City candidate Becca Linning drops out...City Council adds increased sales tax to November ballot...Protect Our Preserve reaches 24,000 signatures
Cancel the August Scottsdale Primary Election on your calendar. Former city council candidate, Becca Linning, has amended her application to the 2020 election cycle. No Primary Election is required when there are only 6 candidates for 3 vacant city council seats. Unless another candidate files by the end of May, the city will be saved approximately $150,000 to conduct a Primary Election on August 28th, 2018. Additionally, the remaining candidates will have reduced campaign expenses with only the General Election date of November 6th, 2018 to target reaching registered voters. Reminder: You must be registered in Scottsdale by October 9, 2018. To verify that you are registered, to change your voting address, to change your name, or to register for the first time, please go to this website.
What happened at the Scottsdale city council meeting Tuesday, May 1st?
Well, not as contentious as the April meeting BUT three council members are very unhappy as they lost the majority support for the General Obligation Bonds in the 4 to 3 vote. Councilpersons Linda Milhaven and Virginia Korte joined Councilman David Smith in expressing extreme disappointment that the majority of council supported Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp’s motion to: (1)Adopt Resolution No. 11124 authorizing and calling a special election for Tuesday, November 6, 2018, to submit to the qualified electors of the City of Scottsdale the question of authorizing an increase in the rate of transaction privilege and use taxes in the city by 0.10 percent (0.10%) for a period of ten years to provide funds for transportation improvement projects and operations and related costs; and (2) direct staff to schedule a work study session in the fall for a presentation, discussion, and direction to staff on all the remaining capital projects and funding options, with the expectation that a Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Page4 of 5 bond election would be scheduled for November 2019.
Councilman Phillips seconded the motion, which carried 4/3, with Vice Mayor Korte and Councilmembers Milhaven and Smith dissenting.
Comments from dissenting council members: Councilman Smith (1) the sales tax increase impacts the least able in our community to pay (2) the revenue from that increase is insufficient for relief from the city’s current, critical needs (3) The General Obligation bonds would not cause property tax increases and it provides a stable $350 million to fund capital improvement projects whereas sales taxes revenue fluctuates with the health of the economy. (4) the citizens pay 85% of the sales tax but with GO Bonds, commercial and out of state owners pay 50% of the costs. Councilwoman Korte supported Councilman Smith’s statements and added that "The city will look back with great regret...not fiscally responsible..expediency rather than thoughtul....ignores $600 million in needs..."
Councilwoman Littlefield emphasized in her support for the increased sales tax that if the city does not fund certain transportation projects by deadlines, we could lose matching Prop 400 funds that our taxpayers have already contributed.
Councilwoman Klapp defended her motion with (1) we can borrow $100 million against the sales tax [revenue] of $10 million per year and complete most of the capital improvement projects on the list (2) we can still discuss tax reform (3) the increase goes away in 10 years. Councilman Phillips supported his motion by simply calling the question which stopped discussion and called for the vote.
The reader may ask why the council didn't approve both the sales tax increase and the General Obligation Bonds. As Councilman Smith pointed out, some identical projects were included in both options.
Council members suggested:
➢Include in the voter information pamphlet an explanation of Arterial Life Cycle Projects (ALCP) and a list of the ALCP projects that the City anticipates completing using Prop 400 and sales tax monies, along with a statement that these projects will receive all possible priority
.➢Use the current Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee, or a newly created commission, to review the ALCP projects as they are constructed to assure citizens the money is being spent as promised
Watch the meeting video here.
Do you live in Grayhawk? DC Ranch? Pinnacle Peak? Ironwood?
...or use northern Pima, Hayden or Scottsdale Roads?
As you drive north on Loop 101 it curves westward toward Phoenix. On both sides of the freeway from Mayo Blvd to almost Scottsdale Road is approx. 1,000 acres owned by the state of Arizona. The proposed project is called Crossroads East. In preparation for placing the land for sale, they have requested a Zoning District Map Amendment and multiple other changes in the development standards (height, density, etc) from the City of Scottsdale. This coming Wednesday, May 9th at 5 pm the Scottsdale Planning Commissioners will hear the case. COGS has taken the position that this case should not be decided but instead be continued to another date. Additional time is needed for more specifics on their undefined Land Use Plan, discussion on the huge increase in density (4,600 plus homes with potential for many more when developer bonuses are awarded), and tall buildings near the 101 that negatively impact our Scottsdale AirPark. The citizen Airport Advisory Commission in February 2018 recommended by a 6 to 1 vote for the city to REJECT the project and cited many of the concerns stated above by COGS. As advocates for existing residents and HOA complexes such as Grayhawk, DC Ranch, Desert Mountain, Pinnacle Peak and Ironwood (plus northern homeowners who travel Pima, Scottsdale and Hayden Roads) COGS will formally request that they receive more time to evaluate this massive project. Read the entire project at this link: Send your comments to PlanningCommission@ScottsdaleAZ.gov or send a speaker from your HOA.
Your city needs to know..
Whether it’s a broken streetlight, a fresh pothole or a missing trash can, a new online service is making it easier for residents to report problems with city facilities or services.
Scottsdale EZ is a single, mobile-optimized system that lets you quickly report issues and provides the city with a consolidated tracking and reporting system.Using Scottsdale EZ is just that -- easy!
• Visit ScottsdaleAZ.gov/EZ on your desktop or mobile device, or search online for “Scottsdale EZ” to find the application link
• Enter the request or issue in the search bar,...Read more
Protect Our Preserve --enough signatures yet?
Today the Protect Our Preserve PAC reported they have achieved 24,000 signatures from registered voters. Not all signatures will be valid as sometimes those signing haven't re-registered when moving or actually aren't accurately (name changes) registered in the City of Scottsdale. The organizers state they are continuing collection and set a 30,000 plus goal. More than 250 volunteers have been visible at city parks, libraries, dog parks and businesses that have supported their efforts. During the next weeks they will be going door-to-door in residential areas to give Scottsdale voters the opportunity to join the drive.
The initiative petition does NOT seek a vote against the Desert Edge project proposed for inside the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It seeks to place on the November ballot the requirement of a public vote for (1) any construction inside the Preserve (2) any use of the Preserve Funds for other than new trails, trail maintenance or more Preserve land acquisition. If approved by Scottsdale voters then the current and future city councils would be bound by the city's governing document--the amended City Charter.
MEETINGS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU....
Homelessness and what Scottsdale is doing to help
Everyone is welcome to attend the monthly meeting of the Community Council of Scottsdale. This month’s guest speakers will be Greg Bestgen and Eugenio Munoz-Villafane, Manager of Vista del Camino Center. The meeting that will be held on Thursday, May 17th, 2018. It will be at the Granite Reef Senior Center located at 1700 North Granite Reef Road; it is just North of McDowell Road. The meeting will be in Room 8 in the farthest NW corner of the building beginning at 7 pm.
US Senate Candidates Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio will take questions beginning at 6:30 pm, Thursday, May 17th. 8600 E Anderson Drive, Scottsdale 85255. ..not an easy location to find so Google Map before leaving home.
Answers to last issue questions: AZ state colors are "Blue and Gold"....the necktie is what office bound men are officially allowed to discard in the summer and wear--"bolo