The old saying that politics makes strange bedfellows is becoming less relevant these days as conflict replaces consensus. There is a notable exception in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane’s call for a hybrid district system has found an unlikely ally in John Greco, a frequent Lane critic.
For months Lane has been advocating for reform in the way Scottsdale elects council members. His proposed hybrid district system would see three council members elected from newly created districts in the northern, central and southern city while the mayor and three council members would continue to be elected at large. The reasoning is simple, there has not been a resident of South Scottsdale elected to the council in more than a decade.
Greco outlined his rationale for the reform in a recent letter to the editor in the April 1st section of the Scottsdale Republic. The letter states in part:
“I applaud the mayor’s suggestion as a step in the right direction. It offers an opportunity for more representation and is at least worth a try.”
Anyone who reads letters to the editor in the Republic or Scottsdale Independent would be familiar with Greco. He is a frequent contributor who has delivered forceful yet thoughtful letters on LGBT ordinances, the Desert Discovery Center, the Scottsdale Entertainment District, and a long list of other issues. Often, he has been critical of Mayor Jim Lane’s handling of these issues.
Greco’s decision to praise and support a major pillar of Jim Lane’s efforts to reform city government demonstrates a maturity we seldom see in modern political discourse. It demonstrates that two people who may disagree on a large number of issues can agree on a policy that serves the greater good. It would have been easy for Mr. Greco to remain silent on Lane’s hybrid district proposal. Instead, he has endorsed it giving it greater credibility among Lane opponents. It’s one thing to be part of the opposition.
It’s quite another to be part of the loyal opposition. Mr. Greco exemplifies the latter.
A quick footnote. Bob Littlefield never called Mayor Lane to concede the mayor’s race nor has he had one kind word for his former opponent. He continues to be the poster child for the dwindling list of Scottsdale naysayers who would rather hurl insults at City Hall than work to make things better. Bob could learn a lot from Mr. Greco.