McLaren: how I will be voting during the Scottsdale general election

My greatest concern has long been the flagging state of our infrastructure because of the lack of adequate investment. I will most definitely vote “yes” for Question 1, which increases our sales tax by 0.1 percent.

Alex McLaren

The funds generated will be used as matching funds to the Maricopa County sales tax funds that we have been paying for many years. The combined funds can only be spent on transportation projects.

The entire Scottsdale City Council agrees the city has critical funding needs for additional transportation projects as well as projects in the areas of public safety, parks and recreation and storm drainage.

Question 1 is a first step in this process.

On Proposition 420 I will vote “no.” A change in the City Charter will have negative consequences, unintended or intended. A group of unelected commissioners will be in control of the Preserve.

In addition to the drastic step of changing the Charter the manner in which the proponents went about gathering their signatures is most disturbing. Firstly, “Dark Money” was used to pay for the signature collectors. (see Financial Disclosure document for Protect our Preserve Political Action Committee on the City Clerk’s web site.)

There is still no disclosure as to who contributed the $55,000. All legal we are told, but in reality a shell game. It will be interesting to learn the outcome of the complaint filed against POP PAC and NoDDC. Secondly, many of the signature collectors used major scare tactics.

They would tell folks that commercial development in the Preserve was just about to begin. This was blatantly wrong! The City Council was nowhere near in approving the submitted project. The proposed Desert EDGE was an educational facility, just as we have libraries and museums.

As for voting for the candidates I will support David Smith, Linda Milhaven and Bill Crawford.

David Smith has an extensive background and qualifications in all matters financial. He was the City Treasurer during the Great Recession and was instrumental in guiding us through that trying time. He has consistently pointed out that the lack of investment in our infrastructure is allowing our assets to deteriorate.

We now have two bridges that are structurally unsound.

He is a strong proponent of utilizing general obligation bonds to finance infrastructure improvements. GO bonds are supported by property taxes and are the most effective method of financing debt. All property owners pay their share, even businesses. The city has an AAA bond rating, which is reflective of sound financial policies.

Linda Milhaven also has strong credentials regarding financial matters. She is a banker and understands how budgets are put together. She supports investment in our infrastructure and also backs the use of GO Bonds. Linda is a strong supporter of the arts in Scottsdale.

Bill Crawford has been active in the community for many years. His experience with law enforcement and owning a business in downtown give him a unique perspective. He understands that Scottsdale benefits from quality development.

The other two candidates, Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead, are decent people but I have concerns with their effectiveness. Ms. Whitehead is a one-issue candidate and appears to lack understanding of some basic city services. At the first candidate forum she stated that all of our water comes from the Colorado River. Our other sources are the Salt River and pumping from underground aquifers. In addition, the city also treats some of our wastewater to drinking water standards and injects it into our groundwater.

Ms. Littlefield seems to rely on her husband Bob for a lot of guidance.

Editor’s note: Mr. McLaren is a Scottsdale resident and community advocate

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