Thursday, August 18, 2016

Old Books and an Arizona Briefing


While reviewing material for a briefing I'll be presenting on Arizona, I found an old book on the council-manager system of government in Phoenix. It was written by Paul Kelso, the professor who taught the Introduction to Government class at the University of Arizona. 

Aside from the fact that I took Paul Kelso's class, I regarded this find as rather exciting. If you think a book on council-manager municipal government sounds boring, it isn't and it directly ties to Arizona's development. Between 1914 and 1947, Phoenix had more than twenty city managers. After many scandals, a group of reformers (including a young man named Barry Goldwater) was elected to the city council in 1949 and the city began a dramatic turn-around in 1950 by bringing in an honest and highly competent city manager named Ray Wilson.

And Phoenix became the engine that pulled the state.

[The same book with the reference to Kelso's research also had citations to an obscure book on the Arizona Right to Work Law by an author named Michael Wade.]

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