I spent much of last year working on community issues, meeting leaders and citizens from all sectors of our city.
The crown jewel was working with a great Political Action Committee to support the passage of the three bond questions. During that time, I met some terrific people and several of them asked me to consider a run for council. I have given it some serious consideration.
At the time of this writing there are nine declared candidates, for three seats. WOW! There appears to be a sufficient number from which to choose. They speak with varying degrees of passion about the city.
Many believe they know what the citizens want. Several are deeply connected with vocal lobbying groups. Others are quietly smart, insightful folks with measured tones in their speech. A couple of names even make me giggle; it takes all kinds of folks to run and then govern.
Govern --- this is the core issue before us. How are our leaders to govern when every decision is suspect, followed by argument questioning and another round of referenda?
I’m a bit of a civics geek and I truly believe there are decisions that are not fit for referendum. Honestly, it’s become a mess.
Neither the number of candidates nor the issues in governance sway me away from running. I have wanted to run for several years.
Politics has been a large part of my life. I recall being so upset when my father and I arrived at the Election Night Gala and my reward for working so many hours was to sit with some unknown (to me) judge named Sandra Day O’Connor. Boy was I proved wrong.
I cherish that meeting and often ask myself what experiences I miss because of my preconceived notions. I fight that habit and fight it hard.
Large candidate fields make it easier for the insurgent candidate. The mess of arguments in this town don’t scare me. It can get rough, but I’ve lived through a whole lotta rough.
I am not running because I think our city has to do some serious looking in the mirror before making selections for leadership. If you like the status quo there is a candidate for you. If you want change, there are folks for you. There are several candidates that will keep the fires of division stoked.
Fellow citizens we must choose a direction for our city. We must move out of the mélange and malaise that have existed for far too long. Growth is inevitable; how the heck did your house get built without growth. We can’t close the door and say I got mine now the rest of you go away.
The looney conspiracy fringe must be replaced with traditional western values of honesty, integrity and care for neighbors. All of them!
My platform would have been smaller and less flashy. Perhaps there will be a time for a candidate wishing to focus on families; schools quality jobs and housing. Growth is essential and natural.
Were it not so, some would still be going to eat and drink at LulaBelle’s and tying their horses outside many a different establishments.
My beloved Alma Mater, Scottsdale High School would still exist. I would have run on a promise to never speak of a person in a negative fashion and would ask any of my friends to take that same pledge, online and in person.
I’m sitting this one out because there better be some of us left to do heavy lifting that always follows contentious races such as ours.
Staffing committees and work groups to pull neighbors together for the good of the city. I’m in for that kind of work this time. Hopefully, our candidates will have lots of good for us.
I’m not running now but I will be here when I am needed.
Editor’s Note: Paula Sturgeon is a longtime Scottsdale resident.