Guest Editorial: Deep and Diverse Community Support Grows for Scottsdale Bond Campaign

By Recker McDowell —

The campaign in favor of three Scottsdale bond questions on the November ballot is seeing diverse support.

That support is manifesting itself in different ways from different supporters.

The For The Best Scottsdale Campaign: Vote Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3 has picked up public safety endorsements. The Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association and Police Officers of Scottsdale Association (POSA) back the bond questions.

All the Scottsdale City Council (including Mayor Jim Lane) support the bonds and their investments in public safety, expanding senior centers and building new fire stations and parks. Scottsdale City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield has been a strong advocate for the bonds and why they are needed.

Scottsdale City Councilwoman Solange Whitehead and Andrea Alley, a co-chair for the For The Best Scottsdale campaign, have been talking to residents in the southern part of the city about the investments the bonds make in infrastructure repairs including fixing lakes and the Vista Del Camino dam at the southern end of Indian Bend Wash.

Bonds will also help finish repairs and upgrades at Civic Center Plaza after part of the space and Drinkwater Boulevard were closed for emergency repairs. Some of Scottsdale’s infrastructure is crumbling, literally.

Bond Campaign Co-Chair Dana Close and Steering Committee Members Alex McLaren, Sandy Schenkat and Jon Ryder have been talking about the transparency with the bond package. That includes informing voters about Scottsdale’s Bond Oversight Committee, a seven-member panel of residents who track how the city is spending money and handling contracts related to bond projects.

The 58 projects in the $319 million were put on the ballot by a unanimous Scottsdale City Council after numerous public meetings helped craft the program. Scottsdale voters have not approved a major bond package since 2000.

Community and business leaders are also supporting Questions 1, 2 and 3. The Scottsdale Charros, the Thunderbirds, Scottsdale Area Chamber or Commerce and Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors have all endorsed the bonds. They see what the investments can do not only for Scottsdale’s economic vitality but also for the community’s overall quality of life.

The bonds will build new trails at Pinnacle Peak Park, new pools and facilities at the Cactus Pool and will make Old Town Scottsdale more pedestrian friendly.

Campaign Co-Chairs Dennis Robbins and Paula Sturgeon and Steering Committee Members Gerd Wuestermann , Jim Derouin and Don Henninger have been reaching out to various audiences and constituencies including the arts community and neighborhood leaders on the importance of the bonds.

Former Mayor Mary Manross and former City Council members Ned O’Hearn, Betty Drake, Paul Messinger and Robert Pettycrew are also endorsing Questions 1, 2 and 3. The For The Best Scottsdale Bond Campaign worked with community activist Emily Austin to make sure all its signs are made of recycled materials and all those signs will be recycled.

The bond projects will benefit all parts of Scottsdale. That is drawing support from all parts the city and from all types of backers.