We’re not sure how certain even she was of victory when she ran for Scottsdale City Council in 2018. But when you are relentlessly positive and have a wave issue like opposition to the Desert Discovery Center to ride things can, and did, turn out well for Solange Whitehead.
Two years later, after smartly and deliberately taking her time to ask questions and perform an impressive amount of government due diligence, Whitehead now serves as the most important member of the City Council.
Because unlike all of the asininity in Washington, D.C., Whitehead is a consummate problem solver. When she can’t figure out how to do so in a way that fits within her slower-growth template she will vote no on development proposals. But when she recognizes the good in a plan, or hears from compelling new voices, she is not afraid to take a fresh look at things and press all parties towards compromise for the common good.
No matter what your point of view is, and we have differed with her on numerous occasions, that’s refreshing. And it was on abundant display last night as The Kimsey – a project once in trouble – was approved via compromise and consensus, led by Whitehead.
She is a public servant that serves with a smile, genuinely pleased to have the high honor of representing those she does. In many ways, Whitehead has become the conscience of the community, an ethical and excellent barometer for most any issue that comes before the city. Her demeanor, open-mindedness and accessibility stands in marked contrast to the more dour approach at least one other displays on the dais.
Approval of The Kimsey was but one reason Scottsdale had a very good week. The other was the city’s decision to utilize one of its best resources – WestWorld – to become a high-volume, indoor vaccination site just as the weather heats up. WestWorld is best known as the home of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and numerous other events. But it’s also the city’s 240-acre Central Park, at the geographic heart of the community. There the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center massively sits, almost as if it was built for vaccination use.
The city’s smart investments in WestWorld over the years, and ratified by Scottsdale voters in the 2019 bond elections provide an economic shot in the arm for the city. Now, it will help tens of thousands get a different shot, protecting lives and livelihoods.
Thank you is due to those that have seen the incredible potential over the years to bring WestWorld more to life. They include former Scottsdale City Councilman Bob Littlefield, former Councilman Guy Phillips and former Mayor Jim Lane.
Each and many others deserve credit for evolving WestWorld into the tremendous community resource it is, now more than ever.