The Conservative's Corner

Today the public made it extremely clear: they no longer trust the failed dysfunctional leadership of the City of Phoenix.

Phoenix leaders demanded a whopping $1.5 BILLION water tax increase, one of the largest in city history.  This was voted down on a 5 to 3 vote, with Councilwomen Guevara, Mendoza, and Stark voting for the tax increase but Mayor Williams indicated she plans to bring it back for reconsideration later.

Just weeks ago this same dysfunctional leadership team trashed your cash:

  • Tried to force a $50 Million per year tax on medicine, crying we will lose police if we don’t pass this new tax. Luckily, it did not pass.
  • Wasted $10 million to study garbage.
  • Gave an insider developer $700,000 worth of public property for a mere $50,000 in an insider-deal.
  • Lied to the south Phoenix community about the effect of light rail on their neighborhoods and businesses.
  • Poured millions into membership dues for government staff.

The fact is, Phoenix is experiencing more revenue than it ever has before in its history as a city and still city officials cry that we can’t pay for critical functions of government.  Every time they run out of money to waste, the politicians claim hardship and demand more money.

When everything is labelled a crisis, nothing is a crisis. In fact, the only crisis I see here is a lack of public trust in dysfunctional city leadership.

By Sal DiCiccio

My heart goes out to Laura Pastor and the Pastor family on the passing of her father, Congressman Ed Pastor.

Congressman Pastor served the people of Arizona with dignity and honor throughout his life. Though we disagreed on many things, partisanship stops well short of this point. Congressman Pastor’s accomplishments will carry forward far beyond his lifetime. I only hope the certain knowledge of that legacy and the impact he had on so many people throughout this state and across the country can provide some small comfort to his family in their time of grief.

 

By Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6

6 words to sum up yesterday’s election: Establishment and status quo lose big

Republicans made big gains in the Senate, ensuring a lock on judicial appointments and Democrats made gains in the House, ensuring a slowdown of the Republican economic and social agenda. Republicans maintain control of the states in the legislatures and governorships across the country. Democrats have not even begun to regain the 1100 seats they lost during the last administration.

It is clear that the screaming in restaurants, the constant marches, and a billion dollars in political spending has produced very little for Democrats. With massive turn-out and a polarized public, we should have seen a historic drubbing of the Republican Party, that did not happen.Read More

By Syms for Arizona

While others put politics First, Representative Maria Syms did something about it for Education

Representative Maria Syms is the ONLY District 28 House Candidate that:

  • Voted for and passed a 20% raise for public school teachers
  • Voted for and passed a historic $1.5 billion investment in public education
  • Voted for and passed new funding and a $1 billion finance plan for universities
  • Voted for and passed funding for full-day kindergarten, gifted and early childhood programs

Learn more about Maria’s Record on Education

Read More

By Goldwater Institute

Ensuring Justice For All: Texas Judge Rules on Indian Child Welfare Act 

When Martin Luther King wrote that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds,” he spoke with that characteristic confidence of his that justice would, in the end, be done to all.

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Texas played an important part in realizing that dream when he ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) – a federal law that creates a separate and less-protective set of rules for child welfare cases involving children of Native American ancestry – violates the Constitution.

Read more from Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute. 

Read More

Today the public made it extremely clear: they no longer trust the failed dysfunctional leadership of the City of Phoenix.

Phoenix leaders demanded a whopping $1.5 BILLION water tax increase, one of the largest in city history.  This was voted down on a 5 to 3 vote, with Councilwomen Guevara, Mendoza, and Stark voting for the tax increase but Mayor Williams indicated she plans to bring it back for reconsideration later.

Just weeks ago this same dysfunctional leadership team trashed your cash:

  • Tried to force a $50 Million per year tax on medicine, crying we will lose police if we don’t pass this new tax. Luckily, it did not pass.
  • Wasted $10 million to study garbage.
  • Gave an insider developer $700,000 worth of public property for a mere $50,000 in an insider-deal.
  • Lied to the south Phoenix community about the effect of light rail on their neighborhoods and businesses.
  • Poured millions into membership dues for government staff.

The fact is, Phoenix is experiencing more revenue than it ever has before in its history as a city and still city officials cry that we can’t pay for critical functions of government.  Every time they run out of money to waste, the politicians claim hardship and demand more money.

When everything is labelled a crisis, nothing is a crisis. In fact, the only crisis I see here is a lack of public trust in dysfunctional city leadership.

By Sal DiCiccio

My heart goes out to Laura Pastor and the Pastor family on the passing of her father, Congressman Ed Pastor.

Congressman Pastor served the people of Arizona with dignity and honor throughout his life. Though we disagreed on many things, partisanship stops well short of this point. Congressman Pastor’s accomplishments will carry forward far beyond his lifetime. I only hope the certain knowledge of that legacy and the impact he had on so many people throughout this state and across the country can provide some small comfort to his family in their time of grief.

 

By Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6

6 words to sum up yesterday’s election: Establishment and status quo lose big

Republicans made big gains in the Senate, ensuring a lock on judicial appointments and Democrats made gains in the House, ensuring a slowdown of the Republican economic and social agenda. Republicans maintain control of the states in the legislatures and governorships across the country. Democrats have not even begun to regain the 1100 seats they lost during the last administration.

It is clear that the screaming in restaurants, the constant marches, and a billion dollars in political spending has produced very little for Democrats. With massive turn-out and a polarized public, we should have seen a historic drubbing of the Republican Party, that did not happen.Read More

By Syms for Arizona

While others put politics First, Representative Maria Syms did something about it for Education

Representative Maria Syms is the ONLY District 28 House Candidate that:

  • Voted for and passed a 20% raise for public school teachers
  • Voted for and passed a historic $1.5 billion investment in public education
  • Voted for and passed new funding and a $1 billion finance plan for universities
  • Voted for and passed funding for full-day kindergarten, gifted and early childhood programs

Learn more about Maria’s Record on Education

Read More

By Goldwater Institute

Ensuring Justice For All: Texas Judge Rules on Indian Child Welfare Act 

When Martin Luther King wrote that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds,” he spoke with that characteristic confidence of his that justice would, in the end, be done to all.

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Texas played an important part in realizing that dream when he ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) – a federal law that creates a separate and less-protective set of rules for child welfare cases involving children of Native American ancestry – violates the Constitution.

Read more from Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute. 

Read More

MORE CONSERVATIVE’S CORNER
Featured Editorials

By Virginia Korte

One of the most important issues the City Council will address this year is the cost and scope of renovating Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants.  
 
You may recall the original stadium was built in 1956 and, using voter-approved bond funds, it was replaced with a new building in 1992.  The last time the venue was renovated was in 2006.
 
Historically, Scottsdale Stadium, which currently seats 12,000 people, has one of the highest attendance rates of all the facilities in the Cactus League, so it plays a major role in our city’s economy.  And its location in the heart of the downtown area contributes to the sustainability of Old Town businesses, restaurants and hotels.
 
To remain competitive with the newer, state-of-the-art spring training venues in the Valley, it’s critical that we renovate our stadium.  That cost is estimated to be approximately $60 million.     
Rather than using a sole source for funding, I believe it will be more financially prudent to explore a “cost-sharing” strategy to pay for the necessary renovations: The Giants should help. Given their ongoing involvement with spring training, the Charros are also in a position to contribute.  The city has several potential funding sources – including additional private stakeholders, bed tax dollars designated to promote tourism and a capacity to issue bonds.  
 
After all, Scottsdale residents are stakeholders, too.  In 1992 the voters approved general obligation bonds to build the new spring training stadium. Today, Scottsdale Stadium is a vital economic driver and the ‘heart’ of our Old Town.
 
I believe with some ingenuity, a little creativity and a commitment from all stakeholders who benefit the most from Scottsdale Stadium, we can find a combination of ways to make the necessary improvements to our stadium.
 
Your opinion matters. So let me know what you think.

Sincerely,

By Scottsdale Watchman

Can you imagine what the Venus de Milo would look like with nipple rings? Well, Scottsdale residents don’t have to venture too far to do so. Right in the heart of the jewel of the Southwest, Old Town Scottsdale, there’s an eyesore that draws away from the rest of the beauty that surrounds it in “the West’s Most Western Town.” This blemish is known as Club Tattoo and it operates a stone’s throw away from world-class art galleries, restaurants, shops and museums.

Don’t get us wrong, Club Tattoo isn’t a reviled business. On Yelp, we see that it has a “4.5/5” rating with more than 75 reviews. Notwithstanding the positive comments, a deeper dive reveals that the “artistic” services offered by Club Tattoo won’t be featured on the Scottsdale ArtWalk anytime soon.

Want a nose ring or ear stretching gauges? Stop by Club Tattoo on a Saturday night. Desire a tattoo that’s an outline of the state of New Jersey? Just venture through the doors of the shady looking store off Winfield Scott Plaza. Are you even thinking of getting your nipples pierced, but are pondering the pain? Don’t fret. Club Tattoo has got you covered as the artists there will pierce your doubts as well as your areola.

Scottsdale is Arizona’s premier tourist destination. Nearly five million people from across the world visit annually. When they leave and go back to their respective hometowns, they surely tell their friends and family members about how dazzling the Canal Convergence is; the posh shopping experience at Fashion Square; and how memorable and majestic it is to witness the sunrise while hiking the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Read More

Designed and developed by the Hovey family out of Chicago, the various Optima projects around town have been a refreshing addition to the growing multi-family real estate market in the greater Phoenix area.  Indeed, Optima Camelview adjacent to Scottsdale Fashion Square is a unique design that has and will continue to contribute to Downtown Scottsdale’s urban renaissance.  The same can be said for DMB Associates, Inc.’s nationally recognized DC Ranch community and the exemplary design and care as it developed within north Scottsdale’s desert foothills area.

We wish Hovey’s approach to other exemplary developers, and politics, was as classy as the company’s buildings.  

In the do as we say not as we do category Hovey et al last year waged a dark arts campaign to stop a proposed condominium and hotel proposal by renowned developer DMB, adjacent to their emerging Optima Kierland.  Apparently it is OK for Hovey to build tall buildings but not others.  Hovey purportedly bussed in landscapers and other employees to city hearings in order to give the appearance of opposition to the DMB project.  It seems as if Hovey played a major role in forming a Kierland neighborhood alliance of residents to make it appear as if DMB’s project on approximately 2 acres had some enormous impact to areas over a mile away. It was nonsense.

He also employed controversial former City of Phoenix employee Joe Villasenor. Villasenor has been a frequent target of the Arizona Republic for his questionable conduct in a number of Phoenix-related projects.   

 Arizona Republic January 9, 2017
Cashier’s checks, $3,000 in cash, a consultant and a pastor

Arizona Republic May 31, 2017
Arizona attorney general investigating Phoenix law firm’s falsified lobbying documents

Arizona Republic May 10, 2018
Tactics scrutinized in Phoenix medical-marijuana dispensary cases

Read More

By the Happy Wanderer

Play-by-play announcer Al McCoy has been the voice of the Phoenix Suns for generations of radio listeners. For over 50 years, his calls have instantly transported us from wherever we are to sitting courtside right beside him.

McCoy’s trademark call is “SHAZAM!” Hearing him say it, a listener knows that a Suns player has nailed a three-point shot. Something good is happening.

Al hasn’t had the opportunity to announce “SHAZAM!” too often lately. The Suns will likely miss the playoffs for the ninth straight season and seem to be bound for the NBA Draft Lottery yet again.

Despite these on-court struggles, McCoy and Suns fans could be roaring the catchphrase if they’ve witnessed team and city officials attempt to garner the support of Phoenix residents for a proposed arena renovation deal where the city pays $150 million and the team plays $80 million to modernize the 26-year old Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns’ downtown home is the NBA’s fifth-oldest active arena and the league’s oldest non-renovated venue.

In December, there was a rush to get a deal approved. It appeared as if Mike D’Antoni was calling the shots and “the Seven Seconds or Less” Suns were leading the charge at getting the Phoenix City Council to approve of the renovation scheme. In reality, however, Earl Watson must have been the one coaching those who were leading the proposal. The team stumbled out of the gates and citizens reacted to the plan with extreme vitriol. One poll in December found that nearly 66 percent of respondents opposed it. The last time Phoenicians were this pissed off at the Suns, general manager Lance Blanks tabbed Lindsey Hunter to be the team’s interim head coach instead of Suns Ring of Honor-member Dan Majerle. The $230 million deal was labelled “a bust.” Think Dragan Bender or Marquese Chriss.

Read More

By: Adelyn Ray

The issue of who is funding the ever-elusive borderwall has caused quite an up-roar. An uproar so loud, it rang the ears of Washington, D.C. itself. Unable to come to a sound decision, the United States government has found itself at a stalemate. Closer to the Valley, however, Senators Krysten Sinema and Senator Martha McSally offer dividing viewpoints on this pressing issue.

Sinema has expressed she does not support funding for the borderwall, as she states, “The wall is a waste of taxpayer money that will not ever be built and won’t keep us safe.”

McSally, on the other hand praised the defensive efforts of President Trump’s wall. She is in full support of funding the border wall, and even suggests that building an additional wall between California and Arizona may be a good idea to, “keep the criminals out of our state.”

However, since the government shutdown, it seems to be that each of our Senators remain silent.

Read More

Well that was fast.  One of the worst votes five members of the Scottsdale City Council have ever cast, collectively or individually, has now made national news.  You can read it here. This group consisting of Jim Lane, Guy Phillips, Suzanne Klapp and Solange Whitehead, led by Kathy Littlefield, should be ashamed of itself.  For they have brought shame to their city.  Why?

Because Scottsdale is supposedly a city committed to the arts.  Because Arizona is home to the now departed John McCain.  And to do what Lane, Klapp, Phillips, Whitehead and Littlefield did to a noble effort to honor McCain with the “Maverick Mural” is sickening, frankly.   

Let’s go back in time to explain further.  

Several years ago Marshall Way galleries, restaurants and salons organized to stop the decline on their street.  Previously, Marshall Way had been on a par with Main Street as one of the two best arts streets in Arizona.  So various merchants contributed $75 per month to help advocate for change.  They presented a comprehensive proposal to the city.  It was creative and innovative.  Marshall Way’s biggest and most notorious landlord Dewey Schade didn’t contribute a dime.  That’s particularly disappointing when we just learned, via his consultant David Ortega, that Schade is making “millions” off of the buildings on Marshall Way.  Schade and Ortega are the leading opponents of the McCain mural, offering bogus argument after bogus argument.  

They say Schade’s adjoining property may have its rights violated if the mural has to be installed.  Funny, where were these concerns when he charged the same building owner to paint his building last year.  And what about the rights of this building owner that wants to honor McCain on HIS wall?  Does he have no rights?

The Five standing with Dewey Schade rather than art and John McCain might be interested to know that having done the bidding for Schade he has apparently increased his demands for payment for the necessary staging if and when the mural does get installed.  Congratulations.  

More than twenty years ago when Scottsdale lost its most beloved public servant in its history, Herb Drinkwater, who was there to eulogize him in front of thousands at WestWorld?  John McCain.  His words were both a tribute and a comfort.  So how does this city now repay him for his service before, during and after?  With this nonsense.  

Read More

By Scottsdale Pinetop

With any new year comes new resolutions, new issues and new opportunities. And for the Scottsdale City Council, the New Year brings a new face to the council. Here is our wish list of what we hope to see happen in Scottsdale this next year.

*Electric scooters around Scottsdale are reduced by 50 percent;

*Jason Alexander and Councilwoman Virginia Korte have dinner together;

*The Maverick Mural, a tribute to the late John McCain, is painted in Old Town Scottsdale;

*The Drinkwater Bridge is repaired and is re-opened to pedestrians and vehicles;

*Dr. John Kriekard will stay on as Superintendent at the Scottsdale Unified School District;

*Mike Norton reaches his weight loss goal with Bill Crawford’s help;
*Museum Square, a critical new downtown Scottsdale project combining art and architecture, will break ground;

*Scottsdale City Council approves funding for Scottsdale Stadium renovation plans and extends its contract with San Francisco Giants and Scottsdale Charros showing other cities how to structure deals that make the most sense for the host community;

*Traffic light times at Camelback Rd and Scottsdale Rd are significantly improved;

*Expansion of the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West: Western Spirit;

*One Eyed Jack, 26 foot tall jackrabbit on Marshall Way, will bring some good luck to Scottsdale residents;

*Scottsdale Fashion Square hires Bob Littlefield as their next Mall Santa Claus;

by Scottsdale Watchman

We’ve written about Dewey The Dick before. Now, Dewey Schade, America’s most challenging landlord since Stanley Roper from Three’s Company, is back at it trying to impede the creation of the “Maverick Mural” dedicated to late U.S. Senator John McCain. How does this guy sleep at night?

On December 20th, Scottsdale’s Development Review Board did the right thing and approved of the request for the privately-funded red, white and blue mural on a building at 4235 North Marshall Way in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale by a 6-1 vote. Republicans and Democrats alike bombarded board members with letters of support and board members listened.

Less than a month later, it looks like “Shady Schade” has done some behind-the-scenes maneuvering to raise a stink about this much-needed public arts project yet again. He and his band of ne’er-do-wells are getting some assistance from recently re-elected Scottsdale City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, who is making a request that the Scottsdale City Council initiate a review of the board’s approval of the mural.

We don’t always agree with Councilwoman Littlefield, but there’s no denying her recent popularity throughout Scottsdale. After all, she was the leading vote-getter in this last November’s city council election by a wide margin. However, it’s also undeniable that her request to have the City Council review a decision that received such great support mars the start of her second term. How can someone who was so in touch with the voice of the people be so tone deaf now? The Littlefield/Schade cabal have the very real potential of turning into a national embarrassment for the city. And if Littlefield is allowing herself to be used so Schade can get a few extra bucks to rent his adjoining property during a one to four day installation, that would be even more shameful.

Senator McCain once said: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.” We can only hope that Councilwoman Littlefield’s peers on the city council display courage by denying her request to initiate review and allow Scottsdale’s next greatest landmark to be built in honor of a great person.

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Tuesday December 11 – the day the Desert Discovery Center was finally laid to rest once and for all. The Scottsdale City Council unanimously voted to put an end to the potential development of the infamous Desert EDGE within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. A well-deserved victory for the supporters of Proposition 420 and a triumph in preserving the rights of Scottsdale residents. But the Protect Our Preserve advocates are not the only group fighting to protect one of its hidden gems.

For “Save the Dell”, an activist organization in Prescott, the battle rages on.

The Granite Dells, commonly referred to as The Dells, is Prescott’s most defining characteristic and one of Arizona’s most stunning landscapes. Just north of downtown Prescott, the Dells comprise of unique granite rock formations, small lakes and miles of hiking trails. But urban developments continue to come closer and closer to this natural wonder.

Arizona Eco Development (AED) is a major Arizona based land holding company. AED is proposing a 1,800 home development that would encroach on the northern part of the Granite Dells. The goal of Save the Dells is to permanently preserve the remaining undeveloped portions of The Dells for public use. Sound familiar?

Read More

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Very shortly, 2018 will be a thing of the past. But it was a political year like few others full of highs and lows. Here’s a quick look back at some of the major political events in Scottsdale that helped define it as we welcome the New Year.

*This has been the “Year of the Woman,” not just nationally but locally as well. While Kyrsten Sinema, Sandra Kennedy, and Kathy Hoffman’s victories captured state and national headlines, it was Kathy Littlefield’s success that was locally acclaimed. But it’s not just the victory that’s surprising. It was the large margin she won by. The final vote count had Littlefield with 56,829 total votes, over 7,000 votes ahead of second place victor Solange Whitehead (the newcomer to the political arena).

Rounding out the election, Linda Milhaven was able to cross the finish line despite the harsh criticism she received from the Protect Our Preserve community. A vocal advocate for the Desert Discovery Center, she was constantly in the crossfire. But it was her pro-business attitude, love for the arts and regard for the city that ultimately secured her victory. Once again, Scottsdale will have a majority of its members being women, with females being the only three to be elected this year.

It would be unwise to disregard the influence the No DDC organization had on Littlefield and Solange’s success. Early on in the campaign, Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead were not shy to share their support for the Protect Our Preserve movement, becoming one of the organization’s leaders next to Jason Alexander and Mike Norton. And their support paid off.

* Speaking of Proposition 420, the Protect Our Preserve has become a force to be reckoned with. After months of political infighting and bantering – the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) is dead. As in dead, dead. Thank goodness. In the DC Ranch and WestWorld precincts, the measure passed with 84% and 85% of the vote respectively. In numerous other north Scottsdale precincts, the vote hovered around 75%. Even in McCormick Ranch, the core of what support the DDC did have, the measure passed with 69% of the vote. With such a unifying victory, it has many questioning what’s next for the group. Will many of the Protect Our Preserve supporters be eyeing the 2020 City Council seats? Will the group stay together and become the slow-growth group of Scottsdale? If so, the political winds might be shifting in Scottsdale.

Read More

By Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we enjoy the Holiday Season and prepare to ring in the New Year, I offer you this final town update and a bid farewell as I near the end of my station as your Mayor.

2018 finished strong with progress and improvement across all areas of Town Government and a continued focus on public safety and customer service.

The Town remains in excellent financial condition and resort redevelopment is securing our long-term financial stability.

 

The Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley Resort is taking shape and residential building activity is near a record high.

We’ve completed a 30-year APS undergrounding campaign and have kept our roads and streets in great condition without a local property tax.

And finally, as you know we have a new Mayor and Town Council taking their seats in January.

I am proud to have worked with many great Town employees and volunteers over these past 11 years, and of our shared accomplishments along the way. v

The new friends and neighbors I’ve met along this journey have made it a very rewarding experience.

But most of all I thank my beautiful wife Jennifer of 20 years and my family for their patience with me, and for all of the time they have allowed me to spend in service to the Town.Read More

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment area, the Valley’s nightlife epicenter, has created a number of headaches between Scottsdale residents, City Council and business owners. Really it’s a love-hate relationship. While numerous patrons have spoken in defense of the growing entertainment scene, many Scottsdale residents have become disgruntled and vocal by attacking local bars.

The Rockbar in downtown Scottsdale is the latest drinking establishment to fall under Scottsdale’s hostility.

Rockbar, opening in 2011, is located on Craftsman Court just south of Fifth Avenue. The bar is centered on the need for an affordable, live music venue that the everyday person can enjoy. It’s has become a local hotspot for many Scottsdale residents. However, its rowdy nature has brought some unwanted attention and negativity.

The debate between business owners and residents came to a head last week when the Scottsdale City Council approved a 15-year dining license for the patio area of the Rockbar. Angry residents have claimed that the bar clashes with the artistic atheistic of the Old Town scene. The area is known for its upscale shopping, art galleries and fine dining, not loud music and smoke, as they claim. Advocates of Rockbar say that it is a welcoming gathering place for sports fans, local musicians and younger patrons alike that all help boost our economy and diverse identity.
Read More

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Litter or Luxury? The debate rages on.

Last week, we wrote about the unavoidable consequences and safety concerns surrounding the scooters proliferating throughout Scottsdale. Click here to read.  There’s no question that bike and scooter share is transforming and modernizing transportation by creating a cost efficient and colorful way of getting around. But it should not come at the expense, safety, and aesthetic of its residents.

However, safety is not the only issue facing the future of bike share. The latest problem facing the electric scooters is money – specifically from investors. Investors initially flocked to scooter companies. But, in recent months, the business model has recently proven to be “tougher than expected,” forcing many supporters to retreat. Read full Wall Street Journal Article here.

Vandalism, market saturation and unexpected costs have beset companies like Bird and Lime. In places like Scottsdale, it has become commonplace to see scooters floating in the canals, knocked over in rows or thrown in garbage dumpsters. This is not a great look for the “best city in America.”
Read More

With the college football playoff upcoming and the college basketball season in full swing, many are paying attention to various rankings.  Here are some as they relate to interesting, future elections:

SCOTTSDALE MAYOR 2020 (Jim Lane is term-limited)

  1. Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp
  2. Councilwoman Virginia Korte
  3. Any warm body
  4. John Karolzak

PHOENIX MAYOR (Special Election March 12, 2019)

  1. Former Councilwoman Kate Gallego
  2. Former Councilman Danny Valenzuela

U.S. SENATE 2020 (Democrat)

  1. Ruben Gallego
  2. Mark Kelly
  3. Grant Woods

SCOTTSDALE CITY COUNCIL 2020 (No rankings yet.  Potential candidates listed)

*Barry Graham

*Christian Serena

*Virginia Korte (unlikely to run)

*Guy Phillips (unlikely to run)

*Jason Alexander

*Mike Norton

*Bill Crawford

*Howard Myers

*Maryann McAllen (per Mike Norton)

*John Little (per Mike Norton)

*Kevin Maxwell

*Becca Linning

*Tammy Caputi

Were you for or against the sales tax increase to fund preservation of the McDowell Mountains?  Were you for or against the Los Arcos hockey arena proposal?  Were you for or against Proposition 420?

These have been the great questions and wedge issues that have shaped Scottsdale City Council elections over the past three decades.

Indeed, Proposition 420, which rallied the community to stop the Desert Discovery Center, was so resonant as to pull Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead to gold and silver council medals by a wide margins.  Littlefield and Whitehead were vocal supporters of Proposition 420 and it of them.

It begs the question: what might or should be the wedge issue of 2020 in Scottsdale when numerous council seats and the mayor’s office will be on the ballot?

Maybe a trip back to the future could be instructive.

In 2016 Mayor Jim Lane proposed, without little support from his peers, an intriguing reform to council representation in Scottsdale.  He recognized that with no councilperson from southern Scottsdale then, or in the recent history, a change could make sense.  It also could result in greater constituent service while at the same time maintaining a slice of Scottsdale’s historical commitment to “at-large” council representation.

You see, many cities now have council districts with the mayor being the only office elected throughout the city.  But in Scottsdale all councilmembers and the mayor are elected at-large.  Some years ago there was a Scottsdale ballot measure to go to an all-district system.  At that time it was soundly defeated by voters.

Read More

We wrote before about the amusing announcement by the very weird John Karolzak that he wants to run for Mayor of Scottsdale.  Click here to read.

We note that he describes himself on social media as a “health care executive.”  What a disservice to the words health, care and executive.  Dude was a lobbyist for an ambulance company.  At the state level.  At local levels throughout the Valley and region.  Records are easily available through a quick search.

We’re not sure Scottsdale has ever had a lobbyist run for Mayor, let alone serve as top dog on the dais.

Is his profession alone disqualifying?  Of course not.  But ask 2014 Democratic nominee for Arizona Governor Fred Duval what it was like to get tattooed with the lobbyist label by Doug Ducey.  Television ad after television ad derided Duval for his lobbying.  And Duval was actually a good lobbyist for many good causes.  Karolzak? He’s never been considered the ethical steward of the profession and often carried water for ambulance companies with shortcomings.

John The Lobbyist.  Probably not the last time you’ll hear that phrase if the guy actually runs.

We return to whether his long-time work is a non-starter.  That’s ultimately for voters to decide.  And there are exceptions to what happened to Duval.  Consider Jon Kyl.  In 1986 he ran for the United States Congress and was ridiculed by his opponents for being a lobbyist for Salt River Project.  Kyl not only overcame the attacks but he went on to serve Arizona with distinction, and still does.

But to compare Karolzak to Kyl is to, paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, to compare Dan Quayle to Jack Kennedy.

If Karolzak’s deficiencies were but being a lobbyist his quixotic bid shouldn’t be described quite as such.  But we did invoke the plural.  So stay tuned for more of the Karolzak Chronicles.  We hope we don’t run out of Roman numerals.

By Scottsdale Pinetop

In the age of “everyone is special” it’s often hard to stand out from the crowd. As an individual, a business and even as a community, our own special interests can easily be overshadowed. Scottsdale is no exception. In a city of greats, from the nationally acclaimed Barrett-Jackson Car Auction to spring training season, it’s easy to get lost in the fray.

But one key group in Scottsdale has withstood the test of time. That group is the Scottsdale Gallery Association.

Internationally known for art, Old Town Scottsdale has a well-deserved though increasingly challenged reputation in this regard. At one point in time, the Scottsdale’s downtown district hosted over 100 galleries along Marshall Way and Main Street, as well as local artists, performers, writers and avid collectors. And it continues to be thanks to the Scottsdale Gallery Association.

The collection of galleries provide a diverse array of work as they strive to make art accessible to all, from the serious art collector to the casual patron. It hosts numerous events throughout the year. This includes the weekly Thursday Night Art walk which today stands as the longest running event of its kind in the nation. As a Scottsdalian, this is something to be extremely proud of.

However, the Gallery Association often does not receive the attention and assistance it deserves. It must.

Read More

By Robert Rich

In the midst of May, a monsoon of new transportation struck Scottsdale and Tempe. The electric scooter craze has had many fall in love with the pay-per-use form of transportation. While it’s understandably easy to laugh off any claims of them being a truly nefarious force brought upon Phoenix-Metro, a surprisingly large number of users have experienced some serious consequences from their use. These scooters have a bit more horsepower than meets the eye, causing some to simply fall too hard.

“Lots of extremity injures- broken bones, ankles. Sprains, all those types. Then you get into head injuries,” ER nurse Scott Ehlers said.

Ehlers has seen a huge uptick in these sorts of injuries ever since their introduction into the community.

“It seems like it’s two or three (injuries) a day,” Ehlers said.

The injuries he sees aren’t even the more serious ones, as the worst are sent to trauma centers.

“They don’t wear helmets. People aren’t just walking around with helmets and then climbing onto a scooter,” Ehlers said.

The worst place for these types of injures has been around Mill Avenue, as the dense population and college atmosphere has been a breeding ground for drunken incidents involving their use. They have been so much of a nuisance around Tempe that Arizona State University has even banned their use on campus.

While there has obviously been a large demand for this service, some measures will inevitably need to take place to ensure that their benefits outweigh their risks on the community. Not only do their obnoxiously bright colors, frequent beeping through the night and lack of storage spaces make them a littered nuisance to anyone not using them, they have also proven to be a legitimate risk to their users. Many other towns have an efficient system with rental bikes that do not bring about these issues. Until a better system, and business model, is implemented, the rest of Phoenix would be wise to follow suit and ban their use.

By Scottsdale Pinetop

What happens when a lake is not a lake but rather an irrigation reservoir? A small town community loses one of its biggest recreational assets. That’s the latest problem facing the beloved Woodland Lake in the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside.

For years, residents, business owners and tourists alike have enjoyed the lake for its beauty and recreation. The park is home to baseball fields, a playground, tennis courts, walking trails and fishing dock.

But there’s one problem. Pinetop-Lakeside does not own the water in the lake. In fact, the Show Low/Pinetop Woodland Irrigation Company owns the water. The non-profit water company was formed around 1874 and has been delivering water to nearby customers ever since.

And for decades, this has not been a problem for the town. When the water is abundant, the irrigation company may only drain the lake water by a few feet – becoming more of a nuisance to residents than anything else.

But after two seasons of nearly snowless winters and drought like springs, Woodland Lake has become less of a lake and more like a puddle. Even the monsoon rains have not been able to maintain the normal lake levels.

Read More

By Robert Rich

Lee Sepanek’s (aka “Christmas Lee”) light show got on the cities’ radar a few times too many last year. The Phoenix resident’s home, located near 44th Street and Camelback Road, is normally an extravagant, shining beacon for the season’s Christmas Spirit starting Thanksgiving Night.

However, the City of Phoenix took issue with Lee’s ambitions the year prior. After planning a fundraiser, in which Lee was selling hot cocoa, cookies and Christmas trinkets to provide more funding for his public display, the City pulled the plug. They used the technicalities that he did not possess a food handler’s license, or a home baked goods permit, to shut down the show.

While the display is listed as one of the most popular light shows in Phoenix, some people on the street adjacent to him took issue with it.

“I had a couple of new neighbors move in a year prior. They experienced their first Christmas and they didn’t like the traffic.”, Lee said.

This year, Lee’s campaign on GoFundMe is looking to add at least another $10,000 dollars’ worth of lights into the light show. He has also obtained a food handler’s license and baked goods permit. However, Lee still expects that the city will try and spoil his Holiday fun.

“I have heard that they’re pretty hard-nosed about the whole thing and they’re not bending.”, Lee said.

The good news is that Lee at least has one ally. Councilman Sal DiCiccio has tweeted that Phoenix politicians should be “ashamed” of how they’ve treated Lee.

DiCicco couldn’t be more correct on this matter. Lee’s light show is a win-win for the community. The vast majority celebrates the joyous display and it brings nothing but positive attention to the community. The bureaucratic attack brought upon Lee is nothing more than the City of Phoenix trying to appease a few crotchety members over everyone else.

You can support Lee by donating to his GoFundMe HEREPhoenix should give Lee the same community support that he has given us the past 30 years.

SEE MORE FEATURED EDITORIALS
2020 Scrum

Media Alert

Reverend Jarrett Maupin issues statement following the scandalous and racist statements of Rep. David Stringer, calls for lawmaker to resign immediately or for House Leadership to remove him in next session for being “ethically bankrupt,” “a premeditated xenophobe,” and for practicing racism in violation of rules of conduct for state house members…

Statement Below:

“Earlier this year, I agreed to host a luncheon between Rep. Stringer and members of the Black community after he made a series of highly insensitive and ignorant remarks about people of color…

“The purpose of that meeting was two fold. First, was for Stringer to apologize and come face to face with the community he insulted. Second, was to give the community an opportunity to try and work proactively with Rep. Stringer on minority legislative priorities and to rehabilitate his views on race and the realities of racism…

“Many in the Black community are Christians and forgiveness is a foundational virtue of our faith. That said, we did as Jesus commands and as so many civil rights leaders before us attempted to do with bigots of their day – that is, to turn the other cheek…

Read More

By Milhaven for Scottsdale

Scottsdale is an amazing city that we can be proud to call home. Citizen surveys reveal that Scottsdale residents are extremely satisfied with the quality of city services. Independent rating agencies give us a AAA bond rating for our financial health. We enjoy some of the lowest sales and property tax rates in the region. We have a beautiful city!

We have a long legacy of leaders who had the vision to reimagine and reinvent Scottsdale over the years. Winfield Scott envisioned citrus farms and built an agricultural community. Leaders that followed realized the value of tourism and we became the West’s Most Western town to attract and entertain visitors.

Recognizing the value of retail to generate sales tax, we built Los Arcos Mall, one of the first indoor malls. The rodeo grounds at Camelback and Scottsdale Road became Goldwater’s Department store which is now Scottsdale Fashion Square, one of the most successful malls in the country.

The Airpark became a key employment center for the entire region. We continually expanded our City to the north by annexing land from the County.

Read More

CITES HIS ABILITY TO BRING ALL ARIZONANS TOGETHER WITH CIVILITY AND BIPARTISANSHIP

By Team Ducey

Cindy McCain today announced her strong endorsement of Doug Ducey for reelection as Arizona Governor. Mrs. McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain, serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Council on Human Trafficking and on the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council. She is committed to reducing human trafficking globally and improving the lives of victims of human trafficking.

“Doug Ducey has been a Governor for all Arizonans, working together in a bipartisan spirit to improve the quality of life for all our citizens,” Mrs. McCain said. “He has been a steadfast supporter of our efforts to stem the tide of human trafficking, and he’s consistently demonstrated a willingness and ability to bring Arizonans together in a civil and productive way. We need more of that kind of attitude in our political discourse. I’m proud to support Governor Ducey, and encourage all Arizonans to join me.”

Governor Ducey said, ”Cindy McCain has devoted her life to making our country and our state a better and safer place to live – as a businesswoman, philanthropist and tireless advocate for victims rights, military families and the health and education of children in our country and across the world. She is an Arizona treasure, and I am grateful to not only call her a friend, but also to have her on our team as we work together to secure Arizona’s future.”


I am proud to announce that I am joining Kate Gallego’s Team as chair of her campaign!

As a citizen activist and former Mayor of Phoenix, I am proud of how our City came together to develop a strong economy and build healthy neighborhoods and vibrant communities. We focused on quality growth, public safety, arts and culture and preserving Phoenix’s rich heritage.

I understand what it takes to be a successful mayor – vision, compassion, and unrelenting hard work.  That’s why I’m joining my wife Monica and son Kevin in wholeheartedly supporting Kate Gallego.

This is a critical race.  Voters will determine what kind of city Phoenix will be for decades to come. Kate has done her homework.  She is prepared to lead with total commitment to our City.  I trust her to create a prosperous Phoenix that works for everyone.

Thank you,

— Terry Goddard, former Mayor of Phoenix 

SEE MORE 2018 SCRUM
Image
Latest News

  • Guest Editorial: Finding Funding To Renovate Scottsdale Stadium⚾

    Jan 20

    By Virginia Korte One of the most important issues the City Council will address this year is the cost and scope of renovating Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants.   You may recall the original stadium was built in 1956 and, using voter-approved bond funds, it was replaced with a new building in 1992.  The last time the venue was renovated was in 2006. Historically, Scottsdale Stadium, which currently seats 12,000 people, +

  • Guest Editorial: “Nipple Rings Anyone?” Not the Next Great Experience Scottsdale Slogan

    Jan 16

    By Scottsdale Watchman Can you imagine what the Venus de Milo would look like with nipple rings? Well, Scottsdale residents don’t have to venture too far to do so. Right in the heart of the jewel of the Southwest, Old Town Scottsdale, there’s an eyesore that draws away from the rest of the beauty that surrounds it in “the West’s Most Western Town.” This blemish is known as Club Tattoo and it operates a stone’s +

  • Hovey The Hypocrite & Ominous Storm Clouds

    Jan 14

    Designed and developed by the Hovey family out of Chicago, the various Optima projects around town have been a refreshing addition to the growing multi-family real estate market in the greater Phoenix area.  Indeed, Optima Camelview adjacent to Scottsdale Fashion Square is a unique design that has and will continue to contribute to Downtown Scottsdale’s urban renaissance.  The same can be said for DMB Associates, Inc.’s nationally recognized DC Ranch community and the exemplary design +

  • Guest Editorial: SHAZAM!

    Jan 14

    By the Happy Wanderer Play-by-play announcer Al McCoy has been the voice of the Phoenix Suns for generations of radio listeners. For over 50 years, his calls have instantly transported us from wherever we are to sitting courtside right beside him. McCoy’s trademark call is “SHAZAM!” Hearing him say it, a listener knows that a Suns player has nailed a three-point shot. Something good is happening. Al hasn’t had the opportunity to announce “SHAZAM!” too +

  • Guest Editorial: The Wall That Divides Both Sides

    Jan 11

    By: Adelyn Ray The issue of who is funding the ever-elusive borderwall has caused quite an up-roar. An uproar so loud, it rang the ears of Washington, D.C. itself. Unable to come to a sound decision, the United States government has found itself at a stalemate. Closer to the Valley, however, Senators Krysten Sinema and Senator Martha McSally offer dividing viewpoints on this pressing issue. Sinema has expressed she does not support funding for the borderwall, as +

  • Disgraceful

    Jan 11

    Well that was fast.  One of the worst votes five members of the Scottsdale City Council have ever cast, collectively or individually, has now made national news.  You can read it here. This group consisting of Jim Lane, Guy Phillips, Suzanne Klapp and Solange Whitehead, led by Kathy Littlefield, should be ashamed of itself.  For they have brought shame to their city.  Why? Because Scottsdale is supposedly a city committed to the arts.  Because Arizona +

  • Guest Editorial: 2019 Wish List for Scottsdale

    Jan 9

    By Scottsdale Pinetop With any new year comes new resolutions, new issues and new opportunities. And for the Scottsdale City Council, the New Year brings a new face to the council. Here is our wish list of what we hope to see happen in Scottsdale this next year. *Electric scooters around Scottsdale are reduced by 50 percent; *Jason Alexander and Councilwoman Virginia Korte have dinner together; *The Maverick Mural, a tribute to the late John +

  • Guest Editorial: Shameful

    Jan 8

    by Scottsdale Watchman We’ve written about Dewey The Dick before. Now, Dewey Schade, America’s most challenging landlord since Stanley Roper from Three’s Company, is back at it trying to impede the creation of the “Maverick Mural” dedicated to late U.S. Senator John McCain. How does this guy sleep at night? On December 20th, Scottsdale’s Development Review Board did the right thing and approved of the request for the privately-funded red, white and blue mural on +

  • Guest Editorial: Save The Dells

    Jan 3

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Tuesday December 11 – the day the Desert Discovery Center was finally laid to rest once and for all. The Scottsdale City Council unanimously voted to put an end to the potential development of the infamous Desert EDGE within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. A well-deserved victory for the supporters of Proposition 420 and a triumph in preserving the rights of Scottsdale residents. But the Protect Our Preserve advocates are not the only +

  • Guest Editorial: 2018 Highlights of Scottsdale

    Dec 30

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Very shortly, 2018 will be a thing of the past. But it was a political year like few others full of highs and lows. Here’s a quick look back at some of the major political events in Scottsdale that helped define it as we welcome the New Year. *This has been the “Year of the Woman,” not just nationally but locally as well. While Kyrsten Sinema, Sandra Kennedy, and Kathy Hoffman’s victories captured +

  • Season’s Greetings and a Bid Farewell

    Dec 22

    By Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins Dear Friends and Neighbors, As we enjoy the Holiday Season and prepare to ring in the New Year, I offer you this final town update and a bid farewell as I near the end of my station as your Mayor. 2018 finished strong with progress and improvement across all areas of Town Government and a continued focus on public safety and customer service. The Town remains in excellent financial +

  • Guest Editorial: Bar Rescue

    Dec 21

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment area, the Valley’s nightlife epicenter, has created a number of headaches between Scottsdale residents, City Council and business owners. Really it’s a love-hate relationship. While numerous patrons have spoken in defense of the growing entertainment scene, many Scottsdale residents have become disgruntled and vocal by attacking local bars. The Rockbar in downtown Scottsdale is the latest drinking establishment to fall under Scottsdale’s hostility. Rockbar, opening in 2011, is located +

  • Guest Editorial: The Electric Epidemic Part II

    Dec 12

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Litter or Luxury? The debate rages on. Last week, we wrote about the unavoidable consequences and safety concerns surrounding the scooters proliferating throughout Scottsdale. Click here to read.  There’s no question that bike and scooter share is transforming and modernizing transportation by creating a cost efficient and colorful way of getting around. But it should not come at the expense, safety, and aesthetic of its residents. However, safety is not the only +

  • Political Rankings

    Dec 11

    With the college football playoff upcoming and the college basketball season in full swing, many are paying attention to various rankings.  Here are some as they relate to interesting, future elections: SCOTTSDALE MAYOR 2020 (Jim Lane is term-limited) Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp Councilwoman Virginia Korte Any warm body John Karolzak PHOENIX MAYOR (Special Election March 12, 2019) Former Councilwoman Kate Gallego Former Councilman Danny Valenzuela U.S. SENATE 2020 (Democrat) Ruben Gallego Mark Kelly Grant Woods SCOTTSDALE +

  • Scottsdale Wedge Issue 2020?

    Dec 10

    Were you for or against the sales tax increase to fund preservation of the McDowell Mountains?  Were you for or against the Los Arcos hockey arena proposal?  Were you for or against Proposition 420? These have been the great questions and wedge issues that have shaped Scottsdale City Council elections over the past three decades. Indeed, Proposition 420, which rallied the community to stop the Desert Discovery Center, was so resonant as to pull Kathy +

  • The Karolzak Chronicles: Volume II

    Dec 7

    We wrote before about the amusing announcement by the very weird John Karolzak that he wants to run for Mayor of Scottsdale.  Click here to read. We note that he describes himself on social media as a “health care executive.”  What a disservice to the words health, care and executive.  Dude was a lobbyist for an ambulance company.  At the state level.  At local levels throughout the Valley and region.  Records are easily available through +