Phillips: bond direction was pragmatic approach — not dissension into chaos

Recently a city councilman wrote an editorial in this paper about a proposed bond for Scottsdale infrastructure. In his editorial he also proceeded to denigrate the majority of council for not following his advice.

I would like to set the record straight.

Guy Phillips

At the last council meeting, three council members wanted a $350 million bond on this November’s ballot.

One, Councilman Smith, then asked if we could up the ante by including the Giants stadium renovations on the bond for an additional $30 million and thereby removing the Stadium costs from our tourism development fund.

This would make the requested bond a whopping $380 million.

I then pointed out that by doing so we would give the impression that we wanted to put the Giants stadium on the bond to free up bed tax money for the Desert Edge, a not so popular project with a $60 million plus price tag.

Next, Councilwoman Littlefield read a prepared speech stressing she thought voters didn’t trust council enough to vote for such a large bond.

When Mayor Lane heard that, he said he was not in favor of a bond that might fail if we all didn’t support it. Councilwoman Klapp also noted that including the stadium could fail the bond, and wasn’t worth the risk.

I then made the motion to postpone the bond until 2020 — when the Desert Edge would be decided — and instead ask for a .15 percent transportation sales tax on the 2018 ballot. This .15 percent would raise $70 million, which would leverage $240 million in Prop. 400 funds from the state.

In other words, for $70 million we will get $310 million in transportation projects, and in two years we can still go for a bond that will get all seven council votes. It would have also removed the food tax on home consumption, something Councilman Smith has wanted for a long time. Not to mention if we do this, it will remove the transportation projects off the bond list and allow other projects to move up the queue.

So with that, I made the motion and Councilwoman Littlefield, Klapp and Mayor Lane agreed to go in that direction.

It is my feeling the council thought this over wisely and agreed to move forward with a plan in the best interests of its citizens. There was no political posturing, no “chaos,” just good common sense. An approach that works for all. Sales tax is paid for by everyone, especially our tourists and all the influx of employees that live out of this city but still drive on our roads to work each day.

Lets take care of our transportation first, resolve the Desert Edge question, and then go for a bond the people will support.

Editor’s note: Mr. Phillips is a member of Scottsdale City Council

Editor's Note: Mr. Phillips is a member of Scottsdale City Council.

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