When I co-founded China Mist Tea in 1982, we were proud to set up shop in Scottsdale and start growing our business. It’s a great city where the business climate let us do what we do best: work with people, identify challenges and find solutions to those challenges by working together.
Whether it’s been in the public or private sector, I’ve always been a problem solver. I threw my hat in the ring for Scottsdale City Council, not to run against someone, but because I’ve seen for the past 30 years the good that can be accomplished in this city when people work together. Our city prides itself on being an inclusive community where families can work, live and enjoy the beautiful desert landscape.
As I found out first-hand, it is also a fantastic place to do business and grow a company past what people thought was possible. Part of that strong business climate was created by the belief that while our city holds many diverse viewpoints, ultimately it’s more important to bring people together instead of creating divisions that prevent progress.
I’m not running with grand political aspirations or to advance an agenda for special interests; I’m simply a proud resident that wants to work together to solve problems. That’s what I did as CEO at China Mist Tea and that’s what I aspire to do as councilman. There is no challenge too tall or issue too difficult that we can’t find a path forward on together.
Nobody in Scottsdale should fear discrimination, regardless of one’s race, gender or sexual orientation. One of my top priorities will be to bring people of different backgrounds together and find an anti-discrimination solution that respects the rights of every Scottsdale resident and keeps us as a city welcome to everyone.
I’ve worked with the Experience Scottsdale, the former Scottsdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, for many years on the idea of a Desert Discovery Center, but I’ve always believed the proposal must be limited and respectful of our unique desert landscape in north Scottsdale. Any final plan must protect our open spaces and the funds of Scottsdale taxpayers.
And, while we wait for the final vision to be presented to the council late next year, let’s explore alternative solutions that make sense for our community. Exploring innovative partnerships with institutions like Taliesin West could reduce and redefine the footprint of the DDC and the final cost to taxpayers.
Scottsdale should always be a business-friendly community and that means mapping out a long-term vision for transportation and infrastructure. Instead of eliminating ideas like mass-transit before studying them, we should be open to creative ideas and then come together on a plan that moves our city ahead.
Currently, our City Council has no representative that lives south of Shea, which makes many residents feel like they don’t have a voice. I will stand up and make sure their interests are represented and we invest in south Scottsdale. One of our transportation focuses can have Light Rail included in the city’s master transportation plan south of Thomas Road, with a particular emphasis on the east-west corridor along McDowell Road. That area can develop into a high density, high-wage employment area if the infrastructure for the area includes Light Rail. Without it, the area cannot compete with other urban core areas along the light rail route.
I’m proud to be a business owner and resident of Scottsdale and I believe in its present and its future. But we can only build a bridge to the next generation by exhibiting leadership that unites our community instead of dividing it. I would be humbled to have your vote on November 8th and get our City Council back to solving problems.
Editor’s note: Mr. Schweiker is a candidate for Scottsdale City Council