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BREAKING: Scottsdale Mayor Lane Up Big, Council Races Close New Poll Shows

lane portraitAccording to a new poll conducted September 14-15 by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the country’s more notable pollsters with extensive experience in Arizona and Scottsdale, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane holds a commanding 27% lead over former Councilman Bob Littlefield.  And that’s before Lane has started spending the bulk of his substantial campaign coffers.

Lane’s large margin is an uptick from another pollster’s findings in May that had the popular Mayor up by 17%.

With his second consecutive election loss looming the question now is how badly he’s damaged his wife’s re-election prospects in 2018.  Bombastic Bob is trailing by wide margins everywhere in Scottsdale and with every sub-group.  The poll also found Scottsdale voters disagreeing – by huge margins – with the notion of Bob serving as Mayor at the same time his wife Kathy serves as Vice Mayor and/or as a councilwoman.

The city council races are much closer with Suzanne Klapp setting the pace at 31% followed by Virginia Korte and Dan Schweiker at 29% with Guy Phillips currently trailing at 26%.  Respondents, made up of 300 voters in Scottsdale’s 2012 or 2014 General Election were given the choice of voting for up to 3 candidates.  Phillips appears to be hurt by his close association with Bob Littlefield whose FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE numbers are poor.  Schweiker is enjoying the opposite dynamic.  His name proximity to popular U.S. Congressman David Schweikert is aiding his support among Republicans, especially in the northern part of the city Schweikert represents.

  • At first, I supported Bob Littlefield, since I am a huge fan of one story Mid Century Modern Architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright, and do not like tall, “smart growth towers.” Littlefield, and his wife Kathy Littlefield, who currently is on council, state that they oppose the towers.

    Then, I did some research on the “No DDC” group that Littlefield and Phillips both support. I discovered with city documents, that the DDC location at the Gateway, has been planned by Scottsdale officials at that location, since at least 2007, when Bob Littlefield was on council.

    Although, I do not support the DDC at the Gateway location, for environmental and urban planning reasons reasons. However, another city document revealed that several other sites for the DDC are under consideration, including downtown Scottsdale. Therefore, I asked contributors on public forums who oppose the DDC, as to which of the alternative sites they prefer. Of dozens of people, nobody was even aware of the document. Only one person, named one of the locations – at 94th and Bell Road. That is a reasonable location, as is Downtown Scottsdale, which former Mayoral Candidate Bill Crawford has suggested.

    Next, one of Littlefield’s supporters, who I have emailed previously, broke into my Yahoo email account, and told an acquaintance of mine that I was not allowed to send emails to City Officials. I called to confront her about this, and she denied even knowing me.

    Then, another Facebook account protecting the preserve, posted photographs of the Westworld Pond, and tried to blame this on Mayor Lane. They asked me to join them in attacking Mayor Lane over this. At first, I thought perhaps they were correct. However, as a student of urban planning, I thought about this and realized that a Mayor does not address engineering issues.

    Therefore, I called engineers in the City of Scottsdale, and also Maricopa County. I discovered that this pond of wastewater from monsoons is a result of the Central Arizona Project, which blocks the normal north to south drainage towards central Scottsdale. To drain the pond would require a huge engineering project, in conjunction with the Bureau of Reclamation (who owns the land).

    Therefore, due to the lack of integrity on the Littlefield side, I now support Mayor Lane. We do strongly disagree on building heights, however, that’s the trend in virtually the entire Southwest, and character and integrity are most important. I also support L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, but once again, we don’t agree on the towers. For those of us Frank Lloyd Wright true believers, we don’t agree with 90% of architecture out there! 🙂

    Since Lane will win, then I would suggest that the parties who disagree on the aforementioned matters could consider:

    1. Establishing a Height Ordinance for the Smart Growth Towers (the condos). For example, Carlsbad, has a height ordinance of three stories. Cave Creek and Sedona = two. Santa Barbara, it is between 3 and 4 (not sure).

    2. Consider adding historic districts of one story architecture with ranch homes within the Infill Incentive District. This would help preserve some of Scottsdale’s semi-rural character, which is unique to find in a downtown area.

    3. Due to complaints about the loss of mountain views, consider adding a large park of at least 10 to 20 acres somewhere within one mile of downtown, that would provide green grass, space, and mountain views, and also host special events. This would be similar to “Bellevue Downtown Park,” which is 19.5 acres, or, the much larger “Orange County Great Park.”

    4. Hold a series of public hearings on alternative locations for the Desert Discovery Center, that are presented in this publication from the City: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/ScottsdaleAZ/Construction/desert-discovery-center/DDC+Alternative+Locations+Analysis+Phase+III.pdf

    5. Many, myself included, have complained of traffic from the increased density from the condo towers. A solution is to add Thermal Imaging Camera (from FLIR and other companies), which increase the movement of traffic by way of detecting the heat from each car and changing the lights. They also make conditions safer for pedestrians and cyclists, by detecting their heat, especially at night. One place, in particular, where this would help improve safety, is the pedestrian crossing of Scottsdale Road between The Quarter and Kierland. There are a series of FLIR videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGBLdrIvhCA

    Carlsbad, and Thousand Oaks, CA have installed thermal cameras. They work great. You approach a red light, and it turns green a couple of hundred feet of when you approach it. Such cameras also make it safer for cyclists, especially at night, since they can detect the heat given off by the cyclists.

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