The Arizona State Legislature failed. So it’s left to cities to take the lead. Why not Tempe?
To what am I referring? The state legislature’s refusal to act on substantive reforms to state financial disclosure laws in the face of the Fiesta Bowl scandal.
Politicians’ refusal to act calls further attention to the numerous legislators that received free tickets and makes good people wonder why the problem cannot be addressed quickly and decisively.
Rays of sunlight can be a helpful disinfectant instead of the alluring darkness of cover-up.
Yet the state legislature and many other elected leaders will not stand up to ensure these mistakes will not be repeated again. Earlier this year County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and I announced a series of reform measures which will reduce the opportunity for corruption, and provide much need transparency for elected officials at the local level, starting in Tempe. Tempe has been a policy leader in the past on many issues. I would like it to be once again on this subject.
We are calling, for example, to have elected officials disclose all gifts worth more than $15 and ban all gifts valued at more than $50. We should require immediate reporting on the City’s website and enact strong penalties for knowingly violating the rules. Elected officials are stewards of an office and the people have the right to know what benefits may come with it. Service is about the people’s business not a means to be a prince of perks.
Democracy needs checks and balances. Voters deserve to know what perks officials are receiving. The solution seems obvious .
I have a business to run, but I decided I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for someone else to do the right thing. I am running to reform. Learning from the lessons of the Fiesta Bowl and instituting helpful change is one of my highest priorities. If our state legislature won’t show the way on more transparent, ethical government we can.
Michael Monti, owner of Tempe’s historic Monti’s La Casa Vieja, co-founded Local First, Arizona. He is also active in the Tempe Diablos Charities, and is the youngest inductee in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame.
To make a campaign donation on line click here or mail a check to
P.O. Box 24476, Tempe, AZ 85285