Littlefield to challenge Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane in November 2016

Former City Councilman Bob Littlefield is challenging Jim Lane for the station of Scottsdale mayor in November 2016.

Bob Littlefield

Bob Littlefield

Mr. Littlefield filed his election paperwork with the Scottsdale City Clerk’s Office Thursday, Dec. 3 making him eligible to pursue the mayor’s seat next November. The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

“I thought about what I wanted to do and I decided what I wanted to do is run for mayor,” he said in a Dec. 7 phone interview.

Mr. Littlefield says he his formal announcement will come this January.

“Everyone who is involved locally knows,” he said of word-of-mouth advertising. “My theory is that if you look at the polling on every issue that is important to Scottsdale voters, Jim is on the wrong side. I think I have a pretty good shot at winning.”

Mr. Littlefield spent more than a decade as an elected leader of the city of Scottsdale from the 2002 until 2014 opting for a run of the Arizona House.

“I think there are two big issues where the current council majority of which Jim is a part are wrong,” he pointed out. “They are not listening to the residents. The other are fiscal issues.”

Mr. Littlefield says Mayor Lane does not listen to the residents he was elected to represent and scoffs at the notion the mayor is a “fiscal conservative.”

“Mayor Lane contends to be a fiscal conservative — the whole reason we needed bonds here recently was because we didn’t cut spending during the recession,” he said.

“I made that point while I was still on council. Also, we are approving development after development that is not just bad aesthetically but also from a financial point of view.”

Jim Lane

Jim Lane

Mayor Lane, who is in his second term, has a different perspective.

“No, it doesn’t change my focus at all,” Mayor Lane said in response to being asked if Mr. Littlefield entering the 2016 mayoral race will change his campaign focus. “That focus will be in keeping the city solid and evolving.”

Mayor Lane says managing the municipality through the Great Recession and recovery years has put the city of Scottsdale on excellent financial footing.

“I am a fiscal conservative and I would propose that I have been a successful one,” he said in a Dec. 8 phone interview. “We have accomplished things in a city that is in a different league in regard to taxes and costly regulations. I am a fiscal conservative but that doesn’t mean I am a total obstructionist as we move forward with regard to infrastructure projects.”

Mayor Lane says pointing to the recent bond election is an example of his fiscal conservancy as he voted against the original iteration of the Scottsdale 2015 general obligation bond package and its proposed appearance on the 2015 ballot.

“He is probably going to say I was publicly out in front of the bond issue and we worked hard for that,” Mayor Lane said. “There were things that were eliminated. The first time it appeared I voted against it.”

Mayor Lane says he is after the promotion of business within city limits and the auxiliary benefits of such efforts will grow economic development opportunities citywide.

“He (Mr. Littlefield) has be an obstructionist not with just tax increases but taxable actions through business,” he explained. “We have been promoting business and Bob has not. The idea is to promote business to increase the taxable activity in the city.”

When it comes to development projects approved — specifically multifamily housing — Mayor Lane says projects are built under the assumption the market has a desire for it and he isn’t making any apologies.

“It is a market response and there isn’t any doubt it is a competition that we remain responsive to — the marketplace,” he said. “We look for quality not just quantity. It all plays into how you move the city forward. There is nothing on my side that I will be apologizing for.”

Mr. Littlefield contends under Mayor Lane’s watch the city is moving backwards rather than forward.

“I was there for 12.5 years, I am not just someone where talk is cheap,” he said. “I have not only talked the talk but also walked the walk. I think I have pretty consistent record and a pretty good story to tell.”

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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