Julio Jimenez, Tribune file
Mesa's Riverview Park
Waveyard concept art
Cubs baseball executive chairman Tom Ricketts discusses with the Tribune editorial board of their upcoming election plans, Thursday, August 26, 2010 in Mesa.
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Proposition 420 on Mesa's ballot will ask voters' permission to pay for the Cubs' facilities.
The total cost of Proposition 420 for Mesa voters is jumbled and very confusing. According to Prop 520, the city of Mesa will pay $84 million for the new stadium and facilities. And costs to upgrade the infrastructure will be no more than $15 million.
But Phoenix voters were not ask permission to pay for the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for the new Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies beginning in 2011. Contract with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community for the facility at Indian Bend Road and the 101 Freeway.
The article says, "• The Ricketts family, which owns the team, will lease land next to the stadium for the privately developed Wrigleyville West development of shops and restaurants."
If this will all still be city owned property, there will be no property taxes for our schools, right? So privately owned restaurants and privately owned retail businesses, naturally in business to make a profit, will then be exempt from paying any property taxes?
Is that what the plan is? Is that how "Wrigleyville" around Wrigley Field in Chicago is? No property taxes for those privately owned businesses?
And whatever this latest brainstorm is about having some kind of "mini-Waveyard" commercial profit making venture combined with the Cactus League/Cubs stadium and other baseball facilities on that city owned property, won't they also be exempt from paying any property taxes?
Anybody have any answers?
The answer is clear, Mesa voters need to say 'no' and stop the raid on it's parks and treasury. Like they should have said 'no' before, and before that. About the only thing this corporate welfare scheme gets Mesa is the marvelous chance to get what they have now, lose a park and lose tax revenue. Can the voters of Mesa really be this gullible...Again!
Let's see.......No firm plan to show. Cost overruns that despite the cap will be negotiated as the construction continues. A lease on the land that can be broken through political and legal wrangling in the future. Displacement of the planned water park. Only an attempt to lease the current facilities to someone else. Higher tourism taxes that will send out-of-town fans to another city. I don't see anything that could go wrong here. If the voters in the City of Mesa can't see through this dog and pony show, they deserve what they get -- Higher taxes and no ball club in the end to use their purpose-built complex surrounded by empty restaurants and stores.
Gee i guess this means Mesa has money now,and i guess they can also reinstate programs and sevices they have cut,due to no money to fund them.We voters and taxpayers need to keep a close eye on this without a doubt,and vote it down if one dime of taxpayers money is involved.
Only $99,000,000 ?
At that price, let's buy two!
Let's use the Enterprise funds for their intended purpose and update the badly neglected utilty infrastructure. This isn't "found" money but funds that tax payers and utility users have paid over the years.
Also, where is the cost of moving the existing baseball/softball complex? Aren't they going to be relocated as previously promised for waveyard or do we lose more parks and sports complexes to the pros. Please remember that when they built the current Hohokam stadium they removed a world class tennis facilty. It was originally moved to Gene Autry Park but is not leased out to a private company to run because Mesa didn't want the expense of average citizens using a facility they built (and rebuilt) with tax dollars.
I'm voting NO because in this cost cutting time period for the city of Mesa, it appalls me that the Cubs try to extort Mesa into building new facilities mostly to keep up with the "Jones" since other teams have new facilities.
And this location will not bring tax dollars to Mesa. It's a gift to hotels and restaurants in Tempe and Scottsdale at the expense of Mesa citizens. Develop the eyesore land in downtown Mesa and make it a better opportunity rather than destroy a perfectly good golf course and ball complex.
Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is urging the approve Prop 420, a measure that asks Mesa voters to approve public expenditures for a Cactus League Spring Training stadium and related facilities in Mesa.
And a 30 year agreement by the Cubs to remain in Mesa and option for 50 years . . . But, Ricketts will not say whether the Cubs will move to Florida if Prop. 420 fails November 2nd.
Putting the new stadium in northwest Mesa would be awesome for Scottsdale and Tempe. It's exactly what they want. They don't have to pay a dime for any costs for the new stadium, but they will reap the benefits when their hotels and restaurants are catering to the fans from out of town.
Moving the current ball fields to Red Mountain? What where they smoking when they came up with this idea? So the citizens will have to drive way out of their way to east Mesa to use the ball fields? What about the golf course? Did I miss something?
I think it's time for some of us to ask the Goldwater Institute to file a lawsuit on our behalf against the city government. Brady and Smith have no legal right to make changes to the Waveyard deal WITHOUT first going to the voters with another proposition. I'm liking Smith less and less every single day as he is not living up to his campaign rhetoric. It's become very clear he is nothing but a fast talking, double dealing liar.
I have to admit that I agree with Forked about this deal. With the city still owning the land and instead leasing it, it exempts the Cubs and any other business venture that might have owned the land from paying property taxes. This corporate welfare at the expense of taxpayers has got to stop. Many taxpayers are really struggling to survive during this bad recession that doesn't show any light at the end of the tunnel. This insanity has got to stop.
The "Cubs will use their best effort" to help recruit another MLB team to Hohokam is a lot of BS. Why would the Cubs want competition for ticket and concession sales? The deal should be that no new stadium would get built UNTIL another MLB team is found for Hohokam.
Poorman, you are right, so is Mesatoo. Money from the sale of the Pinal County land, which should have been sold long ago, could be used to fund police and fire, and combined with the Enterprise funds, could be used for restoring needed city services that were reduced or eliminated due to budget cuts. Our city government's priorities are really messed up. Maybe it's time to launch a recall and get rid of that fast talking and double dealing mayor, the one who wants to waste ten million of surplus bond money to narrow Southern. I hate to say it but we've currently got some really stupid people in office. Looking at the city manager, Brady is a lousy one who needs to resign or be fired.
Vote NO on Prop 420 and take back control of our out of control city government.
These details will be helpful in the last few weeks of the election to help assure voters that this isn't just a blank check. Read our full take at http://mesaissues.blogspot.com/.
I went to the website of the anonymous "mesaissues" (above post) and saw that the thoughtful concerns and actual issues addressed by commenters here were either not satisfactorily addressed or they were dismissed....an attempt by the writer to persuade the reader that the nebulous and inexcusable ballot wording is not a "blank check."
"Mesaissues" also tried to cook up a hate campaign against the VBO organization without addressing the issues raised by the VBO or Goldwater Institute as well as issues raised by many others not affiliated with those organizations whose independent comments appear on both the EVT and azcentral websites.
Someone did offer a comment for the secretive "mesaissues" on its own website. With apologies to that writer, I took the liberty of lifting the comment from the "mesaissues" website for EVT readers to also read. Keeps the thought processes flowing._________________
" "Again, they are the reason why we must have an election every time the City has a project - which creates another step standing in the way of those who want to invest in our city."
Wow, another Kool-Aid drinking blind follower. You are either ignorant, a US Constitution hater, or both. The reason projects that exceed a cost of $1.5 million and taxes that support them must be approved by the voters instead of stupid politicians, is so we don't get another DBack stadium forced down our throats. You remember that, right? No vote, just the county stupidvisors forcing a stadium and tax upon us whether we liked it or not. Now at least the voters and especially the taxpayers can vote to approve or disapprove.
One other thing, I don't appreciate your sorry excuse for journalism. You leave a lot of important facts out, like the fact that if a new stadium is built at Riverview, it will have a tremendously positive implact on Tempe and Scottsdale, not Mesa. The Gateway area was better suited. For one, the airport is there and hopefully that new hotel and convention center will get built.
No impact studies have been done for a Cubs stadium at Riverview, but that certainly doesn't stop a blowhard called you from running your big pie-hole."____________________________
”details will be helpful in the last few weeks of the election??”
Details so far:
• $84 million for stadium and fields • $15 million for improvements, parking, roads, etc • $84 million plus $15 million – and capped at $99 million• Cubs will pay for cost over $84 million?? • 50,000-square-foot clubhouse, with state-of-the-art training/office/meeting facilities• 30 year agreement by Cubs to remain in Mesa • Mesa will lease the land to the Cubs • Stadium and ball fields will be open to the public when not in use by the cubs • Cubs will maintain and operate the facilities at their expense??• Cubs will help recruit another professional team • Land next to the stadium will be available for the Waveyard water park
Nowhere in the ballot wording does it say costs are capped at $99 million. That could change at any time because the ballot wording just approves more than 1.5 million.
I just don't understand what planet I live on now when Mesa is giving away millions to pro sports because the team doesn't like their current facility. If they only stayed 12 years in the latest Hohokam stadium before threatening to move to greener pastures, why would we ever think they'll stay 30 years?!? On the other hand, all politicians say about education is that throwing money at it won't fix it. So a nicer and new facility is critical in sports training but treat students as widgets, cram them into classrooms, preferably portables which are cheaper, and they'll do fine.
And don't even get me started about cutting medical treatment to the poor so the state can save a few million. But corporations need subsidies to play baseball. Yeah, one's the city and one's the state but it just shows priorities are messed up at every level.
Rome is burning, Nero is fiddling, and let's play ball! Maybe the kids who lose their parents from lack of medical care will get to go to a free game so the team can show compassion for the less fortunate.
None of you know what you are talking about. The City is swapping useless cotton fields in Pinal County for this revenue-producing project. No taxes will be imposed on Mesa residents for this project. Without the Cubs this city won't be known for anything but idiots like those of you on this blog.
This project will put Mesa on he map and draw people from across the state and the nation. And guess what? They will finally spend money and pay taxes in Mesa which will benefit those of you who don't spend money on anything because you are too busy sitting at home complaining about everything on blogs.
And to the "well informed" fellow who thinks education is getting shorted. Are you that ignorant? The City does not fund education. The State and the school districts fund education. Do you also believe the City funds NASA? Seriously, where do you people come from?
I hope none of you go to spring training games because then you would be hypocrites. Wait, given the profile your comments fit, you no doubt are hypocrites. You want everything for nothing. And you want me to work harder to take care of you so you can ruin things that my family enjoys. I like your approach. Let's run everything and everyone with a pulse out of town then we can complain that there aren't any working people in Mesa to support your whining backsides.
Mesa Guy is right. I'm tired of all the whining. It is doing nothing but ruining our City. The Cubs are a part of this community and have been for a long time. It is a partnership that benefits everyone. I know a lot of people all over this Valley who finally will be coming to Mesa to dine and shop a.k.a spend money and generate tax dollars for Mesa, IN Mesa. What a concept. Don't worry whiners. I wouldn't expect you to understand.
Oh man, MesaGuy, your misinformation in your multiple posts is astounding.
Even in non-binding worthless agreements and proposals, the city is NOT "swapping useless cotton fields in Pinal County" to pay for this general proposal. Funding is to come from the city's Enterprise Fund, the major revenues for which are obtained through the city's sale of its utilities. When and if any parcels of that Pinal County water farm land are sold, the proceeds will also be funneled into the Enterprise Fund, but that is NOT what will be paying for this Chicago Cubs stadium and accoutrements endeavor, much less "swapped for." It's our utility bill payments (profits from which supply the Enterprise Fund) where the money is coming from.
Furthermore, our residential and commercial property taxes fund education. Private commercial uses other than major league baseball on tax-exempt city owned property, such as is being proposed for "Wrigleyville West" will exempt those profit oriented private businesses from paying any property taxes, which fund education.
I like the Cubs, have been to a few games and love the atmosphere and relaxation. Cubs have been good for Mesa and Mesa has been very good to the Cubs. I love my kids, too.Doesn't mean I'm going to write them a "sky's the limit" blank check to go buy themselves the Wrigley Mansion.
The City of Mesa is posing Proposition 420 and seven questions to Mesa voters. Consolidated with the general election November 2, 2010.
Proposition 420 and Question 2, listed in the GENERAL ELECTION Publicity Pamphlet, are related to constructing the expanded spring-training facility for the Chicago Cubs.
Proposition 420: Asks Mesa voters to approve or disapprove to authorize the City of Mesa to spend in excess of $1.5 million on a Cactus League Spring Training baseball facility. As required by Section 613 of the City of Mesa Charter.
ARGUMENT "FOR" PROPOSITION 420 – has ten published pages paid for by Keep the Cubs-Yes on 420 (Major Funding Provided by Chicago Cubs and Hunt Construction) in the GENERAL ELECTION Publicity Pamphlet, under Prop. 420.
Question 2: Ask Mesa voters to approve increasing the current transient lodging/hotel bed tax from 3% of the gross revenue to 5%. A City-owned Cactus League Spring Training baseball facility and other eligible uses.
Mesa Guy, take your meds and calm down. I'm glad you like the Cubs. I have a solution for you. How about the Cubs raise the ticket prices way up to cover the costs of a new stadium. Those like you who like going to the games will be paying for it and not the taxpayers who don't. When you do the math, very few year round citizens of Mesa even go to the games. Why do you think we owe it to you to subsidize a sport you like? Dig deep into your bank accounts and subsidize it yourself.
Mesa Guy is 100% correct and forklifted1, to a lesser degree.
The funding would come from the enterprise fund profits since it would be bad to sell the pinal land in the current economy. The plan is to sell the Pinal land when it is economically feasable and replace the funds used for the stadium. (So essentially it is swapping farm land for a city owned stadium)
Why would the city fund a stadium used by a pro team? Because if they don't, another city will.. Why would another city fund it? The Cubs are a sure bet to bring in a lot of people to the city (highest Cactus League draw) and those people spend money.
Their spending supports local businesses (which is why the Chamber endorsed 420), those businesses pay tax dollars (which is why Mesa Firefighters and Mesa Police groups endorsed 420).
If the Cubs go - it's a not throwing money into the wind, it is investing in a sure thing. (Which is why Mesa Citizens for Responsible Public Policy endorsed 420)..
Mark,Everybody endorses spending someone else's money. Another city will? They're all going broke. Mesa, as Mesaguy puts it, has been "put on the map" so many times it's a hole somewhere between Tempe and Apache Junction. And each time the citizens of Mesa get the shaft and the fat cats get the mine. Riverview was going to pay big dividends (if you look at what it cost tanking the Fiesta area the loss may run into the next century). Waveyard put Mesa on the map as, perhaps, the world's largest all day sucker. The citizens of Mesa have voted in one boondoogle after another. If the Cubs deal was a world class winner Mesa would be best off to turn it down, just to call a halt to the ever enlarging hole in the city's finances.
Mark Yarbrough failed to mention that he is chairman of the "Keep the Cubs" campaign.
Snipes - Your correct, I'm not hiding the fact that I support 420. I also Chair the Parks board, am DA for Little League Baseball in Mesa/AJ, and run the fall Little League Program. (All of it unpaid volunteer work, as is chairing the Cubs Campaign) If I didn't believe it was vital to Mesa, I wouldn't waste my time doing it.
Rich - I hear what your saying, but throwing the Cubs away would certainly create a bigger impact in the Budget. They don't even compare to Riverview or Waveyard (in terms of proven revenue).
I know personally the impact spring training has on Mesa. I lived over by Country Club and Center and during Spring Training season, you can't find a spot to eat or stop by the circle k without a long wait. It was actually rather annoying since I'm not a big professional baseball fan.
It is critical that we keep the Cubs playing in Mesa to retain the revenue and support to local businesses that their fans bring into our city.
Please Mark, Every single time it's a bonanza, and every time the citizens of Mesa take it in the shorts. How can Mesa come up with $99 mil? When they are cutting services? And don't tell me Pinal County real estate, in this economy you can't give that away. If you could you wouldn't have seen the city cut services. The Cubs have the money to spend to con people into giving them money, but that's all it is. Just like Riverview, Waveyard, Gaylord and everybody else trying to elbow in at the public trough. If Mesa has $99 million to spend there are one H of a lot of places it needs to go. 50th out of 50 in education might be one. Police, fire, transportation. You have a lot of vacant property in Mesa, who's going to buy it, live there without basic services to support a Chicago baseball team?
Back to some nitty-gritty details regarding the questions I posed earlier on property taxes. This is from the non-binding MOU. City pays, no matter what's built on the site. How sweet it is.....for the Cubs and Cubs' owners.
(i) the City is responsible for any ad valorem real property (including without limitation any lease tax) or equivalent taxes and assessments payable in respect of the Project site, Stadium, Ancillary Stadium Facilities and Other Facilities;
(ii) Cubs are responsible to pay all federal, state and county taxes (other than real property and lease taxes) applicable to the Stadium, Ancillary Facilities and Other Facilities to the extent related to revenue retained by Cubs, provided however City will reimburse Cubs for any such imposition impacting solely Cubs.
Anyone been to downtown mesa lately? Freaking' ghost town. Now the taxpayers are about to foot the bill for---only GOD knows how much in the end. Rome is burning-----and the band plays on!!!
Yep they took away so many kids programs and cut others sports programs so they if they can't reinstate them why should we support the city spending money on anything else. This stadium won't do a thing for the kids. They have also laid of so many city employees and benefits so how can they build a stadium. I won't support this stadium at all. We were already convinced to support that 1 penny tax for education and they're still letting teachers go.
Dang Mesa Guy you need to calm your self. So you say taking away this stadium takes away from what your family likes to do !!!!!!Why weren't you on this crusade when they over the past 8 years have gradually cut so many programs for the kids, especially in the summer. When Mesa decided not to build the Cardinal Stadium that they had the chance too that blew it for me. That would have brought so much money into the economy. Wave yard will or would have put Mesa on the Map that still hasn't. So what makes you think this little Cubby Stadium will. Mesa will never be on the map.
k33j88, you've got that one right. No spending cap and no designated site contained in the ballot language. And legally it's ONLY the ballot language that counts. If something happens that is contrary to what they're talking about now, no voter can come back and say, "But you promised..." "But you said...."
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