Johnny Bench

Without a good catcher in baseball too many wild pitches can find their way to the backstop, helping the other team win and wreaking havoc on your own.

That’s a lot like the job of a City Manager, including Jim Thompson’s in Scottsdale.

Thank goodness the city had its own version of Johnny Bench for a recent, near fiasco.

Scottsdale has a lot of tourism tax to spend thanks to a landmark vote in 2010 to tax hotels just a bit more for promotional efforts and a robust local economy.  Recently, the Desert Botanical Garden came knocking for funds.  But they weren’t asking for $25,000 or $75,000.  The request was for an eye-popping half a million bones, all for a special event . . . in Phoenix.

Amazingly, some on city staff thought this was a wise use of money.  Amazingly, the Scottsdale Tourism Commission even endorsed it.

At a time when funding for improvements to Scottsdale Stadium is rising in need (and challenge) spending so much money to help a property outside the city makes zero sense.  Furthermore, and while we are no fans of the Desert Discovery Center, using Scottsdale tax dollars to pump up a potential rival before that issue has been resolved is insulting to those in support of that project.

Simply put, this was the wrong idea at the wrong time in the wrong place.

Fortunately, City Manager Thompson cut through the group-think and said no, once again reminding us why it’s important to have an All-Star behind the plate.