Guest Editorial: Scottsdale Can Elevate Its Quality of Life Even More By Investing in Our Future

By Vernon B. Parker —

I once had the honor of serving as the Mayor of Paradise Valley. There I opposed unnecessary government spending and new taxes that were not needed.  Today, the Town is better off because of those efforts.

Now, I proudly live in Scottsdale. Scottsdale’s fantastic quality of life is elevated by our wonderful amenities, well-maintained infrastructure and well-equipped first responders.

A world-class city doesn’t just happen. A premier community takes planning and smart investing.  More importantly, it takes good infrastructure.  That is where Voting Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3 on the November 5th ballot comes in. This infrastructure package invests $319 million into 58 projects in all parts of Scottsdale.

Does that cost homeowners a few bucks? It does, but it’s worth it, especially since the impacted secondary property taxes are projected to keep going down due to a variety of factors. While this package is certainly not free, as some councilmembers have noted, there is little question that each taxpayer still comes out ahead.

Taxes would go down a little more if people voted new infrastructure down, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense if taxes will still decline even if we vote Yes. That is why this fiscally conservative Republican will join others in voting Yes on all three questions.

When I served as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for President George W. Bush, I also learned about the need to plan ahead, and to shore up infrastructure, to avoid future problems. Good infrastructure served farming and small communities well.

Scottsdale voters have not approved a major bond initiative since 2000, leaving citywide infrastructure in need of repairs and improvements. Some of our infrastructure is literally crumbling.

We learned about these failures the hard way when Drinkwater Boulevard and parts of Civic Center Plaza were forced to close because of emergency repairs to a bridge that was about to fall down.  But for those repairs, lives could have been lost.

Now is the time to be proactive and address our infrastructure needs prior to them becoming unmanageable.  I would oppose this initiative if I believed our Mayor and Council were mismanaging our budgetary resources and spending unwisely. Scottsdale’s taxes are low, and its bond ratings are high partly because of sound fiscal management.

The bond initiative on the November 5th ballot will complete repairs to the Civic Center, furthering its ability to host arts, community, cultural and other special events.

Voters should also have confidence in an extra layer of transparency; It’s called the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee.  This Committee will be put in place to monitor spending and make sure money is being spent properly on voter-approved projects.

I am proud to call Scottsdale home, and to make this city even better and stronger by voting Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3 by November 5th.  I hope you will also.

Vernon Parker is a Scottsdale resident and serves on the Steering Committee of For The Best Scottsdale: Vote Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3.