by John Washington on July 15, 2019

City attorney Bruce Washburn ultimately dismissed the complaint, saying that Nichols was not subject to the complaint process under the city’s current ethics code.

Because, of course, since both are charter officers, that would mean the ethics code would apply to Washburn, as well!


I was scanning stations while driving today and stumbled across the most recent, and timely (given the uproar created by my post yesterday regarding millennial whining about high cost of housing in Scottsdale) episode of Freakonomics.

The ultimate extreme of “affordable housing” is rent control. Maybe we should do THAT in Scottsdale?

There are decades’ worth of economic research describing the downsides of rent control. The first major paper was written in 1946 by Milton Friedman and George Stigler; here’s Milton FRIEDMAN:

“Rent control is a law that supposedly is passed to help the people who are in housing. And it does help those who are in current housing. But the effect of rent control is to create scarcity, and to make it difficult for other people to get housing.”

In addition to this well-produced piece about the longer-term hazards of this perhaps well-intentioned notion of disrupting the free market in the name of housing welfare, another thought occurs to me: I pondered in my post about whether the whiny millennials in question–who were in essence demanding that the city (or society at-large) provide them with “affordable” (whatever that means to them) housing near where they work–had ever considered getting a job in a city where their pay would be more commensurate with the housing cost.

One genius argued that he shouldn’t have to move to Gilbert in order to be able to afford housing on his Scottsdale job’s salary.

Now, I like Gilbert. I don’t know if he was bashing the town, or bashing the commute (which I wouldn’t like, either). But it seems to have never occurred to him that he might look for a JOB in Gilbert, maybe even one that pays BETTER than whatever job he has in Scottsdale that doesn’t pay him enough to also live in Scottsdale.

Upon reflection, that last point made me consider that this “affordable housing” concept is also a form of welfare for private businesses. It’s great for the bottom line if their workforce is stupid enough to take a job that won’t pay their bills. Sort of like a local version of the Walmart stories in the news a few years ago, wherein the employees couldn’t afford the cost of healthcare.

The Freakonomics article is a bit of a long read, but well worth it for anyone who is serious about understanding “affordable housing.”

Source: Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373) – Freakonomics Freakonomics


AG probing SUSD Governing Board AGAIN |

July 14, 2019

…the attorney general received a complaint alleging that open meeting law violations took place during [Scottsdale Unified School District governing board] executive sessions held by the SUSD Governing Board on Dec. 14, 2017 and Feb. 21, 2018. The complaint alleged that the board discussed topics that were not posted on the meeting agenda made available […]

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“I deserve affordable housing in Scottsdale”

July 12, 2019

I recently had an–interesting–social media conversation with a couple of keyboard warriors who are essentially demanding cheaper (“affordable”) housing in Scottsdale. It’s clear from the comments they made that, while cloaked in proletariat self-righteousness, their motivation is really more about self-interest and entitlement than the “working class.” The conversation started with an opinion piece posted […]

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Payson’s pipeline brings flood of challenges

July 12, 2019

The water levels in the network of town wells dropped 70 or 100 feet in many places before the town imposed tough water restrictions, shortly before the recession. Well levels stabilized about 10 years ago, still far below historic levels. Source: Payson’s pipeline brings flood of challenges | News | I spend a little […]

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The completely obvious problem with no-bid contracting

June 28, 2019

Later, it was revealed in a draft audit that the company had overcharged the government for fuel purchases by $61 million. Whistleblower exposes $7 billion no-bid Defense Department contract

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Bond Grifters

June 7, 2019

In a recent comment appended to an article in the Scottsdale Trough Feeders newsletter (aka the Scottsdale Independent), village idiot (and muni bond huckster) Mike Norton claimed (among other things) that the assertion that Scottsdale has the “Most Debt Per Capita” is a lie. I’m the only guy who’s been saying that, so I guess […]

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Phony Poll-ony

May 29, 2019

Jason Rose, who basically lies for a living, has put out a press release in which he claims, “Substantial and Deep Voter Support for November Bond Measures.” That presser bounces through many more hyperbolic adjectives and adverbs like, “strong” (several times), “sweeping,” “substantial” (again), and “diverse.” Hey, the more, the merrier, right? Reminds me of […]

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Before you vote to raise your taxes…

May 3, 2019

Until the last election, Scottsdale had a 100% “Republican” city council and mayor. I put “Republican” in quotes, because I always thought the party platform’s primary plank was fiscal responsibility. During the last decade, our elected officials (including Mayor Jim Lane, Virginia Korte, Suzanne Klapp, and even some who are supposedly populist politicians who are […]

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City’s apartment boom raises residents’ concerns | City News |

April 29, 2019

City planning double-speak: Scottsdale Senior Planner Jeff Barnes said. “Although the land use is not in direct review as part of that process, there is focus on how the allowed land uses are applied to a site and conformance of that application with established code and policy parameters.” — Read on

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