By Abe Kwok | AZCentral
Could the the Phoenix Suns arena renovation deal be the latest cause celebre of naysayers out to circumvent the Phoenix City Council by going straight to voters?
It looks that way.
Seems there’s a group of people upset by the $230 million agreement approved by the council late Wednesday afternoon, and the group is seeking a referendum that would give the public an up-or-down vote on the matter.
Drew Chavez of Petition Partners, a Phoenix outfit that runs a majority of initiative petitions in the state, said a committee calling itself “Common Sense Phoenix” is set to file paperwork today.
“The group and my firm are serious,” Chavez said in an email.
The group would have 30 days to gather roughly 13,700 signatures of registered Phoenix voters to qualify the referendum for an election.
Jordan Rose, founder and president of Rose Law Group, who represents the Phoenix Suns, says:
“The action of the council was an administrative, non-referable act, and the Courts will ultimately decide. This petition company is not inexpensive to gather that many signatures–someone will be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars–so this is absolutely not some grassroots effort. While the huge money interest behind this clearly wants to remain secretive and under the cover of darkness, we will be able to find out their true identities in court. It’s strange because once residents realized the only people paying for the upgrades to the arena are the Suns and tourists, they overwhelmingly supported the proposal. There is someone out there with wealth and a desire to diminish downtown Phoenix. Luckily, the court action will reveal their identity.”