The Bruners: We have two concerns about Scottsdale’s Prop. 420

We have lived in Scottsdale for nearly 50 years. We love this community and plan to stay here forever.

Because of our love for this community we feel compelled to write this now because of all the recent activity surrounding Prop 420.

We have two main concerns: The campaign itself and the proposed language in Prop 420 to change the city’s Charter.

First, the campaign. While we are against Prop 420, we have friends who are supporting this proposition. We certainly have no problem with folks having different opinions on the same issue. We respect their opinions and hope they would respect ours.

Jim Bruner

Unfortunately, there are some on the Prop 420 yes side who have stated that if you don’t agree with them and vote their way, they are quick to throw you, your friends, and associates under the bus.

Some of these folks have, through social media and accessing the websites of businesses opposing 420, threatened to boycott their businesses and written disparaging Yelp reviews.

There also has been a consistent pattern of destroying and/or defacing signs opposing 420. The frequency of these incidents is more than just a coincidence. This has been a coordinated campaign to disrupt those opposed to 420.

This is terrible and has no place in the Scottsdale that we love.

A more serious issue is the legal determination by both the city clerk and city attorney of Scottsdale that the NoDDC campaign has violated various Arizona statutes.

There is a potential for significant civil fines and other more serious penalties for those involved. We pass no judgment but will let the process work its way through the legal system.

Our other significant concern relates to the language of Prop 420 itself. The supporters indicate that this makes only minor changes to the city’s Charter. There is no such thing as a minor change.

Any change, whether to the city’s Charter or the U.S. Constitution must be carefully thought out.

The recent city of Scottsdale official information pamphlet has dozens of statements opposing Prop 420 from longtime residents and city leaders.

One, written by James Derouin, a local attorney who has been active in a variety of city issues and lives with his wife near the Preserve states that Prop 420 is poorly written and could have many unexpected consequences.

He specifically refutes the claim that any development will open up the Preserve to commercial development. This claim is nonsense.

On Nov. 3, 1998, 81 percent of Scottsdale voters already approved language now in the City Charter. Article 8, Section 10 states “The city shall not convey ownership or grant any lease, easement, lien or other real property interest in any land designated as Preserve land.”

This prohibits any commercial development in the Preserve.

Mr. Derouin also questions the language in 420 turning over any operation of the Preserve to an unelected board, a board that would have the authority to spend taxpayer money in the Preserve.

“If you don’t trust elected government how about giving an appointed board control over a $1 billion asset?” This is nuts!

Many other prominent citizens of Scottsdale, including Dr. Art DeCabooter, considered by many to be the “Father of the Preserve” and past chair of the Preserve Commission, have publicly stated their opposition to Prop 420.

For those of you who have not voted, please take the time to review all the facts of this issue. Hopefully you will then vote NO on this poorly-worded amendment to our city’s Charter.

Editor’s Note: Both of the Bruners have had numerous leadership roles in Scottsdale’s civic and political community with Jim elected to two terms on the Scottsdale City Council and two terms to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

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