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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:14 pm | Updated: 7:56 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

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Time to make it permanent

The new WestWorld tent skin is too shiny for Councilman Tony Nelssen. The tent itself is too small for Barrett-Jackson’s annual auction. A new building’s too costly for Scottsdale. Nobody’s talking and no solutions seem in sight. What to do — oh, what to do?

Frankly, it’s time to fish or cut bait. Here are the facts in a nutshell:

In 2005, Scottsdale paid $2 million for the tent and another $2 million to erect it. Now they’re spending $1.4 million for a replacement skin that’s put a burr under Nelssen’s saddle. Total cost to date — $5.4 million.

A new building to replace the tent has been estimated to cost $80 million and Scottsdale’s not interested.

Barrett-Jackson has offered to buy seven acres from Scottsdale and erect its own building at a cost estimated between $30 and $60 million.

The auction generates millions of dollars for Scottsdale each year and keeping it in town is a very good idea.

This whole thing has become a protracted political football.

With these facts in mind, here’s my suggestion:

1. Since Scottsdale’s leaders don’t want to spend $80 million for a new building, what’s wrong with selling Barrett-Jackson the 7 acres they want and let them build an appropriate facility themselves?

2. With a little cooperation on both sides, it would seem that a Barrett-Jackson facility would be a compliment to the existing tent rather than a detriment.

3. With the funds derived from the land sale, the city could make suitable improvements to the WestWorld property for the benefit of all parties involved.

The WestWorld property really is important to Scottsdale and so is Barrett-Jackson. It’s time for the two to fish or cut bait.




Council earned our distrust

We just received our 2007 Tax Information Statement which summarizes our residential property assessment and related tax. Despite the obvious fact that actual property values have depreciated over the past several months as a result of the deteriorating real estate market, our full cash value assessment for 2007 increased by more than 63 percent.

Given that large assessment increases in Maricopa County were common knowledge for quite some time now, most taxing jurisdictions had the common courtesy to exercise restraint when establishing their tax rate for 2007. That is, everybody except the town of Gilbert, whose portion of our tax bill also increased by more than 63 percent. My goodness, what were you folks thinking when you voted to keep the tax rate the same in an environment of skyrocketing assessments? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out if “x” which increased exponentially, when multiplied by “y” which the council decided to keep the same, the tax due had to increase exponentially.

It’s just sad when elected officials show absolutely no regard for their constituents. By raising our property tax by more than 63 percent, you have truly earned our distrust.

Each of you who voted for this stealth increase, namely Steve Urie, Les Presmyk, Linda Abbot and Joan Krueger should know that we will continue to remember this when we make higher mortgage payments throughout 2008.




Bush betrayed Petraeus, too

If orders from a betrayer are carried out by a subordinate under the betrayer’s command, that person becomes a “betrayer-in-waiting,” an accomplice to the crimes of war, implemented, in this case, by the relationship of President Bush to Gen. David Petraeus. Any thinking person (which excludes some congressional Democrats) would interpret the ad in the context for which it was intended, i. e. that Patraeus was forced to defy his true opinion on the Iraq war status. Under duress, he carried out Bush’s orders to portray a distorted and falsely optimistic view of the abominable conditions existing in Iraq and known worldwide.

Those who observe the ad as a personal attack on Patraeus are wrong. Rather, it is an assertion to the Bush administration that America objects to, and feels betrayed by, the very essence of the Iraq war. Further, it serves as an exposé of Bush’s deplorable, cowardly practice to shift responsibility, under the guise of accountability, onto the shoulders of innocent stalwarts, evident in the case of Petraeus — he has become betrayed by the betrayer.




The road to ruin

The following quotation is attributed to Norman Mattoon Thomas, a leading 20th-century socialist and six-time U. S. presidential candidate under the banner of the Socialist Party of America:

“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program until America will one day be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened.”

For those of you who are unconcerned or who otherwise think this would be an acceptable trade-off for the power your Democrat leaders seek from you, know this; your descendants will someday curse your choices if those choices lead to the achievement of Norman Thomas’s prediction. Are you willing to live with that? Surely not, if you care about their future! Carefully evaluate what all of the Democrat presidential candidates are saying, and you must conclude they’re leading us straight to where Thomas hoped we’d someday be.




Church has responsibility

The Catholic Church has a right and an obligation to inquire into the teaching of one of its theologians. (Vatican inquiry on theologian stirs debate, Spiritual Life, Sept. 29.) Failure to do so would mean church leadership had fallen short in its responsibilities to its membership and to Jesus Christ. The church encourages thought and promotes debate, but if the thought is ambiguous and promotes incorrect doctrine, than I expect my church to advise the author of the premise of his or her errors, whether the author be a theologian, my bishop or parish priest, me or any other member of the church.



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