In their article, 2013 promises to be busy in Northeast Valley [not on AZCentral as this is being written], the Scottsdale Republic lays out what they think the New Year holds for Scottsdale and her neighbors.
I note a few between-the-lines messages that perhaps the writers missed.
Newly-elected City Councilman Guy Phillips (congratulations Guy!) is cited thus:
Phillips has taken a different stance on certain issues, criticizing what he called a “growth or die” mentality at City Hall and the number of planned highrise apartments. He has said he looks forward to compromise on the new council.
I hate the word “compromise” and Guy doesn’t strike me as being someone who will shirk his principles to make deals.
Mayor Jim Lane is going to give the first state of the city address of his new term at the W Hotel (7277 E. Camelback Road, at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 21) in Scottsdale’s “bar district.” You’ll recall that the W was the subject of one of the first noise complaints prosecuted in the bar district, which led to Scottsdale’s new noise ordinance that was watered down to a level of complete ineffectiveness by Lane and Co. on the city council.
I also note that the W is owned by Shawn Yari, who sued neighbor and activist Bill Crawford for (among other things) unflattering cartoons Bill emailed to his “Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life.” I guess we can abbreviate that group APDSQL.
I guess we can also surmise that Mayor Lane is not going to get an honorary membership in APDSQL. It’s full-speed-ahead in the bar district, damn the neighbors and non-bar businesses. Property values in Villa Monterey, Maya Condos, and other adjoining neighborhoods are going to continue to falter; which is fine with Lane and the developers. It will make assemblage and redevelopment that much easier and cheaper.
The Republic staff devotes a few paragraphs to the search for a new city manager. I repeat that with this council majority (Lane, Robbins, Milhaven, Klapp…Korte is a bit of an unknown, Guy and Bob Littlefield are reliable but outnumbered), the occupant of the city manager’s office will be irrelevant.
Scottsdale Public Art gets four sentences. Unfortunately, the Republic continues to ignore the $4 million-plus annual taxpayer subsidy to SPA’s parent Scottsdale Cultural Council.
Speaking of the Cultural Council, Mayor Lane last year gave the state of the city address in the taxpayer-owned, SCC-managed Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. One would presume the cost to the city of using our own facility for this event would be less expensive, and that our “businesslike approach” mayor would know this.
I’m sure Lane’s minion JP Twist will cite a scheduling conflict or some other rationalization, but I’d like to know what the W is going to charge the taxpayers for this event. Maybe the W will throw in a few designated drivers or pedicabs, free of charge.
Destination events like the Tournament Player’s Club “Waste Management Phoenix Open” got some love from the Republic. Concerned citizen Mark Stuart continues to dig into the finances of the TPC’s sweetheart deal with, and $15 million taxpayer subsidy from the City. I’ll have more on that in January.
I’ll close with some comments on the Republic’s reporting related to the proposed Bond 2013. Once again, the Republic has completely overlooked Scottsdale’s $8 million budget deficit, and our $1.3 BILLION in debt. This bond proposal seeks to boost that debt by 20 percent. We are already shelling out $78 million per year to service the debt. I don’t see how anyone thinks this is a good idea…except that yet again lack of any reporting of this issue means that no one knows about it.