Casa Grande votes on bonds for baseball spring training - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Casa Grande votes on bonds for baseball spring training

Marana, other communities make leadership decisions Tuesday

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Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:00 pm

Associated Press

A potential new spring training facility, a new mayor and several new council seats are up for grabs in various elections in the Phoenix metro area on Tuesday.

In Casa Grande, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, voters will decide whether to fund a Major League Baseball spring-training facility.

The proposal would increase the city's transaction-privilege tax by 0.9 percent, to 2.7 percent, for up to 30 years to fund a facility. Businesses often pass on that fee to customers.

The increase would not go into effect unless city officials can secure a contract with a major-league team by 2019.

Gilbert will choose a new mayor and that town as well as Goodyear, Cave Creek, Carefree and Gila Bend will elect new council members.

The economy may play a key role in Gilbert's elections, where an incumbent and three other candidates are vying for two town council positions and a write-in candidate is challenging the big winner in the mayoral primary.

The town faces a $15 million budget shortfall next fiscal year and the challenge of diversifying a local economy heavily dependent on funds from slumping sales taxes and plummeting building fees.

Competing for mayor are John Lewis and write-in candidate Glen Spencer. The winner will replace eight-year Mayor Steve Berman, who lost in the primary.

Voters in Carefree northeast of Phoenix will choose from a field of six candidates competing for four open council seats.

Voters also will have a chance to change the town's political makeup with a proposition that asks voters if they want to directly elect their own mayor. Currently, the council chooses the mayor every two years.

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