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Good morning, COGS E-Newsletter Reader: This was a week of meetings and COGS attended and has summaries below for your review. The Tourism Development Commission distributes the collected millions of dollars from the bed-tax. The Tourism Advisory Task Force works on a long-term plan to develop and market our city as THE Arizona destination. Please notice the citizen volunteer groups and reports of their activities toward the end of this newsletter. Have a good weekend-perhaps a dry one?

What happened at the two Tourism meetings earlier this week? Behind the Planning Commission as the most powerful council appointed group is the Tourism Development Commission. They distribute the collected millions of dollars in bed-tax. At this meeting, $65,000 was granted for a one day April 2015 Rugby Tournament and up to $75,000 for an NFL event called "Taste of NFL" and the Kick Hunger Challenge to occur at WestWorld. References were made to previous $900,000 to the Museum of the West and $1,150,000 to the TPC golf tournament. Controversy arose on the current city treasurer's request to to remove $1,115,000 from dedicated tourism bed-tax funds to ["bailout" ] the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center costs. Ex-City Treasurer, David N. Smith, spoke as a citizen and strongly discouraged approving the request citing Financial Policy 37 and stated that their needed dollars should come from the General Fund. The current treasurer stated there isn't enough money in the General Fund to pay for the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) scheduled. One commissioner responded that in business if you don't have the money, then you cut operating costs or you delay some projects. The commissioners voted 7-0 to deny the request.

Additional information: (1) Jeep Tours in the Preserve were extended by city council to May 2015. Meanwhile negotiations for an Agreement for Scottsdale to pay Tonto National Forest to accept the tours inside their boundaries instead is underway. (2) $75,000 was approved for the Arizona Center Project-see description below in the Tourism Task Force meeting notes. (3) Sky Harbor signage directing to Scottsdale is not forthcoming. (4) The city plans to hire an Events Manager. (5) The WestWorld public art piece of the enormous metal Arabian horse will be changed from the planned entry location to the NE street intersection as it would have blocked ease of entry for Barrett-Jackson transports and auction cars.

Then there is the 2nd Tourism Group-- 11 member appointed Tourism Advisory Task Force begins year two with projects titled: (1) Downtown Events & Shoulder Season (2) Festivals (3) World Class Biking (4) Arizona Central (5) Generational Change and (6) Crisis Response Reserve. The most focused seems to be the Arizona Central. It would be a facility located near our canal-Waterfront-Marshall Way area. Touring vacationers would come to plan their travel experiences not just in Scottsdale but the region. Tours could be booked and practical information received on Points of Interest and the specific type of activities the tourist/visitor is seeking. The Scottsdale Convention and Visitors' Bureau would be inside. As COGS sat in the meeting taking notes, it summarizes to be similar to the Tourist Information services throughout most of Europe. The goal is to become the hub for the Arizona tourist industry through services and to highlight Scottsdale as a destination city.

Readers will be happy to learn that the Parada del Sol will no longer be the best-kept-secret and that the city will provide marketing funds in 2015. The Entertainment Solutions firm presentation included expanding the single event to several days with additional family events and activities. To remove conflict, the 2015 Parada will be February 14th because of the Super Bowl and TPC Golf Tournament dates.


Congratulations to the Community Council of Scottsdale for hosting last night's Scottsdale School District Board candidate forum. There were more audience questions then time to answer. The Common Core definition controversy continued. Candidates described it is as nothing more than MINIMUM national standards so students could transfer across the country and be accountable at their grade level. The curriculum and lesson plans are determined at the local level. Some in the audience thought the federal government was dictating WHAT and HOW teaching occurs. Apparently governors from all the states conferenced and developed the Common Core concept. Please contact any and all of these candidates and get your questions answered.

Welcome back to the Scottsdale Coalition as Chairman Nancy Cantor announced that she is re-activating their organization. Nancy is a one-woman dynamo currently focused on Aging in Place, transportation route improvements and southern Scottsdale housing issues. She was a strong voice to save Tonalea Grade School and to move all the students intact to an existing campus south of Coronado High School.

Scottsdale Gateway Alliance (a southern Scottsdale grass-roots group also) was featured in the Fall 2014 McCormick Ranch Lifestyle magazine. Their members are the driving force to revitalize the McDowell Corridor-both with the business and residential properties. Mark your calendar for Sunday, November 9th, and tour some representative 1950s and 1960s homes of early Scottsdale. Details will be in future COGS E-Newsletters.

What is "under voting"? When the voter can select more than one candidate for vacancies and they chose to mark less than allowed-that is under voting. Why do it? Some use it as a strategy in the Primary Election with the hope that their candidate will get 50% plus 1 vote and win outright-no General Election race for him/her. However in the General Election such as the Scottsdale City Council race, there will be 3 winners measured by their total vote count. As a voter you should become informed and we recommend that you select three on your ballot who represent your vision of our city.

MEET AND GREET ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR ANY SCOTTSDALE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE: Send the date, location and information on your private or group Meet n Greet or public invitation fund-raisers for city council candidates. We will publish it with the encouragement that all voters should attend and PERSONALLY meet each candidate. An informed November decision is important to our city's future. Negative advertisements cost a lot of money and any involvement by a candidate should be of concern to everyone. Feel free to ask all candidates hard questions---get around the campaign fluff! If they are not an incumbent a good question is "How many city council meetings did you attend prior to being a candidate?" "Name some city boards and commissions that you have served on prior to being a candidate."

COGS Members: Visit the COGS Political Committee website at Information on endorsed candidates and future Meet and Greets plus other informational items.

     For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of Directors, 

     Sonnie Kirtley, Chair e-mail 

     Coalition of Greater Scottsdale

     8924 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Suite G5, PMB 518

     Scottsdale, AZ 85250

If you wish to support our all-volunteer group the "dues" are $10 per year. Click HERE to join or HERE to subscribe without joining.



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