Proposition ZZZZZZ

A Phoenix voter's guide -- in the unlikely event you decide to vote

Here's the breakout:

Sixty percent of the money would be used to purchase land -- mainly from the State Land Trust -- to create a 15,000-acre preserve in north Phoenix, near the Carefree Highway west of Cave Creek Road.

Thirty percent would go to improve existing regional parks.

Joe Forkan

Ten percent would improve existing neighborhood parks and form partnerships with schools for outdoor capital improvements.

I would have liked to see more money go into improving our crumbling inner city, and critics point out that the 15,000 acres Phoenix wants to buy may not be for sale. The State Land Department still has to make that decision.

But the whole thing feels good, and Proposition 101 is expected to pass in a landslide.

• PROPOSITION 102 -- Public vote to privatize fire and police service.

This measure would require a public vote anytime the city wanted to privatize fire or police services. At first I was perplexed. Phoenix's Fire Department has a great reputation. And the Phoenix Police Department isn't exactly foundering. Why would we want to change? Then it was pointed out that this is not about a wholesale change, but instead about incremental change. What if north Phoenix needs a new firehouse and there's a Rural/Metro station across the street in Scottsdale? It would be easier and cheaper, some argue, to contract with the private company.

This measure would require a public vote on such decisions.

Similar measures are being pushed by police and fire unions around the country.

It will probably pass.

• PROPOSITION 106 -- Pay raise.

This would increase the mayor's annual salary from $37,500 to $56,000 and the council members' salaries from $34,000 to $36,000.

Compare that to San Diego, a like-sized city with much higher salaries for elected officials: almost $72,000 for the mayor and $54,000 for council members.

I predict defeat for Proposition 106, although it will be close.

That's too bad. Low pay is one of the reasons we have such abysmal city leadership, and the requested raises are really a pittance if you consider the potential payback in decent public service.

Contact Amy Silverman at 602-229-8443 or at her online address:

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