Scottsdale’s Strange But Excellent Bedfellows

We are critics of former Scottsdale City Councilman David Smith’s legal broadside against Jason Alexander, the Scottsdale citizen perhaps single-handedly most responsible for the delightful deconstruction of the Desert Discovery Center last year.

Yet, we were gratified to see Smith and Alexander working together, albeit indirectly, as they both submitted ballot arguments for Scottsdale’s upcoming vote to improve its infrastructure.

Here are the poignant words of Smith and Alexander encouraging Yes votes on Questions 1, 2 & 3 on the November ballot:

David Smith:

I support passage of all three Bond 2019 questions.  Together, they are an important way for citizens to protect the value of their own real estate investments.  City assets like roads, parks, libraries and public safety facilities comprise our collective “front yard.” As such, it is in our self-interest to manage and maintain them as responsibly as we would our own homes.

• The cost is minimal!  Compared to the property values protected, the annual tax impact will be modest; just 28.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation or $8.99 a month for the average Scottsdale homeowner.  Moreover, it is unlikely Scottsdale homeowners will see any increase in their secondary property tax, since new bonds would be issued to coincide with the retirement of old bonds.

• The burden will be shared!  Almost half the debt service for new bonds will be borne by the business community and non-resident Scottsdale property owners.  For several projects, matching grant monies will add to the purchasing power of the city’s investments.

• The time is now!  It’s been 20 years since voters last approved a major General Obligation Bond election to finance new and replacement infrastructure.  That’s almost a generation ago; our city was smaller then and our assets were newer. Now is the time to restore what was lost, rebuild what is used and worn, and revitalize what makes Scottsdale unique.

Scottsdale’s coveted AAA bond rating reflects more than just reasonable debt levels.  This highestpossible rating also recognizes our citizens’ responsible approach to managing their City assets.  I urge you to join me in support of our AAA rated community by voting YES on all three questions.  Approval of these important investments will ensure Scottsdale remains a “Most Livable City.”

David N. Smith Scottsdale City Treasurer (2009-13) Scottsdale City Councilman (2015-19)

Jason Alexander: 

I am voting Yes for Questions 1, 2 and 3. I am proud of the inclusive process that shaped the list of projects. Kathy Littlefield and Council provided leadership. Citizens had a seat at the table and their opinions were richly incorporated into the proposal. The projects provide so much to the residents, and also help the business and tourism communities. YES on 1, 2 and 3 is a well-crafted compromise that benefits the diverse interests in Scottsdale.

Taxes will not be significantly affected. I think the benefits to our quality of life are worth the tax investment. I know the citizen-led Bond Oversight Committee will watch over the expenditures, and ensure they are spent efficiently.

I share with many people a deep frustration over how the City Council is growing Scottsdale – too tall, too dense, too transient. However, Questions 1, 2 & 3 are a separate topic and should be taken as a separate decision. Whatever growth brings us, the residents will want to have our parks, public safety and infrastructure.  If you want to change Scottsdale’s trajectory, get involved in the 2020 election. Elect resident-focused candidates who stand for slow, healthy growth. Four of the seven City Council positions are up for election in 2020.

Please vote Yes for Questions 1, 2 and 3.

Jason Alexander, Resident Advocate, Founder of NoDDC in favor of Prop 420

Mayor Lane coined the phrase #ScottsdaleAtItsBest. Smith and Alexander’s unknown collaboration truly is. Now, if that spirit could apply to matters beyond the bond we might really be onto something.