I was just copied on this letter to the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, which is once again acting as a shill for the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce to endorse their special interest candidates for Scottsdale City Council.
TO: Rebecca Grossman, Chairman D.Patrick Lewis, 2014 Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee
Its election time again, I’m sure you knew that once election news goes out in public, it awakens members like me that object to SAAR’s endorsements. Again, I hate to keep repeating myself, but this Board is running astray of their duties and at worse,
going against the bylaws specifically written for SAAR. You shouldn’t state that SAAR endorses candidates; you don’t speak for all the members!
This association is the largest employer, group, in this town, SAAR could be larger than Scottsdale Healthcare, and they employ 6,700 people. SAAR is almost as large as Target in the entire State of Arizona and they employ 9000 people! Are you listening? 9000!
As the largest Association in town, in these very important elections, you should introduce all the candidates; have forums, questions from the floor. Then, after vetting these candidates, let the agents make their own decision.
The Government Affairs Committee that I was part of for 15 years, handled election time in that manner and it was successful and non-partisan. It should be noted that the freedom that SAAR enjoys now is very unusual, like driving and not knowing where you’re going. At this time there is NO GOVERNMENT LIASON, one that attends all Council meetings in most towns, planning board meetings…..Why, what happened? That worked, why eliminate it?
There must have been a reason, too fair, too much information? John Packham, our former GAC Liaison attended all meetings, from Cave Creek to our own Scottsdale, didn’t spend many evenings home, I can confirm that, from Mrs. Packham. We at GAC and the Board were kept very informed!
Rebecca, I realize that you wanted to change things, bring in your own ideals and convictions, but again, you have gone too far. You cannot advise these low-information voters who to vote for. You may suggest but to say vote for this person versus that person is truly un-democratic. I believe the opposing candidates that are also running should be notified throughout the city, local newspapers, including throwaways and radio.
Do you know I’ve told this story to non-realtors and the people are shocked, they asked how, why can SAAR do that and asked what can they do….the voting public must be made aware of how this Association is conducting business. I personally don’t care who is recommending that you choose candidates, whether it’s AAR or the money comes from RAPAC. It’s still coming from our funds! Must I remind this board of the $120,000 in fees plus $12,000 in fines that were paid in the last Bond election… that was taken from our money, the agent’s dues, please don’t do this again…Do you have any idea how these candidates voted on any issue?
Does this board know how many apartments are approved and ready to be built?
Do you or this board have any idea how many height restrictions have been broken in order to put these thousands of apartments in this town? Who in our City Council voted for these changes? Does this board know how this will change the way Scottsdale will look in years to come? I KNOW!
None of these thousands of apartments will put one dime in a Realtors pocket, zero, this is a set-up to then bring in light rail! Really, is this where we are going? Does everyone that opted to recommend these candidates and eliminate every other candidate’s opinion, feel that they made the right choice?
I say let the public make their own choice, let them THINK!
Is this the reason you and your chosen liberal members decided not to have your seasoned GAC members even given a chance to participate again…remember one of your questions on the new applications to join a committee, “what is your voter affiliation?” Did you consider that biased? We did!
Others and I will continue this fight from this moment on, knowing that you and your select few will continue to go along to get along, the future of the city be damned!
In closing, I understand that we will never totally agree with each other, but please don’t tell the paying members of SAAR, in the name of RAPAC, who to vote for. Do the members know that we may now be a PAC and why?
SAAR is taking advantage on the fact that most of the members are low-information voters and not aware of any changes. SAAR IS NOT A UNION, YOU ARE NOT A UNION DELEGATE, YOU JUST THINK YOU ARE.