Putzer Prize for Apartment Reporting

This weeks’ Putzer Prize goes once again to Grant Martin, editorial page editor of the Apartment Republic. With three apartment promotion pieces in today’s edition, the Scottsdale version has stooped to a new low in editorial standards with Martin’s uncredited column. Kind of like the hiring standards at Gannett, or zoning standards in the City of Scottsdale.

I think this is the third editorial in the Republic that is critical of freshman city council member, Guy Phillips. I’m surprised Grant didn’t include a picture of a hammer-and-sickle like the North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce put next to Guy’s photo in their attack ad against him during the election last year.

In a classic case of knowing just enough to be dangerous, Martin criticizes Phillips for,

…the apparent contradiction between Phillips’ dogmatic stance on development and his longtime affiliation with the tea party.

Martin describes the contradiction like this:

All of Phillips’ saber rattling against apartment and multifamily development in Scottsdale, therefore, seems a little disingenuous. If property owners want to develop their land to meet a need they have identified, surely any tea-party disciple would concede they should be able to do so without government intervention.

What Martin clearly doesn’t understand is that there is no inherent “right” to do whatever you want with a piece of property you own in a city where you have neighbors. Buying such a piece of property comes with more responsibilities than rights, including the responsibility to be a good neighbor.

Our zoning code is one way that Scottsdale enforces the rights of your neighbors when you shirk your responsibilities. The zoning code was implemented to assure quality of life for ALL residents (whether they own property or not).

What Phillips and others oppose is arbitrary changes to development rights that benefit a FEW property owners, while harming the rest.

I’ll add tangentially that if Martin really wanted to look at contradiction on the city council, he should look at, for example, Mayor Jim Lane. He touts himself to be a conservative, with a businesslike approach to government. However, we have more debt even than Glendale, and Lane is leading the charge to boost it by 20%. We had a deficit last year, and the current proposed budget includes another one.

Lane’s contradiction is illustrated by verifiable facts, not illogical rhetoric like Martin uses to criticize Phillips. Where’s the outcry from Martin about that?

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