Priorities: Public Safety

What should the priorities of government be? What are the priorities of Scottsdale city government?

Last Tuesday night 30 April so-called Republican Mayor Jim Lane and the so-called Republican Scottsdale City Council voted to authorize a taxpayer subsidy to the Super Bowl “host committee” totaling almost $650,000.

Scottsdale citizen Mark Stuart did a nice job of pointing out that this is yet another example of why the “gift clause” of the Arizona State Constitution prohibits such subsidies. The Scottsdale City Charter is even more restrictive in prohibiting taxpayer subsidies to private businesses.

The city council’s vote is yet another example of how politicians are willing to rationalize just about anything to get campaign contributions.

You can see Mark’s comments on the council meeting video at time index 00:47:00.

I contrast this subsidy (and, for example, the $20-odd million in subsidies to golf businesses of the last couple of years; the $4 million annual subsidy to a private cultural arts management business; and the $150,000 in subsidies to polo matches in 2012-13) against the ongoing war that Mayor Lane is waging against Scottsdale’s public safety budget and salaries.

Other Valley police departments are positioned to hire away Scottsdale officers by $10,000 and more in higher annual pay. Why are we even debating competitive salaries?

Public safety is the number one priority of any quality community, and it is the number one function of government. Not golf; not polo; and certainly not football or football parties.

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