Editorial: Wishy-washy promises

The idea resembles a promise a 13-year-old might make in a student council election, but on a much larger scale.

Tempe mayoral candidate Michael Monti, a local business owner, and City Council hopeful Dick Foreman have proposed to add a swimming beach to Tempe Town Lake. We’re not sure if this is just a publicity stunt meant to attract voters, but it has definitely grabbed our attention.

Similar to a grade school election promise of putting soda in the water fountain, the idea was announced before much of the implementation plan was developed.

Monti and Foreman are not sure of construction costs or where exactly the beach will be located. The mayoral candidate said the project would be funded mainly through user, vendor and concession fees, but neither candidate specified what they meant by concessions or vendors.

There’s a high chance the beach could cost a pretty penny. Let’s just hope revenues don’t fall short.

It seems premature to throw out a pricey proposal without doing your homework — just like a 13-year-old. Foreman even admits things still need to be hashed out.

“(The plan) does need further refinement but we believe it can be done,” he said.

Lack of detail could be because candidates want more input from the public. They plan to discuss further action with Tempe residents at a focus group meeting on Dec. 20.

One thing that should be discussed at this meeting is sanitation.  Would people actually swim in Tempe Town Lake? The lake’s water — from the look of it — seems dirty. We know the city tests for sanitation, but it still looks unappealing for a full-day dip.

For all of this to happen though, both Monti and Foreman have to get elected, and in this particular election, it will not be an easy task. Mark Mitchell is also running for mayor. Mitchell is no new figure to the city’s politics. He is a current city councilman, and his father Harry Mitchell was a former mayor and U.S. congressman. Monti, who owns Monti’s La Casa Vieja on Mill Avenue, and Mark Mitchell are both Tempe figureheads. Neither of them seem to have a clear lead in this election yet.

Only time will tell if this is just a publicity stunt or if this actually is a credible proposal. For now, though, it is hard to take it seriously.

Don’t get us wrong, we would love to have a beach — especially during those hot months at the start and end of the school year — but it smells like a silly political power play. You have our attention, Monti and Foreman. Can you follow through?


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