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03/14/20 Newsletter

MARCH 2020 will be remembered for a long time. Major Scottsdale events are cancelled.  Hotel guest numbers, restaurant servings, retail and city revenue, vacations plans, tourists numbers and local residents are all impacted by the announced pandemic of the Covid-19 virus.

City Council Agenda Alert and Current Decisions:
Council Meeting this coming Tuesday, March 17th 5 pm 
Agenda item 24. Tax on Food for Home Consumption

SHOULD OUR CITY REMOVE OR CHANGE THE CURRENT TAX ON GROCERY FOOD? Scottsdale for many years has collected 1.75% Food Tax on take-home-to-prepare-food you buy in the store. The income to the city is approx. $16 million per year. (Sales tax collects on restaurant, packaged and other deli food types). Next city council meeting, March 17th, a decision will be voted to (1) set the tax rate on the gross amount to zero % (2) set the rate equal to 0.75% or (3) set the rate to 1.0%....or can just leave it at the current 1.75% rate.   The agenda item can also be continued to a later hearing.

ISSUE: If this council removes the current Food Tax totally, how will the "missing" $16 million in revenue be replaced?  According to the city treasurer, it would require a new sales tax of 0.15% on all retail purchases. The current Food Tax is estimated to cost a family with a gross income of $70,000 to be $225 per year. The Food Tax is 3% of the city revenue and goes into the General Fund, Transportation Fund, and Preserve Fund.   This is how the City pays for police, fire, garbage, parks, and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Programs that are critical to seniors and lower income residents such as senior centers and human services, after-school and summer programs, the free trolley service are included.  Please consider the impact  and send your comments to

Approved: Removable bollards have been installed at all canal bank and Marshall Way bridge access points. The placement of these bollards aims to increase driver awareness and prevent vehicular traffic from accessing these pathways, while also providing a physical barrier to protect people. This map identifies the six locations where the new bollards (16) were installed. “Bollards” are a series of short posts set at intervals to delimit an area (such as a traffic island) or to exclude vehicles.
Approved: The Marshall Way Bridge splash pad was turned on March 1 and will remain on through Oct. 31. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The button that activates the water features will run for five     minutes and shut off. This will help eliminate water waste and support the city’s commitment      to sustainability. The splash pad will be disabled by the city when special events take place on the    Marshall Way Bridge. 
Approved: Seven directional “Free Parking”  signs were added in the Arts District to aid drivers to locate        free parking around the Arts District, Museum of the West, Main Stteet parking garage and the Stagebrush surface lot. View a map of where the new signs were plotted

 Please click each link below to learn more about these important topics:

Be counted from home for the 2020 Scottsdale census and WHY
The city uses census data to plan services and projects, and to place facilities like fire stations, parks and community centers where they will be most effective. Arizona receives $2,959 from the federal government for every person counted. This means more than $20 billion annually for Arizona. Responding in Scottsdale helps our community receive its fair share. The 2020 Census will be the first time you can fill out your questionnaire online (telephone and mail response will remain options as well). The 2020 Census website is safe, secure and confidential, and responses to the census questionnaire are completely confidential and anonymous by U.S. law. -- OR complete the form at home and mail it in. .Census notices began arriving in Scottsdale mailboxes March 12 .This every ten year process to count everyone (little kids too)  in the United a  short questionnaire .

Secure your REAL ID before the October deadlineStarting Oct. 1, 2020, if you’re an Arizonan over the age of 18 traveling by air within the U.S., you will need an AZ Travel ID (or another federally approved form of ID) in order to get through security checkpoints to board your flight. Beat the deadline now and obtain a new AZ Travel ID driver’s license.

Are You or Someone You Know In Danger?
Victims can go online for orders of protection requests
. the Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool (AZPOINT,), is an online portal that allows victims to quickly begin the process for requesting orders of protection. Those seeking protection on behalf of another person can also use the portal. Your information will be saved in this portal for up to 90 days. At any time during this period, you may take the next step of filing your petition at an Arizona court. It is important to remember that an order of protection is not in effect until you have appeared in court before a judge. Until you file, you will be able to update your information, if necessary. Victims are encouraged to speak to an advocate before filing a petition. An advocate can help make a safety plan and provide more information. Learn more at 480-312-4226 or call 911 in an emergency.

City Events to Enjoy

Tuesday, March 17th from 10:15 am to 12:15 pm Feeling lucky? Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a FREE traditional Irish meal, live entertainment and social activities. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. Location: Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Visit and search "St. Patrick's Day" for more information and to register.

Wednesday, March 18th at 6 pm The story of how women were finally granted the right to vote and full citizenship.
Hyenas in Petticoats   Local author Jana Bommersbach presents a look at the
100th birthday of the 19th Amendment and the enormous effort it took for women to be granted full citizenship and the right to vote. This program is made possible by Arizona Humanities Council at Civic Center Library.  3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Friday night   McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park's free Movie Mania This family-friendly five-week movie series is the perfect way to spend an evening. Complete the experience with a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and the Scottsdale Charros Carousel. Tickets will be sold in Stillman Station for $3 each, with children 2 and younger riding free with a paying adult. Movies start at dusk – around 6:30 p.m. 7301 East Indian Bend Road--enter just east of Scottsdale Road

  • Friday, March 20 – The Secret Life of Pets 2
  • Friday, March 27 – The Incredibles 2
  • Exclusively Little Expo April 4th..Need help and information on summer camps, youth sports, recreation programs, and other services? The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is currently accepting exhibitor applications for the Exclusively Little Expo on April 4. The expo provides a one-stop-shop for families to find information about summer camps, school and education options, youth sports, recreation programs, healthcare and finance resources and a wide range of other services. If you offer products or services and want to connect with families, the Railroad Park’s Exclusively Little Expo will get you on track for maximum exposure.Visit for more information

Old Town cultural events & exhibitions:   (Control + click here --event calendar for a list of upcoming events)
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Old Town Parada del Sol Rodeo Museum
Scottsdale Historical Museum in the Little Red Schoolhouse

  Cancelled because of the Covid-19 safety concerns.......    Learn more at

  • Scottsdale Arts Festival in Civic Center this Saturday and Sunday.
  • Cactus League Spring Training games in Arizona

Yahoo !!!    February’s Western Week had record-breaking crowds

Attendance records were set this year with the Western Week Gold Palette ArtWalk, Hashknife Pony Express gallop to town, Parada de Sol Parade & Trails End Festival and Arizona Indian Festival that brought approximately 44,500 people into Old Town over the course of the week. Check out the Western Week recap videos, as well as this fun image of One-Eyed Jack wearing a stylish, western bolo tie.

Video of the Week

Watch how 40,000 pounds of rocks were helicoptered into the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to help construct the Fraesfield Interpretive Trail. The rocks will help create the foundation for the walkway, which can be easily navigated for people using wheelchairs or walkers, pushing strollers, or having limited mobility or hiking experience.Watch more Scottsdale Video Network programs.

WHAT is happening with the city's 2001 General Plan update?
Because the 2011 citizen Task Force General Plan draft  never reached the public for a vote, recently one volunteer from each of the boards and commissions was selected to serve on a new General Plan Review Committee (official name unknown).  There is no update on what existing documents they will use to begin their work.  The GP is suppose to be the "guideline and citizen vision" for city decisions.The city is currently using the 2001 version. You can find both the 2011 draft plan and the 2035 draft plan on the city’s web site at the following locations:

Does your teenager (or you) want to be a Scottsdale lifeguard?
StarGuard Lifeguard and Starfish Swim Instructor Combo Class - McDowell Mtn.pool
8 a.m.-5 p.m., March 9-12, (Mon-Th)
5-8 p.m., March 16-21, (Monday & Wednesday) and 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., March 16-21, (Saturday)
McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic & Fitness Center, 15525 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
StarGuard Lifeguard and Starfish Swim Instructor Combo Class - Eldorado pool
5-8 p.m., March 17-April 4, (Tuesday & Thursday)
8-2:30 p.m., March 17-April 4, (Saturday)
Eldorado Aquatic & Fitness Center, 2301 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
For more information, visit and search 'Become a Lifeguard'.



Scottsdale candidates are busy collecting the required registered Scottsdale voter signatures to qualify for the Primary Ballot.  There are 3 council seats vacant and one mayor seat.  That means a voter may only sign THREE council petitions and ONE mayoral petition.  To sign more will invalidate each of your signatures.

As a public service, the COGS newsletter will publish ALL Meet n Greet events that
qualified candidates schedule and ALL forums presenting the candidates for public evaluation. Please send your information to . "Qualified" means the Scottsdale City Clerk has certified the candidate to be on the official ballot.

 The COGS SPRING PATIO BUFFET WILL BE SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH.  The time and location will be in a later newsletter. Please mark you calendar and save the date. Newsletter readers, guests and certainly COGS members are encouraged to enjoy the dynamic evening. Council members, commissioners and city board members usually come hungry as well. Candidates are welcome but will not be giving speeches or handing out materials.

COGS MEMBERS: Board of Director terms are staggered and four positions will be available in 2020 if you are interested in being nominated. Yes, you can nominate yourself. You must be a member ($35/year per member or $500 lifetime).  We will provide details in the next Members Only COGS E Newsletter.


 COGS-The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale Updates for members

Board of Director 2020 officers   contact
Vice President               Chris Schaffner                              Las Sendas
Treasurer                       James Davis                                  Estancia
interim Secretary            "Copper" Phillips                            Rural North
Executive Director/City Liaison   Sonnie Kirtley                   Caballo Ranchos
Read bios on our website under
Who We Are and info on other Board Members



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