City Hall

Rogue Columnist on How Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon Contributed to "Phoenix's Collapse"

Jon Talton, author of Rogue Columnist, reminisces in his latest blog post that, once upon a time, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon "got it." But no more.

Talton writes that if "any historian cares to write about Phoenix's collapse...the mayoralty of Phil Gordon will be an essential chapter."

Here's a snippet:

"And here Gordon's terms will also be judged. The biosciences campus was never pushed to its potential, a la the Texas Medical Center in Houston. It has moved at five-miles-per-hour as competing cities have raced ahead. Light rail failed to attract much private-sector investment, especially housing. In the economic sphere, Gordon touted condo towers and hotels that were never built. But he failed to look far beyond the real-estate speculation model that drives the metro area. Central Phoenix was losing jobs even before the great crash and city hall did nothing to address this. No bold move such as withdrawing from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council -- for the suburbs are competition dependent on destroying the city -- and, say, going after Southern California businesses. Biomedical manufacturing was only one sector that could have been plucked. "The Opportunity Corridor" was thrown out in a speech -- to revive the east Van Buren to downtown area -- but no follow-up came. Gordon never pushed new measures to make the core the cheapest and easiest place to set up business, much less did he go after the land bankers with taxes."

Read the entire column.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo