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Letters to the editor: Election issues

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Posted: Friday, October 31, 2008 5:28 pm | Updated: 10:32 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Election 2008 | Presidential Elections | Legislative Races | Congressional Races | Proposition 102 | Proposition 105 | Proposition 202Mesa Bond Election | Chandler Election | Chandler School Election | Tempe Elections | Gilbert Parks | Higley School Election | Pinal County ElectionsJustices of the Peace | District 21 House

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

More election letters to the editor

Submit your letter to the editor

 LEGISLATIVE RACES

Dial has right priorities for Dist. 20

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Dial. He was walking door-door, asking people for their vote. I had seen Jeff’s sign around town before, but didn’t know much about him. I wanted to learn more, so I asked him what his top priorities would be if he were elected.

Without hesitation, Jeff responded with getting the economy back on track. Jeff explained to me he had worked as an executive with Dial Chemical for the past 20 years, and knew what it was like to work through tough times. As a small business man, Jeff has the experience to balance the budget and fight through adversity. This was music to my ears.

Like most folks, it has been a struggle getting by in the past couple of months. It was refreshing to talk to a politician who understood the struggles of a middle-class women like myself. As a middle-school teacher, I was also very impressed with Jeff’s plan to improve public education in our state. Arizona needs more leaders like Jeff Dial, with the real world experience and understanding to make the right choices. That is why Jeff has earned my vote.

LINDSEY CONNOR

PHOENIX

Even Democrats support Dial

I am a concerned voter in legislative District 20. After awaiting the primary results, I was pleased to learn that Republican Jeff Dial has continued into the general election. I am certain that I am not the only voter who has written about their support of Jeff, but I believe I am a special case; I am a Democrat. Normally I would mark my ballot for a fellow Dem without even thinking twice. But this time I decided to check out the other candidates. I was thoroughly impressed by Jeff Dial’s emphasis on education and his acknowledgement of the need for higher teacher pay and more funding in the classroom. As an Arizona State University graduate and the son of a public school teacher, he has been surrounded by the issues of the public school system for most of his life. I understand crossing party lines may seem strange or “out of the box,” but Jeff is an “out of the box” Republican when it comes to education, and that is just what I am looking for.

CAROL LAMOUREUX

CHANDLER

No chance of a tax increase

I am responding to Joe Moskalik’s Oct. 23 letter to the editor (“District 21 doesn’t want more taxes”). During my campaign, I have forthrightly supported providing first-class public schools in every Arizona neighborhood as well as improving our infrastructure to stimulate economic opportunity and growth. To be responsible and finance these goals, I suggested slight income tax increases for the rich and corporations while reducing taxes for middle class families. I also rejected raising sales and vehicle taxes, or creating any new property tax.

Our current economic distress prevents these minor tax changes and the legislature will have to use existing resources to balance our budget. The current budget deficit and Arizona’s future requires all legislators to work together and make responsible cuts that maintain our commitment to education and our need to stimulate economic development and employment with infrastructure improvements.

PHIL HETTMANSPERGER

DISTRICT 21 CANDIDATE, ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CHANDLER

Huppenthal’s record says it all

For 16 years in the Arizona Legislature, John Huppenthal has consistently voted against the best interests of your children and grandchildren who attend the publicly funded schools in District 20. His record has been a consistent attempt to either deny those students the funding that their education deserves, or to transfer it to private schools.

Huppenthal’s record includes:

1995 — Proposed legislation to raid public education funding and give it to private schools.

1996 — Proposed the same legislation again.

1997 — Voted in favor of creating a tax deduction for individuals donating to private schools, many of which were religious organizations.

1999 — Huppenthal asserted that public schools are “criminal production factories” (Associated Press, March 18, 1999).

2003 — Voted for budget that would have cut $100 million from public education, in favor of a bill slashing school building upkeep by $54 million and for legislation to limit excess utilities causing districts to increase class sizes.

2004 — Voted in favor of prohibiting the adjustment of costs for new public school construction causing schools to bear increases in new school construction costs.

2005 — Told parents in the Kyrene Elementary School District that “the cavalry isn’t coming” to save Kyrene from its budget predicament.

2008 — Voted against legislation that would have provided funds to correct the abysmal pollution issues at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe.

On Nov. 4, vote for the District 20 education team of Ted Maish for state senator and Rae Waters for state representative. Between them, Ted and Rae have 40 years of experience supporting the educational needs of the students who attend our publicly funded schools; your children and grandchildren. Vote as if their education depends on it, because it does.

FRED BARLAM

PHOENIX

Huppenthal reaches out to help

In reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11, my thoughts returned to how we as Americans, felt we needed to band together as a nation and be there for each other. That day showed the spirit of government and the community at its best.

My husband and I have undergone a trial. Flooding in our neighborhood from heavy rains resulted in serious damage to our property. The resolution required the cooperation of government and private entities. Unfortunately, coordinating efforts among the various entities became overwhelming for me, and caught me in the middle of a bureaucratic nightmare. On the recommendation of several friends, I called the office of Sen. John Huppenthal, R-Chandler.

I can’t say enough about the commitment and genuine concern I experienced. Huppenthal personally took the time to come to my homeowner’s association meetings to help communicate the problem to the board and to work on facilitating a solution. He worked with Phoenix, the Maricopa County Flood Control District, and my neighbors beyond any of my expectations.

I just want to share my experience with others in District 20 who may be caught in the quagmire of local and state government, and who may need a helping hand from someone who takes his public service seriously. Huppenthal was there for me and my husband. He has been there for my friends who recommended him to me. The residents of Arizona need more people like him.

PAT PARNELL

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS

Maish, Waters would serve Dist. 20 well

On Tuesday, I will be supporting Ted Maish for state senator and Rae Waters for state representative in legislative District 20 serving Ahwatukee Foothills, western Chandler and southern Tempe. Ted and Rae care about our children and our community and will help to end the stalemate in the Arizona Legislature, giving Gov. Janet Napolitano the support she needs to get things done.

Ted, who retired after 25 years as an East Valley high school teacher, understands the need for funding education and ensuring strong public schools. He also supports affordable and quality health care reform and working towards smart responsible growth to enhance the quality of life in our community. Rae, who has been a member of the Kyrene Elementary School District Governing Board for the past 10 years and is a past president of the Arizona School Boards Association, supports strong schools, safe neighborhoods and fiscal responsibility.

Ted and Rae have an unprecedented desire to serve the District 20 community. They want to know your concerns so that they can advocate for you in the Legislature after they are elected. To date, they have knocked on the doors of more tahn 15,000 homes in our community (perhaps one was yours) listening to what you have to say. They have even made their cell phone numbers public and have spoken with many of you. That is the type of leadership that they will bring to the Legislature. No wonder they have garnered support from such organizations as the Arizona Education Association, the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and the Arizona Fire Fighters.

On Election Day, please join me in voting for Ted Maish for state senator and Rae Waters for state representative.

JEFFREFY TUCKER

PHOENIX

Thompson much more than ‘lobbyist’

I would like to clear up an impression that might have been left by a recent campaign mailer. The rhetoric in the presidential race has gotten ugly — but this is Tempe where we consider ourselves a small community where we work together for things that improve the quality of life. We work together for the arts and charities and serve on the same committees.

Given those feelings, I was surprised to receive a campaign mailer from the incumbents for state representative, contrasting themselves with the two Republican candidates. What disturbed me was the label summing up former Rep. Mark Thompson in a single word as a “lobbyist.” Mark served two years in the Legislature, during which he was very effective in helping Arizona State University with their funding requests, and, among his other contributions he stood up for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Mark has been in the business of elder care for years. Since leaving the Legislature, he has done some lobbying on a part-time basis, including speaking for individuals with developmental disabilities. He is also on the board of directors of the Tempe Arc and the Board of the Centers for Habilitation.

The term lobbyist is misleading. Anyone who speaks on behalf of a second party must register as a lobbyist — whether they are paid or not — including those that lobby for state agencies, the city and the countless human service entities. Scarcely the image usually portrayed by cartoonists, and scarcely a description of Mark Thompson, candidate for the Arizona House.

BEV HERMON

TEMPE

Thompson should return to House

Since re-districting occurred, I am no longer a resident of District 17 and therefore cannot vote for Mark Thompson in his bid for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives. I regret that, because when Mark served his previous term in the House, I found him to be one of the most conscientious and effective members of the Legislature. Mark always does his homework. He listens to divergent viewpoints. He does not just go along to get along. He is willing to reach across party lines in order to effect legislation that is best for all of Arizona. He truly cares about his constituents and exercises common sense and sound judgment in his deliberations. Thompson has proven that he is a leader worthy of your vote. At this crucial stage in our state’s history, I urge all of the voters in District 17 to put Mark Thompson back in the House of Representatives for the benefit of all Arizonans.

DAVID B. CUTTY

TEMPE

West Mesa can do better

This election we need real bipartisanship and leadership in our Legislature, not secret meetings and hiding from not only Democrats but members of your own party. My opponent has had eight years in the Legislature and of late, serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

We stand today at the worst budget deficit in our state’s history, we see one of the state’s highest foreclosure rates, affecting many families right here in District 18. We have seen and felt the increase in costs for basic services and goods. We see our teachers, police officers, firefighters as well as government employees with an increase in their pension contributions and health care costs. We see in increase in health care costs overall. We see our teachers are still paid below the national average. We see no utilization of solar to help balance and diversify our energy plan. We see a high number of high school dropouts, and a high number of teenage pregnancies.

At this critical point in our state’s economy, infrastructure and moral compass, the question must be poised, are we better off than we were eight years ago and can we do better in the next eight?

Although one person cannot fix all these issues, one person can start to work with other members of the legislature, with groups, with churches, with influential members of society and organizations to start. Government and our leaders could reach out and be reached for to protect consumers, find regulation that works and provide for the general welfare as charged in the constitution. We can work together to make sure that people are not infringed on nor their constitutional rights so people can reach their potential and capabilities with the least government intrusion as possible. I would like to be the one to start this movement.

JUDAH NATIVIO

DISTRICT 18 CANDIDATE, ARIZONA SENATE

MESA

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PROPOSITION 202

Protects businesses instead of punishing them

Proposition 202 is a lie. It will not stop illegal hiring. It weakens the current law and would give virtual amnesty to employers found hiring illegal immigrants.

If Proposition 202 is approved it will abolish E-Verify that are the current methods of verifying if the applicant is a legal resident. E-Verify has been upheld and ruled constitutional in four different court challenges.

The same group of businesses that contributed thousands of dollars in an attempt to defeat Russell Pearce are the same ones spending thousands of dollars in supporting this proposition.

HAROLD L. GEE

MESA

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PROPOSITION 102

Don’t support population growth

Concerning Philip Moon’s column (Perspective, Oct. 26), it seems very peculiar that someone would oppose gay marriage on the grounds that it will decrease the population. Moon must be aware of the significant population growth that has occurred in the past 50 years, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts an additional increase of about 30 percent to 360 million between 2000 and 2030.

In fact, population growth in the U.S. is currently higher than in any other developed nation. Given the problems of overpopulation, which are evident in China and India, for instance, it is clear that if it ever was justifiable for the U.S. government to promote childbearing, it certainly is not now. Therefore, if population considerations are truly the deciding factor in Moon’s mind, he should be in favor of gay marriage.

Of course, the arguments put forth by his editorial opponent, Jenifer DeLemont, are equally unconvincing. She begins an irrelevant critique of government’s role in the marriage contract, and ends with an irrelevant feminist rant about “weak women.” I do, however, agree with DeLemont that the government should confer no special benefits on people who choose to marry, and that the call for a constitutional amendment in this case is a gross overreaction by people who should be encouraged to find something more productive to do with their time.

GEORGE GERI

GILBERT

Religious takeover

The Christians take over of the U.S. government, and the Christians claim to protect the sanctity of marriage by restricting it, is troubling. How can marriage be one man and one woman when 36 percent of Caucasians, 58 percent of Mexicans, and 75 percent of African-American children are being raised in single-family homes? The Christian idea of the sanctity of marriage is failing. Marriage is now a legal action. The only part that religion plays is in the Christian ceremony that some couples choose. What Christians are trying to do is forcing their beliefs on others. What happened to freedom of religion? It is wrong to deny the rights of others in this country.

BARBARA ANDERSON

MESA

Marriage should be a contract

In response to Trevor Hansen’s Oct. 16 letter, churches can refuse to marry gay people. What they should not be allowed to do is keep gay people from legally marrying the person of their choice. You have the right to do that.

Marriage is a legal contract first and foremost. What the Bible says about homosexuality is irrelevant. No one is forcing religions to marry gay people. Their ceremony is meaningless anyway unless you believe in that religion. You get the license from the state, not a church. We do not amend the Constitution to take away rights and gay people have the same rights as heterosexuals as citizens of this great country.

Why is this so difficult for you to understand? Vote “no” on Prop. 102! Your rights are already protected; gay people’s rights are not. Why are your First Amendment rights more important than theirs?

KATHLEEN PATEL

APACHE JUNCTON

Voting ‘no’ a step toward gay marriage

I received an e-mail from the people against Proposition 102. It referred me to a commercial that would air on TV. I watched the commercial. Certainly there are many difficulties we face in Arizona. The commercial pointed out what seems to me like mostly economic issues. Economic issues are important. But I don’t think there is any issue more important than the family in our state or in our country. Nevertheless, the ballot seems plenty large enough to address all issues that people believe are important. Yes, we did vote on this in the past. But times are changing and the issue is very germane.

Most of us have now heard the arguments about state statutes versus constitutional amendmenta and how progressively activist judges have ruled in California. Whatever else you want to throw into this argument, it is clear that voting against Prop. 102 will make it easier for gay marriage. Why isn’t that in the commercial? In fact, why do they only show a heterosexual couple?

Come on, be honest. Voting for Prop. 102 is voting for marriage between a woman and a man. Voting against Prop. 102 just may someday give us marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

RON COMPTON

MESA

Don’t reject a couple’s love

I am not gay. I represent the organization Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, better known as PFLAG Phoenix. This organization wants to counter groups like the Center for Arizona Policy and Focus on the Family who have continued to advance the notion that gay people are somehow morally not equivalent.

They deny the fact that gay people have families and friends who love and support them. How can these organizations and others spend $8 million in Arizona, telling us that they are “protecting” marriage?

Prop. 102 supporters are once again advancing a proposition that intrudes on not just people’s rights, but more importantly the feelings of a group of people. These are people I hope someday will be treated by our society with justice, as the wonderful, hard-working, people they are. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

To the voting public of Arizona, though your vote is known only to you, the effect of that vote will be felt for years by our family members, friends, fellow students, co-workers, neighbors and church members, these are people we know, care about and love.

Prop. 102 will ensure that gay people, in committed relationships, and their families will not have their love validated in this state. How would you feel if your love was voted invalid?

Before you mark your ballot, think about one gay person you know, care about, or love and for that person vote no. Please, Arizonans, do not allow a few people and out-of-state organizations force their will on us, by using $8 million and the Arizona constitution. Join me in voting no on Prop. 102.

DAVE PAPE

SUN LAKES

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MESA BOND ELECTION

Need to build up public safety

Mesa must reduce its response times. It’s as simple as that. Voting “yes” on the bonds, Questions 1 and 2, will build long overdue fire stations in both parts of the city, and a new police station in Dobson Ranch. The last fire station was built in 2002 and our response times have been slipping ever since. We can’t afford another three years of slipping times, which is why I’m voting “yes” on Questions 1 and 2.

ALICE SWINEHART

MESA

More infrastructure to meet growth

Mesa currently finds itself in a unique situation. It has grown tremendously the last few years and still has a little more to go. Questions 1 and 2 on the ballot this year are very important which is why I’ll be voting “yes” on both. Mesa needs new economic development so that when it is fully grown out, we have a good economic base. These questions are the best way for new growth to pay for itself while supporting older parts of the city. A city that doesn’t invest in itself will just wither and die which is why I’m voting “yes” on Questions 1 and 2.

DAWN THURLOW

MESA

Bond package needed for public safety

In today’s political climate one wonders evermore if politicians will keep campaign promises. The Mesa City Council has done just that. Mayor Scott Smith and his council ran on platforms of “Building a Better Mesa.” Laying down the ground work for this growth are Question 1 and Question 2, the public safety and street projects bonds posted on the ballot Tuesday.

There are many things that are positive about this bond package. I admire the council for trimming $231 million from the original package offered by the previous council. Only essential city needs were kept, minimizing taxpayer cost to less than $4 per month for the average resident. Because it is a secondary property tax, large stores like Wal-Mart who use much of the police services in the area would be participating in paying for the services instead of merely passing our sales tax dollars on to the city. An independent audit will make sure that the money is used as intended and as soon as the bonds are paid the tax goes away.

For this, residents in Mesa will get quicker response times for police and fire. New fire trucks will replace trucks that are 15 or more years old. In addition, a communications center will be built to ensure that if the unthinkable happens, Mesa will still be able to meet the emergency needs of its residents.

This is the forward thinking Mesa needs as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. I join Mesa’s leaders in strongly encouraging Mesa residents to take the time on this November’s lengthy ballot to mark “yes” for Questions 1 and 2.

SOPHIA TESCH

MESA

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CHANDLER ELECTIONS

Reject higher density in General Plan

I urge all Chandler voters to read the arguments in the Chandler voter information pamphlet dealing with the new General Plan before voting. Of crucial importance to each neighborhood is the new language which will allow super-dense, high-rise apartment buildings in many parts of Chandler. During the Chandler General Plan process, I repeatedly asked for definitions of terms to make the plan more clear to voters who are not used to reading techno-speak documents. Every change I requested was denied in order to conceal the true effects of the new plan from homeowners.

I asked for Web links in the online version of the plan which would have made it easier for voters to determine the locations where the new apartments will go. The city staff refused. I asked for a definition of 40 dwelling units per acre in terms of building height and mass. They refused.

The only way for voters to really know the answers to such questions is to read the Chandler voter pamphlet at www.chandleraz.gov/Content/Election%20Booklet.pdf.

Vote “no” on this abusive new law now or you won’t be able to protect your neighborhoods in the future.

KRISTA COLLINS

CHANDLER

Sellers knows transportation

I‘ve worked with Jack Sellers on regional transportation issues for several years. Jack is a knowledgeable person who works hard to represent the issues that are important to all of us. He approaches problems in a very logical and practical manner and is well connected and respected in transportation circles. Jack will make a great addition to our City Council. I urge you to join me in voting for Jack Sellers to represent us on the Chandler City Council.

JIM PATTERSON

FORMER MAYOR, CHANDLER

Heumann would focus on jobs, neighborhoods

Bringing jobs to the community and keeping our neighborhoods the highest quality is what Rick Heumann is all about. He has demonstrated a high level of civic commitment through his many years on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Rick Heumann is a person of integrity and vision. If you voted for him before, you already know that. If you did not, trust that Rick Heumann will bring an energy and progressive outlook to the Chandler City Council, further enhancing the leadership already in place. Please join me in voting for Rick Heumann for City Council.

MICHAEL CASON

CHANDLER

Hartke puts people first

“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.” Although this phrase is attributed to the famous spokesperson, Anonymous, it continues to be a life message of my husband, Kevin Hartke. In our 27 years of marriage, I have admired his ability to get into heart-to-heart conversations with people whether we are attending a city event or enjoying an evening out to dinner. It’s as if he has the words “I care about you” permanently stamped on his forehead. Kevin genuinely loves people and they sense this about him. This trait has served him well as a Chandler City Council member and in his job as a pastor in this community for the past 23 years. I assure you that a vote for Kevin Hartke is a vote for a leader who puts people first.

LYNNE HARTKE

CHANDLER

Keep Hartke on City Council

I highly recommend Kevin Hartke for Chandler City Council. Of all the applicants to apply to fill the empty council seat, he was the one that was picked. That is an indorsement on his standing in the city. Now he is campaigning for his own full-term seat on the council. He will be an asset to the city.

He has been my pastor for many years. I have been, and am again, a deacon and trustee with our church. I work closely with him. I know him to be fair in his decisions, conservative with the church’s funds and trustworthy. He has a love and concern for our church people. These are traits our city is in need of at all times. He will fill those needs.

Vote for Kevin Hartke and be assured he will always do what he feels is best for the people of Chandler.

JERRI PARSON

CHANDLER

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CHANDLER SCHOOL ELECTION

Override needed to avoid big budget cuts

The Chandler Unified School District budget override is vital for the health of Chandler schools. Chandler Unified has been operating under an override since 1989. The renewal of this override allows Chandler Unified to spend 10 percent more than the state funding formula provides for maintenance and operations. This part of the budget is comprised mostly of salaries and benefits, but also includes maintenance, utilities, safety programs, equipment and supplies. Our schools need this override to maintain reasonable class sizes, pay teachers competitive salaries and preserve important programs such as art, music, athletics and gifted services.

The override is about classroom instruction and maintaining instructional excellence in Chandler schools. Failure of the override will result in budget reductions of approximately $20 million over the next three years. These cuts will affect the quality of education and reduce services that Chandler Unified can provide.

The override will cost taxpayers no more in taxes than we already pay because this override is a renewal. With educational funding in Arizona near the lowest in the nation, Chandler Unified needs this additional override funding to maintain the quality education we have come to expect from Chandler schools.

Vote “yes” for the Chandler Unified budget override.

BARB MOZDZEN

CHANDLER SCHOOLS OVERRIDE YES COMMITTEE

GILBERT

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MARICOPA COUNTY ELECTIONS

Brock supports tough immigration enforcement

Maricopa County voters have two very different candidates running for the Board of Supervisors. On the Republican ticket, incumbent Fulton Brock would return with his experience and keen sense of fiscal responsibility. Brock’s focus on infrastructure, environment, and transportation is vital to our future. Brock has a proven track record of supporting the rule of law and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Ed Hermes is the Democratic challenger. This neophyte can’t offer experience because he hasn’t ever held an elective office or a real job. Hermes wants increased spending on liberal social programs and he has an obsession with cutting Arpaio’s budget. Hermes hopes to team up with Arpaio bashers like Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox to shut down the sheriff’s law enforcement capability in order to stop him from arresting illegal immigrants and other types of criminals.

So, if you want more out-of-control social spending, crippled law enforcement and rampant illegal immigration, vote for Hermes. If you want to crack down on crime and to hold the line on Maricopa Country spending, Fulton Brock is the only logical choice.

ROB SANCHEZ

CHANDLER

Brock supporters lower taxes, park system

Voting is not only a right but a privilege that sometimes we take for granted. This election voter turnout is predicted to be similar to what it was in 2004. About 80 percent of all registered voters (approximately 50 percent of eligible Arizona citizens are registered) will have their ballots counted and select not only our next United States President, as well as other leaders whose policies will have a direct affect on our lives. Elected officials should be trustworthy, ethical and hard working. They should be the eyes and ears of the people; working to make our tax dollars more effective and government more accountable.

One such leader we can count on to keep government under control is Fulton Brock. Fulton’s leadership on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has benefited citizens all across the county through years of hard work helping to make Maricopa County the best run county in the United States.

Fulton’s principled and dedicated leadership has allowed for the lowering of property tax rates every year since he has been in office. He has also been mindful of the need to preserve open space and worked to create the largest municipal park system in our nation with no taxpayer dollars.

Fulton cares about our quality of life and understands that government is of the people and by the people. He has represented us well. I ask that you join me in re-electing Fulton Brock as our county supervisor. He deserves our vote.

LAURA KNAPEREK

TEMPE

Arpaio wrong to avoid debates

This week, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio decided not to participate in two debates with his challenger, former Buckeye Police Chief Dan Saban. The sheriff’s decision is both cowardice and un-American. Debates have been the root of our republic; their main function not being an opportunity for self-promotion, but rather an opportunity for citizens to see and size up candidates prior to casting a vote.

It is my understanding that since July, Saban has had an outstanding offer extended to the sheriff for debate. So my question is, why won’t Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” accept? Over these last five months, the sheriff has spent countless hours at book signings, press conferences and filming political commercials. But 30 minutes on local television before the voters explaining why he deserves our vote is too much? This office is not his by right of birth, and he is not the king of England. If the sheriff can’t articulate why he should be in charge of public safety and a $250 million budget — I can’t articulate why I should vote for him.

MICHAEL RICHI-JONES

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS

Mesa raid shows need for new sheriff

We have sunk to a new low. Now, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has started invading government offices in his quest to rid our county of illegal immigrants. This is really scary. What is also interesting is this happened in Mesa. Arpaio thinks Mesa Police Chief George Gascón is soft on illegal immigration and has had the ultimate temerity to confront Arpaio. Therefore, Arpaio has to show Gascón who’s boss.

Interestingly, while Arpaio has gone after landscapers, janitors and day laborers, Gascón and his department successfully apprehended and are prosecuting the “Serial Shooters.” While Arpaio was targeting a furniture store in Phoenix, accusing Phoenix and its chief, Jack Harris, of being soft on illegal immigration, the Phoenix Police Department arrested and is prosecuting the “Baseline Killer.”

What’s next? Raids on the Legislature? Raids on the courthouses? Cops being killed because this egomaniac doesn’t play with the other department heads? Arpaio has to go. I, personally, have had enough of his stormtrooper tactics and publicity-aimed antics. No wonder he refuses to debate challenger Dan Saban. What’s he going to say in answer to sound logic?

HARRY B. RYON

SCOTTSDALE

Vote out sheriff, county attorney

I wonder just how much more abuse of power the voters in Maricopa County are willing to ignore from Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In light of recent events alone, I am hopeful that the majority of voters have finally come to the only logical and ethical conclusion and intend to cast their votes for Dan Saban for sheriff and for Tim Nelson for county attorney. We need a sheriff and a county attorney who work well with the other law enforcement agencies in their jurisdiction if we are ever going to be safe and secure and well represented. It is time for a change.

We as a whole here in Maricopa County seem to be very complacent about standing up for our rights, civil and constitutional. Our lawmakers, our board of supervisors, our judges and our governor have also been negligent and complacent to the point that this county is in shambles and we have made ourselves a laughingstock to all. It is incomprehensible to me that some sensible, intelligent people in this county seem to be willing to re-elect these individuals based solely on their hostility over the illegal immigration situation. This is certainly a situation of concern.

However, of much greater concern, to me at least, is that I want — and feel that I have the right to demand — law enforcement officers and officers of the court uphold the law and use legal, ethical, moral and logical means to do so. They have chosen instead to focus all of their time, money and manpower on one issue while completely disregarding all others which is not appropriate and is not why they were elected. I firmly believe that Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas and their offices should be fully investigated and should be held accountable for their wrongdoing.

KATHY LARAMEE

PHOENIX

Deserve a debate in sheriff’s race

Presidential candidates have debated issues, and many local candidates debate one another in various venues around the county. Why does Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio continue to refuse to debate challenger Dan Saban? Arpaio says that all the facts that Saban quotes are false. If that is the case, why not debate Saban and bring the “proof?” What is Arpaio afraid of? I can tell you couple of my guesses:

• Arpaio does not have the “proof” he keeps referring to.

• Arpaio is afraid of what will arise during a debate, such as information about Chief Deputy David Hendershott and his many questionable activities within the Office.

• Arpaio is afraid of the information about jail activities coming light.

• Arpiao is afraid the data concerning response times will come to light.

• Arpaio is deathly afraid of discussing expenditures within his office, such as sending people to South America for spurious reasons when the tactical response unit did not have bulletproof vests (these were later donated by a local manufacturer after an officer nearly lost his life).

• People may take close a look the top-heavy management staff in the sheriff’s office, and their salaries.

• People may take look at the recidivism rate for Arpaio’s tent city verses other jails of comparable size.

Of course, the sheriff has many other secrets that he really does not want the people of our county to hear. These are just a few.

JAMES HELMICK

CAVE CREEK

County attorney should be a check on sheriff

I’ve noticed campaign ads by the Maricopa County sheriff and county attorney of the “I’m for him. He’s for me.” variety. This sort of buddy-buddy, palsy-walsy relationship makes me very uneasy.

There should be a natural tension between the arrest and the prosecution functions of our justice system. This tension arises out of demands from the prosecutor that only quality arrests are made with a very high probability of conviction.

This means only those arrests where a likely conviction can be supported by the evidence should be presented by the sheriff to the county attorney and accepted for prosecution. According to a Tribune article, the current acquittal rate is 31 percent. That means nearly one out of three defendants who go to trial walk out free.

This happens either because they were not guilty to begin with or the evidence provided by the sheriff was insufficient to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Either way, we the citizens lose. Good guys are dragged into court for nothing or bad guys go free instead of being convicted. Then there is the cost of futile prosecutions.

We need a county attorney who holds the sheriff to a very high evidence standard and a sheriff willing to meet that standard. Given the low conviction rate, it seems these two pals are not up to the task.

STEVE ZIMMERMAN

SCOTTSDALE

Lovejoy shouldn’t be ongoing target

What is the county attorney’s problem? He has nothing better to do than pick on poor Chandler Police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy (“Lovejoy may land on list of discredited officers,” Tribune, Oct. 27)? Someone needs to tell him to do something productive and leave Tom alone. We thought his job was to prosecute criminals not hang on to something that has been beaten in court twice. If the county attorney has nothing better to do then let him keep working for Sheriff Joe Arpaio chasing illegal immigrants. We hope he loses his job as county attorney since he is an illiterate at this position.

JOE AND MARILYN KOSS

CHANDLER

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CONGRESSIONAL RACES

Confused about Flake’s views

I live in Mesa and the 6th Congressional District. My representative is Jeff Flake. I have tried for over a month now to find out where Flake would be campaigning for re-election. His office would not say —that answer, according to them, could be gotten only from his campaign headquarters. I have called his campaign headquarters four times, leaving a call back number three times.

They have never returned one call. I see no commercials or ads for Flake. I simply see a scattering of posters for him. When I ask his staff about his positions on issues I get very little from them. From what I’ve heard on the grapevine he doesn’t believe in strong government. In fact, because of his low profile, I’m not sure he believes in government at all. Actually I don’t have the vaguest idea what he thinks and there doesn’t seem to be a practical way to find out.

This election has been billed as one of the most important of our lifetime. I find it extremely frustrating that Jeff Flake is as low profile as he is despite the fact he currently has two opponents in this election — one a Libertarian, the other Democrat Rebecca Schnieder. I have been told that there are approximately 400,000 eligible voters in the 6th Congressional District and in the last election Flake got about 150,000 votes. That’s less than 40 precent of his constituency and that appears to mean he has little interest in hearing from or representing in Congress the remaining 60 percent who might not vote for him.

It is arrogant responses to constituents by congressman Flake that help create the miserably low opinion the public now holds of Congress.

ED LEAHY

MESA

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ELECTION 2008

Religion shouldn’t be basis for voting

As we get closer to this years election I hear and see more and more about how we should allow God to influence us in the selection of our governmental leaders, pick leaders who are godly or are inclined do God’s will. What does that mean, God’s will?

If God created the heavens and earth and all of mankind, then God surely likes unending variety in both people and religion. How do we decide what God’s will truly is? Is it the will of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim faith? What about the will of those who do not subscribe to organized religion but still believe in God? How about those who do not believe in God? Do they just get pushed aside or who will provide their voice in our government? My point is, when you go to the polls Tuesday and decide for whom you are going to cast your vote, the important thing to consider is who will do best for humanity as a whole. Remember those we put in office are there to represent every American citizen regardless of his or her beliefs.

RICHARD WELLS

CHANDLER

Keep election signs away from the street

There should be a requirement that all campaign posters have to be at least 15 feet from any street. With four to six clustered at a corner, it is impossible to see over or around them, when trying to observe for oncoming traffic before making a right turn on red. It poses a real hazard.

FRED BYAS

MESA

Pick president with popular vote

While we are in the final days of this general election, it would be beneficial to identify the insane aspects of the process so that it is not repeated every four years in the future. Much of the distaste of the system lies in the concept of state primaries. Not only the childish jockeying for “earliest” dates, but also holding them months after it has already been decided, has contributed to the public’s repulsion.

Nominations for the presidency could be done by the party caucuses of all elected members of the House of Representatives. After a few months, the general election would be a vote of the entire country. The Electoral College would be abolished. This would be combining the methods of the U.S. and the United Kingdom. What are the advantages?

First, it would greatly reduce the months and months of campaigning with its resulting costs of millions upon millions of dollars. Second, it would greatly reduce the divisiveness which has characterized recent presidential elections. Gone, or, at least reduced, would be hate Internet groups and e-mail senders that answer to no one. Third, the chances of being governed by an inept president should be less.

RICHARD LACKIE

CHANDLER

Ad money excessive

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is saturating the Arizona media with ads. Their level of spending to gain Arizona congressional seats is unprecedented. Their media onslaught is paid for by money from out of Arizona, most of it from the East. The DCCC does not represent the Arizona congressional candidates. They are running their own campaign, overriding and obscuring the local candidates’ message.

The DCCC ads are contrived, overtly negative and very misleading. One excoriates a candidate for voting against benefits for troops in Iraq. Those benefits were in a rider attached to a bill that demanded a date-certain U.S. pull out of Iraq. The whole bill was defeated. Another ad claims a candidate advocates a national sales tax, making it sound like that tax would be in addition to existing taxes when, in fact, the plan is to eliminate many taxes with the national sales tax.

Will Arizonans be duped by such outright deceit and chicanery? No way! Take note of who the DCCC is supporting and cast your vote for the opposing candidate. Show them they can’t buy or influence Arizonan’s votes. Let’s keep Arizona for Arizonans.

GEORGE GARBELL

PHOENIX

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GILBERT PARKS

Skate park unsupervised

Having been an 11-year resident of Gilbert, I decided to allow my grandchildren the fun of skate boarding at Freestone Park. This is a beautiful facility and my grandchildren age 6 to 11 years old enjoyed the experience immensely. While there and watching the kids, I noticed there was absolutely no policing or supervision of the facility.

The young people in general were respectful to each other, but when the gangsters or whatever you wish to call them showed up in their hooded sweatshirts pulled over their eyes, immediately eight to 10 of the skateboarders left the park. These hooded characters had no skateboards, they entered the skating area, sat on the west wall, pulled out their smokes, did some money exchange deals and proceeded to voice their loud profanity and generally make it known that they were present and their intimidating presence would remain.

The following Monday I called Parks and Recreation Supervisor Tim Hefner. I requested a call back because his voice mail said he was tied up in city business meetings all day. This was a week ago, I haven’t heard a word since. The skate park is a wonderful facility. It isn’t going to remain this way without some sort of supervision. It already is showing signs of deterioration. Without some sort of oversight, this area with become a place for the shady characters, and the kids who really love the sport will be pushed out.

STEPHEN CHERRY

GILBERT

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HIGLEY SCHOOL ELECTION

Land has critical experience

In a presidential election year, it is easy to focus on the “big-shot” candidates running for office. Please remember the importance of a minor race, too. Greg Land is running for election to the Higley Unified School District Board. In the “big” picture, this “minor” office is extremely critical. Greg comes from a family of educators. He was raised by educators. He owns his own business and has a good understanding of what it means to prepare a budget and stick to it. He has experience as a school board member serving a term just a few years ago. Greg knows how to achieve success in business, in education and in life. His own kids attend Higley schools. He has lived in the community for many years and understands the people and the school district.

Greg Land is honest, hard-working, and has the unique ability to listen to all sides of an issue before making a decision. Most of all, his experience and judgment will help him make decisions based on what’s best for all the students in Higley

Yes, it is time for a change. Please help our students, parents, and teachers by voting for Greg Land in this election.

JOHN BARTELL

GILBERT

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PINAL COUNTY ELECTIONS

Former Democrat candidate endorses Babeu for sheriff

I proudly served 15 years as a Pinal County detention officer and later as a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy. I’m currently serving as vice mayor of Superior. I’m a lifelong Democrat and ran for sheriff in the Democratic primary. I am thankful for the 4,529 voters who put their trust and faith in me to serve as sheriff. I came up short, yet my effort to improve our sheriff’s office is not over and can only be realized with new leadership.

We need a disciplined leader who will bring accountability to the sheriff’s office and that’s why I urge all my friends, family and supporters to rally behind Paul Babeu. I’ve never voted for a Republican before, but I know Paul Babeu is as fair and honest as they come and he will bring professionalism to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. I recently held a joint press conference with Paul Babeu, where we came together in a bipartisan effort to call for an end of political punishment of employees by the current sheriff. Chris Vasquez has re-assigned numerous supporters of mine and Paul’s after the primary election as political punishment and to warn others to watch themselves.

The current sheriff’s office is troubled by political promotions, uneven internal discipline and special favors. This in no way to run a government agency and certainly not for our sworn law enforcement profession.

Paul Babeu will be free of the political deals and favors. He is a professional police officer and experienced military commander. Paul will not compromise the integrity of our sworn profession, which results in poor service to the public. Paul Babeu will promote and make assignments based on performance and ability, not based on friendship or favors.

JAYME VALENZUELA

VICE MAYOR, SUPERIOR

Deputy association favors Vasquez

Paul Babeu has been a peace officer with the Chandler Police Department for about five years. Of that time, he has only spent about two years on the road as a patrol officer. To most of us, that would barely qualify him as a rookie. Now he wants to take on a department of our size and tell us how we should do our jobs? He has expressed the desire to run for only one term and in the process use our agency as a stepping stone to fulfill his political aspirations.

The goal of the association has been to give the employees legal standing to meet with the sheriff and the Pinal County Board of Supervisors on a more equal footing to address the issues of pay, benefits and working conditions. “Meet and Confer” does make it possible for the employees to be treated fairly in disciplinary and promotions regardless of the politician currently in office. Pinal County Sheriff Chrs Vasquez understands this and has been instrumental in assisting the deputies association in bringing about “Meet and Confer.” He made a written two-year agreement with the association to meet with them on a regular basis to discuss and solve problems brought to him.

From the association’s standpoint, we have been lucky to have a sheriff like Chris Vasquez. He has continued the process started under the prior sheriff and expanded it with personnel, equipment such as computers in the cars, more identification techicians and better training. We have come a long way, and yes, we still have a long way to go. We need Vasquez to guide us through the next set of obstacles and to stick with us for the long term.

AUBREY M. KECK

MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PINAL COUNTY DEPUTIES ASSOCIATION

Martyn would break with bad past

Jeames Kerley’s Oct. 4 letter to the editor on Bryan Martyn’s candidacy for Pinal County District 2 supervisor requires a rebuttal. He is critical of Martyn for taking contributions from developers and implying because Martyn was in the Air Force he would slavishly “follow orders from above.”

In my brief encounter with Martyn, his developer contributions were discussed as being realistic constituents. I agree that responsible, intelligent and responsive development is important to the county. If anything, Martyn’s rank as a field grade officer and service to our country with a commitment to “duty, honor, country” is a factor in his favor. Incidentally, members of the military are duty bound to disobey an illegal order.

Electing Democrat Mary Shope, however, would merely continue the century-old grip the Democratic Party has had on Pinal County. Corruption and incompetence that evolves from prolonged one party rule is evidenced by the recent imprisonment of former County Manager Stan Griffis. He reigned under the dominance of an all-Democrat Board of Supervisors who finally, after 100 years, now have an anti-fraud guide book.

Bryan Martyn brings the hope of installing transparency, integrity, and competence in Pinal County government.

EDGAR A. BONNICE

QUEEN CREEK

Martyn would seek more business growth

Pinal County is fast becoming a bedroom community for the Phoenix Metro area. If elected to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, Bryan Martyn will work diligently to correct this unfortunate situation for the residents of the county. Martyn believes that economic development is the No. 1 concern for Pinal County; therefore, he will work diligently to bring industry with high paying jobs to the county. Only with an increase in jobs, will the citizens of Pinal County be able to live, work, and play in their home county.

This will also help improve quality-of-life issues which is also very important to Martyn. Less travel time to and from work means more family time and more time to enjoy the natural beauty and open space of the county. Bryan believes that for too long, our county has had the reputation of being a place where “who you know” is more important than “what you know.” His goal will be to break free from the past and fully embrace a government that is ethical, efficient, and accountable from top to bottom.

National studies show that Pinal County will encounter phenomenal growth in the next several years. It is extremely important that preparations and plans begin immediately to accommodate this growth. Only with people such as Bryan Martyn at the ship’s helm making the final decision, can this growth be addressed correctly. Bryan Martyn is the leader who will work with county employees, other supervisors, and the citizens of Pinal County to institute this needed

BONNIE BARIOLA

CHANDLER

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PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Free enterprise or socialized medicine, your choice

Before we vote in this upcoming election we really need to ask ourselves, do we want free enterprise or socialism? I am an American citizen by birth, but grew up in Calgary, Canada, until I was 18. I’ve been a TV newscaster and talk show host in the U.S. and Canada. My father was Canadian and my mother American. My father was a heart surgeon practicing in Canada when they implemented socialized medicine. Many of his wonderful doctor friends left Canada to practice in the U.S. because they hated the government controls and inefficiency of nationalized health care.

Decisions were being made by inefficient bureaucracies instead of patients, doctors and nurses. My father chose to stay (even though he passed U.S. boards) and the extreme disadvantages of a nationalized health care system became apparent when he had a two-year waiting list for heart surgery patients, with some patients dying before it was their turn to even see a specialist. Preventable, untimely deaths were frequent. Some would come to the U.S. and pay cash, if they could afford it, but most could not because of the high taxes and cost of living.

Barack Obama wants to implement socialized medicine and raise taxes to pay for it. It doesn’t work. I’ve seen first hand! By raising taxes, the burden is placed upon the job producers/business owners by way of “redistribution of wealth” which Obama and Canada champion. We have fought against socialism and government control for more than 230 years. We can lose our freedom by vote as well as by conquest. Sen. John McCain is advocating a major reduction of spending, not higher taxation.

HEATHER SANDSTROM

MESA

McCain ignores Todd Palin’s past

John McCain shows a misguided and dangerous naivete about national security. He is preoccupied about whether or not Barack Obama had ties to the Weather Underground when he was eight years old, but is unconcerned about his association with Todd Palin. Palin has been a member or the Alaskan Independence Party, an organization that advocates secession from the United States, and whose members recently referred to the U.S. as a “monster” and whose motto is “we don’t say we are Americans”.

McCain’s solution to this would be to plaster an American flag in Todd Palin’s lapel and send him to some National Rifle Association meetings, but common sense would indicate that there should be some concern about a man who openly advocates sedition, is married to your vice president and who can see Russia from his house.

NEIL THEX

MESA

Ignore others, make up your own mind

This presidential election is likely among the most important in our history. It is not the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Oscars or the Emmys. The opinions of David Letterman, Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey, or Larry King are of no significance. Why do we listen to actors or actresses who make their living pretending to be someone they are not? Who cares what Alec Baldwin, Barbra Streisand or Susan Sarandon think?

Of no importance is the opinion of the New York Times, network or cable news channels. Nor of any importance is the race, ethnicity or sex of the candidates (the only requirements for president are citizenship, age, and length of residence in the U.S.).

What matters are the candidates, what they have said, what they have done, and how they have lived. If they have previously held political office, what is their voting record?

Which issues have they supported and which have they opposed? (Changing one’s mind is not always a bad thing.) If they have private sector experience, how did they perform their duties? Have they led truthful, honorable, law-abiding lives, and shown sound judgement and dedication to this constitutional republic and its traditional values? Do they value and respect our Constitution which the successful candidate will be sworn to uphold?

“Talking heads” and entertainers should not be determining the winner of this election. Before you vote, turn off the television and do some good old-fashioned “homework.” Our future depends on an informed electorate, not a brain-washed one.

JUDI ALLEN

SUN LAKES

Obama wouldn’t be first with drug history

Joe Davis (Letters, Oct. 18), it is a well-known fact that President Bush drank, smoked weed and did cocaine in collage. Having a president who did drugs has already been done.

DEBY D. CLEMENTS

MESA

Obama is like Brittany Spears

I have so far resisted the impulse to write the Tribune and ask why no member of our local press has found the media coverage of the Barack Obama campaign little more than the hype of a new and attractive personality, much like Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears. Permit me to assure you here that I would not have chosen either Obama or John McCain as my candidate for this race. On the one side is a young man who is a gifted performer, who is comparable to a couple of attractive young women with little visible talent parading themselves on stage, successfully convincing their adolescent audience that their behavior is “cool.”

Obama smiles, shakes hands without breaking into a visible sweat, then reads a speech that to any reasonable observer is incoherent “feel good” one-liners. Then he dismisses any questions about his person, his legal career, or his career as a community organizer. He won’t speak of his known associates, his record at Harvard, or his accomplishments as an Illinois state senator, or even as a U.S. senator. He basks in the media’s complete lack of concern about his frighteningly sketchy resume.

Even the most gullible fan of Obama must wonder what a community organizer is? All one needs to do is make a decision based on the known facts about both candidates. Ask a few important questions about their respective histories.

I am, as you might suspect, going to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. There is no other choice.

DOROTHY JONES

MESA

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JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

Dodge would be fair

I am writing this letter in support of Dan Dodge for Highland justice of the peace. I have known Dan for 17 years and I am impressed with his dedication and service to our town. I have served with him for many years on Gilbert’s planning commission and I have never known him to jump to a conclusion in a case or fail to listen to and consider all sides of an issue. He has had to make difficult decisions, and not everybody has agreed with those decisions, but no one has ever left a commission hearing feeling that Dan had not really listened and taken their concerns seriously. I know that Dan will make a fine justice of the peace.

KARL KOHLHOFF

GILBERT

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DISTRICT 21 HOUSE

State budget decided my vote

The current state budget is a disaster. State Reps. Steve Yarbrough and Warde Nichols had the foresight to vote no. Phil Hettmansperger, like every other Democrat, would have voted yes.

Enough said. I am voting to keep the courageous guys, Yarbrough and Nichols.

SCOTT SAUNDERS

CHANDLER

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PROPOSITION 105

No more slim majorities

If future propositions are not compelling enough to convince half of all registered voters to vote for them they do not deserve to pass and become law free from future legislative scrutiny.

Far too often we see a slim majority approve new taxes to benefit a small group in elections with low voter turnout. Proposition 105 will stop small groups from passing their measures should an election have low voter turnout. Opponents of the measure should ask themselves if their opposition stems simply from hope they will benefit from such an election.

Opponents claim it is meant to silence your vote. Passage may increase voter turnout as supporters of various propositions flood the polls. Far better than a lottery to increase turnout, the proposition may increase turnout for the right reasons. The closer we get to 100 percent voter participation the less effect it will have.

While Proposition 105 is an improvement, what Arizona really needs is a constitutional amendment requiring the primary beneficiary of a government service to pay for the service. People could then vote with their pocketbooks.

THOMAS C. SCHUELKE

MESA

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TEMPE ELECTIONS

Johnson’s experience needed

As a retired superintendent, I know the importance of having a knowledgeable, caring, fiscally responsible school board member. Zita Johnson is just such a member. Tempe Union High School District is facing difficult financial challenges. At a time like this it is most important to re-elect Johnson; a long-time Tempe resident who understands the schools and the community. Safeguard the education of our high school students by re-electing Zita Johnson, a proven leader in Tempe.

MARY ANN LAWSON

TEMPE

Johnson has experience, dedication

Please join me in voting for Zita Johnson for the Tempe Union High School Board.

Zita’s commitment to the students of the district is extraordinary. Her experience is needed more now than ever as schools face escalating issues in a troubling economy.

Her experience will help insure that the needs of students will continue to come first. Her community experience provides a much needed link between the high schools and the communities they serve.

Personally, Zita cares deeply about the students, teachers and administrators she represents and takes a balanced view when deciding on policies that impact them, trying to accomplish win-win solutions for those involved.

Vote for experience. Vote for dedication. Vote for Zita Johnson.

LINDA SPEARS

TEMPE

Budget measures must be approved for Corona

I would like to weigh in on the Tempe Union High School District’s overrides and bond election this year. I have been working over the last months on getting funding to fix the problems at Corona Del Sol High School. We where able to get a loan so that we can continue the work to resolve the problems. But it is a loan and we need to take care of it. The bond that we will be voting on will pay off the loan and 61 percent will go to other schools in the district to do major repairs and renovations to these facilities.

The maintenance and operations budget override will allow us to keep paying the teachers we have now and will let us stay competitive in getting and keeping highly skilled staff. If we do not vote “yes” on this, we will start to lose these highly skilled teachers to other districts and class sizes will go up.

The capital override will allow us to get better technology to train our students for life in the 21st century. The equipment and software we have now is outdated. We also need to take care of our buses and other capital equipment.

And what will it cost? Six dollars a month, $3 of which you are already paying for.

It has been shown that when a community allows its quality of education to go down, so does the value of the property. I know that you will do the right thing and vote “yes, yes, yes” for these issues. If you have any questions, fill free to email me (benmccawley@yahoo.com) and I would love to explain more about why we as a community must pass these things.

BEN MCCAWLEY

CHANDLER

Reject all bond measures

The city of Tempe and Tempe Union High School District are at it again. They want the hard-working citizens and taxpayers to bail them out one more time. The city fat cats want more than $421 million, and the district fat cats want more than $125 million, according to the Tempe bond election packet. This $546 million is in addition to the $681 million in debt they’ve already burdened us with. A total of $1.23 billion — or $7,640 for every man, woman and child living in Tempe, which is about $19,340 per household. Please note this doesn’t even include the hundreds of millions of dollars the Tempe and Kyrene elementary school districts owe.

Tempe families are already struggling to make ends meet. Many are losing their homes, or can’t afford their mortgage payments thanks to the fat cats and crooks on Wall Street. All of us are having to pay higher and higher property taxes as we watch our home values plummet. Savings and retirement accounts are evaporating before our very eyes. Groceries, health care, medications and gas have gone through the roof.

Yet the city of Tempe and district employees average well over $90,000 a year in salary and benefits. Now, they want to push our families over the financial cliff while they continue to party like drunken sailors. Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the AIG executives who partied at a posh five star resort after conning the American taxpayers out of $85 billion. As for “no new taxes,” take a moment and look at your property tax history. Enough is enough! Vote “no” on all the city of Tempe and Tempe Union High School District bond Questions.

A. J. LAFARO

TEMPE

Johnson has necessary experience

Zita Johnson possesses the experienced leadership we need to ensure that we continue to have the highest quality schools in Tempe. During her tenure on the governing board for the Tempe Union High School District, Zita has served as both board president and board vice president.

She is a former Arizona State University teacher and administrator whose commitment to education is unmatched. Zita has spent much of her life giving back to Tempe, having served on countless non-profit boards. I have had the pleasure to serve on the Tempe Community Action Agency Board of Directors with Zita. She is undoubtedly one of the most caring, smartest and hard-working people who I have ever met. Zita has been a role model to me and many other young people who aspire to take on greater roles in public service.

I urge you to join me in supporting Zita Johnson for re-election to the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board.

COREY WOODS

TEMPE CITY COUNCILMAN

Johnson ready for tough decisions

Rising to the challenges faced by Arizona’s public school districts requires thoughtful, knowledgeable, and dedicated governing board members who are not caught up in their own personal agendas. Zita Johnson is such a board member. She has worked tirelessly, during her time on the Tempe Union High School Governing Board, to do what is best for all of our high school students while balancing not only the needs and wants of staff and community members but also the budget and constantly changing legal requirements.

Zita is a well-known and very respected community member who works well with local government and also puts time in lobbying for education at both the Arizona Legislature and Congress. I do not expect that the next few years will be easy for public education in Arizona and I applaud the fact that Zita Johnson is willing to serve another four years on the Tempe Union board. Her experience is desperately needed and she is deserving of your vote.

SUSAN KNUDSON

TEMPE

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