America the Messy Yard Police State

More messy yard cops to micro-manage our lives!!!!


November 28, 2007 - 4:39PM

Hallman says Tempe fixing neighborhood problems

Garin Groff, Tribune

Mayors don’t typically pause during a state-of-the-city address to ask an audience of hundreds to take a second look at a giant projected image of a junk-filled alley.

But Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman did on Wednesday.

And that was after flashing pictures of trashed houses.

All this was in a presentation built around the theme that Tempe is “the great Arizona city.”

The unconventional visual aids in an otherwise upbeat event were part of Hallman’s assertion that Tempe is finally tackling a number of problems that have been discussed for years but barely addressed.

Tempe is rehabbing junky alleys. It’s hired 10 staffers to enforce housing codes and three employees to crack down on commercial properties that aren’t maintained. And neighborhoods that have been undermined by rundown rental houses for students should get relief with 6,000 new dorm rooms at Arizona State University.

“This may have the most profound impact on making Tempe sustainable,” Hallman said.

The mayor made sustainability a key point in his fourth annual state of the city address, where he said the city is focused on bolstering its economy, environment and culture.

The “greatest” title, he said, is the result of Tempe attracting quality development and jobs while preserving history and encouraging neighborhood improvements.

He touted environmental issue, too. The new downtown condo towers take a fraction of the land needed to house as many people in single-family homes, which Hallman said is better for the environment and allows more people to use transit systems.

Some Tempeans have criticized the city for focusing too much on downtown redevelopment at the expense of neighborhoods.

But Hallman argued the city is indeed focused on improving neighborhoods. He pointed to $39 million that will go to rebuild all neighborhood parks in the next five years, 53 new police employees and a greater emphasis on neighborhood safety.

And while Hallman didn’t specifically mention Tempe has long had the Valley’s highest crime rate, he boasted that a larger and reorganized police department has cut violent crime 17.5 percent this year. Overall crime is down 8 percent.

The mayor acknowledged Tempe faces serious challenges despite its progress, and that the city will soon assemble a budget committee to explore cost cutting and new revenue.

About 450 people attended the morning event at The Buttes.


America the Messy Yard Police State