Scottsdale’s Mayor Ortega addresses fellow Rotarians

Posted 4/19/21

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale recently welcomed city of Scottsdale’s Honorable Mayor David Ortega as its keynote speaker at a hybrid—Zoom and onsite—meeting held at The McCormick Scottsdale.

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Scottsdale’s Mayor Ortega addresses fellow Rotarians


The Rotary Club of Scottsdale recently welcomed city of Scottsdale’s Honorable Mayor David Ortega as its keynote speaker at a hybrid—Zoom and onsite—meeting held at The McCormick Scottsdale.

Rotarian Joe Cusack introduced the mayor as the club’s newest honorary member. Mayor Ortega is a registered Arizona architect and designed many landmark buildings in Old Town. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona and was an apprentice architect to Bennie Gonzales FAIA, the award-winning designer of Scottsdale City Hall, Civic Center Library and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The Rotarians and guests learned that Mayor Ortega, while being excited to serve as mayor, he is focused on:

  • Safeguarding public health and safety;
  • Maintaining Scottsdale’s family-friendly neighborhoods;
  • Protecting the McDowell Sonoran Preserve;
  • Strengthening Scottsdale’s world-renowned reputation;
  • And, committed to equal rights for all, responsive city government and adoption of citizen-driven General Plan 2035 to support economic vitality.

During Mayor Ortega’s talk, he provided highlights of what it is like to be Scottsdale’s Mayor – topics he discussed were:

  • The pandemic – its scars, healing, and heartbreaking impacts on the city; such as, losses to small businesses, increase in available commercial spaces, increased commercial subletting, and resort, restaurant and store slowdowns.
  • City’s highly rated and exceptional hospitals and city’s supporting healthcare services.
  • City’s great schools and teachers.
  • City’s caring community that nurtures the present and future.
  • City’s major events are re-emerging, such as, car shows, golf tournaments, horse shows and spring training baseball games.
  • City’s services are being effectively being completed by its 1,600 employees.
  • City’s staff pension budget impacts.
  • City’s infrastructure needs – noting as an architect, Mayor Ortega has realized that things wear out and creative solutions are needed for Old Town/Downtown buildings (i.e.. Galleria) and Civic Plaza.
  • City’s worldwide international connections in business, Rotary, Scottsdale Sister Cities and more.
  • Ever increasing migration to Scottsdale from West Coast businesses, employees, professionals, homeowners and retirees.

Mayor Ortega answered questions about: Scottsdale’s urban setting with more people working from home; expected increase in people moving to Scottsdale; Airbnb legislative, registration and quality of life issues (noting there are 4,700 Airbnbs in Scottsdale, 3,700 in Phoenix and 3,200 in Tucson); and, North Scottsdale traffic issues.

Mayor Ortega has been a long time Rotary International member – having served as Past President of the Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club; when affiliated with the Papago Rotary Club, he was honored in November 1994 for his assistance with architectural drawings and layout for the major renovation of Scottsdale Papago Rotary Park.

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale now sponsors and initiates park maintenance projects.

Mayor Ortega has served on numerous city, county and state commissions, and on civic, non-profit organizations including: Scottsdale City Councilman 2000-2004, Scottsdale Downtown Architectural Guidelines Committee, Scottsdale Development Review Board (member 10 years), Maricopa County Private Industry Council, State of Arizona School Facilities Board (member 6 years),

Governor’s Latino Advisory Council, American Institute of Architects (1985-present), Scottsdale Leadership, Inc., Friends of the Scottsdale Library, Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, Inc., Coronado High School Foundation for the Future, Inc., Chrysalis Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, and Reading Pals-Pueblo Elementary School SUSD.

In 1902, Mayor Ortega’s grandfather was born near Tucson’s University of Arizona area. Mayor Ortega and his wife, Rosemary Gannon, have been married for 40 years. They live in the Park Scottsdale neighborhood near Saguaro High School where they raised their children, Alexandra and Luke.

For more information about Rotary Club of Scottsdale programs, membership and projects – see

Editor's Note: Dr. Honora Norton is the Rotary Club of Scottsdale Public Image Chair.