The Scottsdale Republic’s Grant Martin asked me to submit a comment for their “Sound Off” column today. Because you can’t get to it through AZCentral, I’ve copied it here. I’ve also included one of the other comments as a contrasting perspective.
SOUND OFF: Would a grocery store be a wise addition in downtown Scottsdale?
Downtown Scottsdale needs a shot of originality; an infusion of local shops that lets young hipsters, the 40-something crowd and seniors soak up a sense of place. The word “supermarket” dredges up images of stocking shelves at a dreary grocery store in a New Jersey suburb.
Scottsdale needs a smorgasbord of sidewalk coffee shops, delis and locally owned markets. (Hat tip: Virginia Korte.) We need, as my wife likes to say, more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods and places where people gather, converse and dream-deep thoughts. Naysayers are paralyzed by a 1950s mentality. Hey, “I like Ike” too, but it’s a new day.
— Chip Scutari , Scottsdale, public relations firm owner
We have a market downtown: Sprouts on Miller. Would another be good? Maybe. Could it survive? Less certain.
Should it be “encouraged” through taxpayer subsidy, zoning gifts, etc.? Most residents would say no.
Mayor Jim Lane and council candidates Korte, Klapp and Luoma say the “free market” should determine bar-district development. Why shouldn’t the free market (operating within the wise constraints of zoning and the General Plan, which the bar district does not) apply in ALL parts of Scottsdale?
They’ve all called for the opposite of free market (via city intervention) on McDowell Road. Is that “free market?”
— John Washington , Scottsdale, former mayoral candidate
That term “free market” is so misleading. Successful “free market” enterprise requires accountability and responsibility and is not just the right to do as you please in a civilized society. As a Chevrolet franchise I am sure the Korte Chevrolet company had to follow the guidelines established by the Chevy branch of General Motors or they would have lost their rights to do business. Why should it be any different for businesses wanting to function in Scottsdale?
And over the years I am sure that GM reviewed and updated their contracts with franchisees to make sure they were representing their product in an honorable and profitable, for all, way. To provide few checks and balances in doing the business of the people as a city government discredits all of us.