Triumphs, challenges & the coming year at Scottsdale City Council
By Tammy Caputi | Point of View
The city of Scottsdale had many accomplishments in 2022, and I want to highlight that we’ve managed our finances exceptionally well in the midst of an historically high level of economic uncertainty.
Despite record high inflation, a crisis in the supply chain and labor shortages, Scottsdale has improved our balance sheet by increasing cash reserves and paying down public safety pension liabilities.
We successfully funded a police pay-step system, which will help us to attract and retain the best employees, and ensure we take care of those who serve our community.
We also sold an empty parcel of land at 94th Street and Bell Road that was not providing any benefit to the residents, with proceeds going to capital projects that improve our neighborhoods and increase our quality of life.
The Scottsdale City Council and city staff will always aim to wisely spend our public dollars and work hard to keep Scottsdale in a positive financial state.
I think we fell short in not pushing forward the plan for Second Street improvements. One of our most important cultural assets, Center for the Performing Arts, has a hidden entrance on Second Street.
This street should be upgraded to be a major art destination, connecting Museum of the West to SMOCA. People should be encouraged to park once and walk along this street to experience art and culture and decrease traffic downtown.
My City Council colleagues also went too far with taxes, by not stopping the preserve tax now that we’ve acquired all the targeted land. And we have created too much unnecessary regulation and red tape by mandating an excessive, expensive layer of building codes rather than letting the free market work as intended.
In the coming year, I’d like to approve quality development projects that align with our General Plan and Character Area Plan goals, can justify their water and infrastructure needs, and provide tangible community benefits. Scottsdale’s winning formula — high amenities and open space coupled with strong property values and low property taxes — requires economic development that generates the sales tax revenue that makes us a success.
We also need to continue to attract quality employers like Axon and Nationwide. I want to get more creative when negotiating with developers for community benefits, finding ways to provide things like affordable housing units, partnerships with our schools or even funding for childcare
I would like to keep working with our city experts to find ways to conserve and recycle water so our community can remain sustainable and resilient. We should also continue to thoughtfully manage our capital improvement projects, to use public dollars as wisely and efficiently as possible to maximize resident benefit.
Editor’s note: Tammy Caputi is a member of Scottsdale City Council.