While former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman remains the best political cross-examiner we have ever seen, Scottsdale Planning Commissioner Larry Kush is challenging the ranking after his performance last night. Neither suffer fools gladly and Kush deserves praise for peeling back abject hypocrisy. It arrived via Scott Jarson of Jarson & Jarson Real Estate and AZ Architecture at the Scottsdale Planning Commission podium.
Jarson has been on a lonely crusade against the landmark Museum Square proposal since being fired from another project the project’s developer is involved in. It can now be said Jarson’s sluggish performances aren’t just relegated to selling homes and condos.
Last night he arrived early, in what appeared to be a Men’s Wearhouse special, submitting his speaker card early in hopes of shaping the public discussion. Men’s Wearhouse’s slogan once was: “You’re Going To Like The Way You Look.” That surely wasn’t Jarson’s last night.
After lighting into Museum Square for a variety of reasons ranging from height to parking to nonsense masquerading as revenge, Kush took the microphone. He proceeded to ask Jarson about his interest in the area. Jarson said he owned a condo unit in some proximity, dancing creatively to avoid stating that he is not a Scottsdale resident (which he is not). Kush then asked him what he did with the unit. Jarson informed him that he runs his business out of it. How many employees did he have, Kush queried? And how many independent agents? The answer was 2 and 13 but Jarson’s own website suggests there are more. Was Jarson lying or misleading? It didn’t really matter because Kush then buried him. It turns out Jarson has some 2 dedicated parking spots at his office/residential condo unit and admitted that all of his staff traffic uses street parking to transact at his “office.” We don’t know if he is violating city ordinances but it might be time to take a look see.
We surely weren’t the only ones wondering how this guy has the audacity to lecture anyone on anything? Recall that as the Chairman of the Hillside Committee in Paradise Valley Jarson has approved numerous developments that have carved up that community’s mountains. And we will leave his hypocrisy in Tempe for a future post (as need be) where he is part of a development blocking the views of adjoining neighbors, something he is now complaining about in Scottsdale. Simply put, Jarson is part of the problem in the area not part of the solution.
We have little sympathy for Jarson but it was hard not to feel for him a bit after Kush’s take down. The Jarson name is now part of new political vernacular in the city: “Don’t pull a Jarson.”
We mentioned Jarson’s lonely crusade. After he spoke, his wife did. And then nearly 25 people in favor of Museum Square including some of Scottsdale’s leading cultural institutions, art galleries, activists and businesses. That’s because they like the way it is going to look. Only one other citizen joined Jarson. His fellow online instigator, Tim Grein, couldn’t even find time the time to get off-line and show up. Maybe it is because his hypocrisy would also be revealed. Grein owns one of the units in the same, small condo complex as Jarson. Like him, he is also not a Scottsdale resident. And in keeping with the Jarson ethos of doing as I say not as I do Grein lists his unit on VRBO for up to six people even though he has no guest parking. Cue Bob Pejman and French Thompson now!
We don’t mean to dwell on the negative. After all, the Planning Commission unanimously passed Museum Square. That had a lot to do, as Commissioner Christian Serena said, with the impressive progress made by the city, the project and merchants led by Pejman and Thompson to forge a revised, powerful new catalyst for the area. Well done everyone. Well done.
Now, it’s up to the City Council not to pull a Jarson. We are confident they will not after the outpouring of support for a well-intended project that is successfully working through the process.