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Barry Graham offers his ‘closing argument’ as Scottsdale City Council election looms

Scottsdale City Council candidate Barry Graham
Scottsdale City Council candidate Barry Graham. (File Photos/

Scottsdale voters to elect 1 new member
of City Council at Nov. 8 election

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

A week from today Scottsdale voters will elect either Barry Graham or Pamela Carter at the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election.

To get into this political position, both Mr. Graham and Ms. Carter emerged from a field of seven candidates whereas at the Scottsdale primary election last August both incumbents on the ballot — Councilwomen Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead — were elected outright.

The Arizona Digital Free Press reached out to Mr. Graham to hear what his closing argument is as the light at the end of the campaign tunnel has appeared. This is what he said:

•Have you remained steadfast to your values as you have campaigned for the final seat at the Scottsdale City Council?
From the start of my Residents First campaign, I have run a positive campaign—even when others haven’t. During my 10 years serving on commissions, I respected residents’ opinions—especially their concerns about the pace of growth and improving the quality of development to preserve our city’s character and our unique quality of life. My message to voters has been consistent: development should be high quality and growth should reflect residents’ values and earn their support.

•What issues have emerged at City Hall that you are eyeing in case you are elected?
The most pressing issue I hear from voters is the pace of development, particularly in light of drought conditions and protecting our city’s character. Residents are also concerned about problems related to short-term rental (STR) bad actors, fully-funding public safety, and ensuring efficient government-spending, especially if there’s a recession. On these issues:

  • I support vigorous enforcement of STR rules and believe the state legislature should return more control to municipalities. Last week, Council passed ordinance 4566—a good first step towards curbing STR “party houses” that harm residents’ quality of life.
  • I support fully funding public safety because I believe that makes us safer.
  • I oppose wasteful spending and believe taxpayers will benefit from my skills. As a Certified Public Accountant with 15 years’ experience, I am professionally qualified to review spending, ask tough questions, and hold city staff accountable for budgeting.

•As you have learned more about the inner workings of City Hall, what is priority No. 1 if you take office?
I entered this race because, when I was serving residents on commissions, I observed instances where council wasn’t putting residents first. My top priority is restoring trust in city government by ensuring resident feedback is respected and included in decision making.

•What kind of voice will you be on the local dais if elected?
I will be the same voice that I was over the past 10 years serving on boards and commissions: I studied the issues and listened to residents and colleagues. Residents deserve thoughtful leadership that pursues fact-based solutions and puts them first.

•How will you use that voice to work with your fellow elected leaders?
I will listen to my colleagues and pursue a positive, collaborative relationship. Councilmembers should always work to find the best solutions so that city staff have clear direction and residents feel respected and included in the process.

•What is your final argument to voters?
Residents deserve more say in shaping Scottsdale’s future. I’m the only candidate running for City Council who has earned the endorsement of Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, who calls me “council-ready” because of my 10 years of serving residents on city boards and commissions. I’m the only candidate running for council with the political experience and professional qualifications to keep city government efficient and residents’ taxes low.

I’m also the only candidate running—not on rhetoric—but on my extensive voting record on many of the city’s most crucial issues.

At this critical time with a recession looming, with the supply of water uncertain, and when most housing is unaffordable, it’s no time to elect someone who has to learn on the job at residents’ expense.

As a councilmember, I won’t go along to get along—and will always put residents first.

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