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Guest Commentary

Graham: Bond projects should take priority at Scottsdale City Hall


Many residents have shared their frustration about the city council spending too much time and too many tax dollars on projects no one asked for — while neglecting the projects that residents voted for in the 2019 bond election.

Unfortunately, of the 58 “critical” bond projects promoted as “must haves” to voters just three years ago, more than one-third are significantly over-budget, altered, or have been placed on the back burner.

Here are a few projects that voters said they wanted but will not be getting anytime soon, if ever:

  •  Improvements in Old Town to Marshall Way, Fifth Avenue and Main Street
  •  New fire station at 90th Street and Via Linda
  •  Expansion to both Granite Reef and Via Linda Senior centers
  •  Thompson Peak Parkway Bridge
  •  Old Town parking structure
  •  Pools at Cactus Aquatic Center
  •  Improvements at West World

Residents can learn more about the status of 2019 bond projects by visiting: BarryGrahamResidentsFirst.com.

For weeks, council members have been spending way too much time bickering over “road diets” that an overwhelming majority of residents didn’t request.

I’ve lost count of how many residents have told council they oppose shrinking traffic lanes and replacing them with bike lanes — but the city isn’t letting resident feedback prevent “road dieting” both 68th Street and Thomas Road.

The price of the bond projects package, originally estimated at $319 million, is currently over budget by $155 million for a variety of reasons: inflation, poor planning, design alterations, and at least one known “clerical error” that’s costing taxpayers $15 million.

Council members should make bond projects a priority and press the pause button on costly and controversial projects that are only creating division and distrust.