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Former mayors urge Phoenix City Council to get its act together

PHOENIX — Four former Phoenix Mayors say the current Phoenix City Council needs to get its act together.

In a letter to the Arizona Republic, Phil Gordon, Terry Goddard, Skip Rimsza and Paul Johnson wrote that they’ve seen a growing divide and heard personal attacks among current city council members that are distracting each of them from doing their jobs.

Gordon told KTAR that needs to change.

“If the trend that the media continues to report continues, we will have deadlock,” said Gordon. “Issues will be based on partisanship, as opposed to the merits based on what is needed.”

One example of the arguments came during an October council vote about pension spiking among city employees. During that debate, Councilman Sal DiCiccio accused Mayor Greg Stanton of trying to rig the vote in his favor.

Stanton told KTAR that he has not attacked anyone on the council.

“I’ve never engaged in any name calling, nor will I. That’s not my leadership style and never will be,” Stanton said.

Stanton defended the job he is doing and said he is excited about Phoenix’s future.

“Everything that I said I was going to do during the campaign is exactly what we are doing,” said Stanton.

DiCiccio said Stanton’s claim isn’t true.

“He’s had to be pushed on pension spiking, and he’s had to be pushed on the food tax vote,” said DiCiccio. “These big problems require big ideas, and there’s definitely a lack of leadership when it comes to that.”

Gordon admits that he also had his issues with council members during his time as mayor. One of those with whom he got angry was DiCiccio. But Gordon claims that the council was always able to work through their differences and get things accomplished.

Since Gordon left office, he said there has been some reconciliation between DiCiccio and himself. Both men said they recently met to talk things over.

DiCiccio said that the Gordon apologized that he got mad at him when Gordon when they served on the council together. DiCiccio said he and Gordon are planning another meet-up this week.