Lane Again

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane’s inaugural remarks, 8 January 2013 [video].

It has been a privilege of a lifetime to serve as mayor of Scottsdale and it was an absolute honor to have won re-election outright in the primary election and to have carried every precinct across the city. I am humbled by the immense amount of support and trust Scottsdale voters have, once again, placed in me and I promise to continue working every day toward meeting their high expectations.

With the start of the new year we begin with a new Council. Over the next two years, we seven members, your elected representatives, will debate many things. But mainly we will debate the future of Scottsdale.

Some will argue against growth and any change from our past. Others will view “regionalism” as the path for our future … merging us with our neighboring Valley cities and their look and interests in growth. Each of these directional thoughts deserves and will get a full vetting in an open and transparent process.

But, like most things, somewhere in between both of these views rests the right path for our city. For me, I want to see Scottsdale grow gracefully while continuing the strict standards that preserve our firm grip on the reins of our unique heritage.

Scottsdale is not “special” because of our location or some natural resource. We are not “special” because we are perceived to be “wealthier” than our neighbors; we are “special” because we “citizens” choose to be. We choose to invest in land conservation. We choose to have high standards for both public and private development. We choose to have the best park system in the state. We choose to be a mecca for tourism with the best downtown and the best events calendar in the state.

And most importantly, in our recent past, we have chosen to place the interests of the taxpayers first by enacting strict limitations on the public treasury. Not all of these choices have come easy, but I think we can all agree, we are glad they were made.

In 2013, this Council will be faced with a new set of choices from a familiar set of challenges. Decisions on our budget and employee compensation policies are fast approaching. The General Plan update, whether or not to have a bond election, government regulation, and investments in tourism will soon be issues before us as well.

But, before each of my colleagues votes on these issues, I encourage them to join me in asking two very simple questions, before any other: Is this good for the taxpayer, and will this protect freedom? If we can answer “yes” to both of these questions, then we will know that we are on a virtuous path.

There are many more mountains yet to climb, but with a new year, a new Council, I begin our first meeting, this evening, with a renewed sense of optimism and confidence that we will rise to meet these challenges together, for there are far more things that unite us as citizens of Scottsdale than divide us.

Thank you and may God bless our efforts.

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