April 11, 2005
The Tribune will sponsor a debate on the proposed Riverview at Dobson retail center today, three days before early voting begins in the Mesa special election.
Two representatives from each side will answer questions from Tribune moderators. Residents can submit written questions to the Tribune either before or during the debate.
The event starts at 7 p.m. in the Mesa City Council chambers and will be televised live on cable Channel 11.
The election for propositions 300, 301 and 302 is set for May 17.
If all three propositions are approved, the 250-acre project at Loop 202 and Dobson Road is expected to include a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, a 16-screen Cinemark movie theater, a Wal-Mart Supercenter and other "big-box" retailers, auto dealerships and a business park. The developers are eligible for an estimated $80 million in incentives, primarily from rebates on city sales tax paid at the site.
The first Riverview debate was held March 29 in the council chambers and featured a six-member panel.
Outside, the "No" side debuted its mascot "Wally, the $84 million man," whose yellow face resembled the Wal-Mart company logo. The mascot was surrounded by members of the Arizona Carpenters Union, who were shouting in favor of the project.
It was not much quieter inside, where supporters on both sides cheered and booed panelist comments and on one occasion heckled a panelist.
Early voting in the election begins Thursday. Early voting by mail ends May 6, and early voting in person ends May 13.
Residents can submit questions before the debate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling editorial page editor Bob Schuster at (480) 898-6507.
There will also be an opportunity to submit questions to the moderator during the debate.
Riverview at Dobson debate
When: 7 p.m. today Where: Mesa City Council chambers, 57 E. First St. Broadcast: Live on cable Channel 11 Information: (480) 898-6507