Former Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza
- State: Arizona
- Mayor: Phil Gordon
- Election: October 2007
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|This is an archived article originally published in June 2003
former Mayor of Phoenix
By Josh Fecht
29 June 2003: Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza was first elected Mayor on 25 October 1994 and was re-elected in 1995 and 1999. Due to laws limited the Phoenix Mayor's time in office to two full terms, Mr Rimsza could not stand in the 2003 election, which was won convincingly by Phil Gordon. Skip Rimsza was the 50th person to serve as mayor of Phoenix. Prior to becoming the city's chief executive officer, he served on the Phoenix City Council and was vice mayor in 1993. Phil Gordon became officially Mayor of Phoenix in January 2004.
Born in Chicago, Mr Rimsza moved to Phoenix at an early age. He and his wife, Kim, are raising five children, two teenagers and a young set of triplets.
Mayor Rimsza believes Phoenix must meet three goals in order to secure its future: renewal of its neighborhoods: expansion of its economy: protection of its families.
Some of the Mayor Rimsza’s accomplishments since taking office:
• Work on an Infill housing plan and a successful fight against the blight of graffiti.
• A program that reduced truancy days (in a single school district, in a single year) by 4,000.
• Raising more than $100,000 to distribute to the city's school teachers so they can buy basic materials not available in education budgets.
• The addition of 16 city parks.
• The championing of a plan to preserve 15,000 acres of pristine desert rather than see it buried under sprawl construction.
• The creation of an ad hoc committee to fight domestic violence.
• The creation of a new unit of the Phoenix police department dedicated to fighting ‘hate crimes’.
• Long overdue improvements to Phoenix’s transport system, including to the city’s light rail system.
Phoenix, Arizona at dusk
Phoenix covers more than 475 square miles and has a population of 1.3 million, ranking it the sixth largest city in the country.
Phoenix is a premier destination, with more than 300 sun-filled days a year and an average temperature of 74 degrees.
More than 50 per cent of the population is between 18 and 54 years of age, which is younger than the national average.
In January 2000, after a year long, in-depth study of management efficiency by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, Phoenix was the only city among the nations 35 largest urban centers to earn an overall grade of A. Phoenix also was named the Best Run City in the World in 1993 by the Carl Bertelsmann Foundation and has earned numerous other awards for efficient government operations.
The greater Phoenix area is a $50 billion marketplace driven by technology. World-leading companies such as Intel, Avnet, Motorola, AlliedSignal, Honeywell and Boeing Company have chosen Phoenix for their corporate and regional headquarters.
Industry giants such as STMicroelectronics, American Express, Phelps Dodge, Sumitomo Sitix, Prudential, Charles Schwab and Mayo Clinic have major operations in Phoenix.
Bonds and taxes
Standard & Poor's (bond rating): AA+
City sales tax rate: 1.8%
City property tax rate (per $100 of assessed valuation): $1.82
Number of airports : 3
Take-offs and landings 2001 (includes general aviation): 561,000
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the fifth busiest US airport for domestic and international passenger traffic for take-offs and landings, handling more than 36 million travelers in 2000.
The airport serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights, and British Airways, Air Canada and Lufthansa are among carriers providing international flights to destinations such as London, Toronto, Mexico and Frankfurt, Germany.
Parks and Recreation
Total acreage (includes Mountains Preserve): 35,345
Parks cleaned and maintained: 207
Mountain parks: 7
Municipal golf courses (five 18-hole/ three 9-hole): 8
Miles of bicycle pathways: 412
Municipal swimming pools: 28
Municipal tennis courts: 134