Today at 4 pm, in the Council Chambers, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, some interesting items are to be discussed/presented. The public may attend Study Sessions. However, no decisions are made by Council, and no comments are heard from the public. You may watch the session by going to the Town of Gilbert’s Home Page, Click on Town Hall, Click on View Gilbert Live Ch. 11. Or go here: http://gilbert.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=4
1) Discussion Items in preparation for the 4/7/2011 Council Meeting.
The most important item is #17. "Budget Approach for FY 2012 and Beyond." This will be presented by Dawn Irvine, Budget Administrator. Remember the Citizen Think Tank, composed of a group of 35 Gilbert citizens who were chosen by the Council? These folks brought forth ideas for bridging the $6 million budget deficit. Included among them were two recommendations for "revenue enhancement." A Use Tax and a Primary Property Tax.
I’m sure there are other agenda items that might be important, but this one jumped out at me.
2) Presentation and overview of responsibilities and services provided by the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office.
3) Presentation and discussion on the possible impact of current bills pending in the Arizona State Legislature to the Town of Gilbert.
Several bills have been making their was through the Legislature that could seriously financially impact Gilbert. One of those bills is HB 1525 which would modify the existing Arizona Revised Statute 9-463.5. This has to do with Impact Fee reform. Yes, it’s needed. But this bill has problems.
5 PM EXECUTIVE SESSION
The public is not invited to attend these sessions. Sometimes this is understandable. Sometimes, not. At any rate, the most interesting topic is the following:
“Pursuant to ARS 38-431.03(A)(4), discussion or consultation with the Town Attorney in order to consider its position and instruct the Town Attorney regarding an engagement agreement with independent legal counsel to represent the Town in pending matters related to the 2009 acquisition of real property from Bernard Zinke.”
For reference on why this meeting might have been called, check out the investigative reporting done by Parker Leavitt in his article, “Gilbert’s Pricey Land Deal Raises More Flags,” which appeared in the Arizona Republic’s online edition on 4/1/2011. http://www.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/2011/04/01/20110401gilbert-land-deal-red-flags.html
Parker’s article begins, “E-mails released by Gilbert officials show the town structured a $50.2 million land deal to include potential tax benefits for the seller by stating that the property was being acquired under the threat of eminent domain even though it wasn’t.”