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  • Writer's pictureTom Durham

Which of the City Council candidates will protect our parks and Preserve?

Scottsdale City Council elections come and go every four years, but some elections have a lasting effect on the City’s future.  Such was the case with the addition of the McDowell Mountain Preserve and our amazing Greenbelt.  The current City Council has set the stage for such a transformative change to further improve Scottsdale, but most of the current City Council candidates are sitting on the sidelines on this critical issue.

On April 2nd, the City Council approved a ballot measure which, if approved by the voters in November, will provide essential funding for maintenance of our parks and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  This measure would also provide funds for park rangers to improve safety.  This ballot measure was the result of lengthy study by the Protect and Preserve Scottsdale Task Force, and considered input from over 1,000 citizens, who strongly supported the proposal.  

Council members Barry Graham and Kathy Littlefield chose to ignore the citizens’ voices and voted against putting this issue on the ballot, claiming it is a tax increase, even though, if enacted, Scottsdale voters would see their tax bills go down.  And Scottsdale’s sales tax would remain among the lowest in the Valley.  What’s even worse is that both Barry and Kathy voted against letting the citizens decide!  They think you shouldn’t have a voice in determining the future of our parks and the Preserve.  

Adam Kwasman and Jan Dubauskas, who are running for City Council, have allied themselves with Barry and Kathy.  They both claim to be “resident-friendly,” but denying a vote to citizens is definitely not “resident-friendly.’  

Adam says he “loves” our parks—he just doesn’t want to pay for necessary maintenance and upgrades.  He claims to be “family-friendly,” but opposing funds for playgrounds is hardly “family-friendly,” particularly in the southern part of the City where older parks need some tender loving care.  

I am running for re-election because I am concerned that candidates such as Adam and Jan are focused on partisan ideology rather than the betterment of Scottsdale.  This issue is a perfect illustration of my concern.  They are more concerned with sticking to an “anti-tax” partisan ideology rather than improving Scottsdale.  

Can you imagine Scottsdale without the Preserve or Greenbelt?  I can’t.  A vision for the future is more important than anti-tax ideology.  I have been an enthusiastic supporter of our parks and the Preserve since I served as Treasurer of the Protect Our Preserve PAC.  Tammy Caputi and Maryann McAllen share my vision for the future of our parks and Preserve and join me in enthusiastically supporting the ballot measure.  

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