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 the mayor has been absent when it counts the most. The bars should have been closed in the beginning and remained closed until the virus was under control and the city should have prepared for the riots, that were hitting cities all over the nation, way before they came to Scottsdale.
Strategies for handling them should have been established before they happened. We approaching an election cycle where we will replace four of the seven-member city council, including the mayor, so we have a chance to elect real leaders to guide us through these difficult times including the financial impact of them on the city.
Rapid growth, which has eroded the quality and character of our city, has also been a major issue with the current council majority of Lane, Korte, Milhaven, and Klapp. If we are to retain our high quality of life, desirability, and our reputation for safety we need to elect better leaders.
Who are the best candidates to lead us through this uncertain future and represent citizens instead of those who want to profit off Scottsdale’s desirability? Just follow the money.
If you look at who contributes to their campaign fund, it is pretty easy to see who to not vote for as the majority of them are taking donations from people and companies who do business with the city, which may be legal but certainly not ethical.
It means they will represent and vote for what their donors want, not what you want.
or mayor, all 5 candidates have been council members, so you know their voting record and who contributes to their campaigns.
The only candidate who hasn’t taken money from these special interests is Bob Littlefield. He is also the only candidate with a proven voting record of supporting citizens vs. developers, landowners, and their attorneys. Some people say they don’t want two Littlefields on the council, but for me, I would have seven of them on the council if they all consistently supported citizens and responsible growth, and backed that up with their votes and actions, as both Bob and Kathy have. Bob is also a war vet and one who will take charge when needed, something that has been lacking for a long time.
For council, only Betty Janik and Tom Durham are free of special-interest donations.
They are funded by average citizens just like us. Most of the others have either taken donations from people who do business with the city or have connections with organizations that want to develop the city. This will become more apparent when the second-quarter financial reports come out in mid-July. Look at donations and connections to organizations to see who is backing these candidates and therefore who they will represent if they get on the council.
A great source of information is the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale website where they have posted questionnaires from all but the two candidates who didn’t return one and also the first-quarter financial reports. If you look through this material it becomes pretty clear who to vote for.
We are going through difficult times with the virus, general unrest in the country, and economic impact of the virus, but we can make a difference locally, how these things impact us in the future, by putting the right people on the city council.
This year we have a unique opportunity to change the makeup of the council to get one that really will represent citizens, look at responsible growth, retain our quality of life, and drive the city toward financial sustainability. It is your choice, please chose wisely.
Editor’s note: Mr. Meyers is a resident of Scottsdale and longtime community advocate