Council Report Card

In response to request from the Scottsdale Republic, Bob Littlefield just sent in and posted his pre-summer-break “Council Report Card.”

I got a similar request, listed here with my answers:

1. What is this City Council’s top accomplishment so far in 2012?

It has been a lackluster year for the Scottsdale City Council and Mayor Lane. Most of the few good things that have happened in Scottsdale have happened in spite of the Council rather than because of them.

Probably the best is a few well-priced Preserve land acquisitions, thanks to the economy and state funding.

2. Where has the City Council fallen short?

The budget is a big disappointment. $1.3 billion in debt, $78 million in debt service, a $7 million increase over last year’s budget, and an $8 million deficit have positioned us for major financial headache in the near future. That assumes that optimistic revenue forecasts hold up, which is not a smart gamble.

The voters’ rejection of the General Plan update was a clear message that the Council continues to ignore. The Mayor and Council’s self-inflicted problems of the “entertainment district,” and Mayor and Council’s lack of willpower to address those problems continue to alienate Downtown residents.

3. How do you believe McDowell Road should be revitalized?

The first thing that should happen on McDowell Road is removal of the Los Arcos Redevelopment District with its specter of condemnation. That could be done immediately, with virtually no effort or cost. I’ve raised this issue dozens of times in public forums but the Mayor has never even addressed it, let alone looked into it.

Beyond that, the best thing the City could do on McDowell Road is quit tinkering with it. Efforts at city-directed “revitalization” have been going on for 20 years. If it was going to work, it would have worked by now. The free market should dictate development on McDowell Road and it will do it much better than the City.

4. Should Bell Road become a tourism district?

I think Bell Road is just fine the way it is. Residents of the area like it, and I don’t see any “problems” that would be solved by a “tourist district.”

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