Guest Editorial: The Real Grassroots in Scottsdale

By Recker McDowell

Development, density and how Scottsdale grows are the front and center issues in the race for Mayor and three City Council seats.

Candidates will line up and be cast as pro-growth, slow growth and no growth. That will be the politics of the Scottsdale races for three council seats and to succeed Mayor Jim Lane, who is term limited.

But the politics, the ideologies and social media characterizations are not necessarily how many Scottsdale residents and voters view growth and density in Old Town and other parts of the city.

The real grassroots (meaning many Scottsdale residents and voters) are rightfully focused on what’s best for the city.

Those voters know Scottsdale has an international brand for arts, equestrian and other special events and tourism. They know Scottsdale cannot sit still to stay competitive.

There are properties and parcels in Old Town, southern Scottsdale and other parts of the city that need redevelopment and adaptive reuses. Infill and redevelopments will bring new energy, jobs and economic development to underperforming and/or empty properties.

That will help keep Scottsdale competitive and special.

Residents (and voters) also want to keep Scottsdale special by preserving the city’s brand and commitments to quality and responsible growth.

Old Town Scottsdale is an international destination and economic development generator because it has balanced its charm (arts events, restaurants and galleries) while evolving and staying competitive.

Scottsdale Fashion Square, for example, hasn’t stayed still with all the changes of retail. The mall has added an Apple store and luxury wing and a new luxury hotel is being built there. The Scottsdale Galleria was transformed from an empty mall into an economic development generator home to Yelp, Indeed and other social media and tech firms.

The voters who will decide the Scottsdale races for Mayor and City Council want a balanced, responsible and smart path for Scottsdale and its future growth.

The majority of residents also believe Scottsdale is headed in the right direction.

They want to keep Scottsdale special that means preserving the city’s brand, charm and commitment to quality development and cohesive land-use. It also means voters want to see the Scottsdale grow and mature and evolve in the right ways.