It is somewhat surprising in what is arguably Arizona’s most impressive community that the turnover on the Town Council is so substantial. A retiring Mayor. A relocating popular councilman named Schweiker and a previous top vote getter named Kirby choosing to devote more time to her elected position on the Scottsdale School Board.
By acclimation Vice Mayor Michael Collins will be Paradise Valley’s next Mayor as he has no opposition.
But that still leaves a number of seats open at the council level voters will have to sift through. Some names are known. Some less so. But they are collectively an impressive lot.
Over a month before early voting begins in the August 26th primary three names stand out and are worthy of endorsement now.
They are current councilmembers Paul Dembow and David Sherf as well as former Planning Commissioner and mayoral candidate Maria Syms.Read more
No matter the municipality City Hall activists like to fancy themselves as guardians of veracity.
Elected officials aren’t giving it to you straight. Something untoward is going on. But for us the world will end.
Their intelligence varies but the refrains are largely the same when it comes to development matters, pensions, imaginative projects and other matters of civic life.
Notwithstanding the merits he espouses the upper end of the Activist Mensa Meter is dedicated Scottsdale preservationist Howard Myers. His messaging troika is basically this: Development is bad. Tourism is good. And keep expanding the spectacular McDowell Sonoran Preserve, albeit at all costs.
One may disagree with Myers but he has not seemed a dishonest sort over the years. Yet, his blatant falsehood recently about a proposed plan to relocate a beloved bar and restaurant called Greasewood Flat, separate but in tandem with a related residential plan, challenges that notion.
Myers started by doing his best John Kerry flip-flop impersonation. He actually suggested the new, proposed Greasewood Flat location on land owned by the bar’s owners near the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, before he now appears to be against. This, coming from the person who constantly scolds Scottsdale leadership about the import of tourism and Scottsdale’s western heritage place within it.Read more
John McCain learned an invaluable crisis communication lesson during and after his Keating Five debacle. If you’re not part of the solution you are part of the problem. In other words, never be the status quo, especially when trouble hits.
The question now is, does McCain himself have a crisis as it relates to the Veteran’s Administration malfeasance in Phoenix that is now a national scandal?
After all, how does a United States Senator serving Arizona since 1986 not know what is going on in such an important federal operation? Did his office never get a constituent complaint? If not that would seem terribly odd, considering the level of purported malfeasance. Wouldn’t the office of a veteran and longest serving elected official in Arizona be one of the first people to contact for help? Did McCain or someone in his office drop the ball, or did they not?Read more
According to the owners of Tempe’s famed Yucca Tap Room, things are awry and city officials want their property. The Republic has some background on the situation. Click here.
What a shame. And what a reminder of a similar show we have seen before. In Scottsdale.
There, over a decade ago a conspiring city and developer wanted to condemn the city’s oldest tavern, The Coach House, and give it to a neighboring property owner for a bland mixed-use project. The odds were stacked against the small business as a pro-developer council majority seemed assembled. But then the locals and regulars rallied. The uprising was such that whatever majority existed evaporated as one colorful citizen after another entreated for relief. And The Coach House got it. And there it sill stands, an important reminder of Scottsdale’s history and one of the best watering holes in the Valley. Thank goodness.Read more
If Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is not investigated by someone for what appears to be a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars to aid his own election, we are not sure what the point of any campaign finance law is.
While some of these laws can be complex, the prohibited use of taxpayer dollars and government staff to assist one’s private election pursuit is not. And, it is among the most critically important election laws of all.
Horne wants us to believe it is coincidence or merit that has led to well-known Republican political, media and fundraising operatives onto his staff. All of who just happen to be working on his challenging re-election campaign. And this doesn’t include a $300,000 advertising contract just awarded by the Attorney General’s Office to one of Horne’s political consultants.Read more
There are many important commercial corners in Phoenix but a largely vacant one at 32nd Street and Indian School Road is particularly so.
Once a proud, thriving center it has retreated to near nothingness.
With the recent success of businesses and restaurants like The Vig, Beckett’s Table and Crudo nearby, the corner surround by diverse neighborhoods is both an incredible opportunity to bookend Arcadia, or see this central Phoenix area west of 32nd tip itself into no man’s land.
The former aspiration got some welcome news this week in the form of acquisition by De Rito Partners. Owned by the constantly in motion Marty De Rito the enterprising company is a great match for a property with so much potential.Read more
The Phoenix Metropolitan area seems to have more major sports and concert venues than just about anywhere in the country. From Ak-Chin to Glendale we are blessed and cursed with buildings big, small, old and new.
Maybe it is the proximity to Mill Avenue. Or the college energy. Maybe it’s because Sun Devil Stadium was there before U.S. Airways Center, Jobing. Com and University of Phoenix Stadium.
For many years there was just Compton Terrace, Celebrity Theater, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum . . . and Sun Devil Stadium.Read more
There’s often talk of underutilized community assets. Mountains that turn into parks. Canals that turn into Waterfronts. Buildings that turn into tourist attractions.
And there’s always been the Papago Golf Course. Avid golfers know it to be an exceptional layout in an exceptional setting. And 20-30 years ago it was hard to get a tee time there as affordability fused with challenge at the Valley’s best public golf course.
That’s all likely to change as Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio has been working with Arizona State University to take over the course. It’s a great move by a school with a rich golfing program and a terrific move by the City of Phoenix to revitalize a great resource.
So that’s now two home runs for Sal DiCiccio. This, and working with ASU to relocate its baseball program to Phoenix Municipal Stadium just down the street from Papago. The Oakland A’s will move next year to the Cubs’ old digs in Mesa. DiCiccio just earned more of the beer belly vote as ASU baseball currently doesn’t allow the sale of alcohol at its games, something that will change with the move off-campus.Read more
Once upon a time the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln. It went to war to eradicate slavery. One hundred and fifty years later African-Americans support the party with but single digits.
The reasons are many and varied from the Democratic Party’s incessant pandering to most Republicans most recently choosing the rule of law, understandably, when it comes to the nation’s borders rather than donkey denial.
Yet, the Republican Party can rightly be criticized for not enthusiastically taking their message to where Democrats have failed so miserably in the urban cores and elsewhere. That’s why suggestions about holding the 2016 Republican National Convention in Detroit were so intriguing.
The Jack Kemps of hope and optimism have been too few, although a renewed emphasis by Kemp acolyte Paul Ryan in this regard is promising.
Despite the dearth of messengers, messages predominantly involving school choice are thankfully starting to make inroads. Liberals like Bill de Blasio attempting to stop it are on the wrong side of history with political consequence soon to arrive with more dispatch.
But then along comes remarks like those by Arizona Republican Senator Kelli Ward who warned of a “slippery slope” in a Tweet yesterday following NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s proper punishment of Donald Sterling.
The ill-timed Ward tweet read as follows:
“If you offend, I guess you should expect to be stripped of your property & banned for life #PoliticallyCorrect #WhereAreWeHeaded,”
Presumably Ward is concerned about some notion of property rights while being shockingly tone deaf to warrant a political hearing aid.Read more
As the 2014 election cycle gets underway there may be no easier endorsement, even at this early date, than current Vice Mayor Michael Collins to assume the top position.
With Mayor Scott LeMarr leaving on top after more than two decades of public service to the town, Collins offers the compelling combination of continuation, experience and talent.
He chaired the town’s General Plan efforts passed by a whopping 80 percent of voters.
He voted for the Mountain Shadows redevelopment plan that has already resulted in the removal of rat infested buildings at 56th Street and Lincoln.
He leads not only in the Town but a business with 45 employees that does land use planning for the U.S. military. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, father and husband.Read more