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              NEWS

Public Information Office

 

For Immediate Release:

 

Friday, April 27, 2007

 

Goodyear City Clerk Rejects Union-backed Referendum Petitions

Sonoran Valley Annexation Now in Effect

 

(GOODYEAR, AZ) It’s official.  The City of Goodyear’s land mass is approximately 50 percent larger based upon Goodyear City Clerk Dee Cockrum’s announcement today that the 40 pages of petitions calling for a referendum to stop Goodyear’s annexation of 67 square miles in the Sonoran Valley have been rejected.  Because the petitions filed with the City Clerk’s Office on April 24 have been deemed invalid by the City Clerk after legal review, the annexation ordinance went into effect Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 12:01 a.m.

 

The petitions, which were backed by Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #359, were reviewed by Goodyear’s Legal Department for compliance with state statute and found not to adhere to State law. State statute requires that a copy of the ordinance being referred be attached to every petition while the signatures are being gathered and must remain attached when turned into the City Clerk’s Office. The ordinance was not attached.  The law also requires a description of the exact title and text of the measure being challenged to be included in the content of the petition, and it was not.

 

“Omission of the ordinance and the description of the measure were material errors that invalidated all the signed petitions,” states City Attorney Roric Massey.  He added that members of the Sheet Metal Union were given a binder full of instructions by the City Clerk on how to make their petitions meet the letter of the law when they filed an application for a referendum petition at the City Clerk’s Office on April 18, 2007.

 

Per a development agreement with Sonoran Valley developer Montage Holdings, the developer, not the City of Goodyear, is contractually obligated to pay for police coverage and fire staff and equipment and all expenses for a period of years until revenues are adequate to cover the expenses.

 

As a result of the annexation going into effect on April 26, the Mobile area included in the annexation is already receiving a much higher level of service than they had before when there was no organized fire department serving the area. Montage Holdings, the developer that applied for the annexation for its future Amaranth master planned community, is paying Goodyear for one fulltime firefighter/EMT and one fulltime firefighter/paramedic who are now on duty 24/7 in the area. Goodyear is also currently contracting with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to pay for law enforcement protection for the area – a cost that is also being completely borne by the developer.

 

A copy of the Sonoran Valley development agreement can be found on the City’s website.  The agreement outlines a timeline and all the services and infrastructure the developer is required to pay for until future revenues generated by the annexed area are great enough to cover expenses.

                                                 

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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749