Whitehead: Scottsdale City Council has opportunity to realign with constituents

At the upcoming Tuesday Scottsdale City Council meeting, councilmembers are likely to approve a $350 million bond question for the November ballot. If approved by the voters, the bond will allow the city to start chipping away at the $800 million of unfunded infrastructure needs.

Solange Whitehead

The bond request coincides with a monumental citizen effort to protect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve from the city council majority-backed, $68 million Desert Edge/DDC.

The city council’s vote to deny a public vote for the project, ignited a firestorm in Scottsdale. In 2018, hundreds of Scottsdale volunteers have collected over 17,000 signatures from Scottsdale voters proving our city is united on this issue. From the south to the north, thousands of voters in every ZIP code are signers of the petition dispelling the myth that “only residents near the Preserve” care.

The effort also demonstrates that Scottsdale is blessed with dedicated, engaged citizens willing to sacrifice time and money to protect the city’s public land, quality of life, and financial security. Years ago, this same can-do spirit created the Preserve with one major difference: a city council aligned with its constituents created the Preserve whereas today’s city council is not aligned with constituents and is the reason the Preserve is threatened.

Therein lies the 17,000-voter opportunity and a challenge for this city council. The DDC fiasco has energized tens of thousands of voters that can be pivotal in the passage of the November bond. But will voters approve a new bond as they battle council’s efforts to develop the Preserve and misuse voter approved Preserve bond dollars?

Rather than find out, it’s time for this city council to re-align its priorities with the community. Council must acquiesce to the voters and the city’s financial realities and pledge to end all public funding of Desert Edge/DDC unless voter approved. The citizens don’t want a DDC and the city can’t afford it. It’s just that simple.

Trust is a two-way street. The burden of building trust is on those in power. City council needs to entrust the Desert Edge/DDC decision to the 17,000-plus voters demanding it.

Every major Preserve decision has been decided by the voters and so should this decision. In turn, I believe, voters are more likely to trust the city and approve the November bond.

Editor’s note: Ms. Whitehead is a resident of Scottsdale and candidate for Scottsdale City Council this August

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable. Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment