Opposition has already begun to Gilbert’s proposed $515M bond request in the Nov. 2 election.
Planned projects to be funded under the request include the Ocotillo Bridge, road repairs and trail crossings.
In a recent Town Council meeting Councilmember Laurin Hendrix questioned the need to include the Ocotillo Bridge under the request, since there was a recent state allotment of nearly $8M for the project. He said the bond request appeared to him to be a “slush fund” to pull in as much taxpayer money as possible for the Town to spend as it sees fit.
Current Councilmember Aimee Yentes and former Member Jared Taylor joined Hendrix in drafting an open letter urging opposition to the bond request, accusing the Town of a history of “wasteful spending,” and questioning the Town’s claim the bond measure will not raise taxes.
Town staff members, however, assert the bond will likely not be enough to pay for all the projects Gilbert wants to undertake, given the degree of cost increases currently being experienced in the construction market due to materials shortages, price increases and labor costs.
Officials supporting the request have countered the allegation of wasteful spending, noting taxpayers recently saw savings under a refinancing of debt and other measures, such as early debt payments.
Gilbert currently maintains a AAA bond rating, which allows it to enjoy low interest rates and other benefits. (Source)