My View: Bond approval essential for Scottsdale’s economy, competitive edge

  • November 1, 2019

Phoenix Business Journal

We live in a very competitive region and world — and that competition does not stop.

Companies and employees put increasing importance on a community’s recreational and cultural amenities when they are considering options for building their business and careers.

Scottsdale has been blessed to have so many competitive and quality of life advantages making our community a great place to live, visit, start/expand a business or retire.

We cannot live in the past, however, or we will be passed over as other cities, both in the Valley and across the country, look to gain what Scottsdale has: premier arts, culture and recreational amenities as well as low crime and a thriving economy.

Questions 1, 2 and 3 on the Nov. 5 ballot are essential for Scottsdale to build on its competitive edge without raising taxes. The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce strongly supports all three questions.

Scottsdale voters have not approved a major bond program in 19 years, leaving important infrastructure and community assets in need of immediate repairs or improvement.

The proposed program also includes pedestrian and public parking improvements for Old Town Scottsdale, providing easier access for tourists, residents and those who work there to connect easily with our great arts and cultural events, galleries, restaurants, shops and downtown businesses.

The infrastructure investments also repair and enhance WestWorld so it can attract even more events that fuel tourism, economic development and tax revenue for Scottsdale. WestWorld of Scottsdale brought more than 916,600 visitors to the city last year and creates more than 1,880 jobs, according to a new study by Arizona State University.

Questions 1, 2 and 3 are also about lifting our community.

The three bond questions will also make other important investments in the Scottsdale community. The Granite Reef and Via Linda senior centers will be expanded.

The Paiute Neighborhood Center campus will be improved so it can continue offering critical community and neighborhood services including Head Start, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale as well as emergency food boxes and domestic violence assistance for our neighbors in need.

Our first responders will get new fire stations, modernized police stations and training facilities and much-needed upgrades to our city’s 911 and emergency systems.

These investments are essential to maintain and enhance Scottsdale’s quality of life and prosperity and many of them may never get done without voters’ approval of Questions 1, 2 and 3.

The bonds are also fiscally responsible and good for taxpayers. Secondary property taxes, which fund the city bonds, are expected to go down even if all three questions pass, according to the City Treasurer’s Office. That is because of the retirement of existing bond obligations and rising property values.

Scottsdale is a world-class city. Let’s keep it great and keep outpacing the competition by investing in our community’s future.

Vote Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3.

Scottsdale cannot and must not rest on its laurels. We benefit today from the work, vision and investments from those who stepped up in the past. Now it’s our turn.

–Mark Stanton is president/CEO of Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

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