By Councilman Guy Phillips, Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp, Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield
The City Council recently came to unanimous agreement to call a general obligation bond election on November 5, 2019 on three questions, with 58 capital projects totaling $319 million.
The three of us served earlier this year on the Council’s Capital Improvement Projects subcommittee with the goal to bring a list of projects to the Council for a potential bond election. We each had pledged in May of 2018 to work to accomplish a bond election in 2019, and we were good for our word.
We are pleased with the efficient process of our subcommittee as well as with the outcome. After five subcommittee meetings from January through March and seven citizen outreach meetings all over Scottsdale, we whittled down an initial $730 million project list and brought a package of three questions with projects totaling about $350 million to the Council for review and discussion. This package eliminated projects that had other potential funding sources, i.e. General Fund revenues, Transportation sales taxes, storm water fees, and other sources.
The amount of citizen input prior to our Council deliberation was very gratifying and helpful in settling on the right mix of projects for a bond election. Hundreds of citizens attended the outreach presentation meeting on all the proposed projects, and thousands responded online.
After two meetings, the Council agreement came about by building consensus on the most important projects to take to the voters, by considering all the input received in citizen outreach discussions, and by assuring that any bond package would not increase secondary property taxes. For those who might think the bond package can still be changed, please know that the 58 projects will remain as agreed, the Council votes were cast, and the election has been called.
As for our next steps during this period before the election, we intend to advocate for passage of all three questions. In fact, we have already begun attending neighborhood meetings to discuss the list of projects, and we are available, individually or collectively, to come to HOA meetings, citizens groups, and other forums to explain each project in detail or the overall package in general.
Just as citizens were included in discussions before the Council approved a bond election, we feel strongly that citizens should have the opportunity for dialogue on these important capital projects for the City throughout the election period.