MAG Anniversary

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Maricopa Association of Governments, MAG, is a council of governments that provides a regional forum for discussion, analysis, and resolution of regional issues, including transportation, air quality, economic development and human services. MAG was founded in 1967, and will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on April 12. MAG chair and Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton will discuss the anniversary of MAG along with former Glendale mayor George Renner.

TED SIMONS: THE MARICOPA ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS, OR MAG, IS A COUNCIL OF "LOCAL" GOVERNMENTS THAT WAS FOUNDED IN 1967 AND WILL CELEBRATE ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY ON APRIL 12. TODAY. HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE ORGANIATION ISMAG CHAIR AND PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON, AND "FORMER" MAG CHAIR AND FORMER GLENDALE MAYOR GEORGE RENNER. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE.
GEORGE RENNER: GREAT TO BE HERE.
TED SIMONS: GIVE ME A BETTER DEFINITION WHAT IS A MARICOPA CONVENING GOVERNMENT?

GREG STANTON: WE GET TOGETHER AND MAKE DECISIONS AS TEAMMATES. MAG ENSURES CITIES GET TOGETHER TO WORK FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE NATION.
TED SIMONS: WORK TOGETHER INSTEAD OF FIGHTING EACH OTHER.
GEORGE RENNER: THAT'S EXACTLY IT.
TED SIMONS: HOW DID THIS GET STARTED?
GEORGE RENNER: THE IMPETUS WAS TO CREATE COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT FOR FUNDING PURPOSES. WHAT GOT MAG GOING IN THE VALLEY WAS THE PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS DEVELOP TO SOLVE TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS, AIR QUALITY PROBLEMS, SOCIAL SERVICE PROBABLES WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS WORKING TOGETHER AS MAYOR STANTON SAID, IS VERY PRODUCTIVE. IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH AIR QUALITY ALONG THOSE LINES. ARE THERE OTHER ISSUES OR ARE THOSE THE BIGGIES?
GREG STANTON: I'M CHAIR. WE WORK ON TRANSPORTATION, AIR QUALITY. NOW WE WORK TOGETHER ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IT USED TO BE THE CITIES WERE RIVALS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. NOW THEY WORK TOGETHER AS TEAMMATES HERE IN THE REGION, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, PROTOCOL. WE HAVE ONE OF THE FARTHEST REACHING PROTOCOLS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEVELOPED BECAUSE POLICE CHIEFS AND OFFICIALS GOT TOGETHER AND WANTED THE BEST PRACTICE HOMELESS POLICY AS WELL. WHEN WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER AS A REGION, MAG IS THE TABLE TO GET IT DONE.
TED SIMONS: ESPECIALLY LONG RANGE POLICY.
GREG STANTON: YES. GEORGE RENNER LED IN 1995. IT PASSED AGAIN IN 2000. WE HAVE TO REPEAT THAT WORK OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS.
TED SIMONS: HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO GET THE MUNICIPALITIES TOGETHER AND HOLD HANDS AND QUIT FIGHTING EACH OTHER?
GEORGE RENNER: I HAVE TO GIVE CREDIT TO JACK THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MAG AND CITIES AND TOWNS. HE WAS ABLE TO CREATE, I THINK, THE UNDERSTANDING AMONG THE ELECTED OFFICIALS THEN. I THINK IT'S CONTINUED TODAY THAT YOU GET FAR MORE DONE WORKING TOGETHER THAN YOU DO WORKING APART. THERE WAS AN OLD PHRASE THROWN AROUND IN THE '80S THAT THE VALLEY WAS ACCUSED OF AND IN SOME CASES RIGHTFULLY ACCUSED OF THE INFIGHTING YOU ARE DESCRIBING. MOST PEOPLE RECOGNIZED THAT IS NOT A WAY TO GOVERN THE VALLEY IN A WAY THAT WILL MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE TO WORK AND LIVE FOR EVERYONE.
TED SIMONS: WHEN YOU SEE MAG NOW, IS IT WHAT YOU ENVISIONED FOR 2017 IN THE '80S? I THINK IT'S BETTER. I THINK MAG'S ENTREE INTO THE BROADER ISSUES BEYOND THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF AIR QUALITY IS CRITICAL. THOSE ARE ALSO THINGS THAT NEED TO BE SOLVED ON A REGIONAL BASIS. WHAT IS MAG'S AUTHORITY? HOW BINDING ARE THE AGREEMENTS?

GREG STANTON:: IT DEPENDS ON THE AREAFUL SOME ARE FEDERALLY REQUIRE. FOR TRANSPORTATION WE NEED A POLICY FOR NEW FREEWAYS OR TRANSPORTATION POLICY SO WE HAVE TO LEGALLY DO THAT. IN OTHER AREAS, IT'S VOLUNTARY. WE HAVE COME TOGETHER AS A COALITION OF THE WILLING, IF YOU WILL. WE REALIZE IT MAKES NO SENSE TO USE SELF DEFEATING METHODS. WE HAVE COME TOGETHER IN THAT REGARD. MAG IS THE TABLE WHERE THE MAYORS AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS COME TOGETHER, BREAK BREAD, SPEND TIME TOGETHER AND GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER. WE LIKE EACH OTHER. I LIKE MY TEAMMATES I'M LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE. MAG IS A BETTER AND STRONGER REGION BECAUSE IT EXISTS.
TED SIMONS: WITHOUT THE AUTHORITY AND THE BINDING AGREEMENTS, DO PEOPLE KEEP IN LINE A BIT? DO YOU HAVE TO HERD CATS ONCE IN A WHILE?
GEORGE RENNER: ABSOLUTELY, AND PUPPIES. GREG, I THINK, MENTIONED THE FACT THAT THE SOCIAL ASPECT OF IT, THE CITIZENS AND THE VOTERS SOMETIMES DON'T REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU ARE BORDERING A CITY LIKE PHOENIX AND GLENDALE, SCOTTSDALE, TEMPE AND MESA. THE PROBLEMS OVER LAP BOUNDARIES. PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S A CITY LIMIT. THE VALLEY IS ONE TO MOST PEOPLE.
TED SIMONS: 43RD AVENUE IS THE CITY LIMIT? I LEARNED SOMETHING. QUICKLY, WAS THIS MODELED AFTER ANYTHING ANOTHER REGION WAS DOING?
GEORGE RENNER: THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION. I THINK IT WAS MODELED IN A WAY TO KEEP IT SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT AS POSSIBLE. OTHER GOVERNMENTS IN THE COUNTRY CAN HAVE OTHER JURISDICTIONS INVOLVED. BY THAT I MEAN AUTHORITIES OR JUDICIAL PARTICIPANTS. MAG WAS FORMED TO BE CITIES AND TOWNS ONLY.
GREG STANTON: TODAY IS MAG'S BIRTHDAY, 50 YEARS OLD TODAY. GO TO THE MAG WEBSITE AND SEE A VIDEO THAT TALKS ABOUT THE EARLY YEARS. THE HISTORY OF MAG IS THE HISTORY OF OUR VALLEY, AND IT'S WRTH LEARNING ABOUT.
TED SIMONS: GREAT TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MAG.
TED SIMONS: THURSDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," GET THE LATEST ON NEW TAX LAWS, TAX SCAMS AND TAX TIPS AS THE FILING DEADLINE NEARS, AND WE'LL HEAR ABOUT A NEW DOCUMENTARY ON CAMPERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. THAT'S THURSDAY AT 5:30 AND 10:00 ON ARIZONA HORIZON. THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Greg Stanton: Mayor of Phoenix
George Renner: former Glendale mayor

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