On May 27, several organizations --- Scottsdale Leadership, Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, SCOTT, and the Scottsdale Independent --- sponsored an online mayoral forum to help us get to know the candidates, their qualifications, and what strategies they have for Scottsdale.
On one of the topics, candidates were asked whether or not Scottsdale is too dependent on tourism. Virginia Korte demonstrated an understanding of business and strategic planning. Most of the others did not.
One, in fact, answered that Scottsdale was “absolutely not,” too dependent on tourism, and that the question didn’t really make sense. Most projected answers regarding what “will” happen, not what they will make happen. One even mentioned a “benefit” we could get from the pandemic --- that more Californians would move here.
I find it very difficult to utter “benefits” and “pandemic” in the same sentence. Scottsdale needs leaders to make good things happen.
Ms. Korte has the experience, vision, and she has done it. Ms. Korte’s answer was firm: Scottsdale is indeed too dependent on tourism because it makes us more vulnerable to economic ups and downs, and that we need to attract and recruit companies that are stable and pay well.
Most disagreed with Ms. Korte, saying that Scottsdale was not too dependent on tourism and that tourism is our strength.
Yes, tourism is our biggest strength, but we need candidates whose answers demonstrate an understanding of business and government. A lack of diversification sets us up for greater income difficulties. We’re suffering those effects right now, of course.
If we had recruited key industries or companies to Scottsdale, we would now undoubtedly have more options in maintaining stability. And, our revenues wouldn’t be as decimated --- not to mention the severe impact on employees in tourism.
Any city is basically a business: we get revenues, we have expenses, and we have some “profits” left to keep improving our citizens’ quality of life, or to avoid tax increases. And the less we rely on one source of income, the more we can plan for the future. Let’s get a mayor who understands that.
I am voting for Virginia Korte for mayor, because, as she says, leadership matters.
Editor’s note: Ms. Story is a resident of Scottsdale