Maintaining and Improving Scottsdale's Quality of Life
Scottsdale provides a high quality of life. We must safeguard our standard of living.
That is why my top priority is to maintain and improve our quality of life.
I am no stranger to this notion. I have spent more than 20 years fighting to protect our quality of life in many ways. My efforts have brought awareness to critical citywide issues, influencing positive action for our quality of life.
I was founder and president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale's Quality of Life, where I advocated for downtown residents, neighborhoods and businesses, to help solve problems in the entertainment district.
I was also co-founder of the Downtown Scottsdale Economic Vitality Coalition with former Scottsdale City Council members Betty Drake and Wayne Ecton. The coalition is working with millennials that live and work downtown to help build Downtown Scottsdale's future.
In addition, I led efforts to protect the El Dorado Park neighborhood and Coronado Golf Course from proposed expansion.
I am not averse to growth, but like Mayor Jim Lane, I understand that quality trumps quantity. Growth is not a zero-sum game, where one side must lose for another side to benefit. Instead, I believe development should be balanced so that there is smart, compatible growth truly enriching Scottsdale.
Attracting High-Quality and High-Wage Jobs
My track record as a business owner speaks for itself. I have run a successful business – Basic Training MedX – with my wife Debbie in Downtown Scottsdale for more than 20 years.
As your Councilman, I will work tirelessly to grow our economy by attracting high-quality and high-wage jobs to Scottsdale.
It takes more than catchy slogans, however. As one of my first orders of business on the City Council, I will reach out to business leaders to determine how city government can support their relocation efforts.
In addition, we must not forget about our existing employers. These businesses are our backbone, and I will do everything in my power to retain and support them to keep our economy moving forward.
Ensuring all Scottsdale students have access to a quality education is one of my goals.
In certain parts of Scottsdale, our students are performing admirably on state tests, Advanced Placement exams, and are applying to colleges at an impressive rate. In other parts of our city, however, our students are underperforming.
The Coronado Success Initiative is a great example of an educational reform that is transforming the culture at Coronado High School and raising the bar for our students. This initiative has been a huge success and CHS students are thriving both academically and personally.
I fully support the expansion of partnership programs like the Coronado Success Initiative to other Scottsdale public schools to improve student success.
I understand that there is no single path to academic success, but we need to give our students more flexibility in designing an educational path that aligns with their academic and career aspirations.
As your Councilman, I will push for more partnerships and continue efforts to seek out new and innovative ways to ensure our students are college and career ready.
Protecting and Enhancing Public Safety Services
The primary responsibility of local government is to provide quality public safety services to keep our families safe.
As your Councilman, I will fight to protect and enhance our public safety services.
Over the past 20 years, I have spearheaded innovative public safety solutions that balance the needs of downtown business owners and those taking in all that downtown offers.
I have also been a volunteer with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse for over 10 years, doing everything from assisting deputies conducting weekend DUI taskforces in Old Town Scottsdale, to helping hikers stranded in the back country.
Scottsdale is one of the safest cities in the country because of our police officers and firefighters, who work tirelessly for our community. Investing in our first responders is the least we can do for their service and sacrifice.
Keeping Our Taxes Low
Scottsdale has a great business climate and offers an environment that enables companies to grow and flourish.
From SkySong to the Cure Corridor to the Galleria Corporate Centre, we stand at the forefront of innovation in the Valley. The energy and passion for breakthroughs in rapidly evolving industries is tangible.
I believe innovation breeds innovation, and as more businesses relocate to Scottsdale, we need to ensure that we do everything possible to provide a welcoming environment.
This means keeping our taxes low and eliminating bureaucratic red tape that hinders innovation and economic growth so businesses continue to choose Scottsdale as their home.
With a forward-thinking city government, low taxes and a business-friendly regulatory environment, we will continue to bring companies to Scottsdale that produce high-quality jobs and enrich our quality of life.
Improving Scottsdale's Transportation Infrastructure
As our city has grown, so has gridlock. Light rail on Scottsdale Road is not the answer to our traffic issues. It is inflexible, will disrupt commercial activity on our major traffic corridors, and most importantly, will drain city coffers.
Instead, I will advocate other means of easing commutes on our roads. Like Mayor Jim Lane, I support continuous monitoring of, and periodic infrastructural improvements to, the 101 Freeway and major thoroughfares like Scottsdale Road and Hayden Road so that they remain effective at getting drivers across the city.
Finally, I recognize the importance of Scottsdale's Transportation Commission and how resident input is one of our strongest assets in transportation planning and decision-making.
Tourism is vital to Scottsdale's economic growth and our attractions bring in millions of visitors, generate thousands of jobs, and create billions of dollars in annual economic impact.
Mayor Jim Lane has shepherded in a new era of Scottsdale tourism efforts, overseeing the rebranding of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau to Experience Scottsdale. Due to his efforts and many others, Scottsdale is no longer just a place to golf and escape the winter gloom – Scottsdale is a global destination with unrivaled attractions.
Every year, events like the Arabian Horse Show, Barrett-Jackson, Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, Cactus League Spring Training and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, shatter attendance records and have established Scottsdale's brand as "the place to be and be seen."
As your Councilman, I will continue efforts to promote economic vitality that is compatible with Scottsdale's valuable brand.
Supporting Scottsdale's Arts District
Scottsdale's Arts District is home to over 70 galleries, museums, antique and collectibles shops. The unique and colorful public art exhibits that adorn the Scottsdale Waterfront capture the imagination and stimulate conversation.
I support the Arts District and understand that a robust and vibrant district benefits Scottsdale now and in the future.
As a business owner in Downtown Scottsdale, I have built relationships with members of the arts community, and on the City Council, I will ensure that their needs are represented so that the vitality of the Arts District is guaranteed for years to come.
Desert EDGE – Desert Discovery Center
Desert EDGE has become a political hot potato, and unlike some other candidates, I have developed a clear and cogent view on the issue.
I fully support the public process and the public vote for any buildings located in the Preserve other than trailhead facilities similar to those already in existence, so that Scottsdale residents determine what happens with the proposed desert-appreciation venue, not politicians.
Furthermore, I am staunchly opposed to using Preserve tax dollars to construct Desert EDGE at a location that residents may not support, or using tax dollars for any purpose other than that which was approved by voters.
The Preserve is Scottsdale's largest and most enduring treasure. It is a major contributor to our economy and brings tourism dollars into Scottsdale.
For more than two decades, I have spent countless hours in the Preserve on horseback or hiking. Early on I advocated for public access to the Preserve. Years ago when the Preserve was acquired, some homeowners' associations and residents were resistant to having public access to trailheads near their developments, so I helped raise awareness for the issue. In the end, the city, with cooperation of nearby residents, have done an outstanding job of providing adequate access to trailheads for the public.
Hybrid City Council "District" System – Giving a Voice to South Scottsdale
South Scottsdale is surging and turning new corners every single day. Entrepreneurs are flocking to the McDowell Road Corridor to establish business. SkySong is no longer an eyesore, but is a crown jewel of what our city can achieve when working in conjunction with developers and ASU.
What's missing from south Scottsdale's rejuvenation, however, is a voice for these new businesses and residents.
South Scottsdale has been under-represented on the City Council for far too long. In fact, no one has been elected to the City Council from the southern part of the city for a decade.
How can our City Council comprehend the needs of south Scottsdale residents and businesses when no elected official lives or works in the area?
I am an ardent supporter of Mayor Jim Lane's innovative plan to move city elections to a hybrid-district system. This system would create three geographic council districts, representing north, central and south Scottsdale, while leaving three council seats and the mayoral post as at-large positions. This plan would provide accountability to each area and assure south Scottsdale the representation it wants and deserves.