The People’s Republic of Scottsdale

Upon reading my article yesterday in part about the Scottsdale Cultural Council, a friend and former Cultural Council insider wrote this, which I reprint with permission:

Even if they put the Cultural Council on a no-taxpayer-money diet over the next five years, reducing City support on a defined schedule while challenging SCC to demonstrate that the organization could attract a board and other support to take full responsibility for the organization’s operations.

What’s totally weird to me is that AZ is one of the most conservative states in the country–anti-everything government supported–and Scottsdale has a Libertarian mayor who by definition should be against public spending, and yet they are providing a massive (proportionately) infusion of money to a private, independent organization without a hint of reasonable accountability for the use/application of those funds. Totally weird.

Even in the most liberal areas of the country (SF area), such a concept would be unthinkable. Even 10% of an organization’s budget coming from public coffers would be considered absurd.

But there you are in the People’s Republic of Scottsdale with a nonprofit totally dependent on public support to prop it up, year after year… it’s jaw dropping. I share that tale occasionally with my counterparts and they shake their heads in disbelief, but also quickly echo that they would not want to have that reliance on a public funding.

They want to remain independent and have absolutely no expectation of support other than what they are able to generate on their own, even if that means they have ongoing financial challenges. It’s the polar opposite of what one would normally expect from a liberal bastion.

You are surrounded by an almost Chinese style of government interconnection with the private business community. It may not be absolutely corrupt in the most legal sense, but it raises (or should raise) serious questions about what all is happening behind the scenes, particularly with the developers and other bloodsuckers who are leveraging public funding and legalized support for private entities. Whew… you have all the fun, my friend.

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