Phoenix District 6 Candidates Debate City Manager's Departure

August 07, 2013

Candidates for the Phoenix City Council race in District 6 traded barbs last night at a KJZZ election forum.

Incumbent Sal DiCiccio and challenger Karlene Keogh Parks debated the way the city funds golf courses, where the Loop 202 freeway should be expanded and the merits of privatizing city services.

But early on, one employee stirred debate: Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos.

Cavazos will leave his post to become city manager in Santa Ana, Calif. Phoenix gave him a $78,000 raise last year.

DiCiccio said Cavazos deserves the pay increase.

"So if you look at what David was able to get through, he got along of those things through, $43 million contingency, largest we’ve ever had, $79 million we’ve cut in government waste, a lot of these significant reforms we were able to get through," DiCiccio said.

But Keogh Parks sees it another way.

"The city manager who got the biggest pay raise in the entire history of the City of Phoenix is leaving after four, five months. It seems a little odd to me that the city council didn’t have some kind of a guarantee from the city manager that he was going to stick around for a few years before he actually left," Keogh Parks said.

Cavazos will receive a city pension, another contentious topic between the candidates.

DiCiccio argued for a 401(k) model for new employees. Parks said the math wouldn’t add up.

Early voting has started. Election Day ends Aug. 27.