*Bone-headed Branding: With the “Desert Discovery Center” becoming such a pungent name in Scottsdale over the past year plus, proponents sought to rebrand it during their reintroduction in late July with a new name of “Desert Edge.” Apparently the project’s pied piper didn’t get the memo. She still lists the Desert Discovery Center in her signature line. #Communicate
*Showing they can say no to developers, the City of Scottsdale largely sided with the residents of Troon North in their dispute with a real estate speculator to triple density for a timeshare-esque project near the community’s entrance. It was the right decision and the council appeared near unanimous, if not entirely so, standing up for Troon North. Kudos to Planning Director Randy Grant for wading through an issue that while complex was quite simple at its core.
*The Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association Annual Dinner at Dominick’s Steakhouse has become one of the “it” community and political dinners in Scottsdale. And this year might be the best one yet with honorees like Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten, the mother that sparked the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Arizona Coyotes’ legend and Scottsdale resident Shane Doan. Doan is likely to be introduced by Jerry Colangelo which should make for quite a night indeed.
*The climate for Arizona Republicans in 2018 is going to be very difficult. And that’s no exception as the GOP races to take on Democratic Congressman Tom O’Halleran. If there’s anyone who can defy the odds it may be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Arizona State Senator Steve Smith. As Bruce Springsteen might say he was born to run. Engaging, intelligent, determined. If not this time for Smith he’s a talent that certainly has more political life to live.
*Look for Governor Ducey to more robustly kick-off re-election activities next month.
*If anyone thinks Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan isn’t steely heading into her 2018 re-election campaign think again. Despite some early challenges she is resolved and ready to roll.
*What a difference a few years makes. Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela is now the frontrunner to replace Greg Stanton as Mayor of Phoenix. After kicking the tires of a term-limits loophole former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon will not be running again. But in Paradise Valley former Mayor Scott Lemarr has no such problems and is still more likely than not to make another run, making him the prohibitive favorite.
*Paradise Valley Councilman Paul Dembow may have avoided worst-case legal scenarios after his daughter killed a Paradise Valley pedestrian and he was accused by the family of improperly interfering, but his troubles with the family are far from over. They recently made a surprise appearance at a Paradise Valley Town Council hearing to literally stare Dembow down, strongly suggesting that if the ambitious Dembow runs for re-election or Mayor the family will just be getting started with him.
*State Democrats once again showed their get out the vote acumen in Phoenix City Councilman Sal Diciccio’s re-election campaign. The well known Diciccio won by a much closer margin than expected to someone whose main credential was just being a Democrat.
*If U.S. Senator Jeff Flake escapes his re-election conundrums his new nickname should be Houdini.
*Prediction: In the very sad and tragic event John McCain is no longer able to serve in the U.S. Senate look for one of three people to be appointed: Ducey Chief of Staff Kirk Adams, Congresswoman Martha McSally or Jon Kyl.