City of Buckeye… Say, what?
Not to confuse you, Buckeye is indeed still a town. In fact, it’s a beautiful, off-the-beaten-path kind of place that offers small-town feel and core values with big-city optimism. So, the debate confronts us: What’s the difference between townand city, and, more importantly, why does it matter?
Without getting too technical, a city, by urban definition, is generally considered more official. I know, right now your brain is forming collective images of looming skyscrapers and photo- radar vans. By most standards, cities are legally defined as government entities. In Arizona, a city adopts 24 additional powers granted by the state. If you’re more interested in what these powers are, you can find them in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 9.
Most people assume that population has everything to do to with the differences between cities and towns; however, that is not the case. Take, for example, the City of Tombstone’s population, which tallies at roughly 1,400 rough cowboys and pretty women, while the Town of Gilbert’s population has boomed to a healthy 210,000 residents. See what I mean?
But let’s take an honest look at our options:
Many Buckeye natives may feel that changing our label from town to city will result in losing that warm, wonderful “hometown” feeling of safety and close-knit small communities starring the local Log Lady (Did you ever watch Twin Peaks?). Yet, others realize that the change from town to city will help us evolve, moving from our stubbornly “adolescent stage,” to our wiser, grown-up selves. This could potentially translate into economic development and fiscal growth.
When Buckeye residents vote in November to determine whether we’ll stay a town or change into a city, the fact that Buckeye is a fast-growing community will not be a part of the debate. Our population has grown more than 600% in the last decade. Residential and commercial property values are increasing, and with a new “city” label, Buckeye’s future may thrive.