Political Bites: Southeast Valley Arts

What can be done to strengthen the Southeast Valley’s performing arts scene?

First, start booking quality, relevant shows in the performing arts centers.  It’s okay to step outside the family friendly box on occasion.   Second,  there is still a need for smaller venues to allow local artists to take root.  Third, get out and support the arts, you might be surprised what you find.

Background, if needed: http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2010/07/02/20100702mesa-theaters-arts.html

Political Bites: Mesa Graywater Decisions

Should cities require buildings to incorporate water-saving techniques, similar to what Tucson is doing?

Conservation of water is critical when building cities in the middle of a desert.  I am curious if Mesa residents get a credit for helping Mesa fulfill it’s gray water contract?  Do they get compensated for providing water to flush the sewer system?  Looks like Mesa is simply protecting a revenue stream to me.

Notes: Mesa this week decided to hold off on enacting rules similar to Tucson’s, which include requiring buildings to harvest rainwater and accommodate “gray water” irrigation. Background on the decision, if needed: AZ Republic Article

Political Bites: Cubs Spring Training Subsidy

What do you think of Mesa’s decision to fund the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facilities?

Apparently Mesa failed to do it’s homework.  Lake Forest College studied 30 cities over 30 years and found that 27 experienced no significant impact from new stadiums while three cities experienced a negative economic impact.  Does a company that made an estimated $58 million in PROFITS in 2008 and sold for $845 million in 2009 really need a subsidy?  Maybe Mesa should be investing in local entrepreneurs instead?


Mesa and Detroit.. The Next Movie Meccas?

Mesa city council recently approved a rezoning of 55 acres at Hawes and Germann roads for Gateway Studios.  Of course, it is convenient that Arizona has a significantly sized movie infrastructure tax credit.  If you ask me this whole thing reeks of land developers going for a quick handout.

I am all for bringing new economies into Metro Phoenix.  I am not sure that subsidization that is quite this heavy is the right approach.  It would be wonderful if this deal brought significant film production here, but I remain skeptical.  If it’s any consolation Detroit is doing a similar film incentive.  Have I mentioned before that “Incentives Kill Creativity?”  What are your thoughts?