Serena: Committing to passing Scottsdale’s bond this fall

I strongly believe we should continue to invest in our city’s arts and culture.

That is why I was pleased to see that the $27 million project to replace aging infrastructure and improve our public and event areas on the Civic Center Plaza will be one of the 58 projects on the bond election ballot this fall.

The plaza, a truly iconic venue, provides a showcase for our arts and cultural activities. It’s a special place that attracts not only our residents, but also many people from around the Valley and visitors from out of state.

Upgrading this area, which is the core of Old Town, will not only enhance Scottsdale’s brand, it will also allow the city to stage more activities and events. That will be good for both the city and our downtown businesses.

I am committed to doing everything I can to help pass the entire bond package. And I believe the vast majority of citizens understand the necessity of investing in our city’s infrastructure and support approving the bonds as well.

However, some people have suggested or actually encouraged voters to withhold their support for the necessary projects until they see how the City Council handles issues unrelated to the bonds.

That’s really regrettable, and wrong.

Playing politics with residents’ quality of life and the city’s sustainability has no place in any discussion about why it’s necessary to pass the bonds.

As a city, we have recently dealt with significant political division.

During the past few years, even the City Council has found little to agree on unanimously. But when the mayor and council considered the bond projects, they unanimously approved the proposed bond package.

All seven voted for the greater good of Scottsdale by focusing on the facts:

  • The bond package of $319 million provides funding for 58 projects and will be stretched over 10 years. If approved, funding can only be used for the designated projects.
  • Approving the current bond package will not raise property taxes. As old bonds expire and new bonds are issued, property owners secondary tax rate will go down by 20%.
  • Scottsdale is one of only 30 cities in the country with a AAA bond rating. The city is financially sound by every meaningful metric. Passing this bond package will not change that.

I hope voters will follow the mayor and councils’ decision and vote yes on the bond package in the best interest of Scottsdale.

Editor’s Note: Christian Serena, who was born and raised in Scottsdale and is a member of Scottsdale Arts Board of Trustees.

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