GY City Council Reply to “Check out Gilbert”


Editor’s note;  (you just have to read Sheri Lauritano’s reply to this post in the comments below).

In my last post, I asked you to send an email to GY city council asking them to look into the cost savings benefits of holding city elections along with state or federal ones as Gilbert, AZ has recently implemented.  I sent the email in myself as well and copied all GY council members using howardsgoodyearblog’s easy to use GY council email list.

GY council person Sheri Lauritano wrote back right away Lauritano response that, “No citizen(s) has shared a copy with me of their proposal”.  Then went on to tell me to send her a “proposal” and then gave me a list of demands that I should put in the “proposal” before I send it back to her.

Say what?

In her email reply, Sheri claims ignorance to this topic in GY, but in the same breath Sheri goes on to raise possible objections that are similar to some raised by the minority who opposed it in Gilbert.  Primary among Sheri’s concerns, Voter Turnout.

Voter Turnout?  Did I say anything about voter turnout?  I didn’t say anything about voter turnout.

All one has to do is read the national newspapers to realize that in many cases, it’s not the simple, easy, part of an issue  (like cost reduction in this case) that politicians focus on.  Many politicians care first about the political ramifications. In the Gilbert case the dissenters raised similar issues. They feared that some voter turnout would be reduced because local issues might be subordinated, it might cause people not to show up, those poor dumb voters wouldn’t be able to figure out this big, complicated, ballot with all those extra boxes to fill in.

Watch for that to happen in Goodyear.

I believe what small town local politicians are actually worried about is INCREASED voter turnout.

Get more voters out there than the small percentage who have been re-electing them year after year, and it might threaten their cozy relationship with developers, out of city union PACS, and city employees.  How could voter turnout in Goodyear get any worse?  We just had what by news accounts was one of the most highly contested elections in years in Goodyear and only 8,000 votes were cast in our city of 60,000 plus residents.

But let’s get back to Sheri.

Pretty responsive by Sheri Lauritano, eh?  GY has a $60 mil operating budget, they spend time in council meetings telling Fischbach to fix their new “council calendars” that half of them don’t know how to use, but Sheri tells me to draft a proposal and get back to her rather than asking someone in GY to pick up the phone and call Gilbert to check out a citizen proposed suggestion to save some money.

My reply to Ms. Lauritano is printed below.  If you get a similar “stop bothering me” response to any emails you send regarding this issue you have my permission to plagiarize my email below.

from Howard hdb275@gmail.com
to Sheri Lauritano <Sheri.Lauritano@goodyearaz.gov>
cc “Wendy H. Freeman” <gop4life@aol.com>
date Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 10:18 AM
subject Re: Change the Election Cycle
mailed-by gmail.com
Important mainly because of the words in the message.
hide details 10:18 AM (5 hours ago)
I’m not planning on making any proposals to you or anyone else in GY. You’re the one who ran for office to “serve” and some citizens have just given you an opportunity to actually serve them. Unfortunate you are so apparently disconnected from many of your constituents that you have never heard of this.
I have forwarded your email to Wendy Freeman who is somehow involved with GY votes to reply if she cares to.
In the meantime, I am certain a phone call by someone in GY to Gilbert can answer many questions. Perhaps that did not occur to you.
Since this is a money saving idea in a town that is nearly bankrupt I would think spending a few minutes of GYs $60 mil operating budget to check out a tens of thousands savings idea that at least one other AZ town has already adopted would make sense even though based upon their history of NIH* mentality, one might expect little co-operation from GY management since they didn’t propose it.

Your suggestion that you require so many dates, times and facts on something so simple and easily established when you appear to be completely comfortable approving millions of dollars of corporate welfare to foreign companies while relying on obviously flawed economic reports that have no apparent basis in reality leads me to believe that your email reply on this issue is both self serving and insincere.

* NIH = Not Invented Here

Another reply to/from Sheri. Guess I’m not the only one who expects council people to actually do something. email reply to Lauritano

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4 Responses

  1. Editor comments in bold.
    I love the “dearest” Howard address. Shows you how seriously Sheri is taking citizen input.

    Dearest Howard,

    Hope all is well. I actually responded evening knowing you usually misstate items I have said. (so far no one has “said” anything. It’s all there in writing for anyone to read)
    If Ms. Freeman is heading this she has had my personal email and cell number and could have anytime asked me for my thoughts. (What does that have to do with my email? I asked you to do something as my elected rep and asked you to get back to me with your position on it after you had looked into it. I didn’t ask you for your opinion, I asked you to do something.)
    I would be happy to read it as stated. With any charter change or misplaced words or even a comma. (GYVotes is looking at charter change, I guess you knew that too? I didn’t ask about that nor did I mention it. Gilbert council just changed their election dates by ordinance. I don’t know if GY can do that. In my email I asked you to look into what GY council can do to move this issue forward.) I would love to know if this actually increased voter participation as the more citizens who vote the better for us all. (then go find out) Also if you remeber Gilbert became so partisan at the last election the City Prosecutor was asked to look into filing criminal damage charges for missing signs. (the objections just keep coming and coming, don’t they?) I also think it is important to keep in mind the 2009 and 2006 state laws as to elections. You mistake questions and a thought process for out right refusal. Howard I look to build bridges not build barriers. I am always open to new ideas and to explore how they would best fit with our city. No one person has all of the answers and when we begin to think that we loose are republic and the founders ideas. Good discussion is always welcome and again I am very eacy to reach. (I guess that means you are still not doing anything about this but await someone’s “proposal”) Take care. (Please forgive any typos with the I Pad big fingers little keyboard.)

    • Still missing the point, Sheri. No one asked for your opinion. The email asked you to do something (look into it) and let us know where you stand on it after you looked into it. Still waiting.

    • Councilmember Lauritano

      Your Citizens are requesting that you make a motion and take action to council for a vote.

      COUNCIL ACTION: Align the Goodyear City Council election cycle (currently a spring cycle) with state and county elections (fall cycle). Many cities in Maricopa are aligned to this schedule most recently the City of Gilbert. According to Goodyear’s City Clerk, changing to the fall cycle and sharing printing costs, etc with Maricopa County will save approximately $.87 per ballot. As of the past general election conducted in Goodyear on May 17, 2011 there were 31,075 registered voters in Goodyear. This election was held at a cost of $42,572 for a single election, if we had been able to share costs with the county, Goodyear’s cost share would have been approximately $15,537 and our city would have saved $27,035 (57%).

      ***
      In addition we would have reduced our carbon footprint, by holding a “greener” election and save a few trees, and with only ~8000 votes cast, the city threw away 23,075 ballots @ $1.37 per ballot or $31,612 vs $.50 a ballet or $11,537. If I am throwing money away I rather it be $11,000 vs $31,000. That is almost 6,000 gallons of gas for our police and fire services or one production run of InFocus Magazine or funding a few weeks of bulk trash services.

      This is just common sense business, low hanging fruit. What is the worst thing that happens? We don’t save money; we don’t save any trees, exactly what we have done for years still today. If it doesn’t work, you can always vote to change it back, so why not make the change?

      Support your voters, these are difficult times for everyone, and we have to reduce costs at every level this is just one small way.

      Be our voice and your voice, make a stand and we will support you!

      I hope that you bring this issue to council and pass it, I would, but the last time I spoke my 3 minutes I was dismissed rather rudely and I have seen recently (on video) how citizens that question council are berated openly and I have a self esteem complex.

  2. I love the Palinesque touch: “No one person has all the answers and when we begin to think that we loose are republic and the founders ideas.” You’d think we were trying to amend the Constitution.

    BTW, I’m not sure we can attribute “loose are” to big fingers and a small keyboard.

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