Cactus Needles - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Cactus Needles

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Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 7:28 pm | Updated: 10:45 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Short takes from the Tribune Editorial Board:

Everyone should be pleased that Mesa police Chief George Gascón didn’t take “wait” for an answer when he wanted federal assistance in identifying potential illegal immigrants among the city’s jail inmates.

Mesa’s jail detention officers are on a waiting list for federal immigration training that already has been made available to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Corrections. Until Mesa gets its turn, Gascón now has a deal for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check the status of some inmates.

But why is Mesa, Arizona’s third-largest city, 70th on that federal waiting list? ICE should provide the training first where the need is greatest, not by using some other arbitrary criteria.

The months-long marathon of all talk, no action over the Scottsdale Unified School District’s facilities crisis showed no sign of letting up Tuesday. The Tribune’s Amanda Keim tells us that governing board members spent two hours figuring out a method to determine how full classrooms are.

Consciously or not, the board is trying to avoid answering these inevitable questions: Can the district afford to keep all present schools open? Is there property that can be sold or leased to help pay mounting expenses?

No matter what the school board does, some parents won’t like it. So they should steel themselves to a certain hail of overripe fruit, and at least be able to justify their decisions as right for all concerned, even if it may not be right for any one group.

The longer board members delay, the longer that parents have to wait in anguished limbo. And that isn’t right for anyone concerned.

Gilbert apparently will remain stubborn to the bitter end when it comes to extending fire protection to its county islands.

The Tribune reported last week Gilbert refused to reach an agreement with the new county island fire district created under state law, forcing Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas to invoke the same law as he ordered Gilbert firefighters to start protecting county properties. Now, the question of how the fire district will pay for that service will go before a panel of arbiters.

We were an early advocate for Gilbert’s position that it should have no legal obligation to provide any city services to areas that refused to annex. But Gilbert lost that argument with the state Legislature.

Gilbert’s continued obstinacy adds to the ill will and could cost residents more through state-mandated expenses.

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