I may have to retract my previous statement that the only way you can get a letter to the editor published in the East Valley Tribune is to sign it “D. J.Diebold, Scottsdale/Mesa.”
The Tribune published my letter to the editor today, which was in response to a 2/27/2011 Opinion written by Mike McClellan, Gilbert resident and (tenured) Mesa school teacher (and union member). Mr. McClellan had incorrectly asserted that Eddie Cook, Victor Petersen and Jordan Ray “don’t want to address Gilbert having the lowest tax rate in the East Valley….and the number of (Town) employees per capita.”
McClellan further incorrectly stated that Eddie Cook, Victor Petersen, and Jordan Ray would “rather focus on the Zinke Farm fiasco, where the town paid way too much for a chunk of land…”
Hey! I’m insulted!! It was Parker Leavitt, Jim Torgeson, and yours truly that have been focusing on the Zinke land deal. Cook, Petersen, and Ray have been focusing on how their business skill set is needed to improve Town operations and attract high paying jobs to Gilbert.
McClellan misfires again when he tries to paint Eddie Cook, Victor Petersen, and Jordan Ray as small government types who will lead us into ruin, just like Mesa, with poorly maintained streets and abandoned strip centers.
So, here is my letter response to Mike McClellan (tenured school teacher and union member).
Mike McClellan, the Gilbert resident and Mesa school teacher who recently stated his opinion in the EV Tribune about the Gilbert Town election, could not be more wrong. This election isn’t just about the Zinke land deal. It’s about incumbents—Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier, and Les Presmyk–who have a history of arrogantly wasting tax dollars. Most people don’t mind paying more taxes when it’s necessary. They do mind when cries for more taxes come on the heels of wasteful spending.
The opposition Mr. McClellan cites, Eddie Cook, Victor Petersen, and Jordan Ray gladly discuss Gilbert’s low taxes. Eddie and Victor led the fight against an unnecessary tax increase, Prop 406. The incumbents tried to scare Gilbert citizens with the threat of losing 67 police and 29 fire personnel. The tax increase failed, and no public safety personnel were fired.
Yes, Gilbert has a low Town staff to population ratio. It is also the safest city in Arizona. How could that be? Gilbert has more children under age 5 than its neighbors, for one thing. Two-year olds don’t break the law or require help from Town staff. Their mothers can handle them.
Linda Abbott took office 6/10/2007. On 8/21/2007, she and the incumbents began the process that resulted in bringing in 3 unions. Those negotiations took 2,000 hours of staff time to complete (Council Minutes, 5/20/2009).
On 1/12/2009, Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier, and Les Presmyk spent $300k/acre for land that has recently been valued at between $45k and $67k per acre. That wasn’t just “blowing it.” It was one example of their cavalier attitude toward Gilbert taxpayers. After spending this money, these incumbents tried passing 3 tax increases without sending them to the ballot. Three signature petitions and the Goldwater Institute forced them to back down.