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Buckeye to Become a City

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Voters in the town of Buckeye decided to take on the title of being a "city."

About 60 percent of the voters were in favor of the change, according to the town's election results.

See also:
-Town of Buckeye Voting on Becoming a City

Town officials proposed the change with the idea that people and businesses would be more attracted to a city than a town.

There are several other towns across the Valley that are eligible for the designation as a city -- which only requires a population of 3,000 -- including Paradise Valley, Apache Junction, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Guadalupe, and Youngtown.

(Coincidentally, the municipality of Colorado City, the former home of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, is a town, not a city, and the retirement community of Sun City is neither a town nor a city -- it's defined as a "census-designated place.")

State law gives a few additional powers to municipalities that own the "city" label, but not much.

Buckeye officials sold it as little more than a name change:

Changing the status from a town to a city will not change the governing function of Buckeye, council, code, services, or taxes. As municipalities grow they may wish to be a city in order to attract growth.

You can read the statement from the soon-to-be-city on the next page.

Buckeye Voters Agree, It's a City Now, No Longer a 'Town'

Just over 60 percent of voters agreed Tuesday that Buckeye should now be known as a "city" rather than a "town."

According to unofficial early election results, 2,608 voters accepted the recommendation by Buckeye officials that by changing its designation, Buckeye would have a better chance in its economic development efforts and creating new jobs for its residents.

Some 1,739 electors didn't agree with that recommendation. However, Mayor Jackie Meck, a native who has called Buckeye home for more than seven decades, was a proponent of the measure and was pleased with the election results.

"This is great news for Buckeye and its residents," Meck said Tuesday night. "This name change will provide an opportunity to further promote Buckeye as a location for business and industry.

"Our goal is to provide new jobs so that our residents can work here and enjoy this quality of life with their families and friends."

Vice Mayor Brian McAchran agreed.

"I want to thank our residents for this vote of confidence," McAchran said. "Being known as a city will enhance our economic development efforts and will assist us as our community grows."

The change to the City of Buckeye, named one of the fastest growing suburbs a few years ago by Forbes Magazine and has been recognized as the ninth-fastest growing community in the nation, can help raise the profile of the community, supporters of the move believe.

"We feel that being a city can be a better way to attract business and industry," said Stephen Cleveland, Buckeye's city manager.

"The primary goal is to create jobs for our residents. We recognize the heritage developed over the years in Buckeye, and we realize how important it is to maintain that 'small-town feel' while Buckeye is growing."

When the final election results are finalized, the city council will consider a resolution at its Nov. 19 meeting to officially change the name to "city."

While it was immediately unclear when the actual change will become official, indications are that it will come slowly and probably take on an official designation as of Jan. 1 of next year, city officials said.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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