Goodyear’s New General Plan


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.

That’s IT!

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 telling you they want you to come and “learn” about their new 2025 General Plan (GYGP). 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.

Is there anything in the plan that they have NOT wished for?  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?

Here are some examples of the feel good drivel that defines all 248 pages of the GYGP. According to the GYGP, Goodyear wants to:

  1. Become a unique and exciting destination city
  2. It wants a cohesive identity
  3. Keep or expand services to residents
  4. Become a cultural and arts center and encourage art in the public
  5. Attract high tech, medical, and education jobs
  6. Promote desirable neighborhoods
  7. Improve older neighborhoods
  8. 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 hacks?

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 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”.

More Examples
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.

  1. There is nothing there saying GY should aim to be the most efficiently run city in the valley,
  2. with the lowest property and sales taxes
  3. in order to attract more businesses and residents.
  4. There is nothing in there saying GY should NOT borrow money it does not have.
  5. There is nothing in there saying GY should reduce its debt by X% over some period.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

GYGP Link

AZ Statute

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6 Responses

  1. It’s hard to cut cost, which usually means cutting jobs, when elections results are influenced by government special interests. These influences not only want job security and phat pensions, they want to share it with all their friends and family, so they’re making sure there are seats available on the 10 yr gravy train.

    How do you stop the train or the gravy?

    James Howard

    • Vote them all out and replace them with HONEST citizens who have INTEGRITY AND MORALS and do what the people want. The problem with government is too many have been in it too long. LIMIT TERMS. And, most importantly, get the people out to actually VOTE. If they wanted the people they represent INVOLVED, they would have had a town hall type meeting ASKING what their vision was. 20 people is a joke. Our entire government up to Federal is full of nothing but dreamers, pockets full of money, and sociopathic liars. The ONLY WAY IT WILL CHANGE IS OF THE PEOPLE MOVE TO DO IT AS A WHOLE. Voting them out and finding decent, honest people is the peaceful avenue to CHANGE.

  2. Howard… got to the Goodyear historical timeline and had a hard time concentrating on the dream list. Let’s see, since 2000 Goodyear has annexed Mobile and miles and miles of useless land between them and town (Cavanaugh “success”). Goodyear has miss spent bond money and deceived its citizens with the Goodyear Ballpark (Cavanaugh “success”), its draining annual losses and curiously missing hotels and shopping. Not to mention a butt load of uncontrolled debt. And the last historical marker… Goodyear becomes the Solar Community, that I would suppose they (Lord “success”) would like to take credit for but damn, the plant shut down. We can applaud the frugal citizens of Pebble Creek for this line. So… basically, everything in the historical chart since prior 2000 has been a total bust. Nearly 15 years?!! I skimmed through the rest of it and you’re right on target.

  3. My apologies for a broken link.
    (Oh, c’mon man, links don’t just break. Either you or someone else did something to the link or the site because it worked yesterday and you know it. Why not be truthful for a nice change? “Trust me, I’m a journalism major.”)

    I appreciate your post about the Goodyear 2025 General Plan. But I respectfully disagree on a few aspects.

    I can find dates of the City reaching out to residents for input on the plan going back as far as the G.A.I.N. event in October 2012.

    In February 2013, the City held at least 3 large community forums across Goodyear asking for resident thoughts and ideas for Goodyear’s future.

    The Goodyear Connects website – http://www.goodyearconnects.com – was another avenue for residents to have their say on Goodyear’s vision.

    And informational updates on the General Plan were given at various Council worksessions and public meetings.

    It’s not just unfair to say only 15-20 people took part… it’s in accurate. I think it’s more into the hundreds.

    I applaud people who step and take a proactive approach in designing their City’s future.

    Additionally, who wouldn’t want to live in a City that appeals to healthy activity? Some of America’s greatest cities are also fit cities. Here’s a great link about America’s Top 20 Healthiest Cities: http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2011/09/13/americas-top-10-healthiest-cities/

    Our elected leaders absolutely have a fiscal responsibility regarding Goodyear’s future.

    Registered voters can have the final say on the 2025 General Plan on November 4th.

    The next council election is “to be determined.”

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