Crawford: the best way forward for Scottsdale is to abandon run

As I organized my 2,402 signatures to become a candidate for mayor of Scottsdale, the motivation for my running revealed itself: A year ago, I stated if Bob Littlefield decided to run for mayor I would run against him.

Bill Crawford

Bill Crawford

And, I believe neighbors and developers need guidance leading to compromise and win-win compatibility. In essence, I want to keep Scottsdale moving forwards, not backwards.

I have been a community leader advocating for citizens for decades. I’ve confronted problems regarding many citywide issues while achieving solutions. Despite strong opposition from special interests, I have remained a constant force in Scottsdale. I have a proven track record. I do what is right. I am not controlled by special interests. With my experience, I believe I’m an excellent candidate for public service.

But upon reflection, now is not the right time.

Mayor Lane and I have had recent meetings regarding concerns of many citizens. He’s agreed to work with me on these issues. I’ve found Mayor Lane and I are in alignment on most issues. I have come to realize we have a good person who’s been a good mayor. Therefore, the common sense thing to do is to consolidate with Mayor Lane and eliminate a primary election, saving taxpayers money. It is our belief an alignment of support presents a clear choice for voters.

I’ve observed Bob Littlefield for many years as a councilmember, and in this election. He’s the kind of politician that is whatever he needs to be at the time. Contrary to his rhetoric it’s all about him, not about you. I believe his election as mayor would be devastating to our community financially and ethically. I believe the Littlefields are in politics for the wrong reasons and are self-serving endeavors for them.

The economic vitality throughout our city, especially in downtown where I live and work, is remarkable. The new jobs, residents and restaurants are part of a thriving scene and notably our bar district has shaped up. Thanks to Mayor Lane’s business acumen and leadership, downtown Scottsdale is an Arizona success story, providing big revenues for public safety, parks, preservation, arts and other quality of life elements that set Scottsdale apart. We’ve also agreed to work together on other complex issues facing our city.

When I’ve disagreed with Mayor Lane over the years, especially on the entertainment district downtown, Lane responded pro-actively and with integrity to improve matters. Littlefield? He didn’t give me the time of day and misstated facts about my positions.

I believe Lane will continue to listen, lead and solve problems. Littlefield? I believe his constant uncompromising position of “no,” as well as his whining and barking, has achieved little to nothing. If Littlefield wins, I fear the ethical quagmire he would brand Scottsdale as perhaps the first city in Arizona to ever have a husband and wife serving at the same time on the city council, creating legal and conflict-of-interest problems, embarrassing our city.

Right now, the hottest musical in the land is “Hamilton,” based on the life of Alexander Hamilton. One scene recounts how Hamilton, often profoundly disagreeing with Thomas Jefferson, still sided with Jefferson as he ran for president because his opponent, Aaron Burr, stood for little besides his own ambition.

My disagreements with Mayor Lane are far fewer than Hamilton’s with Burr, but the rationale is similar: principled leader (Lane) versus the ultimate politician (Littlefield). The latter was for big buildings in downtown before he was against them. The latter was for the Desert Discovery Center before he was against it. The latter says he is for citizen’s rights but then took them away in a spectacular fashion.

While I will not be running for mayor, I will never stop fighting for neighborhoods, small business and what makes Scottsdale a great city. But in this election the best way to do that is returning Jim Lane to office for a final term so he can continue his commitment to reforms and results that will keep Scottsdale headed in the right direction.

This decision will never stop me from being your voice. I am getting nothing for this decision other than knowing it is the right thing to do, as I always do. Thank you to all who have supported me in this endeavor.

Editor's Note: Mr. Crawford is a local business owner and resident of Scottsdale

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