Guest Editorial: Year in Review

By Councilwoman Tammy Caputi

Councilwoman Caputi here, wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Here’s a look back at 2022 accomplishments:

Most importantly, we’ve managed our finances exceptionally well in the midst of an historically high level of economic uncertainty. Despite record high inflation, a crisis in the supply chain, and labor shortages, Scottsdale has improved our balance sheet by increasing cash reserves and paying down public safety pension liabilities.

We funded a police pay step system for all sworn personnel, which helps us attract and retain the best employees for this critical department. We also gave raises to all city employees, which ensures that we take care of those who serve our community.

Problems with Short Term Rentals have disrupted our neighborhoods, and as soon as the State Legislature allowed it, we passed new rules to manage them. We have more to do, but it’s a good start.

We updated our council rules of procedure, to make sure everyone on the dais has an equal voice on all decisions. We’re a Golden Rule City, and council should model the behavior we’d like to see in the rest of our community.

We updated our Drought Management Plan and created a Sustainability Plan and a Heat Mitigation Plan, which will have far-reaching impacts on our community’s health, infrastructure, and economic well-being. Every drop of water is precious in the desert and Scottsdale has been preparing for drought conditions for decades.

We unanimously agreed to adopt the latest updated building codes which puts us at the cutting edge of most cities in the country. Scottsdale is a leader in sustainability and adopting the updated codes means we’ll remain out in front.

We are continuing to work on our Capital Improvement Program, so we can build, maintain, and improve our infrastructure to serve our community and remain the gold standard in the Valley.

We approved a few quality projects, like the Artisan, The Miller, and High Street Residential, that bring community benefits such as affordable housing units, investments in neighborhood schools, water conservation, and open space. The few projects we approved are bringing much needed housing and revitalization to currently blighted or empty lots.

We need a diversity of housing to remain a successful world class city that continues to attract residents, businesses, and tourists. If we want to have a meaningful impact on climate and affordable housing, we need to be looking at projects that use resources most efficiently.

Our job on council is to create policies that improve the lives of our residents and business owners, not to overreach into the private sector. We have a free market, capitalist economy, and government should not be micromanaging private businesses and individual choices.

In 2023, let’s make sure our actions match our words. Let’s balance preserving our neighborhoods with maintaining our robust economy. This is what allows us to have the high amenities and open space, strong property values and low property taxes that Scottsdale is famous for.

Successful, sustainable cities do not stagnate.