Although the writer promises clarity on the city’s debt issue he has once again muddied the waters as he did in the candidate forum presented by the League of Women Voters on 7/25.
At that time he stated that the total debt, including the pension liability debt which was forced on Arizona cities by the state, was $100 million. Now he says $75 million. You can fact check what he said by looking at the recording of the forum.
His comment in this letter that “…you can spin them anyway you want, it’s still a whopper of a number for a small town” is false and misleading. He neglected to mention that about $26 million of the Enterprise Fund Debt is the water utility, which is operated like a separate company with over 25,000 users paying the cost since water is provided to the residents of the Verde Villages as well as Cottonwood residents.
And his mortgage analogy is off the mark except to say most of us do not have a problem using debt to buy a home and I imagine many of us have mortgage debt of $50,000 or more, which doesn’t freak us out.
Why should a much-smaller-per-capita city debt used for infrastructure like roads and quality-of-life projects like the rec center and library cause such outrage?
Having said this, I think it is reasonable to have a discussion about the pension liability that the state forced on us but we can do this without demonizing the city and exaggerating the numbers.