We don’t typically tout more government. But Scottsdale is of the size and scope that more is needed. And it would be one of the best reforms the city has ever adopted. Here’s why.
Last we checked members of the Scottsdale City Council were paid $24,000 per year while the Mayor gets $36,000. They are supposed to be “part-time” jobs. Yeah, right.
Scottsdale is a big, thriving, complicated city. It does not have a district system. That means it’s pretty much up to everybody to work on everything. Big-time development projects. Contracts for major events. Pensions. Law enforcement. Budgets. Our heads hurt just writing this. Imagine if we had to govern it.
We left off an important job description: constituent service. Nowhere is this more important than at the local level, the government closest to the people. Potholes. Speed bumps. Barking dogs. Garbage service. Code enforcement. Litter. Landscaping. Do the requests of and constituent complaints to municipal officials ever end?
That’s why one of the cheapest, and best, reforms Scottsdale could undertake is greater enablement of its electeds. In other words, GET THEM MORE HELP. More exactly, pay for each councilperson to have a highly-qualified aide to assist him or her with the duties of the office. The Mayor already has one. Those who might decry such a proposal are woefully naïve. Walk in their shoes. Even someone as strident a government restrictionist as Ted Cruz would understand.
The entire cost of such a change? Around $500,000. That’s a very small price to pay for the countless ways so many additional citizens would be helped. Every now and then bigger government can mean a more effective one too.