Journalistic Priorities

While the mainstream media turned out in force for last night’s Scottsdale City Council meeting to cover an earth-shattering ice cream truck ordinance and a riveting new pedicab law, only one reporter–Terrance Thornton with the Independent–gave serious and timely attention to the real issues hidden in the fluff.

I’ll focus on the bond issue first. As Terrance says in his article, the Council approved sending the $200+ million bond package to the voters in the fall. However, the ballot won’t spell out how much is going to be spent on each item. It also won’t discuss details like how critically the expenditures were ranked by the Bond Task force.

There will be 39 projects in four broad categories, with only a few worthy projects in each category. But the voters will only be able to vote up-or-down on each category. Except for the most disinterested voters, no one will vote for this pig-in-a-poke. I predict a miserable and richly deserved failure, which is exactly what I told the city council. Here’s the video and you can look for my comment at 2:09:00.

There was also a heated discussion about the Las Aguas rezoning next to the historic Village Grove neighborhood. I’d encourage you to watch all of that, including supposed neighborhood protectors Suzanne Klapp, Dennis Robbins, and Virginia Korte, who all voted to screw this neighborhood. Mayor Lane never claimed to care about neighborhoods, so no surprise there. You can see my comments at 3:33:00.

Two more important items were discussed. One was a 90-foot tall wooden apartment building just east of Scottsdale Quarter (and just west of the Scottsdale Airport. My comments on that are at 5:06:00.

Lastly, you didn’t see it unless you read the agenda, but the Council voted to raise your water and sewer rates, basically just because they can. Water rates over the past couple of decades have outstripped the Consumer Price Index by about 32%, and sewer rates by 115%.

This price gouge was on the consent (i.e., no discussion) agenda. I put in a petition by Charles Poston at the end of the council meeting to reconsider the item, but it fell on deaf ears. Thanks at least to Councilmen Littlefield and Phillips for trying to get this item reconsidered. Clearly they are the only conservatives on the city council. See the video at 5:25:00.

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