Daily Archives: February 15, 2010

Downtown Voices Coalition reviews its past, looks to the future

On Saturday, January 16, over 75 individuals interested and involved in downtown Phoenix participated in the Downtown Voices Coalition “Moving Forward” strategic planning session at the historic A.E. England Building.  The information and ideas garnered from the group will help Downtown Voices update its August 2004 report, “Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown,” and prioritize issues and projects for the future.  The information will also be useful for others (individually or organizationally) to review and use in their own efforts to improve downtown Phoenix.  Stay tuned for details.  At any time, you’re welcome to communicate your questions, comments, concerns, and ideas via e-mail, or by attending Downtown Voices’ monthly meetings.

The Downtown Voices Steering Committee sincerely thanks the following individuals and organizations for sponsoring this event.

  • Arizona Preservation Foundation
  • Arizona State University
  • Butler Housing/Roosevelt Commons
  • Candid Landscapes
  • City of Phoenix
  • Downtown Phoenix Journal
  • Fair Trade Coffee
  • Fresh Gourmet to Go
  • Get Consensus, LLC
  • Habitat Metro
  • Impact Printing
  • Kooky Krafts Shop
  • Local First Arizona
  • John Saccoman
  • Matthew Tomb

Thanks also to Suad Mahmuljin for taking photos of the day’s activities.

Downtown Voices statement on City of Phoenix 2010-11 budget

The Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee, in a unanimous vote with one abstention, supports the City of Phoenix Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget proposal outlined by the Citizens for Phoenix coalition, namely:

  • Acceptance of $49 million in proposed city budget cuts, but rejection of $90 million in cuts that will affect street level police and fire service, as well as cuts that would abandon Phoenix’s most vulnerable residents.
  • Acceptance of the Mayor and City Council approved two percent food tax, with the provisio that the tax sunset in two years and not the five years that was passed.
  • Insistence that 100 percent of the anticipated $62 million in food tax revenue go into the city’s General Fund and be distributed to Public Safety, Human Services, Parks and Recreation, and Arts and Culture, in direct proportion to their share of the original 2009-10 budget.
  • Expectation that the remaining $27 million in revenue needed to balance the budget be raised in the following combination of ways: increase fees for permits and services where possible; gain union and non-union employee concessions; and eliminate remaining fat in the budget.
  • Insistence of an independent audit of the budget, systems, and processes of all city departments by a national audit firm that must report back to the Mayor, City Council, and citizenry within the first 12 months, so its recommendations can be implemented as quickly as possible, but no later than the second 12-month period so the two year food tax will not have been in vain.

Steve Weiss, Chair, Downtown Voices Coalition