Vote NO on Question 1
In responsible hands, Home Rule provides local control to fund city services at a higher level to match unique needs of the community. Therefore, residents have historically passed it.
In irresponsible hands, Home Rule can be manipulated to expand spending and debt or build reserves for pet projects that citizens may not approve of.
For background, Mesa’s debt rating is near the bottom of all valley cities and is worse than average among the 75-largest cities according to Truth in Accounting (.org) reports. More troublesome is that Mesa’s debt is rapidly increasing!
Fortunately, Mesa has time to avert local economic catastrophe, but only if our Leaders begin addressing budget deficits and commit to decreasing debt.
The rejection of this Home Rule measure will provide an immediate, short-term mandate for our City Council to balance the budget to Arizona standards by June 2019.
A NO Vote this November will require the City Council to set-aside their pet projects and act as follows:
1) Acquire an emergency 1-year extension of Home Rule to focus on getting their financial house in order (as opposed to a 5-year extension to continue business as usual).
2) Put Home Rule back on the ballot in a spring special election. If accompanied by other measures, the Council can demonstrate a willingness to lead on financial reform instead of requiring citizens to force the issue through initiatives and recalls.
3) Freeze non-critical hiring and projects until finances stabilize.
A NO vote provides the Council an 8 to 20-month window to put their house in order.
A YES vote enables business as usual and gives the City Council a 68-month window to kick the can down the road until they, themselves have retired or moved-on.
Vote No on Question 1.