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Mesa deserves better
Most of the “yes” votes are already in — the response to an early balloting strategy at Waveyard paid for “free lunches.” These ballots were cast without the benefit of two recent, well-researched articles (one in the Arizona Republic and “Expert foresees Waveyard engineering problems,” published in the Oct. 29 Tribune). Check your Election Publicity Pamphlet. Nearly all of the “heartfelt” statements were written and paid for by Waveyard. It’s important that you counter this effect by going to the polls on Tuesday and voting “no.”
I’ve tracked this project for more than a year, attending dozens of meetings and have spent countless hours researching it. While skeptical from the start, I had hoped that some of the problems would be addressed. Instead, more issues arose than were resolved. There’s been a constant stream of misinformation and half-truths from both the city of Mesa and Waveyard.
Problems include: Tax-incentive giveaways ($20 million). Low-ball property appraisal ($30 million). Sweetheart loan terms (4.4 percent). City subsidies. Developer inexperience (wireless retail “fiasco”). Shaky Australian financing. Problem-plagued wave technology. Traffic congestion. Taxpayer paid-for road widening. Neighborhood impact. Declining property values. Displaced park ballfields. Taxpayer paid-for ballfield relocation (another “hidden subsidy”).
Demolished golf course (lost, not replaced). Riverview Park downsizing (many lost amenities). Destruction of Kleinman Park. Useless 8th Street “linear park.” Excessive water consumption. Arsenic-laden well water. City well water agreement. Sewage treatment plant odors. Property boundary agreement. Diverted “bed-tax” money (hotel room fees). Unaddressed and unbudgeted public safety concerns (police and fire). Bait-and-switch site plan maps. The last-minute addition of a second hotel and two parking garages. The list goes on.
The color photos in Waveyard’s press package may be alluring, but the devil is in the details. While the developer benefits greatly, Mesa sacrifices too much. Vote “no.”
New tourist dollars for Mesa
Mesa is a great city, but it has not seen the best it can be. The Waveyard should not only be approved but it should be a beginning to a calling of people around the world to come, visit, enjoy our great weather and spend their money. It will give Mesa the revenue it needs to help this great city become the place I am sure it is capable of becoming. What a great opportunity for our young people to experience more than cactus and prairie dust! Not only will they have the opportunity to play, but all the jobs created by the Waveyard will help give diversity to our youth to learn and grow.
What’s so great about this map?
Just a few questions about this latest grand scheme for “putting Mesa on the map”:
• What financial security does Mesa have that this project will get finished? It’s not unheard of for a company or a project to go belly-up before it is finished. In this case, some rather nice local amenities which are enjoyed by west Mesa residents will be long gone should that occur.
• I find it suspicious that we cannot get a handle on how much water this will use — especially since it is precious and rapidly decreasing groundwater which belongs to the citizens of Mesa.
• Have any of the self-professed “conservative” officials and community movers paused to check the state constitution, which is clear in prohibiting gifts of public assets to private parties?
• If in fact, as Matt Salmon likes to argue, this is a way to “make the government operate like a business,” then it would seem to me that the land would be sold to the highest bidder who would then obtain financing (presumably at a regular market rate) from a private lender and who would collect all sales taxes due and remit those in their entirety to the city, much as less well-connected businesses do. This is the way business operates in the real world where the rest of us live and invest.
It takes real bald-faced nerve to argue that a well-used and enjoyed taxpayer-owned facility such as this does not produce enough money, so the thing should be turned over in a giveaway deal to a private party. If that were the criteria for city-owned real estate, then surely council chambers would be the first deadwood to go, in favor of putting that space to some useful purpose.
Mary V. Melcher
Win-win for them
After reviewing the available information regarding the Waveyard project it appears to me to be a win-win situation for the Waveyard organization. If the proposition is passed Tuesday, the purchase of the land would move forward. Once this is completed, Waveyard effectively has control of the property.
As nearly as I can determine from the agreement, it would appear that they have no obligation to build Waveyard unless they wish to have a $20 million loan from Mesa. If this is correct, theoretically, they could build a few generic water features, add some condos, upscale retail, upscale hotel, maybe some apartments and say “gee, this water park idea just doesn’t seem to be working out.”
What do they gain? The property, not previously available for sale and acquired at a below-market price at a very desirable location. What do they lose? Nothing. They won’t need the loan from Mesa and they won’t have to deal with the complexities and risks of developing and operating an unconventional and experimental water park. Perhaps this scenario bears looking into.
Female point of view dismissed
I am a frequent blogger on many sites that feature Waveyard issues. While my opinions remain the same, it seems that when I post under a female blogging name, I am the recipient of endless criticism and torment. Yet when the same views are posted under my male assumed name, those views are accepted and even supported. Could it be that those who blog are partial to male names while the more feminine blogging names are dismissed out of pure ignorance? My support for Waveyard has nothing to do with my gender and yet somehow it plays a huge role with the value of my identity online. To quote my favorite phrase, ”Quiet women never made history.” I refuse to be silenced. Vote “yes” on Waveyard Tuesday!
Prioritize water conservation
I plan to vote no on the Waveyard proposition. I am gravely concerned about the water shortage in Arizona and nationwide. On television I heard about Phoenix’s looming water crisis. On National Public Radio recently, an hour was devoted to the nation’s looming water shortage.
The arguments are based against the water usage of golf courses. An unused golf course due to lack of water is still more attractive than an unused Waveyard due to no water. We need to be more concerned about water conservation than about building more projects that will use water.
Plans could change after vote
The Tribune’s Oct. 28 headline was “The Waveyard Question. Mesa: Would you vote for this?” There was lots of information describing “this.” Before we go any further, let’s try to define, “this.” In letters so small that many need a magnifying glass to read it, this statement appears in supporting campaign literature:
“Preliminary/conceptual site plan for the Waveyard project. This preliminary/conceptual site plan is subject to further revisions by the developer, review by the Mesa Planning and Zoning Board and approval by the city of Mesa Design Review Board and Council.”
Despite all the hoopla money can buy, we don’t know what “this” project will look like because the site plan hasn’t been approved and can be changed at any time. The end result may be vastly different from what we see in television ads. Please think about that before you vote Tuesday.