By Gene Dufoe
1) Public Safety is deteriorating!
- 1. Police Dept. – In last 10 years – Sworn officers declining, population up 60-70,000
- Officer Retirements outpacing Officer replacements
- Officer backups not timely
- Pay increases not timely; Promised Merit Increases not given
- Fire & EMT Dept. – badly needs a Fire Station & Personnel in Council District 6 where much of population growth is located.
- Terrorism, School Shootings & Police Shootings much worse
- Light Rail is drawing more crime 1/2 mi North and ½ mi South
- Low-income housing appears to be drawing from out-of-state cities; requiring additional police resources
WILL MESA POLICE DEPT. BE PREPARED this year and the future?
2) Operating Budget – too high; focus should be on the high-priority items only
3) City Bond Debt getting worse
- Current debt $1.7 BILLION without annual interest; 2017/18 INTEREST – $73 million
- Payments on current Utility Systems Revenue Bonds-pays interest-only payments during 1st 4 years and 71% principal paid in BALLOON payments during last 4 years (2037-41)
4) General Obligation & Utility Systems Revenue Bonds
- City has more than $500 million of General Obligation ($93.8 million) & Utility Systems Revenue Bonds ($407.6 million) Previously Approved by voters, but unissued
- In May 2017, Mayor & City Council approved over $456 million CIP (Capital Improvement Program) ($405.8 million)+ One-Time Items (51.1 million); to be submitted to Voters for approval in Fall 2018 election
- Other Long-Term debt not mentioned in existing Bond elections
- $810 million in unfunded pension liabilities (except Police & Fire) with 2017/18 interest unavailable
- $648 million in Police & Fire unfunded pension liabilities with 2017/18 interest – $43.5 million
- $255 million in Net Other Post-Employment Benefits with 2017/18 interest of $21.8 million
TOTAL 2017/18 interest = exceeds $138 million, excluding interest on unfunded pension liabilities
DOES CITY OF MESA need more Bonds & Debt?
5) The CITY is planning to provide a Uniquely-designed Building in downtown for ASU
- This issue was Voted down in 2016 Election
- Estimated cost $75 million (Phase 1) to Mesa residents
- No voter approval; No Economic Study planned; City Residents will be paying for it through increased taxes and utility rate increases.
6) Do you know what “Home Rule” is?
- It’s on the agenda for renewal for Fall 2018 Election