Voters approve funds for Mesa resort, Gilbert mayor out

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MESA -- Voters approved $51 million Tuesday in financial incentives for a proposed resort development in Arizona's third-largest city by a vote of 84 percent to 16 percent.

Mesa project to create 12K jobs

Proposition 300 will allow the project -- which consists of two resorts and a convention center -- to use hotel-bed taxes to promote their properties in southeast Mesa and the surrounding Phoenix-Mesa Gateway area.

The project consists of two resorts and a convention center and will use hotel-bed taxes to promote their properties in southeast Mesa and the surrounding Phoenix-Mesa Gateway area.

In September, the city announced plans to enter into an agreement with property owner DMB Associates of Scottsdale and Gaylord Entertainment Co., a Nashville-based resort business.

The proposal includes a 1,200-room hotel, 225,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and a second hotel.

The city's charter calls for voters to approve tax concessions or use of public funds for any cultural or multipurpose facility costing more than $1.5 million.

The incentives would be extended for a period of no more than 30 years.

GILBERT -- Preliminary election results in Gilbert show voters ousting their mayor Tuesday.

University of Phoenix information technology director John Lewis received 41 percent of the vote and City Councilman Donald Skousen received 20 percent. Both appear headed to a May runoff election.

Incumbent Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman finished third with nearly 17 percent.

Others running for mayor included GoDaddy customer service representative Eric Hurley, Cardinals business manager Adam Turner and former councilman Dave Petersen.

YOUNGTOWN -- Incumbent Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault and challenger Bryan Hackbarth previously faced off in 2006. Then-mayor Hackbarth was ousted from office by voters in a recall election. LeVault replaced him.

Tuesday, voters retained LeVault nearly 79 percent to 21 percent for Hackbarth.

GOODYEAR -- Incumbent Jim Cavanaugh is the clear winner Tuesday in Goodyear's mayoral election.

The retired Air Force colonel was running for a third term as Goodyear mayor. Cavanaugh said he hoped to attract more universities and manage the city's budget without slashing jobs.

Vote totals show Cavanaugh winning decisively with nearly 87 percent to nearly 13 percent for challenger Darrin Spriggle.

Spriggle, an equipment operator in Peoria, ran on a campaign to be more aggressive in retaining local businesses, attracting new employers and pursuing available grant money.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)