Subject: July 2014 What are the FACTS? Shouldn't numbers be a
singular answer and not interpreted to mean whatever is
politically preferred? YOU DECIDE.
Good afternoon, COGS E-Newsletter Reader: COGS has received
very interesting information about your city revenues and expenses
that you will want to review. The current mayor has been quoted
multiple times saying that the Entertainment District (1) is the
envy of other cities in the valley (2) is a "success"
story (3) does generate revenue for the city [on the assumption
that the party-goers occupy hotel rooms and eat in our restaurants
elsewhere in the city] (4) does not cost the taxpayer in
additional public safety/police and public area maintenance (5)
has not resulted in a single Noise Ordinance violation---Yes,
multiple recorded neighborhood residential complaints, but no
chargeable violations have been issued. COGS has been advised that
Mayor Lane and Councilman Robbins requested a comparative
evaluation by the current City Treasurer, Jeffrey Nichols, of the
numbers former City Treasurer David Smith reported to the city
council in August 2011.
Perhaps not all of the 2014 city council candidates are
providing the public with accurate revenue and incremental
expenses. Their public forum descriptions of the Entertainment
District's value to the city range from "destroying our
tourism image and costing taxpayers" to "a successful
tourism/business draw that provides revenue to pay for your
quality of life amenities". Please take your time to read the
two city treasurers' responses. AS ALWAYS, YOU as the taxpayer and
resident decide---- Is this expanding Entertainment District a
city asset or not?
That study was to compare the revenues ($400,000 per Mr. Smith)
and incremental expenses ($1,200,000 per Mr. Smith) of the
Entertainment District. The current City Treasurer responses are
in italics and underlined. The former City Treasurer response to
that analysis is in upright text and not underlined.
1. " Maybe the 2011 study should have included the full
1.65% sales tax rather than just the general fund unrestricted
sales tax receipts (1.10%). I purposely omitted the 0.55% of sales
tax receipts that are restricted to preserve land purchases or
transportation programs. While these are valuable sales tax
receipts, they are not available to offset the cost of
"maintaining" the district.
2. Maybe the 2011 study should have included sales tax receipts
from "spin off" business from the bars. I could never
find evidence there was any "spin off" business
attributed to the patrons of the Class 6 License Bars; generally,
the patrons of the entertainment district are not like other
tourists who develop taxable sales for hotel room nights, fine
dining or shopping at Fashion Square. No evidence of "spin
off" business was offered in the current City Treasurer's
3. Maybe the 2011 study should have included sales tax receipts
from other businesses that hold Liquor Licensees (for example,
restaurants, food stores, etc.) There are numerous examples
throughout the city of businesses which hold incidental liquor
licenses, but none of them require dedicated, incremental public
safety services. (It is also irrelevant and misleading to report
the $5.2 million of tax receipts of all businesses in the
Entertainment District. These other businesses are not the reason
we have to have incremental maintenance expenses!)
4. Maybe the 2011 study had too high an expense estimate for
the Bike and Mounted Units dedicated to the Entertainment
District. The City Treasurer was given an estimate by the Police
Department that these units cost $2.3 million a year, but spend
only 30%-40% of their time in the Entertainment District,
accounting for an incremental cost of $689,000 to $919,000.
My incremental cost estimate of $1,200,000 a year (given to me
by the Chief of Police in 2011) would suggest 50% of the bike and
mounted unit's time is spent in the Entertainment District. I
cannot account for the department's different estimate today.
What is known, however, is my 2011 estimate was for incremental
police costs only. It is worth noting, after the original 2011
report, the City authorized an increase of 13 additional full-time
positions for Fire Station 602 on Indian School, the first
responder station assigned to deal with weekend demands in the
Entertainment District. The on-ongoing annual cost of that
manpower increase will be $814,000 (Council Regular Agenda
September 10, 2013, Item #21.)
[Final comment from former City Treasurer, David Smith.] If
there is any fault in the 2011 report it is that the comparison
was between total revenue and incremental expense. A fairer
comparison would have either looked at both numbers incrementally
(which would have developed a much lower revenue estimate) or
looked at both numbers in total (which would have identified a
much high expense estimate.)"
COGS COMMENT: What is your conclusion ? Send your thoughts to email@example.com
which we will compile anonymously. Thank you.
General Plan Update for you from City of Scottsdale Long Range
Planning: "The General Plan Task Force has completed a second
draft of the General Plan. Located at http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/generalplan/generalplan2035/SGP2035TFDrafts
on the city's website, the document is electronically available
for review and commentary. All comments will be forwarded to the
Task Force, Planning Commission, and ultimately the City Council.
If you have any questions about the planning process or the
document review and comments, please let me know and I will do my
best to address them! Thanks Again, Ross Cromarty Project
Coordination Liaison/ General Plan Co-Project Manager Long Range
Planning Services Planning and Development Services Department
City of Scottsdale"
For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of
Directors, Sonnie Kirtley Chair e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org