Traditionally, the Roundup makes recommendations regarding key propositions. Here are our suggestions for selected issues on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Prop. 100: Raising municipal debt limits to permit incorporated communities, with voter approval, to become indebted up to 20 percent of taxable property for construction, reconstruction, improvement or acquisition of streets, highways, bridges or interest in land for rights-of-way for streets, highways or bridges; property values based on last assessment for state or county purposes.
We recommend a "yes" vote. The voters will have the final say in whether or not municipal leaders max out the communities debt limit. The use of the debt is limited and as prices go up, and state tax dollars shrink, smaller communities need a means to pay for improvements for citizens.
Prop. 102: Defines which group of senior citizens qualify for a freeze on their property tax valuation.
We recommend a "yes" vote. The original action to freeze the property tax values for senior citizens was designed to provide them a means to keep at least some expenses fixed, just as their incomes are fixed. Without the clarification, abuses by those not needing the help will continue.
Prop. 103: Adds sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor under age 15 and molestation of a child under age 15 to those offenses that do not qualify for bail.
We recommend a "yes" vote. Sexual predators should not have the privilege of continuing to plague society by simply putting money in public coffers as they await their court date.
Prop. 200: Directs the governor to approve new tribal gaming compacts; allocates each tribe three gaming facilities, 1,000-1,400 slot machines and 20 gaming tables per facility; 3 percent of net income will fund nontribal and tribal community college and university scholarships and elderly health care services.
We recommend a "no" vote, this proposition, limits tribal contributions to greater Arizona needs .
Prop. 201: Authorizes horse and dog racetracks to operate slot machines; permits renewal of gaming compacts; allows racetracks 10 facilities statewide, with up to 990 machines each; allows each tribe one to three facilities with up to 2,400 machines and 75 card tables; giving 40 percent of tracks' gross and 8 percent of the tribes' gross to specific programs.
We recommend a "no" vote. Indian gaming legislation was designed to provide a means for Native American nations to develop a source of income to improve the standard of living and services offered their members. Racetracks don't need a slice of that pie. The measure also places limits on where the contributed revenues can be spent.
Prop. 202: Directs the governor to approve new tribal gaming compacts; allocates each tribe one to four gaming facilities with 475 to 1,400 slot machines and 75 to 100 card tables; 1 to 8 percent of the tribes' gross income goes to the state for classroom reduction, teacher salary increases, reading and dropout prevention, programs for trauma and emergency services, wildlife conservation, problem gambling, tourism; and to cities, towns and counties for general public services.
We recommend a "yes" vote. Of all the gaming propositions, 202 gives a portion of tribes' gross gaming revenues to both specific and general public service programs, and most importantly those general public service programs are at the town, city and county levels.
Prop. 203: Decriminalizes marijuana possession for personal use; requires the state to distribute marijuana free of charge to persons with written documentation from a physician.
We recommend a "no" vote. The proposal does not specify any age limits for those able to get free "medical" marijuana. Further, the state, already strapped for funds, does not need to dilute the services it is providing by adding the responsibility for free distribution of marijuana to any of its agencies.
Prop. 400: Forms a Provisional Community College District to provide post-secondary educational services in Gila County.
We recommend a "yes" vote. See our editorial from Oct. 29.
Question: Should the Payson Unified School District participate in a Joint Technological Education District, Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology at a tax rate of 5 cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation?
We recommend a "yes" vote. At every opportunity the young people of our communities should have as many options for education available to them as we can provide. By approving participation in the joint technological district we will give our young people the option of real-world job training in fields where we need to build a work force. When those young people finish their education, they will have marketable skills that enable them to become contributing members of society.