I'd like to write about residents' various feelings about bond issues for streets.
Several years ago, there was a bond proposed for building a library, a police station, and a fire station, and it was voted down.
Later on, it was disclosed that the town had several million dollars in the bank. This money was used to complete these projects that the people had rejected, creating much distrust in local government.
Since that time, we have had two bond issues concerning streets. The first one lost by fewer than the 42 votes that defeated the second one.
This doesn't mean that people don't want the streets improved. What it does show is that only 42 votes out of well over 3,000 were against raising taxes to fix some streets. This shouldn't cause the town to take a position of "no money for street projects until the people vote for them."
The basic foundation of a town's infrastructure system is streets. Sometime in the last 15 or 20 years, the town started to neglect this philosophy and went in a different direction. It seems that something, or someone, had enough influence to change the course and our streets have suffered ever since.
There are so many terrible streets that some voters took the position that their streets were not included in the bond issue, and they weren't getting anything out of it -- and there were some that thought the money would be used for something else. County property taxes are extremely high, and though this is not the town's fault, they still get some blame.
Definitely, it's time to drastically revise the budget system and the corporate strategic plan and stop spending so much money on projects associated with economic development and business. The infrastructure needs all of the concentrated effort being given to projects that only benefit a few.
A major effort should be instituted to improve streets and sidewalks so that they would be the best in small-town Arizona instead of among the worst.
With the budget in the 30-million dollar range, I, along with others, fully believe that it can be altered in a direction that will reflect a responsibility for the mistakes of so many years of neglect.
It is urgent that a way be found to put 4-million dollars in the budget each year for road improvements until substantial progress can be shown to the people, and allow the other projects to suffer, like roads have for so long.
A program such as this could improve the public confidence factor and be the catalyst for future necessary bond issues to pass and would also be attractive to economic development and business without any subsidies.
Top priority for public needs is the best way to go.