Because of Arizona’ $3.2 billion budget deficit the Arizona legislature eliminated state funding that previously was allocated to city transit. The City of Phoenix will not get $9 million for transit that it would have received, which will force Phoenix to reduce transit services. Unaware of the laws of economics, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said:
“It’s just unconscionable what the Legislature continues to do to us – every resident in every city and town in the state. [Lawmakers] ought to be reducing their budgets and salaries like we have.”
Mayor Phil apparently doesn’t realize that: (i) Arizona has a deficit, which means it must reduce it’s expenditures, (ii) the Arizona legislature has reduced Arizona’s budget, which is why Phoenix now gets less state money, and (iii) the legislators are paid a poverty level wage of $24,000 and have not received a pay raise since 1998. I do like the Mayor’s suggestion that officials should reduce their salaries.
Mayor Gordon’s salary for 2009 was $88,000, which is $64,000 more than the legislators make. Mayor Phil should take his own advice and cut his pay to $24,000 so their will be $64,000 more available for Phoenix transit. He should also reduce the salaries of his assistants Milton S. Phelps ($124,000), Bill Scheel ($112,994), Marchelle F. Franklin ($99,500) and the other three assistants who together earn $238,909. Consider that while Phoenix has a budget deficit of $241 million, the city pays Mayor Gordon and his five assistants $639,403. During these tough financial times, why couldn’t the Mayor get by with only one assistant?