By Sonnie Kirtley
How and where Scottsdale has grown has been a longstanding concern for residents and neighborhoods. Scottsdale voters will have an opportunity this November to chart the best possible course for our community’s future with long-term and unifying support.
The opportunity comes on the November 2019 ballot through Questions 1, 2 and 3. The three bond measures invest in long-overdue infrastructure repairs and community projects across our city that will support and improve our quality of life.
Scottsdale’s residents and neighborhoods will see and feel the benefits from the bonds in both the short and long-term. Citywide support is surfacing from diverse neighborhoods. I attended 90% plus of the early morning city council Capital Improvement Subcommittee public meetings for more than a year where they carefully deliberated ALL of the projects submitted by every department in the city. The final 58 projects in the $319 million bond that represent the public open house and internet responses from the community were approved 7-0 by the city council to be on the ballot. You can review the details of this list on the city website at https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/elections/bond-2019-project-list
So, what does it include? The bond package includes renovating hiking trails and expanding parking at Pinnacle Peak Park, expanding the Via Linda and Granite Reef senior centers and renovating police and fire stations that serve our neighborhoods. The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park will also see improvements. A new 17-acre park will be built in the Whisper Rock area and a new dog park added at Thompson Peak Park. Lakes will be repaired in the far southern areas of Indian Bend Wash where they now leak –wasting water supplies. These are developments we can all support.
The three bonds also make needed and essential infrastructure repairs throughout Scottsdale. Some of those repairs are needed immediately because of budget cuts during the last recession. The bond package replaces aging infrastructure inside the downtown Civic Center as well as builds new infrastructure which helps our critical tourism and small business communities.
A new bridge will be built on Thompson Peak Parkway over Reata Pass Wash to improve safety and flood mitigation. Aging buildings will be replaced at the Paiute Community Center that is in southern Scottsdale. It is home to important community services including Head Start and Boys & Girls Club programs as well as domestic violence help and emergency food boxes for families in need.
All those investments are sorely needed and overdue to help our neighborhoods and our neighbors. Over my 50 years as a Scottsdale resident, Scottsdale has often debated who is in charge: Developers or the Residents? This package clearly spells out who —Residents.