A year ago Scottsdale was on its back. Its largest industry, tourism, had been leveled. Tax revenues were plunging. Scottsdale Fashion Square had been violated by looters and lunatics. Small businesses were boarding up their storefronts when they weren’t closing. The future seemed bleak.
Then it wasn’t.
Hindsight often tells us if key decisions by government were right, or wrong. It now, fairly clearly, shows that Scottsdale’s leaders led by City Manager Jim Thompson got it right, with foresight.
It couldn’t have been easy. Government decision-making during COVID, by nearly all states and cities, has seemed like jazz. Improvise as you play, and hope it is good music, and policy.
While conscientious about public safety, Scottsdale’s City Council and Manager sagaciously displayed a critical regard for its business community, unlike so many others across the state and country.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve remained open, in marked contrast to Phoenix’s approach, providing relief and recreation.
Parks allowed for youth leagues of all kinds to get outside and rediscover the joys of competition and camaraderie. Again, in stark contrast to the Phoenix way.
Special events at WestWorld and elsewhere were allowed to proceed, creating revenues and responsible revelry.
As a result of its “can do attitude” Scottsdale became a place for those around the country to escape to, much like destinations in Florida.
The result is a more rapid recovery and a red-hot housing market second to few, which is now enriching every homeowner in the city.
History is shaped by those in the captain’s chair when crisis calls. Scottsdale is very lucky to have had those in office and position during the past year’s trauma. Next time you see them, thank them. It was a job very well done, even in hindsight.