By Ronald Sampson
I am unapologetically a fan of pro-growth policies. I believe that our communities are better off with elected officials who believe that building is typically preferred to not building, that housing prices are best when they are suppressed by solid supply, and that NIMBYism hurts nearly all of us.
In that spirit, I was very pleased to hear that frequent contributor Larry Kush was honored by the Top 200 Experts in the Construction Industry as a ‘top expert in construction’ 3rd year in a row by Fixr.com in their annual rankings. To be named a top expert in anything once is significant, but three years in a row shows lasting power and true expertise.
Larry served on the Scottsdale Planning Commissioner for a number of years and currently serves as land sales professional. He has been quite vocal about the “Council of No”, the current makeup of the Scottsdale City Council that manages to find ways to turn down reasonable construction projects in the name of “quality growth”.
More overarchingly however, we need leadership that isn’t afraid of the NIMBY mob. Said leadership doesn’t need to be in City Council or in the traditional halls of power all the time. Leadership can be in the form of thought leadership, of penning the occasional op-ed, of lending expertise to a situation. We need subject matter experts who are able to coolly and calmly push back against the inflamed passions of the “No to EVERYTHING” crowd.
Alas, those groups band together and form loud coalitions. Those folks will travel to districts far from their home for the sake of feeling special and demanding that their voice be heard. The nature of the professional is often to be too busy to involve themselves in such a morass, and to speak in full sentences without screaming, which in this day and age often means being drowned out.
I appreciate what Larry Kush does; we only wish that we had a few handfuls of him to go and travel to planning and development meetings across the state to evangelize and spread the gospel of growth as urgently as the NIMBYs do. Maybe then our elected officials would finally hear them. We can dream…