Some interesting and conflicting points of views were presented regarding my public comments on the General Plan.
Perhaps it is simply a matter of terminology that is the source of contention between myself and some on the current city council. Allow me to clarify myself further:
The definition is a simple one. When your expenditures are greater than your revenues, that is called a deficit.
Vice Mayor Onnie Sherkerjian's assertion that Tempe maintains a "balanced budget" was grossly misleading coming from one who should know more than most about the nature of the city budget documents. While legally "balanced" because of their ability to draw from their reserves (savings), the budget most certainly is not sustainable. The very fact that they even have to draw from their reserves in order to balance demonstrates need for some concern.
Also misleading was Ms. Sherkerjian's statement regarding the nature of the city’s debt. It is not the fact that they use bond debt that is troubling, but the degree to which they use it. Indeed, their debt principal has increased by 254% - or $432 MILLION dollars - since 2002. Don't take my word for it - read the gory details here in the most recently approved budget document - page 176.
Diversions, misdirection, and feigned ignorance have not served the citizens of Tempe thus far. But when presented with direct challenges to their practices, it is what many on the council fall back on.
I believe that Tempe deserves better. If you think so as well, then please consider a Donation to my campaign and don’t forget to Sign Up Here to receive information about great volunteer opportunities coming soon.