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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : commentary December 17, 2014


2/7/2012 1:11:00 PM
My Turn: Local government remains most efficient, responsive, economical way to provide service
Clarkdale Mayor
Doug Von Gausig

While Arizona has endured one of longest and deepest recessions in American history, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns has stepped forward to be a strong partner with Governor Brewer and state lawmakers as they sought solutions to reverse our fiscal crisis.

Arizona’s 91 cities and towns cut their spending by nearly 30 percent on average. We have responded to this crisis by doing more with less.

Now that our state’s economy is starting to emerge and grow again, cities, large and small, will be absolutely vital to Arizona’s economic recovery and future prosperity. From Tucson to Phoenix to rural towns like Clarkdale – where I’m proud to serve as mayor – Arizona cities and towns have provided healthy economic environments that generate 93 percent of all state sales tax revenues. That business-friendly climate helps drive Arizona forward.

Those dollars enable families to enjoy the most efficient and directly accessible services provided by government – like police and fire protection, safe roads, clean water, parks, senior centers, pools and reliable garbage collection. It sounds like a cliché – but only because it’s true -- healthy cities make a healthy Arizona.

The good news is our cities and towns are well positioned to do the heavy lifting. Our state, especially in rural Arizona, is open for business and creating jobs. But we must be careful not to impede our recovery by limiting local control or hurting the quality of life that makes Arizona so attractive to entrepreneurs. Local elected leaders stand on the front lines of business recruitment efforts, and they help create the healthy and profitable business environments that attract new employers. For example, if you search for “Payson Economic Development,” on the Internet, you are directed to the Town’s website.

I am excited that both House Speaker Andy Tobin and Senate President Steve Pierce represent rural Arizona. I trust they understand, like I do, that imposing unfunded mandates only hurt our ability to attract and retain high-quality jobs. In fact, unnecessary mandates only make us spend taxpayer money on things that don’t benefit the public’s quality of life. The best decisions are the ones made at the local level in response to residents and taxpayers. We deliver the daily services that people count on every day.

Since 1937, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns has stood for the principle that local government is the most efficient, most responsive, and most economical way to provide services to our citizens. We have never wavered from those principles in good times or bad.

So, as the Legislature goes back to work, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns once again stands ready to partner with our state lawmakers to preserve and protect what matters most to residents in our cities and towns. If we work together, I’m confident we can make this happen.



Clarkdale Mayor Doug Von Gausig is the president of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, February 11, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Sounds to me that all the services are gov services that have already been in place and
keeps gov employees working.The heavy lifting
would include regular folks and families who
not only need great garbage collecting(not doing
away with independent haulers)and giving local
families decent jobs so they'll have something to throw in their garbage cans.
Politics as usual figure all voters can't see the forest from the trees.VOTE them ALL OUT.


Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012
Article comment by: This group doesn't care what the the people want!

If they did, then they would put an end to the Feed the Fear mentality, say no to the Police Dept HUMVEES, and support the decision of the voters regarding medical marijuana.

Time to throw PACs and jokesters like this OUT!


Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012
Article comment by: Maggie Holt

Does anyone else get the impression that "My Turn" is being used by the Republicans for campaigning?

Frankly, if the League of Arizona Cities and Towns "stands ready to partner with our state lawmakers to preserve and protect what matters most to residents in our cities and towns," I'm truly concerned, because everything I've read lately about what our state lawmakers are proposing to make into law scares the living daylights out of me!




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