Jim Lane is a Liar

In a Scottsdale Republic editorial this morning, Mayor Jim Lane lashes out at his critic-in-chief, Councilman Bob Littlefield, over Lane’s vaunted “Public Safety Plan” (aka “PSP”) ordinance for Scottsdale’s downtown Bar District. I’ve reprinted the entire editorial below, but I want to pull out two very telling sentences from Lane’s grousing.

Following the brutal murder of  Tyrice Thompson, a civilian secu­rity  guard at a downtown night­club,  I began taking a serious look at how Scottsdale’s bars and nightclubs handled their internal security.

What Lane fails to acknowledge is that for literally two years prior to Thompson’s murder, dozens of citizens spent hundreds of hours at city council meetings practically begging Lane and the council majority to stop building up a critical mass of bars in this area. Lane was deaf to their entreaties.

Even after police statistics on serious crime (assault, sexual assault, robbery) in this area took an alarming leap, Lane was too busy collecting campaign contributions from bar owners to pay attention.

It’s too bad that Lane didn’t start “taking a serious look” before now at the serious problems that he and his council cronies created. It is a fundamental principle of city planning to avoid concentrations of liquor licenses, yet Scottsdale’s bar district now has the highest concentration in the State of Arizona. Lane can’t say he didn’t know that was happening because I told him it was, and I’m one of many.

But here’s the real lie in Lane’s lamentation about being bullied by Littlefield:

There has been a lot of misinforma­tion  spread about this ordinance by folks like Councilman Bob Littlefield, who would rather see the city force the closure of every bar and nightclub downtown.

This is just like when the North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce called me anti-business for opposing the buildup of liquor licenses in the bar district, Littlefield never said anything about closing “every bar and nightclub downtown.” First of all, many of them should never have been allowed to open. But that aside, the only thing Littlefield (or I) have ever advocated is revoking the conditional use permits for bars and nightclubs that violate city ordinances…that is to say, city ordinances that are ALREADY on the books.

For Lane to equate that to wanting to make a dead zone out of the bar district is–simply–a lie.

Further, for someone who feigns concern about “wielding the heavy hand of government over honest business owners,” Lane doesn’t seem to have much trouble drafting yet another law to supposedly fix (which it most certainly will not) a problem that he created by not enforcing the laws we already have, specifically the General Plan and the Zoning Code.

Jim, you are a liar. I don’t care if you lie to yourself, but you have no right to lie to the public about Councilman Littlefield’s intentions.

Here’s Lane’s full editorial:

Public-safety plan for entertainment district a must for city

Following the brutal murder of  Tyrice Thompson, a civilian secu­rity  guard at a downtown night­club,  I began taking a serious look at how Scottsdale’s bars and nightclubs handled their internal security.

I directed my office to begin draft­ing  an ordinance that would establish stricter standards for bar and nightclub security and safety. Working in concert with the City Attorney’s Office, Scotts­dale  Police Department, Scottsdale Fire Department, Code Enforcement and the Planning Department, the Public Safety Plan Ordinance was drafted.

There has been a lot of misinforma­tion  spread about this ordinance by folks like Councilman Bob Littlefield, who would rather see the city force the closure of every bar and nightclub downtown. As mayor, my job is to find solutions to problems that benefit the entire community, not to wield the heavy hand of government over honest business owners. Scottsdale citizens deserve better than Councilman Little­field’s  sophomoric tactics.

  • In order to set the record straight, here are the highlights of my proposed Public Safety Plan Ordinance:
    Each bar and nightclub will be re­quired  to have a PSP approved by the chief of police.
  • If a business does not have a PSP, they will not be allowed to operate. 
  • A PSP must be resubmitted to the chief of police every two years.
    Bars and nightclubs will be re­quired  to have staffing of at least one security officer per 50 patrons for the first 500 patrons and at least one addi­tional  security officer per 75 patrons thereafter during peak hours. 
  • All security personnel must attend training provided by the city that at a minimum covers liquor-law compli­ance,  general security training, crowd management and fire safety. 
  • That a business with two or more public-safety incidents within a one-­week  period or three or more public ­safety  incidents within a one-month period be required to retain the ser­vices  of a minimum of two off-duty police officers to supplement existing security personnel during peak times for a minimum period of three months or until at least three consecutive months have gone by without two or more public-safety incidents, whichev­er  period is longer. 
  • That a business with one or more public-safety incidents involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weap­on  or deadly instrument be required to retain the services of a minimum of two off-duty police officers to supple­ment  existing security personnel dur­ing  peak times for a minimum period of three months or until at least three consecutive months have gone by with­out  any public-safety incidents. 
  • Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of an approved PSP on two or more occasions within a one-­year period constitutes grounds for the revocation of that plan. 
  • The first violation of a PSP carries a fine of $500 and the second, $1,000.

While this is just a sample of what is in the draft Public Safety Plan Ordi­nance  that I intend to take to Council, as soon as we have completed our out­reach  to the public, I hope you will agree that these responsible but strict standards should be adopted by the Council and accepted by the bar and nightclub community.

While we are all too aware that evil exists in this world, there is little we can to do to eradicate it fully. We can, however, take rational steps to curtail its influence. I am confident that this ordinance will go a long way toward making Scottsdale safer.

If you would like to read the entire draft ordinance or if you have any questions or comments, please log on to www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov/codes/public safety plan. Thank you.

Jim Lane is mayor of Scottsdale.


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7 Comments

  1. Looks like Lane is beginning to feel the heat on his relentless toadying to the bar owners. Lowering himself to personally insulting me proves he knows he cannot win the debate on the merits of his ideas.

  2. Lane is an embarrassment to Scottsdale. I’ve lived here for 39 years and this is not my Scottsdale. Hi-rise apartments going up in every open area, An “entertainment area” that consists of bars, bars & more bars. Where’s the entertainment in that?
    Tourists don’t come to Scottsdale for its bars and hi-rises. Soon we will have to go elsewhere for open space and the Scottsdale lifestyle that our residents want & keep pressing for. Bob Littlefield cares about Scottsdale. Jim Lane only cares about himself and the $ from developers. Herb Drinkwater is turning in his grave looking at what Scottsdale has became and what Lane has planned. What a disaster he is!

  3. I hope that when the off-duty police officer end up in the night clubs (and they will) that they will start enforcing the illegal drug use inside the bars.

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