The Jake Files

May 10, 2006

‘Jackson for Action’ Not What Council Needs

Thanks to Geo for pointing out this opinion on AZCentral.com from last week:

Wasn't it about 12 years ago, when Patti Bruno was first running for City Council in Chandler, that there was such an outcry from the people of our city that she not be allowed to run for, let alone be elected to, the council because she was affiliated with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce?

The uproar grew so loud that she was forced to resign her post before she joined the council. At the time, Bruno was the board president for the chamber, which I understand was a volunteer position.

The thinking at that time was that any council member even remotely connected with the chamber would have a difficult time being impartial when it came time to make any decision pitting residents against a business on matters of zoning, taxation or any other case. There could never be a bigger conflict of interest, it was argued.

Yet we now have Becky Jackson, the current well-paid president and chief executive officer of the same chamber, in our city runoff election for a seat on the very same City Council. Jackson, unlike Bruno, may be unwilling to resign her chamber position to sit on the council, unwilling to forfeit her lucrative salary for the pittance of a council member.

Why has no one mentioned the obvious conflicts that are sure to arise if Jackson is elected? (snip)

Well, I pointed that out (pats self on back…)

Can we not see in this statement the possibility of the chamber supporting tax breaks and incentives to "attract businesses" or the likelihood of the chamber being in favor of keeping business and sales taxes low to embrace and retain those businesses even at the cost of raising property taxes on the homes of all Chandler residents?

And with Becky Jackson being the well-paid leader of the chamber "mission," would she not favor those things, too? I sure don't want anyone raising my taxes to finance incentive giveaways to lure more businesses.

All in all, a pretty good summary of why Becky Jackson CANNOT be impartial as a councilmember, unless she resigns from the Chamber of Commerce. 

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