1ON1 with Scottsdale City Council candidate reveals priorities
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
Either Pamela Carter or Barry Graham at the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election will be elected to the final vacant seat at Scottsdale City Council.
To get into this political position, both Ms. Carter and Mr. Graham emerged from a field of seven candidates whereas at the Scottsdale primary election last month both incumbents on the ballot — Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead — were elected outright.
The Arizona Digital Free Press reached out to Ms. Carter to understand what the focus of her first 100 days in office would be if elected this November.
NOTE: The Digital Free Press is hosting a moderated debate between the final two candidates from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
“I will start my first 100 days with a prayer for wisdom and understanding to serve the people of Scottsdale to the best of my ability and to work with the current City Council to find solutions to the issues our community, homeowners and residents care about,” she said. “I have spoken to thousands of our citizens over the past eight months as I have been out in the neighborhoods, knocking on doors and attending events in our city.”
What has meeting all of those folks done for Ms. Carter’s perspective? She says she hears residents loud and clear.
“Scottsdale is unique and has a rich heritage of those who shaped its founding,” she said. “Our residents do not want the high-rise, high-density apartments crowding our skylines and encroaching on our neighborhoods. We need to grow smarter and make sure any new development is in alignment with the zoning and codes for quality and beauty already in place in Scottsdale.”
As a business owner, Ms. Carter says she understands the nuances of top line management but calls the community of Scottsdale home and seeks to serve all who call, “The West’s Most Western Town” home.
“My vast experience as a business owner, managing a multimillion-dollar television station, on-boarding employees and interviewing hundreds of community advocates has prepared me to be your next Scottsdale city councilmember,” she said.
“I am a native of Arizona and grew up in Scottsdale. I have managed crews, employees, and worked with hundreds of business owners and community leaders, reaching out to children and families of all ethnic backgrounds in the Valley through my work as the station manager of KPAZ-TV. As a producer and television host of hundreds of my own TV shows and media over the years, I know how to face millions of people in a camera or on the ground, I do not back down from the toughest issues, and I will be your advocate on the council to make the lives of Scottsdale residents better.”
As anyone who calls the Sonoran Desert home, water conservation has become a No. 1 concern among elected leaders and residents alike. Ms. Carter says while Scottsdale has done a tremendous job over the past few decades, water access will continue to be a tangible civic concern.
“We are in a Tier 2 water conservation modality. I believe we all should be cognizant of the preciousness of water in the desert and do our part in Scottsdale to conserve our water supplies, reducing our usage by even 3% can make a difference citywide,” she explained. “Scottsdale is one of the finest examples of conservation in the nation. We have been preparing for drought conditions for decades.”
Ms. Carter points out for Scottsdale to succeed it only makes sense for neighboring communities to be thought of allies instead of competitors when it comes to water conservation.
“We have been proactive in the planning of long-term sustainable water supplies and have secured a diverse and resilient water supply portfolio that reduces the community’s vulnerability to the risks associated with potential future supply reductions,” she said. “This does not, however, eliminate water supply risks entirely. It would be rational to team up with our sister cities of Tempe and Phoenix to chair a water council to hear how we can help each other to bolster our water supplies.”
The current status of water credits built up over time at the Scottsdale Water Department? As the western United States grapples with the effects of long-term drought, Ms. Carter points out it is not yet known what Scottsdale’s long-term situation may be.
“This August 2022, the Bureau of Reclamation declared a Tier 2a for the Colorado River system for calendar year 2023,” she told the Scottsdale Daily Beat. “While normally this would give Scottsdale clarity on its water management for the coming year, the city is awaiting a decision by the federal government on further reductions to the state’s water supply from the Colorado River.”
The Digital Free Press is hosting a moderated debate between the final two candidates from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
The forum will focus on key issues facing the municipality and where these candidates stand on those issues. The live debate will provide an opportunity for Scottsdale voters a glimpse into who could fill the last renaming seat at City Council.
1ON1 with Scottsdale City Council
candidate Pamela Carter
Ms. Carter responded to questions poised regarding what she things are paramount issues that ought to be addressed at the city of Scottsdale. This is what she had to say:
•As the fall legislative season looms, what has your attention?
I am very concerned about homelessness and the social issues facing us in Scottsdale.
We need to curtail the homeless from setting up camp in our city and panhandling on our streets. Human trafficking is increasing as a result of the border crises and fentanyl is coming over our borders. Scottsdale is the first city to be a “Cease City” for human exploitation and is training a new unit to identify victims of this crime. The more urbanization of our city, the more crime, and the need to fully staff our first responders and police.
After speaking with our law enforcement, they have asked me to continue the open, honest communication process with our police and city. POSA is hoping to get approval on a Memorandum of Understanding with our city with the goal of providing a healthy work environment along with great benefits and pay. I will fight on the council to give them what they need to do their jobs effectively and keep us safe. Short-term rentals are affecting our homeowners, I want to be sure our ordinances like SB1168 are enforced.
•What do you think of the current economic state of things and how is Scottsdale positioned to weather any significant downturns that could come?
I support the Scottsdale Airpark and would love to come up with new ideas for a sustainable city through encouraging our Airpark to adopt a light-weight flight and bring in new businesses. Our economic growth has been strong in Scottsdale, we are under budget. We should continue to support local businesses and tourism. My experience as a former business owner of the largest sports medicine and weight training facility in the nation has prepared me to speak with business owners.
One of the premier tour companies in the southwest, Detours American West has endorsed my campaign because they know I will fully support local businesses and do what I can as your councilwoman to make sure Scottsdale is a secure and world class vacation destination for tourists.
•What has running this campaign meant to you as a person and resident of Scottsdale?
I have gotten to know and love the people of Scottsdale more deeply by meeting thousands of residents, business owners and families over this past year. I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to the heart of the city in this campaign, through the amazing commitment of my volunteers. As someone who has lived my life as a volunteer in churches, community outreach and as the board of directors for Help 4 Kidz, an outreach to at-risk youth and families, I know at the core how valuable our volunteers are and paramount to any campaign or cause. They have touched my life profoundly.
•What do you think you learned along the way?
I have experienced a growing understanding of the tremendous responsibility and trust the people of Scottsdale place in their city council members when one vote is cast in our favor. I always want to make sure to take every project at face value, listen and learn from homeowners and families who live in Scottsdale and protect our unique city and schools. I am humbled by the outpouring of faith and encouragement by complete strangers saying, “I am voting for you” or “I am praying for you.” A great big, “Thank you!”