Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fire Union Supports Mesa Library as residents march for higher taxes

Mesa residents march for higher taxes
Budget cuts put over 100 public services at risk

Justin Juozapavicius
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 19, 2006 12:00 AM

Holding signs that said, "Read Any Good Books Lately? Better Hurry," dozens of residents rallied this week against the city's reduced library hours due to budget cuts.

It was one of several, high-profile events planned during the next few weeks to promote the May property and sales tax election.

"It's going, going, gone for our libraries," said resident Mitzi Pearce, with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which helped sponsor Monday night's rally in front of the Dobson Ranch Library.

Tuesday afternoon, about 30 people, largely fire union members, rallied near Power Road and U.S. 60 in east Mesa and marched into neighborhoods encouraging residents to vote.

Lately, the campaigns for and against the taxes have been relatively muted, but Monday's rally appeared to kick off the bells-and-whistles phase, with both sides announcing or planning rallies.

On Monday, about 50 residents, including former City Manager Mike Hutchinson, Mesa Schools Superintendent Debra Duvall and Chamber of Commerce chief Charlie Deaton, attended.

Backed by the "Yes For Mesa" campaign, attendees handed bright pink fliers to citizens that explained why their library branch was closed after 6 p.m. on Monday nights.

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