Stanton gets coveted Talton endorsement

25 Apr 2011 06:27 pm
Posted by: Donna

Well, I covet it anyway. Jon Talton, a fourth generation Phoenician and frequent essayist on this city and Arizona, though he now resides in Seattle, weighed in on the Mayoral race today. He likes all the candidates but says Greg Stanton is his pick:

Greg Stanton is another candidate who risks being underestimated. Too polished. Too smooth. Too Mister Perfect looks. More than a touch of ambition. Very unlike Mayor Phil Gordon but still another lawyer. But beneath this and the councilman-like talk about “neighborhoods” and “safety,” Stanton has an incisive intellect and a sharp understanding that, as he puts it, Phoenix is “a city at a crossroads.” More than his rivals, he understands the need to make the transition into quality growth and sustainability. After representing the mostly Republican district (he’s a Democrat) that includes Ahwatukee, North Central, Arcadia and Biltmore for nine years on City Council, he went to work as a deputy attorney general for Terry Goddard. Stanton was on the right side in voting against zoning east Camelback for more skyscrapers and in opposing the disastrous sprawl monster, CityNorth. Stanton would be the best choice.

Talton is known for being crotchety and obstreperous but his credentials are solid. He’s an economist who had a column for the Republic for several years in addition to writing the critically acclaimed David Mapstone mystery series, set in Phoenix. No one can touch him as a scholar of Phoenix. And the love and care he has for his birthplace are evident in his writings on the city. So what I’m saying is that this endorsement is a big deal.

Talton ends his piece with a point that bears consideration:

This would have been the time to put a referendum before the voters for a strong mayor form of government, as well as expanding the Council with at-large members and somehow addressing the problem that the city’s heart is represented by a couple of councilmen, instead of the Council as a whole. That could have been Gordon’s legacy. A strong mayor system is not a cure-all. But Phoenix is the largest city in the nation with a council-manager form of government. It doesn’t work for a city so large and so at risk.

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