True Colors, Learning Disability, Evasion, and Threats of Extortion

Look no further than GY city council members’ comments about the AZ legislature limiting cities’ ability to TAX new homeowners through “impact fees” to get a clear picture of who the GY city council feels they are working for and it is not individual GY property owners and taxpayers.

Have GY city council learned nothing from the past 3+ years of GY financial strife and how we got here? GY got here by relying on one time fees (like impact fees) to provide ongoing services (like the cost to maintain new capital projects).  GY council already knows that they will have to raise your property taxes and utility bills some 25% or more in order to keep the city solvent and that may still not be enough. Jumping upon the opportunity to lay blame elsewhere, council members like Bill Stipp are already teeing up the state action as their Barack Obama style blanket excuse to blame the state legislature for any future reductions in city services. Stipp was quoted as saying that as a result of the new law, “we are now going to have to either eliminate or greatly reduce (operations)”.

Really?  Because the state says you have to reduce impact fees on each new home built in GY by about $2,500? I don’t think so, Bill.  If you are able, do the math again.

The state of AZ recently passed legislation to limit impact fees charged on new homes sold in Goodyear and other AZ cities.  In Goodyear’s case, according to the AZ Republic, impact fees north of I-10 in GY will drop from $5,553 to $3,104, about $2500. South of I-10 will drop from $15,198 to $12,434, about $2,800.  And Stipp says this will be the cause of future city service reductions.

Stipp was further quoted as saying how, “disturbing it is that the state thinks they know what we need best”.  Yes, Bill that is exactly what the state is saying and in the case of GY the state may have a point since GY city council has brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy over the past few years.

But were Stipp and the rest of city council disturbed when;

  1. over the objections of even the Goldwater Institute they created a super class of city employees when they awarded Meet/Discuss/Confer on the police and fire unions whose brother and sister union PACS from around the state funded most council members’ campaigns last year
  2. they gave away millions of dollars of your tax money as corporate welfare to foreign companies like SAS, St. Gobain, and Suntek  including $3,000 per employee tax rebates
  3. they decided to write a check for $500,000 so Merit Partners, a Scottsdale real estate developer, could close a deal and help pay Dick’s Sporting Goods for a sewer pipe to their new GY location
  4. GY Finance department’s long term financial plan includes utility rate increases of 25%
  5. Georgia Lord’s recent campaign for GY mayor was highly funded by developers and union PACs?

Nope, no one on GY city council is the least bit disturbed about those things.

When it comes to GY homeowners and current property owners the GY city council wants to sock it to you every which way they can.  Only for GY council’s “chosen” constituents like deep pocketed corporate types who contribute campaign donations like APS, EJM Developers, Suncor, and union PACs from other AZ cities, is it OK for GY city council to pay up.  When it comes to individual taxpayers and property owners like you and me, tough luck.

Some GY council members have already come up with ways to evade the new laws. Lawyer Lauritano says council can just pass projects in small phases to avoid some of the the legislative limits. And then there is the special audacity of political appointee Gary Gelzer who was quoted as saying, “if I don’t see $2,500 in goodies thrown in, I’m probably not going to be supporting your project in the future”.

Once again, I’m not making this stuff up.  He actually said that to a newspaper reporter.

The poor judgement and braggadocio demonstrated in Gelzer’s statement is simply breathtaking. Here is someone who has not even been elected by GY residents telling a newspaper reporter how he will evade laws made by the duly elected representatives of the state of AZ through coercion and extortion of local business people. Gelzer has certainly set up the home builders’ association with their prima facie case against GY once they decide to sue if Gelzer follows through with his threats.

Gelzer’s bravado demonstrates just how apparently untouchable GY council members feel in their incumbent positions that are supported by their campaign contributors who have stakes in council actions, the local news papers who support all the incumbents, as well as the low voter turnout in GY council elections which keeps them in power year after year.


3 Responses

  1. One of the best articles you have ever written. Gelzer and Lauritano’s comments should send a chill down the spine of every tax paying citizen in Goodyear.

    • GYwatchdog, Well said. It is chilling what’s happening in GY, where they think no one is watching them or paying attention. We are informed citizens and thoroughly disgusted with Arizona’s corruption. Look at Bell and Vernon, CA to understand the City Councils are where the people need to focus and oust those who serve themselves at the expense of the “people”.

  2. Howard, As a newcomer, we appreciate your helpful information and background on Goodyear. Will pass it on to our friends around the Valley and those contemplating retiring or starting new businesses in Arizona.

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