Mayor Lane: giving south Scottsdale a bigger voice and a vote

It’s been more than 10 years since a resident of south Scottsdale served on the city council. This isn’t a criticism, but it is a reality. There is a way we can change that reality.

Jim Lane

Jim Lane

I am proposing a “hybrid” district system. Under this scenario, residents in defined south, central, and north Scottsdale districts would each select their own councilmembers. In addition three members will continue to serve at large. The mayor as always will serve at large.

I really believe this gives us the best of both worlds. Three council members from three districts tasked with focusing on the issues impacting three distinct parts of the city. Meanwhile we will have the other three councilmembers and the mayor focusing on the city as a whole.

Since I proposed this idea the response has thus far been extremely positive. My goal is to give south Scottsdale, as well as central and north Scottsdale, a better, more distinct voice in city government. This is not a criticism of the current council, which has done a good job of serving these three distinct parts of the city.

What we have here is an opportunity to go from good to great. While it is one thing to study and speculate on how to serve south Scottsdale, it’s another to have someone who lives in south Scottsdale at the table making the decisions. The same theory applies to north and central Scottsdale.

I have always considered myself a reformer. I like to think we have helped transform city government into an entity that operates more efficiently and with greater transparency while at the same time being more responsive to the needs of our residents.

This district system is a logical extension of that mindset. More importantly, it’s an effort to swing wide the doors of Scottsdale City Hall to residents who care deeply about their neighborhoods.

There would be a lot of work to be done. A council-appointed citizens committee would help us create the district boundaries. This is not a top down proposal.
If this gets to the ballot and if voters approve, we could start seeing this change as soon as 2018.

As I seek a third term as mayor of Scottsdale, it would be easy to stay the course and hope for the best. But that’s not my way of doing things. What motivates me is to make Scottsdale a better place, a special place; a place where all voices are heard.

I refer to Scottsdale as the best city in America not because I hope it to be true, but because I know it to be true.

I also know that if we can give south Scottsdale, and indeed all of Scottsdale, more of a role in governing our city we will move from better times to the best of times.

Editor’s note: Mr. Lane is the mayor of Scottsdale and seeking re-election this August

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.