The race for City Council is essentially over. The development resistors have won.
Kathy Littlefield, and her progeny… either Barry Graham or Pamela Carter will become members of the council. Solange Whitehead’s record on development is difficult to evaluate although she brings energy, passion, and positive contributions to the city. However, with the reelection of Ms. Littlefield and one of her disciples together with remaining City Council members development will continue to be highly limited.
This sad watershed result will push Scottsdale towards mediocrity. No member of City Council, other than Tammy Caputi has voiced concerns about the future of having sufficient revenues to maintain Scottsdale’s lifestyle. Nor to my knowledge have they projected the future costs (let’s say three years) of our current programs, services, and running the city to determine if a possible future gap will be filled.
They continue to argue the development sky is falling refrain but provide no data to support their protestations. This current “runaway” development flies in the face of our marginal growth in the latest census. Shouldn’t we be taking a closer look?
Inflation impacts us and the city as well. Can we increase revenues to stay ahead of it? While some increases will naturally occur because of higher prices, will it be sufficient? If not, Scottsdale will be faced with higher taxes, layoffs, and/or program reductions.
It is time more residents get engaged (we had a low turnout of voters) to preserve Scottsdale’s uniqueness, let alone improve on it. The divide in the council exacerbates the situation. Agreement must be reached to address a likely future revenue shortfall.
Keep in mind development efforts can include a broad range of activities such as investments in the arts, becoming a green city, improving the percentage of land covered by shade and further preparing for the effects of climate change.
Thus, I urge the council to hold public hearings on this matter, and for the administration to provide a projection of future revenues and costs for the next 3 fiscal years, as well as the details of each project and disposition of all projects that have come before council in the last three years. Let’s openly debate, agree on the facts, and determine the need for development and find a solution.
Finally, I want Scottsdale to remain a premiere destination and city of choice for commerce and residents for decades to come. Getting there takes hard work and willingness to find common ground.