Scottsdale City Council gifts reported

Most of the reported gifts by Scottsdale City Councilmembers are tickets to various local events and fundraisers. Pictured is Scottsdale Councilwoman Virginia Korte at the 2018 Experience Scottsdale Annual Report event. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Items ranging from tickets to high-profile events to a belt-and-wallet set from China, are all examples of gifts received by Scottsdale’s elected officials in recent years.

Scottsdale City Council members received a number of items or gestures deemed “gifts” in recent years, a records request shows, although none of the reported items appear to raise any red flags.

A records request through the Scottsdale City Clerk’s office for reported gifts from 2016 through May 2019 shows a total of 91 individual declaration of gift forms split between seven individuals. The bulk of the reported gifts are donated tickets to local events and fundraisers, with the lion’s share of the reported gifts belonging to Mayor Jim Lane.

Scottsdale’s declaration of gifts form stipulates that a received gift must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office within five business days after acceptance of an applicable gift, personal benefit or other item in excess of $25 in value.

Between January 2016 through May 2019, Mr. Lane has filed 49 declaration of gifts forms, many of which designate his duty of representing Scottsdale.

His 2016 gifts include two tickets to the Drive the Dream Gala Fundraiser valued at $1,000 each from Childhelp Co-Founders Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson; two tickets for Sara Hutchings Clardy Scholarship Luncheon valued at $30 where the mayor was invited to be the keynote speaker; and a scarf valued at $40 from the Sister Cities of Haikou, China.

Mayor Jim Lane is pictured with Buzz Aldrin at the 2019 Celebrity Fight Night event. (File photo)

In 2017, the mayor accepted a number of tickets to various events and galas throughout the year including the St. Jude’s Gala, the 78th Anniversary Chinese Chamber of Commerce Chinese New Year Banquet and An Evening to Celebrate Innovation with Steve Wozniak.

He also accepted a gift basket in December 2017 from Kim Panozzo of The Panozzo Team.

In 2018, the mayor’s accepted gifts include a wallet-and-belt gift set valued at $40 from Wen-Chang Lee, of the Republic of China, six tickets to the eighth annual Fourth of July Freedom Fest valued at $450 from Jack Miller of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, and two tickets to the Scottsdale Spirit of the Community Leadership Luncheon valued at $220 from Scottsdale attorney, Randy Nussbaum.

Thus far in 2019, the mayor has accepted a handful of gifts including two tickets to attend the Celebrity Fight Night event valued at $3,000 from Jerry Moyes of Swift Transportation; and two movie passes good for 2019 from Dan Harkins.

Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp accepted 12 gifts between 2016 through May 2019, including tickets to the Scottsdale Arts Gala and Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday Gala — as did some of the other councilmembers.

She also reported two tickets to the ARTrageous Gala for $500 each from Richard Hayslip in November 2017; and a holiday bundt cake valued at $30 from John and Marcia Rowley from International Cruise and Excursions, Inc.

Councilwoman Virginia Korte reported 11 gifts. One of which was a Frank Lloyd Wright necklace valued at $89.95 from Zach Rawling and the David and Gladys Wright House Team in 2017.

Scottsdale City Council reports any gifts valued over $25 dollars. (File photo)

Other gifts included tickets to the Annual Arizona Tourism Unity Dinner, Annual Firefighters Association Charity Dinner and Silent Auction and Women in Leadership Luncheon.

City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield reported eight gifts, while Councilman Guy Phillips reported seven and Councilwoman Linda Milhaven reported only two gifts.

Ms. Milhaven’s two gifts were each a ticket to the ARTrageous Gala in 2016 and 2017, valued at $500 both years. In 2016 she received the ticket from DMB & Associates; and in 2017 from Kally Wills of Midfirst Bank.

Former Scottsdale City Councilman David Smith also reported only two gifts. The latter being a ticket to the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open Tee-Off Luncheon held in December 2018.

In 2016 he received a $100 donation from Marilyn and Jerry Hayden, which he forwarded to the Vista del Camino Community Center.

In an August 2016 email filed in the records request, Mr. Smith thanked the couple for their generosity.

“PS I really don’t have office expenses, since I function as both ‘management and labor’ in this job! I hope you won’t mind if I donate your $100 to Vista del Camino Community Center,” he wrote. “As you may know, this City supported facility provides a variety of services to Scottsdale residents dealing with homelessness and works to meet the basic needs of individuals and families in crisis.”

Freshman Councilwoman Solange Whitehead, who joined the City Council in January 2019, did not have any reported gifts for the year so far.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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