Arizona, Federal Government, Maricopa County discussed on The Think Tank with Mike ONeil
Jim small from the zone mirror. Craig Harris from the Arizona Republic and GM small. I think of the four of us, you probably know the most about all I know about the water thing is. I think we're running out we live in the desert, and that's that's a perennial problem, sir. Got some I solved in one thousand nine hundred eighty but they're back for another round. There are competing interests the farmers down in Pinellas county in particular, the homebuilders want to build homes with impunity Phoenix residents who want to water their lawns. And then we got to. Here's the weird thing. We got about this. I understand we have until January thirtieth to to have a complete plan submitted to the federal government and nothing's even written yet. Yes. Yeah. And that was what the what the governor called foreigners state of the state speech. He talked all about this needs action. It needs bipartisan action, and it needs really swift decisive. You know, you've got to move quickly. We've got about sixteen days or fourteen days, whatever he said and the clock is definitely taking on that. Basically the way it works. What this whole issue was about is what happened with Clara river water, and what is the state's plan for dealing with the this ongoing drought that we're in which is where I think we're in your nineteen or twenty right now and. Waterlog very complicated. Arizona's at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of who gets water from the Colorado river, that's because of the original deal because the original deal back in the. We wanted. We wanted to see a PA, and we gave up some rights that was it. So, you know, California gets water before us Nevada water before as Colorado gets water before us. So so we're at the at the bottom of the food chain on that. And and the idea is when we have a water shortage, and which is inevitable at this point. I mean, we're we're we're cruising toward it very quickly. When that happens, what is the plan within Arizona to conserve water. And essentially what boils down to is how much are we going to save and who is going to get less of the water that we currently use one of the big fights right now as has Senator win we saw a press conference on this recently in reaction to what the governor said was canal farmers are saying, look, we we don't wanna be the with the ones that are getting the short end of the stick here, and and within Arizona's water rights panel farmers are basically the ones who have the least amount of rights to any of this water. They they get the the water last a number of years ago. There was a. A settlement that was entered into regarding some Indian water rights, and the farmers gave up some some water for that that they had been getting. And now they're looking at situation where they say, look, we we might lose thirty to forty percent of our water. And and if that happens, you're gonna start having farms at close, and you're gonna have fields that are basically left fallow. And that's going to be bad for the economy. It's going to be bad for for us. It's going to be catastrophic for some people. It would be absolutely. I mean, there's no doubt that if that situation were to happen. You have you would have farms and farmers who would go out of business. I think there's probably no way around that. And so that that's one of the issues you have these you have rural issues that are involved in it. You do have sitting initial issues you've got, you know, the governor's office spent much of last year. In trying to deal with this really setting up a fight between the executive branch, and the there's a department of water resources and central Arizona project, which manages all of this water that comes from the Colorado river and its elected board is a board of folks that are elected for Maricopa county's counties to basically determine how is this water going to happen? And they set up, you know, this this this fight that really lasted for for most of last year. And now they seem to have kind of put their differences aside and figured out a way to coexist in worked together. But now the issue is really going to the legislature and trying to get the legislators to sign off on this package. And this is a difficult thing to do. Because as you said that no one has seen what the proposal is. There is not like draft language floating around thing you've had leadership in Arizona house and house speaker rusty Bowers said look if I don't have this like basically now basically yesterday, how are we going to be able to act on this? And we're not gonna have enough time to to duly consider it if it goes past that. Deadline at the end of the month. What happens is the federal government, basically says, okay? Well, we're going to write the plan. I this is all assuming I suppose the federal government has opened that anyone is there to do this another wreck and to recognize this. But the federal government says, okay? Well, we will right. We'll just write a plan and all of the other states, California or California's Nevada and Colorado that have have submitted their plans, those plans, basically get cast aside because the federal government says fine if you guys can all agree on something. We will go ahead, and we will agree for you and will implement a plan for every state and do we have any idea? What that would look like, no, I certainly don't have any idea. I'm not sure that the f- the water stakeholders here in Arizona have really had much discussion with the feds about it. I think that is the most distasteful option. Because it because it's scary. If you have no idea what it's going to be it is, and you take yourself out of basically being able to to determine your own fate to turn that over as a statement say here, we're know what the federal government decide how we're going to have water, which is I mean, we live in a desert. We need water to survive into for our economy to work. How you know? I I I think it's really irresponsible frankly for the state to say where we we just can't agree. We can't find some kind of consensus. So we're going to let the federal government do this for every in fairness to the federal government. This was not something they imposed on January one. This has been a deadline. That's been there for a long tab -solutely. Which is why it was, you know, puzzling to watch last year's fight over basically over territory and over who had authority to say what do what? Because I think essentially what what was going on was the governor's office and the department of water resources wanted to do things in a way that CAP in the the central Arizona water conservation district would not do. And so they decided well rather than try to figure out a way to work together. We'll just go to war with them. And we'll we'll have this fight. And you know, if we win in the end, then we'll be able to implement our own vision. And and I think ultimately they didn't win, and they they had to find some kind of some kind of compromise sounds like a mess. It is. It is absolutely message extremely complicated. But it is extremely important to everyone in Maricopa County, virtually the average person isn't going to think about it until they turn the spigot. And there's nothing coming out Ed by that point. I mean, we are way way ahead of that. Because they vested interest in livelihood. It's day. They do and and if it's going to be years and years down the road even years and years into a drought situation or into a water rationing situation before Maricopa County, even feels the pain like, okay, the other big topic that we haven't hit as yet. And it's it's out there. I want to turn this to you. Greg charter schools hardly mentioned in this speech. I actually wasn't meant. There was a somewhat reference to oversight. But the governor did not even mention to simple wars charter schools, which is curious considering that the attorney general's office is working on legislation because they want more oversight. They want to have an ability to go in and look at the books a little bit better, Bradley, a response to some of that stuff you've been writing, I think so I think when you when you reference it was oblique reference, he didn't say charter schools, but he did talk about school choice, which of course is code word for charter schools. Right. And what folks are talking about with reforms is not changing school choice. No one is saying basis, we want you to stop pro stop with your AP curriculum, which is giving you one of the best rankings in the country. What people are saying is that basis we would like you to open up your books. So we see what you're ten million dollars. Management contract is paying for at a time. When you're founders are buying an eight million dollar condominium in New York City, and you're trying poor and saying we need our parents to give fifteen hundred dollars per kid because we can't pay our teachers, and you're and you're paying your teachers less than our public school teachers, and they're among the most poorly paid in the country. Right. Charter schools in the main pay their teachers thousands of dollars last seven to eight thousand dollars less than district schools because of extremely high overhead costs that are that's gone on checked and some of the they get to hire people who can't qualify to be teachers in the regular public schools uncertified teachers. Well, there is there's goods and bads that there aren't certified. But there's also an argument to be made that if you spent your entire career as a lawyer, and you retire and you want to teach law, you should be able to do that. So there is some I agree on that point. But if but if if the lack of certification is primarily a vehicle to bring any all warm body in there to teach so you can pay them less than it's a problem. Well, that is an issue. Yeah. I mean. Yeah. The the, yeah, I have no. Problem with a retired Intel engineer wanting to teach mathematics. I don't think you need that. I don't think you need a teaching certificate to do that at the high school level. Certainly it's subject matter expertise that matters. So what is going on is the governor is not put anything forward as far as reform. The only thing that we've seen or what we've heard is that he might add a few more regulators at the state charter board to go out and can make sure charter schools aren't lying about their enrollment and to to goose the the budget to get more money. But the governor and minor is only added four more regulators a charter board saying we need at least eight that's still not enough. So you're having a tough time getting folks at least getting the governor behind this. Yeah. The attorney general who's a Republican calling for a lot more reform lot more openness the new school superintendent, Kathy Hoffman. And then you've got everyone kind of turning to Kate Brophy McGee in the state Senate because she's kind of designated herself that she wants to bring about more transparency more openness and and opening up the books, and so everyone kind of go into her. But then you have the charter sociation, which is very powerful they represent the five hundred forty four charter schools. They say they're gonna come out with their own reform. But what from what I'm hearing? It's it's pretty much window dressing. It doesn't really do a whole lot to stop sitting represented charter school. That means the charter school operators to charter school operators who have made millions of dollars is the FOX guarding the hen house and a lot of ways. Yes, that's what would be happening. So so the problems that we've been writing about is as you've got charter operators have become multi-million. Mair's by engaging in the nice term is called related-party transactions. The more basic terms self-dealing where you're buying things from yourself. You're giving yourself.