This column appeared in today’s Scottsdale Republic.
Tell city to go back to drawing board on bond
Are you ready for your property taxes to go up for the next 20 years? Evidently, the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors thinks that’s a good idea.
In a recent Community Voices article by the Realtors’ community-affairs director, former City Manager John Little espoused mostly convoluted reasoning for supporting the Scottsdale bond election.
I agreed when he referred to home ownership as a “coveted possession, that little piece of the world uniquely ours” and maintaining those “little touches that make it unique to us.”
Where I disagreed was his encouraging you to self-impose a new property tax on your “coveted possession” that could make it more difficult to maintain those little touches.
Little’s support of the bond should come as no surprise. While serving as city manager for Scottsdale, Little gave away money to his fellow retirees that could have gone for infrastructure improvements (more commonly known as Scottsdale’s golden parachute retirement scandal) [officially: “Retirement Incentive Program”]. What does come as a surprise is that Realtors would go along with imposing a new property-tax increase on Scottsdale homeowners. I always thought that low property taxes were a plus. This strikes me as biting the hand that feeds you.
Outside of their association leaders, I suspect the average Realtor doesn’t see this move as being in his or her best interest.
Obviously, it’s in Little’s best interest. He is now able to curry favor with the leaders of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce by getting the Realtors association’s board of directors under tow. Couple this move with announcing you are thinking about running for City Council and, voila, you now have a springboard from which to launch your council campaign.
I doubt most Realtors would view this as good community relations. Hearing all this hyperbole coming from a tax-and-spend bureaucrat is not all that unusual. However, hearing it from your city’s largest trade association is alarming. Spending taxpayers’ money is what bureaucrats do best. Realtors should stick to doing what they do best … selling houses.
I bring this to your attention because once again the politicians and their bureaucratic toadies are not leveling with the voters.
When you get your ballot, you will see four questions with up to 11 projects listed under each question. What you will not see is a disclaimer declaring the City Council, at its own discretion, may choose not to fund all the voter-approved projects. They may choose to fund only one project in each of the four numbered questions. Oh, really?
These types of shenanigans occur when you allow bureaucratic mind-sets to set the agenda.
I encourage all those who will be voting in the Scottsdale bond election to vote NO on all four questions. Send a message to the council: Go back to the drawing board and exclude the “wish list” projects from the 39 on the ballot and place only those eight projects the bond task force originally deemed as necessary on the new ballot.
Michael Fernandez is owner of Pottery Paradise Inc. in Scottsdale.