Hold the Presses! The Scottsdale Independent prints yet another campaign PR puff piece for Scottsdale’s incumbent mayor Jim Lane, with no editorial challenge whatsoever to Lane’s lies. Shocking!
Here’s the first paragraph:
Recently I sent an e-mail highlighting why I think Scottsdale is the best city in which to live. Our economy is strong. Our downtown is thriving. Tax rates are low. Quality of life is high. The noble missions of organizations such as Operation Fix It and Vista del Camino.
“Our economy is strong”: Our economy is by almost all measures, only slightly better than neighboring cities. No surprise there; Scottsdale has always been better off than our neighbors. That’s primarily due to Scottsdale’s traditional higher standards for development that begin with the citizen-ratified General Plan…which Lane has worked to erode throughout his three terms in office .
That’s why Scottsdale is only doing slightly better, instead of significantly better than our neighbors. And in the parts of the city where Lane and his council cronies have done the most meddling (e.g., the McDowell Road corridor), property values have actually significantly lagged those in other parts of the city.
“Our downtown is thriving”: Lane and Cronies have created the highest concentration of liquor licenses in the whole state within the Downtown Barf District, right across Camelback from the only historically-designated retirement community in the whole city. Since then we’ve had to contend with headline-grabbing shootings, stabbings, murders, and sexual assaults.
The council has had to write new laws to deal with excessive noise, public urination, public defecation, and security training for bouncers. Scottsdale police department weekly arrest logs now routinely exceed 25 pages, mostly filled with liquor- and drug-related crimes.
Then-city treasurer (now councilmember) David Smith did an analysis that absolutely refuted Lane’s (and Milhaven’s) assertions that the Barf District was bringing in more revenue than related public safety expenditures.
“Tax rates are low”: PROPERTY tax RATES are low. But property values are higher than elsewhere, so total taxes (not just rates) aren’t nearly as low as Lane would have you believe. Other tax rates–like sales taxes–are far greater than the national average. And Scottsdale residents have the second highest tax burden in metro Phoenix and the 17th highest among the nations top 100 cities.
We also have the highest per capita debt, and have run budget deficits for almost every year Lane has been in office…which he’s “balanced” with an accounting trick that allows sweeping undesignated reserves into the general fund.
“Quality of life is high”: Tell that to the folks who live in Villa Monterey across from the Barf District, or anyone who’s had to sit through three traffic light cycles at Shea and 101.
“The noble missions of organizations such as Operation Fix It and Vista del Camino”: I would agree that Vista del Camino does yeoman’s work within a vastly under-served population.
However, Lane yanked Operation Fix It away from control of city staffers a few years ago, and uses it as a tool to collect campaign contributions at his now-for-profit State of the City speeches held at the Princess Resort. Sure, OFI distributes some crumbs to the intended recipients, but ask to see the financials on how much they collected? You’ll get nothing but a cold shoulder, because Lane ain’t telling.
And that’s just the first paragraph! I could pick this puff piece apart line-by-line all the way to the end. But if Lane’s going to start out his sales pitch to you, the voter, with four whoppers, you know the rest of it is nothing but double-talk and lies.
Why would you vote for such a liar?