There are a few words you just never use. One starts with “N.” The other begins with a “C.” To the broader business community a vocabulary doesn’t have a first letter with an “M,” as in moratorium.
Frustrated with the pace of potential changes to parking plans and ordinances in the Old Town Scottsdale area City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield is actually suggesting halting all development in the area via a moratorium until the issue is resolved.
We are often the first to congratulate reformers and those looking to exhibit leadership. But to suggest that Scottsdale city government use its awesome powers to suspend property rights and stop those who want to invest in Old Town until resolution of a complex matter is downright scary, dangerous dialogue.
We can understand Councilwoman Littlefield’s frustrations. But to resort to such extremism not appreciating the real and unintended effects is unlike her.
In both demeanor and policy, she has been remarkably measured. Everyone knows that Councilwoman Littlefield hails a more cautious approach when it comes to certain business matters. Yet, she has surprised many with her judicious votes approving some projects while rejecting others. And when it comes to tourism matters and special events she has been among the industry’s loudest cheerleaders.
Mulligans are often used in golf. They should be with Littlefield now, so long as she understands the consequences of her suggestion. Simply put: investment will pursue safer harbors if it believes a local community is too difficult, extreme or even willing to take away rights for a relatively minor policy matter.
Littlefield has done many things right during her time on council. She has been an ethical, affable and accessible public servant. But her expanded vocabulary, at least in this case, doesn’t serve her beloved city well.