November 23, 2004
The chairman of three Mesa political committees trying to halt the Riverview at Dobson project has filed a complaint accusing the other side of violating state election law.
David Molina has alleged Kimco Developers and De Rito Partners Development of campaigning without first organizing a political committee and distributing fliers that do not identify who paid for them.
Developer consultant Doug Cole called the law "ambiguous," but said the development team has since voluntarily organized a committee and included its name on the fliers.
Molina’s group is gathering signatures with the hope of forcing an election next year on the project’s zoning. The developers, who are hoping to lure Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World to the site, have sent their own people to the signaturegathering locations to distribute fliers and discourage people from signing the petitions.
Molina’s one-page complaint was filed Friday morning with the Mesa City Clerk’s Office. A member of Cole’s firm, Highground, later that day filed a statement of organization for Committee for a Better Mesa. The statement was amended Monday because the committee improperly named the same person as chairman and treasurer.
Molina, chairman of Protect Mesa’s General Plan, Stop Excessive Subsidies and Stop Corporate Welfare, said Monday that even though the developer has since formed a political committee, the group had previously engaged in illegal political activity.
"They still have to comply with the law from the beginning," Molina said.
Mesa City Attorney Debbie Spinner could not be reached for comment Monday. Cole said the development team has not received an official ruling from Spinner, but discussed their interpretation of the law with her Friday before filing a statement of organization. Cole said the development team believes a committee does not need to be formed at this stage of the signaturegathering process.
The Mesa City Council unanimously voted Nov. 1 to rezone the 250-acre property at Dobson Road and Loop 202 that’s also expected to include movie theaters, restaurants, shops, a power center, a business park and an auto mall.