Virginia Korte: Major goals to be attained in 2016 in Scottsdale

Scottsdale Councilwoman Virginia Korte was asked several questions about what she hoped to accomplish in calendar year 2016. Below is an excerpt of those questions not included in the Jan. 6 article, “Elected leaders of Scottsdale discuss municipal goals of 2016.”

This is what she had to say:

• As a member of council, what do you hope to accomplish in calendar year 2016?

It was a short three years ago the entertainment district was the “talk of the town.”

Virginia Korte

Virginia Korte

Today, our downtown has become a center of employment, with technology and healthcare companies like Yelp, McKesson Pharmaceuticals, ZIVELO, and Weebly. With the additional housing units in mixed-use developments we are creating sustainable live/work lifestyles within a vital urban environment. The increase of a 24/7 lifestyle in downtown Scottsdale will shift retail uses to accommodate residential sector demands.

These shifts will continue to put stress on our downtown parking needs and this issue must be addressed by the city, in collaboration with the property owners and business owners. Let us celebrate our successes in attracting employers and providing well-paying jobs, though we must balance this with our tourism industry and accessibility to all downtown users.
Additionally, southern Scottsdale/McDowell Road is finally experiencing a rebirth of economic vitality.

The private sector has taken the lead in initiating the revitalization of McDowell Road and I believe we have a solid start with new investments and marketing initiatives. Scottsdale Gateway Alliance, a private sector nonprofit organization, already has sponsored cleanup projects, renewed landscaping, marketing strategies and is in the process of a robust community dialogue around character and branding.

Additional housing options are now available with Mark-Taylor’s San Travesia luxury apartment complex and others in the planning stages, bringing renewed energy and life to the restaurants and small business owners in the area. We are witnessing the revival of our legacy neighborhoods and celebrating their rebirth with home tours like Innovations Mod Home Tour.

Investors and entrepreneurs are looking at this area, and the recently opened Fate Brewery has brought a new eatery and local brew to McDowell Road.
A positive impact of this renewed economic vitality in the southern reach of Scottsdale is the increasing home values, which are appreciating almost twice as fast as other areas of the valley. The city must continue to help by creating policies that remove some of the risk in the redevelopment of these southern parcels by investors.

*What are you most looking forward to in calendar year 2016?

I am looking forward to the passage of a non-discrimination ordinance for Scottsdale.

A recent survey showed that more than 70 percent of Arizonans believe there is equality in places of employment, housing, and public accommodations for all in our state. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. Today, across Arizona, you can still be fired for who you are and who you may love, you can still be denied housing, and you can still be refused service just for being a member of the LGBT community.

This is simply wrong. It lacks good citizenship, decency, acceptance and tolerance, which is why we need to create a Non-Discrimination Ordinance for Scottsdale.
Scottsdale is an all-star city full of innovation and culture that attracts visitors from around the world. To ensure this continues it is important that Scottsdale celebrates, respects, and protects everyone who works, lives, visits and plays in our great City. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s imperative to attract and retain top talent and new business.

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

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