Mayor Gordon during State of City speech: Phoenix not doing great

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX – “I wish I could use the word ‘great’ to describe the state of our city,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says. “That simply isn't true.”

Mayor Gordon delivered his seventh State of the City speech again at a time of economic uncertainty, recession and a budget shortfall of $275 million, which is 25 percent of the Phoenix City Budget.

He says, “We've had to implement an emergency food tax. We've had to eliminate nearly 1,600 jobs in the past six months.”

The mayor admits there is no good way to spin that but appreciates the way residents and city employees including police and firefighters have sacrificed for the good of the whole. He says, “Their love of this city shone through in the past few weeks.” First responders are agreeing to an unprecedented 3.2 percent pay cut.

The mayor thanked first responders for keeping us safe, pointing out a 20 percent drop in violent crimes and property crimes. He says, “Think about that as our population grew. As the economy stumbled, our neighborhoods got safer.”

The mayor also says the light rail exceeded all expectations by more than 34 percent and, despite the economy, he says the city is getting ready to expand with permitting and planning. Gordon explains, “We’re extending metro north along 19th Ave. south on Central and west seven miles along I-10 so when the economy is ready we are shovel ready.”

Despite the challenges the mayor says, “In a year that has been anything but great, I feel fortunate to reassure you the state of the city remains strong.”