Scottsdale Issues & Experts Forum offers dissection of capital improvement plans

The Scottsdale Independent newspaper is hosting an Issues & Experts Forum focused on both municipal finances and capital improvement projects Wednesday, June 20 at Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E. Chaparral Road.

The event, which is from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Turquoise Room, will feature a panel of local experts able to dissect the current and future capital improvement needs of the Scottsdale community.

And, most importantly, how the city intends to pay for infrastructure maintenance and improvements citywide.

The Issues & Experts Forum is presented in partnership between Independent Newsmedia and the Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow as Don Henninger, its executive director, will provide an introduction to the discussion.

“Our Issues & Experts forums are a vital part of our mission at Independent Newsmedia,” said Scottsdale Independent Publisher Charlene Bisson. “We believe in the importance of connecting our readers with community stakeholders to establish learning opportunities and to facilitate a healthy community dialogue.”

There are 118 Scottsdale infrastructure projects city leaders have identified carrying an estimated cost of $810 million, but elected leaders readily admit municipal needs exceed existing funding sources and mechanisms.

In summer 2017, three members of Scottsdale City Council were tapped to lead an internal subcommittee to better understand both the infrastructural needs of the day and — more importantly — how to revenue for municipal projects.

Scottsdale City Council members Virginia Korte, Guy Phillips and David Smith serve as liaison between the governing body and the CIP subcommittee, which is also comprised of Scottsdale department leadership.

In March, those recommendations began to emerge at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., but council deliberations have lead to two possible outcomes at a May 1 public hearing, which are:

  • An approval of the deferment of a possible $350 million general obligation bond election until calendar year 2020 and a possible increase of .15 percent to the municipal sales tax for transportation project needs; and
  • To host a discussion during the same meeting on the possibility of a 2018 November general obligation bond program.
    But as of Thursday, April 26 the prospects of a general obligation bond seem limited meanwhile infrastructure needs persist.

At the June 20 Issues & Experts Forum confirmed panelists are:

  • Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips
  • Scottsdale Vice Mayor Virginia Korte
  • Scottsdale Treasurer Jeff Nichols
  • Scottsdale Councilman David Smith
  • Scottsdale City Engineer Dave Lipinski

Ms. Bisson says connecting the community is a keystone to the conscientious approach to news gathering and dissemination at Independent Newsmedia.

“We see the value in promoting worthy causes in the neighborhoods we serve in hopes of forming a stronger sense of community,” she explained. “Our events educate individuals while providing personal interaction and future action on vital community issues.”

The forum will be moderated by Managing Editor Terrance Thornton and will feature a question-and-answer portion with audience members. Cost is $5 but the first 25 new Scottsdale Daily News Brief subscribers will be provided free entry.

To RSVP for the event please email scottsdalenews@newszap.com.

Independent Newsmedia is committed to upholding high ethical standards in all of its dealings and the Issues & Experts Forum will be a physical manifestation of those ideals.

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

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