Opinion: The Race for Mayor of Prescott

In the interest of full disclosure, we live in the county area of Prescott and are therefore unable to vote for mayor. However, since the leadership, issues and policies of the city of Prescott have an impact on the whole area, we take an interest in and donate our time, money and any influence we may have, in the candidates who run for office there.

Last week I went to a fund raising event for Phil Goode, who is running for the job of Mayor of Prescott. I met Phil a few years ago and he has always been a gentleman, friendly and engaging. Our views on veterans, crime, water and development of our area are similar. This isn’t surprising since we both consider ourselves to be Constitutional conservatives.

Phil is running against the incumbent mayor, Greg Mengarelli. Now Mr. Mengarelli is a decent Christian, family man with a good wife and lots of kids, some of whom he and his wife adopted. I’m sure he is a good neighbor, a good citizen and a patriot. The questions are: is he a good mayor? Is there someone who would be a better mayor?

While I don’t believe Mengarelli’s been a bad mayor, I have some issues with some of his policies and statements. When Arizona State Representative David Stringer spoke at the Republican Men’s Forum, Mayor Mengarelli and other Councilmembers declared Stringer’s comments as “racist” and demanded at a Prescott City Council meeting that he, Stringer, resign. While Stringer’s words were certainly not politically correct, it is not the job of city officials to call for a representative who is elected to a state office for his resignation. A proper response would have been to debate the issues Stringer addressed.

What stood out is that some local Republicans, Mayor Mengarelli among them, sounded like Democrats. In the first place, what business is it of Prescott city officials to demand the resignation of a properly elected state representative for something he said? It makes one wonder if these people are not “establishment” Republicans.

While at the Phil Goode fundraiser, several speakers, not surprisingly, told of Phil’s many good traits. He’s a Vietnam Veteran with a Bronze Star. He is a proponent of “intelligent growth” and having the water that will sustain an increased population. Phil has been accused by other city officials of being anti-growth, the speakers at this event said that isn’t the case. Those of us who have viewed the wild increase in the number of apartments, duplexes and houses packed too close together have to agree that there is nothing intelligent with the current Prescott plans for growth. Phil Goode would do a better job.

One of the speakers pointed out that the so-called “pro growth” city office holders always tell the public that we have a 100 year supply of ground water. He said that the way they justify growth is that they keep downsizing the amount of water each household will need every few years. Perhaps the above reasons are why most of the money coming from the big contractors in this state is not going to Phil Goode.

If you don’t like the additional traffic on our streets, if you don’t want to see our hills scarred with massive, multiple unit apartment complexes and if you are worried about what multiplying our current population will do to our water supply, Phil Goode is looking like a great mayoral candidate.

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