Tempe and Chandler will begin a makeover
of their respective city councils on
March 14, while some voters will decide
on the direction of education for the
Kyrene Elementary School District.
Rae Waters, former president of the
Kyrene Governing Board, is being
recalled for her role in last year's
decision to increase middle school
classroom time in "core" subjects such
as math and science at the expense of
reading and language arts, al well as in
such electives as music.
Waters, whose term would have lasted
through December, is being challenged
for her seat on the Kyrene board by
attorney Patrick McGill, who says Waters
"failed in her elected responsibility to
protect the educational futures of our
"By failing to intervene with an
apparently broken process, Rae Waters
also failed to enact the oversight of
the district's activities that she is
also duty-bound to provide. In that
regard she has earned her own recall,"
McGill says on his election website.
More than 7,000 Kyrene voters signed
recall petitions, forcing the special
election to decide if Waters will serve
out her term or be replaced by McGill.
McGill promises a more sympathetic ear
to Kyrene parents.
"As a father of two children who attend
schools in the Kyrene school district, I
believe providing a solid, well-rounded
education for every child is important,"
he says on his website. "How we educate
our children should be decided by the
parents and teachers in tandem with each
other with the assistance of state and
local governments, who traditionally
bear the primary responsibility for
"If elected . . . I pledge to work on
improving public education by working
with parents, teachers, local
communities, fellow School Board members
and administrators by supporting the
fundamentals of math, English, social
studies and science, while . . .
ensuring strong music, PE, foreign
language and (other) exploratory
programs, improving . . . safety in our
schools, and providing our children with
a quality education."
Waters has steered clear of rhetoric
about the recall, telling Wrangler News
that she stands by her vote and her
record. However, she acknowledges, the
"If you get a really thick skin, then
how do you care about things? If
(criticism) doesn't get to me, I guess
to me it would mean that I wasn't
caring," she said.
"I think there's been a lot of character
assassination," she said of the recall
campaign. "There have been things said
about the middle school model and about
me personally … that were just blatantly
untrue," says Waters.
City council elections
The Tempe City Council race is
characterized by two incumbents looking
to retain their seats against a field of
challengers, while the Chandler election
features a competition for mayor between
incumbent Boyd Dunn and Phill
Westerbrooks, who is looking to move up
from his position as vice mayor.
The Dunn-Westerbooks race overshadows a
race for three available City Council
Incumbent Councilman Bob Caccamo is
seeking reelection among a host of
challengers that includes Trinity
Donovan, Rick Heumann, Becky Jackson,
Frank Peake and Chris Stage, who will
compete for the seat held by Caccamo and
those being vacated by Westerbrooks and
Councilwoman Donna Wallace.
If necessary, some of the candidates
will advance to the Chandler General
Election scheduled for May 16.
Chandler voters also are being asked in
the March 14 primary to extend the
city's local alternative expenditure
limitation that will allow local
officials to avoid spending limits
imposed by state law.
Chandler voters approved the so-called
"home rule" option in 1982, 1986, 1990,
1994, 1998 and again in 2002, and there
is no organized opposition to the
request for another extension in 2006.
Chandler estimates it will be allowed to
spend approximately $337.4 million
2006-07 under the home rule option, up
from the $225.3 million limit that would
be imposed under state law. The home
rule option would allow the city to
similarly exceed state spending limits
through the 2009-10 budget year.
In Tempe, incumbent Councilmen Ben
Arredondo and Leonard Copple are seeking
re-election in a field that includes
challengers Shana Ellis, Onnie
Shekerjian and Corey Woods. Councilwoman
Pam Goronkin is not seeking re-election.
Candidates who do not collect enough
votes to win outright in the March
primary election will compete for the
remaining seat or seats in Tempe's May
16 general election.
Tempeans also will vote in May on five
The March primary elections mark the
first time every voter will be required
to show proof of identity at the polls
before receiving a ballot.
The new requirement is a result of
Proposition 200, the statewide
initiative approved by voters in 2004.
Voters must show either one photo
identification, such as an Arizona
driver's license, federal identification
card, or tribal enrollment card, or
provide two forms of non-photo
identification, such as recent (within
90 days) utility bills or bank
statements, valid Arizona vehicle
registration or vehicle insurance card,
or voter registration card.
All identification must match the
voter's name and address shown on the
Maricopa County Elections signature
Voters without acceptable identification
at the polling place on election day
will be offered a "provisional" ballot
that will be counted only if the voter
brings acceptable identification to the
City Clerk or the Maricopa County
Recorder by 5 p.m. on March 17, the
Friday after the election.
Although voter identification is now
required to obtain a ballot at the polls
on election day, voter identification is
not required for early ballots because
the voter's original signature on the
back of each early ballot is
individually checked against the
official version of the voter's
signature that is on file with the
Maricopa County Elections Department. If
the signatures do not match, then the
early ballot is not counted.
Early voting is available in both cities
through March 10. Check with the City
Clerk's Office or online at http://www.chandleraz.gov/default.aspx?pageID=33
for Chandler information or http://www.tempe.gov/clerk/ELXintro.htm