Korte: I will support a public vote on the Scottsdale Desert Discovery Center

I will support a public vote on the Desert Discovery Center, if it becomes necessary. But for now, I am advocating a “first-things-first” approach to follow the process that is in place.

Virginia Korte

Currently, we do not know what the DDC is proposed to look like, its size or what it may cost. That is about to change when Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale unveils its proposal on July 31st. Once that happens, it will eliminate all the conjecture. In just a month and a half we will finally have something concrete that the community can consider.

I look forward to the public outreach process in which citizens will be engaged based on facts about the DDC. The decisions that we reach about the future of the facility are too important to do otherwise.

It has been no surprise to me that the DDC has generated controversy. After all, that is what bold ideas that embrace a vision do. I believe that is a good thing, because it shows that people care about our city, our desert and what the future looks like for the generations who will live with the decisions we make today.

Those who have good memories and respect the history of Scottsdale can appreciate what we are experiencing today with the DDC. When it was proposed to convert a huge wash that ran through the center of the city and flooded during heavy rainstorms into a green belt, many people opposed the idea. Now, decades later, Indian Bend Wash is one of our community’s many points of pride.

The same holds true for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I was fortunate enough to play a principal roll in establishing the Mountain Preserve. Those who did not participate in that process may not know that creating the Preserve was not a “slam dunk.”

There were plenty of people who were convinced that residents would never tax themselves to purchase and preserve what has grown to more than 30,000 acres.

Indian Bend Wash and the Mountain Preserve are two high-profile examples of how relatively simple ideas materialized into what we know today as community icons. Both set our city apart from many other places because we did not let political controversy cloud our vision.

I believe it is imperative to keep an open mind about the Desert Discovery Center and continue to pursue a facts-based process that will help us reach the best decision for our city.

Editor’s note: Ms. Korte is a member of Scottsdale City Council

Ms. Korte is a member of Scottsdale City Council

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