Op Ed: Is This Bond Measure ‘Smoke’ For A Consent Decree?

I just received my ballot for the November 7th election here in Phoenix and the city has two bond issues up for approval. One is for 214 million dollars to “Enhance Community Safety through Fire, Police, Roadway and Pedestrian Infrastructure” and the second is for 108 million dollars to “Improve Quality of Life in Phoenix Neighborhoods.”

I couldn’t help but see the irony in these much needed initiatives and the game being played by Phoenix politicians at this very moment. Of course we want safety and that includes safe neighborhoods, safe roads and safe places for pedestrians but are these bond measures nothing but smoke and mirrors to pay for a DOJ Consent Decree?

How is it not.

It’s been well documented what consent decrees cost and this very website is like a horror movie on what is about to happen if those in charge of Phoenix continue to play along with the Department of Justice.

Seattle alone is sitting at 120 million dollars just over 10 years in and a quick look at other cities give an even worse picture of what we could face here.

A consent decree is not funded by the DOJ but it is funded by us, the taxpayer. And it comes with bonuses such as increased violence, fewer cops and a city that will be damaged for multiple generations.

This is not speculation. We’ve seen what consent decrees have done to cities for 30 years and look what it’s done right here in Maricopa County.

Not only would a consent decree take away from this much needed bond measure but the city would likely have to pass additional taxes and fees to pay for an ongoing consent decree. Just 13 years ago, the city council had to hastily pass a deeply unpopular 2% food tax just to avoid laying off hundreds of police officers.

Before I vote for what I believe is an important measure to keep my city safe, I need to hear from the very politicians that have let this DOJ charade go on far too long. Until then, we have no guarantee that this bond package will help keep us safe and be nothing more than paying for the mayhem that consent decrees bring every city.

I will not vote for anything that jeopardizes the safety of Phoenix.

The Phoenix Police Department has made great strides in improvement and they have shown a commitment to fair and effective policing. A new Organizational Integrity Bureau was recently stood up to lead internal reform and the City’s Office of Accountability and Transparency was created in 2021 and remains fully operational.

Any city leader that believes the federal government, with oversight from the DOJ, is needed in Phoenix is either a complete moron or they simply have not been paying attention.

Well, we the citizens are paying attention and before I vote for ballot measures that I truly think will help our great city, I need assurance that our own leaders have that same goal in mind.

 – A Concerned Citizen

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