Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots

Patriot Groups throughout the Maricopa and North Pinal County area.

Phoenix water rate hike: Sal DiCiccio and THE CRISIS MYTH

Let’s look at credibility in light of misinformation concerning issues as presentated: review below (January 14, 2011)..

DiCiccio’s persistence is appreciate, and somewhat on the right track. But it would be advisable to include Police & Fire in any avenue that is chosen to reduce the burden on taxpayers. After all they represent 60% plus of the City of Phoenix’s total budget. Sal DiCiccio, Leonard Gilroy, OUTSOURCING … “At minute 28:00: Gilroy states that overall across the nation, “public employees actually win 70 to 80% of those”, of the managed competition…….”

You can’t profess to fix just half the problem when the other half is actually bigger than half.

If the City moves towards outsourcing via managed competition as DiCiccio so strongly advocates, who will create, award and manage those contracts? Current City of Phoenix Supervisory and Professional personnel? As I see it, they are the main problem, they have failed to exercise their right and duty to manage their subordinates, the rank and file, the people DiCiccio wants to get rid of. The lowly rank and file didn’t fail the citizens.

So DiCiccio is fine with keeping Supervisory and Professional personnel on the payroll, who are no different from the alleged pension grabbing rank and file union’s he came out so strongly against. Where actually Supervisory and Professional personnel are worse seeing they help the City Manager contrive the schemes DiCiccio alleges. And who are allowed to negotiate for themselves outlandish job conditions, benefits and pay to a higher degree of their charge (subordinates).

The Arizona Republic in their Wednesday edition on Pensions did a fabulous job of pinning the tale on the donkey for who leads the charge on pension gaming; administration and management. And this applies to all branches of government.

You have exempt status employees, in a non union state, being allowed to emulate union job conditions. Sorry, got to say it while it’s still legal: get a rope; put them in the cross hairs; bull eyes their butts! (No harm intended, just a figure of speech.)

Inform yourself and compare Phoenix exempt to non-exempt employees:
Google “city of phoenix meet and discuss ordnance”, (Exempt employees).
Google “city of phoenix meet and confer ordinance”, (Non-exempt employees).

DiCiccio doesn’t want to touch 60% of Phoenix’s budget, Police and Fire. Doesn’t want to touch Supervisory and Professional personnel that is easily 15% if not 20% of the budget. DiCiccio wants to balance the budget on the backs of 20 to 25% – the rank and file employees, the heart of the operation. Who was in DiCiccio’s “secret meeting(s)”? Why?

Spending an average of $4500.00 a vehicle per year for maintenance and repair seems reasonable. With a fleet of 7400 vehicles from lawn mowers to transit buses, backhoes to bulldozers, what do you expect? Tires alone on some of these vehicles cost more than the average annual cost. Sal DiCiccio A BRAKE JOB IS A BRAKE JOB,

DiCiccio in his latest news letter lists three myth’s:

1: Food tax to save police and fire or pay for raises and bonuses?
2: Property tax increase to save bond integrity or to pay staff?
3: Water rate increase for health and safety or to pay staff?

Common between all three is DiCiccio asserting the City of Phoenix Counsel Members and/or City Management committed misfeasance of public funds, where his claims (3) rise to misfeasance in and of itself. Argument can be made as to if political free speech applies. Anyway, the examples, the “myth’s” DiCiccio gives are vague and coincidental at best. I don’t care other then his half truths attempting to incite the public.

Example: the link provided in “Myth 3” HERE, lists the water department vacancies with salary & fringe benefit costs. I fail to see where the employee compensation averages $100,000. Being a small sample of 14,000 (not 15,000) city employees. Sal DiCiccio WATER RATE INCREASES


January 14, 2011

Water and tax hikes: The crisis myth

The debate over a city-proposed 7 percent water rate hike completes a trilogy of misinformation over tax and rate increases you have seen this past year and poses serious concerns over Phoenix’s credibility with taxpayers.

Let me present three significant myths you have been told and what story the evidence – including city reports and transcripts linked below of City Council discussions – truly supports:

Myth 1: Food tax to save police and fire or pay for raises and bonuses?
Phoenix declares a fiscal emergency and on Feb. 2 passes a $50 million per year food tax with barely 24 hours notice. The claim was that without the tax, police and fire would be cut.

Fact, on June 23, the city granted $29.6 million per year to city staff in PAY RAISES and BONUSES. (Please go HERE to see the agenda item from the June 23 Formal meeting regarding merit and longevity increases)

Myth 2: Property tax increase to save bond integrity or to pay staff?
Phoenix declares a fiscal emergency in June saying that the secondary debt (used to pay off citizen-approved debt) is in dire shape and will have a structural deficit if the Council does not approve a huge property tax rate increase.

Fact, on July 7, the city shifted $18.9 million from this fund to pay employee and operational expenses, creating the crisis it sought to avoid. Eventually, it will come to you again for a property tax increase to stabilize the debt fund. (Please go HERE to see the transcripts from the July 7 property tax vote.)

Myth 3: Water rate increase for health and safety or to pay staff?
Phoenix declares that the health and safety of your water is in jeopardy unless council raises your water rates $22.9 million per year, or 7 percent on top of 40 percent in the past 5 years.

Fact, on Dec. 14, the city reports that 303 people cut from other departments are being shifted to the Water Department at a cost of $19.3 million per year. (Please go HERE to see the memo from the acting Water Services director.)
In all three of these above events, city management led you to believe that your hard-earned money, earned in this recession while shouldering cuts and hardships, was needed for health and safety. But most of it went to make sure no one at the city had to bear the similar burdens as your family. I don’t think that’s fair, nor worthy of an institution that calls itself America’s best-run city. Best run for whom?

Two solutions:
Compensate public employees commensurate with what the area’s private sector employees get. Even if we excluded police and fire, Phoenix would save over $300 million per year. The current system is unsustainable with the average employee cost at $100,000/year for over 15,000 employees. Then use that saved money for youth, seniors, libraries, police, fire and other truly strategic services. This solution alone would solve our fiscal crisis.

Seek competitive bids for all non-strategic city government functions (excluding police, fire and judges). We should at the very least get bids to see what the market provides. For example, Phoenix has one of the largest auto repair shops in the state, spending $34 million per year in-house. We should see if anyone can provide better service at a lower cost, without the huge pension costs that are decimating government budgets everywhere.

The Phoenix City Council will vote on a 7 percent water rate hike at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19 at Council Chambers (200 W. Jefferson Street). Please make sure you get this information out to everyone you know.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee, Arcadia, Biltmore, East Camelback and North Central. He can be reached at or 602-262-7491.

Links to documents in e-mail:
Agenda item regarding step increases from the June 23 City Council meeting:
Transcript from July 7 property tax vote:
Memo from acting Water Services director:

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