Whitehead: In opposition to Scottsdale’s ‘G-101’ unit purchase

On Tuesday, the City Council will decide whether to spend $3 million to purchase and renovate a downtown condo.

Solange Whitehead

The Museum of the West will use the condo for office space.

This is a bad deal for Scottsdale and I will vote NO.

I have many reasons for opposing the proposal. Below, I list three:

  1. When taxes are increasing, the city should simultaneously tighten its financial belt. That means cutting spending for all non-essential items.
  2. The city will borrow Capital Improvement Funds (CIP) to buy the condo. The CIP is a public safety account, not a savings account. These funds are for maintaining bridges and other infrastructure to keep Scottsdale safe. I oppose “borrowing” from this account.
  3. The public’s money should not be used for tourism venues. The Museum of the West receives a considerable amount of bed tax dollars generated by visitors. Bed taxes are hotel taxes paid by visitors.

The condo will be purchased and renovated with (non-tourism) public dollars and it appears the public will pick up the tab for the $500/month HOA fees and other ongoing costs.

General Fund and CIP dollars are needed to operate our city, keep the public safe, and should only be invested in public amenities.

To keep taxes low, we have to rigidly limit how public dollars are spent. This proposal, which is tied to the proposed Museum Square development, seems too far out of bounds.

On Tuesday, I hope my colleagues on Council will agree and join me in opposition to this proposal.

Editor’s Note: Solange Whitehead is a Scottsdale City Councilwoman.

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