The Jake Files

April 27, 2006

Analysis of City Council Debate

I'm watching last night's debate and will be documenting my thoughts as I watch it (also known as liveblogging, although I don't think watching a taped replay qualifies as "live"), then followup with analysis at the end.  NOTE:  This is a VERY long post, so you might want to get a snack.  Go ahead, I'll wait. (more…)


April 26, 2006

City Council Debate Tonight

Don't forget about the City Council election debate tonight between Jeff Weninger, Trinity Donovan, and Becky Jackson:

The forum will take place 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 at the Downtown Chandler Library, 22 S. Delaware St., in the City Council Chambers, second floor. “As we've seen in recent weeks, the city's leadership has a profound impact on all of us. We hope this forum will help residents when casting that important vote in May,” said Brian Johnson, editor of the Connection. (more…)

April 19, 2006

Freeway Endorsed in Ahwatukee


 3 SE Valley mayors endorse freeway in Ahwatukee

Betty Beard
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 20, 2006 12:00 AM

The mayors of Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert on Wednesday endorsed construction of the South Mountain Freeway in Ahwatukee Foothills, an action likely to irritate freeway opponents and many residents of the isolated Phoenix community.

Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn, Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker, and Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman issued a joint statement calling the freeway "a critical part of our regional freeway system" that can cut travel times across the Valley.

"It's a key element in our regional transportation system and will alleviate a lot of traffic on our arterial streets," Dunn said in an interview. (snip)

Dunn, who said he has always supported the South Mountain portion, called it unfortunate that Phoenix allowed homes to be built in the alignment. Chandler did not allow such construction along Loop 202, he noted.

The proposed 22- to 26-mile freeway, which would run along Pecos Road and the southern end of Ahwatukee Foothills, has drawn opposition from residents there because at least 217 homes would have to be razed. Opponents also cite noise and pollution.

The Amazing Jake has two observations on this story.  (more…)

March 9, 2006

Response from Jeff Weninger

Council candidate Jeff Weninger responded yesterday to the Amazing Jake’s campaign commentary, and was a good sport about the criticism he’s received here

Just a couple of points.  I agree with most of what he said in his comments. 

I have also said that I believe the best places for big box stores is in the freeway corridors. I am just not willing to say that under NO circumstance could a big box go anywhere else.

Well, we’re in agreement that they belong near freeways.  Not so much on whether they could go somewhere else.  Chandler approved a general plan a few years back that identified appropriate locations for various zoning categories.  It’s not too much to expect that when citizens make the largest purchase of their lives knowing what the development plans are for the area they will live in, that the City honor the plan that they developed, and not allow prohibited development in inappropriate locations.  I expect the leaders of my community to take stands on such matters. (more…)

March 8, 2006

Party Affiliation in Chandler Mayoral and Council Race

The last Chandler City Council meeting before Tuesday’s election was a showcase of political sniping.

It started when Councilman Martin Sepulveda questioned Mayor Boyd Dunn’s public appearances with Republican congressmen and called for an elected officials’ “code of conduct.”

Sepulveda, who is backing Dunn challenger Phill Westbrooks, said, “It’s not my intent to browbeat,” but challenged Dunn’s Feb. 20 appearance with U.S. Sen. John McCain on the city’s cable channel and mailing, at city expense, invitations to a public session with U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake in November.

Today’s story in the Arizona Republic by Edythe Jensen highlights the tension on the current council. 

It also helps answer a question that I, and several people looking for information on this site, have been trying to find out:

Search term:  “Westbrooks what political party is he” – 7 hits

Search term:  “Boyd Dunn Chandler, AZ Republican” – 13 hits (more…)

February 9, 2006

More Eminent Domain Abuse

Filed under: Conservative,Eminent Domain,Judicial Activism — Amazing Jake @ 11:42 pm

This time in Florida:

TALLAHASSEE — Riviera Beach’s billion-dollar waterfront redevelopment project took a beating Tuesday during a meeting of a House committee that is studying ways to limit the use of eminent domain in Florida…

Riviera Beach already has been in the national spotlight since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the city of New London, Conn., could take homes along the city’s waterfront for development by a private developer.

City residents have been featured on national news programs as the next possible example of a city taking private land solely for “economic development.” …

“That’s exactly what they’re doing down there,” said Rice, who has proposed a constitutional amendment that would severely restrict eminent domain powers. “You’ve got your mayor down there in Riviera Beach on national TV admitting that they’re taking those parcels of land to increase the tax value. He said it.”

America’s founding principles are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  This is derived from John Locke’s theories, which included property rights in place of the generic “happiness.”  The Constitution sets out clear purposes for the government to exercise eminent domain:  the Fifth Amendment says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” 

This implies that the government has the power to take your property, but that there are rules that apply to such taking.  In Kelo vs New London, the Supreme Court disregarded over two hundred years of tradition, the clear reading of the Constitution, and common sense, when they said that “public use” could mean “public purpose,” that purpose being, increased tax revenues for the government.

This is tyranny.  This is akin to Robert Mugabe throwing landowners off their property in Nigeria, except without the violent deaths.

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