Norton: who stole Scottsdale’s soul?

Mayor Jim Lane challenges voters. His campaign motto is “If You Like Scottsdale Keep Jim Lane.” I love Scottsdale.

Mike Norton

Mike Norton

But I fear for its future and have to ask who stole its soul? Or perhaps better, who is trying hard to sell every last scrap of our City’s Soul to the highest bidder.

I love Scottsdale sunsets. There is nothing like them on earth. But in many parts of the city, the only way to see one now involves a bidding war on a high rise apartment unit going up right next to the high rise condo unit that already blocked most of your view.

I love Scottsdale’s zest for business. But why have bars, hotels, real estate development and golf courses become the only businesses that matter at City Hall?

As we lose long time respected employers like Dial/Henkels why do we think that a new bar is a great substitute?

I love our Preserve. I gladly paid my little share of the billion dollars; we all agreed to be taxed over the last generation. But now City Hall is trying to turn our Preserve into another construction project and resort event center, whether voters like it or not.

A journalist for another newspaper in town recently editorialized asking “Who Really Runs Scottsdale?” Another former journalist, Nancy Cantor, today answered that question for me. Whoever wants to curry the favor of Mayor Lane and other city council members needs only to gather a few cronies and all hand over the $6,500 maximum campaign donation. And when we look at the donors to Lane’s campaign it’s easy to see who runs Scottsdale — or at least the mayor’s office in Scottsdale.

We have sold our soul to developers, resort operators and a bar district that really should be called the war zone of Scottsdale. Since Mayor Lane was elected the rate of violent crime within drunken crawling distance from the bar zone has tripled. 150 to 160 violent crimes take place every month.

From 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekend nights, Scottsdale’s Bar District is as violent and dangerous as some of the worst cities in America, dominated by sexual assaults, aggravated assault, attempted homicide, and robbery. But Jim Lane wants more bars. I don’t make this up and I certainly don’t exaggerate.

Please access LexisNexis Community Crime Maps for Arrest Data such as the attached and decide for yourself if you like what’s going on in our town.

So it is easy to understand why Scottsdale police endorse Bob Littlefield and Guy Phillips in this election. I share their opinion and support for Littlefield and Phillips. For me the matter struck home hard when I realized that

Mayor Lane was about to export a chunk of the Scottsdale war zone to my neighborhood including a bar and concert stage at the Gateway Trailhead to the Preserve. I chose Scottsdale 26 years ago because I wanted the opposite of the Lane plan.

Respect for the environment. For our Mountains and Desert. For quality businesses. And for care and respect for each other.

It is time to create employment for our kids doing something other than pounding nails, changing bedsheets, and slinging drinks. There really should be more to Scottsdale life than the 2 a.m. closing call and a dash through the war zone we call a bar district.

Editor’s note: Mr. Norton is a resident of Scottsdale

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