When did the Town Council members, ala the Enron 7, get their first hint that there was trouble in System Development Fee Fund Paradise?
As early as 2/27/08, former Town Manager George Pettit stated in a joint Council meeting with Queen Creek that “single family home permits had dropped from 350 PER MONTH to 50.”
The Queen Creek Town Manager said that he “saw it coming a year ago and took a proactive approach reducing the General Fund by 20%.”
So, what’s this permit business? Every time a homebuilder builds a home, he is required to obtain a permit from the Town. Each permit costs him $19,684, which he passes on to the happy home owner. That’s a System Development Fee. It funds things like new wastewater infrastructure, water systems,
PARKS, fire and police stations. New stuff.
Here’s your math lesson:
1 permit = $19,684.
350 permits = $6,889,400 (SDF monthly income before 2/27/2008)
50 permits = $984,200 (SDF monthly income after 2/27/2008)
If you had heard Manager Pettit make this statement, do you think you might have said something like, “HOLY COW!”
Since it was obvious that the Council members were not reading newspapers, watching TV, or listening to the radio, and that they lived in a cave tucked away from American society, Manager Pettit took on the responsibility of keeping the Council informed about the “continuing economic downturn” throughout 2008.
And then on January 6, 2009, there was a Council Meeting. In the video below, the scene opens as Manager Pettit attempts to explain a simple financial concept to the Council Members.
Within minutes of that statement, the Council votes 7-0 to spend $24.5 million on Rittenhouse District Park and Chandler Heights Basin. It would have come from the SDF fund, except there wasn’t enough money in that fund, as Manager Pettit explained.
One can only guess what the Town Council members were thinking after Manager Pettit spoke. Something like, “What is that man saying? He says words to me I don’t’ understand.”
For sure, nobody cried out, “ARE YOU GUYS NUTS? WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY!”
Why would the “Enron 7” vote to indebt the people of Gilbert knowing there is an economic collapse going on, with no light at the end of the tunnel? Was there no fiscal oversight in this Town?
Fourteen days later, this same group of incompetents voted to spend another $50.2 million on the infamous Zinke Land Deal (currently being investigated by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office).
They didn’t have the money in the SDF fund, it had dropped to zilch. So, they went to bonds. With interest, these purchases would total over $100 million!
Think about that.
SOMEBODY needs to do some thinking!
Town Council Members at the time included Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier, and Les Presmyk, and they want you to re-elect them!
It’s time to throw these incompetents out of office!