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Statement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio: Failed Leadership = Failed Roads, Public Safety, Fiscal Accountability Statement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio: Failed Leadership = Failed Roads, Public Safety, Fiscal Accountability <div class="ExternalClassF312FCDEDE49478E90C389A6765C32F7"><p>"I am calling for a public discussion of the city manager's job. The City of Phoenix is facing a crisis of leadership and it becomes more apparent every day. When you combine inept management with a transitioning council, you have a recipe for disaster. The city manager is afraid to have a public discussion on his job, and he should be. He and his team are not listening to the public and our residents have felt the pain for too long.</p><p>The public deserves a direct assessment of these areas of concern— not a polite or politically correct one. This letter to you is intended to give you this assessment without allowing the media their slant.</p><p>Here are just a few of the reasons for a call for a public discussion and vote:</p><ol><li><strong>City streets:</strong> Drive any street and you will see the financial condition of our city. They are the absolute worst we have ever seen without a real plan to pave all our crumbling roads. My plan is to take all future light rail monies and use them to fix ALL of our streets and to hire police and fire to better protect our families. At a light rail capital cost of about $150 million per mile and a yearly operating expense of $3 million per mile, we can do a lot better using the monies to fix our streets and hire more cops.</li><li><strong>Police:</strong> We have parts of our city that have barely enough officers to handle one call, let alone respond to a substantial public safety threat. Our hardworking officers are retiring at an alarming rate and our public are waiting hours for some calls. Our residents deserve better and shouldn't have to tolerate this. The city manager seems content to let your safety remain in jeopardy. My plan outlined in item 1.</li><li><strong>Police/Fire pension deficit grew by $2 billion:</strong> In one of the most disrespectful moves and a slap at our officers, the manager proposed and pushed to add BILLIONS of new debt to the police and fire pensions. He has refused to answer why he did this to them and refused to do this to his own pension. I think our hardworking officers and fire personnel should know why he did this to them and destabilized their hard-earned retirements. My plan: Phoenix is seeing record revenue growth, so instead of adding more debt we should be paying down this debt, securing the police/fire pensions first and providing a better budget for the future of our city.</li><li><strong>Structural budget deficit: </strong>When your budget director throws a temper tantrum and a hissy fit in a public meeting, you will know why this budget is a disaster. The City of Phoenix has the most revenue in history, but still faces budget deficits every single year. The manager and the hissy fit budget director think adding more debt to pay bills is the solution. I don't and there is a simple fix that does not require more debt. My plan: create a strategic plan for our city that is outcome-based rather than one that only looks at revenue. Believe it or not, we are the 5th largest city with a $4 billion budget and we do not have a strategic plan for our city.</li><li><strong>Light rail:</strong> What the city manager did to the community of south Phoenix is disgraceful. His plan to have only one lane in each direction will destroy the small business along the line. Period. He placed one of the most inept directors overseeing "communication" and we are seeing the results today of this lack of leadership. Then he put a radical political organization in charge of business assistance even though the group has NO experience in the area, showing complete disregard for the livelihoods of every business owner along the route. Let me be clear, everyone's business matters along the line. From the coffee shop to the hairdresser, these are not disposable people and they work hard just to pay the bills every day. They don't have the plush pension and the Cadillac benefits the manager has. Unfortunately, he has completely ignored those small business owners. My plan, take the monies from the light rail designated for that line and put it into infrastructure— roads, better bus service, beautiful medians, bike lanes, etc and take the $3 million per mile ($18 million/year total) needed for yearly operating expense and designate that for all of south Phoenix. With a capital cost of about $150 million per mile to install light rail, a lot more can be done to help south Phoenix than a failed train. Trash this outdated technology and use those monies for critical needs as outlined above.</li><li><strong>Water infrastructure:</strong> We have water lines bursting daily without a real solution. Water bills are going through the roof, producing record revenues and water lines still blowing up. High water bills are forcing poorer parts of our city into heat islands. They cannot afford to pay the bills and the green landscaping is being paved over to cut costs. This is negatively impacting their quality of life and our city. No plan here either from the city manager. Lots of talk and no direction. My plan: use the revenue stream to fix our outdated infrastructure, quit talking about fixing the heat islands and put something real in front of us for a vote.</li><li><strong>Management team:</strong> This was listed in the top five areas of concern by the city council. It was the first time ever management was that listed at such a high level of concern. With few exceptions this is probably the worst I have ever seen. From the hissy fit budget director to the failing streets department, they are incompetent at best. My plan: get rid of the manager who hired these people and bring in somebody new who understands budgeting and how to hire the right people to lead our city before it is too late.</li><li><strong>Information:</strong> If I cannot get accurate and timely information from the city manager, what makes you think you can? For example, for nearly one year I have asked for basic information on the actual cost of the light rail lines. One year. Then coincidently right before the manager's behind closed door review, I get the information. Imagine that? My plan: treat the public as your boss and get them the right information without them having to ask multiple times and hope they get the information that they need.<br></li><li><strong>Complete streets:</strong> Oddly enough I think this plan has some really cool ideas for the future of our city. I normally do not agree with some of the group who put together this plan, but it does have merit. Unfortunately, the manager completely threw out their ideas and you saw a mass resignation of hard-working citizens who put many hours away from their family to try and help our city. My plan: I have proposed using my district as a model for this, but the manager to date has refused to even place it up on a formal agenda for a vote and discussion.</li></ol><p>I believe the city manager should answer for each of these areas, but he doesn't want a public hearing. The public is his boss and he should outline his plan to his employer. <br><br>I don't think it is that much to ask, do you?"<br></p><p><br></p></div>6/22/2018 5:40:00 PMNick Valenzuela602-495-5405