This “My Turn” column by Richard Alt was printed in the Scottsdale Republic yesterday.
It’s time for voters to replace ineffectual City Council
Thu, Oct 18 2012
By RICHARD ALT
Scottsdale City Council candidates Guy Phillips, Joanne “Copper” Phillips and Chris Schaffner are correct in their opinions that the existing council is ignoring residents’ wants and desires. The council — excepting Bob Littlefield — only responds to developers’ wants. Our collective votes either will or will not get our city back on track. Step one is to VOTE!
Let’s review just a few of the failures of our council:
Four city managers in five years is possibly unprecedented in midsize cities. It clearly demonstrates the council’s total lack of ability in establishing key criteria to make a solid hiring decision.
Six of our most highly qualified and committed executives have quit, which demonstrates poor management and an unhealthy environment in the city. A recent casualty was Marshall Brown, general manager of the Water Resources Department. Marshall is considered one of the most water-knowledgeable people in our state. Another is the retirement of Valerie Vadala Homer, who spent nearly 25 years in Public Arts under the Cultural Council.
The approval of 7,000 apartments over the last year or so. Many of these apartments are high-rises — up to 13 stories, which will change the very culture of our city. The city didn’t even have 7,000 apartments prior to the current council. Some of these apartments are in the direct line of takeoff and landings at the Scottsdale Airport.
Bars, bars and more bars, which creates excessive noise, garbage, drunkenness, disorderliness and urination on our streets. The city treasurer is on record as saying the policing costs are greater than collected sales taxes.
Paul Katsenes, Scottsdale’s community- and economic-development executive director, recently appointed Randy Grant (involved with Triyar Entertainment’s beach-club complex) as the new planning, neighborhood and transportation administrator. This is a key position that makes sure developer proposals are meeting zoning rules and standards. The Republic previously reported that six of seven members of the city’s Planning Commission are involved in development. These people are appointed by the council. Conflicts? You bet. Do appointees have the best interest of the community? No!
SkySong was supposed to have returned the city’s investment. But for some inexplicable reason, the city has yet to collect a dime. How can this be? The McDowell Road Corridor has been talked and talked about and re-discussed by this council. What are the results? Zero; Nada.
The current City Council leadership is ineffectual in multiple ways. The results are not there. What we need are true leaders to run this city. The bottom line is crystal clear: The city is broken and we must elect new leadership with the the election of Guy Phillips, Joanne “Copper” Phillips and Chris Schaffner.
Richard Alt is the former president of Scottsdale Citizens for Sustainable Water.