Archive for May, 2016

DDC SMoW DOWNTOWN COMPACT

Author: bcrawford
05.06.16

An open letter to Mayor Lane and the Scottsdale City Council,

Now that the plan to build the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) on pristine preserve land has been suspended for reconsideration, imagine, if you will, a world class compact complex featuring an expanded Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW), the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) and the Scottsdale Artists’ School (SAS) all together, with “for sale” residential on the top and parking on the bottom. Not only is this practical and possible, it is also affordable.

Our representative democracy requires that you not only represent the people, but also through strong leadership, direct the city for the common good. This includes making the right choices regarding the McDowell Mountain Preserve and the Desert Discovery Center.

Mayor Lane, you, and three other council members did the right thing by placing the DDC issue on a path which allows Scottsdale citizens to ultimately decide the fate of what, if anything, can be built on the peoples’ preserve. This is appropriate, because it was through public votes that the dream became a reality. The people voted to tax themselves to pay for it.

To honor the commitment of time, energy, money and voter initiatives invested in the creation of our priceless preserve, we must not hastily push the development of a high impact tourist attraction that negatively impacts a peaceful neighborhood and desecrates land that was set aside for preservation only. To be fair and consistent, this critical issue must be put to a public vote, allowing the real owners of the preserve to decide its fate. Additionally, prudent, fiscal municipal management and fiduciary responsibility demands it.

Not long ago, I presented a more affordable plan in a more appropriate location for the DDC in an article published in the Scottsdale Independent on February 17, 2016 titled: “Could downtown Scottsdale be the right fit for the Desert Discovery Center?”

http://www.scottsdaleindependent.com/opinions/crawford-could-downtown-scottsdale-be-the-right-fit-for-the-desert-discovery-center/

The city council voted to undertake an independent study on DDC issues, including its location, how to build it, where to build it and how much should be spent on it. In a related item, the city council has also hired a consultant to evaluate ways to improve our downtown. Now would be the time in this complex evaluation process to include the consideration of this more modest and affordable DDC, located next to an expanded Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the Scottsdale Artists’ School.

The challenge is to think creatively. How do we get a world class compact project (DDC, SMoW & SAS) built and paid for without cutting into our general budget, compromising operating expenses, capital projects and repairs city wide?

Here’s how: Clustering an expanded Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, the DDC and the Scottsdale Artists’ School on the La Loma site, with air rights sold to a “for sale” condominium developer (creating housing above the project with parking below), could in conjunction with tourism bed tax dollars pay for this DDC location, thus relieving stress on the city budget. There would also be plenty of room for the city’s desired public park.

Lessons learned from bad decisions in past difficult economic times requires creative leadership to guide the city now and in the future. Let’s put on our “big vision hat” and think outside the box, like previous leaders did with the Indian Bend Wash. This could be Scottsdale’s next “Big Idea”.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bill Crawford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Not to Vote for Bob Littlefield

Author: bcrawford
05.05.16

We all want a Scottsdale City Government we can believe in and trust, and a mayor we can trust. I believe Mr. Littlefield’s mayoral effort should be confronted, and I question the motives and integrity of the Littlefields’ political endeavors.

I believe Mr. Littlefield is a political strategist, who has built his political machine pandering to special interests and to those who feel disenfranchised. Because of term limits, he could not serve more than twelve years on the city council. In 2014, unable to run for city council (after serving twelve years) his wife, Kathy Littlefield, ran in his place, while he ran a failed campaign for the state house. With Mr. Littlefield’s assistance, his wife won a seat on the council, thereby, replacing him. Now, he is running for mayor so both he and his wife can serve on the council at the same time. This is a continuance of Mr. Littlefield’s efforts to “stack” the council with candidates who align with him.

In 2004, when I chaired Council Districts of Scottsdale, Mr. Littlefield attended our meetings and appeared to support our endeavor.  When districting was defeated, the Arizona Republic published a photograph of Mr. Littlefield with then Mayor Mary Manross appearing to celebrate the defeat of districting, thus demonstrating Mr. Littlefield playing both sides of the issue.

As a result of Mr. Littlefield’s behavior, I came to the only conclusion one could have: Mr. Littlefield works both sides of the street. Therefore, I raise the question of trust and character. I believe he has betrayed his constituents, demonstrated by positions on issues such as – the Waterfront Towers, the airport, mass transportation, LBGT, Common Core and the bar district to name a few. Mr. Littlefield appears to do whatever is best for his political future.

In 2006, Mr. Littlefield was involved in the Nan Nesvig scandal (a petition signature issue). While it appeared Mr. Littlefield was trying to conceal his complicity, it was revealed he was involved up to his ears.

What about Mr. Littlefield’s involvement with an organization that mislead contributors? It was reported, by NPR KIS Radio, that approximately 90% of money raised through donations made to the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association (POSA) to buy toys for kids, instead actually went to a telemarketing company and POSA salaries. Remember the ads from AZCOP and POSA (who also supported Mr. Littlefield and Guy Phillips) that said, “Vote for only two: Kathy Littlefield and Cindy Hill”? Who really paid for those ads? Incidentally, the same people who ran POSA (including Cindy Hill) have resurfaced as Arizona Law Enforcement Outreach and Support (Arizona LEOS).

Another organization Mr. Littlefield has been involved with is COGS. In the 2014 campaign, the COGS PAC Board endorsed Kathy Littlefield, David Smith and me. Mr. Littlefield wanted them to endorse only his wife, Kathy, and Cindy Hill. When the board did otherwise, Mr. Littlefield telephonically yelled and screamed obscenities at me showing his mercurial temperament. Mr. Littlefield then spent considerable effort publicly attacking David Smith and me by misstating facts, making false accusations and misstating my positions.

During my participation in the 2014 forums, I observed Mr. Littlefield sitting in the front row coaching his wife, Kathy, who thumbed through a loose-leaf notebook and read answers to questions. I also observed her reading prepared statements on issues at council meetings. If Mr. Littlefield actually authored the scripted answers to the questions and statements Kathy read at council meetings, it is unethical at best and political fraud at worst.

We now must ask, is it appropriate to have 28.57% of the city council consisting of members of the same family controlling 28.57% of the seven council votes? I submit to you, it is not.

During his twelve years on council, Mr. Littlefield had an extensive history of voting “No” on most matters. If Mr. Littlefield is elected mayor and Guy Phillips is re-elected (with Kathy Littlefield remaining on council), he will have his “Party of No” team in place.

I believe we need real, genuine representation on the Scottsdale City Council. We need people who put the needs and interests of Scottsdale first. We need to say “NO” to career politicians who pander to special interests and preach demagoguery as a make believe solution. Then and only then can we have a Scottsdale City Council we can trust and believe in.