Scottsdale City Council Elections 2012

The Scottsdale City Council is a non-partisan ballot. Voters are asked to vote for three of the six candidates on the ballot. As the elections get more and more local, there is less and less information on candidates. About all that can be gleaned from their website is an issues page, which tend to be similar amongst candidates. The local newspaper, azcentral.com, usually asks some questions of the candidates as well. But other than that, there is not much to go by.

Maybe the best mechanism is to work backwards. What do I think the policies should be for Scottsdale and who comes closest to matching what I think should happen in the future for Scottsdale?

The city of Scottsdale is really quite large and diverse. It borders the City of Phoenix and runs from Tempe in the south up to Cave Creek in the north. It encompasses older areas such as South Scottsdale which have been around for fifty years, the tourism center of Old Town Scottsdale, the brand new suburbs of North Scottsdale which have only been built in the last ten years, plus there is the large sprawling McDowell Mountains preserve.

What are the demographics of Scottsdale? It is definately suburban. Fifty six percent of all dwellings are single family homes and fifty seven percent of households have married couples in them. With twenty three percent single and the remainder widowed or divorced.

Scottsdale has a lot of retired people and proffessionals without children. In Phoenix, families with children tend to move to Chandler and Gilbert, where the schools are new and everyone has children. In Scottsdale nearly eighty percent of household do not have children.

The median income in Scottsdale is 57K which is above the US national median of 44K. By any standard Scottsdale is a wealthy suburb. The unemployment rate is 7.5% which compares favorably to the US national unemployment rate of 8.6%. Scottsdale is a service economy with 32% in sales and offices, 25% of people working in management, business or finance. It is a white collar professional economy.

Scottdale is also out of room. There is some desert left just south of Route 101 up near the Mayo Center, but that is about it. Scottsdale is not going to be able to grow by developing on virgin desert any longer. Scottsdale is constrained by the Indian Reservation to the east, the City of Phoenix to the west, Tempe to the south and the McDowell Mountains to the north. If Scottsdale is going to grow, it is going to have be up.

The books written by Ryan Avent and Matt Yglesias on the value of urbanization are very convinving. I think Phoenix will have to follow that path. Water will be the main issue as the SRP and CAP really only deliver to a small segment of the city and the continued sprawl are outside their delivery areas. Which means water will only come to an urban core of Phoenix City, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa.

Guy Phillips answered on an AZCentral questions; "He [Phillips] said high density and high-rise apartments threaten the city's quality of life and could turn Scottsdale into "another Phoenix." He supports tourism, special events and small business as income generators."

Joanne Phillips also has nimbyist policies. Her website opposes Chaparral Rd being expanded. She also answered; "People don't come here to look for apartment buildings," she told The Republic. "They come here for the feel of the West. If we lose it, we will lose a huge component and cachet of our charm." I think that is bogus, the only faux wild west area is a small three mile square part of Scottsdale known as Old Town. The rest of Scottsdale is sprawling suburbs and commercial centers dotted with the occasional mega-mall.

So by process of elimnation Guy Phillips and Joanne Phillips are out. The third person that gets disqualified is Schaffner as his website leaves me with no idea of what his policies are. He answers some questions on AZCentral, but not enough for me to make an informed decision. It ends up being Virginia Korte, Eric Luoma and Suzanne Klapp getting the nod.
cam 2012-10-20 10:43:31.0