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Phoenix-area cities paying retention bonuses

Cities in metro Phoenix are paying millions of dollars in retention bonuses as they lay off employees, cut pay or raise taxes amid the recession. Compensation experts question the wisdom of retention bonuses as the state's 9.3 percent unemployment rate has drastically reduced turnover. Cities defend the bonuses as an incentive to retain employees and make up for stagnant wages.

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Homebuilding strong in Mesa

MESA - New home construction permits are on the rise in Mesa. The city has seen an increase in the permit activity since falling below 20 in February. Mesa saw 72 permits in June, the latest numbers available. The number of permits is considered a good measure of upcoming home construction activity.

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Mesa gets stimulus cash for cops

MESA - Mesa is set to receive about $6 million in stimulus cash to hire up to 25 additional police officers. However, City Manager Chris Brady and Mayor Scott Smith have concerns that even though the grant pays for the initial hire and some other related costs, it may create a burden on the city's budget.

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