2015 bond pitch illustrates selective recession in Scottsdale

If you have read the election information pamphlet for the upcoming Nov. 3 Scottsdale tax increase (aka, “bond”) election, virtually every argument published in favor of these new taxes refers to neglecting maintenance of Scottsdale’s taxpayer-owned infrastructure because of “hard decisions” and “the recession.”

John Washington

John Washington

Funny, I don’t recall any reference to “hard decisions” or “the recession” whenever the city council renewed the subsidy for Jason Rose’s annual polo match. Of course, Jason is the campaign PR manager for Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.

I don’t remember such references during council approval of $20 million in catch-up maintenance to bail out the PGA, which had neglected their contractual obligation to maintain the taxpayer-owned TPC course.

There wasn’t a single mention of hard times when Mayor Lane and the city council approved a million dollars of taxpayer-funded subsidies for Super Bowl parties last year.

Bond supporter Craig Jackson got millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded improvements at WestWorld tailored just for his Barrett-Jackson auto auction. No apparent recession or hard decisions there.

Tom Sadvery supports the bonds, because the recession was so bad that the city council sold a $4.5 million parcel of taxpayer-owned downtown Scottsdale land to Sadvery’s Scottsdale Healthcare (now “HonorHealth”) for $1.5 million, in a no-bid deal. And then upzoned it afterward to make it even more valuable so that Sadvery could borrow against it.

Most egregiously, the $4 million annual cash subsidy to the Scottsdale Cultural Council also appears to be “recession-proof.” Coincidentally, pro-bond former councilman Jim Bruner, and the wife of pro-bond city council member David Smith are among the trustees of the Cultural Council; which has a 20-year, no-bid city contract with no objective deliverables.

It’s quite curious to me that the recession seems to have only affected maintenance of fundamental city infrastructure, but not the rich and famous friends of Jim Lane and the Chamber of Commerce caucus on the Scottsdale City Council.

Editor’s note: Mr. Washington is a Scottsdale resident and editor of Scottsdaletrails.com

Mr. Washington is a local community advocate and editor of Scottsdaletrails.com

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