Daily Archives: January 18, 2009

Willo tour will show off midtown Phoenix architectural styles

[Source: Kristena Hansen, Arizona Republic] — The 21st Annual Willo Historic Home Tour and Street Festival comes Feb. 8 this year, and neighborhood excitement builds as these Phoenix residents come together again to show off their unique, historical homes they’ve fought hard to preserve.  More than 3,000 people show up every year to the fundraiser for the Willo Historic District.  It’s also a way for the public to see rare examples of Tudor, Spanish, and Bungalow style homes from the inside that date back to the early 1920s.  “People are committed to keeping the historic value and integrity of these homes,” said Andrea Katsenes, spokesperson for the tour and a Willo resident.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix infill project completed by JAG Development

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal] — A new urban infill project by JAG Development is complete and ready for sale.  Evergreen 9, at 525 E. Willetta St. in Phoenix, includes a model home that’s open daily. The loft-style townhomes were designed by Arizona State University professor and architect Michael Underhill.  They include several “green” features.  Prices begin in the low $200s.  JAG has completed several uber-modern infill projects, including the Willetta 9 and the Portland 38 in the Garfield Historic District of Phoenix.  JAG’s principals are two Phoenix natives: Benjamin and Allan Gutkin.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Plan would give Phoenix mayor two extra years — without another election

[Source: Sarah Fenske, Phoenix New Times] — City officials are weighing a plan to consolidate elections in the city of Phoenix — one that could give Mayor Phil Gordon and certain council members an extra two years in office without being forced to run for reelection, New Times has learned.  On January 9, a group called “Phoenix Election Consolidation Committee” quietly filed papers with the city clerk, establishing a political committee to support a new ballot issue.

Currently, council terms are staggered, with some members due up for reelection at the end of this year and some (including Gordon) due in 2011.  Sources tell New Times that the committee hopes to change the set-up so that everybody’s terms expire at once, thereby saving the city the expense of twice the number of elections. But here’s where we could get some opposition: Rather than have the 2011 folks run for an abbreviated two-year term, we’re told that the new plan would just push them back to 2013 — meaning those lucky council members and the mayor would get six-year terms.

If what we’re understanding is correct, council members Thelda Williams, Maria Baier, Claude Mattox, and Michael Nowakowski could all get a two-year bonus.  But the scenario would probably have the biggest impact on the mayor.  Technically, he’s due to be term-limited out of office after two four-year terms. Handing him an extra two years would surely cause some controversy.  (See: Bloomberg, Mike.)

City Clerk Mario Paniagua told us that, based on the scenario we describe, the change would require a charter amendment. That means we the voters, not the Council, would ultimately have the finally say on the plan.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]