In a Scottsdale Republic article I posted earlier today, the saga of the ill-fated General Plan Task Force is almost distilled down to it’s rotten essence. Here’s ‘the rest of the story’ (apologies to Paul Harvey).
I’ll focus momentarily on Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, who (along with “Mr. Civil Dialog” council member Dennis Robbins, and “Ms. Congeniality” Linda Milhaven) bears most of the responsibility for this failed effort.
Among Lane’s brilliant comments:
“This mass resignation is probably not entirely unexpected, and I’m concerned as we go forward what tactics might be employed to further stifle the efforts to comply with state law,” Lane told The Republic.
Lane is concerned that the new plan could face a fate similar to the last plan, which was defeated by voters in March 2012.
When asked about the resignations, Lane said he was “saddened that you have this group, which is pretty much the same group that had exceptions with the first General Plan, employing a similar strategy and not being willing to work with the other task-force members.”
“This is not unlike the first effort,” Lane said. “I guess you learn from people’s actions. I would probably anticipate something similar.”
I wonder why Lane has to automatically vilify those who resigned. Why is HE right and THEY are wrong?
Obviously he’s forgotten that collectively (and probably individually) these folks have forgotten more about Scottsdale than Lane will ever know. Each has invested hundreds (if not thousands) of hours in VOLUNTEER service to Scottsdale. Lane never served on a single board or commission prior to buying his mayoral seat.
All four of the folks who resigned from the Task Force have served on MULTIPLE Scottsdale boards and commissions, in addition to hundreds of hours invested in analyzing city issues; and giving private and public testimony to other boards and commissions, to the city council, and even to Mayor Lane.
That’s not the worst of it, though.
Attorney Loren Molever–faced with irrepressible hard facts and critical analysis from the four who resigned–has lashed out at the more thoughtful members of the task force even after they have abandoned the effort because of his continuing childish, schoolyard bully behavior. Here are some more facts that will help illuminate this situation for you.
First, Molever–who complains that those who resigned have a “hidden agenda to control growth…” (which is, after all the very point of having a General Plan)–isn’t just a “business attorney,” as described in the article. He’s a “real estate attorney,” who has derived a significant portion of his income from development…”growth,” if you will.
Which also makes him a shill. As in, someone who is, in essence, being paid to do exactly the opposite of those members he has targeted.
Second, he accuses the victims of his vitriol of trying to “editorialize the minutes” from a previous meeting. However, he was provided (and chose to ignore) verbatim transcripts of that meeting which were contradictory to the minutes presented. So, the issue isn’t about editorializing so much as it is about Molever wanting to have the minutes written the way he wants them rather than as the meeting actually transpired.
Third, Molever contradicts himself when he says,
I never raised my voice or was animated in any way.
and in the next paragraph,
I was intentionally calm in making statements that were my opinion, given the information being submitted. And, as the transcript reflects, I was livid. I did feel that the process was being hijacked by the few in an effort to support their not-so-hidden agenda.
So, which is it? “Calm,” or “livid?”
“Intentionally calm,” sounds–in my humble opinion–to be classic abuser language, and code for, “they deserved a lot worse than I gave them.”
Fourth, Molever says,
…some of the task force members were spending a lot of time between meetings, preparing position papers from which they could and would try to lobby the task force, which frankly I didn’t know was appropriate.
Molever seems to be saying that members of the task force shouldn’t have done any homework, shouldn’t have expressed opinions (and more importantly, facts) to the other members of the task force, and shouldn’t have had any outside discussion with other members of the task force.
However, it was obvious that Molever had done and was doing exactly those things with his own caucus of Joe “McCarthy” Galli (Molever’s co-conspirator at the now-defunct North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce), and Rick Kidder of the Scottsdale Area Chamber.
Molever was also seen giving councilwoman Virginia Korte a celebratory high-five after the most contentious meeting of the task force, where he acted out the worst. I’m sure that in shutting down the discussion of the more intelligent members of the task force, they both felt they’d accomplished the goals they’d planned to achieve.
It’s pretty clear from the quotes in this article that Molever and Lane must have done a little conspiring, too. If the mayor really believed in the stated objective of the task force, he wouldn’t be attacking Molever’s victims. Instead, he should be hell-bent on getting rid of him. Lane has done it before…but not because of thuggery, of course.
Having once been charged with criminal intimidation by the Scottsdale city prosecutor, Loren Molever was the perfect pick for the folks on the city council who seek to water down the General Plan to the point that it’s meaningless.
Just remember the names Dennis Robbins and Linda Milhaven during the primary election in September. And of course, Jim Lane, Virginia Korte, and Suzanne Klapp in 2016.
I attended that meeting. Molever bullied the co-chr. and several of the other task force members. Beth Duckett should have checked her sources. Molever misrepresented his actions on 1/6/14. I thought he was a bigger person that to do what he did and then misinform the press.
General Plan task force was loaded with Lane political contributors.
Here is the other big story this week….Craig Jackson and Patrick Van Den Bossche of Barrett-Jackson car auction fame are BIG Jim Lane campaign contributors.
What the Republic missed is Scottsdale taxpayers built Craig Jackson a $47M air conditioned building (in January) FOR FREE..Without a public vote.
Scottsdale taxpayers got NADA for their $47M….not even TV coverage.
If it sounds like a payoff and quacks like a payoff it must be a payoff.
I will definitely remember the names of Dennis Robbins and Linda Milhaven during the primary, but assuming Kathy Littlefield wins Bob’s seat, that still leaves the seats of Robbins and Milhaven up for grabs. Are there at least two other candidates with Bob or Kathy Littlefield’s ideology that could win the seats of Robbins and Milhaven? If so, then along with Guy Phillips there would be a 4-3 majority similar ideology on the council. Maybe Chris Schaffner, Joanne “Copper” Phillips, Tom Giller, Nan Nesvig and other names from the past can join the council race and run as a team to help create a 4-3 majority that espouses the ideology that most readers of this website want. Without a reversal of the present 5-2 majority on the council, I don’t see things getting much better.
Only Kathy Littlefield and Cynthia Hill among the ‘good guys’ have declared to run.
So Jackson sold 107 million…how much tax money does the city get from that? What is the take on entry fees? Jackson is a member of the Tourism Task Force…was he invited to partcipate on that task force??yes, it is pretty obvious what is happening in this city..Unger is on that task force too.. He was just awarded 200 K to promote WW..
I wish you would run for Council. I think you would win with the current political climate.
That photo of Molever is scary. I thought he looked like a reincarnation of Rasputin the mad monk!