Deconstructing the Phoenix Mountain Preserve

More than a decade ago the creators of the mountain preserves nailed down their boundaries. Now a new generation of city staffers isn't sure they exist.

DeMenna also lobbies for the City of Phoenix, and to his credit, he is a bright and vocal advocate of smart money management, pushing his fellow board members to try to maximize department revenues and do more market and technological research before making their decisions.

Money talks, we all know, and sometimes talks too much. But it chooses who it will talk to and whose pockets it jumps into.

But the boundary decisions, and ultimately the decision of what we want to sock away into preserves and what we want to have control over rests with the City Council. Three council members contacted by New Times claimed not to know too much about the boundary disputes yet. The mayor's office shifted calls to the city manager's office.

At last Thursday night's Parks Board meeting, Assistant Parks Director Dale Larsen addressed the board on whether it should hire a consultant to advise it on the telecommunications industry.

He related the history of the towers on South Mountain, and then reminded the board and the other staffers that South Mountain was part of the Mountain Preserves by order of a City Council resolution in 1988 and was therefore restricted by Chapter 26. Director Jim Colley waited politely until Larsen had finished. Then he quietly reiterated that the 1988 resolution had no legal bearing and that South Mountain was still not preserves.

Penny Howe bristled.
"I think it's pretty dangerous to say that South Mountain is not preserve when we're talking about these matters," she sputtered.

"That's a legal issue," Colley shot back.
Chairperson Ramonia Thomas stepped in and tabled the discussion.

Contact Michael Kiefer at his online address: mkiefer@newtimes.com

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