COGS News

by John Washington on June 6, 2012

COGS AZ

Another very informative COGS Newsletter arrived in my inbox today from Sonnie Kirtley. You can see my slightly more political take on the referenced items via my campaign website.

LAST NIGHT CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY: Five liquor licenses were approved. Continental Golf Course on Miller Road south of Osborn Rd received approval for both Series 7 (beer and wine bar) and Series 12 (restaurant) licenses for the new owner.

McDowell/Scottsdale Road Transit Center contract of $206,761 to pay for construction administration services was awarded. The plan is to create two bus bays and transit centers on the east and west side of Scottsdale Rd just south of McDowell Rd.  See the map at this link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/asset44392.aspx

Approved three applications for grants to acquire 6,400 acres of State Trust Land for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Approved Special Use Guidelines for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. An ardent Preserve user pleaded with the council to stop/control the unlimited bow &  arrow hunting in the Preserve. He cited the endangerment to trail users. Hunters using the narrow washes between homes was also described as unsportsmanlike-advantaged javelin hunts.

The Performing Arts/Cultural Council group asked for more money. This time it is a $55,000 General Fund Capital Contingency transfer to replace some sound equipment.  A citizen questioned why the sound system isn’t part of the $4 million plus the city gives this independent business to manage the building or the millions used in renovation a few years ago.

Rob Millar of the city’s Economic Development Department stated by contract the sound system is the city’s responsibility.

Final Public Hearing on Budget for Fiscal Year 2012/2013  Only one citizen spoke. The mayor spent considerable time trying to convince the majority of the council to not approve the included compensation for city employees. [Reminder: All of our city employees took a 2% pay cut to help with our tough-times a couple of years ago.  They have NEVER received that money back and their average salaries are now below comparable valley cities.] The council majority held firm to its May 15th vote.

The final council vote on the $1,284,712,426 budget limit will be at the next meeting.  Councilman McCullagh is expected to submit an amended motion supporting Mayor Lane.  See the budget summary at this link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/asset44375.aspx

VIEW previous City Council meetings from your computer.  Go to this link   http://scottsdale.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=82

TWO MORE IGNORED CITIZEN PETITIONS:  Petition to deny the council’s Eric Filsinger 2nd term on the Planning Commission  184 citizen signatures petitioned the city council to change their re-appointment of a current Planning Commissioner.

They cited Mr. Filsinger’s public responses during his council interview when asked to evaluate the voters’ defeat of the proposed General Plan in March  (1) “His clear and unequivocal that ‘the voters got it wrong’ (2) “he has little regard for public opinion” (2) “private citizens…can express any opinion, a member of a public board or commission is held to a higher standard and required to respect and consider public opinion.” (3) “Planning Commissioners, acting in private life as paid consultants to many special interests and developers who could benefit from their decisions, must walk a clear and fair line when they take on the role of commissioner respecting and properly considering public input.” [Mr. Filsinger was a paid consultant on a recent contentious McDowell Sonoran Preserve-location resort project that the Planning Commissioners approved 6-0 with Mr.Filsinger recusing himself.]

The petition reminded the council that “to then appoint a commissioner who does not respect the opinion or decisions of the voters, an even higher authority [then City Council] is the very height of hypocrisy.”  The Council took no action/ignored the petition and held no discussion on its merits.

Petition to conduct an independent review and study of our Police Dept.  The petition requested a review was to focus on budget audit, salaries and staffing to meet the city needs. The Council again took no action/ignored the petition and held no discussion on its merits.

Do you like Conspiracy Theory?  At last night’s council meeting when Mr. Crawford was presenting this petition, the Channel 11 staff cut away to something on the Navajo After School program….some of his presentation was lost to the TV audience.  This same thing happened for almost a full minute of the 3 minutes allowed a speaker when Mr. John Washington was  before council May 22nd. Why does this happen only during the very very brief time allotted for citizen/public speaking?

GETTING MORE SALES CALLS ON YOUR PHONES?  You may need to renew your Do Not Call….  Log on to Register@DonotCall.gov  Remember that political calls are exempt as well any business that you have given your phone number.

STILL TRACKING CRIME IN THE CITY?  http://www.raidsonline.com

OUT OF THE ORDINARY FOR YOU, FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO ATTEND:  Tomorrow, June 7th, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm in the Granite Reef Senior Center will be a most interesting presentation on Practical, Down-to-Earth Green Projects. The Veritas Homeschooler middle school students created a fictional city called Xiwang [Taiwanese for City of Hope] that was designed and built as a future model city.

They won the Arizona competition and competed in the National Engineering Week in Washington DC. Their city included vertical farms with reduced fertilizer and freshwater use. They will describe their smart grid controllers that regulate the fictional aneutronic fusion solar, wind and biofuel sources.

Speaker Kevin Edwards will describe how he renovated a fire-damaged home.  He designed, engineered and constructed the first straw-bale and autoclaved aerated concrete block buildings in Scottsdale. The final speaker will be earthen builder, Carlos Bill.  Adobe, cob, earthen plasters and living roofs.   Could be quite an evening.

MIGHTY MUD MANIA at Chaparral Park is this weekend.   It all began in 1976 in Scottsdale.  Now other cities are staging a similar event.  Mud + Kids…and now an ADULT mud bath area!! Log on for more information    http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/MightyMudMania

For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale Board of Directors, Sonnie Kirtley, Chair.
E-mail: cogsaz@cox.net    website: http://www.cogsaz.net

If you want to support our building rental costs for forums, conference rooms for neighborhood leader meetings, printing costs etc.   Please send a $10 annual dues check to COGS 3370 North Hayden Rd, Suite 123 PMB 766, Scottsdale AZ 85251.  Thank you so much!

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