The City of Mesa is Out of Control – Light Rail

As a taxpaying citizen of Mesa, do you feel in control of how you are governed?  Depending on where you get your news, you might think that Mesa is a wonderful model city.   That might not describe the businesses and citizens, however. 

Unwilling to face the fact that light rail is the worst possible transit option, the Mesa City Council is forging ahead to fleece the taxpayers in order to extend the 1.9 mile Light Rail.  Never mind if existing businesses suffer from 2 years of construction, and the loss of jobs that will go with them.  Never mind that a nice 4-lane thoroughfare will be reduced to 2 lanes plus dangerous light rail trains running down the center.  

Did you know that light rail only serves 0.03% of the transportation needs of Metro Phoenix?  But 1200 million dollars…that’s $1.2 billion…was spent on the first 20 miles.  Those 20 miles have a yearly operating loss of $35 million.

How do such horrible ideas even become reality?  If you want to know how light rail helps with economic development, take a drive from downtown Phoenix to Sycamore Street in Mesa.

Lawsuit Filed Against Mesa

According to Main Street Business Owners Association’s website, a member of the citizen’s group, Main Street Business Owners Association, has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Mesa’s plan to extend the 1.9 mile Light Rail extension from Mesa Dr. to Gilbert Road before the schedule set by Valley Metro.

Mesa’s financing scheme relies on issuing “notes” which rely on repayment from Federal Transportation Funds for projects which have been canceled or no longer needed.

Mesa plans on issuing “notes’ totaling more than $110 million. Federal funds for 16 road projects have been designated by Mesa to repay the “notes”. The amount expected to be received by Mesa will be insufficient to repay the “notes” and Mesa taxpayers will be obligated to pay any deficiency.

If Mesa taxpayers are ultimately required to make up any deficiency, the city may be responsible for securities fraud. Additionally, the Arizona constitution requires taxpayer obligated bonds to have a public vote and Mesa’s plan could be unconstitutional.


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Scott “Light Rail” Smith Uses Funding Scheme that Avoids Public Vote

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Udall has ruled that Mesa property owners won’t be on the hook for $130,000,000 for a 1.9 mile light rail extension that 98% of them will never use, so there is no need for the Mesa taxpayers to have a vote on the project.  

The extension will run along Main Street, from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Rd.  

Mesa resident and business owner Joe Price, through his attorney Gary Lassen, had filed a lawsuit presenting facts and precedents which they asserted clearly demonstrates the Arizona Constitution’s requirement that a public vote was mandated.

The judge rejected the plaintiff’s arguments, stating that the funding will come from TPANs (Transit-Project Advancement notes), and that the law states that the notes "are not general obligations of a political subdivision" and that they are to be paid from transportation funds or "other monies lawfully available for application to that purpose."  Thus, the law does not require a public vote before TPANs are issued.

Gubernatorial candidate Scott "Light Rail" Smith (aka Scott "Common Core" Smith) came up with this  funding scheme that gets around the pesky public vote.  Were there’s a determination to spend taxpayer dollars on government boondoggles, there’s a "funding mechanism" to the rescue.  

The judge is basically saying that if things go haywire, the buyers of the TPANs get stuck, not the Mesa taxpayers.  Mr. Price, who also publishes Mesa Watch, says this is nonsense.  Sophisticated buyers of millions of dollars in municipal bonds will want some guarantees.


According to Price, the Light Rail was promised by Valley Metro and Mesa to promote economic development. That hasn’t happened. Quite the opposite. Family owned businesses have been destroyed. A few low income housing developments are supposed to provide the economic development to replace the thousands of jobs and businesses lost due to Light Rail construction. 

This is the type of building project that Light Rail has brought to Main Street in Mesa and all down Apache Boulevard in Tempe. 

In case you were wondering: that IS the final color.  This was funded in part by you (through the City of Mesa and AZ Department of Housing); and you can see it in person if you drive west from Main and Dobson. 

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Danny Ray for the Mayor of Mesa

Gilbert Watch supports Danny Ray for the next Mayor of Mesa.  The previous mayor was Scott Smith, a liberal Republican who is now running for Governor.  

Here is a statement from Mr. Ray’s campaign:  

"Over the last few years we have seen huge increases in the size and reach of the Mesa city government.  Spending and bond debt have ballooned and property taxes have been instituted, making the average cost of living in Mesa substantially more than in Gilbert and Chandler. City plans, codes, regulations, and fees stifle small and medium-sized businesses, home improvements, and property rights. 

"Danny Ray is running for mayor to share the vision that Mesa can continue to have positive growth and be a premiere family community without massive debt and government overreach. The importance of your involvement cannot be overstated!! Citizen engagement in government is key to guarding our liberties at the city, state, and federal levels. 

"We invite you to get involved in the Danny Ray for Mayor campaign and make a difference in the future of your community. Volunteer, grassroots outreach will be the difference in changing Mesa’s direction. It’s simple. Just do any of the following: Email Danny’s campaign at  and let us know you want to get involved. We’ll contact you. Come to our volunteer meetings on Tuesdays at 8 PM at 1761 N. Silverton (near Mesa Dr. & McKellips). You can meet Danny and find out about what we’re doing to engage the voters of Mesa and why your participation is so important.

"Visit Vote Danny Ray and sign up to volunteer. Call or text the campaign office at (480) 725-1404. Early ballots go out July 31 and Election Day is Tuesday, August 26. Thank you for all you do."

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Mesa Mayor Scott “Big Spender” Smith and City Council Vote Themselves Steep Pay Raises

The last thing Arizona needs is for Scott "Big Spender" Smith as our next governor.  Even after being chastised by three "Davids," on December 9, the Goliath Council defiantly voted themselves a massive salary increase.  
Mesa’s government is growing stronger and more oppressive, while the citizenry is hanging on to full time work.     
Peter O’Malley, opposed a bike-share plan that was also approved Dec. 9 but managed during his comments to attack the pay raise as well.
A government-endorsed bike program, O’Malley said, will hurt local businesses and deprive the city of “taxes that support the scandalous, irresponsible, corruption-breeding pay raises you all have your dirty little hands stretched out for.”

Marcus Ray accused council members of seeking to enrich themselves through the pay raises.

“I can’t imagine someone wanting to get into politics for money,” he said. “I mean, that’s the absolute evil right there. Somebody who is just full of greed.”

Gene Dufoe said he represented the Red Mountain Tea Party in opposing the pay hikes.

“We have too much financial problems with the federal government, the state government and we don’t need the city government to add more to this,” he said.

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