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 social unrest, and to the looming election.
In this tsunami of critical situations, it can be difficult for many to decipher fact from fiction. The constant barrage of bad news makes us weary, and it is easy to lose hope. We wonder if we will recover, and if life will return to normal.
Next week, Scottsdale voters will choose their top candidates for November’s general election, who will ultimately lead our city into what is no doubt an uncertain future.
One thing, however, remains certain: we need leaders who are strong, experienced, collaborative, creative, and caring. Constant battles with current and future council members and the business community will not move our city forward out of this crisis.
For over 22 years, I have been a Downtown Scottsdale resident and business owner and I have 10 years of law enforcement experience. The damage from the riots at the end of May still lingers as unrest continues nationwide.
Seeing the boarded-up businesses, banners hanging out front proclaiming, “We are open!”, and walking down empty streets is jarring and heartbreaking. I have no doubt it is for you, too.
We can all agree that things will look different as we move forward. While some candidates are taking advantage of this crisis to cast negativism on growth and density by proclaiming, “We told you so,” I do not believe that we will come out of this pandemic by regressing to the way things used to be.
Industries of all kinds are suffering, and this is not the time to celebrate failure.
It is my belief that businesses everywhere will continue to recalibrate their strategies.
It will be the City Council’s job to get out of the way of business and let the private sector do what they know how to do, while ensuring that public safety remains strong and capable of protecting our citizens and our property.
While struggling now, our tourism industry will always be a key player in our city’s economic health and success, and like all other industries, the hospitality industry will be required to innovate. Constantly shifting numbers regarding the pandemic means we must adapt to how we respond and use the resources available to us.
Partnering with the school district to make sure that our children and families remain safe as we move forward will be an important factor ensuring the best choices for education. Use of retail and office space is shifting, but not in whole, and not permanently.
When Scottsdale has property owners and businesses who are willing to take big risks in our city despite the volatile climate, it is important to weigh the benefits and the risks to our city’s future. This is no time to turn away innovators and investors.
Future generations depend on us to make the right decisions for them now. We must not squander our resources and opportunities. Analysis paralysis will leave us on the outside looking in, wondering what happened, when we could have made something happen.
Despite so much uncertainty, Scottsdale will recover.
I am running because I love our city and want to help solve these problems on behalf of you, the taxpayers of Scottsdale. I hear you when you say you want a healthy future for Scottsdale residents and visitors in a post COVID-19 world.
I hear you when you say you want Scottsdale to remain a safe community with a responsive, respectful and respected public safety department. I hear you when you say you want safe, positive and social educational learning experiences for our children. I hear you when you say you want to protect and preserve our quality of life, keeping crime and taxes low and our property values high. I hear you when you say you want a transparent accountable city government.
I hear you when you say you want to protect our financial future by keeping our city and economy moving forward. I hear you when you say you want smart, compatible, balanced and quality growth that blends in with our neighborhoods, protects our open spaces, grows our economic base and promotes tourism. I hear you when you say you want a strong business community that attracts new, innovative companies and helps entrepreneurs thrive.
I hear you when you say you want to maintain and promote our world class special events, shopping, dining, arts, and recreation. I hear you when you say you want to address and solve our transportation, infrastructure, and environmental issues. And I hear you when you say we must keep the shine on Scottsdale so we can remain the best city in America.
I hear you! I will continue you be your voice, as I have been for many years, if elected to the Scottsdale City Council.
We don’t have to agree on 100% of things 100% of the time, but most of the time we can agree to a compromise. One side does not have to lose for the other side to win.
For over two decades, I have been on both sides of contentious citywide issues and I have a proven track record of getting things done through collaboration with residents, businesses and city leadership to find a win for everyone. We need to unite and stand together as a community.
If we are headed in a common direction, which is the brightest and most secure future for Scottsdale, we can work together to make great things happen for all of us.
In such trying times full of uncertainty, proven experience matters now more than ever. I respectfully ask for your vote.
Editor’s Note: Bill Crawford is a candidate for Scottsdale City Council in the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election.