Last night’s city council regular meeting saw two very enlightening exchanges.
Councilwoman Borowsky tried to get support to put on a future agenda a discussion of city council districts. As you know, I opposed this idea when it was put on the ballot about eight years ago, and it was rejected by the voters. However, I regret my earlier position, and I would very much like to see us institute districts for all the reasons I’ve outlined in my Reform City Council article.
Unfortunately, Lisa couldn’t get any love for her idea other than from resident stalwart Bob Littlefield. As Lisa pointed out, even Suzanne Klapp–for whom districts were part of her campaign platform–didn’t want the discussion to go forward. Lisa’s request to agendize died for lack of support.
Klapp is running for re-election. Do I need to share my recommendation?
As with most council actions by the Chamber of Commerce Caucus (Robbins, Milhaven, Klapp, and Lane), the vote was only the surface of the council districts story. You can watch my comments on the meeting video during public comment at the beginning at 0:16:00, and the Council discussion toward the end of the meeting at 02:08:00.
But the real contention in what should have otherwise been a very short meeting arose during discussion of Lane campaign contributor Shawn Yari’s “Beach Club” abandonment/rezoning case. That discussion begins at 0:21:00, with my remarks at 0:57:00.
After a discussion that included the applicant’s attorney, Jason Morris, dismissing the residents’ concerns as, “rhetoric,” and, “a candidate forum,” and Jim Lane calling the residents stupid (“obtuse objections” at 1:55:00), the Council approved the two cases. So much for Lane’s “civil dialog.”
We’ll see yet another case coming forward for a “conditional use permit” for the actual bar presumably in a few weeks. Morris said they intend to be open for business by the end of the year. Just in time for the residents of Villa Monterey to open their windows in late fall.
In addition to the illuminating discussion of the regular meeting, it was preceded by a special meeting to fill vacancies on boards and commissions. One of the highlights of this otherwise sleep-inducing process that really should be replaced with direct appointments came during interviews for Planning Commission.
PC is one of the most important citzen-volunteer bodies we have. Applicant and incumbent commissioner Erik Filsinger’s answer to Councilman Littlefield’s question is pretty much the theme song for what’s wrong with Scottsdale city government today.
Littlefield asked what lesson Commissioner Filsinger took from the defeat of the updated General Plan by the voters in spite of the Planning Commission’s unanimous approval to put it on the ballot.
Filsinger’s answer? “The voters got it wrong.”
View the special meeting video at 0:23:30.