Beth Duckett’s AZCentral article this morning contained a few interesting quotes from a recent City Council candidate–shall we say–forum, sponsored by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bill Crawford: “I don’t think we have to have a right way or a wrong way.”
Dennis Robbins: “”…you have to have the fortitude to know that where you’re going is correct and right…”
They are both wrong. There is a right way, and it isn’t Dennis Robbins’ way. It’s the voter-ratified 2001 General Plan, which has plenty of provision for thoughtful growth.
Linda Milhaven, on the current draft General Plan: “very painful to read…I imagine the average citizen is not going to take the time to read it…There are some people who say change nothing.”
Jennifer Petersen: “[the General Plan doesn’t need] to be mired down in tremendous detail.”
As an incumbent, Milhaven bears responsibility for giving the direction to staff which resulted in this product. She had plenty of opportunity to fix this problem well before the end of the process, but she had an agenda which did not include a functional General Plan.
And Milhaven is a liar when she asserts, “There are some people who say change nothing.” No one has ever said that, at least not within earshot of me. The folks she’s targeting with that comment have said MANY times that whenever there is change it should occur in compliance with the General Plan (the 2001 version which is the only one that is in effect with voter ratification). I.e., ‘just follow the rules’ that got us here.
For Petersen on the other hand, this is a brand new issue. She’s never been involved in ANY discussions about the General Plan or its importance to our community. I daresay she didn’t even know what it was prior to her decision to run for a council seat. And clearly her ‘don’t bother me with the details’ attitude reflects her ignorance about what how the General Plan (and it’s predecessor efforts) contributed to the success our community enjoys today; let alone that it’s supposed to help us continue that success into the future. Lack of richness of detail will make it a toothless, worthless document. Maybe that’s what she and her developer supporters want.
Auerbach said people should remember that “Scottsdale is not going to be all things to all people.” Being a destination city and an employment and economic-development draw are important, he said.
This was perhaps the most ignorant comment of the event, with a good deal of borrowing (appropriately) from his former sponsor, Mayor Jim Lane. On the contrary, the magic of Scottsdale absolutely is its “confluence of culture,” to borrow a phrase about Arizona from Roger Clyne. And the most vital economic component of that is tourism, knowledge of which Auerbach appears to be completely lacking.
The best articulation was from former city treasurer and now council candidate, David Smith, paraphrasing candidates Littlefield and Hill, and a host of other community advocates who’ve been saying it for decades:
“[Scottsdale] is a city that has changed many, many times over the years. Our responsibility is to manage that change…I think the problem many people have is they don’t see it as managed change; they see it as just whatever comes along…”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Unfortunately, Smith has no track record to assure us that he actually believes it.