GILA MOUNTAIN ANNEXATION

"The "Great Land Grab."


Cyber Mayor will provide factual information and documents detailing the shameful tactics employed and how our arrogant, elitist “public servants” are forcing this down our collective throats.

Image

"GILA MOUNTAIN LAND BARONS"
LOOKING GOOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Image

"PRESERVING OPEN SPACE FOR WHOM?"

Image

Confronted with the embarrassing dilemma of explaining his former employer's undisclosed property in the Gila Mountain annexation area, Lord Mayor engages in the proven political ploy of duplicitous denial.

NEWS FLASH

June 5, 2007

The Arizona Department of Revenue has issued a "Valuation Transmittal," an official government document confirming that the mayor's former employer, APS, has personal property located within the Gila Mountain Annexation area. Clearly, the City of Yuma has not complied with current annexation law that requires obtaining the signatures of more than one-half of the property owners in the area to be annexed, nor have they obtained one-half or more of the assessed value. Moreover, two additional property owners have also been identified - Kinder-Morgan and El Paso Gas.

Why then, is the council squandering thousands of dollars of taxpayer's money for high-priced Phoenix attorneys to defend a defenseless lawsuit, plus subjecting the good folks of Yuma to the expense of a community divisive referendum?

The only reasonable action for the council to take is to rescind the annexation ordinance. But then, why be reasonable when you're spending someone else's money?

THE FINE ART OF MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENTS (LYING):
A LAYMAN'S GUIDE

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #1: City Administrator Mark Watson said, "that the city is following a long standing 'plan' to actively preserve the Gila Mountains as open space for the welfare of not only city residents but the Yuma region as well."

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: The only 'plan' approved by the citizens of Yuma is the General Plan of 2002 which only contains passing references to the Gila Mountain Range as being "outside" the General Plan area. Note - The plan ends at Avenue 10E.

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #2: City Councilman Paul Johnson has repeatedly stated that Yuma residents have "previously directed" the city to preserve the Gila Mountains for open space.

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: See Layman's Guide above.

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #3: Mayor Nelson has said that the city needs the 92 square miles in the annexation area in order to comply with providing "open space" as mandated in the state Growing Smarter Act.

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: The state Growing Smarter Act does not mandate the annexation of open space - only that an open space element be included in a city's general plan. Moreover, the city has already annexed more than 40 square miles of federal land of "open space" that it cannot regulate, and now it needs 92 square miles more?

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #4: The mayor's former employer (APS) should have been identified by the Department of Revenue before the final vote on the annexation ordinance in order to be included as a property owner.

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: The Department of Revenue did identify APS as a property owner in the annexation area - the city even sent them a notification letter. What the Department of Revenue could not do, because of the mayor's former employer's mulish refusal to comply in a timely manner, was provide the assessed value of the APS property. Mulishness on the part of APS cannot negate the laws of physical science. The APS property exists in the annexation area. That fact alone, even without considering the other property owners the city ignored, makes the attempted annexation short of the one-half or more of assessed value and the signatures of more than one-half of the property owners as required by law. Instead of being ashamed of such tactics, the mayor is shameless in his defiant arrogance.

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #5: The city has said that no private property is involved in the annexation.

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: Without private property, as per annexation law, there can be no annexation. The city is attempting to annex more than 92 square miles of land solely on the "personal" property of two utility companies with a combined assessed value of less than $17,000.00. (That's less than the assessed value of a garage on a single family home.) The city engaged in reprehensible and intentional misrepresentation in order to obtain the two signatures they have.

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #6: The mayor stated on a local talk show that the referendum is being driven by non-city residents and paid circulators.

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: The mayor needs to check the petitions - all signatures are of city of Yuma residents. Further, upon checking the petitions the mayor will find that sufficient signatures were obtained by volunteers. Paid circulators were engaged as insurance because of the short time constraints. Side Note - The mayor seems to suggest that the city can grab 92 square miles of property located in the county and county residents have no standing to voice their 1st Amendment right of free speech.

MENDACIOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT #7: "We're giving them (the people) what they asked for" (a referendum vote). "If they wanted the ordinance to be rescinded they should have asked for it."

LAYMAN'S GUIDE: That statement alone points to the need for every councilman to have to pass a test on the city charter before they can assume office. The referendum is the only choice the people have to challenge an action of the council. The council on the other hand, and the council only, has been extended the power of rescission to be exercised specifically on occasions such as this, in order to negate the divisive and difficult circumstances this annexation has brought on our community.

The council can still do the honorable thing and rescind the ordinance anytime before the referendum election.

In the absence of a rescission by the council - check the facts and vote NO on Prop 300.

Line

January 17, 2007

After more than four hours of input from both county and city residents expressing concern over the Gila Mountain Annexation the mayor and council, in yet another act of pretentiousness, refused to rescind the annexation ordinance and chose instead to put the community through the ordeal of a special election.

While this may first appear to be the democratic course to take, those that were not in attendance at the meeting need to know that august body refused to rescind even after stating that they believed the issue would fail at the ballot box. Why then, would anyone supposedly representing the will and wishes of (their bosses) the people, impale themselves on their own swords of portentous defiance? The answer is known by many names, the first of which comes to mind is arrogance.

However, in their defense the mayor and council, being mere mortals like the rest of us, also succumb to such human failings as not being able to admit error, acknowledge that they were wrong or concede their mistakes. That is most unfortunate, because what should have been rescinded and behind us will continue to fester and cloud virtually all of the new year of 2007.

MAY WE HAVE THE REAL REASON, PLEASE?

The evolution of reasons for the annexation would make Charles Darwin proud. One of the speakers at the meeting was on target when she said that, "new reasons come only as a response to stated objections."

The first justification, according to Lord Mayor, was that we "didn’t have anyplace to grow." "The purpose," we were told, "is so state and federal land can be developed. Right now where they are at (within YPG) they can’t be developed." When reminded that the process would require a constitutional amendment, and that the good citizens of Arizona had voted it down several times already, Lord Mayor boasted that he believed it could be pulled off by an act of Congress.

The most conflicting explanation is that of protecting the Gila Mountain range against growth and preserving it as open space, at the same time that we are told that it will give the city room to grow that will be under local control. Protect against growth, need room to grow? That prompted a question from Wellton residents: "Why does the city need room to grow if there are no plans to grow?" As my 101 year old granddad would say, "That’s like pulling back on the reins and spurring a horse in the flanks."

During the council meeting of January 17th, Councilman Paul Johnson feigned being dumbfounded at the opposition to the annexation because, according to Mr. Johnson, the council was simply reacting to what the people voted to approve in the 2002 General Plan. Mr. Johnson then proceeded to enlighten the benighted masses by informing them that at the public meetings for the general plans in 1994 and 1999 the council was repeatedly encouraged to preserve the Gila Mountain range as open space. To be fair to Mr. Johnson, there may well have been general comments made during public meetings, but for the council to imply that annexing 92 square miles is simply responding to citizen’s requests is a real stretch. The General Plan of 2002 is the first and only plan approved by the voters and it “stops” at Avenue 10E.

The references to the Gila Mountain range and Barry Goldwater range simply state that they are both “outside the planning area of the City of Yuma General Plan." There is absolutely no reference whatsoever to “protecting the Gila Mountain range as open space.” Mr. Johnson is either ignorant of the contents of the 2002 General Plan or he is being intentionally disingenuous.

Mr. Mayor beat the same drum in a letter under his signature that was sent to selected recipients telling them that, "In accordance with the voter approved General Plan, the Council recently took action to extend the City's eastern boundaries to the Gila Mountains." It must be repeated, there is absolutely no reference whatsoever to protecting the Gila Mountain range as open space in the voter approved 2002 General Plan. Just for good measure Mr. Mayor added his own trumped-up reason for the "Great Land Grab," that of complying with the state mandated Growing Smarter Act. These guys never quit.

The state Growing Smarter Act only requires that city general plans contain an "open space element," there is no mandate for hundreds of miles of open space. Under definitions in the city's own general plan we are told that open space can be something as simple as "a large landscaped plaza in the middle of a busy downtown," which begs the question of why we need more than 92 square miles? To be clear, the bogus state mandate claim has its roots in city hall, not the Growing Smarter Act.

Mr. Mayor's latest announced motive seems to go to the heart of where this is all pointing - Yuma Proving Ground. At the meeting when the annexation ordinance was adopted, Councilman Al Krieger stated that he viewed this (annexation) as the "gateway to YPG." In an article (January 2nd, 2007) the mayor stated that this annexation will allow the possible future annexation of certain parts of YPG that could then "use city utilities." Mr. Mayor says that this latest revelation is not new, and that he has presented it as a reason from the very beginning. Where or to whom the mayor presented it remains a mystery. The only public acknowledgment of providing utilities to YPG is in the above referenced article and the dog and pony show by the city administrator at the worksession and council meeting of January 16th and 17th.

This gets to a comment by one of the invited attendees at the January 16th meeting. He charged the mayor and council of speaking in broad general terms and suggested that they be more specific because the "devil is in the details." If the mayor believes that it is to the city of Yuma's advantage to provide utilities to YPG, then by all means, please provide those devilish details. What utilities? The utilities provided by the city of Yuma are water, sewer and trash collection, all of which are services that YPG has had in place for years. Are you suggesting, Mr. Mayor, that we run water and sewer lines 35 miles to YPG, or do we take over their existing facilities? Or, as some have suggested, are you attempting to extend the city's corporate limits, and thereby the franchise area for your old company APS, in order for them to provide power to YPG?

Again, Mr. Mayor, what utilities?

Please enlighten us with those devilish details. And please, provide where this information has been made public from the "very beginning." It would seem that all of the rhetoric about preserving open space in the Gila Mountain range is nothing more than a smoke screen and that the real focus is indeed YPG.

Please, Mr. Mayor, tell us.

Line

NEWS FLASH

After repeatedly requesting that the mayor and council disclose the identity of the real and personal property owners in the annexation area that the city considers sufficient to qualify the annexation, at long last, three names have been provided, specifically:

Level 3 Communications
Qwest
Union Pacific Railroad

Level 3 Communications has since requested to withdraw from the annexation. However (here's the news flash), the good folks at city hall failed to disclose that transmission lines of the mayor's former employer, APS, run square through the middle of the proposed annexation area.

In light of the mayor's old company now appearing on the scene, even by not allowing Level 3 to withdraw, the city has not complied with the annexation law requirement of obtaining signatures of "more" than one-half of the real and personal property owners.

RESCIND OR REFER TO A VOTE?

Some members of the council are laboring under the fallacious notion that if the people wanted the ordinance to be rescinded then they should have taken out papers for rescission, not a referendum for a vote. For the council to say that it is now out of their hands and that it must go to a vote is disingenuous at best. The only option available to the people is the referendum, which by definition is, "the principle or practice of submitting to popular vote a measure passed on or proposed by a legislative body." While the voter's choice is singular, the charter, Article V, Section 1 (c), extends to the council the OPTION to "either" repeal the ordinance within 50 days or place the matter before the voters in an election.

In as much as neither the council nor the voters can approve an issue that is not in compliance with the statutes, the only appropriate action is for the "COUNCIL TO RESCIND."

To be clear, to date the mayor and council have been culpable of misfeasance, failure to act now and rescind the annexation ordinance will add nonfeasance to the list.

COUNCIL SHOULD SUBMIT TO BRAIN SCAN

Perhaps the only way the good folks of Yuma will ever know the real reason behind the council's dogged insistence on pushing for an unwanted annexation would be to turn to cutting edge technology and have each of them submit to a BRAIN SCAN.

Cyber Mayor