Oct. 13, 2011
Contact: Daniel Scarpinato (520) 668-7518
Arizona Republic endorses Wes Gullett for Mayor
Second major newspaper endorsement this week for reformer
PHOENIX – Calling him the best candidate to make major changes at City Hall, the Arizona Republic endorsed Wes Gullett for Mayor of Phoenix this morning – the latest sign of a surging candidacy.
“Major changes are needed at City Hall, and the candidate more likely to tackle that challenge is Wes Gullett,” the Republic wrote.
This is the second endorsement from a major Phoenix newspaper this week for Gullett. On Wednesday, Gullett was endorsed by the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Both newspapers cited Gullett’s plans to shake-up City Hall, challenge the status quo and reform employee pensions and compensation to make them more sustainable and protect taxpayers.
On pension reform, the Republic writes:
“Gullett recognized from the beginning the need to reform the city's unsustainable pension system, something Stanton was slow to accept. While Stanton takes a cautious, go-slow approach, Gullett presses for making the transition to a 401(k)-style plan. His leadership is more likely to bring the changes necessary to give employees a good retirement plan without overburdening taxpayers.”
On compensation reform, the Republic found:
“The city's other benefit programs also need a close look. According to the 2011-12 operating budget, the average employee receives fringe benefits equal to 51 percent of base salary. Private employers aren't that generous. A tax-supported enterprise shouldn't be, either. Stanton has received substantial support from government-employee unions. He can say that won't keep him from tackling this challenge, but Gullett is more likely to provide firm leadership in restoring the right balance to pay packages.
On creating jobs:
“The biggest issue in this election is jobs, and both candidates have detailed plans for spurring the economy. Both want to reduce City Hall red tape so small businesses can open more quickly. But the truth, acknowledged only by Gullett, is that city government can only do so much to influence the economy. Gullett's plan puts more emphasis on leveraging city investments to support business or simply getting government out of the way.”
“I’m honored to have the support of Phoenix’s largest newspaper,” Gullett said. “We cannot afford to stay on the same course we’ve been on. We need to act now and challenge the status quo to fix our pension system, repeal the food tax, stop water rate increases and get Phoenix working again.”
To read the full endorsement, go here: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/10/13/20111013thur1-13-wes-gullett-for-mayor.html
Paid for by Wes Gullett for Phoenix