In the latest installment of a new series, the Republic’s Beth Duckett reported today on the $75,000 of taxpayer money gifted to Scottsdale’s Prince of Polo and PR, Jason Rose, by the Scottsdale City Council (Mayor Jim Lane is a Rose client).
I believe this is the third year in a row for this particular gift, which is a pretty clear violation of the City Charter (our ‘constitution,’ if you will) and the Arizona State Constitution.
Notably, incumbent candidates Linda Milhaven and Dennis Robbins supported this gift, yet are also saying that we have millions of dollars in deferred infrastructure maintenance for which we need to borrow money via bonding.
Duckett’s article (not yet on AZCentral, so sorry, no link):
YOU PAID FOR IT
Up to $75K OK’d for polo event
Beth Duckett, The Republic/azcentral.com
Department: Economic development.
What the city did: The Scottsdale City Council agreed April 29 to contribute hotel-bed tax revenue for event development toward the Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses and Horsepower Event, which will take place Oct. 25-26 at WestWorld.
What it costs: Up to $75,000.
Why it’s needed: According to a city report, the benefits are “the opportunity to promote tourism in Scottsdale” and “create incremental room nights during what is normally a shoulder season.” It also will showcase WestWorld, which recently underwent an expansion, as a premier venue, the city said. The Republic previously reported that a report commissioned by the city earlier this year concluded the amount was not justified based on its projections of the economic impact.
Phoenix-based Artigue Agency estimated the 2014 event’s economic impact for Scottsdale at [only] $31,400, and suggested a reduced sponsorship of $50,000 was more appropriate. The event’s promoter has countered that the report greatly underestimates the economic impact of the event, which the promoter said is more than $2 million based on its own study, which includes the marketing benefit associated with the event.
The city paid Artigue Agency for the report. Rose covered up the Artigue facts in his proposal to the city council. Even the council members now realize the wool was pulled over their eyes………
So Jason Rose once again gets money for some dream of his. Why can’t someone stop this? Isn’t this illegal or at least unethical? I know Mr. Rose can ‘spin it’, but how can the City Council justify it? Do we as taxpayers have to ‘wait and see’ if we get our moneys worth? My bet of a fried confection says, no.
Our tax dollars are not a credit card for Mr. Rose and his dreams, they are funds for our cities continued operation and growth. Can the City Council work on that plan for our tax dollars? If the City Council needs help, they can go to one of the Scottsdale Libraries and check out a book or two to help them. They are even on-line now.