Opinion

Kush: Beware of candidates wrong for Scottsdale

Posted 5/16/22

When Barry Graham was first appointed to the Scottsdale Planning Commission eyes rolled as some people were aware that Mr. Graham had exactly zero experience in the planning and zoning practice and …

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Opinion

Kush: Beware of candidates wrong for Scottsdale

Posted

When Barry Graham was first appointed to the Scottsdale Planning Commission eyes rolled as some people were aware that Mr. Graham had exactly zero experience in the planning and zoning practice and policies needed to make intelligent zoning decisions.

He went on to prove their fears, by voting no on some of the much needed, multi-family projects presented to the commission. It seems Barry fancies himself as a neighborhood advocate having learned from the likes of Councilwomen Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead that opposing such important projects was a sure way to pad his political ambitions.

To no one’s surprise, Mr. Graham recently announced his candidacy for Scottsdale City Council, no doubt wishing to take his anti-growth policies to yet a higher and more impactful level. Just like his mentors, Councilwomen Whitehead and Littlefield, Mr. Graham lacks the experience, compassion and wisdom to run a city with a near billion dollar budget.

Mr. Graham boasts a master’s degree in accounting and yet was recently quoted as saying “I disagree with those who try to convince us that escalating prices are simply a result of supply-and-demand. We have added record numbers of apartments and condos, yet prices keep skyrocketing.” Obviously, Mr. Graham skipped the required economics 101 courses required of his degree(s). Any secondary school teacher will tell you of the fundamental and ageless truth of the basic principle of supply and demand.

This past spring, the city’s mayor pointed to a 2019 report from the Arizona Multifamily Association that reportedly found Scottsdale is short nearly 50,000 dwelling units that are needed to keep Scottsdale up with population growth. In fact, nearly every study done by governmental agencies, points to the fact that all of the Phoenix area (Scottsdale included) is short of dwellings to house our expanding growth.

Our public servants such as nurses, police officers and fire fighters cannot live in the city they serve (Scottsdale) because of the likes of Mr. Graham who on his short stint as a planning commissioner denied projects specifically targeting the housing needs of these important groups.

Mr. Graham is wrong for Scottsdale! He denies or does not grasp basic economic truths and instead focuses his votes on protecting the NIMBY’s (not in our back yard) fear mongers and not the vital economic and social needs of our citizens. Scottsdale needs leaders who as a whole, are focused on doing what is right for our city and not instead kowtowing to the vocal “stay out of our city” minority.

Editor’s Note: Larry Kush is a 45 year Scottsdale resident having recently completed a six year term as a Scottsdale Planning Commissioner. Kush is a former home builder and life-long advocate for fair and affordable housing.

Comments

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  • xway.mike.norton

    "APARTMENT OWNER ANNOUNCES RECORD SALES PRICE": Due to the extreme shortage of housing in Scottsdale and the "anti-competitive" barriers to entry, the building owner and the buyer both agreed that the Arizona STate record price per square foot and per unit was justified - noting that only 10 such projects had been built in the past 20 years.

    and, on the same day,

    "BARRY GRAHAM ANNOUNCES RECORD OVER-DEVELOPMENT OF MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENCES"

    Someone's stone cold nuts. I'm betting it's not the buyer or the seller of that record priced apartment complex.

    Monday, May 16 Report this

  • paula sturgeon

    The BIG picture is critical. Scottsdale became an awesome city because of visionary leaders. They did not seek to artificially maintain the city size. They did not ignore the reality of population growth. Rather, leaders brought forth big ideas to build a world-class city.

    Watch for candidates that can continue the vision and ensure the viability of a great city.

    Monday, May 16 Report this

  • jason.alexander

    I don't trust Graham's claims to be a reformer, while also touting his experience on the City's commissions. He was appointed by, and served all but a year of his terms during, the Lane administration, which he now attacks for Scottsdale's "out of control" development. Again, Mr. Kush's criticsm strikes home in that Graham seems to be nothing more than an opportunist pandering to the extremists in our city during an election.

    Monday, May 16 Report this

  • LyndaBarber

    Beware of 'experts' who benefit from more construction recommending more construction. 'The West's most western town" has given way to another, more appropriate motto: 'We love tourists and developers." The once charming Old Town is almost dead, given over to tacky tourist shops--only a very few fine shops still exist--and any atmosphere we once enjoyed is ruined by the litany of Bridal shower party and other screaming drinkers.

    The West faces a number of other changes--the era of unfettered growth is (or should be) over. We WILL have water issues that can't be solved with current technology or legislated limits. But Kush and his ilk still push the agenda of more, more, more. The housing shortage in Scottsdale is mostly due to the unfettered explosion of STRs, destroying the peace of our neighborhoods. The rest is due to a shortage of AFFORDABLE housing, for workers to fill essential jobs. If you look at most of the new monster projects, though, there's nothing affordable about them. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Kush--we need city council members who take the long view as to development, and support ALL the Scottsdale stakeholders in evaluating development plans. Barry Graham is EXACTLY what the city of Scottsdale needs to counterbalance the loud voices of those 'experts' who unashamedly vote their interests over the community's good.

    Wednesday, May 18 Report this

  • Jimbushlow

    It sounds like a stone cold hit piece to me . Mr. Kush is the one who is wrong for Scottsdale . Just take a drive south to north on Scottsdale Road and then tell us that we need more apartments . The city is far from an " awesome city " - the previous crooked council filled their pockets and destroyed what used to be the Gem of the valley . We voted them out in the last election- good riddance ! Keep this overdevelopment up and there won't be a single mountain view left in Scottsdale from ground level .

    Wednesday, May 18 Report this

  • jason.alexander

    Barry Graham's signs were up early. Isnt that illegal? Graham has also been recorded multiple times texting members of the audience while serving on Planning Commission, which is a violation of open meeting laws. He seems to play loose with the rules - is Graham another Guy Phillips, who had multiple campaign committees, multiple validated finance complaints, untracked cash donations, and his infamous "I cant breathe" press conference.

    Monday, May 23 Report this