[Source: Michael Clancy and Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — For the first time in modern history, Phoenix’s population could be shrinking. It’s an idea that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, when Phoenix was surging up the list of the nation’s most populous cities. Now, a variety of indicators suggest that fewer people are living here than a year ago.
No one knows for sure exactly how many people have moved in or out. But with the 2010 census about to get under way, some indicators suggest Phoenix’s population may be smaller than the projected 1,636,170 people. City records show declining trends in several key areas. Among them:
- Foreclosure numbers have skyrocketed, meaning fewer city homes are occupied.
- Water hookups are down, suggesting the same.
- Some aspects of trash collection have ebbed because fewer people are buying things that produce waste.
- Crime has declined across the city while police are getting fewer calls for services, a possible indicator of fewer people.
- Sales-tax revenues are likely to drop for the second year in a row, with this year’s collections off almost 8% from last year.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The primary election for Arizona Corporation Commission is over, and congratulations to the following candidates — Sam George (D), Sandra Kennedy (D), Marian McClure (R), Paul Newman (D), Bob Stump (R), and Barry Wong (R) — who move onto the general election in November. A candidate debate has been set for September 15, 2008 at Rio Salado College in Tempe. Registration Noon to 1 p.m.; debate 1-3 p.m.; and reception 3-4 p.m. The debates will cover issues important to you and Arizona’s future:
- Water quality and the cost of electric and natural gas
- High speed Internet to rural communities
- Solar, nuclear, and other alternative energy sources
- Arizona’s investment in utility infrastructure
Logon to our webcasts, tune in to your local Cable TV, or engage in person at Rio Salado College in Tempe to learn more about the powerful ACC (often described as a Fourth Branch of Government) and to see the candidates debate these and other issues that will have an enormous impact on you, Arizona’s future, and the finances, safety and quality of life of all citizens, businesses, and organizations in Arizona. You can propose questions and discuss issues online by clicking here.
These nonpartisan debates, sponsored by the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, are presented by the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council and moderated by Mark Goldstein of International Research Center in cooperation with other business and community organizations. For more information, contact Steve Peters, ATIC ACC Debate Coordinator at 520-321-1309 or e-mail.
[Source: “A Region on the Brink: the Southern Intermountain West,” Brian Krier, Next American City] — The Southern Intermountain West encompasses Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, a massive region facing a considerable population boom and a rapidly evolving economy, neither of which are expected to slow down in the next few decades. According to the report, the Mountain megas’ population and job base could very well double by 2040, a rate that will drastically outpace the rest of the country. The report concludes that growth in the region will have “tremendous implications for the built environment and regional construction activity,” estimating that the current housing stock will need to be nearly doubled and non-residential space would need to increased by a total of 9.4 billion square feet. Future expenditures for this alone would push well into the trillions of dollars.
Geography will also continue to play a key role in the development of the region. Because the federal government remains the region’s principal landowner, the policies that govern these areas have significant impact on what is leftover. With much of the densely populated areas tucked neatly inside mountain ranges or sprung up from deserts, a number of quality of life issues have sprung up that need addressing: access to public transportation, reducing automobile dependence, and improving urban spaces. All of these concerns, of course, pale in comparison to the most critical issue facing the West: water management. As development continues throughout the West, water access and management may very well determine whether this current boom can be sustained.
In order to face these issues head-on, the report calls for a “new federal-state-mega partnership that will allow the region’s pivotal megapolitan areas to surmount their common challenges and assert their leadership in the nation and the world.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]