I received a query from a group called Democracy for America-Maricopa County asking me to suggest questions for Phoenix City Council candidates. I always try to be obliging, and this issue is of special importance.
It seems as if Council has lost its consensus and focus, virtues that were essential to the progress made with T-Gen, ASU's downtown campus, the Phoenix Convention Center and light rail (WBIYB). Nothing could be worse for the city than a right-wing takeover or blocking minority on Council. And members who think civic greatness is filling potholes and collecting trash ("listening to the neighborhoods) are not much better. Phoenix is at a critical tipping point. Here are the questions I suggested:
1. Please detail your connections to the real-estate industry: Properties you own; do you work in the industry and if so, doing what?; have you served on boards that make recommendations on land use?; have you profited from land-use decisions made by public bodies, including the approval and siting of freeways?