Phil = nothing short of pathetic: Your story on Phoenix Mayor Gordon's legacy was right on ("Phil Unveiled," Monica Alonzo, September 29). The guy had so much promise in the beginning, only to squander it by being a DiNO [Democrat in Name Only].
You may not believe it, with the likes of scumbags like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce running around, but there's a sizable chunk of progressives here (just not a voting majority), and Gordon sold us out by repeatedly playing politics (i.e., cozying up to Arpaio, before finally standing up to the evil motherfucker when it looked like the sheriff might go after him).
Also, the thing with his gold-digging girlfriend Elissa Mullany is beyond the pale. And to try to get her on the airport board — even after she had dumped him when he was of little use to her anymore (was he trying to get her back?) — was nothing short of pathetic.
Jim Arnold, Phoenix
Gordon wasn't all bad: [The story's] a selectively accurate summary of Phil Gordon's soon-to-end stint as mayor of Phoenix. But despite Gordon's corruption (which few dispute, unless he's paying them or sleeping with them), his being elected mayor was a godsend for this city — and the article doesn't mention it.
While rightly crediting him for standing up to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and for opening Arizona State University's downtown campus, reporter Monica Alonzo overlooks his most significant achievement — implementation of light-rail.
Journalists at New Times opposed light rail before and after it opened, but it has worked well and is the city's only chance of survival.
It needs to be expanded much farther, no matter the cost, because, as this car-culture collapses, various parts of this vast city — and outposts like Tempe and Scottsdale — will have to become self-contained, compact communities. To think otherwise is the logic of the ostrich.
History may remember Phil Gordon as Phoenix's savior.
Barry Graham, Phoenix
Editor's note: Actually, we've never opposed light rail. On the contrary, staff writer Ray Stern compared what was then getting built in the Valley to successful systems in other cities and told complainers: "Stop Your Railing!" (December 28, 2006). We've criticized the system in blogs because too many freeloaders are able to use it, since station design allows riders to get to trains without first buying a ticket and using it to go through a turnstile. And because it's rare for an officer to ask to see a ticket. These problems have contributed to light rail's being very expensive to operate in a down economy.
Gordon the budget buster: Phil Gordon is just another self-promoter. I'd be interested to know how much money he siphoned from campaign contributions and developer kickbacks — his hide-the-salami tactics with the opportunist girlfriend [aside].
Sorry-ass [Gordon] will be remembered for influence peddling (like the Veolia bus contract) and the biggest sham of all, light rail — which [busted] the Phoenix city budget.
Billy Gates, Phoenix
Um, so to speak: It's never good when a political "leader" thinks with his member. Mayor Phil Gordon did a lot of good things for Phoenix, as you write, but now his political career is forever stained.
Mary Jo Kelly, Phoenix
The two sides of the mayor: On one hand, the guy had the fortitude to stand up to the MCSO sheriff, and on the other, he has been one of the most manipulative and dishonest mayors a city could have.
Although I admired his stand against the MCSO, I would never vote for him again. Thank goodness for term limits.
Tommy Collins, Phoenix
Not really: Money, power, sex . . . Has it ever been about anything else?
Stephen Sedona, city unavailable
We were really wondering what Shakira would think: I think Shakira will remember Phil as both freakishly weird and as someone she would never let baby-sit or attend a quinceañeras ("Shakira Meets with Gordon," Feathered Bastard blog, April 29, 2010).
Charlie Oscar, city unavailable
So, Camelback's a bust??: The mayor will be remembered for telling Donald Trump no ("Camelback Corridor," Valley Fever blog, December 15).
Can you believe that? What a dummy! Camelback would be booming, [but] instead it's a bust
Eric Raskin, city unavailable