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 through ubiquitous high-density construction, obstructing mountain views and straining infrastructure as well as imperiling city finances? Or as a well-planned cohesive city that retains its Western charm while continuing to attract people to the Valley.
Next Tuesday voters will decide which candidates for mayor and city council will advance to the November general election. Who best will represent them? Many of us believe candidates for Scottsdale City Council should be responsible to city residents, not rapacious developers who want to turn Scottsdale into a bawdy entertainment mecca and “Anytown, USA,” at the cost of the community’s unique cache.
As a long-time resident of Scottsdale, I care deeply about the direction in which our city is moving. In the midst of the rush to develop and infill space, we have forgotten why we live in a distinctive community.
Reasons we live here are slipping through our fingers as we avidly pursue the same glass, chrome and concrete behemoths sought by every other municipality. Another of my concerns shared by many others, is the Short Term Rental problem.
We are becoming “party city” with attendant law-enforcement problems, poor property maintenance and the disruption that a perpetual “party” environment entails. The growth of the number of STRs is symptomatic of a trend toward an out of control entertainment district which takes away from the substantive underlying values at the heart of the real Scottsdale.
Betty Janik is the City Council candidate best able to return balance to our municipal government. She is a proponent of development, but in a well-planned way, responding to Scottsdale citizens wishes.
Her background is as a scientist and teacher and her great innate leadership skills, as exemplified through the Protect Our Preserve movement, provides strong evidence of her suitability for public office. She organized and led a group of diverse volunteers who successfully gathered signatures to bring Preserve preservation before Scottsdale voters as Proposition 420.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposition, saving the McDowell Mountains from encroachment and demonstrating how far out of touch the then City Council had drifted from the wishes of its constituents. Betty spoke out against despoiling signage along the 101, served as president of COGS and opposed the 150-foot-tall Southbridge II development, emblematic of developer rapaciousness.
Unlike other candidates, Betty has uttered no harsh, negative words about her competitors. Her record of positive support for the desires of Scottsdale residents speaks for itself. When concerned residents speak, she listens.
I attest to Betty’s mature, balanced approach to city government and independence from developer funding of other candidate campaigns.
I have seen Betty Janik in action for many years and continue to be impressed by her level-headedness and probity. I will be voting for Betty Janik for City Council. I ask you to vote for her, too.
Editor’s Note: Kathy Howard is a Scottsdale resident and former Historic Preservation Commissioner.