By Andrea Alley
For The Best Scottsdale
Scottsdale voters have a unique opportunity in November to invest in public safety, infrastructure repairs and senior centers through Questions 1, 2 and 3.
They can also help Scottsdale’s teachers and students by Voting Yes on the Scottsdale Unified School District’s override election.
In a way, we can all be heroes for our community and our kids.
As a southern Scottsdale resident, a mom and a graduate of SUSD, I believe that voters from every corner of our city should come together and approve Questions 1, 2 and 3 and the school override.
We all know that a great community must have great public schools. The SUSD override helps do that by maintaining funding for arts, athletics, world languages and technology programs as well as other extra-curricular activities important to students and their education. It was activities such as these that formed who I became and what I enjoy as an adult and that I watch shape my children and their peers into their fullest potential.
The School Override will also keep teacher pay competitive, keep class sizes down and bring updated technology to classrooms.
Those are the types of basic investments our children and teachers deserve.
I want to be transparent. Our kids go to a charter school. But because Scottsdale is a community that supports its teachers, schools and students regardless of the school choice, when we unite for all children, we create the best future possible for our city.
The city bond program (Questions 1, 2 and 3) also invests in our community, families, and quality of life. As a former athlete and coach at Arcadia, I know that Scottsdale is home to some great youth and high school sports. In partnership with the Override, your Yes vote to the bond questions ensures that our entire community has enough parks, recreation, and youth sports facilities to service the overwhelming demand for our families, schools and young athletes.
In southern Scottsdale where we live, they will help repair crumbling infrastructure at Vista Del Camino Park and the southern end of Indian Bend Wash. The Eldorado Pool will get a cost saving new solar energy system. To the north, Pinnacle Peak Park will get new trails and Thompson Peak Park a new dog park. Centrally, McCormick-Stillman Railroad gets a much-needed splash pad and the tennis courts at Indian School Park get upgrades. Our beloved Civic Center will be funded and collaboratively built to its full potential, as well.
The bonds will build new fire stations, make police stations safer and modernize training facilities used by Scottsdale’s heroic first responders. They also expand the Via Linda and Granite Reef senior centers, allowing for in-demand adult day care services.
This is only a snapshot of the 58 projects that will make life in Scottsdale even better. You can see a full list of the bond projects here: https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/elections/bond-2019-project-list.
And the best part? Neither the three bond measures nor the school override will make your taxes go up.
Secondary property taxes, which fund the city of Scottsdale’s bonds, are not likely to go up even if Questions 1, 2 and 3 all pass, according to the City Treasurer’s Office. That is because existing debt from the previous bond projects – approved by voters in 2000 – will be retired.
SUSD’s Override also won’t raise taxes. It just maintains current budget levels – budget levels that help keep class sizes down, fund arts and athletics programs and promote competitive teacher pay.
The city of Scottsdale has top credit scores from the three major bond rating agencies. Very few cities have that.
We know there are concerns about Scottsdale Unified School District’s past leadership and politics.
However, we should not punish our kids, teachers and staff. These leadership mistakes are not their fault, nor their price to pay.
Additionally, we understand if Scottsdale politics is frustrating. But citizen voices are being heard now more than ever. The bond measures and the school override put political power and decision making in your hands. The citizen-led Scottsdale Bond Oversight Committee will ensure your tax dollars are spent responsibly. And the 2020 election will give you the opportunity to vote for the candidates you see fit to make the most important decisions in our city.
This year’s election is a game changer for our community, our quality of life, our families and our kids. The future of Scottsdale hangs in the balance, and you hold the power to decide – do we invest in our future with a Yes, or fall behind with a No?
That is why I’m advocating for a Clean Sweep. Vote Yes on all 4 Scottsdale questions in November.
Andrea Alley is a Scottsdale resident. She serves as a Co-Chair of the For The Best Scottsdale Bond Campaign.