Earlier this year the Scottsdale City Council had a rambunctious debate on funding the community’s substantial infrastructure needs. One group advocated for a more comprehensive bond approach, backed by property taxes, while the other suggested a smaller ball sales tax increase concentrating on transportation needs. Both sides of this aisle made persuasive arguments but the latter gained majority status. They cited the increased likelihood of success at the ballot box due to recent failed bond efforts and a rather compelling argument that the city would soon lose out on some $170 million in transportation dollars from regional sources if it didn’t step up to the plate with this package.
The majority was led by Councilman Guy Phillips and joined by Mayor Jim Lane and Councilmembers Suzanne Klapp and Kathy Littlefield.
It’s fair to say the minority of Councilmembers Linda Milhaven, Virginia Korte and David Smith were not happy. There were even rumblings they would lead a campaign against the measure, which will be voted on this coming November.
Instead, however, they became patriots for their city. How? Because they know better than anyone how inadequate Scottsdale’s current funding for infrastructure is. And that the one tenth of one cent increase in the sales tax to fund a portion of the needs is the very definition of the good not being the enemy of the great. Their support is seemingly engrained in another reason too. By this minority supporting the majority in 2018, it should and will be time for the majority to support the minority in 2019 when a broader bond package will be put to voters.
Recent history has shown the import of unanimity by and of members of the Scottsdale City Council to pass big votes. Milhaven, Korte and Smith have demonstrated the necessary integrity and compromising to make democracy work effectively for citizens this year. It will be up to the four others to follow that example next year.