Bond Arguments

“For” and “against” arguments to be printed in the pamphlet for the November bond election were due this afternoon. Here are the submissions.

You’ll note the usual suspects (developers, affiliates, and their Chamber of Commerce cronies) represented among the proponents. No surprise there. They will be the biggest direct beneficiaries of the resulting make-work projects if the voters approve the bonds.

I also hope you’ll note the incumbent Scottsdale City Council members who support raising your taxes: Linda Milhaven and Dennis Robbins. Also included in the pro-tax crowd are prospective candidate (and former city manager) John Little; and prospective/former candidate Eric Luoma.

I also note with some puzzlement that former City Treasurer David Smith is supporting the bonds, when in his former official capacity he warned Mayor Lane and the City Council AGAINST irresponsible borrowing.

Republicans they may be, but conservatives they are definitely NOT.

 

CITY OF SCOTTSDALE
SPECIAL ELECTION

 ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE BONDS

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

After serving two consecutive terms on the citizens’ Bond Task Force, I learned three important things voters should know:

  1. The 39 projects on the bond ballot are essential for our city to do now – because waiting would only cause the projects to cost more later.
  2. The four Bond Questions work together, so it’s vital to vote for all four proposals.
  3. Approving the four bond proposals is a critical investment in maintaining our special quality of life.

For two years the Task Force scrutinized a long list of potential projects.  Our citizen volunteers invested nearly 900 hours in visiting and evaluating project sites around the city, as well as factoring in valuable citizen input. The Task Force then prioritized the most needed projects.

I am confident the 39 projects you will be voting on November 5th are critical to do now.

These are no-frills projects. The majority are for repairing, maintaining  or updating important infrastructure throughout the city.  They are the kind of systems we take for granted, until they start breaking down or stop working altogether.

I urge all voters to study the ballot closely, because it’s incumbent on you to be well informed about the importance of the four bond proposals.  I invite you to visit our campaign website: preservescottsdalesfuture.com

I want to publicly thank those who have helped make the 2013 Bond Election a reality.  They include my fellow Task Force members, the citizens for their ideas and input, the Mayor and City Council and those volunteers who are working on our campaign to pass the four Bond Questions.

Now we need to finish what we started two years ago.

I ask that you vote YES on the four bond proposals to help maintain your unique quality of life.

Wayne Ecton, Chairman, Preserve Scottsdale’s Future

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Vote YES For Scottsdale!

We have a long history of investing in Scottsdale’s quality of life. Unfortunately, the recession plus loss of past funding sources has substantially impacted our ability to keep pace with our necessary investment in the city’s infrastructure, parks, libraries and police and fire services. No new revenue sources are projected for at least the next five years.

The $360 million Bond voters approved 13 years ago resulted in many enhancements to our citizens’ overall quality of life. Those funds, however, are now almost exhausted.  Roads are wearing out, critical infrastructure is breaking down and public safety communication systems are becoming antiquated. Our senior centers, libraries, parks and social service facilities need upgrades and expansion.

As Chairman of the Citizen Bond 2013 Task Force and a member of the 2012 Task Force, I worked with the other volunteer members  for  two years to independently evaluate the city’s growing needs.  During the course of this process, the Task Force  reduced the list of city needs from $1 billion worth of projects to 39 projects at a cost of $212 million. The result  is now 27 “must have” and 12 “should have” projects that merit your support.

Those who say these 39 projects are not all needed are simply wrong.  Our AAA rating is not at risk, remaining debt  is fully funded & there are many more than 7 worthy projects.  In fact, there are 39 that merit your vote!

Your  YES vote on all four questions  will benefit every resident of Scottsdale & help sustain our  quality of life.

Bill Heckman – Chair Bond 2013 Task Force

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Dear Scottsdale Voters:

After months of work by the Council-appointed Citizen Task Force, the City Council voted to place four essential bond request questions on the November ballot. The Chamber Board of Directors reviewed these questions and voted unanimously to support the city’s request for much-needed infrastructure in Scottsdale.

Why would a business organization vote to raise its taxes on its homes and businesses when much of its time and attention generally go toward lowering taxes? The answer is simple. There is a straight line once can draw between essential improvements and the bottom line for businesses and citizens.

Scottsdale was recently voted the finest city in the valley in which to do business. We have a long history of taking care of our infrastructure so that we can remain so. In any era of fiscal restraint, the City Council only chose to place before the voters only those things that are necessary to keep Scottsdale competitive and strong. This is a no-frills bond package without “pie in the sky” projects. It is about parking for employees, storm control, efficient stop lights and repairing our roads and sewers.

The recession forced the City to defer much-needed repairs and upgrades to our necessary communications system for our fire and police departments. These must be addressed. Our safety, our tourism, our quality of life and all of our property values depend upon improving our city’s aging infrastructure, and that can only be done one way – By voting YES on Questions 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Scottsdale is the finest city in the Southwest and can only remain so if we take care of those things that most need repair and updating.

Please vote YES on Questions 1, 2, 3 & 4!

Sincerely,

Eric Larson                                                     Rick Kidder
Chair of the Board                                                             President & CEO
Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce                  Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

The 2013 City of Scottsdale Bond program provides an opportunity to reinvest in the community that we have chosen to call home.  The passage of Question #1 of the Bond program is critically important for several reasons.  It will result in enhancements to our parks and community services, improved technology, improvements in public safety facilities and equipment. Most importantly, it will allow for the renovation of the Paiute Community Center, a center that will provide social health and human services for all individuals, including those who are under resourced.  The remodeled facility will include a community health center offering greater access to medical care, dental and behavioral health services, and provide health education for all residents.  Access to affordable healthcare in a community setting is imperative and is better than using the emergency department (ED) for regular care. The ED is not cost effective nor does it provide the best care for managing our community’s health.  When residents use the emergency department for chronic disease management or common colds, it drives up everyone’s health care costs.  The Paiute Community Center will also offer greater partnership opportunities between community organizations including the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, Scottsdale Prevention Institute, HeadStart, City of Scottsdale -Vista del Camino and Youth and Family Services, to build integration between programs that focus on improving health and well being for families.  Addressing infrastructure concerns is critical to effective service delivery, health and safety of local residents.  The renovation of the Paiute Community Center will improve the health of the families in our community.

The passage of Bond program is vital to ensuring that Scottsdale maintains its existing infrastructure, while continuing to provide the highest quality of life for all of its residents. Please vote yes on the 2013 Bond program.

Sincerely,

Timothy Bray                                                    Robert C. Howard
Board Chairman                                                                     Board Treasurer
Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health                 Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Thriving communities must strategically invest in their infrastructure to remain vibrant.  It has been 13 years since passage of the last bond election and new funding will ensure our city keeps abreast of basic needs.  The proposal before voters is for $212.1 million in General Obligation Bonds.

A Citizen Task Force carefully analyzed projects submitted by City staff from various departments to prepare a package for Council consideration.  The four questions approved by Council for voter consideration include projects to enhance parks, libraries and community facilities; public safety; neighborhood flood control and transportation, streets and trails.  There are a total of 39 projects.

Projects such as Library, Senior Center, and Park improvements, along with the Center for the Arts and Paiute Community Center renovations will improve our quality of life.

New and updated Fire and Police Stations with radio system upgrades will ensure our continued public safety.

Flood control projects such as Granite Reef Watershed and the Neighborhood Stormwater Program will eliminate flood hazards.

Transportation projects including bridge safety upgrades, airpark roadway circulation, citywide trails implementation and downtown pedestrian improvements will greatly enhance mobility in Scottsdale.

Fortunately, Scottsdale maintains the highest Bond Rating possible.  Therefore, the estimated tax increase for every $100,000 of a home’s value will be $21.74 per year.  This is an affordable program carefully developed by the Citizen Task Force and City Council.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona strongly supports investment to preserve, improve and enhance infrastructure.   All facets – even infrastructure that is unseen – is vital to a strong community.

Submitted by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona,

Chidambaram Gnanasambanthan                                         Dawn Cartier

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

The Scottsdale bond election addresses two issues of importance to every Scottsdale homeowner:

1.  Maintaining the quality of life that attracted us to Scottsdale; and,

2.  Protecting the housing investment that we made in order to live here.

Scottsdale is special.  It requires continuous investment to remain special.  And, our homes are major investments. They should be protected as would any other financial asset.

Bonds are one of the means by which communities collectively finance their quality of life and protect assets.  A volunteer citizen task force has studied and identified the transportation, facilities, public safety and infrastructure deficiencies that they believe seriously diminish Scottsdale’s quality of life and jeopardize our property values.  Maintenance of those services is as important to the City, as maintenance of our homes is to us, individually.

I urge you to remember what makes Scottsdale special, and support the investment necessary to maintain that environment.  Sound fiscal management has earned Scottsdale a AAA credit rating, which allows the City to finance its capital expenditures with the lowest possible bond rates.

Ron McCullagh

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

As a Scottsdale resident, do you ever wonder why the mention of “Scottsdale” to family, friends and business colleagues is so warmly received?  Why do people have the distinct impression that Scottsdale is a wonderful place to live, to vacation or to do business?  Precisely why do people near and far perceive the brand of “Scottsdale” so favorably and why do so many businesses, charitable and non-profit organizations, insert the moniker of “Scottsdale” into their name?  The positive view of the “Scottsdale” brand reflects the pride of ownership all of us take in our city.

The November 5th ballot will ask you to consider four bond questions that, with your YES votes, will authorize the capital investment our community needs to both improve and enhance our “Scottsdale.”

Historically, Scottsdale residents have cared for our community just like their homes, businesses and associations located here.  That pride of ownership reflects a civic caring and preservation of our natural geographic splendor, like the McDowell Mountains and surrounding desert, combined with a continuing investment of hard-earned personal and business capital into our greater civic community.  Our committed investments extend well beyond our own doorsteps and driveways.

Two years ago, the City Council recruited volunteer residents to study essential community needs that would require long-term capital bond financing.  Two different volunteer citizens’ Bond Task Forces carefully reviewed over $1 billion of capital requests and then prioritized essential projects.  The Task Force presented a reduced and reasonable bond proposal program to the Council that they placed on the ballot.

The city now seeks your approval to authorize capital bond financing of $212 million for 39 projects vital to sustaining the community in which we take so much pride.  I strongly recommend a YES vote on bond questions 1 through 4.

John Gulick, ESQ, CPA
Chairman, 2012 Citizens Bond Task Force

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Please VOTE YES on all 4 bond questions to preserve Scottsdale’s future!

Scottsdale is a wonderful place to call home and its quality of life is second to none. Part of what makes our city great is that we take positive steps to keep our streets safe and provide our first responders with the vital facilities they need to save lives.

As the city’s largest employer and healthcare provider, Scottsdale Healthcare’s roots in our community run deep. Since our inception in 1962, we have supported the health and economic well-being of our community.

Scottsdale Healthcare is proud to play a role in keeping our citizens healthy. We work closely with local police and fire departments whenever there is a need for emergency services. We also believe in proactive measures that minimize life’s risks.

Like many others, we want safe streets that reduce driving hazards and ensure that patients in need have access to medical facilities and services. We support Scottsdale’s plan to improve streets, parking and modernize traffic control devices.

Additionally, Scottsdale Healthcare wholeheartedly endorses the City’s plans to help first responders by building two new fire stations — one in the Desert Foothills area and another near 110th Street and Cave Creek Road — to replace temporary facilities. These new stations will be more centrally located, reducing response times. They also will provide better support for first responders who help those in need.

We congratulate City leaders for creating a thorough process for evaluating all of these projects, and for focusing on those that protect and enhance our community.

The cost is minimal yet the return on investment is significant. Please VOTE YES on all four bond questions to preserve Scottsdale’s future.

Tom Sadvary                          Jim Burke, MD
President & CEO                                Senior Vice President & Chief Physician Executive
Scottsdale Healthcare                     Scottsdale Healthcare

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

I support the four proposals in Bond 2013 as an important way for citizens to protect the value of their own real estate investments.  City assets comprise our collective “front yard” and, as such, it is in our self-interest to manage them as responsibly as we would our own homes.

During my tenure as City Treasurer, I frequently sounded the warning that the City needs to do more to provide for new and replacement infrastructure.  Our assets continue to age, but traditional sources of capital funds have disappeared:  monies from Bond 2000 have been spent and City revenues from new construction are a fraction of what they once were.

I explained to the Citizens’ Bond Task Force and City Council that any property tax impact would be modest compared to the investment values protected.  We calculated the average debt service would be about 22 cents per $100 of assessed valuation over the life of the bonds.  Even that calculation exaggerates the incremental tax burden:  new bonds will only be issued as capital investments are made, meaning debt service for future new bonds will be partially offset by the expiration of debt service for old bonds that mature.

When a citizen shares a concern that we already have “too much debt,” I encourage them to consider the debt we have and why we have it.  Almost 25% of our debt supports the water/waste water business, paid entirely from users’ utility bills; another 34% is debt for Preserve lands, expressly authorized by citizens in two elections; 22% is voter-authorized debt from previous General Obligation Bond elections – then, as now, to finance new and replacement infrastructure for our “front yard.”

Scottsdale’s coveted AAA bond rating reflects more than just reasonable debt levels; it also recognizes our citizens’ responsible approach to managing City assets.

David N. Smith, Scottsdale City Treasurer 2009-13

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

When I represented Scottsdale residents for 16 years in the State Legislature, I learned I could not satisfy everyone all the time.  But I always worked to do what I believed was in the best interest of our city.

I will be voting “yes” on the four bond proposals because they are clearly in the best interest of Scottsdale.  The City Council did the right thing by putting the bond proposals on the ballot to give us a chance to make an investment in our quality of life.

There are no frills or fluff in the bond package. The 39 projects were prioritized by the citizens’ Bond Task Force.   All the projects are necessary – from increasing essential health services for young families at the Paiute Community Center to expanding our senior centers whose popularity with our older citizens has outgrown the current space at both facilities.  The bond package also includes projects to control flash flooding in neighborhoods hit hardest during monsoon storms and upgrading our public safety communication system to ensure rapid responses during medical emergencies.

I think one of our community’s strongest attributes is our willingness to unite behind causes that make Scottsdale such a special place to live.  We have a history of making civic commitments, like to create the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and to construct the Indian Bend Wash Green Belt.  It is those kind of projects that make our city unique.

I call on my fellow Scottsdale voters to do the best thing for our city.

Please join me in voting “yes” for all four bond questions on the November 5th ballot.

Carolyn Allen, Former State Senator and Former State Representative

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

There’s a reason we all chose to live in Scottsdale – a Most Livable City in America!

We have a history of doing whatever is necessary to maintain the standards and values that continue to make Scottsdale so special.  That is why I am in full support of the bond package the City Council so wisely placed on the ballot this November.

From the first Scottsdale School District election more than 100 years ago, we have had a tradition of saying YES to what it takes to keep Scottsdale, Scottsdale. That $5,000 bond to build the Scottsdale Grammar School (now the Scottsdale Historical Society in the Little Red Schoolhouse) in 1909 was approved 13-0!

In 1960, just nine years after the City of Scottsdale was incorporated, voters passed bonds for a jail, a sewer extension and improvements to the intersection of Scottsdale and Indian School Roads. That same year a civic-minded group sold bonds to finance the construction of the city’s first hospital, now known as Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn Campus.

There have been other bond elections along the way in the evolution of our city.  But this November’s election is one of the most important.  Many of the 39 projects on the ballot are ones that are overdue because the City Council had to delay them during the economic downturn.  This “quality of life bond election” is about trying to catch up on essential projects that the city must do now.

I do not believe any citizen group has ever worked harder than the Bond Task Force.  They spent countless hours the past two years studying and prioritizing which projects we need the most.

All these bond projects deserve and need your “YES” vote to maintain our special quality of life.

Thank you.

Sam Campana, Former Scottsdale Mayor

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

The quality of life we enjoy in Scottsdale is inextricably linked to the amenities our community offers.  Beautiful open spaces, quality infrastructure, and our unflinching commitment to public safety are what make Scottsdale one of the most desirable places to live in the United States.  It is in this light that the Board of Directors of the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® unanimously endorses Ballot Questions 1-4.  We must seize this opportunity to safeguard the future of the community we love.  We urge you to vote “YES” on November 5.

Patrick Jones, Chairman of the Board
Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®

Rebecca Grossman, President & CEO
Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

As citizens of Scottsdale we all want high quality services at the lowest possible cost.  To make sure that we will continue to provide the best city services possible we must invest in our public infrastructure.  The passage of Bond 2013 is critical to providing basic city services that we want and need.

The last time our citizens passed a bond was 13 years ago in 2000.  Our city has used the Bond 2000 dollars in an effective and efficient manner.  Bond 2000 allowed our city to maintain the quality in our parks, pools, streets and libraries that make Scottsdale special.  This bond election is no different. In order to maintain the public facilities that we count on each day we must re-invest and update our necessary infrastructure.

You will be asked to vote on 4 different questions.  Each question has many projects that need your support.  These projects range from park improvements to fire station repairs to bridge safety upgrades.  Please read and study each project.  Our citizen task force spent 2 years examining and deciding on just the right balance of projects to support.

Now it’s your turn.  Please support these critical improvements to our basic city facilities and services.  Your support will continue the long tradition in Scottsdale of high quality city services at the lowest possible cost.

Councilman Dennis Robbins

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Paraphrasing Vince Lombardi, the quality of a community is in direct proportion to its commitment to excellence.  We all live in Scottsdale because it offers us a very high quality of life. Those who came before us had a vision and were willing to invest in it. My family and I have lived here since 1972. Long before becoming Mayor, I worked on bond elections and witnessed, first hand, how critically important they are to the health and success of our community.  Scottsdale has effectively implemented bond programs because we carried out a deliberate, thoughtful, citizen driven process to determine what projects were most important to our safety and the quality of our city. We also put into place an Oversight Committee to make sure that all funds were spent wisely and only for those projects which we voted to support. These same steps were taken to put this proposition on the ballot.

We all understand the necessity of investing in our own households to maintain a safe and quality environment in which to live. The same principle applies to our community. It is imperative that we continue to improve our streets, parks, flood control, public safety, libraries, and other community facilities. Due to Scottsdale’s ongoing AAA bond rating, low property tax rate, and favorable interest rate climate, it is the appropriate time to undertake these improvements. Detractors incorrectly say that debt per capita is reason to not support the bonds.  I strongly disagree!  Our McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which encompasses one third of our city in beautiful natural open space, indeed affects the debt ratio. However, it has a dedicated revenue stream, has been strongly supported by our residents at the ballot box, and does not negatively impact the budget. Hence, the great bond rating!

Vote YES for Scottsdale’s future!

Former Mayor Mary Manross

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

I support the four initiatives of Bond 2013.  I was a member of the Citizen’s Bond Committee that provided citizen oversight for spending bond funds generated by the 1989 Bond Program.  That bond program funded the baseball stadium and library improvements among many necessary, less visible infrastructure needs.  To this day, those investments and subsequent bond programs have continued to benefit the entire community of residents, business owners and out of town guests.

The Bond program’s priorities in transportation and flood control improvements, additions to our public safety and community services facilities and necessary technology improvements can maintain the high standard that Scottsdale represents.  As a resident, I believe these programs are necessary to maintain assets that continue to age and to make improvements that can keep Scottsdale as a quality community and safe place to live.

As the owner of Sphinx Date Co. on Scottsdale Road, I am among many who depend upon tourism spending as well as support from local residents.  These programs are important to promote our image as a wonderful and safe place to visit, to work and to live.

I urge everyone to support all four bond election questions.

Sharyn Seitz, Owner, Sphinx Date Co.

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Residents of Scottsdale are particularly concerned about high quality services and amenities in Scottsdale.  They expect the best public safety system, first class facilities, and superior, ongoing improvements throughout the city.

Thirteen years ago, citizens approved bond questions that provided a significant part of the infrastructure and facilities that we enjoy today.   It is now time to continue that high attention to Scottsdale’s beauty and amenities by passing the bond questions on the ballot this year.

Your vote will provide park and trail improvements, better access to community facilities, improved flood control, increased police and fire response times, improved free parking,  upgraded traffic control and improved traffic movement, more quiet street paving, senior center expansion, renovations at the southern Paiute Center, library and cultural improvements and numerous other needed infrastructure projects.

As a City Council, we have worked hard over the last few years to hold down the city’s operating budget during the difficult recession.  We cut back the city’s workforce, reduced other operating expenses, and kept our city tax structure low.  Very little money has been available for capital projects that contribute to our quality of life and the city’s lasting heritage.

Only through the approval of general obligation bonds can we invest in the long-term capital needs of the city.  That’s where you come in.  Read through the list of critical projects that need funding with passage of new bonds.  I think you will see many projects that appeal to you.   The City Council has passed a vote that says every single project listed is important to the future needs of Scottsdale.

I ask you to vote “yes” on all four ballot questions and help invest in advancing Scottsdale once again as one of the “best cities in the nation.”

Suzanne Klapp, Councilwoman

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

Beginning more than three years ago, the Scottsdale Bond Task Force members worked for hundreds of hours to review, assess, prioritize and recommend necessary improvements and repairs to our most fundamental infrastructure.  Our task force, made up of dedicated volunteers from all parts of Scottsdale, had the opportunity to tour a number of these aging facilities over the course of many months.   From the long list of items considered for this bond package, only the most necessary were included in this election.

The temporary buildings, flood controls, and trails are in serious need of repairs and updates.   Our police officers, city staff, our seniors and our children deserve better places to work, study, and recreate.

In Scottsdale, we pride ourselves on being an international travel destination and a great place to live.  We can say with pride that we offer the best in community facilities and parks because this has always been a shared value in this community.  But now, we need to make the investment in these facilities to keep them safe and desirable for our community.

This bond includes updates that affect each of our families’ health, safety and well-being.  Like caring for your home, there are simple repairs we can make now avoid the very expensive costs of replacement or emergency repairs. Most of these initiatives are necessary repairs and preventative maintenance that will save our community money in the long run, protect our parks and roadways, and maintain or enhance Scottsdale’s quality of life.

These bond questions have earned the support of local business owners, parents, and health care and safety organizations because they are reasonable and prudent.  Each of these improvements will protect our quality of life and preserve our future.  I urge you to VOTE YES on ALL FOUR bond questions.

Charley Freericks, President, DMB Associates, Inc.
Member, Scottsdale Bond Task Force, 2012

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 1

I urge voters to vote YES on all four bond questions.

Just as we invest in our homes with new roofs and plumbing, the City of Scottsdale must continue to maintain our city’s essential infrastructure.  Our citizens expect and deserve the best.  The projects in the bond proposals help us to maintain our current infrastructure while making investments that allow us to sustain high-quality services for all of our residents.

We all know from personal experience that putting off maintenance and repair projects only costs us more in the long run.  That is a good reason to vote for all these necessary projects now.

The last bonds that Scottsdale voters approved was in 2000 for more than $351 million.  Now, 13 years later, it is time to reinvest in our city to keep it special.  At a cost of $22 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, voting for the four bond questions is a wise investment in our city’s future and a worthwhile investment in our quality of life.

Linda Milhaven, Councilwoman

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 1

Please join us, Councilman Bob and Kathy Littlefield, and vote AGAINST all four bond questions, because:

  • Scottsdale already has the highest per capita debt of any major city in the Valley, and our recovery from the economic downturn is weak. Now is not the time for Scottsdale to take on another $212 million in debt that will increase your property taxes and mortgage our city’s future.
  • While this bond package includes some worthy projects, it also contains many items that the city does not need and certainly should not take on more debt to acquire.
  • Unfortunately, voters cannot approve the good projects and reject the bad. The truly worthy projects are bundled with unworthy ones, forcing voters who want the worthy projects to approve the unworthy ones too!  This is a classic example of bureaucratic “bait and switch” and should be rejected.
  • There is no guarantee that, if the bonds are approved, the money would be spent in the ways voters were promised. When the bond package was approved by the City Council, (over the objections of Mayor Lane and Councilmembers Phillips and Littlefield), they added language which gives the City Council and staff the maximum “flexibility” in allocating the bond money.  Translation:  you may not even get what you voted for!

We are asking Scottsdale voters to reject these four bond questions and send a strong message to the Council to resubmit to the voters a leaner bond package that

  • Includes only the seven most vital projects.
  • Presents each project separately for individual up-or-down votes.
  • Includes language that allows bond money to be spent only in ways specifically approved by the voters.

Rejecting these bond questions will also send a clear message to the Council to stop balancing the operating budget by cutting contributions to the capital budget.

Bob Littlefield                                                    Kathy Littlefield
Scottsdale City Councilman                                               Scottsdale Citizen and Native

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 1

Please vote no on all these bonds since it will result in a massive tax increase of over a quarter of a billion dollars.

The city has created its Christmas list of new projects that can wait until regular revenue has been collected.  These Bonds will still be paying interest long after the proponents of these Bonds are dead.  The huge tax increase from these Bonds will be paying interest to a Hedge Fund on Wall Street that pays no taxes.  Does that sound like a good deal?

The city has told us for over 25 years that we have to keep investing money in West World for it to be profitable.  The name should be changed to “Car World” since the only person making money at West World is the once a year car auction owner.  We paid for the entire infrastructure.

The city spent millions to take a perfectly straight street (96th between Shea& Cactus) and make it a crooked street with “Calming Circles.”

The city “Over Paid” millions of our money for Preserve land because they wouldn’t negotiate with the property owner and the city lost in court.  You won’t see that fact on the city website.

Why can’t our city leaders adopt the Southwest Airlines model of doing business?

Southwest doesn’t buy a plane unless it has the cash on hand to purchase a new plane.  That’s why they are successful.  Our city should do the same.  Don’t mortgage our city to out of town investors.  Please vote no and reign in wasteful spending.

Eugene Bond

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 1

As a long-time Scottsdale resident and Realtor I want our city’s quality of life to remain top-notch. I am even willing to pay more in property tax to make sure our Police and Fire departments are fully-funded and to support the many amenities that make Scottsdale a great place to live. Unfortunately, these four bond questions are not about maintaining Scottsdale’s high quality of life, so I urge voters to vote AGAINST all bond questions.

A big problem with this bond package is the City Council wants to increase your property taxes to fund the pet projects of favored special interests, such as a parking garage for the bar district!!  There are some important projects in this bond package, but the City Council bundled 39 projects into four questions, forcing voters to approve Bad projects if they want the Good ones.

Even worse, the bond language allows the City Council, without voter approval, to divert these funds from one or more projects within each question to fund another. This means, even if you vote to approve the Bad projects to get the Good ones, the City Council can decide to fund the Bad ones and ignore the Good ones. So much for your City Council’s supposed commitment to open and transparent government!

But the worst thing about this bond package is that the City Council is asking you to increase your property taxes to make up for their lack of fiscal discipline. As the City Treasurer candidly noted, for the last several years your City Council has balanced the operating budget, not by cutting expenses, but by cutting contributions to the capital budget.

Don’t let the City Council you elected get away with these irresponsible tactics. Vote AGAINST these bond questions and force our City Council to do it right.

Barbara Allyn, Realtor, CRMS, CSSN, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-Pro

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 1

Fellow Taxpayers,

You elected me to represent you at City Hall and that is why I must, in all good conscience, expose this bond election for what it really is: A $212 million dollar tax burden on your property for the next 25 years.

Maybe you read the “for” arguments and think: “But Guy, isn’t this money badly needed for our aging infrastructure?”

The honest answer is NO! This money will be used to fund pet projects by various special interest groups by diverting funds from needed projects through council vote.

How will they do this? Each question has items listed that say what the money will be used for. What they don’t tell you is that later your City Council will pick and choose which item.

For example, in Question #1 there are 11 items listed totaling $50 million. If approved, council can then vote to spend the whole $50 million on just 1 of the 11 items, like say, the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

If the voters approve question #4 for $99 million, council can then say we don’t really need bridge improvements, let’s spend the money on more double lane roundabouts. This is why I urged staff to make sure the voters understood this fact by including in the ballot something to this effect:

Voter Disclaimer:

Not all projects in each question will be funded. The council, at its sole discretion, may divert any and all funds from one or more projects within each question to fund another.

Of course they didn’t print that because they knew you wouldn’t vote for it.

Therefore, I urge you to stand with Councilman Littlefield and myself and Vote NO! On this special interest money grab and make the council go back and do it right.

Councilman Guy Phillips

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 1

Priorities?

Before you hand the taxpayers’ credit card to Mayor Lane and the City Council, ask yourself:

  1. How did they budget so poorly that we now “need” to borrow hundreds of millions?
  2. Even the hand-picked Bond Task Force said only half of the items are “must have.” Why did the Mayor/Council reject citizen requests for a line-item ballot?
  3. Why can’t you easily find item details on the city’s website? How many are make-work projects for cronies?
  4. Why have the Mayor/Council shorted the capital projects fund for six years?
  5. Why have they never discussed Scottsdale’s TOTAL debt: $1.3 BILLION, highest per capita in the Valley?
  6. Why does debt service consume 1/3 of our General Fund?
  7. Why did Scottsdale have an $8 million budgeted deficit last year, and $9 million this year?
  8. Why give the PGA a $20 million taxpayer subsidy? Why give Phil Mickelson $2 million?
  9. Why does the Cultural Council get $4 million annually for their no-bid ‘contract?’ Why did the mayor’s campaign PR guy get $150k for his polo match?
  10. How many more hidden taxpayer subsidies suck money from city services and maintenance?
  11. Before resigning, the City Treasurer warned against unsustainable budgeting and unwise borrowing. Isn’t this the analysis for which he was hired?
  12. What happened to the “conservative,” “businesslike approach,” we were promised when electing a 100% Republican city council and mayor?

The budget “crises” was created by Mayor Lane and the Council majority. Their crony capitalist subsidies have robbed money from maintenance and taxpayer services. Their meddling in city planning and continual violations of the General Plan have burdened public safety and other services.

Tell them, “No More Taxes!” Vote NO on All! More info: www.ScottsdaleTrails.com.

John Washington

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 1

Vote No on the Bonds. We don’t need more debt in Scottsdale. We need to restrain the big spenders on the city council. This bond election is nothing more than an early Christmas shopping spree for the special interests that feed off of the taxpayers of Scottsdale.

The Bond Task Force could only identify 8 must have(necessary) projects with a cost of about $35 million. Nevertheless, they added about 35 additional projects with an additional cost of $180 million. Why not stop at $35 million? The answer is simple. The big spenders on the city council felt obligated to feed the pork monsters of our city.  Once again, the taxpayers are being asked to pay for the desires of the special interests.

We don’t need to build medical clinics for private companies. We don’t need to build a parking garage for the downtown bar district.  The bond package is filled with these types of projects; projects that normally are funded by the private sector; projects that benefit only the politically well-connected.

We asked the city council to provide a line item bond vote, so that the voters could choose only those individual projects that are really essential for our city. Instead, the big spenders on the city council decided to hold us taxpayers hostage. In order to get the $35 million of spending that is really necessary, we must also approve an extra $180 million that is unnecessary, wasteful patronage. These tactics are wrong and disrespectful to the taxpayers.

Vote no on the bond election. Let’s put the pork monsters on a diet.  Vote no ,and tell the city council to focus on meeting the real needs of the citizens, and not the wants of the patronage crowd.

Mark Stuart

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 2

Scottsdale Firefighters think of this bond election in much the same way we approach our jobs.

We are required to maintain our equipment to keep it in good working order.  We can not afford to have things we count on to malfunction when we are responding to emergency calls. Likewise, many problems, even emergencies, can be avoided if businesses and homeowners take the necessary steps to keep up with the proper maintenance of the essentials in their businesses and homes.

The City of Scottsdale has the same kind of responsibility to citizens.

That is why the Scottsdale Firefighters Association is supporting the four bond proposals on this November’s ballot.

The last time Scottsdale voters approved bonds was 13 years ago. Those bond funds from 2000 have nearly run out.  During the economic recession, the City Council postponed many projects the city was unable to afford.  That makes it vital for voters to approve the 39 projects on the ballot, many of which were postponed.

None of the projects have so-called civic sex appeal.  The majority of them are for the routine repair or replacement of run down or worn out traffic control systems, infrastructure of our parks and libraries and public safety communications technology.

Every day Firefighters experience what can happen when people put off fixing things.  A small plumbing problem can end up flooding an entire house or a sagging roof can collapse during a rain storm.  These things can be avoided.  It is just a matter of recognizing the things that need to be done … and doing them.

There is not any one thing that sets us apart from other cities.  We believe our city’s unique quality of life is the sum of many parts.

SFA urges four YES votes on the 2013 Bond Election ballot.

Aren Hansen, President, Scottsdale Firefighter Association

Sasha Weller, Vice President, Scottsdale Firefighter Association

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 2

In my neighborhood, I am fortunate to have neighbors who make periodic investments in their property.  As homeowners, we all rely on each other for our neighborhood’s quality of life.  If any of my neighbors were unable to recognize the importance of reinvesting in their properties, all of us would suffer.  It is because of our commitment to our families and our responsibilities to our neighbors that we keep our homes and property in good repair.

It’s the same thing with our city.  We have an obligation to invest in our future.

The city cannot afford to make critical infrastructure improvements using a “pay-as- you-go” process any easier than most of us can pay cash for needed home improvements.  However, our city does have the ability to periodically ask you and me to pay a little now to save money in the long-term.  That way we end up paying less for needed improvements, not more.

I am sure we can all recall times when we had to put-off repairing a roof or replacing a heating or air conditioning unit.  Those delays usually end up causing even bigger problems.

During the height of the economic recession, the City Council was in a similar predicament.  They had to put off essential projects because there was not enough money in the dwindling general fund to pay for those projects.  Even though the economy is bouncing back, the general fund fails to have the funding for all the necessary projects we need to do now. Among the most important of these are a number of public safety projects that deserve our unqualified support.

I urge you and your neighbors to vote “YES” for all four bond questions – because in the long run, it makes cents.

John C. Little, Jr., Former City Manager

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 2

In law enforcement, we often talk about the “Broken Window Theory:”

If a vacant building has a broken window that isn’t repaired, soon there will be another broken window, and then another.  Vandalism and graffiti will follow.  Then drug addicts will strip the building of copper tubing and other valuable materials they can swap for drugs.  What started as the demise of a single building can spread to another nearby building. And so on, until a single broken window leads to a block or even a neighborhood being lost.

This is only a theoretical example of how an unaddressed item like a broken window can lead to a chain reaction of events that end with severe consequences.

The members of the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association who can afford to live here take real pride in our community.  All of our members, no matter where they live, are involved in our city’s affairs and sponsor charitable events too numerous to mention. They believe that is part of their job, because all of us take our oath to “protect and serve” seriously.

POSA is supporting all four questions on the November 5th ballot.

Ballot question number two focuses on pubic safety issues that include much needed projects like expanding and renovating the Civic Center Jail, upgrading safety response communication systems and creating a storage warehouse for our police and fire departments to consolidate their equipment.  The projects in this ballot question address infrastructure needs for both police officers and firefighters.

POSA members also ask that voters approve the other three ballot questions.  We believe that improvements controlling neighborhood flooding, repairing streets and improving our parks and libraries are vital to the commitment we have all made to maintaining our city’s quality of life.

Jim Hill, President, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association

Darlene Long, Vice President, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 2

No arguments were submitted against Question 2.

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 3

No arguments were submitted for Question 3.

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 3

On November 2, 2010 voters overwhelming voted DOWN Question 1: (TRANSPORTATION and DRAINAGE BONDS), specifically relating to Drainage and Flood Improvements.  The same NO VOTE applies to the November 5, 2013 Special Bond Election for the same reasons:

Under the guise of Neighborhood Stormwater Improvements, the beneficiaries are Developers seeking high density development, at Taxpayers Expense.

  1. Examples:  Newly completed Crossroads East Stormwater Drainage     Improvement.  This area is currently being developed by profiteering Developers.
  2. Toll Brothers Windgate Ranch Subdivision 95 lots in noncompliance, located in a     Flood Hazard area.
  3. Silverstone, 69 units in noncompliance, recently built in a Flood Prone area.
  4. DC Ranch more than 10 homes and lots in noncompliance.

Taxpayers should not be asked to bail out IRRESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT. VOTE NO on QUESTION 3.

The issuance of these four Bonds will result in Higher Property Taxes, in addition, Utility District Fees, Improvement District or Community Facilities Fees.

There will be NEGATIVE ramifications both financial and demographically to the Scottsdale Taxpayers.

VOTE NO on all 4 BOND QUESTIONS

Donald Andrews, Scottsdale Citizen                          JD Helms, Scottsdale Citizen

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 4

We all know it doesn’t rain much here.  But when it does, it can be a real doozy.

Monsoon storms, even some of the downpours in January, can create real havoc. Some neighborhoods end up under water, putting people in jeopardy. The storms can also cause hazardous situations with standing water on low-lying streets.  These situations are not only dangerous, they can be life-threatening.

You may not live in harm’s way.  But you might have friends or family who do.  All of us, however, travel on streets that traditionally flood.  So we know how difficult it can be to safely navigate our way through city streets. The number one priority of our city is to ensure that citizens are safe, and that includes when we are driving on our streets during and after seasonal storms.

The four bond proposals are mostly about maintaining and repairing our city’s infrastructure.  There are no more important projects on the ballot than those designated to control neighborhood flooding and improve our roads and bridges.

I will be voting YES to pass bond questions three and four.  I will also be voting my approval of the other two questions on the ballot. I believe all four of the proposals are good investments in our extraordinary Scottsdale quality of life.

Scottsdale voters should recognize the importance and value of passing the 39 projects included in this bond package.  I believe time is of the essence, because many of these projects have been postponed.  It’s necessary for the city to begin these projects as soon as possible.

Voters can learn more about this Quality of Life Bond Election by visiting:  preservescottsdalesfuture.com

Art DeCabooter

 

ARGUMENT “FOR” QUESTION 4

As lifelong residents of Scottsdale, business owners and parents raising two young children in the downtown area, my wife and I are passionate about our city.  Our business has five locations throughout the Valley – but we chose to make Scottsdale our headquarters because of the city’s economic vibrancy and incredible quality of life.

Like others, we want the best for our family.  It is important to us that our children grow up in an environment where they are safe and our family can enjoy things together, including parks, libraries and outdoor activities.  So it is critical for us to keep up with the maintenance of vital infrastructure for our city to continue reflecting the high standards and values our citizens expect.

This bond election gives voters the opportunity to carry on our community’s tradition of saying “yes” to help Scottsdale continue being the absolute best place in Arizona to live, raise a family and do business.

Some people may think several projects included in the four bond questions don’t affect them.  But for anyone who cares about our city, they do.  These are all essential projects that work together.  Replacing a “fire trailer” with a real fire station and controlling neighborhood flooding is every citizen’s responsibility.  Repairing streets and replacing traffic light control systems is our obligation.  And improving sidewalks downtown to make them more pedestrian-friendly for our visitors and residents is our responsibility as well.

We may have political differences of opinion about some issues.  But this bond election is a chance to set aside any differences and do what is best for Scottsdale, both now and for our future.

My wife and I will be doing our part by voting for all four bond questions.

Eric Luoma

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 4

Vote no on 4. We may need a parking garage in the bar district, but city-wide taxpayers have no business paying for it. Consider the facts and ask questions before voting to give 8 million dollars plus to bar developers so they can maximize their profits. Scottsdale has the highest concentration of bars in Arizona. Recently, several giant bars were permitted to open without adequate parking. How could this happen? The mayor, council and planning commission illogically approved the bars, disregarding the impact on residential neighbors, non-entertainment businesses, and public safety and parking issues. Bars are obviously making money. Now bars and politicians want tax payers to fund their parking garage so more party goers can come to downtown Scottsdale. What happened to the money collected by the city from the bars for in-lieu parking? Was this money mismanaged or used for other purposes?

There are other critical public safety needs in the “bar district” like police, fire and lighting that can only be addressed with proper funding from the creation of a special taxing district.  With thousands of intoxicated partiers in downtown Scottsdale every weekend, downtown crime has spiked. The police department remains underfunded and understaffed. Fire trucks roll with every emergency call.  Most of the “bar district” is dangerously dark at night. This is an invitation for crime. Lighting is desperately needed for public safety. This all costs money.

Creation of a specific, special taxing district is the only viable option to fund all these needs. Then bars can fairly pass the costs of doing business on to consumers. This may not be the time to fund multiple unessential projects enabling the monetary life support system for a bureaucratic spending machine.  Don’t worry, the sky won’t fall if you vote no. The responsible parties need to pony up.

Bill Crawford

 

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” QUESTION 4

Please join us in voting AGAINST the proposed Transportation, Streets and Trails Bond Issue:

We taxpayers cannot afford another $99,000,000 of debt on top of the existing $1.27 Billion of Scottsdale debt, which is already the highest per capita debt among Valley cities.

Lumping 14 projects into a single large proposal denies us taxpayers the freedom to pick and choose the necessary ones.  By forcing us to take the bad along with the good, the City gives us no choice but to oppose question #4 in its entiretyEach of the fourteen (14) projects, ranging from $1.1Million to more than $15Million, should be put to an independent vote. 

One of these projects, Citywide Trails Implementation, will cost us $4Million.  We already have a plethora of splendid trails located in nearby mountains and city parks.  If the city limited new trails to the Preserves, where the land is already paid for, and there are no people living there to disturb, we would support them wholeheartedly.

But the City insists on creating new ones in heavily populated areas. This requires the taking of private land resulting in resistance and wasteful litigation expenses to both the city and affected neighborhoods.  Except for the Preserve, wilderness areas are long gone in Scottsdale, and residents have shown through their actions that above all else they want to preserve their privacy, safety and home values.

The City Trails management will not publish a specific list of proposed trails with a promise to limit bond money to only the ones voters have approved.  Instead, the City asks for discretionary funds which amounts to a blank check. Until the City acts with greater transparency, they do not deserve more.

Please vote NO on questions 1-4.

Don Andrews, Scottsdale Citizen                                        J. D. Helms, Scottsdale Citizen

 

The “for” and “against” arguments were reproduced exactly as submitted and were not edited for spelling, grammar, or punctuation.  These arguments represent the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy of content.

 

 

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