To explain why I am running for mayor I need to tell you a story. It’s called “A Tale of Two Cities.”
The first city is Scottsdale. Scottsdale is a very special place --- it is literally the best place in the Valley to live, work and visit. It is so special every one of us who lives here, in every part of the city, gladly paid a premium to do so.
It is so special it is the number one tourist destination in the Valley, attracting visitors who heavily support our local economy.
How did Scottsdale get to be so special? Partly because of location --- we have a great climate, a stunning natural landscape and a unique Western character all our own.
But what really made Scottsdale special were the thousands of concerned and involved citizens who worked over many decades to create the city we call home. Scottsdale has had many bold, visionary projects in our history such as the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, the Civic Center Mall, and our award-winning public art program.
These ideas didn’t come from city government; they came from residents like you who wanted a safe and beautiful place to live, not just for themselves but also for their families and friends.
Concerned and involved citizens also spearheaded Scottsdale’s high standards for design, development and code enforcement. Standards like such as the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance, Natural Area Open Space, and all our various Character Area Plans, Scenic Corridors, Streetscapes and Design Guidelines keep our city special.
Developers built within our citizen-inspired guidelines rather than try to bypass them, because they knew making our city special was good for everyone, including them.
Now let me tell you the story of another city, a city I call Upside Down Scottsdale.
I call it that because in Upside Down Scottsdale the residents no longer set the agenda for the city’s growth --- special interests do.
Greed and short-term self-interest take the place of both civic pride and creating a sustainable high quality of life as the driving forces behind Scottsdale’s growth. And our city “leaders” are put in office by special-interest campaign contributions rather than by records of civic achievement.
Upside Down Scottsdale is the city my opponents, who are part of the current City Council majority, want --- an Upside Down Scottsdale of tall buildings that block our views, urban-level density that clogs our streets with traffic and stresses our infrastructure, an oversupply of apartments, and an out-of-control bar district.
They are encouraging the destruction and decay of Scottsdale’s once world-renowned arts scene. They happily approve commercial development and upzonings that degrade the quality of life in residential neighborhoods.
They even (until the citizens rose up and stopped them) supported commercial development in the citizen-created crown jewel of Scottsdale, the Preserve. And, they are squandering your tax dollars on special-interest handouts instead of funding our city’s critical infrastructure needs.
My mission as mayor will be to restore control of Scottsdale’s future to the residents, and to implement the residents’ vision for how their city grows.
Together we can make Scottsdale right-side-up again!
Editor’s Note: Bob Littlefield is a former three-term Scottsdale City Councilman and is running for mayor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his web site is www.boblittlefield.com.