Winners: Kathy Littlefield, Guy Phillips & Solange Whitehead. Phillips and Littlefield had opposed previous bond efforts. Not this time. Nor did newcomer Whitehead who frequently votes with either or both. The three stood up for Scottsdale with integrity and independence and the community is the better for it.
Winners: Conscientious Activism. There were many reasons for the landslide bond win. People and companies stepping up to donate generously during a time of city need. A smart package put together by the City Council and city staff. But there were also citizens normally skeptical of City Hall that stepped forward to support the plan. Copper Phillips. Betty Janik. Mike Norton. Andrea Alley. Sonnie Kirtley. Jason Alexander. And numerous others. The big victory would not have happened without them.
Winners: Lane & Milhaven. A comprehensive bond victory had been missing from their political resumes. Not anymore.
Winners: Klapp & Korte. It is easy in an emerging rivalry to take one side just because the other adopts the opposite position. But at heart Korte and Klapp are two people who want good for Scottsdale more than they want the title of Mayor. And that showed in this election.
Winner: Melinda Gulick. Often harpooned and lampooned in 2018 for her defense of the Desert Discovery Center and opposition to Proposition 420 Gulick didn’t let defeat stand in the way of standing up for SUSD. That’s character. The same can be said for Paula Sturgeon who was Gulick’s wing woman for the efforts above. She co-chaired the campaign and did an admirable, effective job doing so.
Winner: Right Direction. Extensive polling was undertaken during the bond campaign and, at the end, those in Scottsdale who thought the city was headed in the right direction as opposed to the wrong track increased. That’s the sign of a strong, positive campaign. Indeed, the final poll in mid-October showed a Right Direction/Wrong Track number of 75%-20%, the highest number we can ever recall seeing in Scottsdale.
Winners: Mary Manross and JD Hayworth. Both provided voiceovers for targeted television commercials during the bond campaign. An unusual political twosome but that was the nature of the campaign in general. People came together for a common purpose.
Losers: Potential Donors Who Didn’t Give. Scottsdale’s All-Stars and many others stepped up big-time to fund what campaigns do: communicate. You can rarely win a campaign if you don’t have gas in the tank and this one was firing on all cylinders from the outset thanks to that generosity. Unfortunately, not all responded to the call. Those asked numerous times to donate but who did not included the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Tom Frankel, Taylor Morrison, Tyler Kent, the redevelopers of Papago Plaza and APS. They were among those who didn’t show the love for Scottsdale when so many others did. It’s hard to find disappointment in the Tuesday results. These folks qualify, however.
Losers: The Crazy Caucus. Led by John Washington and Emily Austin they believe everything in Scottsdale is corrupt and wrong. They are so far removed from respect and reality that no one takes them seriously, and they have lost all credibility to effect change and progress. It’s as if they are speaking into a small section of the Grand Canyon and expect people to hear them on the other side. It’s sad and comical. In opposing everything, including the bonds, they stand for nothing other than being the ridicule of the water cooler. Indeed, we can think of no better way to describe how most everyone in Scottsdale feels about Austin than this hilarious scene from The Hangover. Enjoy. Here is the link.
And we hope Scottsdale enjoys the fruits of a wonderful campaign coalition who set an example for civic endeavor. Just like those who came before to do significant things, future generations will thank you for Tuesday’s historic vote.