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Two Things Scottsdale City Leadership Can't Afford To Do

Scottsdale is currently going through one of the greatest challenges it has ever seen due to the COVID-19 health crisis. This is going to have long-term effects, the likes of which I don’t think we can even imagine. Because of the long-term magnitude of the impact, there are two things Scottsdale leadership can’t afford to do: underreact or overreact. Tuesday night, at the City Council meeting, I witnessed many of my fellow councilmembers under-react when it pushed to approve a budget with an $11 million increase. Even if the budget was developed before the COVDI-19 crisis, the wait-and-see approach and pushing things through as though nothing has changed is irresponsible. This is why I called for a 10% reduction in budget, anticipating the almost inevitable loss of revenue in the coming year. If this was my business, I would be doing the same thing, and I don’t know why the city thinks it should work any differently.   The State of Arizona recently announced a potential budget shortfall of $1.1B over two fiscal years.  The City of Scottsdale should be creating modified General Fund budgets with 10%, 20% and 30% reductions, while being strategic with these reduction scenarios in order to minimize cuts in public safety and other departments directly serving our citizens.  Additionally, we need to provide more resources and expertise for our economic development department to help our small businesses recover. We also must focus on diversifying our business base so that our reliance on the tourism industry is lessened.  Since the Great Recession, I have been advocating for targeted business attraction efforts to draw new corporations to our city that provide well-paying jobs.  Nationwide Insurance Company’s regional corporate campus is a great beginning to this diversification. We also can’t afford to overreact and just cut everything without strategy and long-term cooperation with the county and state on federal allocated budgets. The culture of no is not helpful and it will ultimately hurt Scottsdale in the long run. Good leadership means advocating on behalf of Scottsdale to get what it needs through cooperation and collaboration with the state, county and other cities. During this crisis, we need to be wise, prudent, and balanced.  Now is not the time to slow-walk the budget revision. This is a big deal, and leadership matters.

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Co-Chairs: Ace Bailey, Jane Blacker, Jim Bruner, Paul Messinger

Paid for by Korte Scottsdale. Authorized by Virginia Korte.

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