Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Tempe Mayor-elect Hugh Hallman on Tuesday declared an end to the political hostility that has existed between the cities for years.
The two community leaders hosted a reception at Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix to usher in a closer relationship and a new era of cooperation.
In recent years, Tempe and Phoenix have sparred over a variety of issues, including the growth of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and a proposed football stadium.
"The relationship between Phoenix and Tempe has been strained for some time, that’s no secret," Hallman said.
Although the two leaders have met behind closed doors to discuss public policy issues, Hallman said that Tuesday night’s event was a public demonstration that the cities can work together.
During a brief speech, Hallman pledged to continue working with Phoenix on issues such as airport noise and expanding Arizona State University’s role in the Valley.
Gordon also touched on the theme of a new beginning and stronger ties between the cities.
While addressing the audience, Gordon said a stronger partnership between the two communities would benefit the region and transform the Valley into one of the most important areas in the country.
Retiring Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano said the cities have worked well together on a variety of issues from light rail to public safety. Recently, the Tempe City Council voted to end litigation against Phoenix regarding flight paths.
"Other than the stadium, there hasn’t been any large differences between the cities," Giuliano said, "and we all know that the stadium was just politics."