GP Task Force: The Other Side



I was copied on this and wanted to share it with you.

I’m astonished to learn that while the Republic obviously quoted Lane, Molever, and Springborn extensively, they never bothered to reach out to Heitel.

Every time I delude myself into entertaining a glimmer of hope for real journalism from the Republic, it’s snatched away by publication of the next edition of the Chamber of Commerce newsletter.

Mayor and City Council Members,

It has been interesting to say the least observing the events which have transpired since four mere mortals resigned from the General Plan Task Force (“GPTF”). We have seen more than our share of nonsensical written and spoken comments.

Yet one is particularly deserving of this response and my purpose in writing regards the current GPTF chair, who in a disjointed email letter to you, and reinforced by a Beth Duckett article, runs lock-step to the defense of those uncivil members by attempting to further wrongfully disparage the motives of those who resigned. This, from one who refrained from speaking up the night of those actions and then neglected to censure that behavior at a subsequent meeting; but jumped at the opportunity to lecture at length the task force early on, as to the imperative of speaking civilly to her ‘fellow travelers’ on staff.

I had always assumed as a loyal city employee of Tempe the “co-chair” knew what a general plan was. Her comments suggest she still doesn’t.

She should know that a general plan does not prohibit any development from happening in the city. The only “enforcement’ mechanism in a general plan is the ability to require certain projects be subject to a more intense scrutiny thru the major general plan amendment process.

Apparently she feels it is “arrogant” and “delusional” that a large number of citizens in Scottsdale desire the opportunity to have an open circumspect dialogue as to the benefit of a project, if it might forever alter the habitat, lifestyle and economics of Scottsdale.

Apparently to her,, “managing growth” the Tempe way is to keep raising taxes until you have the highest in the Valley, so that you are able to pay for projects approved without any thought as to their potential to forever drain city resources.

Could it not just be I resigned for the clear and simple reasons I expressed to you? One wonders why your task force chair is incapable of understanding that. A suggestion I have would be to ask your acting chair to lead in a manner respectful of her position by acting in the civil manner she lectured the task force to follow.

I welcome the opportunity to provide any input if asked, to anyone in a respectful and civil manner who desires to craft a general plan that is respectful of all Scottsdale citizens.

James T. Heitel

Editor’s note: Jim Heitel has served the City of Scottsdale in many volunteer capacities, including as commissioner on and chair of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission.


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