Where is the Mayor?


Have not heard much of anything from good old GY mayor GEOrgia lately.  In fact, GEOr CANCELLED a public appearance at a Pebble Creek organization recently and sent a staffer in her place.  She was even scheduled to answer questions there.

Makes one wonder why. How could someone who loves attention and chicken dinners so much be so quiet for so long?  And what is GY’s latest PIO (Public Information Officer) up to anyway? Haven’t seen much from them in the newspapers lately.  Has AZ Republic stopped covering GY city hall?

Yeah, GEOr still “writes” a column in the taxpayer paid for political magazine Focus, that GY sends you each month and she still has something in the Estrella Publishing magazine each month (Viva, I think it’s called).  But we all know GEOr is not writing any of that hooey.  She has highly paid staffers who do that  for her that YOU pay for. Maybe GEOr reads what her staffers write…. maybe, BIG maybe. But do you think GEOr really knows anything about water supply, tax bases, or anything to do with responsible government?  I doubt it.  Not someone who does not even know the unemployment rate in her own city.

Why So Quiet?
Here are a few reasons GEOr might be so quiet.

  1. Solar.
    GEOr is between a rock and a hard place on her stance for solar.  APS, one of GEOr’s big financial backers doesn’t want it anymore.  APS, by the way, used to own the development company who sold the property to Dick’s Sporting Goods in GY. You know, the development company that GEOrgia & Co. gave half a million of your tax dollars to?  Now Solar is sucking big time in the valley. GEOr was a big supporter of solar ($500,000 down the drain to GEOr’s Chinese pals at Suntech) but now one of her other buddies (APS) says it’s no good.  What’s a gal to do?
  2. Property Taxes
    When GY raises your property tax rates, they have to publish it in the newspaper and have a debate (what a farce) about it in city council so it looks like there are people on city council who don’t want to spend more of your money. But with city tax based property valuations going up 10 plus percent per year for the next few years (that is because valuations lag reality by about two years so we are already guaranteed that valuations will be up) city council has to do NOTHING in order to carve out similar property tax increases from GY residents. They can just sit on their hands QUIETLY and raise your taxes.  Have you heard of them debating LOWERING your tax rates recently? HA!
  3. Something Bad is about to happen.
    Last time city hall was this quiet, was when they were secretly negotiating with GEO Corp. the prison supply company (where I got GEOrgia’s namesake) to expand the prison. What bad thing might be going on that they don’t want you to know about?
    Is the mall completely dead and Macerich walking away?
    Have GY accountants finally run out of places to move money around so they still have cash to spend?
    Are they planning some new, as yet unannounced spending proposal that you won’t like?
  4. Did one of GEOr’s assistants read the following comment on one of my recent blogs and suggest GEOr cancel?
    “Howard, hi! Georgia Lord is speaking at the ______ Club on Sunday evening. Guests are always welcome at any of our Club Meetings…..first question; will you come for the Q&A session? Assuming that you don’t, what questions would be the best to ask her? But you really should come!!! Palm Room, Eagles Nest……..will gt back to you with the time…………. My best, (name removed to protect the guilty)”

As one popular TV outlet famously says, “WE report, YOU decide”.

One thing is for sure.  When politicians think they have good news that voters will drool over and gain them job security with their minions, you hear all about it.

Beware when they are so quiet.

And One More Thing
Here is my email reply to the person who commented asking me to attend the Q&A with GEOr. I sent 15 questions for them to ask GEOr.
Thanks for the heads up.
I don’t think I will come for two reasons.
1. If she sees me there she will probably not take questions. In fact, someone in the city has probably already seen your post and she may not take questions now anyway.
2. She almost had a stroke at the last meeting I questioned her at and my wife does not want me to be blamed for her possible physical demise.

So here are 15 questions to ask, but I can assure you she will either defer an answer or have some smart remark dissing the question and try to wriggle out of answering it or she will say your facts are wrong (they’re not). It would be better if different people asked them. I do not know the answers for sure to questions 9,10,11, and 15 but I’d like to know how she responds.

If I think of any more good ones I’ll let you know. Or if you need any background or explanation on them, email or call me. Cell is —.—.—-
Thanks again.
1. Why did you let our city property tax LEVY go up over 7% THIS YEAR? You said the past few years that you raised tax rates only to keep the levy constant while property values went down. Why didn’t you lower tax rates to keep the levy the same now that property values are going up?
2. I read in the paper that this past year’s property taxes were based on 2011 valuations. Property values have gone up maybe 20% since then. How much are you planning to lower property tax rates NEXT YEAR to keep the tax levy flat?
3. Why do you and the league of cities continue to oppose the move to November local elections even though polls show overwhelming support by citizens for that? Aren’t you and the League of Cities supposed to be representing the people’s will, not your own? GY spends our money sending people to their meetings all the time.
4. It seems to me that GY spending keeps going up and up. GY spent $66 mil on operations in 2010, and your most recent budget was over $85 million. That’s over 30% increase during a recession! When are you going to reduce spending?
5. Mayor and council spent about $170,000 in 2010, and in 2012 it was over $350,000. That is more than double! When are you going to reduce spending?
6. When are you going to stop wasting money on admin? Like economic development. They spent about $300,000 a few years ago, now their budget is over $600,000. More than double.
7. When is the city going to get off their butts and get another mall developer besides Macerich? And don’t tell me the mall is going to start any day now, we hear that a few weeks before every election already.
8. GY paid over $12 million for a new admin building that YOUR appraiser said was only worth $8 million and some of that value was because GY was paying too high rent for it. Why would you do that? And don’t tell me it was the extra land. It was less than 3 acres total, no land next to a hazardous waste site is worth $4 million. And don’t tell me because it saved you rent vs loan payments because we know you put down over $4 million in cash before you got a mortgage on the balance.
9. I read in the paper where Joann Osborne went to some government school course at Harvard. How much did that cost and who paid for it? And why do council members keep spending more and more on going to League of Cities meetings? We’re tired of that nonsense. What specifically can you report to us today that has given taxpayers a return on all that spending?
10. I heard that Crane company gave the city over $1 million as part of a hazardous waste settlement and the city spent nearly half of it on meetings. I’d like to see the details on that.
11. Are GY city employees allowed to pad their pensions like the city of Phoenix? If so, how much extra does that cost taxpayers? And don’t tell me we don’t pay for it because it is a state run retirement plan. Taxpayers ARE paying for it one way or the other.
12. Why don’t we un-annex Mobile? That is costing us a lot of money.
13. Why do we need two firemen, a chief and an assistant, each making nearly $130,000? The entire department is only about 100 people and it’s on shifts so that should be fewer than 30 people working on average per shift? You need two $130,000 managers to manage 30 people per shift? And plus they have captains and battalion commanders besides that.
14. Every time I go to Basha’s or the ice cream store or just about any local food outlet, I see 3-5 firemen there driving their fire truck. Why do you allow that? Don’t they have work to do while on shift? I could not go shopping whenever I wanted when I was working.
15. I see the firemen doing all kinds of “volunteer” work around town and there are always articles in the paper praising their “volunteer” work. But I was told that those firemen are usually on duty getting paid by the city while they are doing their “volunteer” work. Is that true?

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