Rail ridership up but taxpayer losses continue
Recently we have been given another nauseating report that transit ridership is up. This is supposed to make us feel good about our decision a couple of years ago to tax ourselves to build the light rail. However, ridership is not what we should be looking at. Rather we should be looking at profitability or return on our investment. Since the total cost of each person riding the light rail is about $13 and the fare paid by the rider is $1.75, this means that the taxpayer is continuing to subsidize huge losses. More importantly, these losses will continue and even grow as the various plans for extending the light rail come to fruition.
Do not be fooled by rosy “ridership” numbers. Just reach for your wallet and continue to feed this voracious beast.
Cautiously optimistic about the improving revenue
After analysis of the December sales tax revenue data (right), I am cautiously optimistic about the improving revenue this fiscal year. December’s numbers were reasonably strong (though a far cry from the heyday years of 2004 thru 2007), rounding out an improved second quarter which ended up 9.24 percent ($62.5K) over the same period last fiscal year.
Calendar year 2011 was 3.67 percent ($98.6K) higher than 2010, a modest but welcome improvement.
Carefree did not match the very strong gains realized by Cave Creek. Our last half of 2011 was up 8.07 percent ($100.8K) compared to their 18 percent, nicely aided by Wal-Mart contributions in Cave Creek.
Thanks for the credit
Dear Don (Sorchych),
Many thanks for excerpting my blog about Newt Gingrich and John King. And Happy Birthday to you. As you correctly note, I'm a self-professed liberal. One of the sad aspects of this country today is the lack of lively but genuine dialogue between liberals and conservatives. I'll keep an eye on your column. If you keep an eye on mine as well, perhaps we can do some point-counterpoints or simply reference each others' views from time to time. I like the fact that you, as a conservative, saw some value in what I wrote.
An independent-minded liberal,
Cave Creek’s “Invisible Transparency”
How often have we heard that our council people will insist on “transparency” of government when they were running for office? How many tens of thousands of dollars has the Cave Creek staff spent on new financial software to improve financial reporting to the council and to the citizens? Cave Creek has had financial reports, budgets, and summary information available on the town website for many years. Unfortunately it is seldom up to date. The 2010-2011 financial year ended in June of 2011, and the 2012 financial year started in July of 2011, yet not one monthly report on the 2012 financial status of Cave Creek is available on the website toward the end of January 2012. This is the latest it has been in the last four years. Hence, Cave Creek’s financial status is indeed “invisible” to its citizens and most likely to our town council. Can you imagine operating a business for six months without monthly financial statements? Mr. Mayor, can you run your track business without timely monthly financial reports?
This is not new, this has been going on for years…it is no wonder several years ago when the economy started to sag and construction permit revenue stopped dead as well as sales tax revenue that there was such a delay in corrective strategy resulting in overnight reduced operating hours and staff. There was no monitoring device calling out the projected revenue misses from the budget lines. Likewise, last year when sales tax revenues could be projected to come in well over budget (33 percent or nearly half a million dollars), there was no improvements or active use of the funds … as no one seemed to know for six months! Some may not know even now!
The question is: Where is Ralph Mozilo when we need him as the seemingly only “learned financial” person on the council… where is the interest of the town council on overseeing the business of Cave Creek? Why is the town manager continuing to be able to run the town “out of his hat”? We need to cease having such an “invisible” financial report situation and the council needs to insist on timely financial transparency, for themselves as well as for the citizens!
De ja vu
Wasn't it that great American philosopher Yogi Berra who said 'De Ja Vu all over again'. It would seem we are being prepped by the media for a sequel in the presidential sweepstakes of 2012.
Before the dust settled on Mitt's eight vote Iowa landslide our own John McCain rushed to the microphone to endorse his media selected successor. Seemingly in tribute to his self appointed mentor, Romney made it clear, if elected, he intended to cross the aisle to work with the Dems. Forming partnerships with the likes of Harry Reid is unwise and unlikely in light of his recent vow to work against any elected Republican President. But, Romney's promise requires his election to the lands highest office and that requires the support of the conservative wing of the Republican party and a growing number of independent voters.
South Carolina brought only silence from Mr. McCain, but not the media, "Just wait till Florida" ignoring Mitt's eroding poll numbers. We'll see. Rick Santorum, Iowa's true winner, remains a viable conservative choice and Ron Paul's cult will never fold their tents. Let the vetting continue in the hope that the strongest conservative is the last man standing.
I for one am tired of holding my nose to enter the voting booth. Not since Ronald Wilson Reagan have I entered breathing freely.
With reference to your article “VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 37 | SEPTEMBER 14 – 20, 2011 BY LINDA BENTLEY…
What has happened to the case of Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq. who filed a motion for reconsideration in her Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) challenge against Michael Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, who was granted summary judgment on Aug. 30 by U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth?
It is extremely frustrating and embarrassing to know that our president can continue to arrogantly parade as the savior of the world and know that beyond any shadow of doubt that he is a fraud and an imposter.
Please let me know what is being done now to put this imposter where he belongs.
The core of our problems
I hope you’re sufficiently disgusted with congress to change it. If so, there may be a significant turnover in its membership this year. In 2011 there was nothing but partisan politics, bickering, grandstanding and gridlock. I don’t recall a single act of congress which actually represented what was in the best interest of America or Americans. Most congresspersons should resign in shame.
I’m sure there are a few honorable people in the House of Representatives but their number must be very small. America would be better off replacing all 435 of them than re-electing 85 percent of them. America and Americans deserve better!
The president is now calling for another 1.2 trillion dollar increase in the national debt. That’s an 8 percent increase in our national debt that already exceeds the GDP! We must elect congresspersons who have the good sense, will and fortitude to say “No!”
Replacing congresspersons is one thing; replacing them with honest, dependable, trustworthy citizen patriots is another. But GOOOH (www.goooh.com) is a plan to do just that. A true citizen patriot competing in every district of the U.S. House of Representatives is its goal. Please join the effort.
The dumbing down of America
George Washington to the Hebrew congregations:
The power and goodness of the Almighty were strongly manifested in the events of our late glorious revolution; and His kind interposition in our behalf has been no less visible in the establishment or our present equal government. In war He directed the sword; and in peace He has ruled our councils. My agency in both has been guided by the best intentions, and a sense of the duty which I owe my country.
versus ..... Barack Hussein Obama:
I cannot find anything in the speeches and oratory of the present resident of the White House in which the guidance of the Almighty is addressed or is anywhere near as humble. What we do receive is a steady, unending string of rhetoric which you can be sure will comprise partisan, racial, insulting, divisive and self aggrandizing messages.
The political operatives in the inaptly-named Independent Redistricting Commission may very well have maneuvered themselves into a dilemma of unintended consequences with their boundary shifting chicanery.
When gerrymandering the Congressional District lines, the five-member Commission made the mistake of drawing Congressman Ben Quayle into the new CD9. Faced with the choice of running a primary contest against the well financed, Tea Party supported incumbent David Schweickert in CD6 or opposing in the general election a Democrat and communist sympathizing Kirsten Synema, it's a no brainer. Arizona simply cannot afford (literally) to send an avowed Leftist to Washington and thus Ben Quayle will emerge a hero for defeating her.
Quayle is guaranteed a high-profile race with national media attention, a situation that makes most politicians salivate in anticipation.
Because the Maricopa County Republican Party is dominated - yes, owned, by Tea Party conservatives, he is likely to win with very respectable numbers. His current incumbency - albeit in the old district - is a plus, as is his connection to campaign financial resources.
Word on the street is that the Republican National Committee wants Quayle and CD9 in the red column together next November. Is there any doubt that Quayle will be positioned well for his future national political ambitions with this victory in his back pocket and a Tea Party feather in his cap?
The only remaining question is whether Ben Quayle will announce in time to head off a primary challenge from other rumored formidable contenders.
My enemy's friend is not my friend.
Horne is harboring Andrew Pacheco on his payroll while Pacheco rehearses for his next audition for political office. So let's give him the spotlight.
Recall the earlier review by this journal that exposed Pacheco for hosting a fundraiser at his home in 2008 for Democrat candidate for Maricopa County Attorney, Tim Nelson. That gathering of Democrat elites in Pacheco's home says it all.
Pacheco is a disciple of John McCain, having pledged his allegiance to the Roman Senator in McCain's first failed Presidential bid back in 2000. Since then Pacheco has been vying for public office by propping himself up at various law firms and prosecutors' offices, mostly as a do nothing tag along under Rick Romley. Now Horne is about to give Pacheco a big stage to rehearse on.
It is widely known that Horne's Criminal Division Chief, James Keppel, is leaving soon. None too soon. Keppel was a Romley staffer who should have exited the stage when the voters yanked Romley with the bad actor hook. Instead, Horne picked Keppel up off the cutting room floor. Now Pacheco wants the starring role of Criminal Division Chief and Horne is dangerously close to handing him the script.
This production is going on with the unwitting approval of Horne's Chief Deputy Rick Bistrow. The affable Bistrow is Horne's long-time friend and law partner, but clueless in his current position. This makes Bistrow the perfect choice for former Democrat heads of the Attorney General's office, who still run the box office. Bistrow is a lefty and showing signs of having stars in his eyes after the mention of a possible federal judgeship under an Obama II administration.
While Keppel clears out his dressing room, Pacheco is already painting the set.
From all appearances, Horne is just weeks away from endorsing Pacheco for Attorney General in 2014 by foolishly promoting him, without giving it a second thought.
Or maybe, as it seems, not even giving it a first thought for a smart guy like Horne who did not carry Maricopa County in his last primary election.
If this turns out to be Horne's first B movie, the re-runs will ruin him.
American Post – Gazette
Distributed by COMMON SENSE, in Arizona
While debating Hillary Clinton during the April 2008 primary debates, Obama was lectured about the down side of raising Capital Gains taxes which he proposed doing if elected.
Despite historical examples showing how revenues would decrease, Obama kept and talking about being fair!
Here we are racking up trillion after trillion dollars of debt and Obama's answer is to raise Capital Gains taxes which will lower our total revenues. Either his mission is to ruin the economy intentionally or he is delusional and fixated to prove the experts wrong after being humiliated during that debate. I don't know which is worse, be we can't survive another 4 more years of this convoluted thing.
ABO = Anyone But Obama!
Recently, I listened to an audio book about our U.S. History on two cassette tapes. Back in 1932, toward the end of President Hoover’s term, destitute WWI veterans were begging in Washington, DC for their upcoming bonus for their service to this nation ahead of time.
President Hoover was holding lavish and decadent dinners and parties while the masses were hungry. Now, in the aftermath of Obama’s lavish vacations and parties, we have the disenfranchised holding “Occupy Wall Street” protests in cities all over the United States. And, as was the case in the 1932 Bonus March, today’s protesters are facing the same horses, weapons and armed police and are getting hurt and arrested.
I wonder if I’m the only one who sees the bad taste that the Obamas display when they flaunt their good fortune on TV to the masses. I know, “let them eat cake.”
Military service personnel of all branches of service, be it Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force or Coast Guard. They serve with pride and honor and are sworn to protect our Country's boarders, our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They serve in peace time and war time, all with one common goal, our country's freedom.
We who served and those who now serve, ask only to be cared for by our government if we have become sick with disease or injured in the line of duty. We are from all walks of life. We represent all religious faiths, all races, all political parties.
A bullet, a disease, does not discriminate in time of war. A bullet or a disease does not care if we are of any one religious faith, black or white, yellow or red, Democrat or Republican or Independent. We are all equals. Some of us are injured by a bullet or explosive device.
Some of us get sick by the use of poisonous herbicides that cause cancer, Hodgkin's disease, and Ischemic heart disease, just to name a few. Some of us end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes, some of us even end up with a whole deck full of problems.
Some of our Legislators introduce bills in the House and Senate to care for us who are in need. We submit claims to Veterans Affairs. Mountains of paperwork are required for us to prove we have disabling problems during our time in service to our country. It can take months, more likely even years for that paperwork to get through the system. In the mean time those Legislative Bills receive little to no action in hurry up and wait mode. Some of our Legislators aren't sitting on their hands – some support us. They are of the minority. A few can not do the job needed; it takes a majority.
What are the priorities of our Legislative Body? Where are our military personnel who are sick and injured on this priority list? At what point does the almighty dollar stop to help those who served? It seems to me, if the bureaucracy waits long enough and makes VA claims difficult enough, more of us will just die out. Then there are fewer of us to be concerned about. Sounds like a rotten death sentence.
What say you, The American People? Is this what it has come to? Are those who fought for Freedom to be forsaken? Ask your Congressional Representatives and your Senators – are those who served to be forgotten?
John J. Bury
US Navy/retired/war veteran