*On January 8th new Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson takes over from interim one Brian Biesemeyer. It’s the best municipal trade since the Phoenix Suns absconded Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers. Biesemeyer found bureaucracy to be bucolic. That Scottsdale continued to succeed despite his management speaks to just how special a place it is. Thompson has an energy, expertise and appreciation for the position that will surely inject needed oxygen into Scottsdale’s lungs after Biesemeyer depleted it via employee exasperation and his own languishing leadership.
*With talk increasing of Congressman David Schweikert running for Arizona Governor in 2022 successors are already circling. That will be a year of redistricting so who knows what the safe, Scottsdale-based district looks like then but early, strong contenders include Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring. And never count out the Dirty Bird, Ben Quayle. He once represented portions of the district before losing to Schweikert when their districts merged.
*With Maria Syms resigning her Paradise Valley Town Council seat now that she has been elected to the Arizona House of Representatives look for recently departed Councilman David Sherf to gain the appointment. Planning Commissioner Daran Wastchak also deserves consideration as a candidate for the post in 2016.
*Enthusiasts of good food and cool settings should check out Sel, a relatively new and innovative restaurant on Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale.
*If the Scottsdale City Council doesn’t ultimately put the Desert Discovery Center to a public vote look for spirited opponents to take matters into their own hands and force an election via the referendum process.
*The City of Peoria, Arizona is predominantly Republican. But you wouldn’t know it from their municipal leadership. After proposing the largest tax increase in the city’s history in November, only to see voters whack it down, the city is preparing to kick out the city’s private sector emergency services provider and take that function over itself. Now, there are good reasons to resent AMR-Rural/Metro which has had a stranglehold on this business of late but with new players now approved to compete with it Peoria and others would be wise to let renewed competition play out rather than burden taxpayers with a new government program.
*Who knows what will become of the FBI investigation into APS, especially with the incoming Trump Administration, but there’s no doubt it’s been good for the local criminal defense attorney market, many of whom have been hired to represent APS executives.