Confluence of Cons

This press release appeared in today’s Arizona Republic. I would not have noticed it except for an astute ScottsdaleTrails reader, as the Republic doesn’t do a Scottsdale edition on Mondays.

Realtors plan annual meeting

SCOTTSDALE — The annual meeting of the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors will feature Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority president and CEO, as a keynote speaker.

The others are Wellington “Duke” Reiter, ASU Foundation senior vice president, and Grady Gammage, a senior fellow with the Arizona State University Morrison Institute.

The theme is “Arizona’s Template for the Future.” Mike Ryan, Ryan Media president, will lead a discussion on related topics after the keynote speakers.

The association’s breakfast meeting is 8:30 a.m. Jan. 31 at the Chaparral Suites, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road.

Association members and the public are invited. The cost is $30 for association members and $40 for others.

Register online at or call 480-945-2651.

So, what’s the big deal, you may ask? It used to be that the Realtors were a solid voice of reason in Scottsdale. It seemed they understood that quality of life, property values, community character (height and density), and controlling the supply of housing units were inextricably related.

I get suspicious anytime I see ASU Foundation mentioned. After all, they are the folks who brought us (took from us?) massive taxpayer subsidies in the form of donated land for SkySong.

I don’t personally know Mr. Reiter, nor Mr. Gammage, but the latter is known for campaigning for urbanization. The Morrison Institute with which Gammage is associated is a strong supporter of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce and their goal of profit through urbanization.

Mike Ryan is well known to us as the former General Manager of the Scottsdale Republic, aka Chamber of Commerce newsletter. He is a former member of the Chambers executive board, and of the scandal-ridden Fiesta Bowl board.

Ms. Watson is unknown to me. However a name I do know which is not mentioned, but undoubtedly figures prominently into calling this pow-wow is former Scottsdale city manager John Little. He was recently named to the board of the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors (in spite of not being a Realtor himself). Little is an unabashed supporter of the urbanization of Scottsdale.

So, I’ll give you three guesses as to the theme of the SAAR annual meeting. Three more for you to guess how many ordinary citizens will be part of the discussion given the $40 price of admission. I’ll lay odds that Jim Lane gets a free ticket.

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