By Scottsdale Pinetop
In the West’s Most Western Town, we know a thing or two about horses. Scottsdale is home to a number of equestrian centers, the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and the Scottsdale Quarter Horse Show, to name a few. The city even installed a beautiful Ed Mell statue
of a bucking horse with a rider as a centerpiece in Old Town Scottsdale. But like any horse lover knows, sometimes it is important to know when to let go.
The same can be said for the Desert Discovery Center/ Desert Edge project. As best iterated by a prominent Scottsdale leader, “The horse is dead and it is time to bury it.”
Few municipal projects have ever created as much controversy and frustrations than the Desert Discovery Center/ Desert Edge. It has divided council members on a number of important issues and it has created a political division within Scottsdale. For almost a year, thousands of passionate Scottsdale voters from the north and south have unified in a grassroots effort to protect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. And finally, after a long hard battle, the end is in sight.
According to one of the group’s leaders, Jason Alexander, the Protect Our Preserve PAC has collected 31,600 signatures, well over the 23,908 signatures requires to get on the ballot. And they still have many more days before the July 5th deadline. The ballot measure won’t specifically ask voters about the future of the Desert Edge project. Rather, it would change Scottsdale’s city charter to require a public vote on any proposed development in the preserve – ensuing that the future of the preserve remains in the hands of Scottsdale citizens. If and when the measure passes, any further thoughts of a Desert Edge project will be six feet under.
Take it from the horse’s mouth, Scottsdale residents are done dwelling on the issue and ready to close the stable door on the Desert Discovery Center. Just like saying goodbye to a horse, we understand that this might be difficult to do. But it is the responsible thing to do. It’s time for the city to say goodbye and bury the project. The Scottsdale City Council needs to move on and begin addressing other important improvements in Scottsdale beyond this single project.