Kids Wait For The Ice Cream Vendor

Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junk man pounds his fender
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait
For the ice cream vendor
Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there

The third verse of Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender.”

I can’t say it any better than Jackson, or Scottsdale’s own purveyor of political prose, Sonnie Kirtley. So, here’s the latest from the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale:

Good evening, COGS E-Newsletter Readers….  What an interesting and stimulating night when the Mayor’s Assistant and a city attorney met head-to-head with the public mood on the proposed Street Vendor Ordinance.  Also in the southern part of our fair city rumbles are taking place (remember from West Side Story that a “rumble” is when the locals get up in arms?).  Also near Saguaro High School is another neighborhood rumble.  Is it the humidity and evening storms or are more Dark Clouds from Residents approaching city government?

Summary on the Public Meeting at via Linda Senior Center regarding the proposed Street Vendor Ordinance.  BACKGROUND:  A 16 yr. old young man approached Mayor Lane asking to legally operate an ice cream truck in Scottsdale.  He and his Dad operate in Phoenix.  Scottsdale had banned ALL street vendors in the 1970s.

TODAY: Mayor Lane set his personal assistant to work with one of the city attorneys to draft the details of such an ordinance to allow and control street vendors.  We were told that the ordinance rules and  details were borrowed from other valley city ordinances plus adding a few of our own.  JP Twist (Mayor Lane Assistant) told the audience that he had been working on this for more than one year.

Fasten your seat belt—Here are some of  the summarized public comments:

  1. Why oh why did you waste one full year working on researching and writing this ordinance without checking if the Scottsdale residents want this or not?
  2. WHY do you start promoting the removal of the 1970s ban on street vendors to promote what the business/vendor industry wants when it is obvious from this entire audience that we DON”T WANT VENDORS in our neighborhoods?
  3. You are bringing outsiders into our neighborhoods and we already have too many robberies and home invasions in northern Scottsdale.
  4. Your presentation keeps talking about ice cream vendors but the ordinance allows them to sell anything that doesn’t need heat—that could be cold sandwiches, salads and items out of a heated thermo-container.
  5. Police already don’t enforce the street vendors who wander in from Phoenix, Tempe, and elsewhere.
  6. You are targeting southern Scottsdale again because the north has gates and walls to keep out the street vendors.
  7. Where is the concern for the public safety of the children?…running into the street to chase or meet the truck?
  8. These vendors could be telling friends about houses that are vacant, on vacation, etc. and our houses won’t be safe.
  9. Why should we have to be invaded by the musical jingles from those trucks? Answer: The music will be turned off when they stop.
  10. Surely the city police have better to do than enforce that these vendors are behaving –licenses, music on or off, health department license, moving every hour, staying only on 25 mph residential streets, etc.

The city staff repeatedly assured the audience that they were not promoting the ordinance but holding the public meeting to hear from the residents. Oh—and it was  a loud and clear, “ NO STREET VENDORS !”

TOMORROW night-(Wed July 25th)–Attend the same public presentation at the Granite Reef Senior Center 6 to 7 pm    The city staff assured tonight’s audience that “if the residents don’t want this then we’ll just drop it.”

They also stated that residents could attend the city council meeting when it is up for final approval to voice their opinion.  Send your opinions now to and they will be in the public record that the city council members can read.

DO attend the Wednesday meeting. To view the entire ordinance draft go to

RUMBLE # 2  A local resident who worked with the Attorney General’s office for the Department of Health as an investigator is hot on the trail of gathering Petition signatures to demand that all the city council approved apartment projects STOP and get Environmental Impact Studies.

The increased traffic on all major streets are identified as carbon monoxide generators and will impact the health and welfare of all residents within the increased traffic zones. Contact COGS as  if you want to be put in touch with this effort.

Rumble #3  Neighborhood opposition is consolidating against the proposed McDonalds fast food business in the Basha’s shopping center at the SE corner of McDonald Road and Granite Reef Road.

Residents frequent the small family businesses of BuzzBerry  and the 40 year business of Casella’s Deli that would be greatly impacted by a fast food competitor.  Is this what city staff was promoting when they labeled this intersection an Activity Center on their 10 year planning maps?—Are national chains more valuable than support for neighborhood businesses?

Additionally, concerns have been expressed regarding 24 hour traffic, additional trash in the area, and public safety in adjacent townhomes.  Saguaro High School is suppose to be a closed campus during the school day.  Is this a conflict?

REMINDER:  This Thursday is the COGS hosted Mayoral Candidate Forum. Meet candidates Drew Bernhardt and John Washington.

Jim Lane chose not to attend this nonpartisan forum just as he declined to attend the police and fireman forum last week.  You have “heard” Jim Lane’s positions frequently in the newspaper and at city council meetings so this is your opportunity to evaluate his challengers for the vacant Scottsdale Mayor seat. 

The forum is at the Mountain View Community Center 8625 E. Mountain View –east of Hayden/south of Shea Blvd…east of the grade school.  Look for yellow balloons to guide your way.

Time: 6:30 pm to 8 pm.   Audience questions will be encouraged and you will have the last 30 minutes for personal talks with each candidate. If you get lost, call cellular 602 717 3886 and we will help you.

For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of Directors,
Sonnie Kirtley, Chair

NOTE: The COGS Political Committee website is:      e-mail to get signs of their endorsed candidates:

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  1. I think there is nothing wrong with ice cream trucks in Scottsdale neighborhoods. We already have people lurking around casing vacant homes & selling drugs without ice cream trucks. I would rather have people on the streets making an honest living & providing a cool treat to me & my neighbors. If I had known about the meeting on the 25th at Granite Reef Senior Center. I would have been there to show my support for the idea!

    1. Personally, I am not opposed to the idea of food vendor trucks. However, some folks are and some folks seem to have expressed what seems like good reasons.

      The biggest issue for me though is that the mayor got the cart in front of the horse by writing the ordinance and THEN asking for public input.

  2. the whole discussion is nearly ridiculous. I’m 100% in favor of ice cream trucks running the streets of Scottsdale. My kid doesn’t run wild through the streets so I’m not worried about him getting run over by a drug dealing pedophile in a truck with carnival music that might curl my grey hairs!

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever ever engaged in politically. Evidently it’s ok to build a million dollar fire house for no apparent reason, just down the street from a functioning one on Miller — oh, and then steal $150K from the Scottsdale tax payer to erect a really ugly “piece” of art that wasn’t even made by a local artist. COME ON.

    The criminals aren’t driving ice cream trucks, they’re handling our money!

    1. You won’t get any argument from me on the silly spending! What you cite is only the tip of the…ICEberg:) In a way this is more of the same. To have staff work on it more than a year before doing the public outreach (which is required), and them turn around and say “it isn’t a done deal,” is ridiculous.

      Again, for me the issue is the process, not the product. On the other hand, why require the community involvement if we ignore the majority who oppose it?

    2. Ice cream trucks aside, I think the Public Art piece was closer to $500k. I’m a supporter of Public Art, however, a) that’s a lot of money, b) I don’t think the design is redeeming, and c) I heard it was from an east coast artist.

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