Issues Gilbert Needs To Address
Lack Of Transparency - Keeping Residents In The Dark
The more I dig into issues with the Town, the more I see how hard they try to get around letting the public know what is going on until it's too late to do anything about it. The following are a few of the examples I have come across.
Not Adequately Posting Land Sale-
Gilbert is in the process of selling 9.1 acres in the prime location of its Heritage District and didn't follow the required posting to let the public know it was up for development.
Encouraging Staff To Circumvent Public Notice-
I attended a day long panel discussion. The panel was brought in to talk to Council Members and Staff about the best way to make changes to Gilbert's Industrial Area. The comments from nearly every panel member focused on making changes, as much as possible, without getting the public involved.
Paying To Have Study Done That Residents Know Nothing About-
According to an agenda item at a recent council meeting, a firm has been approved to do a study in the Lacy Track Neighborhood that could involve entering people's properties yet none of the residents there have any idea what this study is for or how the results will affect their neighborhood.
Continuous Secret Surveillance Of Residents-
The State Of The Town Address shows the complex surveillance system Gilbert has implemented to track everyone's movements in town. Not sure many of our residents knew this was happening. I, for one, didn't.
Not Providing The Public With Traffic Analysis For Developments-
The Town has started taking personal property to expand roads to accommodate its unprecedented growth. With all the new development planned in the Heritage District, residents are rightly concerned how it will affect traffic in the area. They have been told not to worry, that the increase in traffic won't affect their homes or property, yet, in all the documents the Town has given me, there are no current traffic studies to back this up. Maybe because even outdated studies say that in less than five years Gilbert Road will be at over 100% capacity. How will they accommodate that if not to route traffic through residential areas.
Irresponsible With Taxpayer Money
I admit, I have not run a town before but, from what I see, it seems a lot of money is being spent unnecessarily and much of it in amounts just under what is needed to get additional approval.
Many Redundant Studies Being Paid For-
Hundreds of thousands of dollars were just paid to a firm to come up with a redevelopment plan for the Heritage District. Now new firms are being paid to study the area more. The Heritage District is a small part of our town. If hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent for redundant studies there, imagine how much is being spent on the town as a whole.
Giving Millions Of Dollars In Concessions To Developers-
The 9.1 acres on the north end of the Heritage District was awarded to a contractor with an original bid of nearly ten million dollars. By the time the contract was signed, it was down to under six million. A recent revision now has it down to just over four million AND the contractor gets back all permitting costs. The residential land in the Heritage District is selling for more than that. Why is this just being given away?
Lost Thousands On Defunct Center For Veterans Memorial-
The town financially supported the infrastructure of a Veterans Memorial Park. Several of our elected officials were key players in the creating of this project, which failed and left the taxpayers footing the bill for something never built. What happened to the money that was supposed to be put up by the developers?
Discrimination Against Elderly And Mobility Challenged
Several recent decisions show just how discriminatory the Town has started becoming. It is sad to see a certain group of people being made to feel unwelcome here.
Reducing Number Of Handicap Ramps-
Plans are being made to reduce the number of ramps to get on and off of sidewalks in the town. The Town thinks it's appropriate to limit those with mobility issues to accessing our town only at "key intersections" Are those in wheelchairs supposed to go down the street until they get to one of these "key intersections"?
Encouraging The Construction Of Multistory Apartments Without Elevators-
Getting to know your neighbors is one of the key factors in keeping Gilbert a safe place to live. When we know each other we can look out for each other. Those who are elderly, or who use a wheelchair, are being restricted from living in, or visiting, many of the new apartments being built because there isn't access to them for wheelchairs or those who can't easily climb stairs.
Looking To Reduce Para Transportation-
According to the Gilbert Sun News, the Town wants to cut Paratransit, which is a transportation service for those who can't use regular transportation methods. Our elderly, and otherwise mobility challenged residents, count on these services to help make their lives more meaningful and self-sufficient. The service is used to get to work, activities, doctors, grocery stores, and other basic life needs.
An Abundance Of New Retirement Homes Segregate The Elderly-
There are groups in our country who have been "encouraged to stay in designated areas (reservations). Gilbert seems to be following suit in "encouraging" their elderly to contain themselves to retirement homes. Instead of building accessible communities where elderly can live in harmony with other members of our town, elderly are going to have little choice, besides a retirement home, when mobility becomes an issue.
What Issues Do You See?
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