Adam Kwasman and His Weird Views

By Alexander Lomax

Photo Credit: Ross Franklin

I appreciate fiscal conservatism and pride myself on having a watchdog eye on how our taxpayer dollars are spent. It’s our money, we should demand that it is used well. I am also pragmatic by nature, and realize that a race down to zero taxes often leads to a diminished quality of life, which is far from ideal in a city where we celebrate a fantastic quality of life.

With that in mind, Adam Kwasman’s recent op-ed just demonstrated that he is willing to violate all of these principles in a sad, unfortunate attempt to stick out in his campaign for Scottsdale City Council.

For those who are unaware, Kwasman is referring to the Protect and Preserve proposal that will be on the ballot in Scottsdale this November. It will replace the current 0.2% sales tax dedicated to protecting the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with a 0.15% sales tax dedicated to protecting the preserve as well as improvement and maintenance for all of the city’s parks.

Where do I even start? Well, for starters, do you enjoy the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and our best-in-class parks system? Well tough luck if Kwasman has his way. He’s apparently in favor of cutting all funding for it while giving empty lip service to how great the parks are. Hopefully, maybe, they’ll figure out a way to find some funding at some point, but until then his misguided proposal would cause our parks to fall into disarray (after which, he would almost certainly blame someone else).

As for how he intends to fund that maintenance, does he favor a property tax increase? Considering that north Scottsdale does the heavy lifting there, contributing over 50% of the city’s property tax receipts, he would then be penalizing north Scottsdale specifically…not wise. So what’s your solution, Kwasman? Because “we’ll figure it out” is not a solution.

Next, Kwasman has the gall to say that “only 18% of the new, billion-dollar tax is going to the preserve, itself. The rest goes to a citywide slush fund, with empty promises and hot air about how that money will end up helping parks.” With this, he only demonstrates that he couldn’t have been bothered to read the task force’s recommendations, since they very clearly spoke to how the funds would be used. From the recommendations themselves:

There it is. About half is dedicated to helping improve the older of our city’s 46 parks. Is he outraged that some may need a new playground? Is there some shadowy Big Playground complex that he fears is the master of puppets in Scottsdale?

You might be thinking, “that’s a bit vague, why isn’t there more information?” And if Kwasman had actually read the recommendations, he would know that there is more information on that, as you can see below:

Do you feel like your local tax dollars are used somewhat effectively, and that we have nice parks? Well the current initiative is calling for a 25 PERCENT REDUCTION in those taxes and yet believes that it can make our parks even better as a result. Isn’t that the very definition and ideal execution of fiscal conservatism?

Only in the world of politics, where politicians will defame their own mother if it means a bump in the polls, would a tax cut combined with enhanced services be a bad thing to some. And with this stance, Kwasman was either unwilling to educate himself or is purposely lying to you. With his deeply misguided and/or disingenuous views he is showing himself to be unfit to represent you or anyone else.