Tempe, Phoenix vow to work together - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Tempe, Phoenix vow to work together

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Posted: Friday, August 8, 2003 9:20 am | Updated: 1:46 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Phoenix and Tempe officials on Thursday pronounced the end of their public squabbles and promised to focus on working together.

In the past few years, city officials have developed a reputation for butting heads over Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Arizona Cardinals stadium site.

But they also have worked together, especially on state and federal issues, such as light rail and university research funding.

On Thursday, Phoenix mayoral candidate Phil Gordon told the Kiwanis Club of Tempe that he will build on that foundation to form a better relationship between the two cities.

"As to the question of whether we can get along together, the answer is a definite ‘yes,’ " he said.

Later in the day, City Council members from both cities held a meeting to talk about two issues they both face: Public art and bioscience research.

Art and science intertwine in both cities’ plans for the future. Both want to attract the so-called "creative class" of workers, which are better paid and educated.

Most cities around the country desire the creative class, but Tempe and Phoenix are ahead of the pack in attracting them, said Phoenix Vice Mayor Greg Stanton.

Tempe’s $63 million Center for the Arts is scheduled to open in 2006, and Phoenix will soon break ground on renovating Symphony Hall and tripling the size of the Phoenix Civic Plaza.

"The city of Tempe and the city of Phoenix are at the forefront, not only of talking about it, but doing it," he said.

Dick Love, chief operating officer of Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, said his institute will partner with Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, creating a synergy that will be attractive to the brightest minds.

"They want to know that there are scientists around them and that they’re not on an island," Love said.

Officials from both cities vowed to continue talking.

New partners

Tempe and Phoenix have teamed up on these issues in the past few years, including:

• Regional wastewater treatment plans

• Light rail and regional bus routes

• Legislation passed this year giving $400 million to the three state universities for new research facilities

• Legislation passed this year to expand the Phoenix Civic Plaza

• Lobbying the state Legislature to keep state-shared revenue

• A joint Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration

• Securing millions of dollars from the federal government for the Rio Salado Project

• Homeland security coordination, including joint police and fire efforts in case of a major incident

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