Mayoral candidate Matt Jette wants reform of Phoenix city manager post

Aug 19, 2015, 6:34 AM | Updated: 7:15 am




This is one in a series of profiles on the three candidates who are running for mayor of Phoenix. City election day is Aug. 25.

PHOENIX —  Voters in Phoenix will go to the polls next Tuesday to decide who will be mayor of the city.

One of the three candidates is Matt Jette, who is running as an independent. Jette is a teacher who ran for governor as a Republican in 2010 and for Congress as a Democrat in 2012.

In Jette’s opinion, Phoenix is in bad shape.

“We are the sixth-largest city in the country, but we’re 59th in per capita income, and 79th in quality of life,” Jette said.  He also said that the city ranks low in education, even though Mayor Greg Stanton promised to be an “education mayor.”

Jette is promising that if he is elected, he will visit at least one classroom a day in the hopes of inspiring young people to make something of their lives. 

Jette is a cancer survivor who, according to his website, overcame a chronic organ failure, a bone disease and two learning disabilities to receive an MPA from Harvard and his doctorate from Arizona State University.

He said Stanton was out of touch with society.

“Our current mayor doesn’t even know what the price of a gallon of milk is, or a loaf of bread,” Jette said.  “We need a mayor that actually knows what the people go through each and every day.”

Jette said that one of his goals as mayor would be to work to reform the city government. He said that the form of government that has been in place in Phoenix for several years gives too much power to the city manager.

That position is the executive branch of city government and oversees all the departments. The mayor and city council are the legislative branch.

Jette doesn’t believe that Stanton was out of touch when the city became involved in a dispute with the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year. 

The city claimed that it was not notified of the FAA’s plans to change flight paths over the city.  That change caused an uproar when it sent planes and their noise over various neighborhoods.

“The FAA, it shows in documentation, already reached out directly under the city management, which is directly under him.”

Jette said that Stanton’s failure to act quickly allowed the issue to get lost in the bureaucracy of city government.

He also said that if the city is intent on light rail expansion, it needs to do more than has been outlined in Proposition 104, which voters will also decide on Tuesday. 

That measure would spend $31 billion to expand light rail and bus service in Phoenix.  Jette said that doesn’t go far enough to do the job.

For more go to Jette’s website.

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Mayoral candidate Matt Jette wants reform of Phoenix city manager post