Fact & Political Reality Check

Bob Littlefield is Scottsdale’s Bernie Sanders. He says the same thing so many times you start to respect the persistence. And he certainly can be a fun conversationalist when he is not feeling so ornery.

Despite losing badly for Mayor in 2016, following a loss for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2014, Bob Littlefield has decided to seek the Mayor’s Office again since Jim Lane is term limited. While not likely to succeed, one must admire Bob for not fearing an embarrassing political hat trick.

His curious comeback is occurring, as it did last time, while his wife Kathy sits on the City Council. This was an item of great concern to Scottsdale voters in 2016 and likely will be again. We do not offer marriage counseling, but we don’t understand why Bob can’t let his wife stand in the spotlight. After all Kathy Littlefield impressively was the top vote getter in the 2018 City Council elections and has exhibited an admirable, diplomatic approach while an office, gaining the respect even from those who may disagree with her. Bob was on the City Council for 12 years. Why shouldn’t it be her time now?

Speaking of time, earlier today Bob sent out a campaign missive entitled the “A Tale of Two Cities.” In it he describes an “Upside Down Scottsdale of tall buildings that block our views.” Odd. Bob voted for the Scottsdale Waterfront towers while on the City Council. They are the city’s tallest buildings. We don’t mean to be critical of that vote. We think history has treated it kindly. It helped spark positive investment in downtown and important, tourism-oriented open space along the Arizona Canal. Last year, Kathy Littlefield undertook a similar vote, but for a project called Museum Square. It was passed unanimously by her and the City Council. As always, Kathy was judicious and cautious with her vote but ultimately made a smart decision for the city she serves. The Scottsdale electorate is not one to say no to heights anywhere, all the time. Neither do the Littlefields, smartly.

There is a time and place for heights when a greater good can be achieved and seen. We don’t mean to sound like advocates for a free for all on height. On that we agree with Bob and others. To develop in Scottsdale is an honor and all projects should remember that. But Bob does a disservice to himself by not realizing his playbook didn’t work in 2016 and won’t in 2020 without modification. And he disserves the city as a whole with unnecessarily strident language when his history doesn’t support the narrative, thank goodness.