There are gadflies at City Halls. Every town or city has one, two or more. And then there are gadflies. Like big gad, horse flies. They don’t come any uglier or smellier than Mark Stuart in Scottsdale.
It’s not that he’s anti-establishment. Nothing much wrong with that. It’s that he’s in La La Land. But his music isn’t pretty. And typically lands in the dark, conspiratorial realm of the Art Bell coin.
And it’s not that he’s anti-Desert Discovery Center. So are we.
But as he approached the podium during a Scottsdale City Council meeting on Tuesday night his intentions were clear, and in violation of the law.
One cannot use government resources to proselytize about a political campaign. And that’s exactly what Stuart was attempting to do at a government run meeting, broadcast on public television.
He was warned not once, not twice but multiple times not to proceed by Mayor Jim Lane on the advice of the City Attorney. Stuart ignored all polite requests by Lane. Indeed, the mayor went to extraordinary lengths to explain that this law applies not just to those that wish to electioneer to oppose the Desert Discovery Center but to those that support it too. To coin a Fox News phrase, Lane’s approach was fair and balanced.
But Stuart didn’t want to adhere to the law. When given every chance to adhere he chose to disrupt. The Scottsdale Police Department could not have been more courteous and conscientious in escorting him out of the Kiva.
For anyone to suggest that Stuart is a martyr or this was Lane again being disrespectful to the anti-DDC position is preposterous. We either have laws, or we don’t.
The rhetorical thugs behind their DDC opposition, so thoroughly discredited by the city’s recent election results as well as insight such as this , don’t understand this. But the responsible, reasonable majority of Scottsdalians do. But don’t take our word for it, take Councilmembers Guy Phillips and Kathy Littlefield. Usual Stuart sympathizers on matters, they didn’t raise a finger or word to aid Stuart. Because even they knew no martyr was in their presence, just a goofy gadfly.