Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton makes his monthly appearance to talk about the latest issues important to the state’s largest city, including an upgrade to Terminal 3 at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport.

GREG STANTON: GOOD EVENING.

TED SIMONS: YOU FILED PAPERS TO RUN FOR SECRETARY OF STATE. WHY?

GREG STANTON: I LOVE PUBLIC SERVICE AND I LOVE THE SERVICE I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO AT CITY COUNCIL AND NOW MAYOR IN MY SECOND TERM AND AS MUCH AS I WOULD LOVE TO CONTINUE SERVING AS MAYOR, ITS AN AWESOME JOB IN PUBLIC SERVICE I AM TERM LIMITED AT TWO TERMS. IVE LOOKED AT OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES THE STATE LEGISLATURE PASSED A LAW SAYING IF YOU HAVE ANY REMAINING RESOURCES IN YOUR POLITICAL ACCOUNT YOU HAVE TO TRANSFER TO A STATE ACCOUNT BY X-DATE OTHERWISE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO. IT WILL BE BANNED. IF I WANTED TO HAVE THE OPTION OF CONTINUING PUBLIC SERVICE BEYOND MAYOR I HAD TO TRANSFER THE OPTION AND FILE FOR A PARTICULAR OFFICE AND THAT IS WHAT WE DID TODAY.

TED SIMONSWHY SECRETARY OF STATE?

GREG STANTON: IT IS A GREAT LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY. OBVIOUSLY THE ABILITY TO OVERSEE CITY ELECTIONS AND DO ALL YOU CAN TO ADVOCATE FOR EXPANDING THE VOTER BASE, PROVIDING AS MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS GREAT DEMOCRACY OF OURS, I THINK IT IS A UNIQUE LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY. I DON'T WANT TO GO TOO FAR IN BECAUSE THERE WILL BE PLENTTY OF TIME TO HAVE A DEBATE ABOUT THE IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD OVER AND PROPOSE POLICY CHANGES BUT I AM FOCUSED ON THIS ELECTION CYCLE. BECAUSE AS YOU MENTIONED IN THE OPENING, WE HAVE AN INCREDILBY IMPORTANT ELECTION CYCLE GOING ON RIGHT NOW, THE ONLY REASON I FILLED NOW, IT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN MY PREFERRED CHOICE, I DID IT BECAUSE OTHERWISE I WOULD HAVE BEEN LEGALLY PRECLUDING FROM TRANSFERRING RESOURCES TO AN ACCOUNT. WE WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO have A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF TIME IT TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES AND HEALTH OF THE STATE BUT THAT WILL BE ANOTHER TIME.

TED SIMONS: THE CURRENT SECRETARY OF STATE FILED RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION. IS SHE NOT DOING A GOOD JOB? COULD SOME THINGS CHANGE? COULD SOME THINGS IMPROVE?

GREG STANTON: I WOULD SAY THIS. WE WILL HAVE A HEALTHY DEBATE ABOUT THE ISSUES OUT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICE BEGINNING EARLY OF NEXT YEAR. THE TIMING OF MY FILING WAS BASED UPON THE NEED TO TRANSFER MONEY OTHERWISE I WOULD HAVE BEEN PRECLUDED FROM DOING SO. THE LEGISLATURE CHANGED THAT LAW ON THE LAST DAY OF THE LEGISLATION SESSION. YOU WILL HAVE TO ASK THEM WHY THEY DID IT. THAT BEING SAID, I WILL COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW, MAKE THE TRANSFER NOW AND THE TIME FOR THE DEBATE ABOUT THE ISSUES, ABOUT WHAT LEADERSHIP I THINK I WILL PROVIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE THAT WILL BE FOR A FUTURE TIME.

TED SIMONS: BUT YOU MUST THINK YOU CAN BE AN IMPROVEMENT OR YOU WOULD NOT RUN; CORRECT?

GREG STANTON: I LOVE PUBLIC SERVICE AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO PROVIDE FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX, BUILD A MORE EXPORT BASED ECONOMY, BUILDING A FUTURE BASED ON TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS, BEING THE FIRST BIG CITY TO ELIMINATE CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS FOR VETERANS, GETTING A PERFECT SCORE ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN AND HELPING TO RUN ELECTIONS AND ALL OF THOSE LEADERSHIP POSITIONS I WILL BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO UTILIZE FOR SECRETARY OF STATE. WE WILL HAVE TIME FOR A HEALTHY DEBATE FOR THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT POSITION FOR THE STATE OF ARIZONA BUT THAT WILL BE FOR ANOTHER TIME.

TED SIMONS: I WILL TAKE THAT AS A YES. ONE LAST THING ON THERE. SOME FOLKS ARE GOING TO BE CONCERNED OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE TERMED OUT THAT YOU MIGHT LOSE FOCUS AND ENERGY IN WHAT YOUR JOB IS RIGHT NOW. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

GREG STANTON: NORMALLY I GET THE ARGUMENT I HAVE TOO MUCH ENERGY AND TOO HYPED UP TO SERVE AS MAYOR. I AM SO BLESSED AND LUCKY TO SERVE IN THIS POSITION. I AM GOING TO CONTINUE TO SERVE UNTIL I POSSIBLY CAN IN MY POSITION AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PHOENIX. IT IS AN AWESOME LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY. IT IS AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. I LOVE PUBLIC SERVICE AND I THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE AMAZED THAT THERE WILL BE NO LOSS OF ANY FOCUS. JUST THE OPPOSITE. AN INCREASED FOCUS ON SERVING THE PEOPLE OF OUR GREAT CITY.

TED SIMONS: THAT HEALTHY DEBATE YOU REFERRED TO ISN'T GOING TO DISTRACT YOU?

GREG STANTON: NOT AT ALL. I HAVE A GREAT TEAM, GREAT PROFESSIONAL STAFF AND I WANT TO EMPHASIZE PART OF BEING A STRONG LEADER IS TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A STRONG STAFF WHO ALSO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF THIS CITY. I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO HAVE STRONG, PROFESSIONAL STAFF ALONG WITH ME AND WE DO A GREAT JOB AND I LOVE THE SERVICE THAT IM ABLE TO PROVIDE TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF PHOENIX.

TED SIMONS: LET'S GO TO SKY HARBOR. $950 MILLION EXPANSION. THAT THING IS ALWAYS BEING EXPANDED. WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?

GREG STANTON: THE NUMBER ONE INDICATOR OF THE ECONOMY, NOT PHOENIX AND MARICOPA COUNTY, BUT THE STATE OF ARIZONA AND THAT IS WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE ARE FLYING IN AND OUT OF SKY HARBOR. WE HAVE BEEN LUCKY THE LAST 3 YEARS ENOUGH TO HAVE RECORD FLIGHTS EACH OF THE YEARS AND HE WILL NOT STOP. YOU HAVE TO KEEP INVESTING IN THAT IMPORTANT ASSET. THE NUMBER ONE ECONOMIC ENGINE FOR THE STATE OF ARIZONA IS THAT AIRPORT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE TO INVEST. THAT IS WHAT WE ARE DOING MAKING MASSIVE IMPROVEMENTS AS WE SPEAK AT TERMINAL THREE. FOR TERMINAL FOUR WE ARE ADDING SOME GATES. WE WILL ADD GATES TO THE LEVEL THAT AIRLINES THAT FLY INTO SKY HARBOR CAN BRING BIGGER AIRPLANES SO WE KEEP UP WITH THE TIME. WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO INNOVATE. AND WE WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR FOLKS TO GET TO THE RENTAL CAR FACILITY. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE VISITING HERE ON BUSINESS VISITING OUR HOTELS AND RESORTS AND DOING BUSINESS HERE IN THE CITY HELP ADVANCE OUR ECONOMY SO THE RENTAL CAR BUSINESS IS IMPORTANT TO SKY HARPER AND THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND WE WANT THE EXPERIENCE TO BE AS CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY AS POSSIBLE.

TED SIMONS: SO WE WILL EXPANDED GATES, EXPANDED SIDE TRAINS GOING TO TO THE RENTAL CAR CENTERS. HOW IS THIS BEING PAID FOR?

GREG STANTON: IT IS NOT BEING PAID FOR BY THE GENERAL FUND OF THE CITY SO IT DOESN'T COMPETE WITH THE MONEY OTHERWISE USED FOR POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS. THE AIRPORT IS RUN ON AN ENTERPRISE FUND MEANING ALL OF THE MONEY GENERATED FROM THE AIRPORT GOES BACK INTO THE AIRPORT. ALL OF THE MONEY FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS IS PAID BY RESOURCES GENERATED FROM THE AIRPORT ITSELF, NOT OUTSIDE THE AIRPORT

TED SIMONS: THERE WILL BE BONDS WILL THERE NOT?

GREG STANTON: THERE WILL BE BONDS BUT THE REVENUE IS GENERATED FROM THE AIRPORT ITSELF THROUGH PASSENGER FACILITY CHARGES, THROUGH REVENUES GENERATED BY THE AIRPORT. IT WILL NOT COME OUT OF THE CITY'S GENERAL FUND WHICH IS THE SOURCE WE PLAY FOR POLICE, FIRE, PARKS, LIBRARIES. FORTUNATELY THE AIRPORT IS SET-UP AS A SEPARATE INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISE FUND.

TED SIMONS: I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE RENTER CAR. YOU HEAR FOLKS STANDING IN LOON TOO LONG. WHY DON'T YOU MOVE THE RENTAL CAR CENTER CLOSER TO WHERE THE SKY TRAIN IS?

TED SIMONS: THAT LAND IS ACCOUNTED FOR FUTURE AIRPORT EXPANSION. THE BEST LONG-TERM INVESTMENT AND WE INVESTED IN THE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF RESOURCES AND THE CAR RENTAL FACILITY. THE CAR RENTAL FACILITY OVERALL WORKS WELL. IT IS A GOOD INVESTMENT AND THE CAR RENTAL COMPANIES ARE SO HAPPY WITH THAT INVESTMENT. IT HAS BEEN POPLAR THAT SOMETIMES THERE IS A WAIT TO GET ON A BUS TO GO THE RENTAL THE FACILITY AND WE WANT THAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TO BE AS FRIENDLY AS POSSIBLE. THIS IS THE FRIENDLIEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD AND WE DON'T JUST SAY THAT BUT WE MAKE INVESTMENTS CONSISTENT WITH THAT TAG LINE. WE ARE MAKING IT EASIER FOR CUSTOMERS COMING TO THE AIRPORT TO GET TO THE CAR RENTAL POSSIBLE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

TED SIMONS: THESE PROJECTS BEGIN?

GREG STANTON: THERE IS A $60 MILLION TERMINAL PROJECT THREE GOING ON RIGHT NOW. YOU WILL SEE IMPROVEMENTS AND MODERNIZATION OF TERMINAL THREE. IT WILL BE MORE POPLAR FOR CUSTOMERS TO UTILIZE. THE DECISION WE JUST MADE ON THE SKY TRAIN STARTS NEXT YEAR.

TED SIMONS: COMPLETED WHEN?

GREG STANTON: IT WILL TAKE A COUPLE YEARS TO GET FULL COMPLETION. IT IS GOING TO PUT A THOUSAND PEOPLE TO WORK DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE. THOSE ARE VERY IMPORTANT CONSTRUCTION JOBS TO THIS LOCAL ECONOMY.

TED SIMONS: ARE THOSE PEOPLE BEING PUT TO WORK -- ARE WE GOING TO BE LIKE ALL SORTS OF DELAYS BY CONSTRUCTION HERE AND THERE? YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

GREG STANTON: NO, WE JUST COMPLETED $150 MILLION OF PHASE ONE IMPROVEMENTS OF TERMINAL THREE AND THE PASSENGER PUBLIC BARELY FELT IT. THE WAY WE PHASE THESE PROJECTS IS DONE IN A WAY TO MAKE SURE IT HAS THE LEAST AMOUNT OF IMPACT ON THE TRAVELING PUBLIC. I AM IMPRESSED BY THE SKY HARBOR TEAM. THEY ARE PROFESSIONALS.

TED SIMONS: LAST QUESTION. YEAR TO YEAR PASSENGER TRAFFIC HAS BEEN DOWN I KNOW AND AMERICA IS ADIOS. ARE YOU CONFIDANT THEY WILL KEEP SKY HARBOR AS A HUB?

GREG STANTON: THE LAST COUPLE MONTHS HAVE BEEN A TINY DIP DOWN BUT YEAR TO YEAR WE ARE DOING GREAT. SKY HARBOR TRAFFIC OVERALL HAS BEEN UP. AND AMERICAN, THOUGH THEIR CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS LEFT PHOENIX, THEY STILL KEPT THE SAME NUMBER OF OVERALL JOBS. THOSE JOBS WENT TO FORT WORTH, TEXAS BUT THEY KEPT 10,000 JOBS IN THE REGION AND WE HAVEN'T SEEN A DECREASE IN THE NUMBER OF FLIGHTS. THEY COMMITTED AS A HUB AND MADE INVESTMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH A HUB. YES, THERE ARE CHANGES INCLUDING PILOTS THAT YOU READ ABOUT ARE ABLE WITH THE MERGER GOING BACK TO AMERICA WEST PILOTS ARE ABLE TO REBID POSITIONS SO WE MAY LOSE PILOTS BASED OUT OF PHOENIX. BUT IN TERMS OF WHAT THE BUSINESS PEOPLE AND PEOPLE TRAVELING ON VACATION CARE ABOUT IS THE NUMBER OF FLIGHTS OUT OF SKY HARBOR AND WE HOLD STUDY.

TED SIMONS: AND THEY ARE PLANNING TO CONTINUE TO HOLD STEADY?

GREG STANTON: I AM THE MAYOR OF THE CITY. I DON'T RUN AMERICAN AIRLINES. WE ARE IN REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH AMERICAN AND SOUTHWEST WHICH FLY ABOUT 80% OF THE FLIGHTS IN AND OUT OF SKY HARBOR. HERE IS WHAT I KNOW THE BEST THING I CAN DO AS MAYOR IS MAKE THIS NUMBER ONE THE BUSINESS CLIMATE AS STRONG AS POSSIBLE IN PHOENIX SO THERE IS MORE DEMAND FOR FLIGHTS AND MAKE OUR AIRPORT THE FRIENDLIEST AIRPORT IN AMERICA BECAUSE IF AMERICAN DECREASES THE GATES WE WANT ANOTHER AIRLINE COMING RIGHT IN AND KEEPING THE COMPETITION GOING. I LOVE HAVING AMERICAN HAVING SO MANY FLIGHTS BUT IF THEY MAKE A CHOICE IN THE OTHER DIRECTION WE WILL FILL IT.

TED SIMONS: JERRY WILLIAM TAKES OVER AS PHOENIX POLICE CHIEF. YOUR THOUGHTS?

GREG STANTON: I COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITED. JERRY WILLIAMS IS AWESOME. A HOMEGROWN PHOENICIAN AND WENT TO ASU AND CAME UP THROUGH THE RANKS. SHE IS THE ULTIMATE STREET COP SERVING THE STREETS OF PHOENIX, SOUTH PHOENIX, MARYVILLE, AND WORKED UP THROUGH EVER POSSIBLE LEADERSHIP POSITION AT THE CITY AND WAS RECRUITED TO OXNARD, CALIFORNIA FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. WHEN OUR CHIEF POSITION OPENED HE DID A NATIONAL RECRUITMENT AND SHE ROSE TO THE TOP. YOU COULD NOT ASK FOR A BETTER LEADER FOR THE PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT AND ONE MORE COMMITTED TO POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS. JERRY WILLIAMS IS GOING TO BE A GREAT LOCAL AND NATIONAL REPUTATION AS A THOUGHTFUL POLICE LEADER SUPPORTED BY THE RANK AND FILE POLICE OFFICERS AND DIVERSE COMMUNITIES AND SUPPORTED BY THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE. THAT IS DIFFICULT TO DO BUT SHE WILL DO IT.

TED SIMONS: WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PRESSING NEEDS ARE THERE AS CHIEF?

GREG STANTON: I THINK IT IS BUILDING COMMUNITY TRUST. WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED IN THAT RESULT WITH THE PREVIOUS DOING A GREAT JOB AND SHE WILL CONTINUE. AND HIRING. WE HAVE BUDGETED FOR OVER 400 NEW POLICE OFFICER POSITIONS IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX AND HE WILL NOT LOWER OUR STANDARDS SO ANYBODY WATCHING. IF YOU ARE EVEN THINKING ABOUT WANTING TO BE A POLICE OFFICER IN THE BEST DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY, THE PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT, NOW IS THE TIME TO APPLY. WE WANT TO FILL ALL THOSE POSITIONS AND WANT THOSE POSITIONS TO REFLECT THE DIVERSITY OF THE CITY. WE WANT WOMEN OFFICERS, LATINO OFFICERS, AFRICAN-AMERICAN OFFICERS, ASIAN OFFICERS. WE WANT TO DEPARTMENT TO LOOK LIKE THE CITY WE SERVE.

TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU.

Greg Stanton, mayor, City of Phoenix

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