The quality of life of our residents is the most important issue in our civic discussion today.
Fiscal responsibility through conservative forecasting of tax revenue and conservative budgeting is a vital short-term component of keeping taxes low, and of keeping quality of city services and amenities high.
Good city planning based on a deep understanding of our history and our economic drivers (primary among them tourism and healthcare) is key to the long-term sustainability of our community. Once we know and embrace who we are as a community, we can protect and nurture our assets.
That mission is executed through a plan: The General Plan, which guides our land use model. Scottsdale has a time-tested General Plan that is was built on extraordinary citizen involvement and passion. We must follow our General Plan to the greatest extent possible so as to separate incompatible land uses and retain the overall context of our community.
Growth is not the cause of prosperity, it is a symptom of it. Growth should follow the General Plan in spirit and in practice, so as to maintain and enhance our property values and our quality of life.
Because we are a premier tourist destination, Scottsdale enjoys a high quality of life at reasonable cost. However, the more our leaders shift us toward a growth-addicted economy and away from a tourism economy, the more we lose what drives our quality of life. Those same factors also erode our quality of life with traffic and noise.
Change is inevitable, intelligent change is not. We are gradually eroding the unique physical character that has made us internationally recognized. We have to know and understand our character, then decide how to balance it against growth. In deciding that balance, the citizens should have the first word…and the last.
I see the need for A Better Way.