Opinions with Civility
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LaSota: Key differences lead to Scottsdale support not opposition

I often times find myself on the opposite side of significant zoning changes, but I am supporting the Scottsdale Collection. Below are my reasons why, but it is primarily because the Scottsdale …

Shufelt: Giving thanks, even in the midst of a pandemic

We all are well aware of how different 2020 has been — a pandemic, a contentious election, social unrest, the hottest summer on record — all of these have frayed everyone’s nerves. …

Brown: ‘You can’t postpone hunger’ Scottsdale Community Partners needs you

The season of giving is upon us, and Scottsdale Community Partners needs you now more than ever. Founded 45 years ago as Concerned Citizens for Community Health, Scottsdale Community Partners …

Opinion: Celebrating the school staff that support Scottsdale students

National Educational Support Professionals Day this year is Nov. 18. This day was founded by the National Education Association in 1987 to honor the contributions of school and district support …

Janik & Durham: #endyouthsuicide event at Chaparral Park this week

This year it seems more important than ever to focus on mental health and suicide prevention. 2020 has been a whirlwind of unforeseen events: COVID-19; Social distancing; Job losses; …
Ryan Goodman

Goodman: Improving cities starts with removing cars

The story of Phoenix, Arizona is the story of sprawl. After World War II, when cars, air conditioning, and home loans became affordable for the middle class, Phoenix’s population boomed. In …

DeMuro: Reading Scottsdale Independent is ‘a pleasure’

I continually stay impressed with the Independent. I just finished the Nov. 1 issue of the Scottsdale paper. I enjoyed the articles on 5G, fires in Scottsdale and the real estate market. I …

Vallante: A note of gratitude to Arizona small businesses

As the regional administrator for the Pacific Rim for SBA, and as associate administrator for the office of field operations, I’ve had the honor to work closely with small business owners …
Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

Scottsdale Councilwomen: Congratulations to Scottsdale candidates

Editor’s Note: The results from the Nov. 3 General Election remain unofficial and ballots continue to be counted. Final results will be available at a later date.  We extend the warmest …

Calderon: Thoughts on America's sharp divide

My thoughts about the country's sharp divisions is that we've gone from political discourse to "identity politics," fueled principally by the demise of local newspapers and reporting.  How, you …

Parsons: Cieniawski is ‘best qualified to make a difference’ in Scottsdale schools

President John F. Kennedy once said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” That is what SUSD Governing Board candidate, Julie Cieniawski, intends to continue doing …

Little: My closing letter to Scottsdale voters

From the moment I arrived in Scottsdale 35 years ago, I have taken immense pride in calling our city my home. My wife and I raised our family here. I made lifelong friends here. Like all …
Kimberly Yee

Yee: Arizona’s economic future is on the line in this election

For countless Arizona voters, this presidential election is not a referendum on President Trump and his political beliefs — it is a vote to preserve our economic prosperity. Arizona voters …

Robinson: Cieniawski is taking initiative for good of SUSD

I strongly support Julie Cieniawski’s candidacy for the Scottsdale school board. My firsthand knowledge of her superb character, dedication to education, and motivation to work toward the …
Tammy Caputi

Caputi: Phillips’ claims are absurd, factless opinions

Councilman Phillips: I haven’t been registered with a political party for years. I have never, in any medium, expressed a desire to transform Scottsdale into anything resembling Seattle, a city …

Ortega: My rebuttal to RL Whitmer

Reading the diatribe written by R.L. Whitmer, it amazes me that he acknowledges knowing me for 25 years. Other than that, his accusations are total falsehoods. Firstly, Whitmer should go to …

Brown: Scottsdale PD 'non-responsive,' disconnected from society

As a retired police officer, I respect law enforcement. However, I have found the Scottsdale Police Department not only non-responsive, but unaware of what’s going on with society. On …

McCormick: Kurland is the ‘real deal’

I am a retired COO of one of America’s large law firms, headquartered in Arizona. I have lived here for over 20 years. I care a lot about this community, our economy, and Arizona’s …

Whitmer: Can Scottsdale trust Ortega?

Having known David Ortega for more than 25 years, he has always been a bit of an exaggerator, but lately his qualification claims are more like the Jon Lovitz’ pathological liar skit. First, …

Weeshoff: 3 Scottsdale Schools candidates to vote for

The most important races in an election are often the down ballot races. These races are nonpartisan and they are frequently the ones that affect our community the most. One of those is the …
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: Scottsdale voters can follow the road map

A note and some perspective for voters to consider in this year’s Scottsdale elections, and the one likely to come up next November, too.

Marchant: A ‘Little’ perspective

With our entire country seemingly at a crossroads, it can be hard to imagine a more polarized situation then the 2020 election. On all levels and on all sides, we are seeing not only additional …

Oremland: Cieniawski will help Scottsdale Schools achieve

My vote for Julie Cieniawski is a vote for what is best for Scottsdale Unified School District. As a 10-year colleague, at Desert Canyon Middle School, Julie’s dedication to her students, …

Reinert: Leading Scottsdale Schools takes special individuals

I’ve been part of the SUSD community for 25 years and have known Julie for 15 of those years. When I think of the important role a board member plays in a school community: select and work …

Holmes: Committing to quality education for Scottsdale

A commitment to the quality of our schools is a commitment to the overall quality of our community. And if we want to maintain quality schools, we must elect quality leaders who will ensure our …

Kurland: Electing a state representative who values Scottsdale constituents

The politicians representing our little corner of Arizona have repeatedly made national and statewide news for all of the wrong reasons, from efforts to suppress voters, to self-identifying as …

Whitehead: My endorsement of three candidates

If there is one thing Americans agree on, it is this: Special interests funding political campaigns does not serve public interests. Without meaningful campaign donation limits in Scottsdale, I …

Brewer: Arizona seniors deserve a future of economic security

Arizona seniors deserve to enjoy a future of economic security and prosperity for many years to come — and it’s imperative that we elect political leaders who have what it takes to build …

Pont-Brown: Leading Scottsdale Schools through today's challenges

As we strive to provide the best possible experiences for our students, parents and educators today face numerous challenges. Today, we battle COVID-19, encounter huge funding shortfalls, and …

Janik: Our Scottsdale Fire Department rocks

The wild fire danger in Scottsdale has reached a decade high. The extremely dry weather and absence of a monsoon has extended the fire season. Scottsdale is particularly vulnerable to brush …

Ortega: My response to Cheryl Pelletier

Firstly, I must point out that “My Goals as Mayor of Scottsdale” has always included voting districts. Voting Districts: Bring voting districts to the ballot by 2022, since no council …

Somo: Cieniawski is a champion for all students

It has been my great pleasure to have known and admired Julie Cieniawski for over 25 years. I first met Julie when she was a young teacher who was full of enthusiasm, a love of teaching, and …
Tammy Caputi

Caputi: Modeling the ‘Golden Rule’ for Scottsdale

In the vice presidential debate last week, an eighth grader asked how citizens could be civil if our leaders aren’t modeling cooperative, positive behavior. I wasn’t satisfied with the …

McKinney: Stop Arizona police brutality, debate Sen. Tim Scott’s bill

In July, Phoenix police officers opened fire on James Porter Garcia as he sat in his parked car. Witnesses captured the fatal shooting on video. Following Garcia’s death, dozens of …

Shaler: Arizona doesn’t need more immigration

On Oct. 6, Republican Senator Martha McSally debated her Democratic challenger, Mark Kelly, in the first of a series of head-to-head confrontations in one of the nation’s most closely watched …

Pelletier: Don’t vote for Scottsdale’s talking mynah bird

David Ortega, candidate for Scottsdale mayor, does not seem to be able to generate an idea of his own. Let me explain. Lisa Borowsky, also a candidate for Scottsdale mayor, creates a reform …

Metz: COVID-19 treatment will keep us all healthy absent a cure

I get it. I’m frustrated, too, with the restrictions on my activities arising from coronavirus protocols. I miss meeting face-to-face with my friends and colleagues; I miss volunteering at …

Stephan: Restoring confidence, collaboration to SUSD board

For several years, the SUSD Governing Board engaged in highly divisive practices and hired and supported a corrupt superintendent despite opposition by the teachers’ association and parent …

Glick: John Little supports small businesses

I’ve known John for over two decades. During that time I have come to appreciate John’s deep commitment to small business. He has been, and continues to be, a strong advocate for …

Wills: My vote for Julie Cieniawski

As a Scottsdale native, SUSD graduate, banking professional and the parent of a daughter fully educated in SUSD from kindergarten through 12th grade, I’d like to offer my support of Julie …

Parker: Caring about Scottsdale is a nonpartisan issue

Now more than ever, we need people elected to office who are not concerned whether you are a Republican or Democrat, rather, we need people who care about you as an individual and who cares about our …

Kubiak: Integrity, character still matter in Arizona politics

At the age of 18, I received a nomination from my Congressman to attend the US Air Force Academy. I took an oath, serving 30 years in an Air Force uniform. During those years I kept my political …

Davis: David Smith’s Scottsdale council endorsements are ‘interesting’

With respect to former councilman Smith’s recent endorsements of City Council candidates, it is interesting to note that: (1) he lost his City Council re-election in 2018, in part because he …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Haines: The pursuit of IT careers for young women

Less than 10 years ago, Zoom didn’t exist and now it’s a common household name. This virtualization tool, and others like it, brings our computer screen to life as an interactive …

Heath: Scottsdale needs a smart growth council

As a longtime resident of Scottsdale who cares deeply about our city, I support Tammy Caputi and John Little for City Council, because of their pedigrees and their open-minded approach to smart …

Janik: Ways Scottsdale codes, plans get altered through amendment process

From the City’s website: The General Plan is the primary tool for guiding the future of the city. It contains the community’s goals and policies on character and design, land use, open …

Mustacchio: Vaping among my classmates is no longer the exception

As a sophomore high school student athlete I have seen firsthand that people my age who vape are no longer the exception but the majority. I have played sports throughout high school and have …

Durham: A response to Don Henninger

Don Henninger is the executive director of the Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow (“SCOTT”), which states that its mission is as a civic and business organization working on …

O’Rourke: Elect a teacher to Scottsdale school board

Julie Cieniawski is the consummate lifelong learner and career educator. During the time we taught together in the Scottsdale Unified School District Comprehensive Gifted Program at Desert Canyon …
(Arianna Grainey/Independent Newspapers)

The Smiths: The four Scottsdale candidates we’re voting for

It’s decision time! Besides choosing among the national and state candidates for office, it is time for Scottsdale citizens to elect a new mayor and three councilmembers. As 35-year …

Woods: My support for John Little

Some people have described this time of political discourse as the “post-truth era” when fact checking happens real time before some politicians have finished stirring up their base with …

Robbins: What will Scottsdale’s election results say about us?

Embrace today! The past is over, the future is unclear. One famous quote says, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” After …
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: Moving the right areas of Scottsdale forward

What do Scottsdale residents want from their future leaders? Do they expect them to sustain the city’s high property values and low tax rates? To continue to provide unparalleled city …

Barnhart: Mrs. Cieniawski was my favorite teacher

My name is Katie Barnhart and I am writing to provide personal insight into why Julie Cieniawski is the ideal candidate for Scottsdale Unified Schools Governing Board. Mrs. Cieniawski was my …
Dr. John Kriekard

Kriekard: Kurland is a champion of Scottsdale’s children

I am in my 42nd year of working to improve the lives of young people in our public schools, moving from teaching in the classroom to leading both the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley districts as …

Whitehead: Removing Scottsdale’s mask mandate was illogical

Scottsdale’s facemask mandate saved lives and the economy without any associated costs and is still needed today. This past June, as coronavirus cases spiraled out of control, Mayor Jim …

Nordlund: My support for Julie Cieniawski for Scottsdale school board

Julie Cieniawski gets my vote for the Scottsdale governing board. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Julie as a young mom researching the kind of education that she wanted for her kids. She …

King: Cieniawski’s point of view for Scottsdale Schools is unsubstituted

As a mom of three young Scottsdale Unified School District students who has had the pleasure of getting to know Julie Cieniawski while volunteering on a number of SUSD related efforts, I am thrilled …

Nichols: Ortega’s support for Scottsdale adds value

My last job title at the City of Scottsdale was chief financial officer/city treasurer (2013-2020). Prior to that I served the citizens of the Scottsdale community as a senior budget analyst …

Bruner: Caputi is ‘perfect’ for Scottsdale council

Earlier this year I was introduced to Tammy Caputi. Over coffee I became impressed with her energy, her enthusiasm and especially her love of Scottsdale. Like most of us, she came from …

Durham & Janik: Further evaluation of Scottsdale’s ‘fork in the road’

Tammy Caputi has written an important article which appeared in the Independent, entitled Scottsdale’s Fork in the Road. As competing candidates for the City Council, we don’t always …

Shemanske: A leader who wants the best for Scottsdale

This is a time when we need leaders like John Little because John cares so deeply for the City of Scottsdale and wants to see the city be the best. I have known John and his wife Lori for 16 …

Norton: Ignore Republican recommendation for Scottsdale school board

Six candidates seek one of the three seats open on the SUSD Governing Board. Four are superb people who want to build our district. They have differing views, differing skill sets, differing …

Fudala: Who is that masked woman? Me!

Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy wearing a mask. Although I regret the reason that we need to wear masks — to prevent the spread of COVID-19 around the globe — there are positive …

Opinion: No on Invest in Ed Prop 208

Arizonans have a business decision to make at the ballot this year. Prop 208 seeks to nearly double the top income tax bracket. The question each voter must ask is, can Arizona afford to become a …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Milhaven: Continue using masks to keep Scottsdale healthy

Mask up, Scottsdale! Masks were part of our winning strategy. We should not give up on a winning strategy. We can all be proud that our efforts over the last several months have taken Arizona …
Tammy Caputi

Caputi: Scottsdale’s fork in the road

Scottsdale is at a watershed moment for our city. Voters have two distinct choices in the November election for our City Council. Residents can choose positive, forward thinking, fact-based …
Julie Cieniawski will be a member of the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board.

Cieniawski: It is important that we get our next leaders right

Choosing the best leaders right now is more important than ever before. I am supporting John Little as a City Council candidate for his long standing, deep, and thoughtful commitment to support …

Dodds: Watch out for 70-ish council candidate on ‘Scottstrek’

Please be careful if you see Scottsdale City Council candidate John Little zip by around Oct. 10 or 11. At the age of 70, he’ll be riding a bike — or scooter or Segway or walking or …

Bezon: Full-throated, unequivocal support for Julie Cieniawski’s school board campaign

My name is Bonnie Bezon. I am a National Board Certified Teacher with 18 years of experience. I taught in the Scottsdale public school district for 15 years, and served for three years alongside of …

Griffen: Testimonial for Scottsdale City Council candidate Little

I have known John Little for more that 20 years from his time at the City of Scottsdale and through his important consulting work with Scottsdale organizations such as the Charros. John is the …

Cantor: Context for Scottsdale school board candidate’s statements

The article interviewing candidates for SUSD Governing Board had some very erroneous statements and assumptions from Ms. Digrazia. Being a student of history and government for the better part of …

Kurland: Public service missing from Arizona state government

I am running to be your State Representative because I believe that the people of our district have been ignored for far too long. The folks in Phoenix have forgotten that they are public …

Opinion: Is the party finally over?

In 2017, the Arizona State Legislature established regulations that eliminated the ability of cities, like Scottsdale, to regulate rental units based on classification or use (HOA’s are …

Whitehead: Scottsdale City Council votes to protect energy efficiency

Eliminating incentives to save energy is a costly mistake. Particularly now. Arizonans are suffering record temperatures and thousands are looking for work. Efficiency helps alleviate both. Yet, …
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: Can new Scottsdale City Council boldly go where others have not gone before?

“The challenge for the new City Council will be to understand what has happened in the past, what is truly happening in the economy now, and what the real assets and inadequacies of the …

Adler: John Little has got my vote for Scottsdale council

John Little is my favorite candidate for Scottsdale City Council. I’ve known John since 2007 when I volunteered as a Downtown Scottsdale Ambassador and I have always been impressed with his …

Egan: The destruction of Scottsdale, Valley of the Sun

Scottsdale mayors and city management, starting with Drinkwater, have for the last 40 years sold land to developers, that has ultimately destroyed our beautiful desert and the City of Scottsdale …

Haskell: A take on Scottsdale’s current affairs

For all you activists, pseudo activists, concerned citizens, outraged outcasts, those who want to support a “cause”, protesters/rioters, mask maniacs and those who have an unhealthy fear …

Kurland: Working together for our students' safety amid COVID-19

The SUSD governing board has decided on a phased approach for reintroducing in-person learning for the majority of our students after weeks of gathering feedback from parents, teachers, and …

Manross: Leave it as it is

“Leave it as it is! You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” These are Theodore Roosevelt’s epic words that have been the …

Janik: Why I’m running for Scottsdale City Council

As I begin this final phase of the election for Scottsdale City Council, I am humbled by the strong support I have received from you the citizens who made me the top vote-getter in the primary. …

Little: The Scottsdale Ethics Code has been gutted; it needs to be fixed

Recently there has been renewed interest in revisiting the city’s codes and ordinances regarding campaign contributions and ethics to consider changes that could help restore public trust. …

Bruner: John Little’s experience makes him right for Scottsdale council

My wife Sandy and I have lived in Scottsdale for over 50 years. I was fortunate to have served on the Scottsdale City Council for two terms during the 1980s. We love this community and have a …
Tammy Caputi

Caputi: Strong, continued economic success is crucial for Scottsdale

Someone recently posted on Nextdoor: “Vote for Tammy Caputi if you want more businesses like Nationwide in Scottsdale.” I was exceptionally happy to see this. Yes, I understand the …

Burgess: What does distance learning mean for employers?

While government officials, academic leaders, and public health authorities are scrutinizing whether it is safe for children to return to campus for “in person” learning, many employers …

Shapiro: Select the best candidates for Scottsdale school board this November

As a Scottsdale Realtor for nearly 50 years, I know a strong public school system adds value to our homes and businesses. “Location, location, location” is axiomatic. For nearly 50 of …

Henninger: Being open to change may be path to future prosperity

It is not business as usual for the City of Scottsdale, and won’t be for a long time to come. Two of the city’s largest revenue sources — tourism and retail sales taxes — …

Rohde: Dear SUSD leadership, get our kids back in the classroom

Please listen to the SUSD families who made the choice to return to in-person learning. The district required us to chose either in-person or online learning by July 24, and an overwhelming 75% …

Janik: A salute to our Scottsdale teachers

Teachers inspire students and students inspire teachers. Let’s give a shout out to all teachers for their inspiration, especially in the difficult time of COVID. They have been teaching our …

Little: It’s time we decide how all Scottsdale neighborhoods can be represented

In 2003, the City Council appointed a task force to consider whether Scottsdale should elect the members of its City Council by district. Currently, the mayor and all six members of the City …

Turgel: My support for Hiral Tipirneni for Congress

Rarely have I volunteered my time on behalf of a political candidate. But as the Revolutionary War activist Thomas Paine said: “The times have found us.” Well, these times have found …
Michelle Lind

Lind: Implementation of tenant/landlord assistance programs is critical

Arizona businesses continue to be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. Particularly hard-hit are those individuals whose business is the ownership and management of rental homes throughout …
Ed McClelland

McClelland: When it comes to mental health, race matters

As a Black man who has worked in the community behavioral health industry for more than 30 years, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen the struggles that individuals and family members go …
Tom Durham

Opinion: Does it make sense for Scottsdale to pay Axon $9M for infrastructure reimbursements?

On Aug. 25, the City Council will consider a plan to provide over $9 million in infrastructure reimbursements to Axon Enterprise Inc. These reimbursements would be paid to Axon in connection with its …
Dr. Kristen Bishop

Bishop: Monsoon season brings bacterial, fungal infections

During monsoon season, Arizona’s unique desert storms may bring cooler weather to the Valley, but they also increase respiratory disease and other health risks for us Phoenicians. When it finally arrives here in the Phoenix area, monsoons and haboobs bring intense pressure build up and thick walls of dust, manure, pesticides from agricultural land and whatever else the storm picks up along the way.

Derouin: Phillips directed campaign contributions to his business

Bill Veeck of baseball fame once said that there were only two seasons: baseball and winter. He also said that baseball is about the only orderly thing in a disorderly world because if you get three …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Whitehead: Cost of Scottsdale elections exclude some from the pursuit of public office

Running for office has become an increasingly expensive proposition in America. Yet, I’ve never met a single voter that equates the trillions of dollars spent with improved outcomes. Many …

Henninger: Scottsdale voters are ‘all over the map’ in primary election

To say there were surprises in the results of Scottsdale’s mayoral race would be an understatement. Unless, of course, you talked to the two winners. They, naturally, expected to win. But …

Crawford: Governor Ducey open our gyms now

Governor Ducey is making a huge mistake by prolonging the agonizing closure of health clubs, fitness centers, and gyms in Arizona. This order is causing irreparable harm to the health, wellbeing, …

Alarcon: State liquor laws and party houses

Can party houses serve liquor? Our state liquor laws provide an effective mechanism for stopping unlawful large parties or events at residences, including short-term rentals. Selling or …
Dr. Kristen Bishop

Bishop: Our bodies are designed to fight off viruses – and they do it every day

Valley residents are continuing to work through the slight declining trend of COVID-19, many are still concerned about the safety of themselves and their families.

Shufelt: 250+ birthdays celebrated each and every month, even in the pandemic

Through the Birthday Dreams program at Arizona Helping Hands, 1,823 children in foster care have had birthdays made special in 2020. More than 250 boys and girls each month have received gifts …
Shannon Clancy

Clancy: Who is on the front line for families facing homelessness?

Temporary grace and an extension of Arizona’s eviction moratorium to Oct. 31 means we have more time to do our literal “home” work, but there’s no free pass or less pressure …
Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia

Milhaven: Virginia Korte has my vote at Scottsdale primary

Virginia Korte is exactly the Mayor that Scottsdale needs and deserves! Scottsdale is better for Virginia’s leadership and service AND the best has yet come! Virginia is principled, …

Brewer: West Coast anarchy could happen in Arizona if we don’t stand against it

The insanity we’re seeing in the Pacific Northwest would have free reign to spread to the rest of the country under a prospective Biden administration.

Maxwell: Continue to show your compassion as pandemic stretches on

COVID-19 has inverted the lives of Scottsdale’s residents. It has been an exasperating time for all of us. However, there have been extraordinary examples of community and compassion …

Ortega: Confronting short-term rentals

Last night, another shooting at a Scottsdale short-term-rental. The looting at Fashion Square was planned and staged from a nearby STR. Often seen, occupants at STRs jumping off patio roofs into …

Rogers: Housing diversity in Scottsdale? It’s more than pro or con

Those traveling throughout Scottsdale are astonished by what they see as an explosive proliferation of new apartment complexes. They’re everywhere. And they’re huge. As a result, …
Tammy Caputi

Caputi: A pre-election letter to Scottsdale

The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 4, and we are at a watershed moment in Scottsdale. Who could have imagined we’d be campaigning in the middle of a global pandemic? The personal …

Pineda: Tips to help older adults stay healthy this summer while in quarantine

While most residents in cities around the country look forward to the summer season, Arizonans try their best to stay cool living through the hottest days of the year, with temperatures rising above …

Little: My commitment to our community members with disabilities

The City of Scottsdale is a pioneer in providing services to address the needs of our community members with disabilities. The city’s Adaptive Services Division is a nationally-recognized …

Elisco: Good things happening despite pandemic

The relentless pace of the coronavirus pandemic has challenged hospital and healthcare workers across the Valley and the country. Long days are spent caring for COVID and non-COVID patients. The …

Miller: Stand up for inclusion, diversity by voting for Korte

Effective leadership is visionary, not reactive. Virginia Korte’s lengthy and consistent track record on nondiscrimination places her on solid footing to address the recent economic and …

Crawford: I hear you Scottsdale

2020 has proven to be nothing short of unpredictable and unimaginable. Our attention and resources are diverted in every direction, from the pandemic, to school plans, to economic devastation, to …

Howard: Select Betty Janik for Scottsdale City Council

Scottsdale is in the midst of an identity crisis. Who are we as a city? What kind of city to we want to become? How do we see ourselves --- as a city strongly influenced by those seeking profit …

Mustafa: Debbie Nez-Manuel could be first Native American female elected to LD26

As Arizonans and Valley dwellers, we are blessed to live on precious land, among diverse communities. How do we honor and respect the origins of our land and the people who have resided in our …

Jaynes: Little’s guidance needed

I’m voting for John Little for Scottsdale City Council and I ask that you do the same. John’s experience and knowledge of city issues makes him the most qualified candidate running …

Hinchman: Vote Maxwell to bring humanity back to Scottsdale

I recently read a post on the contentious NextDoor app about how there are too many political signs lining our streets and how residents wish they were not so visible. I’m the first person …

Van Cleave: Why Prop 420 leads to Bob Littlefield for Scottsdale mayor

Some history first to help see the future. We know the citizens were victorious in the 2018 battle to Protect Our Preserve! After all, it was and is the “People’s Preserve!” As a …

Norton: Sloppy reporting could cost lives

July 23rd the Independent stated that Scottsdale had reached 2,011 COVID-19 cases. About one infection for every 125 people residing in the city. The data from the AZ Dept. of Health Services …

Derouin: The top contributor to Scottsdale campaigns

The Littlefield ticket for mayor and City Council (which includes Guy Phillips, Betty Janik and Tom Durham) has made a lot of noise about developer campaign contributions. To hear Littlefield …

Brown: I will be voting for Tammy Caputi in Scottsdale City Council election

Scottsdale has been my home since 1987. When I first moved here, I spent a lot of time on Main St. The Galleries and independent restauranteurs made Thursday nights special. I always said I want …

Sauerman: Characterization of candidates as for, against development is short-sighted

Over the past two years, certain candidates have ridden the wave of Prop 420 and the defeat of Southbridge II, taking those two discrete controversies as some sort of mandate. But …

Kirby: Presidential police support, or lack of

Joe Biden’s reckless support of defunding our Nation’s police is irresponsible and jeopardizes the safety of Americans. Biden does not want to just take away funding, but instead, …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Independent Newsmedia launches collaborative commenting platform at yourvalley.net

The idea of maintaining civil discourse when debating public issues of the day is more than lip-service at Independent Newsmedia. At Yourvalley.net, which is powered by the work of local …

Maxwell: What will Scottsdale’s evolution be post COVID-19?

One of the economic byproducts of the COVID crisis is that many companies transitioned quickly to their employees working from home. Now nearly 4.5 months into the pandemic, a prolonged …

Whitehead: Join the movement and show how Scottsdale cares

Few could argue that 2020 has been a difficult year. The threat of a deadly virus has upended all aspects of our lives and the actions taken to control its spread have had serious side effects on …

The Wills: Virginia Korte is a Scottsdale consensus-builder, visionary

Leadership matters! In times like these, we can’t think of a more appropriate tagline for Virginia Korte’s mayoral run.

Janik: Housing trends illustrate welcome news for Scottsdale

The Commerce Department reported on Friday, July 17, housing starts were up 17.3% in June. We have not seen this since October 2016. While still below February 2020, this is a strong indicator of …

Treon: School leadership, clarity needed as parents weigh classroom options amid COVID-19

These are hard times --- there is no doubt about that. As challenging as the last five months have been, we are facing a high stakes decision point that will impact the lives of thousands in …

Derouin: Anyone but Bob Littlefield for Scottsdale mayor

Now that ballots are out and residents are voting in the primary for mayor and City Council, it is important to note that, once again, Bob Littlefield is running for mayor — again (as was the …

Bednar: Kevin Maxwell’s passion, vision is right for Scottsdale council

Scottsdale residents have one of the hardest decisions facing them this election season. Our community has been lacking leadership and vision for many years and we need new City Council leaders …

Huizar: What black Americans need

There has always been a desire to control the minds of black Americans since the day we planted our feet on American soil back in 1619. Blacks encountered years of oppression from information …

Coe: As early ballots arrive, consider who represents Scottsdale’s charm

Early voting has begun. Every election cycle feels like the most important election of our lifetimes, but it may just be truer for this one! Lucky for us in Scottsdale, we have nine wonderful …

Petrie Sue: Suzanne Klapp is my choice for mayor

Scottsdale is most fortunate to have a choice in this mayoral election of a woman, Suzanne Klapp, who has demonstrated her capabilities and her leadership to bring people together for the good of the …

Lamb: Virginia Korte is one always willing to listen at City Hall

Having attended numerous City Council Meetings and observing Council members’ dialogue over the years, I have come to respect Virginia Korte and also value her comments and opinions. She has …

Janik: Setting the record straight in light of political robocalls

Hello to friends, supporters and opponents, I guess I have rattled some cages with my campaign. Someone (or somebodies) has sent out hundreds of robo texts to both Republican and Democrats alike. …

Little: Think cleaner, think better, think solar

Solar energy isn’t just about saving the world. It’s also about saving money, creating living wage jobs, cutting air pollution, and putting a strong public face on the clean and wholesome …

Henninger: A formal declaration of Scottsdale community values

The sounds of silence often can be damaging. That point comes to light after recent events in Scottsdale have presented an image to the national and international media that does not reflect the …

Derouin: ‘Loophole Phillips’ is at it again

It’s been an eventful last six months for Guy Phillips, the inept member of the City Council who believes that rules apply to others, but not to him. His ignorance led to the recent …

Linnig: Scottsdale's robust housing market during 2020

Real estate is an essential business. In the midst of this seemingly never-ending pandemic there is one industry that is alive and well and that is real estate. At the beginning of this …

Kurland: Concerns mount as we wait for Arizona's elected leaders to take control

I received a phone call from a parent of a school aged child this week. She expressed concerns held by so many in our community. She frets about the long-term ramifications the pandemic is having …

Whitehead: My endorsement of Tom Durham, Betty Janik for Scottsdale City Council

I am enthusiastically endorsing Scottsdale leaders, Tom Durham and Betty Janik. I worked alongside both of these candidates and personally witnessed their commitment to our city. Under their …
Seema Verma

Verma: Taking action to protect America’s nursing home residents against COVID-19

Nursing homes have become ground zero in the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 pandemic, with outbreaks causing high rates of illness and death among vulnerable residents living together in close …

Shapiro: You and I have a lot in common

I know we share a lot in common. All of us met our spouses on a blind or first date. That date turned out to be magical. We knew we had discovered someone special. We may have lots of friends …

Cadwell: Summer skincare faces sun, heat…and masks

Summer is here and much like you swap out your winter wardrobe for summer attire, the same goes for your skin care. At Vibrant Skin Bar, our aestheticians and medical providers --- we call …
Mimi Rogers

Rogers: The crisis of the pandemic on individuals who have intellectual disabilities

COVID-19 poses extreme obstacles for people who have intellectual disabilities and thrive on routine, familiar activities, and people, such as family and friends. So, with everything going …

Crawford: Political shenanigans, misstatements of facts

I would like to set the record straight and defend myself and others against recent accusations and inferences made regarding individuals in the business community donating to campaigns for City …
Denny Brown

Brown: John Little is the right leader for Scottsdale

John Little is the right leader for right now. Governing requires understanding the responsibilities of all city departments involved. John Little has that understanding. He knows the inner …

Smith: Young Scottsdale voters weigh in

In an attempt to get younger voters more involved and informed in the City of Scottsdale, several groups (Scottsdale Rising Young Professionals, FUEL Scottsdale, Scottsdale Leadership and Scottsdale …

Little: My commitment to education and the city

Dear Scottsdale educators and education advocates, There are many reasons to love Scottsdale. At the top of this list is our city’s renowned school system, which boasts the nation’s …
Tammy Caputi

Caputi: Scottsdale needs to reach higher

The recent protests about systemic racism have brought national awareness and engagement to the issues of justice and equality for all; issues that demand our attention as we strive to continually …

Lyles: Great job Phoenix for a great need in the city

This month, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved an incredibly important new affordable housing initiative. With Phoenix being the nation’s fastest growing city, and housing costs …

Andres-Schneider: Korte’s vision, leadership elevate Scottsdale community

Amidst the turmoil and divisiveness that have plagued the first half of 2020, we have an opportunity to set a positive path for Scottsdale going forward --- electing Virginia Korte as our mayor. I …

Janik: Does the City Council help developers at cost to the citizens?

The City Council offers a “bonus” or an incentive to developers to design and build in areas that the council considers blighted or are highly desirable locations to drive growth. …

Dickman: Five reasons Gov. Ducey should issue an Executive Order for short-term rentals

Reason 1 As many of us have heard in the media, the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have issued Executive Orders forcing anyone from Arizona (and several other states with …

Stanton: Paul Dembow needs to get out of the cheap seats

Paul Dembow is entitled to his own opinions on candidates running for Town Council, but he is not entitled to misrepresent the facts. Politics can be very ugly sometimes, including here in Paradise …

Opinion: A statement for Mayor Lane and Scottsdale City Council

We write to you as concerned members of the community to request that you agendize for discussion a petition submitted to you on June 29 relating to the conduct of Councilmember Guy Phillips. As …

Nasada: May we all breathe easy

“I can’t breathe.” We heard these harrowing words repeatedly in recent years from dying Black Americans, including George Floyd. Today, I see them as the thread tying together …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Milhaven & Korte: We will not support Phillips’ behavior

Councilman Phillips’ comments and behaviors at the recent rally, mocking the words of a dying man, are abhorrent to us. We believe that he has brought dishonor to his position of City …

Myers: Where have all the leaders of Scottsdale gone?

The COVID-19 crisis and the riots and looting in our own downtown have exposed an absence of leadership in Scottsdale. Leadership comes from the top, mayor and council, not from city staff, and …
Dr. Elizabeth Hart-Wells will join the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board.

Opinion: Getting you and your student ready for August

Back to school is only weeks away. While we may not have a detailed roadmap on what that will look like, we do know that there will be some changes, and it’s time to adapt. Adaptation is a …
Sam Campana

Campana: Consensus-building, experience make Korte my choice for Scottsdale mayor

Virginia Korte has brought informed and sensitive leadership to Scottsdale for decades, and I trust that she will continue to do so for years to come. I first met Virginia when she was general …

Huizar: Recognizing individuality in every person

I recently took a trip to Jerome, Arizona and I visited a small art gallery. I was so impressed with the work of artist Janie Layers. I fell in love with and identified with a beautiful sculpture …

Maxwell: Planning a Scottsdale that appeals to tomorrow’s residents

This past Sunday, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix hosted a candidate debate for both the City Council and the mayoral elections. One of the questions posed to candidates was …

Heath: Phillips needs to go

Last week councilmember Guy Phillips used his city position to lead an anti-mask campaign on the grounds of City Hall, and while doing so he cited the words of George Floyd “I can’t …

Opinion: Thousands of signatures calling for Guy Phillips to resign

In 48 hours, over 9,000 people have signed two petitions calling for Scottsdale City Council member Guy Phillips’ removal from office. News of Phillips’ “I Can’t …

Sutton: Forcing face masks is dangerous recipe for people with medical conditions

Kudos to Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips for standing up to mandates that violate our Constitutional rights. And he should not need to apologize for using a truthful and factual …

Janik: Scottsdale's dark underbelly exposed for the world to see

I am shocked and saddened at what I saw in Scottsdale on Wednesday. The “unmask” demonstration is an offense to my very being. The ridicule of the death of George Floyd at the …

Crawford: The mask is off

On Wednesday, Councilman Guy Phillips led a rally against the city’s mandate to wear masks. I have publicly stated two things regarding this: I do not personally like the mandate, but I …

Hinchman: Phillips lacks values to serve our ‘Golden Rule City’

Dear Mayor Lane and City Councilmembers, I am writing to you as a private citizen to condemn Councilmember Guy Phillips’ hateful speech he recited at Wednesday’s “Unmask …
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: Your Scottsdale vote is a paramount decision this August

In this heated political season that is upon us, just about any issue can be made into a platform for public discourse. Masks are just the latest. The day after Scottsdale, like other cities …
Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey

Korte: If elected mayor of Scottsdale, I will fight for your right to know

There are many defining issues between the various candidates for Mayor, but none as clear as the quest for transparency, accountability, and openness in our elections. I am the only candidate …

Blacker: Korte’s decades of community involvement set her apart

Virginia Korte has served our community in countless ways over more than three decades. The outcome of her dedicated work and collaborative approach? She makes my job easier. Anyone involved …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Never know when you might need a helping hand

When the work van pulled up in front of Arizona Helping Hands, I recognized the company name. I thought my friend Dale was coming to say hi and tour the Arizona Helping Hands facility where we …

Kurland: Phillips’ comments do not represent Scottsdale community

Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips made abhorrent comments yesterday at a rally he helped organize, quipping the words “I can’t breathe” to mock the utterances of black men who died …

Norton: Time for Guy Phillips to resign

First, thank you, Mayor Lane, for your quick and sharp statement condemning Guy Phillips’ outrageous actions this morning. With a Confederate flag in the foreground and hoots and hollers of …

Sturgeon: A historic perspective to Klapp’s support of 'Dark Money'

Suzanne Klapp, mayoral candidate, would like you to believe that she stands for openness, transparency and accountability. That is a far cry from her involvement in the 2014 independent …
Michael Vallante

Vallante: Supporting black-owned small businesses, entrepreneurship

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest that has been taking place in some cities, the impact has been felt in every sector of our economy. There has never been a more challenging time for …

Opinion: Arizona veterans call on removal of Confederate monuments, memorials

Governor Ducey, As Arizona veterans of the United States Armed Forces, we call on you to immediately remove all Confederate monuments and memorials in our state, starting with the one at Wesley …

Elizabeth: A tale of being black in Scottsdale

I am a resident in one of America’s “Most Livable Cities.” My family moved to north Scottsdale because we fell in love with the mountain views. I love being close to great …

Huizar: Let’s talk about it

I came of age in the 90’s y’all! It was the decade when black American women were finally being recognized, accepted, and appreciated. Halle Berry was considered the standard of …

Ward: Considering a career in Arizona real estate

Are you preparing for your future career or seeking to re-career? Have you ever thought of working in real estate? If you haven’t, you may want to think again! Did you know that the real …

Auerbach: Choosing the right Scottsdale leaders in August primary will impact city for years to come

There have been many instances during what is often referred to as the “silly season” that I believe the voters should be aware of. Too many times I hear from registered voters (and …
Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey

Korte: We all agree to modern social contract in Scottsdale to not do harm

Mayor Jim Lane issued an emergency proclamation that “requires people to cover their nose and mouth in most public areas with some exceptions…” This proclamation expires on …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Lane: I don’t like wearing a mask, but I’m wearing one now

I recently issued an emergency proclamation that mandated masks to be worn in public places in our community. This proclamation’s impact on our COVID-19 medical situation will be reviewed …

Shapiro: Korte has what it takes to lead Scottsdale

The field of candidates for Scottsdale mayor is crowded. Each of them believes they are your best choice. So, how do you evaluate your choices to make the best possible decision if you don’t …

Janik: I hear Scottsdale citizens, community concerns

As a resident of Scottsdale for 16 years, I have seen significant change. Some positive, but more recently the changes have been unwelcome. Over development is a major concern. The current City …
David Sheppard (Photo courtesy Just Leadership USA)

Sheppard: What Juneteenth means to me as a black man in America

This Friday, we celebrate Juneteenth --- a holiday that receives little attention but holds special significance for me as a black man in America this year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 …

Alexander: The contradictions in Janik and Durham’s populism

Betty Janik and Tom Durham wrote two long articles recently, banging a populist drum of reforming campaign finance. Their ideas show that an anti-growth belief permeates their campaign platform. …
Jim Rounds

Rounds: Maricopa County supervisors need to approve project, bring 1,100 jobs to Valley

During difficult economic times like these, nothing is more valuable than a good job. As an economist, I routinely advise community and business leaders on how to recruit and create more of these …
Councilwoman Virginia Korte was the dissenting vote on accepting the Independent Ethics Panel’s “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,” which found no ethical violations from a complaint filed against City Councilman Guy Phillips.

Korte: systemic racism exists in America and to deny it is an affront to humanity

Racism has been part of the human experience from the beginning of recorded time; our oldest texts document racially motivated wars and death. To pretend that racism doesn’t exist inside every …

Eaneman: Virginia Korte has my vote this August for Scottsdale mayor

The tenor of the times has put Leadership in the spotlight of public opinion. Using Tip O’Neill’s axiom that “all politics is local,” my comments focus on the City of …

Shufelt: Tragedy befalls an amazing foster family

I met Curtis four years ago. He came to Arizona Helping Hands to receive beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, sports equipment and more to help his family. His daughter’s life had been …

Kush: Apartments are a good deal for Scottsdale

There has been considerable debate on the virtues/drawbacks of multifamily (rental) housing in Scottsdale, to include the suggestion by several no-growth council and mayoral candidates like …

Maxwell: The pros and cons of Scottsdale’s ‘smart city’ pursuit

On Thursday of last week, Scottsdale’s Economic Development subcommittee heard a presentation on the Scottsdale Smart City Strategic Roadmap. As technology moves forward and the internet …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Milhaven: Banning anonymous political personal gifts is necessary, swift action

Anonymous personal gifts to elected officials are being confused with legal campaign contributions. Bob Littlefield, and his political allies Betty Janik and Tom Durham, are fueling confusion and …

Derouin: Proposed changes to ethics code wholly inadequate

As a citizen of the city since 1985 and one of the authors of the city’s Ethics Code, I have written before about my concerns relating to the “independent” ethics panel decision in …

Rhoden: A letter to my kids regarding #BlackLivesMatter

I last wrote a public letter to you six years ago in BKNation. During that time, in 2014, we had just moved to the Phoenix area and I was a recently minted PhD. The world at that time seemed in …