Republic Question, Week 2

by John Washington on July 13, 2012

Arizona Republic opinion page editor Robert Leger posed four questions to the mayoral candidates. For ease of future reference, I’ll post the questions and the answers here.

Here’s my segment of this the series from 12 July:

Q: Is Scottsdale on the right track? Why or why not?

A: No.

The defeat of the General Plan changes (Proposition 430) proves it. Prop.430 was beaten by 4 percentage points — more than Mayor Lane’s margin of victory over Mary Manross.

Citizens have all but abandoned commission meetings and public outreach efforts because their input is ignored. Bad planning decisions (bar district, high-density apartments and high-rise buildings) continue to erode quality of life for residents and for tourists.

Mayor Lane and the council majority are also eroding our fiscal stability, with an $8 million deficit in next year’s budget adding to $1.3 billion in debt. Taxpayer subsidies to council friends’ private businesses make a mockery of employee-compensation concerns.

The recent departure of City Manager David Richert is a positive move, but another sign of the instability. How long had Lane known of Richert’s conflict of interest?

Our leaders need to understand what makes Scottsdale unique, and have the fortitude to protect and nurture it for our quality of life. Leaders must advocate for the residents, not pander to bar owners and zoning attorneys.

The existing General Plan provides for reasonable growth and development. Leaders must respect the General Plan, as well as the citizens who wrote it.

[Note: not only did the citizens write the General Plan, they ratified it by vote…twice.]

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