Mayor Lane: Ms. Merrill ‘someone has misinformed you’

Recently, Cooper Merrill wrote to this news outlet criticizing me for purportedly not attending a mayoral candidate debate in south Scottsdale.

Jim Lane

Jim Lane

I thank any Scottsdale resident for stepping into the arena but I must confess to being confused and surprised by her comments.  Not only was the critique off the mark but there is no story I love to share more than some terrific things and proposals in place for our southern city.

Cooper may not have realized that after downtown businessman and mayoral candidate Bill Crawford opted not to submit his signatures and to endorse my candidacy it left only two candidates left for the mayoral election.  This means the election will take place in November not August.  And, according to the debate invitation Cooper referenced from the Coalition of Greater of Scottsdale they stated, not me, that were this to be the case “the forums will begin in late August.”

I am looking forward to debates before, during and after this time, throughout our city.  Additionally, I just invited all city residents to attend an upcoming Town Hall I am doing in the southern part of our community.  I repeat that invitation again.  It takes place Thursday, June 23 5:30pm – 7:00pm at Basic Training MedX Strength Training & Fitness Center, 4390 North Miller Road. (In Camelback Miller Plaza between PetSmart and Sprouts Market)

Why do I like to discuss and debate so much?  Because I am very proud of where Scottsdale is.  The state of our community is strong.  I became Mayor during the dark days of the Great Recession and positive, pro-business steps we took have allowed us to emerge on the other side with a smaller, more effective government that is winning awards.

Our economy is among the strongest in Arizona.  Crime is down.  Tourism is up.  Unlike most Valley cities we have not raised taxes.  My opponent wants to take us back to the malaise Scottsdale suffered about 15 years ago that had everyone questioning what was wrong with our community.

The story in southern Scottsdale is especially compelling.  Property values are rising.  Investment is flowing.  New residents are translating into great new shops and stores like Fate Brewing Company.  More for-sale housing is coming nearby on McDowell Road.  So is the potential for a terrific mixed-use project to remove the eyesore of the old car dealerships at 64th and McDowell.

But this campaign is about taking Scottsdale from good to great.  That’s why I proposed reforming our city government to a “hybrid-district” system whereby council members would be specifically elected by districts in the south, central and northern area of our city with the other seats as well as the mayor still being elected at large.  This idea was sparked by no resident living in southern Scottsdale being elected for over a decade.  That’s not right.

I believe this is one of the most important reform proposals in Scottsdale history.  It’s critical for southern residents.  Yet, my opponent opposes the move.  But as long as I am your Mayor I will never give up trying to turn this landmark change into a reality.

If you like where Scottsdale is at and headed I hope you will vote for me.  If you don’t, I may not be your candidate.  But either way I very much look forward to the upcoming debates which will show the differences between my efforts to move Scottsdale forward and my opponent who wants to go backwards.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my views.

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