Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and members of an Ahwatukee Foothills residents' committee say they have studied state and county plans to link Chandler and west Phoenix with a 22-mile freeway and come to a conclusion:
Put the South Mountain Freeway on the Gila River Indian Community.
DiCiccio said Monday that neither ADOT nor MAG has formally asked Gila River officials if they would consider a freeway deal.
"I'm telling you, when the public finds out about what has not happened, people are going to be outraged," DiCiccio said.
Alia Maisonet, a Gila River Indian Community spokeswoman, confirmed that neither state nor county officials have presented a formal proposal to put Loop 202 on tribal land. But she said the tribal council has twice considered the matter internally and twice voted against it, although she noted that the council could change its mind.
"Things can change," she said.
But ADOT spokesman Timothy Tait said he was baffled by DiCiccio's implication that Gila River officials have been left out of freeway negotiations.
"They (Gila River officials) attend MAG meetings and have been part of the process all along," he said. "We have not approached them because they have passed resolutions against the freeway."
So basically, DiCiccio is trying to pander to Ahwatukee voters by telling them that the freeway that they've known was scheduled for Pecos Road for almost a quarter century can be redirected onto a reservation (the residents of which, shockingly enough, aren't his constituents) at no cost to them.
Leaving out the fact that the reservation government has repeatedly said "NO!" or that it would cost Arizona taxpayers billions of dollars to do so anyway. And that they themselves are Arizona taxpayers.
It's one thing to engage in a little pandering during a campaign (hey, it *is* a campaign after all), but this move is so cravenly transparent as to speak of a deep level of contempt for the intelligence of the residents of District 6 (and an all-encompassing contempt for the residents of the Gila River Indian Community).
It also doesn't speak well for Mr. DiCiccio's own intelligence and political acumen - if he really wants to "protect" the well-heeled residents of Ahwatukee from the that big meanie ADOT, he'd run for his LD's Republican nomination for a legislative seat.
Only he's not running for lege - he's running for City Council against Dana Kennedy. Who is focused on City of Phoenix and District 6 issues, not legislative ones.