A Political Drought Contingency Plan For Scottsdale

Read the Arizona Republic or Arizona Capitol Times recently and you surely will see comprehensive coverage on the state’s “Drought Contingency Plan” or DCP. 

Designed to forestall projected shortages with Colorado River water allotments DCP is a desperate answer to a scary situation.  As a result, its negotiation and passage has become a new model for bi-partisanship.  Just last week President Trump signed a bill drafted by liberal southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva.  Before that it was the entire Arizona delegation working together to pass the critical plan.  And before that it was Governor Ducey working with the state’s leading legislative Democrats to do right by our state.  Remarkable.  Refreshing. 

We wrote earlier this week about a similar result by the Scottsdale City Council.  All factions came together to compromise and collaborate on a compelling new bond package to improve the city’s public safety, parks, senior services and infrastructure. 

Photo by Arianna Grainey / Scottsdale Independent

Why? Because Scottsdale is going through a drought of its own, but a kind involving a lack of investment in what makes the community great.  The city has not passed a meaningful bond package for 19 years.  That’s not a typo.  The bond back in 2000 made possible libraries, bike paths, sports fields, pools, tennis courts, senior centers, fire stations, police buildings, roads and intersection improvements that contribute to everyone’s quality of life throughout the city.  It’s hard to imagine Scottsdale without all of those good things. 

Three bond packages since have largely been voted down save for some smallish public safety items.  

Ironically, those failures not only help justify the need for the current package but because it has been so long since a bond was passed the property tax financing that bond is actually coming off the books next year.  That means Scottsdale voters can actually support $319 million in new community improvements and still see their taxes go down because the bonds passed in 2000 were actually for an amount larger than that being requested in the November election later this year!

Over the next many months we’re optimistic that we’ll see Scottsdale come together for this plan like Arizona did for drought.  It should.  And in so doing will remind us all that the civic consensus of Scottsdales past just might lead to an even better future.