In the summer, Arizonans like to escape the heat with beach and mountain vacations.
While many of us retreat to cooler climes, our dedicated staff at the city of Mesa never stop working.
Over the summer, their collective efforts earned an array of national accomplishments. In case you missed it, here is a recap.
Public safety is paramount to all of us in Mesa. Safewise named us the ninth-safest big city in the United States.
They recognized Mesa as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and commended us for making sure our public safety resources meet the changing needs of our community.
They lauded our Crisis Intervention Team for addressing mental health issues, and the voter-approved public safety sales tax increase that will enable us to hire 65 new police officers and 45 new firefighters.
To top it off, Mesa’s violent crime rate is currently the lowest it’s been since 1963.
WalletHub included Mesa in their list of Best Big Cities to live in. The ranking is based on affordability, economy, education and quality of life.
Mesa ranks highest when it comes to affordability, boasting the second-highest rate of homeownership among large cities.
Mesa has always been known as a great place to raise a family because we are affordable and have great schools. Now we have a booming economy and a high quality of life that puts us on the map with cities like Austin, San Diego and Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, WalletHub also listed Mesa as one of the Best-Run Cities in America.
They measured the effectiveness of city government using different metrics, including “comparing the quality of services residents receive against the City’s total budget.”
Mesa’s recently upgraded AA bond rating puts the city in the best financial position in the past 30 years. We have the third-lowest per capita spending in the state and don’t have a primary property tax or food tax.
Mesa taxpayers have another reason to cheer for Spring Training baseball. Mesa has paid off both our baseball stadiums 13 years early! This will save the city more than $20 million.
That’s a lot of peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Now, all revenue generated by Sloan Park and Hohokam Stadium is reinvested in the city rather than being used for payments.
Most recently, CityLab ranked Mesa the fifth-fastest growing job market and third fastest-growing creative class in the nation.
During the recession, Mesa strategically invested in infrastructure and didn’t wait for the economy to get better.
We planned and persevered, which has paid off by attracting a “Who’s Who” of companies like Apple, Google and Boeing.
Mesa’s technology ecosystem continues to grow:
Over the summer, Google announced a 200-acre data center project in the Elliot Road Technology corridor.
AT&T’s expansion brought 500 new jobs.
Able Aerospace opened its latest expansion and plans to add 200 jobs over the next two years to its 450 member workforce.
SkyBridge is about to break ground on its first two buildings at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Stay tuned for the groundbreaking of Union at Riverview and ASU @ Mesa City Center downtown.
As you can see, Mesa is safe, prosperous, fiscally sound, affordable and on the move. America’s 35th-largest city continues to earn top spots on many “best of” lists. I’m committed to keeping the momentum going and building a city we can all be proud of – even in the summer!
John Giles is the mayor of Mesa.