Important Matters for Voters at 4-6-18

By Gene Dufoe

1) Public Safety is deteriorating!

  1. 1. Police Dept. – In last 10 years – Sworn officers declining, population up 60-70,000
  2. Officer Retirements outpacing Officer replacements
  3. Officer backups not timely
  4. Pay increases not timely; Promised Merit Increases not given
  5. Fire & EMT Dept. – badly needs a Fire Station & Personnel in Council District 6 where much of population growth is located.
  6. Terrorism, School Shootings & Police Shootings much worse
  7. Light Rail is drawing more crime 1/2 mi North and ½ mi South
  8. 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

  1.   Current debt $1.7 BILLION without annual interest; 2017/18 INTEREST – $73 million  
  2. 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

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Other Long-Term debt not mentioned in existing Bond elections
  4.   $810 million in unfunded pension liabilities (except Police & Fire) with 2017/18 interest unavailable
  5.   $648 million in Police & Fire unfunded pension liabilities with 2017/18 interest – $43.5 million
  6.   $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

  1. This issue was Voted down in 2016 Election
  2. Estimated cost $75 million (Phase 1) to Mesa residents
  3. 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?

  1. It’s on the agenda for renewal for Fall 2018 Election