As the narrative goes Mesa Mayor Scott Smith single-handedly willed a backward East Valley behemoth into America’s most progressive city.
That’s a slight exaggeration and there’s no doubt Mayor Smith has done a commendable job getting results. Additionally, he is an engaging fellow that’s got a little Chris Christie without bridges while being a tad more cherubic.
But if the justification for the GOP nomination for Governor in 2014 is the best performing East Valley Mayor doesn’t Smith get the silver medal to Gilbert Mayor John Lewis?
Smith’s results in Mesa resemble Sammy Sosa. The former slugger used steroids. Smith used subsidies. A lot of them.Read more
Recently an article in the Scottsdale Independent queried whether Scottsdale was losing its luster. It cited the election losses of the General Plan, a Scottsdale School District bond and the recent city bond package.
So let’s take stock.
The city just debuted an amazing new facility at WestWorld that just hosted the world’s largest car auction called Barrett-Jackson and is hosting the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, the largest in the world.
Just blocks away is the home of the world’s largest golf tournament.Read more
You don’t see this every day. And that’s the hometown newspaper of a Super Bowl host city harshly criticizing the costs of the event, as well as the local NFL team that makes landing the third largest sporting event in the world (behind the Olympics and World Cup) possible.
But that’s what the Glendale Star, the long-timer paper of record for Glendale, Arizona did in its most weekly editorial. It pulls no punches and makes for fascinating reading, even as we disagree with the premise and support Glendale’s call to be reimbursed for public safety costs associated with the big day in 2015. Here is a link to the editorial.
Courtesy of a front page article in today’s Arizona Republic (“New Charter School Push In Phoenix Core”) let there be no doubt about what’s taking place. Having pillaged upper income school districts like Scottsdale’s school choicers believe their moment has come to strut proudly and loudly in lower income areas, proving once and for all the superiority of their approach for students, parents . . . and teachers.
Oh, both the Phoenix Union District Superintendent and backers of the multi-charter school initiative said all the right things and played nice.Read more
Such a case can really be found in 2004. In the form of John Kerry. Not loved but viewed as quite competent Kerry was a weak frontrunner for the 2004 Democratic nomination for President, kind of like Ken Bennett who sits atop most polls for Arizona Governor in 2014 but who most observers think we will toppled due to limited fundraising and a boredom factor.
And Kerry was toppled . . . for a while. By Howard Dean before The Scream went too shrill. And John Edwards almost caught Kerry in Iowa, but didn’t have the juice to challenge in New Hampshire. He was apparently saving that for someone else.
But then the Democrats returned to Kerry having yawned about him in the first place. He waged a tough campaign against George W. Bush, like Bennett undoubtedly would against Fred Duval.Read more
And why shouldn’t the Grand Canyon State? After all, the competition is stiff with no income tax states like Texas and Nevada.
Furthermore, the private sector constantly engages in a never ending quest to land the whales. At casinos. In hotels. Country clubs. Restaurants. New homes. Season tix. Sponsors. So if Adam Smith’s disciples understand the benefit of attracting the biggest wallets why shouldn’t government?
If politics is a concern be as radically appealing to aiding the poor as one might be to recruiting the rich. Just like anti-illegal immigration activists should be the biggest proponents for legal immigration and the ingenuity and entrepreneurs it yields, unless their true colors can be found on a Confederate flag.Read more
At a time when Paul Ryan and others are smart to be channeling Jack Kemp and re-engineering GOP messages for the lower and middle classes, it is an appeal to the highest crust that could be a good move here in Arizona.
This week Phil Mickelson is defending his Waste Management Phoenix Open. A Sun Devil, he is the most beloved golfer in Arizona and recently made waves talking about the onerous tax rates in California.
This prompted a national discussion. The Arizona State Legislature should act.Read more
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
The last time Paradise Valley paid much attention to the large, empty real estate between Mockingbird and Scottsdale Road and Lincoln and Indian Bend Roads was November, 2008. Then, Paradise Valley voters were wise to pass by a nearly 2-1 margin a mixed-use plan that had a new Ritz-Carlton at its core.
While the entitlement granted by the then Paradise Valley Town Council was aggressive it did not jeopardize the town’s character.
Fast forward to 2014. The developer of the project is now saying its generous entitlement wasn’t, and isn’t enough.
Why? Because what are they to do with a big chunk of their plan now that Scottsdale approved a large new apartment project that will stare into the back of its project? That 4-story project has now been built and opened on the northwest corner of Scottsdale and Lincoln.
The attorney and lead lobbyist for that apartment complex was none other than the same one the Ritz developer employs. And did the Ritz ever state any opposition to the apartment plan? Of course not. Why? Because it knew the increased density in Scottsdale could be used to justify absurd new requests of Paradise Valley.Read more
The cathedrals of Europe tend to be of the religious variety, serving both as cornerstones of faith and tourism.
Here in the United States our cathedrals are the shrines of sport. Wrigley Field. Fenway Park. Augusta. Churchill Downs.
They are magnets for economic impact.
In Arizona we do have a rather Grand, natural cathedral three hours to the north. Closer to home some of the country’s largest municipal preserves located in Scottsdale and Phoenix remind us of the Valley’s special nature.
When it comes to the man made variety we do have a mansion called Wrigley and a remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright winter home. But we don’t have anything that truly captures the bucket list imagination of the tourist besides the general concept of spring training.
The pool at Chase Field was a noble attempt but for the Los Angeles Dodgers pissing a little vinegar in it last year it hasn’t served as much of a discussion point.Read more
Like any monopoly the public school system has constantly fought change, during the past decade in the form of greater school choice.
And it is losing in higher income areas like the Scottsdale School District where some 9,000 students choose charter or private schools.
This is putting enormous pressure on the system there, populated by bureaucrats who don’t know how to innovate. Monopoly and old school is their mantra. Head sanders they are.
They must be taking particular umbrage this Arizona legislative session with SB 1100. Backed by an impressive cross-section of Republican legislators ranging from Barto, Worsley and Pratt to Montenegro, Farnsworth and Yee it is the ultimate addition of insult to the public school injury.Read more