Twice during City Council meeting “public comment” periods since Proposition 430 was defeated I have called for Mayor Lane and the City Council to undertake a citizen-oriented effort to ask some serious questions like:
- Do we NEED to change Scottsdale’s General Plan?
- Did the citizens’ vote to defeat Prop 430 satisfy the Arizona statutory requirement for our ten-year review?
- Should we focus on what the General Plan is supposed to be protecting (community character), instead of what they want it to promote (growth, height, density)?
- If we are going to restart this dialog how do we make it citizen-driven, rather that staff- and developer-driven?
- Shouldn’t the council reaffirm the 2001 General Plan so that everyone knows that is still our governing document?
[You can view my comments at 15 March city council meeting at about 0:02:15; and at the 20 March meeting at about 0:23:30]
The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale published an analysis and questions earlier this week that I posted here.
Nancy Cantor this morning shared the following via email:
I spent time with Erin Perrault and Ross Cromarty on Wed. so far no one on staff has asked to meet with them, BUT the Chamber public policy committee did ask to meet with them last Monday. Surprise! Surprise! Frankly I would expect the Mayor and Richert to be sitting in the closet with their ear to the door.
The only thing that Erin and Ross have batted around is going the route of three Town Halls. They wanted to know what I thought.
They would be willing to do a working meeting with groups like COGS and COPP to help with the visioning process, too.
When the update process started there were 14 people on staff for long range planning. There are now two full time staffers and three interns.
Councilman Bob Littlefield has agendized an item for discussion at the next council meeting:
Request to Consider Establishing a General Plan Update Citizens Task Force
Request: At the request of Councilman Littlefield, discuss and provide possible direction to staff to agendize: “A presentation, discussion and possible direction to staff regarding the establishment of a task force of Scottsdale residents to develop a new General Plan update.”
Note: The only Council action to be taken on Item No. 23A is a decision on whether to agendize the referenced matter at a future Council meeting. No public comment will be taken at this time.
Littlefield goes on to say:
Under the new rules of Council procedure (which are designed to stifle debate on issues put forward by minority Council members) public comment will NOT be allowed, so we need to get people to email the Council (starting about next Monday) “encouraging” them to vote to agendize this item.
I have already submitted a My Turn on this issue which I hope the paper will print. In that I propose that “we should wait to appoint this task force until after the fall elections so it does not become a political football. Working in the charged atmosphere of a contentious city election campaign (not to mention meeting in the summer when many Scottsdale residents are out of town) would make it harder for this task force to produce a truly resident-friendly General Plan update.
Another reason to wait to appoint this task force until after the fall elections is that I believe the voters have more messages they want to send about their dissatisfaction with this City Council’s approach to development.”