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Lively: Mayor Lane needs to protect Scottsdale residents now before it’s too late


A message to all Arizona business owners, city officials and state leadership:

This is especially for the leaders of the City of Scottsdale, a city that has more restaurants and public venues in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the state.

The City of Scottsdale in particular also has a high concentration of at-risk residents over the age of 60.

I am increasingly concerned about the safety and well-being of our city and its residents and the lack of decisive leadership that may cost us future economic prosperity. The state of Arizona is an incredible place to live, work and own business with plentiful opportunity for people who want to work hard and make good decisions.

As a PR consultant it is my job to advise leaders and business owners on actions they should take in times of crisis. If you fall into either of those categories: This is the time to act. With all due respect, Mayor Jim Lane is not doing all he can to protect our city. If you want to see what leadership looks like, look no further than Mayor Kate Gallego.

I am an 18-year resident of Scottsdale and a business owner. I also advocate on behalf of businesses, who are all affected by this crisis.

I have contacted the local media to voice my concerns and posted on my social accounts calling for immediate action from the City of Scottsdale. All Scottsdale residents should immediately do the same.

The city’s haphazard statement released yesterday does not even come close to taking any sort of significant step to contain the spread of COVID-19.

This delay is shameful and it will not only cost us our livelihoods, but it will cost us precious lives too.

I implore you to use whatever influence you have to encourage Mr. Lane to swiftly act now.

If you have already made the very difficult and previously unfathomable decision to restrict your business operations due to the global health crisis, thank you.

Your swift leadership is commendable and exactly what is needed at this time. But right now, acting alone is not enough.

The first lesson of PR and crisis management is to get ahead of an issue while you still can. At this time, I strongly believe we can still grossly mitigate the impact of this crisis, but we must act now.

Our economy is strong and will recover rapidly. What we need now is strong leadership at ever level. Personal. Professional. Civic. Everyone must come together and make decisions that will keep us all safe.

Yes, reported cases of COVID-19 are currently somewhat low in Arizona. That is changing rapidly on a day-to-day basis. We must act now to keep it that way to protect our state.

We must all collectively make the decision to put people before profits now. We must.

Thank you to the business owners who have made impossible choices this week.

The most important question everyone must ask themselves at this time is how they want to show up in the future economy.

Did you or did you not put people first?

The greatest success stories we read about and the ones that will make history in the future are stories of those who act as a leader in times of crisis.

Mayor Lane: Will you?

Editor’s Note: Melissa Rein Lively is the founder of The Brand Consortium Public Relations and lives in Scottsdale.