I attended the council meeting of Jan. 7. I was there for a totally different reason than to listen to the discussion of the minimum wage study. Having heard the discussion what occurs to me is this: the members of council that objected to Rounds Consulting due to their perceived opinion of "bias" against the minimum wage study are only interested in a study that confirms their personal opinion of the impact of our ordinance increasing the minimum wage.
There are multiple reasons why people aren't very happy with it, just as there are many reasons to be happy with the results. Bottom line, regardless of what side your on, a study that leans one way or the other is going to be perceived as biased. Consultants who have done any previous work for right- or left-leaning entities, or have affiliations with such, will always be perceived as biased if the results aren't what one side wants to hear. The ordinance was voted on twice and it isn't going away.
As for helping small businesses "cope"...there are many small businesses in Flagstaff who don't need to rely on government to "cope." Spending taxpayer money to make us feel better, one way or the other, is a fool’s errand. Instead of spending money trying to "be right," why not focus on doing what's right. There are many issues worth spending $50,000 on, in my opinion this just isn't one of them.
The minority of Americans who voted for Trump in 2016 knew already that he was coarse in language, disrespectful of women, arrogant and petulant, but they hoped he could "turn things around." What those voters assumed is that he would at least be competent and "drain the swamp." But his swamp is deeper and wider than before. Just last month, Trump had to pay a $2 million fine for using his own allegedly charitable foundation to pay for his personal illegal acts. His incompetence, his unfitness, his corruption are now daily news.
This month the president of NAU used the allegedly charitable NAU Foundation to settle her questionable personal travel expenses. One role of education is to model ideals and thoughtful discussion; what can be learned from this?
For the sake of taxpayers, please save the extra $600,000!
The Fourth Street bridge expansion is a necessity, no doubt, for all who traverse it daily, an obvious addition since the railway overpass improvement many years ago and ultimate extension of Fourth Street to Lone Tree and beyond.
Enhancements for "aesthetics" and making the bridge "more handsome" and ultimate approval by the City Council are not what voters agreed to in the transportation tax of 2018. "Images of pine cones, pine needles and multiple colors" are a daily Flagstaff occurrence; there is no pressing need to spend extra money on a three-second scenic pass over I-40.
Now, the city engineer is projecting using additional monies from a future next phase of the transportation tax. Stop this spending madness! If I wanted more aesthetic handsome improvements in my life, I would have had my teeth whitened a long time ago!
How nice to start the new year with some good news. It turns out that those of us who worry about the unanticipated and/or ignored downsides to our love of technology can relax. These worries, which include addiction to the internet, the illiteracy fostered by sound bite communication (and thinking), and increasing dependence on the digital world despite its inability to provide data privacy are needless.
Such criticisms have however aroused the good people at Mercatus Center, George Macon University (Daily Sun 01/03) who advertise themselves as “the world’s premier university source for market based ideas” and according to Sourcewatch, are funded largely by the well known libertarian Koch Brothers. They remind us that such naysaying has plagued technology and its highly lucrative profits for years - foolishly we are told.
After all people were worried about the impacts of the microwave oven but we survived and prospered, thanks to the marvelous ‘technical innovators’ and their endless solutions – who need no doggone oversight thank you. Why am I not persuaded by such cogent argument from such an unbiased source?
Vacation and Short-term Rentals (V&STRs) are of significant concern throughout the state, county and city. While they provide homeowners with additional income, they can also upset community characteristics, particularly when businesses buy homes and turn them into transient housing.
A 2016 law restricting city and county authority to regulate V&STRs was revised and resigned into law May 2019. Cities and counties a) may not prohibit V&STRs, b) can only restrict them for public health and safety reasons, and c) may only adopt and enforce zoning that apply to all properties. (Law.justicia.com).
May 2019, State Rep. Bob Thorpe, who supported state regulation over local governance, met Sedona residents upset that V&STRs have disrupted their community character. He said, "We never anticipated that somebody would … purchase a home and turn it into a mini-hotel." (USA Today, 07/27/19).
This law allows exactly that when Sedona is strapped for working-resident affordable housing, a situation paralleling Flagstaff region. Aug. 23, 2019, three months after signing V&STR law, Gov. Ducey promised to reconsider V&STR in Fall legislature. (Az. Republic 08/23/19). Democrats introduced a November V&STR revision (for 2020), and Ducey’s Office said he would not reconsider V&STR laws. (Az. Republic 11/13/19).
Our County Supervisors are addressing how cities and counties could regulate V&STRs as discussed in the December County and State Legislative Council. Rather than “never anticipating” something, our Supervisors are beginning with an equitable local tax on V&STRs that is fair to hotels and doesn’t hamstring homeowners from having income producing property.
The real question is where the decision should be made as to how V&STRs are managed. Our State Congress has conducted a concerted effort to usurp the process and power to make decisions which should rightfully be made by local governments because they are most knowledge of and responsible for decisions made. That’s why I believe in local governance.
Those of us who voted for Trump voted for ending: open borders; the presence of MS-13 gangs in our country; amnesty for illegal aliens that will encourage more of the same -- Reagan's stupid 1986 bill; no-sense-of proportion legal immigration -- Johnson's stupid 1965 bill; invitation to the world to seek asylum in the United States; the shameful harassing of police officers on the beat, etc. Enough is enough.
Those rejecting the foregoing are self-preservation impaired and should seek therapy immediately.
Trump doesn't have a monopoly of founding fathers' and presidential womanizing prurience -- there was Jefferson, Cleveland, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Benjamin Franklin. Actor Henry Fonda, a history buff, played Lincoln, quoted Franklin many years ago on the Merv Griffin TV show as saying of unattractive women, "put a sack over their heads."
We will vote for Trump in November 2020, and couldn't be less concerned regarding his numerous marriages, affairs, or his locker-room talk.