Developers Are People, Too

An AZCentral article from Edward Gately yesterday describes the city council’s ongoing reaction to the new “economic development action plan,” the construction of which was outsourced to a consultant. Which begs the question: Why do we need an economic development staff?

The bookends of the article for me are a quote from the report and a quote from a council member. The report says we should,

…galvanize and champion a united city: One Scottsdale…champion a united city and minimize or eliminate negative interaction between and among public officials and citizens. Exemplify civil behavior and respect differences of opinion.

Obviously, the author of the report understands nothing about Scottsdale and has never been involved here before. Otherwise, she would realize that all the talk about ‘civil dialog’ and ‘respecting differences of opinions,’ is just a way for the council majority and their campaign contributors to try undermine the credibility of those who disagree with their selling of our quality of life to the highest bidder.

Perhaps the author should search ScottsdaleTrails for definitions of “civil dialog.” Or attend a few more city council meetings. Normally it only takes one council meeting for the average citizen to understand that the problem is the council, not the residents. But consultants can be a little thick.

The other bookend is a quote from incumbent councilman Dennis Robbins. To be fair, I find Dennis to be a likable fellow. And he’s probably one of the best examples of the veneer of civility, even though he votes in lockstep with Linda Milhaven, who is the worst example. And in the end, it’s the votes that count.

Speaking of votes, Dennis never saw a housing development too tall or too dense; nor a zoning concession too generous. To that end, his quote:

Developers are people, too.

Technically, that’s true. However, a) most of the worst offenders don’t live here, so they are not “citizens” of Scottsdale (even if they are somewhat human), and b) the generous zoning concessions they receive from Dennis and his council colleagues represent millions of dollars in profits that come at the expense of the physical character of our community. They also affect your property values by increasing traffic, and by flooding the market with cheap housing. Ordinary ‘people’ don’t have these profiteering opportunities.

To be sure, I don’t think the blame for failure to safeguard our quality of life and community character lies with developers. Rather it is the charge of elected officials like Dennis, who have abdicated that responsibility.

Dennis must be channeling former council members Wayne Ecton (“The wrong people voted”) or Betty Drake (“If you don’t want traffic, move to Ajo”). Hopefully he’ll follow them into political oblivion.

If you ever needed a reason to vote and a guide as to how, statements like this are priceless.

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2 Comments

  1. That consultant was paid $68,000 to write a report to slap us all on the wrist and tell us to be NICE.. Could think of better ways to spend the city tax payer money.

  2. I took a few days to read over some of the city meetings, and one thing rings true time and time again, the developers want to give Scottsdale a makeover! The people want one thing, and the developers want another. Here in my neck of South Scottsdale, we are about to be drowned in apartments/town homes and bars. Some say that is a good change. When those are right next to your house, you think different.

    We have one candidate that thinks people don’t buy homes anymore, so bring on more apartments. Look I am for a vibrant Scottsdale, but if we let these developers change what made Scottsdale special, we are destroying Scottsdale for no good reason.

    We are losing our arts and culture, we are being overrun with bars and false economy, and why is this a ‘good’ change? Oh I know, it is just down here. North Scottsdale is OK, right? Downtown can have bars, South Scottsdale can have apartments everywhere, and North Scottsdale can stay A-OK right? NO!

    I dare the city council to move all the bars to North Scottsdale and see what happens. How about we save the historic homes here in South Scottsdale and move those bars to D.C. Ranch? Will they like that move? How about we move all those apartments there too? The developers just want to build, so build there. That should be OK, right? Heck, why not just do the same thing there. Twice the fun and profit right?

    Ironic right? If it is not OK to do it there, why is it OK to do it here? You don’t destroy something good and say it is OK. We need to develop smart, not just develop to just to develop. What do these developers have a child’s mentality, it is the ‘develop just because’ and ‘your stopping me because your mean.’ That is not a reason, also you don’t point fingers at the citizens telling them to behave and not oppose you. The citizens matter, NOT developers.

    Downtown Scottsdale is the heart of Scottsdale, but it is being turned into a cheap knockoff of Vegas. What good is that? Is our city so cheap and worthless that our leadership willing to sell it for nothing? I want our council to cherish this city and protect it from developers, not sell it like some cheap trinket. That is not progress.

    Progress does not mean you squash what was there, to say it is just for progress. I would go for more art and cultural development to bring more tourism. That is the development we need. Not more bars and cheap tacky Vegas glitz. Show me a developer that cares about the people, not a developer that says they are a person. Stop saying – ‘Respect me’ and then stepping on Scottsdale and its people.

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