyists, developers, corporations and even ordinary citizens who have disposal cash try to influence the outcome of elections. To say I was naive about that side of politics is an understatement. My work schedule loosened up enough that I was able to attend Monday’s council meeting and I was appalled by the tongue lashing poor Gary Gibbs received from I believe all seven council members for simply asking if perhaps the council had not been forthcoming about what they knew and when they knew about the prison expansion. I kept hearing them repeatedly state “you can cherry pick what you want from emails” and what is written on that blog (I assumed they meant this one) is completely wrong. When I got home that evening I went to this blog to see what all the fuss was about. I read all of the email traffic that this blog was able to obtain and I don’t know how anyone in their right mind could not come to the conclusion that the council flip flopped on this issue. First supporting the lobbyists efforts and then flip flopping when the heat from the citizens became intense. Does that warrant a recall effort? I don’t think so, but at the same time it just makes me see how ruthless politics is even at the city council level. Now if history repeats itself the council “lapdogs” will attack me for simply agreeing with something posted on here in the same fashion they have done with the other council candidates who have dared to speak to speak out.

    • Wendy, Thank you and Gary Gibbs for your courage to speak out — truth to power. What the public is becoming aware of is that what goes on at the local level must be watched, must have oversight, must have transparency and must be held accountable! We have concentrated at the state level of corruption in Arizona and were drawn into the Goodyear private prisons. We’ve been disgusted with the years long decisions made behind closed doors on the private prisons and “selling” ALL the state building including the prisons and death row back in 2008/2009. The state legislators have sold the people out and refuse to reform Arizona’s draconian minmum sentencing which would cut the prison population (no need for new prisons), save millions of $$’s that should be spent on education, job training and growing the communities constructively not destructively with destroying lives so a handful of people can profit. Write your legislators who have sold out the people for their own self-interest. Tell them to STOP the mass incarceration of Arizona’s people and visitors. Tell them to stop importing inmates as Arizona is being used as a dumping grounds for other states. You can make a difference. Don’t let the city bullies shut you down.

      • Wendy, If you are serious, you can help. While you and others are at it, call Governor Brewer’s office to ask that Chuck Coughlin (CCA/High Ground/ALEC) needs to be removed from her office and policy making decisions — immediately. Lobbyists who have turned Arizona into a “prison state” playground for themselves be stopped, removed and sent elsewhere. This conflict of interest should be criminal.
        Governor Brewer: (602) 542-4331 press #4

  4. Prison Policy Initiative celebrates 10 year anniversary: A decade of fighting prison-based gerrymandering | Prisoners of the Census

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