Friday, September 21, 2012

Cities use tax payer dollars to fund the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to fight against We the People

by Wes Harris, North Phoenix Tea Party

Right now there is an issue before the City of Phoenix City Council that has shown 'light' on the existence of an quasi public organization that has been around for a very very long time called the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.  This organization is funded totally by your tax dollars and it's employees actually are on in the public service employee pension plans but you and I have no control over what it does nor does it post notice of it's meetings that are supposed to be "public meetings".  It is run by an Executive Committee comprised of the Mayors of all of the member cities and towns.  A review of it's meeting agendas (not posted before hand) and the minutes for those meetings will reveal that the main objective of the League is to lobby the Governor and the State legislators for or against bills introduced by our Elected Senators and Representatives that they either like or dislike...mostly dislike.  So we have a tax payer funded organization, controlled by elected publicly paid Mayors of our cities and towns, using our funds to fight against our duly elected public State Representatives that are elected to represent each and every one of the citizens in the state thereby setting these Mayors up as 'super numeraires' with more power than you or me.  We elect our Mayors to represent us in running our City.  We elect our City Council members to represent us in our section of our city.  We elect our State Senators and Representatives to make the laws and rules that affect each and everyone of us and if we do not like what they do, we change them every two years.  We cannot change our City representatives but every four years and we do not elect them to expand their power over us by usurping our rights at the State Legislature or the Governor's office which is what the League of Arizona Cities and Towns does.

I urge you to review the League's web site...specifically the section under the Executive Directors  Take a look at the agendas and minutes which contain a direct assault against bills put forth by our Elected State Representative that are the product of the efforts of individual citizens like you and me to right a perceived wrong.  One glaring example is our work on Rep. Michelle Ugenti's HB 2826 which standardized election dates to even numbered years so that all persons seeking public office would be elected on the same day no matter if it was for school board, City Council, County offices, State offices, or Federal offices.  This bill eliminates the multitude of elections, the costs of those elections while, at the same time, increasing voter participation at staggering degrees...from 28% to 85%.  Of course higher voter turnout makes it more difficult for, in this case, city representatives to be elected by a minority of the population...special interest groups, per say.  So we see clearly the motivation for each Mayor to want to preserve the League, have the League lobby against this particular bill but not have to pay for it but rather have you and me foot the bill. I personally think this is a grave injustice and the League is an organization that violates all that is holy in representative republican government.

At the City Council meeting held on Wednesday Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute put the case against the League as well as anyone when he stated that the danger is of a tax payer funded organization (the Cities) that forms a tax payer funded organization (the League) in order to squeeze the tax payer out of the argument by lobbing against that same tax payer and using his money to do so.  This is the problem and it is one that has to be curtailed and/or eliminated.  The sad thing is that 5  of the members of this Council (including our League member Mayor Stanton) voted to continue to fund the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to the tune of over $140,000 of your tax dollars which even pays for the lunches of our Mayors when they attend these questionable meetings.  Frankly since Mayor Stanton is a member of this organization he should have abstained from voting, in my opinion.  Maybe this issue should be taken up by the newly created Commission of Ethics and Transparency formed by the Mayor just one week ago., or, Face Book: Wes Harris; Original North Phoenix Tea Party; We the People Arizona

No comments: