Most Tempe residents will never come in contact with the University Lakes Precinct Justice of the Peace. The JP has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and traffic crimes committed at Arizona State University and outside of the Tempe City limits and a laundry list of civil law matters. JPs aren't required to be attorneys.
What is the big deal about public education these days? Does it really have an effect on my life if I don’t have children attending the public schools? The Justice Policy Institute issued a report in 2007 on Education and Public Safety. Research results found that “a 5-percent increase in male high school graduation rates would produce an annual savings (in the state) of almost $5 billion in crime-related expenses.” Are you aware that the Arizona high school graduation rate has fallen below the national average? Public Safety is the main concern of police departments across the state. Who, then, did the Arizona Police Association choose to endorse for Gilbert School Board? Jill Humpherys and Charles Santa Cruz.
The first debate between gubernatorial candidates Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal was what I expected it to be. Their positions on education and jobs are quite well known. Both spoke well, dressed alike and were pleasant. It was what was to be expected.
Once again, in November, school districts throughout the state will have overrides on the ballot. Most, if not all, districts do this because the funding formula from the state is over 30 years old and does not meet the cost of doing business in the year 2014. Think about it; can you get a gallon of gas for 95 cents today? Well, that’s essentially what they are asking schools to do today.
In Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the narrator speaks of his instability caused by the fever dream of the jungle this way: “(It) was the playful paw-strokes of the wilderness, the preliminary trifling before the more serious onslaught which came in due course.”
Mayor Mitchell’s and the Tempe City Council’s definition of a “sustainable” city is, according to an interview with Gabrielle Olson in ASU LightWorks, “… creating the smallest ecological footprint possible — producing the lowest quantity of pollution possible, efficiently using land; composting used materials, recycling, or converting waste-to-energy — thus minimizing the city’s overall contribution to climate change.”
Early voting is underway in our Tempe City Council election. We have incumbents and challengers, a choice that comes down to whether we are satisfied with politics as usual. I believe we can do so much better and will give two of my votes to Lauren Kuby and David Schapira, both seasoned community leaders who will look at issues with fresh eyes.