This column appeared in the Scottsdale Republic this morning.
Les, you know I support you and value the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association immensely, but if you really think “horse trading and political considerations” will NOT “override voter interests,” you haven’t been paying attention lately.
There’s a very good chance that the Scenic Drive item buried within the bond package will be properly funded (assuming the voters approve the item in which it falls), thus satisfying YOUR “constituency.” However, that’s exactly the point.
The arbitrary grouping of the bond items (as opposed to a line-item ballot) was contrived to try to fool the voters into approving everything in order to get the one or two things they want. Sadly, you have fallen for it.
On the other hand, if it fails you know it’s because the majority of the voters recognize this as a ploy and they didn’t fall for it.
Maybe then the council will put together a real line-item bond package that will allow us to separate the “essential” items from the fluff.
Bond 2013 an investment in city’s future
The power lines are coming down on the Scenic Drive in north Scottsdale and tourists and residents will benefit. Funds from voterapproved Bond 2000 and positive action by Scottsdale residents “made” those power lines come down.
Scottsdale must continue to invest in itself and its future. That’s why approval of Bond 2013 is essential.
Bond 2000 and the power lines provide helpful insights. The burial of the power lines really began in the late 1990s, when residents who live near north Scottsdale Road voted to tax themselves and approved the first resident- driven improvement district in Scottsdale’s history.
Council members Guy Phillips and Bob Littlefield argue that Bond 2013 money will not be spent the way that voters intended it to be spent, that horse trading and political considerations will override voter interests. They overlook an important point. A project does not become included as part of a bond measure on its own. It is there because it has a constituency.
I have more faith in Scottsdale residents and activists to stay involved and ensure that voter expectations are met. Having the flexibility to reallocate money among approved projects makes sense.
Granting flexibility does not mean eliminating oversight to ensure that bond money is being spent appropriately.
Scottsdale has a record of successful implementation of bond programs because voters were willing to invest money in the quality of life they came to Scottsdale to enjoy. Now it’s time to make another investment in Scottsdale’s future.
Les Conklin is a founder of Friends of the Scenic Drive and past president of the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association.