Glendale staffers hold info sessions ahead of vote on temporary sales tax

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

GLENDALE, Ariz.  -- The setting was a Glendale elementary school for some after-hours education. The topic was Prop 457, the city's recent sales tax increase, up for repeal Nov. 6. Staffers had a two-word warning for voters - think cuts.

The city says some 250 people in several departments could be let go. Fire and police would have slower response, and outdoor festivals would be canceled. To get the word out, the city is hosting information sessions, and officers are even going door to door to explain what could be at stake. But there are critics, like Peggy Jones.

"There is so much money tied up in professional sports!" she said.

She is one of many who are hesitant to give Glendale any more money, feeling that the city is spending too much of their taxpayer dollars to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in town, when the priority should be public safety.

"We're the people who live here. A lot of those people don't care about professional sports but we do care about our children, our firemen, our policemen," Jones said.

But the City insists there's no way to fully fund both without more money.

Spencer Hazzard, a 15-year resident of Glendale, agrees, and will vote to keep the sales tax. He says he's willing to spend 0.7 of each cent to make sure of it.

"Our City Council has made mistakes, and I think they admit it," he said. "But they're also smart enough now to come back and say we made a mistake, let's do something to correct it."

Glendale staffers plan to hold two more informational meetings before Election Day.