Phoenix props the light

Phoenix props the light DEFAULT
Local ballot measure elections in
Proposition , a citizen initiative regarding the Valley Metro Light Rail, was on the ballot for Phoenixvoters in Maricopa County, Arizona, on August 27, It was defeated.
A yes vote was a vote in favor of amending the city charter to end construction of light rail extensions; to redirect funds from light rail projects to other transportation infrastructure improvements in Phoenix; and to prohibit funding other light rail development, with an exception for PHX Sky Train.
A no vote was a vote against amending the city charter, thereby leaving funds allocated to light rail expansion according to existing charter provisions and city code.

Election results

Phoenix Proposition

ResultVotesPercentage
Yes72,%

DefeatedNo

,%
Source

Overview

What would Proposition have done?

Proposition would have prohibited the city from spending money on development, construction, expansion, or improvement of light rail transit, with an exception for PHX Sky Train. It would have allocated any revenue from the city's % transportation sales tax that was previously allocated toward light rail development to other city infrastructure. The initiative would have earmarked any revenue allocated to light rail development along Central Avenue south of Washington Street specifically for infrastructure in South Phoenix. This would have included the South Central Extension project. Proposition 's provisions reallocating revenue would have applied to any collected, unspent revenue as well as future revenue.

Proposition would have also added within the city charter provisions authorizing the Phoenix Citizens Transportation Committee—which was established through city code going into the election. The initiative would have guaranteed a $25, annual budget for the committee and tasked the committee with soliciting feedback from the public and advising the city council on how to spend funds reallocated by Proposition

What is Proposition ()?

The city's % transportation sales tax was approved by voters through Proposition in City officials estimated that Proposition would directly generate $ billion through The plan also estimated $ billion in funding from other sources, including federal grants, county/regional funding, and passenger fares. Of the Proposition revenue, the Transportation plan allocated 51% to bus service and improvement and 14% to street improvements. The remaining 35% was earmarked for light rail and is the portion that would have been reallocated by Proposition

What is the South Central Extension project?

Valley Metro planned to begin construction on the South Central Extension project in and scheduled it to be completed in The project was designed to consist of five miles of new light rail routes and was designed to "connect with the current light rail system in downtown Phoenix and operate south to Baseline Road," according to Metro Valley. It is one of six light rail system expansion projects planned in the city's Transportation plan—funded partially through Proposition (). The budget for the South Central Extension project was estimated at approximately $1 billion. The estimated sources of funding for the project included 32% from Proposition sales tax revenue, 47% from federal grants for the project, and 21% from regional funds.

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot was as follows:[1]

Shall Chapter XXVIII be added to the Charter of the City of Phoenix to terminate all construction, development, extension or expansion of, or improvement to Phoenix light rail authorized by Proposition (); to prohibit using any funds from any source for the construction, development, extension or expansion of, or improvement to any light rail or any other fixed rail line transit system (except PHX Sky Train) constructed on or after August 27, ; to instead use Proposition tax revenues for other transportation infrastructure improvements in the City of Phoenix; and as further described above?[2]

Descriptive title

The following descriptive title was provided for Proposition [1]

Proposed amendment to the Charter of the City of Phoenix to: (1) terminate all construction, development, extension or expansion of, or improvement to Phoenix light rail authorized by Proposition (); (2) prohibit using any funds from any source for the construction, development, extension or expansion of, or improvement to any light rail or other fixed rail line transit system (except PHX Sky Train) constructed on or after August 27, and to instead use Proposition tax revenues for other transportation infrastructure improvements in the City; (3) redirect the City's share of existing funding for the South Central Light Rail extension exclusively to other transportation infrastructure improvement projects located in South Phoenix; and (4) appropriate up to $25, annually to the Citizens Transportation Committee to solicit public input and recommend City Council action on potential transportation infrastructure improvement projects.

[2]

Full text

The full text of the measure is available here.

Support

Yes on Proposition campaign logo

Building a Better Phoenix, Yes on Prop. led the campaign behind Proposition [3]

Supporters

  • Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix City Council (District 6)[4]
  • Roy Millier, member of the Phoenix Citizens Transportation Commission[5]
  • WM. T. Smith, member of the Phoenix Citizens Transportation Commission[5]

If you know of other endorsements that should be listed here, please email [email protected]

Arguments

The Building a Better Phoenix campaign website featured the following arguments:[3]

  • Phoenix taxpayers are wasting BILLIONS on light rail expansion at the expense of other critical infrastructure. This is money that can be used to fix our streets and sidewalks, expand bus and dial-a-ride service, improve lighting and address other infrastructure improvements.
  • Over 70% of Phoenix city streets are in substandard condition and will require billions to repair. Halting light rail expansion will free up the money needed to fix our roads.
  • Light rail is expensive! It costs over $ MILLION DOLLARS PER MILE to build and consumes 40% of the Phoenix transportation budget.
  • Light rail ridership is in rapid decline, with , less light rail riders in and fewer riders in Only 1% of the population now use the light rail system.[2]
  • Council Member Sal DiCiccio said, "Bad News: 70% of Phoenix streets are in fair, poor, or very poor condition according to estimates by city staff. Good News: You have a chance to fix those roads. Establishment politicians have refused to take action for years, but a citizen-driven ballot initiative in August will put the power back in your hands. Voting yes on Proposition is the key to fixing all of our roads today."[6]

Publicity pamphlet arguments

Click here (starting on page 19) to read arguments in support of Proposition submitted for inclusion in the publicity pamphlet.

Opposition

Invest in PHX, Vote no on and led the campaign in opposition to Proposition [7]

Opponents

The opposition campaign listed the following endorsements:[7]

Organizations

  • United Phoenix Fire Fighters
  • Friends of the Phoenix Public LIbrary
  • AARP Arizona
  • Arizona Citizens for the Arts
  • Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Phoenix Leadership
  • Arizona AFL-CIO
  • AZ Chapter Associated General Contractors
  • Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Urban Phoenix Project
  • Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
  • Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter
  • We Build AZ
  • UNITEHERE! Local 11
  • Phoenix Community Alliance
  • CASE Action
  • LiUNA Local
  • AFSCME
  • Downtown Voices Coalition
  • Ability
  • Arizona Alliance for Livable Communities
  • Arizona Forward
  • Arizona Public Health Association
  • Arizona Public Interest Research Group
  • Audubon Arizona
  • LISC Phoenix
  • Phoenix Downtown Neighborhood Alliance
  • Phoenix Revitalization Corporation
  • Phoenix Warehouse District Council
  • Promise Arizona
  • Valley Partnership
  • Wildfire

Elected officials and former elected officials

  • Kate Gallego, mayor of Phoenix
  • U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton (D)
  • U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D)
  • John Giles, mayor of Mesa
  • Steve Gallardo, Maricopa Board of Supervisors
  • Thelda Williams, Phoenix City Council (District 1)
  • Debra Stark, Phoenix City Council (District 3)
  • Laura Pastor, Phoenix City Council (District 4)
  • Betty Guardado, Phoenix City Council (District 5)
  • Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix City Council (District 7)
  • Carlos Garcia, Phoenix City Council (District 8)
  • State Rep. Aaron Lieberman
  • State Rep. Amish Shah
  • State Rep. Athena Salman
  • State Rep. Cesar Chavez
  • State Rep. Diego Espinoza
  • State Rep. Diego Rodriguez
  • State Rep. Isela Blanc
  • State Rep. Jennifer Jermaine
  • State Rep. Jennifer Longdon
  • State Senator Juan Mendez
  • State Rep. Kelli Butler
  • State Senator Lela Alston
  • State Rep. Lorenzo Sierra
  • State Senator Martin Quezada
  • State Rep. Mitzi Epstein
  • Raquel Teran
  • State Senator Rebecca Rios
  • State Rep. Reginald Bolding
  • State Rep. Robert Meza
  • State Senator Tony Navarrete
  • Terry Goddard, former mayor of Phoenix
  • Paul Johnson, former mayor of Phoenix
  • Skip Rimsza, former mayor of Phoenix
  • Phil Gordon, former mayor of Phoenix

Arguments

No on and campaign logo

The Invest in PHX, No on and campaign website featured the following arguments:[7]

The Phoenix light rail system connects workers to their jobs, students to their schools, and families to our communities.

Prop stops all light rail construction and kills light rail plans already approved by voters three times. It permanently prohibits Phoenix from investing in any kind of rail project – including light rail, commuter rail, or other potential train connections. It also sends billions in federal dollars to cities in other states.[2]

  • Todd Sanders, the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber, said, "The Greater Phoenix Chamber has been a long-time supporter of investing in multimodal regional transit plans that move our city forward by connecting people to their community and to work opportunities. The passage of Prop would hinder our city’s progress and our region’s attractiveness as a thriving, modern place to work, live, and play.”[8]
  • The Valley Metro website contained the following statement: "In addition to the potential loss of billions in federal and regional rail dollars, the initiative could impact the region’s air quality plan and the federal funds associated with pollution reduction efforts. It could also impact the region’s ability to renew upcoming transportation funding and maintain the system we have today."[9]

Publicity pamphlet arguments

Click here (starting on page 31) to read arguments in opposition to Proposition submitted for inclusion in the publicity pamphlet.

Campaign finance

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Arizona ballot measures

The campaign finance information below is current through the most recent available reports as of October 23, , containing contributions and expenditures through October 23, [10]

Total campaign contributions:
Support:$,
Opposition:$1,,[11]

Support

One committee, Building a Better Phoenix, registered in support of Proposition The committee reported $, in cash contributions, $29, in in-kind contributions, and $, in expenditures. as of October 22, The top five donors to the committee provided 79% of contributions.'[10]

Committees in support of Proposition
Supporting committeesCash contributionsIn-kind servicesCash expenditures
Building a Better Phoenix$,$29,$,
Total$,$29,$,
Totals in support
Total raised:$,
Total spent:$,

Top donors

Donor Cash In-kind Total
Mel Martin $, $16, $,
Chris Hinkson $80, $0 $80,
Rachel Palopoli $45, $0 $45,
Scot Mussi $40, $0 $40,
Michael Schmidt $15, $0 $15,
William Malouf $15, $0 $15,

A little more about the top donors:

Mel Martin founded and owned Martin’s Auto Museum in north Phoenix as of Chris Hinkson founded and, as of , was the CEO of the Hinkson Company, a commercial real estate agency. Rachel Palopoli was a business owner in South Phoenix. Scot Mussi was the president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.[12][13][14]

Opposition

Invest in PHX, the committee registered to oppose Proposition , also registered to oppose Proposition and ran the campaigns together. The committee reported $1,, in contributions and $1,, in expenditures as of October 23, The top five donors to the committee provided 42% of contributions.'[10]

Committees in opposition to Proposition and Proposition
Opposing committeesCash contributionsIn-kind servicesCash expenditures
Invest in PHX$1,,$$1,,
Total$1,,$$1,,
Totals in opposition
Total raised:$1,,
Total spent:$1,,

Top donors

The top six donors in opposition to Proposition and are below:

Donor Cash In-kind Total
Devil's Advocate $, $0 $,
We Build Arizona $95, $0 $95,
Greater Phoenix Leadership, Inc. $75, $0 $75,
ASU Enterprise Partners $50, $0 $50,
Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition - Issues PAC $50, $0 $50,
Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. $50, $0 $50,

A little more about the top donors:

As of , We Build Arizona was the Arizona chapter of Associated General Contractors. Devil's Advocate was a political advocacy organization supporting Arizona State University as of [14]

Methodology

To read Ballotpedia's methodology for covering ballot measure campaign finance information, click here.

Background

See also: City of Phoenix Comprehensive Transportation Plan Funding, Proposition (August )

Propositions about light rail funding

From through , Phoenix city voters have approved two citywide propositions concerning sales tax increases to fund transportation, including allocations to light rail development and other public transportation. City voters also cast ballots on two countywide propositions that proposed sales tax increases or extensions for transportation and were approved.[15][16]

Proposition () and the Transportation plan

In August , 55% of Phoenix voters approved Proposition Proposition authorized the city to impose a transportation sales tax at a rate of %—seven cents for every $10 purchase—for 35 years. The revenue from the tax was set to be used to fund a transportation improvement plan for the city—called Transportation —that included expansion and improvement of light rail and bus routes and road maintenance and repair. Going into , the city of Phoenix had a % transportation sales tax in place. The % tax was set to expire in Proposition increased the tax to % and extended it until [15]

    • City officials estimated that Proposition would directly generate $ billion through The plan also estimated $ billion in funding from other sources, including federal grants, county/regional funding, and passenger fares.[17]
    • Of the Proposition revenue, the Transportation plan allocated 51% to bus service and improvement, 35% to light rail, and 14% to street improvements.[17]
    • Proposition () would divert city light rail project funding that was authorized by the approval of Proposition in to other transportation purposes.

Other city and county propositions concerning transportation and light rail funding

  • In , 58% of county voters approved an extension of a % sales tax to fund transportation, with about one-third of revenue allocated to public transportation, including light rail services.[15]
  • In , Phoenix voters approved a proposition authorizing a % sales tax to fund transportation, including allocations for local bus service, Bus Rapid Transit, and light rail development and services[15]
  • In , county voters approved a proposition enacting a % sales tax to fund freeway construction, with a portion (5%) dedicated to regional transportation development.[15]

Planned expansions

Proposition would prohibit any more Phoenix city funding for light rail expansion. Included in the transportation plan approved through Proposition in were six expansions to the light rail services:[18]

  • mile South Central Extension
    • Construction set to begin in /
  • mile NW Extension Phase II
    • Construction set to begin in /
  • mile Capitol/I West Extension (Phase I)
    • Construction set to begin in /
  • mile West Phoenix/Central Glendale transit corridor
    • Construction set to begin in
  • mile Capitol/I West Extension (Phase II)
    • Construction set to begin in
  • mile Northeast Phoenix transit corridor
    • Construction set to begin in /

South Central Extension

Valley Metro planned to begin construction on the South Central Extension project in and scheduled it to be completed in The project was designed to "connect with the current light rail system in downtown Phoenix and operate south to Baseline Road," according to Metro Valley. The budget for that expansion project was estimated at approximately $1 billion, or about $ million per mile. The estimated sources of funding for the project included the following:[19][20]

  • Federal grants: 47%
  • Funds from the Phoenix Proposition () sales tax: 32%
  • Regional funds: 21%

The federal and regional funding was set to be available exclusively for light rail expansion. Certain federal grants were earmarked for the South Central Extension project specifically. City funds could be reallocated by the city council or through a ballot measure, such as Proposition ().

Light rail ridership

Below is a breakdown of Valley Metro light rail ridership from through [21]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Arizona

This measure was put on the ballot through a successful initiativepetition campaign led by Building a Better Phoenix. The group submitted 40, initiative petition signatures to the Phoenix city clerk on November 28, The city clerk verified that more than the required 20, signatures were valid, sending the initiative to the ballot. In Phoenix, initiative petition signatures must equal 15 percent of the voters who voted in the previous mayoral election.[22][23]

Lawsuit

&#;&#;
Lawsuit overview
Issue: Petition summary and pay-per-signature; whether the language on the petition was misleading and whether pay-per-signature was used illegally.
Court: Filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals and then to the Arizona Supreme Court
Ruling: Ruled in favor of defendants initially and upon both appeals, allowing the measure to remain on the ballot
Plaintiff(s): Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of AmericaDefendant(s): The city of Phoenix and Building a Better Phoenix (the initiative's sponsoring group)
Plaintiff argument:
The initiative should be blocked from the ballot because the summary of the initiative on petition sheets was misleading and sponsors paid petitioners according to the number of signatures collected, which violated state law, according to plaintiffs.
Defendant argument:
Restricted to words, as required, the petition language cannot be a comprehensive summary, but it did provide an explanation of the key provisions of the initiative and, therefore, the initiative petition drive was valid. Also, the ban on pay-per-signature applies only to statewide ballot measures, not to local ballot measures.
&#;&#;Source: Arizona Supreme Court, Ahwatukee Foothills News, KTAR News

In January , the Arizona chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AZAGC) filed a lawsuit against the initiative, stating that the petition summary was misleading and that the measure should be removed from the ballot. The lawsuit also argued that sponsors paid petitioners according to the number of signatures collected and that their payment process was illegal according to state law. On April 12, , Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry K. Stephens ruled against the contractors' association, allowing the initiative to remain on the ballot. The judge stated that the petition summary was sufficient and that it "is not a complete description of the measure but need only describe the major aspects of the proposition. It is unreasonable to expect a summary that cannot exceed words to fully describe the complex funding process for light rail projects and all variables related to that funding process."[24]

The lawsuit argued that the petition language was misleading because it did the following:

  • failed to state that the measure might change existing light-rail lines by prohibiting funding for maintenance,
  • failed to clarify exactly what existing light-rail funding would be directed to other transportation projects by leaving out the effect on federal and regional light rail funding, and
  • implied that the initiative would save money in the city's budget while, in fact, it would redirect it.

On April 15, , the AZAGC appealed the ruling to the Arizona Court of Appeals. AZAGC President David Martin said, “We are compelled on behalf of our membership and Phoenix voters to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals and all the way to the State Supreme Court, if necessary. The plain language of the initiative is misleading, and the signatures were paid for on a per signature basis which is clearly contrary to state law. Judge Stephens’s opinion was written as if she knew this matter would be appealed, and she was right.”[25]

On June 6, , the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling and allowed the initiative to remain on the ballot.[26]

Plaintiffs appealed the case to the Arizona Supreme Court. On July 24, , the state supreme court ruled to uphold the decisions of the lower courts and allow the initiative to remain on the ballot. The ruling stated that the pay-per-signature ban in state law only applied to statewide ballot measures, not to local ballot measures. The ruling also stated that the lawsuit's arguments against the accuracy and clarity of the initiative description failed because (a) the measure would not prohibit funding for maintenance of existing light rail lines; (b) initiative descriptions do not have to summarize all of the potential effects of an initiative, making a description of the initiative's potential effect on federal or regional funding unnecessary; and (c) the description was clear about redirecting, as opposed to generating, revenue.[27]

See also

External links

  1. Phoenix City Clerk, "Ordinance S," accessed July 5,
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributable to the original source.
  3. Building a Better Phoenix, "Home," accessed July 5,
  4. AZ Family, "Prop. campaign over light rail expansion in Phoenix heats up," July 8,
  5. Phoenix Elections, "Sample Ballot and Publicity Pamphlet, August 27, ," accessed July 24,
  6. Facebook, "Councilman Sal DiCiccio," accessed July 24,
  7. Invest in PHX, "Home," accessed July 22,
  8. The Greater Phoenix Chamber, "GREATER PHOENIX CHAMBER ANNOUNCES POSITIONS ON CITY OF PHOENIX BALLOT MEASURES," June 26,
  9. Valley Metro, "Just the Facts," accessed July 22,
  10. Phoenix City Government, "Search Political Committee Contributions," accessed August 8,
  11. ↑Note: This contribution total is for the committee registered to oppose both Proposition and Proposition The campaign registered to oppose both measures together.
  12. Arizona Free Enterprise Club, "Staff," accessed August 23,
  13. AZ Mirror, "Effort to kill light rail bankrolled by less than a dozen people, records show," August 26,
  14. AZ Central, "Phoenix election: What you need to know about Proposition and Proposition ," August 21,
  15. Valley Metro," History and Funding," accessed July 25,
  16. Cronkite.asu.edu, "METRO Light Rail History ," accessed July 25,
  17. Transportation , "Funding," accessed July 26,
  18. Valley Metro, "Valley Metro Rail FY18 Budget: Executive Summary," accessed July 25,
  19. AZ Central, "Facts behind the south Phoenix light-rail rhetoric," July 16,
  20. Valley Metro, "South Central Extension/Downtown-hub," accessed July 25,
  21. Valley Metro, "Ridership Reports," accessed July 25,
  22. AZ Central, "Phoenix voters may again decide the future of light rail," November 28,
  23. AZ Central, "General contractors group challenging legality of light-rail-ending initiative," January 2,
  24. Ahwatukee Foothills News, "Judge rejects challenge to south Phoenix light rail vote," April 12,
  25. Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, "Contractors File Appeal on Light Rail Decision," April 17,
  26. Arizona Daily Independent, "Yes On Proposition Heads To Ballot," June 6,
  27. Arizona Supreme Court, "Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America v the City of Phoenix," July 24,
Categories:
  • Local ballots,
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  • City budget, Arizona,
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Sours: https://ballotpedia.org/Phoenix,_Arizona,_Proposition_,_End_Light_Rail_Expansion_Initiative_(August_)

Limited Run Phoenix Props "The Light" (Ben solo) lightsword

Stormshadow said:

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Click to expand


See the below comment by Ben:

benhs said:

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Click to expand



Thanks for the deposits. I'm knee deep in invoices and such, but the way I"m doing it this time will help me keep track of things very easily, and makes it easier for you all as well.

blastmaster said:

Deposit invoice paid!!!
Thanks "D"

Click to expand


kenobibale said:

deposit invoice paid.
thank you kindly

Click to expand


benhs said:

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Click to expand


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Sours: https://www.therpf.com/forums/threads/phoenix-props-the-light-ben-solo-lightsword/
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Star Wars The Force Unleashed Phoenix Props 7 Chambers Starkiller Lightsaber


Star Wars The Force Unleashed Phoenix Props 7 Chambers Starkiller Lightsaber
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Star Wars The Force Unleashed Phoenix Props 7 Chambers Starkiller Lightsaber
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The Light Assembly

Phoenix election: What you need to know about Proposition and Proposition

Valley Metro light rail on Aug. 14, , in Phoenix.

Phoenix voters: Time is running out to participate in the August special election that could dramatically alter Phoenix's future. 

The election features two ballot propositions — one that would end light rail expansion in Phoenix and another that would cap city spending.

Election day is Aug. 27, though most people are expected to vote by mail. If you wanted to mail in your ballot, the U.S. Postal Service had suggested returning ballots by Wednesday, Aug. 21, to guarantee arrival at City Hall by election day.

Both propositions are long and chock full of legalese. If you're still making your decisions, here's a guide:

Proposition

What your ballot says: Shall Chapter XXVIII be added to the Charter of the City of Phoenix to terminate all construction, development, extension or expansion of, or improvement to Phoenix light rail authorized by Proposition (); to prohibit using any funds from any source for the construction, development, extension or expansion of, or improvement to any light rail or any other fixed rail line transit system (except PHX Sky Train) constructed on or after August 27, ; to instead use Proposition tax revenues for other transportation infrastructure improvements in the City of Phoenix; and as further described above?

What would it do? 

If voters pass Proposition , Phoenix must cancel all light-rail extensions and divert the city money it would have used to build them to other transportation projects, like street repairs or bus service.

The city's portion of the money earmarked for light-rail extensions comes from a $ billion, year transportation plan funded by a sales tax increase voters approved in

Proposition does not end the tax, it just redistributes the light-rail money to other transportation-specific projects. 

About 35% of the funding is currently dedicated to light-rail expansions, while 51% goes to buses and the remaining 14% to street repairs. 

Proposition  is written in a way that makes voting less than intuitive — and both camps say it's been a challenge to educate voters. 

A "yes" vote would stop light rail expansion. Essentially, a "yes" vote on Proposition is a "no" to light rail. 

A "no" vote would keep light rail as part of Phoenix's transportation plan and allow the city to continue to build up to six light-rail extensions in the next several decades. 

Who's behind it and why? 

The initiative was born out of backlash against a planned light rail extension in south Phoenix. 

That extension will take the current light rail line from downtown into south Phoenix via Central Avenue. It will end at Baseline Road. 

The extension will whittle Central Avenue from four vehicle lanes to two, which was the major source of controversy in south Phoenix. 

Businesses that front Central Avenue fear that decreased vehicle traffic will spell their demise. 

A group dubbed "4 Lanes or No Train" took its concerns to the Phoenix City Council last year, asking the city to maintain four lanes. 

When the city decided to stick to its two-lane plan, the group threatened to take the issue to voters. 

At that point, the group hooked up with a number of conservatives who are ideologically opposed to light rail, and the movement morphed into a campaign to end light rail throughout the city. The group is now called "Building a Better Phoenix."

Local conservative heavy-hitters such as Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club have lent their support to the initiative. They argue that light rail is too expensive for the limited population it serves. 

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club has received money from organizations connected with billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who have tried to end public-transportation programs across the country. 

Campaign finance filings showed that Building a Better Phoenix has raised about $,, including $40, in contributions from Scot Mussi, Arizona Free Enterprise Club's president.

Who opposes it and why? 

Proposition  has a broad coalition of opposition. 

Nearly every member of the Phoenix City Council, Congressmen Greg Stanton and Ruben Gallego, business organizations and most of the local union groups oppose the initiative.

Opponents of Proposition  argue that light rail has proven a worthy addition to Phoenix and the entire region. They cite higher-than-expected ridership numbers and $11 billion in private and public investment that has sprouted within a half mile of the light-rail line since  

Invest in PHX is opposing both Proposition  and Proposition and has drastically out-fundraised its opponents. According to campaign finance documents posted Tuesday, the group has raised nearly $,

Most of those donations have come from political action committees and corporations. The largest donations have come from Greater Phoenix Leadership, Inc., We Build Arizona (Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors) and Devil's Advocate, a political advocacy organization supporting Arizona State University.

Proposition

What you ballot says: Shall Chapter XXIV, Article V be added to the Charter of the City of Phoenix to require the City to conduct an additional annual assessment of all of its pension liabilities; to impose a cap on budget growth for City programs including budgets for parks, libraries, and information technology but excluding budgets for police, fire, first responders, labor contracts executed before January 1, , enterprise funds and voter-approved special revenues or revenue funds, if pensions are not at least 90% funded, and mandate that all funds above the budget cap be spent solely toward pension liabilities; and to require elected officials to reimburse the City for all future pension contributions made by the City on the elected officials’ behalf as described above?

What would it do? 

Phoenix has about $ billion of unfunded pension debt — money it will someday owe to its retirees. 

The city makes annual payments toward that liability, as required by state law. This year, the city plans to pay $ million, which is about 10% of its budget. 

Proposition  would require the city to pay more each year, with the goal of paying off the debt sooner. That will require the city to cap its spending on other city services, such as libraries or park programs.

The initiative has four main elements:

  • Requires annual assessments of pension debt based on a year average rate of return on investments of pension systems.
  • If the city has not funded at least 90% of its pension liability, it can only increase its budget to compensate for population growth or inflation. In other words, if there's still pension debt, there can be no new city spending. Only public safety services are exempt from this limitation. 
  • Requires the city to spend any additional revenue on pension debt.
  • Ends pensions for City Council members.

Who's behind it?

Proposition is a pet project of DiCiccio, who teamed up with a handful of other self-described fiscal conservatives — many of whom do not reside in Phoenix — to bring the initiative forward. 

Tim Mooney is the chairman of the local Responsible Budgets committee, according to city filings. He lists his employer as California-based political consulting firm Silver Bullet Group. 

The treasurer is Chuck Warren, the managing director of Wyoming-based public affairs firm September Group. In an interview, Warren said that although his company is incorporated in Wyoming, he's a part-time Arizona resident. He said Mooney is also an Arizona resident. 

FOR SUBSCRIBERS:Why is a Utah city councilwoman behind pension election?

Warren is one of the biggest financial backers of Proposition , according to campaign finance reports. 

The initiative has also raised about $65, from a like-named national political nonprofit called Responsible Budgets. According to filings with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Responsible Budgets has two directors, Russ Skousen of South Jordan, Utah, and Nicole Martin, a Herriman, Utah councilwoman.

DiCiccio recently told Fox Business that former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is also involved.

The national Responsible Budgets group is a collection of politicos who are concerned about rising pension debts in cities across the country. If Proposition is successful in Phoenix, the group will likely try it in other cities.

Warren told The Arizona Republic in July that all of the money raised by the local campaign committee came from Arizonans — the money was just funneled through the national nonprofit so donors didn't have to identify themselves. 

"It's all from people concerned about unfunded pensions, period, raised here in Arizona," Warren said.

Who opposes it? 

Nearly everyone who opposed Proposition also opposes Proposition

Opponents say it will force the city to cap investment in city services that residents rely on — and without good reason. 

They say that the city's current pension payment plan, which allows the city to pay off the $ billion over time, allows the city to address the pension debt while still providing services.

They also caution that a looming recession, coupled with Proposition , could leave the city unable to address basic needs. 

What else do you want to know before you cast your vote? Reach the reporter at [email protected] or Follow her on Twitter @jboehm_NEWS. 

Support local journalism.Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

Sours: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix//08/21/phoenix-propproplight-rail-spending-election//

Now discussing:

I just got up. Ill have breakfast soon, and stuff like that. The vibrating alert on her phone made me think that something else "forbidden" could be done.



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