“This pissing match between Jason Alexander and David Smith is the last thing Scottsdale needs. It’s time for both of them to start acting their age. Sooner the better.”

Bruce R.

“Voting Yes for the SUSD override is going to keep our teachers wages competitive. We don’t have a teacher in the family, but we’re all going to be voting for it.”

George D.

“Does anybody know when Prescott Smith’s term expires on the Planning Commission? He’s got to go!!!”


“Every time I go online at the Scottsdale Independent, it feels like there’s another op-ed from some citizen supporting the bonds. I stopped reading them a month ago, and I support the bonds. It’s all starting to be just white noise. I can’t believe I’m the only one who feels this way.”

James J.

“Is anyone going to hold Jim Thompson and Dan Worth accountable for the bridge fiasco?”

Name Withheld

“Whatever happened to Andrea Alley? She started out like a house on fire … but haven’t heard anything from her in months. Did she flame out?”

Kathy W.

“The Marquee office building (aka Titanic) doesn’t belong in Old Town. Not sure it even belongs anywhere in Scottsdale. I’ll remember what members of the City Council approved it.”

Jan P.

“I know at least two people, a neighbor and a friend, who were both attacked by the No DDC group during the Prop 420 election.”

Helen U.

“I support the bond package. But why is the campaign working on the issue going to spend half-a-million dollars? That’s a real waste money. Somebody is making a nice profit!”

Julie J.

“We’ve waited long enough to pass a serious bond proposal. It’s about time that the esteemed city council unanimously supported bonds. Even Guy Phillips, who has been notorious for opposing bonds, is on board. That should tell you something.”

Betty G.

“I will be voting yes on two of the three bond questions. We don’t need to spend $40,000,000 on soccer fields and a parking lot for Craig Jackson.”

Sid F.

“I wonder how long it’s going to take for the Yari Brothers to own every inch of Old Town. Then we can name it Yari Town!!!”

Phil O.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea. How about we have a moratorium on apartments and start building the office space the city needs so badly.”


“To think that a building like The Marquee may some day be built downtown is sad. I know that Scottsdale can’t stay the same. But at least if our city is going to grow and evolve, it should be done thoughtfully and tastefully. The Marquee is neither thoughtful or tasteful.”

Tammi G.

“Larry Kush is really full of himself. Imagine if he ever put his experience and expertise to work for citizens!”

Julie J.

“After reading the latest Voice, curiosity got the best of me. I watched the video of the Planning Commission meeting. That zoning attorney for The Marquee is a pimp. He’s certainly no John Berry. I wonder if there isn’t a project he wouldn’t try to sell Scottsdale?”

Chet B.

“What’s it going to take for the city council to tackle the Old Town parking problem? Are they really that disconnected?

Jan P.

“Watching Planning Commissioner Christian Serena shred the attorney pimping the Marquee was a sheer delight. It’s amazing how easily one of these empty Italian suits can be knocked off their game when confronted with facts. Wish the other commissioners would buck up.”

George E.

“Larry Kush: Showboat or Blowhard?”

Frank V.

“It sounds like Vernon Parker, the failed candidate who moved here from Paradise Valley recently, is now rumored to be running for mayor. Good luck with that one, Vern.”

Phil O.

“Reliable sources say the Museum Square consulting team is on the hot seat with their client after the condo debacle. Double-secret probation?”

Sally G.

“Museum Square is far from a done deal thanks to shoddy work by the city staff.”

Red Robyn

“I think this whole Museum Square fiasco is Jason Rose’s karma catching up with him.”

Julie J.

“Something really sounds fishy about the Museum West and that condo. Thankfully, Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead smoked it out.  The statement coming out of the city has more vagueness than usual.  That probably means somebody is in a whole lot trouble.”

Karin G.

“As a veteran Old Town merchant, I won’t lose any sleep if the Museum Square development gets flushed.  Too tall, too dense, too much for the area.”


“Why does the City Council keep kicking the can down the road about the shortage of parking in Old Town?  Are they really that blind … or don’t they care?”

Darlene J.

“If I had to venture a guess about who dropped the ball on the Museum Square SNAFU, my money is on Brent Stockwell.   It’s got his fingerprints all over it.”

 Bruce S.

“Who dropped the ball on Museum Square? Our esteemed city manager has some explaining to do.”


“I totally understand why the city council has a consent agenda.  It’s a place to dump noncontroversial issues so council meetings aren’t six hours long. But I’m starting to get the feeling that its being used to sneak through issues under the radar when no one is looking.  Surely there has to be a better way.  Ethics, anybody? “

Cathy P.

“Whatever happened to Andrea Alley and that group she started in south Scottsdale.  Are her 15 minutes up?”

Carol W.

“I think these two yahoos (Jason Alexander & Mike Norton) are just getting started.  I worked on YES Prop 420 and know for a fact they can’t stand one another.”

Name Withheld

“The more I read about the parking codes and formulas, especially in Old Town, the crazier it gets.  No wonder the downtown merchants’ hair is on fire. What’s it going to take to straighten this situation out?”


 “Is Mike Norton working on the school district budget override campaign the good news or the bad news?  There’s no debating that Norton knows more about education that most people.  But he often can’t get out of his own way and has knack for pissing people off.  I hope he doesn’t screw up SUSD’s campaign the way he did with the city’s bond campaign.”

Don H.

 “It’s a toss up about who’s more toxic: Mike Norton or Jason Alexander.”

Frank O.

“Jason Alexander and Mike Norton are getting a divorce. Really … irreconcilable differences?”

Betty V.

“I’ll be eager to see how much the Chamber of Commerce and SCOTT contribute to the bond committee. Curious to see if they put their money where their mouths are.”

Carl U.

“Before Paula Sturgeon was appointed to be a co-chairperson of the bond campaign, she told people she would like to run for the city council. I wonder if she intends to do that, and if she’s using the bond campaign to advance her candidacy?”

Name Withheld

“No surprise that the bond campaign had the good sense to walk back on the crazy claims that if we okay the bonds it will lower our taxes. No way!!!”

Gary T.

“I voted to approve the bonds in 2013 and 2015. I’ll be doing the same this fall.”

Betty W.

“I’d like to put in a plug for the Scottsdale Progress. I’m glad it’s back. It’s where I’m getting my local news. Keep up the good work!”

Shirley B.

“A couple of my colleagues are on the steering committee for the city’s bond campaign. Both of them say that the committee is like the Keystone Cops who can’t get out of their own way. I support all three questions on the ballot and hope these yahoos don’t screw it up.”


“I think 2019 is just the calm before the storm in 2020.”

Julie J.

“Sorry, folks, but there’s no way the support for the 3 bond questions is hovering around 80%. I’m all in on the public safety one. Not so much on the other two.”

Vic P.

“How much longer will Mike Norton be allowed to be the spokesperson for the bond campaign. He’s a lightning rod who’s not a team player.”

Kathy G.

“So the City Council voted to raise the salaries of future council members.  Wonderful. Let’s see if that helps attract more qualified people to serve on the council.”


“I won’t be at all surprised if Jason Alexander doesn’t run for the City Council.  I don’t think he has what it takes.”

Doris G.

“Mark Hiegel had a great quote in readers’ comment that I agree with. It’s time for Jason Alexander to move on.  The 420 election is over, Mr. Alexander.”


“No less than Mike Norton, one of the co-chairs of the bond committee, says if we pass the bonds our taxes will go down.  Oh really Mike … how does that work?

Carl E.

“Emily Austin is really giving Jason Rose a run for his money. Or Craig Jackson’s money!

Kathy H.

“I read that the new fire station, #603, that’s going to be on Indian Bend east of Hayden is over budget.  The article stated one of the reasons that the cost of the station was out of whack was because city staff time had been underestimated. Why is city employees’ time included in the construction costs? Aren’t they already paid to work on projects like this?” 

Frank V.

“I would just as soon that David Smith hadn’t filed that campaign complaint against (Jason) Alexander and (Mike) Norton.  It’s just digging up the past that many of us will like to forget.  But if Alexander and Norton did actually break campaign finance law, they should be held accountable.”

Phil K.

“I remember clearly those elections 20 years ago you wrote about.  But I don’t think any of them compared to the ugliness of last fall about the preserve.  That one got personal.  It was really a shame how people treated one another and the names they called each other.  I believe a lot of it was inspired by President Trump.  It’s like he makes it acceptable to call people names and bully them.  I truly hope that was a one-time election and we can get back to working together to make our city better.”

 Julie O.

“Phoenix Rising soccer team endorsing the bond campaign could be a game changer. Not!”

Zeke O.

 “Sorry to hear that the new fire station is so over budget. Hard to believe the estimate could have been off more than $1,000,000 in labor costs.”

Shelia F.

“Will we ever hear from Paula Sturgeon, one of the co-chairpersons of the bond campaign, or is it going to be non-stop Mike Norton?”

Pat B. 

“Will our taxes actually go down if we pass the bonds?”

Katie H.

“The council’s unanimous support of the bond should make a real difference in getting this issue passed.  I believe that lack of overall support led to the last two bond failures.  I guess we had to wait for things to really get bad before councilmembers took things seriously.  Well … better late than never.”


“It’s wishful thinking to believe that one election, for instance this bond election, is going to restore our trust in the city council.  They’ve got a lot to prove.  It’s easy to lose someone’s trust, but hard to regain it.”

Name Withheld 

“The political partnership between Paula Sturgeon and Mike Norton as co-chairs of the city’s 2019 bond committee feels like a shotgun marriage.”


“I see that Andrea Alley (aka Miss Cutie Pie) is starting to mature. She’s more humble and a little less arrogant as she is starting to understand some of the political realities of our city. It looks like she appreciates that if she wants to make a difference, rushing to make judgments about people she doesn’t know but who her coaches tell her to slam, doesn’t work.”


“I couldn’t help but notice that Howard Myers was on the bond committee, and then, POOF, he was gone. What’s up with that?”

Name Withheld

“Here’s my question: if there’s such widespread support for the new bond issue, why do they need to $350,000 for the campaign to persuade us to vote for it? “

Inquiring Mind

“Museum Square is too big, too tall and doesn’t have enough parking. Other than that, I like it.

Julie V.

“$40,000,000 for a parking lot at West World … really? How much is Craig Jackson going to contribute to the bond campaign?

Hank B.

“Scottsdale: We Have a Downtown Parking Problem!”

Sherry W.

“Thank you for the progress report about what’s happening in the school district and the unforeseen challenges the school board President Patty Beckman faces. I don’t believe people fully understand the harm that was done during the ‘Birdwell Years.’ SUSD has a long way to go to regain the trust of the community. Truthfully, I don’t know how much the district can accomplish with the three holdovers from the Birdwell regime still on the board.”

Louise P.

“Who’s responsible for making Mike Norton chairman of the bond campaign?  This is a guy that couldn’t get enough support from even one City Council person for the planning commission.  Is there a more divisive person in the city than Norton? 

Tami G.

“I really hope Mary Manross decides to run for mayor.  Because of the unsavory tactics by Jim Lane, she was royally screwed out of a third term.  Scottsdale could really use her sensitive and strong leadership – something that Jim Lane has never provided.”


“It takes two to tango! Wondering if the ‘intolerants’ will ever lighten.  Being gadflies is one thing, but being horse flies is another.” 

Max C.

“I’ll have you know that I’m way past puberty and old enough to know politicians who are in the developer’s pockets when I see it.” 

Merle D.

“I couldn’t agree more: Demonizing the city council has to stop.  It only makes things worse, unless someone has an agenda that doesn’t include acting in the best interest of the city.”  

Wayne G.

“Okay, answer me this. Why should we tolerate decisions that always favor developers and the corrupt behavior of the people we elect to represent us?” 

Ready Freddy

“Thank you very much for the last two blogs about tolerance.  I know it’s tough in this day and age, but if we want to make our city the best it can be, we’ll work together to be more tolerant to all kinds of ideas.  Great cities are shaped by good ideas.” 

Julie J.

“Full disclosure: I’m a card-carrying malcontent.  I’ve watched city government for the last 10 years, ever since Jim Lane was elected to his first term as mayor.  There were times when I thought he would make a difference.  Those days are long gone.  Yes, I’m a malcontent … and proud of it!”

Chuck Wagon

“My friend sent me a video from a girl named Andrea Alley doing a poorly-acted reading of the last edition of the Voice of Scottsdale.  It looks like it was recorded in a bar because its noisy and she sounds tipsy.  Her friends are giggling in the background.  She sounds like an entitled brat.  Ms. Alley needs to grow up.  She was probably too far in the bag to realize as she tried to make a mockery of the blog, she actually helped make the whole point about intolerance and she isn’t as cute as she thinks she is.”

Julie J.

“I know I’m not a ‘malcontent.’ Maybe more like the ‘watchdog’ kind of person mentioned in the blog.  I try to follow city issues as much as my job and commitment to my family permit.  While I have strong opinions about some issues, I believe I’m able to respect those who don’t think like I do.  I also follow local social media.  I think your blog made a strong case for ‘tolerance.’  If we can’t do that, we’re just going in circles.”


“Scottsdale isn’t perfect.  There’s room for improvement.  Trying to do that shouldn’t turn into civil war.  Check your egos at the door and knock off the intolerant crap and let’s get to work together.”

Sally G.

“I can hardly describe how grateful I was to read the new blog.  You said what I’ve been thinking for at least two years. It had to be said.  Some of the more radical people I hear about sound like they want to run a hostile takeover campaign of city government. I understand their harsh opinions of some of members of the City Council.  Believe me, I share the same frustration.  That’s no excuse for name-calling and labeling.”

Craig T.

“I know it’s open season on the council.  But the real problem is the city’s staff.  They’ve been allowed to run amuck for as long as I can remember.  Hopefully, the city manager can rein them in so we can get the city back to being run the way it should be.”

Wayne T.

 “Every time I hear someone accuse the mayor and council of being corrupt, I bristle.  I’m originally from Chicago.  You don’t know corruption until you’ve lived in Cook County.”

Sheila P.

“Tolerance? What a joke!!!  We need to blow the city council up and start over again.”

Chet V.

“Hey, Malcontents … hoping you realize that every time you open your mouths you sound just like Trump clones!”

Vivian G.

“I don’t think you have to look any further than the Planning Commission to understand why city government is broken.”

Name Withheld

“It’s absolutely shameful that some scumbag stole baseballs signed by hall of famers from Don & Charlie’s. Don Carson is a great guy and a terrific ambassador for Scottsdale who didn’t deserve to spend his last days in business under such a dark cloud.”


“There’s not any iota of difference between Suzanne Klapp and Virginia Korte. We need someone else to run for mayor so we have a legitimate choice. Bob Littlefield comes to mind.”


“The Kelsey Pasquel debacle has exposed the city’s planning commission. It’s just one big conflict of interest. No wonder why we’re getting all the crappy looking apartments. I’m not anti apartments. But I am opposed to the uncreative buildings that seem to be designed by third-year architectural students. If we had a fully functioning planning commission, there’s little doubt we wouldn’t see these uninspiring residences popping up all over the city.”

Carol T.

“I’m hearing something about electronic signs coming. If it’s true, billboards will be next. Please keep Scottsdale billboard-free.”

Phil G.

“Andrea Alley would make a great planning commissioner.”

Chris & Martha

“Planning Commissioner Kelsey Young-Pasquel is now the former planning commissioner. She was never the brightest bulb on the commission, so she won’t be missed. Can’t wait to see who fills her seat and what developers they’re in bed with.”

Jackson C.

“It’s amazing how oblivious Mayor Lane is to how the city has become divided under his watch and takes no responsibility.”

Viva la Vicki

“’Scottsdale’s Unspoken Shortcomings’ is my favorite blog about our city, ever. It hit the nail on the head.”

Bruce W.

“Now that the neighbors are happy with the Papago Plaza development, sounds like they’re all patting themselves on the back and forgetting who gave them the chance to voice their opinions.  If Councilwoman Korte hadn’t expanded the whole neighborhood outreach process, they would never have had the chance for the extra rounds of input.  That’s a fact!”

Name Withheld

“Not sure I’ve heard a good reason to change the city’s flag. Doesn’t the City Council have anything better to do?”

Lucy O.

“This morning my wife tripped over one of those scooters that somebody left lying outside the grocery store.  She took a tumble but wasn’t seriously injured.  Isn’t it about time the city steps in and does something about this problem?

Jerry V.

“I’m still scratching my head over how Kathy Littlefield has become the authority on how to hold a bond election.   After working with her husband in 2013 to defeat a $212 million bond package, she has no business leading the discussion about bonds in 2019.  Give it a rest, Kathy.”

Glenn H.

“I’ve taught in SUSD for 17 years.  So I’ve seen the district go from riches to rags.  The last two years have been painful.  I’m pretty sure we’ve put the dark times behind us and now we’re back on track.  To remain there, we must pass a budget override to maintain and operate our schools.” 

Kathy K.

“Kicking the can down the road, as David Smith used to say, has consequences.  It looks the city and the school district have both become victims of their own procrastination.  What a shame!  It’s important that we support both the city bonds and the override elections.  No more postponements!

Julie W.

“The more certain council people say we don’t trust them the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”


“Why are people acting like it’s a big deal that we’re going to get more input on the bond election. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be in the first place?”

Julie J.

“I’m all for letting citizens like us to have more input about our opinions on the best bond projects. But I get the strong sense that some folks feel like they would just as soon leave the city council out of the process.”

Billy Joe

“Unless I miss my guess, Kathy Littlefield is going to find a way to mess with this whole bond package. She has done it before and will probably do it again. Sure would like to know what her husband thinks about the bonds.”

Phil G.

“It never hurts to use a quote from Abe Lincoln.”

Pam F.

“Is there a more disgusting soul in Scottsdale than Jason Alexander? Let me answer that: NO! His latest despicable stunt is to challenge Virginia Korte’s authority to speak on behalf of LGBT issues in Scottsdale. I know for a fact that Councilmember Korte has taken the lead on both the city council and our city on civil rights issues for the LGBT community. Mr. Alexander’s challenge of the councilwoman is nothing more than a desperate attempt to get traction for his run for council in two years. Knock it off, dude, you’re off base.”

Kent G.

“Okay, I’ll say it. This McCain mural issue in Old Town has gotten nuts. How on earth does a pure property rights issue between two landlords make it all the way to the city council? This is like something that would happen on Mayberry RFD.”

Russell D.

“If former City Manager John Little actually decides to run for the council, he better hope that voters have super short memories.”

Jill P.

“Does anyone know when the two bridges under repair are going to be back on line. It’s gone from inconvenient to just plain crazy. It has gotten so bad that you can’t even drive across the canal on 68th St.”

Bilbo B.

“I’m getting a real chuckle out of Bob Littlefield trying to keep the Prop 420 issue alive. Will somebody please tell him the election is over.”

Penny U.

“What nice job of capturing the highlights (and lowlights) of the past decade. I remembered most it.”

Stan the Man

“Wow, how time flies. I’ve been reading your blog for 4 years and thought I was probably there from the beginning. Hope you’re at it for 10 more years. Congratulations and THANK YOU!”

Carole Lee

“When we received the Silver Anniversary edition of your blog we were stunned. 10 years!!! Holy Cow … keep blogging.”


“My New Year’s Resolution is to tune out all the negative noise.”

Jenny G.

“From what I hear, Mike Norton and Jason Alexander are having a political spat and have gone their separate ways. Not surprised. Guys with those big egos can’t be expected to get along.”


“We’ve lived in Scottsdale for 43 years, and this year has been the ugliest year ever. We’re hoping and praying that people get a grip and things settle down in 2019.”

Maggie & Bruce

“I can’t help but be impressed by the new voice coming out of South Scottsdale, Ms. Andrea Alley. She’s really sharp. I think she represents us nicely, without being negative. She makes me wish that we were able to elect council people by districts. Andrea would be a shoe in.”


“Never thought we would see the day when Virginia Korte and Kathy Littlefield would agree on something. Attending last night’s council meeting, I saw them actually work together on the Papago Plaza development on McDowell Road. It looks like we’ll benefit from them holding the developer team’s feet to the fire. Now we’re going have a chance in January to give the city and developer our feedback, which we didn’t have before.”

Sally K.

“I hope Solange Whitehead doesn’t buy any elevator passes from any of the City Council incumbents.”

Jersey Joe

“I can’t remember when we’ve had a real consensus builder on the city council … or anywhere in Scottsdale for that matter.”

Kathy W.

“I truly hope that Kathy Littlefield doesn’t let her mandate from voters go to waste. She’s in perfect position to heal the divide that exists in our city, even though there’s quite few people who deny there is one. If she sincerely cares about Scottsdale, she will build some bridges that other people have tried to burn. She has my support.”

Merle O.

“Happy to hear Councilwoman Korte proposed that the city back away from any further discussion or involvement in the Desert Discovery Center. It’s time for the whole fiasco to be over. Thank you, Virginia.”

Phil G.

“Solange Whitehead is going to have a steep learning curve, even steeper than the one Guy Phillips had in 2012.”

Steve B.

“It looks like the strategy of ‘vote for two, and only two” worked like a charm for Solange and Kathy. Hip, hip, horray!”

Carrie R.

“Solange Whitehead would never have been elected under normal circumstances – like without Prop 420, not to mention all the help she got from Kathy Littlefield.”

Betty F.

“This election proved that it’s the people’s Preserve, not the politicians’ Preserve!”

Suzy Q.

“It’s hard to believe that there’s no organized opposition to the transportation sales tax issue. There was a time when if there was a proposition to raise any kind of tax people would have been coming out of the woodwork to oppose it. Our family already voted for it because it will help improve the condition of our streets which are a mess.”

Vince G.

“I’m not sure if being a Republican or Democrat makes any difference any longer in our City Council campaigns. If that’s the case, Ms. Whitehead just may have a chance to steal a seat on the council.”

Judy T.

“This is without a shadow of a doubt the biggest cluster of an election that I can ever remember.”

Frank V.

“I read a column today by Jason Alexander from the Prop 420 campaign. Now he and his group are in total denial about all of the name-calling and finger pointing they’ve been doing for the past year. He wants us to believe that they’re born again and have been running a positive campaign. Who’s he kidding? Anyone who has been paying attention knows who started what has digressed into an ugly campaign that’s ruining Scottsdale.”

Judy K.

“I can’t wait for this election to be over. It’s absolutely the worst one I can ever remember. I hope it’s not foreshadowing of what’s to come.”

Kathleen C.

“I thought I had seen it all until Kathy Littlefield hooked up with Solange Whitehead. Why, Kathy?”

Mark S.

“Can someone help me, please? Is it ‘our’ preserve or is it ‘your’ preserve?”


“Any group that runs a campaign to boycott Scottsdale businesses won’t get my vote.”

Bruce H.

“Even before I read about Jason Alexander cyber-stalking some of the women connected to the No side of the Proposition 420 campaign, I found him a little creepy. I’m really not sure he’s who he wants us to believe he is.”

Jean R.

“Personally, I don’t care who’s making all the NO 420 signs ‘disappear.’ I’m just glad there are fewer political signs on our streets.”

Max F.

“In politics, I believe that where there’s smoke there’s fire. There are far too many complaints being filed against the campaign supporting Prop 420 for violating campaign finance statues for some of them not to be true.”

Mary Beth

“I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about that man from the NO DDC, Jason Alexander, that doesn’t ring true.”

Cathy K

“Prediction: The sales tax issue is DOA!”

Jim E.

“I’ve watched that video going around with Bob Littlefield when he was on the city council talking about the Desert Discovery Center. He used to be a big supporter. Now that his wife is on the council, not so much. He makes a compelling case for the DDC. He probably regrets having ever said it.”

Julie O.

“My family is totally aware that Solange Whitehead is a one-issue candidate. That’s enough for us. If she gets elected, she’ll have time to study up on all the issues beyond the DDC.”

Herb N.

“It’s hard to know which Proposition 420 campaign to believe. They both say they want to protect the preserve from each other. Talk about confusing. I’ll probably vote NO unless something drastically changes.”


“I really admire Bill Crawford because he’s not a quitter.”


“I don’t like it … but I have to admit that the campaign opposing Prop 420 did a masterful job of stealing the momentum from the other campaign. I think the people running the campaign to pass 420 were caught by surprise. The election feels like a toss up to me.”

Johnny W.

“NODDC owns the political division in our city!”

Franki P.

“All the name calling and blaming make me want to sit out this election. But I probably won’t. Kathy Littlefield is the only candidate I trust. Solange Whitehead is in way over her head. David Smith flip flops more than Flipper. Bill Crawford shouldn’t be running.”


“Bob Pejman would make a great City Council person.”

Shelia G.

‘I’m confused.  I don’t know what’s what in Proposition 420 campaign.  The two sides, Yes and No, are blurring for me.  I’ll try to figure it our before election day, but I my just end up throwing a dart.”


“Our friend Mark Hiegel, now of Wells Fargo and formerly of the Chamber of Commerce, is really getting under Jason Alexander’s skin.  It looks like Alexander has finally met his match … someone who won’t back down from bullying.” 

Craig T.

“Saw your teaser asking if Bob Littlefield could make a comeback.  Looking forward to the next blog.”

Stan T.

“I think you nailed it.  Jason Alexander does, indeed, suffer from a Napoleon Complex.  He’s just a pipsqueak.

Ron M.

“It’ hard for me to believe that such a trash talker who uses such harsh language has the nerve to run for city council.  Of course I’m referring to Mr. Jason Alexander.  What a potty mouth.  We can do better than someone of such low character.”

Betty M.

“So now Mayor Lane and Councilwoman Klapp have crossed over to the other side.  Starting to sound like an adult version of Red Rover.” 

Jane O.

“Sorry to the folks who so strongly oppose the Desert Discovery Center – but just because Linda Milhaven works at Wells Fargo, it doesn’t mean that the bank has any place in the discussion.”

Miss Piggy

“I’d like to know where to get what Suzanne Klapp is smoking … for a friend.

Buzz Bomb

“We have been reading up on Proposition 420.  It looks good on paper but we worry about how it’s going to be implemented.  It seems like it isn’t accounting for unexpected circumstances.  Unless someone can convince us otherwise before early voting starts, we’re two No votes.”

Carl G.

“I don’t have time to keep up with all the ins and outs of the Scottsdale political scene because I have a life.  So I appreciated the new blog about how everybody seems to be shifting around.  This is getting pretty crazy.  Please keep us updated on who’s where and doing what.”

Barb E.

“I’m a fan of the Voice of Scottsdale and Bob Dylan. You guys rock!”

Jeff B.

“This Proposition 420 makes absolutely no sense.  So if we pass it, every time we want to do something in the preserve we have to have a citywide election that will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.  That’s crazy!!!  Who dreamed up this mess?”

Phil T.

“I can’t wait to see Guy Phillips campaign ‘for’ something and not ‘against’ it.  Never thought I would see the day that Councilman Phillips would want to raise taxes.  He sure has changed over the last 6 years.”

Chatty Cathy

“The more I read about Prop 420, the less I like it.  I hope everyone will take the time to read what’s actually in it and not just skim the surface.” 

Pete V.

“Holy cow … the return of the Scottsdale Progress!  We could use a real newspaper.  Looking forward to it.”

James L.

“I was surprised to hear that there could be an independent expenditure campaign against David Smith.  It seems like people should have learned a long time ago those kind of campaigns don’t work in Scottsdale.  In fact they usually backfire.  But if some folks want to waste their money on such a frivolous effort, that’s their business.”

June C.

“I feel like the sales tax is going to go down in flames.” 

Billy The Kid

“It was good to get the Voice after a long absence.  I’m guessing even bloggers have to go on vacation.  I liked the special edition that’s getting readers caught up on the political season right around the corner.  It looks like it will be a rough and tumble time during the next three months.  Keep up the good work and don’t be a stranger.”

Dawn G.

“Talk about coming out of the blue. Councilwoman Klapp’s endorsement of Prop 420 yesterday is nothing short of shocking.  For the last year she has been telling people that changing the city’s charter was a dangerous thing to do.  Then she turns around and supports it.  Feels like she is riding the political winds."

Name Withheld

“I had every confidence that the Mountain Preserve issue would make the ballot.  All the hard-working people responsible for making it happen deserve credit and our congratulations.  After November, we can put it behind us and move on … I hope!!!”


“I’ve been at a couple of events this summer where I was able to talk to Patty Beckman who’s running for the SUSD school board. She’s very impressive.  We could be looking at the next president of the Governing Board.”

Vern K.

“Every time I hear those people who oppose the Desert Edge say that they’re not splitting the city but rather uniting it, I could lose my lunch.  They are just mean spirited, name calling jerks who don’t take responsibility for their actions.  Being in denial is not a legitimate defense for what they’re doing to our city.”

Casey G.

“This is my favorite time of year because the City Council goes on vacation.”

Frank T.

“I think there’s little doubt what candidate would benefit most by Ms. Robis being disqualified from running for City Council.  Bill Crawford.  It can probably never be proved. But my money is on Mr. Crawford.”

Marilyn V.

“We were sad to see Alyssa Robis knocked off the ballot, but we appreciated your blog that put things in perspective.  We hope that she learned a lesson and will be back to fight another day.”

Kris G.

“If what you say is true about the wording for the sales tax on the ballot, that’s insane.  Can’t ever remember when something on a ballot to raise money ever said what it wouldn’t be used for. Nuts!!!”

Bruce J.

“I’ll be voting NO on the sales tax issue.  That’s no way to invest in fixing our infrastructure.”

Pistol Pete

“For my money, Scottsdale’s most pressing problem is its infrastructure.  We’re falling way behind.  That should be the city’s number one priority.  Unless we get on the ball, it will take us 10 years (maybe more) to catch up.”

Mark S.

“Probably the most compelling blog you’ve sent.  Thank you very much.  You wrote what many of us have been talking about for months.  The Desert Discovery Center is sucking the oxygen out of our city when there are so many other issues and topics worth discussing.  Sadly, I think that will continue being the case until the November election.”

Jenny O.

“I believe there’s no more important issue in our city than the DDC/Desert Edge.  For heaven’s sake, it’s all about protecting our preserve.  What could be more important.”

Jill W.

“If the candidate debates were the only thing voters had to judge the candidates for council on, David Smith is a shoe-in.”

Nancy G.

“I wonder what Bill Crawford is going to do to shake his reputation as a repeat candidate who has never won an election.”

Julie E.

“I attended the forum today about the city’s infrastructure issues.  Nothing I didn’t know, so I left about halfway through.  I still don’t get what the event’s sponsor, Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow, does.”

Jeff B.

“My neighbor and I stopped by the council candidates’ forum last night at the library.  We both felt like Solange Whitehead is being underestimated.  She may even be a sleeper candidate.  Not ready to vote for her just yet, but she made sense.  Maybe it’s time for a little fresh blood at city hall.”

Kevin R.

“In my 21 years of watching Scottsdale politics, I’ve never seen such a blatant example of corporate extortion as what Nationwide did to get 1,000 acres rezoned in north Scottsdale. Shameful.”

Name Withheld

“I read that Mary Manross has re-emerged.  Never thought she would be back in the game.  But it makes sense that she would be aligning herself with Solange Whitehead. They both eat and sleep the Mountain Preserve.  I thought Mary was a good mayor, particularly suited for the time she served.  I think the city would look a lot different today if she had been re-elected back in 2008.”

Pistol Pete

“Hello City Council … the more often you mention that the public doesn’t trust you, the more the public doesn’t trust you!”

Frank J.

“I really appreciated you including an email from a reader in this blog.  Nice change-up, and it helped to make the point about how our city’s politics are shifting.  I agree with the emailer: these new politics are really bad for Scottsdale.  I like the role Guy Phillips plays on the council.  But I, like so many others, was surprised that he came out for a tax increase.”

Helen P.

“Many people don’t take Guy Phillips seriously.  But he always seems to get the last laugh.”


“Are Mayor Lane’s coattails long enough to help elect Bill Crawford?  I think not.  Crawford is on his own.”

Name Withheld

I’m still confounded how there hasn’t been a peep about increasing the sales tax.  When people finally wake up, they won’t like it.  If it’s difficult to pass bonds, how on earth can anyone expect that a sales tax proposal has any chance of passing.”

Fred S.

“We’re looking forward to the first council candidate forum in two weeks.  Anxious to see how Solange Whitehead handles herself with other candidates.  She may be a dark horse in this six-candidate race.”


“Sorry, but I’ll never call downtown Old Town!”


“The snowbirds may have gone home, but traffic is still a royal pain in the ass.  Three-light waits during the morning and in the evenings have a way of making Scottsdale not so special.”

Bruce H.

“Before someone heaps too much credit on Guy Phillips for getting his proposal to raise the sales tax rate on the ballot, it’s important to recognize that no one (except three councilmembers) spoke up against it. I wonder if business leaders had stood up to be counted on the issue, if the outcome would have been different.  Guess we’ll never know.”

Phyllis G.

“Looks like Mayor Lane’s idea to put Councilman Phillips on the CIP Subcommittee backfired.”


“It’s hard to get my mind around Jim Lane of all people wanting to raise the sales tax.  Is that going to be his legacy?”


“We should give the new CEO of Scottsdale Arts at least a year to restore some type of order to the organization.  I hear it has slipped much further than Kathy Wills and the Board of Trustees are letting on.”

Betty G.

“I hope Mark Stanton can turn the Chamber of Commerce around.  It has become a place where old business leaders go to die!”

Bruce O.

“Scottsdale less special … I agree.”

Pop Tart

“I’ve live in Scottsdale since 1978, and I don’t remember the city ever being so divided.  I believe a lot of what has gone wrong can be attributed to the lack of leadership on all fronts.”

Art D.

“So glad that someone else has noticed our deteriorating institutions and organizations.  I think the erosion in SUSD is far and away the most detrimental to Scottsdale’s future.  Without a stable school system, communities struggle to succeed.  I hate to say it, but we probably have to blow it up and start again. I’m really sorry.”

Kathleen K.

“Since when did raising taxes in Scottsdale become okay?”

The Flintstones

“Is it just me or does anybody else think Mayor Lane has been looking more lost than usual in city council meetings?  It seems like he’s having trouble keeping up.”


“I’m the owner of a small business near the downtown area.  I need the sales tax rate raised like a hole in the head. I know the council was only talking about a small amount, but even that hurts a business like mine.  I’ll be voting against it on the ballot.”

Bruce G.

“We watched the city council meeting last night about the sales tax issue.  What about raising taxes doesn’t Kathy Littlefield get?  Her husband would have never gone for it.  Bob would have voted for a bond election and then campaigned against it.”


“I give the new guy at Scottsdale Arts two years … three tops!”

Jimmy J.

“Who does Scottsdale Arts think they’re fooling?”

Justin C.

“Just when you think things are finally straightened out at the organization formerly known as the Cultural Council, it all gets screwed up, again.  Maybe they should change their name, because third time is the charm.”

Arty Farty

“Scottsdale Arts isn’t passing the smell test.”

Julie P.

“Is John Little really running for mayor in 2020?”

Sweet Sheila

“If the Scottsdale School Board wanted to sincerely advocate for teachers, all five members of the board would declare their support for #REDforED.  Hey … it could happen!


“I never thought I would see the day when Suzanne Klapp would team up with Kathy Littlefield and Guy Phillips to undermine a bond election.  She just lost the respect and support of the business community, I guarantee you.”

Name Withheld

“Why is Solange Whitehead holding a bond or sales tax election hostage for a vote on the Desert Discovery Center?  Stupid and self centered.  If this is the kind of political games she wants to play, she doesn’t deserve a seat on the city council.”

Philly Cheese

“When we moved here from Missouri 8 years ago, we thought we were moving to a place that was politically sophisticated.  Boy, did we get a surprise.  It’s obvious why Scottsdale is called ‘The West’s Most Western Town.’”

Patty & John K.

“Two of our children are enrolled in SUSD.  But this will be their last year.  We’ll be sending them to a more stable school district where people running it know what they’re doing and put students first.”

Deborah D.

“How much longer can the Scottsdale Charros afford to support the school district?”

Kathleen H.

“It’s hard to imagine how the Scottsdale Unified School District can rebound from this political debacle.  The governing board has blown up the district’s credibility.  It’s sad to watch its demise.  I attended high school at Saguaro and still have fond memories.  Now SUSD’s brand is deception and deceit. It’s shameful.”

Connie G.

“(The school district) Doesn’t sound any different than the Scottsdale City Council who’ve also lost the trust of the people, have many members who need to be replaced, and have a long way to go to rebuild citizens’ trust.  Look in the mirror before throwing stones elsewhere.  Both institutions are corrupt.”

Andrea K.

“Great to see the Scottsdale teachers’ union stand up for its members.  The school board isn’t worth a plug nickel.  Teachers need to become the backbone of the school district. Their voices are critical to the future of SUSD.”

Victor T.

“Our family loves Scottsdale Stadium.  Not everyone may remember that it was the success of the bond campaign in 1990 that provided the funds to make it happen.  Because it’s almost 30 years old, it now needs renovating.  It’s going to be interesting to see where the $40 million comes from for the enhancements.”

Julie J.

“It’s pretty embarrassing that Scottsdale has unsafe bridges.  Never thought I’d see the day when our city sounded like what happens in other places, not here!”

Penny For Your Thoughts

“I watched the council’s study session on the city’s failing
infrastructure.  There is only one way to tackle something of such financial significance: general obligation bonds.  Why Councilman Guy Phillips suggests increasing the sales tax is absolutely ridiculous.”

Jamie O.

“If there’s a bond election, does Kathy Littlefield campaign for or against bonds?”


“Why was the governing board the last group of people to figure out that Denise Birdwell was a snake in the grass?  We elected these people to be watchdogs not lapdogs.  Our schools and students deserve better than what we’re getting!!!”

Viva la Voice

“Looks like Mark Stuart is back at it.  This guy doesn’t know when to quit.”

Merle K.

“I signed the NODDC petition today … have you?”
Bobby R.

“I wonder if the new bike share program is just too much of a good thing that people will keep abusing?”

Linda A.
“I think Councilwoman Littlefield had a bunch of terrific ideas how to make the rental bikes more efficient.  I hope they were listening, particularly if they want to continue to keep them in Scottsdale.”

Rosemary V.

“In the last month I’ve had to remove 4 lime bikes from my yard.  I called the company and the city, but ended up doing it myself everytime.  If the bike companies aren’t going to be responsible for their inventory, they don’t deserve to do business here.”

Chet A.

“Hey, Denise: On your way out the door, please hold it open for Barbara, Pam and Kim. Thank You!”

George P.

“I think we need to give the bike companies more time to work the bugs out of the bike share system. Once all the tourists have left, the companies should have a pretty good idea how many and where the bikes should be located.”

Kathy G.

“My entire family has used the ride share bikes a number of times.  We love them!!! I only hope that the companies can get their acts together and stop making it easy for cranky people to complain about too many bikes.  It’s a great idea that isn’t costing taxpayers a penny.  That’s nice for a change.”


“As a long-standing member of the Chamber of Commerce, I believe our organization needs a makeover.  It has turned into a bunch of old, out of touch white guys who know little about the city’s issues.”

Old White Guy

“Why is Scottsdale Arts so fixated on hiring people from somewhere else to run the organization?  The last two out-of-staters were huge disappointments.  Then they turn right around and hire someone from Louisiana.  After this one doesn’t work out, how about trying someone from here who understands Scottsdale.”

Kathleen G.

“I just finished reading Barbara Perleberg’s article in the Scottsdale Independent.  She’s actually more out of touch with SUSD issues than I thought … and she’s the president of our school board??? Surely there are people who live in the school district who are qualified to serve on the board to replace people like Perleberg, Kim Hartmann and Pam Kirby.  They are a real problem.”

Neil P.

“One of the things I like most about the Voice is that you guys always find a way to present some interesting angles on issues.  Thanks for your commitment to Scottsdale and keeping people thinking.”

Peggy Sue

“I don’t believe for one minute that Mark Hiegel voluntarily resigned from the Chamber of Commerce.  I think he got a raw deal.  Hopefully, he will land on his feet.”

Chuck V.

“I was unable to attend the Businesses United for Scottsdale Schools earlier today.  Two friends who were there said attendance was spotty.”

Kevin M.

“I’m not a labor law attorney.  But I think the SUSD superintendent is getting mighty close workplace harassment.”

Phillip O.

“Thank you for not letting Kim Hartmann off the hook.  It’s easy to blame Pam Kirby for a lot of the problems in SUSD.  Heck, she’s the one who has bragged about bringing Denise Birdwell here.  Barbara Perleberg makes me miss Bonnie Sneed.  But Hartmann, little miss goodie two shoes, is just as complicit as the other two.  They all need to be gone, yesterday!”

Deborah T.

“So now the truth comes out. Governing Board members Sandy Kravetz and Allyson Beckham knew that Laura Smith had a conflict of interest problem months before it was made public.  That means every member of the school board has now been sucked into Superintendent Birdwell’s soap opera.”

Karen W.

“Is the Scottsdale school board actually in danger of being taken over by the state board of education?”

Mr. Curious

“I believe I remember that the Voice predicted SUSD issues would replace Desert EDGE issues in 2018.  Looks like you were right. Not a peep about Desert EDGE and it’s now all SUSD all of the time.”


“Denise Birdwell … what did she know and when did she know it?”

Howard M.

“I’m starting to develop a phobia of turning on the TV or picking up a newspaper because of what I may hear or read about the deplorable behavior in our school district.  This is terrible role modeling for our students.”

Viv T.

“SUSD: It’s not over until the fat lady resigns!”


“I voted for Kim Hartmann when she ran for the school board four years ago.  I won’t make the same mistake twice.”

Fool Me Once

“I really like when the blog takes on the school superintendent and the school board without calling them names.  They all deserve to be called out.”

Robert L.

“Appreciate that your blog cast some shade on Kim Hartmann.  When it comes to the governing board, Pam Kirby ends up attracting most of the attention.  Even though Ms. Hartmann is a follower and not a leader, she’s still just as responsible as Kirby for what’s coming down in the school district.  Ms. Hartmann likes to play innocent, but she, just like all of her colleagues, is complicit.”

Kathy K.

“Shouldn’t someone speak up about Councilman Smith using council meetings to run for re-election … where’s the city attorney?”

Sandra D.

“When they first came out, I thought the green bikes were a great idea.  Now I see them everywhere, especially in places that they have no business being.  They’re not just an eyesore, they’re also dangerous when people leave them littering sidewalks.”

Vivian G.

“If NO DDC insisted on putting up a candidate, I would have much rather seen Jason Alexander run for the city council than Solange Whitehead.  I doubt that Solange knows half as much about city issues as Jason.”

Short Pants

“Because our family is very active in the arts community, we are hoping that this is the year Scottsdale Arts finally gets its act together. Wouldn’t it be nice if they picked someone to run the organization from Scottsdale who understands our community and not some out-of-towner who doesn’t get our city.”


“We have two children attending two different SUSD schools … so we’re looking forward to the Attorney General’s investigation into the shenanigans in the district.  It’s time for the superintendent to go!”

Carole & Bob V.

“I think Bill Crawford’s time may have finally come.  I’ll be voting for him and, of course,  Kathy Littlefield.  I haven’t made up my mind about my third vote.”

Cecil K.

“I really enjoyed your latest blog.  You seemed to cover all the bases.  Your grasp of the city’s issues is appreciated.  I, for one, am glad the Desert Edge has become a backburner issue.  We have so many other things to worry about, like the chaos in the school district.  It has much more impact on more people than the Edge.”


“Thank you Voice for the preview of 2018.  All of us in a department at an unnamed location at the city of Scottsdale are loyal followers.  So we have more than a passing interest in what you mentioned about the city manager promoting a bond election this year.  You are spot on when you say that for a bond election to succeed it must have the unanimous support of the council.  That’s been a big problem in the past.  We hope it isn’t one in the future.”

Name Withheld

“Solange Whitehead will make a great councilwoman.  No one is more committed to protecting our Mountain Preserve than Solange.  We need more voices of the people on the council than just Kathy Littlefield and Guy Phillips.”

Nancy G.

“We live almost 2 miles from the bar district. Every night during this holiday season we can here the music generated from there.  I feel sorry for those who live in the immediate neighborhoods north of Camelback Road.  I thought there was supposed to be a noise ordinance???”

Cisco Kid

“We live downtown.  We wish everyone could see how pretty it is this time of year.  It’s every bit as gorgeous as Santa Fe or Santa Barbara. “

Lee & Steven

“The investigation by SUSD is a sham.  Susan Segal, the investigator, had a conflict of interest when she investigated if the school district had a conflict of interest. Come on school board, how gullible do you think taxpayers are?”


“Now the real question is: Will those who oppose the Desert EDGE pay a professional petition gathering company to collect signatures to put the project on November’s ballot?”

Jeannie R.

“Let’s be honest, folks.  Mark Stuart wasted a lot of time and resources gathering signatures for a bogus petition.”

Katie G.

“No DDC and their sister organization, POP, are about to find out how hard (if not impossible) it is to run a volunteer-only signature gathering campaign.”

Max F.

“It’s no surprise for those of us who have been following the DDC/Desert EDGE issue that the council punted.  It’s very disappointing that the people we elect to handle big issues are incapable of doing so.  It’s shameful how our elected officials have kicked the can down the road.”

Peggy Sue

“Well, it looks like our esteemed City Council is getting the last laugh.  They’ve passed the buck on Desert EDGE to NO DDC.  The public vote issue is now in the organization’s court. Yes, indeed … it’s time to put up or shut up.”

Frank V.

“Nasty and untrue.  You forgot to mention the lawsuit that has been filed.”

Kathy H.

“I’m not a big fan of Bill Crawford. But I think he will add some color to the city council race.  He may even draw out some issues that the other candidates aren’t willing to tackle.”

Cindy G.

“How about locating the Desert Edge project downtown, maybe near the Museum of the West.  It would create synergy and draw people to the downtown area, which could use more foot traffic.”  

Steve W.

“What’s the fascination of building DDC/Desert Edge at Taliesin West?  No access, no land, no sense.”

Ranger Bob

“For anyone who came in contact with Scottsdale Arts during the last year, they could tell it was on automatic pilot.  Not sad to see Neale Perl go.  It probably didn’t come soon enough.”

Name Withheld

“Of course Neale Perl was fired. Come on Scottsdale Arts … step up and tell the truth and stop blowing smoke.”


“I hope David Smith decides to run for council.  We need him to keep an eye on the books and our tax dollars.”

Karen K.

“As an employee of Scottsdale Arts, I know for a fact that Neale Perl was out of touch with the organization.  For at least the last year, his detachment was a topic of conversation in just about all the departments of the organization.  In his final year, he never shared a vision or provided leadership.  Department heads were on their own.  I truly hope that the Board of Trustees doesn’t make the same mistake when they hire someone to replace Mr. Perl.”


“I can’t think of a more screwed up organization in Scottsdale than Scottsdale Arts, including the City Council.  It’s hard to believe the city gives that group of mismanaged elites $4,000,000 a year. What a waste of our money.”

Phillip G.

“For the record: No CEO resigns to seek other so-called opportunities and leaves their job the same day.  No way.”


“What a horrible week for SUSD.  How much longer can the superintendent and governing board deny the school district has real problems.  And guess what? It’s not just a few disgruntled parents.  The longer they refuse to face it, the worse it gets.”

Billy Joe

“The people at Scottsdale Arts are supposed to be smarter than they are appearing.  What are they hiding from the pubic?  Whatever happened, it must have been egregious.”

Julie J.

“The trustees at Scottsdale Arts explanation of Neale Perl leaving is absolutely ludicrous.  It’s actually so bad that it’s transparent – or at least we can see right through it.  They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Henry T.

“Something really smells fishy at Scottsdale Arts.  How dumb do they think we are, anyway?  Truly an insult to taxpayers’ intelligence.”

Ms. Vicki

“I have absolutely no knowledge of the arts situation and am not suggesting anything about Mr. Perl.  But it’s possible that he was doing a great job running the organization but had some personal issue that the board could not live with.  Or it’s possible to do a great job in all areas except one. Just sayin’”

George E.

“No one could be happier than all of my neighbors and me that Kathy Littlefield has decided to run for re-election.  She is one of the few politicians I would ever think about working for.  GO Kathy!”

Nancy T.

“Where’s Mark Stuart?”

Carl, Jr.

“From what I can see, Experience Scottsdale is doing a good job of promoting the city.”

Hanky Panky

“You just know Pam Kirby, the most politically conniving member of the school board, had to have something to do with Mayor Lane inserting himself into the school district brawl.  Politicizing the situation is only going to make things worse.  I hope his column in the newspaper was a one-time thing.”


“Does Jim Lane know he’s the mayor of Scottsdale and not the superintendent of SUSD?”

Cathy K.

“It makes no sense whatsoever for Mayor Lane to stick his nose into SUSD affairs.  He should mind his own business.  Running the city may be a good place to start.”

Julie H.

“I really enjoy your updates.  I’m a Scottsdale millennial fairly new to the area … one of those darned apartment dwellers apparently destroying Old Town.  I hear a lot about older folks complaining of my ilk … and your newsletter gives me a taste of their thoughts and those of the power players in Scottsdale.  As a former beat reporter, I appreciate the thorough research and context you provide on the issues.”

Sarah R.

“I would pay to see Linda Milhaven and Mike Norton square off in a cage match.”

Tom Thumb

“Well, it sounds like the honeymoon period is over with the city manager.  Now the only question is how long he will last?


“Thanks very much for the Fall Preview of issues.  You’re doing what the newspapers should be doing.”

Peggy Sue

“I sat in on a presentation earlier this year by Don Henninger who was banging our company for bucks for SCOTT.  His pitch was vague and had little substance.  Our company didn’t take the bait.  I’m not sure Henninger’s group has any idea what they’re doing.”

Name Withheld

“There are a lot bigger issues happening downtown other than whether we call it ‘Old Town” or Downtown.’”


“I for one am glad the council had the foresight and fortitude to approve the expansion of Fashion Square.  I sympathize with the neighbors who live in the Optima – but I truly believe council members acted in good faith for the greater good.”

Phil D.

“I fear that your blog is right … irreparable damage is being done to the Scottsdale School District brand.”  

Karol G.

“We’ve lived in Scottsdale for 26 years, and put three kids through the SUSD education system.  During this entire time, we can’t remember a worse governing board.  These five people end up politicizing just about every issue.  It’s time that voters replace the whole bunch.”


“Looks like Mark ‘A Legend in His Own Mind’ Stuart lost another court case.  This guy is nothing but a troublemaker bent on clogging up the court system without cause.  Go away, Mr. Stuart.”

Jack in the Box

“From what I see and hear, the city staff is becoming less enchanted with the Desert EDGE project the closer it gets to the City Council’s agenda.  Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale has somehow managed to get on the wrong side of staff members.”


“I’m a bit leery of this new group called Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow.  I’ve been to their website.  It looks like a front for the Chamber of Commerce.  All they’re doing is posting news stories and community activities.  It seems like a pretty ineffectual organization … but only time will tell.”


“Mark Stuart’s lawsuits are going to end up costing the city millions of dollars.”

Cindy B.

“Thank you for following and reporting what’s going on in SUSD.  It’s worse than you think.”


“I am not a member of the Scottsdale Education Association.  But as a 17-year employ of the school district, I support SEA.  The latest confrontation between the organization and the administration is nothing more than attempt to bust the union.  Everybody I talk to who works for the district agrees with me.”

Name Withheld

“I must admit it’s kind of boring with the city council on vacation.  I miss Mark Stuart.”

Carl V.

“Do the supporters of the DDC really think it’s going to make a difference by changing the name of the project to Desert EDGE. Please, people, give us some credit!”

Cathy K.

“I believe Jason Alexander could be a competitive candidate for city council.  Winning is a different story, though.  Running against three incumbents could be tough.”

Candy Man

“I have a clear memory of the political campaign 15 years ago for the city to take over operations of the fire department.  I agree … it was the most contentious campaign I can ever remember in Scottsdale.  What made it especially memorable was that after Rural/Metro won the election, the company told the city thanks but no thanks and walked out of the contract.”


“Five of us attended the Desert Discovery Center presentation yesterday.  We were all impressed by the thought that has gone into the concept.  But at the end of the day we were split.  Two us would vote for it and two wouldn’t.  The other person couldn’t make up her mind.”

Julie J.

“Thinking what you wrote about Jason Alexander taking a page out of Jim Lane and Guy Phillips’ political playbook makes a lot of sense.  Using an issue like the DDC to build a campaign for council around could give Alexander a shot, particularly depending on what happens this fall when the issue hits the council’s agenda.”

Trudy G.

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s presentation of the plan for the Desert Discovery Center.  I’ll try to keep an open mind, but it will be hard.  It’s difficult to believe that the city has let Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale get away with keeping things under wraps for so long.”

Carol Lee

“Hands down … you’ve got the best local blog I’ve seen in the last several years.  I like the diversity of issues you write about.  I use it as a way to stay informed about things I would otherwise not know about.  Thank You, Voice!!!”

Joyce S.

“You’re absolutely right!  The businesses downtown basically wrote the events ordinance, so now holding an event is really difficult.  Almost impossible.  How did these people become so empowered?”

Jack Knife

“Somehow I feel a little bit safer knowing that the city council is on vacation.”

Craig H.

“I stopped shopping downtown because all the shops I wanted to visit were never open.  We enjoy the restaurants – but that’s it.”

Vicki O.

“The downtown merchants and property owners have been spoiled rotten.”

Phil D.

“The Canal Convergence is one of the best things to happen to our city in years.  It’s reigniting Scottsdale’s reputation for arts and culture and also attracting tourists.  The best of both worlds.”

Vicki O.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take for the SUSD governing board to see the light, or should I say to see through Superintendent Birdwell.  Someday they will look back on this time with regret.  Their legacy will be one of failure and remorse.”

Fredrick the Great

“Christine Schild was a joke when she was on the school board – and she’s still a joke.  She would be best served to mind her own business.”


As long as people like the members of ROSS support every move Dr. Birdwell makes, nothing will change.”  

Linda G.

“I have friends who work in various capacities in the Higley School District.  They told me and many others what to expect from Denise Birdwell.  They said she was a tyrant who ran Higley into the ground.  Birdwell may have changed districts but not her management style.  At the rate she’s going, she’s going to destroy the credibility of SUSD.  Declining enrollment will follow.”

Cathy R.

“Hoping we see a lot more of Christy Lee in her Wonder Woman get-up.”

Bruce S.

“Glad we finally know a date that DDC will be unveiled.  July 31st.  That’s when things will really start to get good.”


“I see that SUSD made an “egregious error” in their budgeting process.  I think it was an “egregious error” to hire Denise Birdwell!”

Peggy Sue  

“I’ll say one thing for the group that protested outside Harkins 14 Wednesday.  Braving 118 degrees takes real commitment … or craziness.”

Beth D.

“I wonder if supporting the Desert Discovery Center will be Councilwoman Milhaven’s Waterloo?”

Sweet Sheila

“I agree with how your blog handicapped the potential campaigns of a Howard Myers or a Mike Norton.  They’re not contenders.”


“If someone from the No DDC camp decides to run for city council, they’re in for the surprise of their life.  It’s one thing to be critical how the city is being run from the stands, but it’s totally another to take the field and run a campaign.  If someone like Jason Alexander does throw their hat in the ring, they will find out what hard work it can be to run for elected office.  Believe me … I know from experience.”


“I can’t think of a worse role model for our students than Denise Birdwell.”


“I have a strong feeling that the “emergency” opioid epidemic is no emergency at all in Scottsdale.”

Carolyn H.

“All the best to Dan O’Brien on his new gig.  Scottsdale’s loss is Mesa’s gain!”

Patti Jo

“How can the SUSD decision makers ignore the poor morale that’s sweeping the district like a pandemic.  I’ve worked in this district for 16 years and have never seen it this bad.

Name Withheld

“I hope nobody is really expecting anybody on the school board to admit they are making a mess of things.  These are people who believe it’s always somebody else’s fault when something goes bad.  How 5 people could be so irresponsible is beyond me.”


“As a long-time member of Respect Our Scottsdale Students and a Scottsdale teacher, I was insulted and appalled when the SUSD Governing Board blamed our group for the botched survey that they aborted. This is a school district that’s spinning out of control.  The members of the board are being manipulated by a superintendent who acts more like a czar.  It’s awful.  Ultimately, it’s our students who will suffer because of the power politics being used to control SUSD with an iron fist.”

Educator 10

“As a former principal (up until recently) in the Scottsdale Unified School District, I wonder if the Governing Board had it to do all over again, if they would still hire Denise Birdwell?”

Name Withheld

“Well, just when I thought I had heard everything, I’m reading that Jason Rose has thrown in with the NO DDC crowd.  Talk about peas in a pod … they deserve one another.”

Chris D.

“I attended several meetings about branding south Scottsdale.  That was months ago.  When can we expect to see something … what’s the hold up?”

Sandra P.

“It was pretty neat how you worked in Alice Cooper to the latest blog.  You know he attended Cortez High School in the West Valley.”


“I’m not sure I could name one thing Denise Birdwell has done to improve the morale of school district employees.  She has only made matters worse since taking the helm as superintendent.  She has lost the trust of many of us who were looking forward to her tenure.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the governing board buys her out before her contract expires.”

Gym Rat

“With Memorial Day less than one week away, it will be the beginning of the summer swim season.  We have already seen too many drownings this spring.  Please pay attention and watch your kids around pools.”

Vicki O.

“We really enjoyed your recent blog that dealt with a potpourri of topics.  We hope to see more of this type of blog.  Once a quarter would be nice. Thank you.

Shelia E.

“It’s great to see that Christine Marsh is going to run for the State House of Representatives.  I’m not sure how many teachers are serving in the legislature, but we could use a teacher like Christine at the Capitol.  Although if she’s elected, she’s still only one voice of 90.”

Bobby G.

“You’re right.  I’m in the Coffee Bean at least 3 times every week and see someone on the city council usually one of those times.  

Carol Lee

“How can the city’s budget be unsustainable?  We have record revenues.  Is a forensic audit in order?  Show us the money!”

What’s Up Doc

“It looks like the Voice was the first one to break the story about the matching funds for the No DDC.  Thanks for the scoop.”

Slim Jim

“I attended one of the Downtown Scottsdale 2.0 sessions and came away disappointed.  It felt like just one more dog and pony show to keep downtown stakeholders politically medicated.  Why it takes so long to collect opinions and ideas is anybody’s guess.  Mine is that the longer it takes to finish the study, the longer the city can postpone pushback from property owners and business owners.  It’s time to stop the ruse and get on with it, folks!”

Sherry W.

“On the topic of the Desert Discovery Center: Mark Stuart makes Jason Alexander look reasonable.”

The Ice Cream Man

“Loved Karen Treon’s Bite Me quote.  She’s telling it like it is.”

Name Withheld

“I agree – Mayor Lane’s idea of The Golden Rule will only work if the community buys in.  But the mayor must also get out there and promote it.  Otherwise, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”

Viva la Scottsdale

“Mark Stuart is crazy like a fox.”


“Since all the hub-bub started about SUSD, it’s interesting how the school district has churned out not-stop stories that make everything sound hunky dory.  Guess Birdwell and her birdbrains think we’re idiots.”  

Julie J.

“I’m glad that Mr. Lane is at least making an effort to bury the hatchet.  I honestly don’t think his Golden Rule program will work.  Can’t blame him for trying.”


“The first I had heard about The Golden Rule was in today’s blog.  I wished I lived in Mayor Lane’s world, but I don’t.  I live in the real world.  So now, the same guy who played down-and-dirty in his campaign against Bob Littlefield, now wants to play nice.  How much more disingenuous can it get?”

Phil F.

“As a parent of two students in the Scottsdale Unified School District, one in elementary school and one beginning high school, I get the feeling that the district’s administration couldn’t care less what I think about my kids’ education.”

Julie G.

“I was glad to read that the City Council voted to promote more outreach into the community to discuss the Great Hearts’ proposal to build an athletic complex/park.  DC Ranch residents need to be given a stronger voice in the decision making than they have been given to date. Hopefully a compromise will be reached that will benefit both sides.”

Phil G.

“It was great to see the solidarity of teachers and parents at the School Board meeting.  As I watched the proceedings, I think the board was shocked about the turnout and the display of unity.  What’s taking place in SUSD can’t be swept under the rug, no matter much the members of the board would like to.”

Kathy V.

“Our family knows several of the people who run Great Hearts.  Trust me … they’re running a scam on the city.  ‘Public Park?’  Give me a break!”

Name Withheld

“I’ve heard that at least two people are considering running for the school board in two years.  Both of them would make legitimate candidates.  We’re doing everything we can to encourage them.  The only way we can reverse what’s going on is to change the people who are making the decisions.”

Scooter The Second

“When we lost George Jackson and Bonnie Sneed off the SUSD Governing Board, we lost two people who really cared about our schools.  I understand why both George and Bonnie didn’t want to run for re-election.  With the district in such flux, I doubt we’ll ever see anyone of their caliber run.”

Gene T.

“Our esteemed Scottsdale School Board is using a smoke screen to prevent us from seeing what’s going on in the district and the secret decisions being made.”

Rita W.

“You don’t have to be a teacher or an administrator to be affected by what’s happening at SUSD.  There are plenty of us in support services who are also feeling the brunt of the school district’s environment.  Almost everybody I come in contact with is operating out of fear.  It’s a totally frightening place to be working.  Some of my closest associates are looking to find jobs in other districts.  A few have applied at the City of Scottsdale.”


“The people who work in the upper echelons of the school district’s administration are dropping like flies, voluntarily and involuntarily.”

Name Withheld
“I read about Mayor Lane’s idea about having a Golden Rule Day …he’s kidding, right?”

Barbara J.

“Is it true that Respect Our Scottsdale Students and No DDC are the same organization?”

Craig T.

“Our school totally appreciates your blog’s compassion for teachers and students in SUSD.  We think our community needs to be educated (no pun intended) about what’s happening to our once great Scottsdale schools.  Fear runs from one end of the district to the other.  It’s killing morale!”


“Couldn’t help but notice that the Voice is the only outfit reporting what’s going on in the school district.  Thanks for the scoop.”

Billie Jean T.

“Your blog’s headline says it all: ‘New Superintendent’s Amazing Audacity.’”

Carol Lee

“Anything that Superintendent Birdwell does is on the school board.”

Betty G.

“For anyone who has taken the time to delve into Denise Birdwell’s past in the Higley School District, they should not be surprised what she’s doing to our Scottsdale schools.  Wake up people!"

Jeff D.

“Thank You … Thank You … Thank You!!! I’m a parent of three SUSD children.  One has graduated but two still attend school in the district.  Many of us parents have known that the district has deep-rooted issues that no one wants to address.  We need to encourage all parents to speak up when they don’t agree with the decisions being made by the superintendent and the governing board.”


“I think your blog is being a little rough on Superintendent Birdwell.  We need to give her more time to do what she was hired to do.”

Fran T.

“Thank you Voice of Scottsdale for carrying the torch for SUSD teachers.  As a veteran teacher in the district who’s nearing retirement, I’ve watched as teachers have less and less to say about what’s happening in our schools.  I realize that sounds odd, but it’s the truth.  Please continue to write about the troubles in the district, because they can’t continue to be swept under the rug.”

Name Withheld

“Thank you Great Hearts … but the last thing we need at DC Ranch is another controversy.  Please back off and be realistic.”

Vivian P.

“I thought Guy Phillips was supposed to be on our side.  Shame on you Councilman Phillips for your vote to allow more housing where we don’t need it.”

Craig T.       

“I watched last night’s council meeting and caught another encore performance by Mark Stuart.  Could there be a bigger clown in Scottsdale?  I swear he wants to be arrested again.  He’s nothing more than a publicity hound.”

Jill H.

“I’m a NIMBY and proud of it!  That doesn’t mean I’m automatically a Naysayer.”

George J.

“Down-zoning is a no-brainer! What’s wrong with my neighbors in Windgate?

The Flintstones
“Once again this council ignored neighbors and were under the spell of a developer with deep pockets and his high-priced zoning attorney.  
We are starting to run short of land that is zoned for commercial use.  What happens when there’s no place to build businesses to provide us services?”

Carol K.

“We live in north Scottsdale, so we know a thing or two about traffic.  That’s why we liked your blog about Scottsdale Heights and neighbors insisting on an expansion of The Summit instead of residential housing.  Traffic is our number one problem living up here.  Thanks City Council for not making it even worse.”

Jack and Karen

“Suffice to say that Mr. Pollack won’t be invited back to the our organization (Chamber of Commerce) any time soon.”

Name Withheld

“’The chamber is aging out.’ Truer words were never spoken.  The Chamber of Commerce has become a group of over-the-hill members who like to talk about the good old days.”

Bart Y.

“Tom Sadvary is one of the principal members of the conspiracy to bring light rail to Scottsdale!!!”

Jana D.

“I’ve never known the chamber to have the best judgment.  So I was not surprised when Elliot Pollack crossed the line into an area that made most of us in the audience uncomfortable.  I also heard he received a handsome speaking fee to offer his insulting remarks.”

Jack M.

“Thank you for calling out Elliot Pollack for his inappropriate references at the Chamber of Commerce event.  His comments about millennials were foolish and ill-founded.  But what he said about Bruce Jenner was egregious.”


“Nothing against the homeowners in Silverleaf – but maybe having to look at the big tent is a reminder that they can’t always get what they want.  And actually they may be just a little on the spoiled side.  Life is a compromise, folks.”


“I was glad to see David Smith not buckle under to Craig Jackson’s threat to take his ball and go home.  Wish they all had this much nerve.”

Adam G.

“When is this council going to call Craig Jackson’s bluff?  He’s not going anywhere!!!"

Janice V.

“I wasn’t able to attend the city council meeting when they discussed what to do about that big tent.  But your blog squares with what two neighbors told me happened. I live a mile east of the WestWorld tent, so I drive past it at least once a day. Sometimes two or three times. I’ve never understood why someone can’t build a real building instead of a circus tent.  This is the kind of thing that tarnishes Scottsdale reputation.  Sorry, but world-class cities don’t have tents.”

Beth B.

“It’s difficult to say for sure, but it looks like David Smith is trying to get unelected in 2018.”

Busy Bee

‘Nice to see our tax dollars aren’t being used for the extra police protection that is no longer necessary when Mark Stuart speaks at Council meetings.”

Fred T.

“I’ve lost track of the schedule Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale, Inc. is supposed to be on.  But I believe we’re going to be seeing some preliminary plans soon.  I think it’s safe to say that for people like me who haven’t made up our minds about the DDC, we look forward to seeing the next step.  The sooner we can stop relying on all of the negative hyperbole the better.”

Tricia B.

“We attended the mayor’s State of the City Address yesterday as guests of a law firm who works for my husband’s company.  That’s the only way I would end up at one of these things.  From his past performances, I was aware that the mayor has challenges with public speaking.  But why on earth did he insist on speaking for 45 minutes.  I’ve never been at a public function in which so many people were checking their phones for the time.”

“I think those who are attempting to block the Desert Discovery Center need to take a break.  They’ve managed to turn the issue into white noise and no one is listening.”

Ellen G.

“Thanks for the very timely blog.  When he started out months ago, I respected Mr. Stuart because of what seemed like his commitment to the DDC issue.  After all his craziness, I no longer respect what he is trying to accomplish.  I’m not sure it’s about stopping the DDC any more.  It now looks like he’s just trying to show off and make a name for himself.”

Tom G.

“Any truce between Mayor Lane and Mark Stuart will be short lived.”

Amy I.

“Howard Myers is living proof that advanced age is not synonymous with wisdom.”

Sally S.

“After reading Howard Myers’ column in the newspaper, I was totally confused.  I can’t figure out if he really understands the role the Millennial generation has right now and in the future.  Then, after ready the Voice blog, I see that I was not alone.  I’ve heard Myers be articulate on issues that pertain to the desert.  But he’s totally lost when trying to discuss the city’s young people.

Ken G.

“I try to watch as many city council meetings as possible because I find them informative.  Many are boring.  Tuesday night was certainly not one of the boring ones.  The quarrel that took place between Mayor Lane and a citizen, Mark Stuart, blew my mind.  A citizen not being allowed to speak and then arrested shows the deep trouble Scottsdale is in.  I truly hope this isn’t the direction things are going.”

Jean H.     

“I was very sorry to see the hatchet job your blog did on Howard Myers.  Howard has given a lot to our community.  I hope when I’m his age that I can be just as engaged as he is on so many issues that matter to our great city.

Craig T.

“Well, what can I say but that Mark Stuart is a real piece of work.  I wonder how many people who know about last night’s incident at city hall will now refuse to sign his petition to block the DDC.  The term class clown comes to mind.”

Cheryl O.

“I’m glad somebody had the guts to finally call out Howard Myers.  Somehow he’s been allowed to become the authority on everything from the DDC to downtown development.  Everybody is entitled to an opinion – but Mr. Myers’ arrogance that he’s the final arbiter on every issue in our city is hogwash.  What are his credentials?  Why does he have credibility?  Or does he?

Name Withheld

“Thank you very much for your latest blog reminding readers about how the people who put our city on the path to greatness weren’t frightened by the future.  Well done, Voice.”

Evan H.

“Could someone please tell me how the Scottsdale police chief goes from having his department under investigation to being named the police chief of the year.”


“It sounds like your blog has started to be sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.”

Duke of Earl
“My husband and I moved from Desert Mountain to a new downtown condominium in October.  We’re having the time of our lives!  Every time we hear or read about someone complaining about all the apartments and condos going up we have a good laugh, because that’s how many of us want to live.  And guess what: our millennial years are way behind us.”

Jennifer and John

“I moved to Scottsdale in 1963 and have witnessed the city grow from dirt roads to freeways.  I knew that the city couldn’t remain the same, even though I would have liked that very much.  Our city is still a wonderful place to live – let’s count our blessings and make the most of it.”

Jane S.

“I hate to break it too Councilman Phillips, but Scottsdale is not a BIG CITY.   Our population is 220,000, not 2 million.  I’ve lived in real big cities, and Scottsdale doesn’t have big city issues like crime, housing and pollution problems.”

Teri P.

“Photo radar is a scam!!!”

Julie K.

“Is there ever a development project that John Berry represents that the City Council refuses to approve?  Is he that good?  Or is he blackmailing councilmembers?” 

Victoria E.

“I’m skeptical that the survey used to brand South Scottsdale is on the up and up.  So we’re supposed to believe that the majority of people said they wanted denser development.  No way, Jose.”


“Mayor Phillips? I don’t think so!

Bev M.

“It’s really a shame that the days of a candidate running for the council could get elected for under $10,000 are long gone.  It wasn’t that long ago that someone didn’t have to be Daddy Warbucks to run.”

Frank O.      

“Anyone who underestimates Councilman Phillips is a fool.”

Name Withheld    

“How could you leave the Desert Discovery Center off the list of issues City Manager Thompson is going to be forced to deal with it?”

Vicki O.

“Well, it looks like it’s officially ‘event season.’ It won’t be safe for local residents to come out until March.”

Carol C.

“I couldn’t agree more about the parking problem.  I honestly don’t know how the businesses downtown can survive without places for people to park their cars.  Is this a conspiracy to make people ride the trolley?” 

Karl G.

“I appreciate your take on the top three issues the new city manager will be dealing with this year.  But I would add transportation.  And by that I mean traffic!  The city is becoming harder and harder to get around in.  I can see why some people say our traffic is a symptom of our success in attracting people.  Okay, I get it.  However, it’s really becoming a pain to get from one end of the city to the other, no matter what time of day.”

Cathy E.

 “I met with our new city manager, James Thompson, before and after he was hired.  He’s really a class act.  Whoever was hired was going to be in the unenviable position of being compared to Fritz Behring.  If anyone is up to the task of filling Fritz’ shoes, I think Mr. Thompson has a good chance.  Now that the city has found their man, I hope they do everything they can to keep him.”

Name Withheld

“Wishing Mayor Lane and the Council a Happy New Year!  Expecting 2017 to be much better than 2016.”

Craig H.

“We can only hope that one of the City Council’s resolutions for 2017 is to stop the proliferation of apartments all over the city.”


“South Scottsdale residents and business owners should be looking forward to James Thompson serving as city manager.  There is still much more that can be done to further the revitalization efforts that were started three years ago.”

Betty G.

“I was glad to read about Mayor Lane’s overwhelming support for our downtown.  For those of us who own property and work down here, we are pleased that he recognizes the importance of this area to the entire economy of the city.  I think our businesses are experiencing a real resurgence, and with the help of leaders like Mr. Lane, I’m optimistic about our long-range success.”

Robert J.

“I’m getting the idea that David Smith is starting his re-election campaign early.  Every time I turn around he has written something in the newspaper.  

Tami O.

“So Kathy Littlefield’s only wish for 2017 is for there to be a pubic vote on the Desert Discovery Center.  Aren’t there plenty more important things she could be hoping for?”

Diana G.

“My husband and I went to the meeting with the consultants studying downtown tourism last night.  As downtown residents, their early recommendations were very enlightening.  They said the downtown lacks energy.  We agree.  There could be many more events held downtown to attract people, including tourists.  Events would bring new energy and be good for downtown businesses.”

Carol C.

“Thank you Virginia Korte.  At least there’s one leader in our community willing to step up to mend some fences between diverse factions in our community.”


“I can’t speak for all city employees – but everyone in my office was pulling for the council to hire Jeff Nichols.  He was and still is totally qualified to serve as city manager.  We all hope he continues as treasurer.  Our city needs him!!!”

Beth G.

“I totally lost faith in our city council during their escapade of trying to find and hire a city manager.  It’s going to take a while for them to regain my respect, if ever.”

Name Withheld

“Well, it finally happened.  I wasn’t sure the city would ever be able to hire a city manager.  Now Brian Biesemeyer can go back to the water department where he belongs.”

Craig C.

“I want to express my appreciation for the wonderful blog that described Fritz Behring.  As a city employee, there’s hardly a day when I’m at work that I don’t think about Mr. Behring.  The conditions under which he left the employ of the city were terribly sad.  Even though he was here for such a short period, I believe he was the best city manager we’ve had in the last 10 years.”


“As a long-time city employee, I couldn’t care less about who the city manager is.  The city manager has never impacted my job, nor will it in the future.  Much ado about not much.”

Name Withheld

“My wife and I attended the Desert Discovery workshop yesterday and leaned quite a bit about the project.  Having only read some of the negative blogs, we were skeptical.  We’re not totally sold on putting it on the Mountain Preserve, but we now believe the concept has a lot of merit.”

Phillip R.

“It wasn’t surprising to see that Rachel Sacco’s salary at the Convention and Visitors Bureau is almost $500,000 or that others at the organization make more than $100,000.  I cannot help but be more than a little curious who turned on Parker Leavitt to an audit in a City Council subcommittee meeting.  Someone sure has it out for Sacco and the CVB.”

Karen S.

“Is it too much to ask Mayor Lane to step up and lead in the process of picking a city manager?  The mayor is part of them problem!!!”

Robert L.

“Hiring a city manager has turned into a full-blown fiasco.  It’s probably not as much about inferior candidates for the position as it is about a dysfunctional mayor and council.  The buck stops with them.” 


“The company the council hired to recruit candidates for a permanent city manager should have been fired months ago.  They are being paid a pretty penny and all they are coming up with are people from the minor leagues.  Come on!”

Mary Beth G.

“If the City Council was counting on people losing interest in hiring a new city manager, it’s working.”


“The City Council is a joke.”

City Employee (ret)

“I watched the presentations of the three people interviewing for the city manager job.  The guys from California and Texas were clearly out of their league.  Our treasurer, Jeff Nichols, isn’t flashy … but he sure has more on the ball than the other two.  I can’t believe the council didn’t hire Nichols.”

Grace S.

“So after spending literally hundreds of thousands of dollars during this election, we end up with the same people on the council.  Same mayor, too! I only voted for Guy Phillips, and I’d do it again.”

Phil T.

“Our council is sending the rest of the country a terrible message about Scottsdale.  Who in their right mind would want to work for a city that can’t get its act together to hire a city manager.  This has been going on for much too long.”

Beth G.

“Even money says the council still won’t be satisfied that they’ve found a new city manager because they only have three to choose from.”


“For all of those who doubted Guy Phillips’ electability, tonight’s election should have put those rumors to rest.  Guy is our voice on the city council along with Kathy Littlefield.  I had hoped that Kathy’s husband would be elected mayor, but that wasn’t in the cards.”

Betty E.

“When Jim Lane beats Bob Littlefield tomorrow, maybe it will finally send Mr. Littlefield a message that his political career is kaput in Scottsdale.”


“Mayor Lane is spending $400,000 to beat Bob Littlefield.  Disgusting.”

Name Withheld

“I pray that your blog is wrong about what happens after this election for mayor.  In my heart of hearts I won’t be voting for either Littlefield or Lane.  Both men have conducted themselves poorly.  Hopefully, all the hate and animosity will die down so we can have a peaceful holiday season.”


“Nice blog.  Since Bob Littlefield has been adopted by that NO DDC bunch, next week’s election will surely be a thumbs up or thumbs down vote on the Desert Discovery Center.  I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other.  But it will be fascinating to see the outcome.”

Karl G.

“Guy Phillips can be a real goofball sometimes.  But guess what … he’s our goofball.”


“Will Guy Phillips declare the attack on him by Arizona Citizens United an in-kind contribution?”

Sandy V.

“I voted for Councilman Phillips out of principle.  If dark money is being used against him, he’s automatically my guy.”

Craig J.

“Guy Phillips is probably more dangerous than Bob Littlefield.”

June Bug

“I realize that history has a way of repeating itself.  But it’s hard to believe that all four city council candidates are so bunched together in that poll you cited.  Who the heck is Dan Schweiker, anyway?  And a well-known incumbent like Suzanne Klapp in 4th place is beyond belief.  I don’t think in this crazy political climate that such a poll can be trusted.”

Merle O.

“Totally agreed with your statement in the blog about ‘they still don’t get Guy.’  Truer words were never written.  Our city’s elite can call Mr. Phillips all the names they want, but he must be doing something right because he didn’t get appointed.  Guy Phillips was elected!!!”

Judi R.

“Your blog raises a good point about voting ‘for’ or ‘against’ a candidate for mayor.  That’s how bad this election between Lane and Littlefield has become.  It’s a sad commentary on where politics has sunk in Scottsdale.”

Name Withheld

“Our community is bitterly divided.  The election for mayor is proof.  It also is making it worse, which is too bad.  We deserve better.”

Phil K.

“I believe people are going to be talking about the campaign between Littlefield and Lane well after this election is over.  It may be a tipping point for our city.  Do we stay on the current course or make an abrupt shift in direction?  It’s anybody’s guess at this point.”

Chocolate Chip

“It was easy to make up my mind about the three candidates running for city council. The whole negative campaign atmosphere created by the two lunkheads running for mayor was a different story – so I just skipped over that part of my ballot.”

Louise R.

“I’ve been reading the Voice for several years, and I can’t recall two editions that were more balanced than the last ones about Jim Lane and Bob Littlefield.  The two blogs were fair to both candidates and offered insight I didn’t have before reading them.  I’m looking forward to this election being over with.  But I hope during the next several weeks in the lead up to the election that the Voice continues writing about the election that I think is going impact Scottsdale for a very long time.”

Carol K.

"Whack-a-Doodles for Littlefield!”

Sheri O.

“I’m all in for Bob Littlefield.  He couldn’t be any worse than the stiff who’s the mayor now.

Frank D.

“One of the things I like most about your blog is that you take topics I know about and put a twist on them.  Keep it up … we need your opinions.”

Name Withheld

“How can Henkel leaving Scottsdale not be major news.  You know if some company with the brand and footprint of Henkel were relocating here, Mayor Lane would be all over it making hay.  Do people not understand the significance of Henkel leaving that ugly-ass building vacant?”

Pickle Puss

“If the City Council can’t choose a city manager the second time around, it’s about them … not the quality of the candidates.”

Julie B.

“We attended the forum for candidates in the gallery district.  It was very illuminating.  We were probably in the minority, but Guy Phillips defies logic about how to pump up patronage downtown.  He thinks more people living downtown is a detriment to growing business.  It’s hard to comprehend his opinions.  It sounds like he would like to take the city backwards into the past.”

Phil D.    

“Glad to hear the Jeff Nichols is going to give running for city manager another shot.”

City Employee (ret.)

“I’m waiting to hear more about the issue I saw on TV about the improprieties at the city jail.  Is anybody going to doing something about it or is it going to be one more issue swept under the rug?”


“It looks like Guy Phillips has a new batch of campaign street signs on some key corners.  Not many candidates could pull it off using cartoon characters in a political campaign – but that’s the way Guy rolls!”

Jan E.

“I believe the Jim-Bob Show is probably turning a lot of people off.”


“I truly believe that there’s a generation of shop owners in Old Town  who have a blind spot about how to help our downtown area become bigger and better for those of us who live here and, of course, our visitors.  The horse and buggy days are over.  You can relive the past through Paul Messinger’s columns in the newspaper.”

Billy the Kider

“Some people like Mr. Bob Pejman just don’t get it about the millennial generation.  Hey, Bob … they’re the future and you will soon be the past!”


“My family stopped shopping in downtown Scottsdale years ago.  We still go there to dine.  But Fashion Square has more to offer us than the souvenir shops downtown.”

Frank J.

“As a business owner in the downtown area, I’ve learned there’s only one way to get our decision makers’ attention.  That’s by being loud and proud!!!”

Kathy D.

“I couldn’t agree with you more about Bob Pejman, the self-ordained voice of downtown merchants.  His negative attitude does little to endear merchants to the public.  Every time he opens his mouth it’s to criticize someone or something.”

Elaine S.

“I can’t believe that there were 40% of voters undecided about who they are voting for in the mayoral election several weeks ago, and then, almost overnight, Jim Lane has a 27 point lead over Bob Littlefield.  No way.”

Dan G.

“The negativity surrounding the Desert Discovery Center is making me sick to my stomach.  I never in my wildest imagination thought I would live to see the day that Scottsdale would sink to the depths it has over the DDC.  It makes me sad for our city.  We’re better than that.” 

Debra S.

“Surely there are other issues besides the DDC that the two candidates for mayor can and should be discussing.  I’m still undecided about who I’m going to be voting for … but I won’t be making up my mind based on one issue.”


“Keep up the good work VOICE.  Your political insights are a valuable resource.”

Bill P.

“I agree with you about the Lane campaign not even sounding like the mayor.  More like Jason Rose, his public relations stunt man.”

Cathy R.

“It sounds like you’re suggesting that Bob Littlefield is the problem.  He’s not!!!  If Jim Lane had any clue about running this city, Bob probably wouldn’t even be running for mayor.”

Johnny on the Spot

“I think that’s great advice you are offering Mr. Lane to stay positive.  It makes all the sense in the world.  Mr. Littlefield’s chances of winning the election, and it’s a slim one, is to be negative about the direction of the city.  While he raises some good points, Littlefield fails to say much of anything positive.  Scottsdale is a great place, that’s why all of us have chosen to live here.  Hearing a relentless drum beat of doom and gloom really doesn’t square with most people’s experience of Scottsdale.”

Trish K.

“I’m sick and tired of all the negativity that the mayoral campaigns are generating.  These two candidates need to grow up.  They are the poorest role models I can imagine for the younger generation.”

Jelly Bean

“As Donald Trump would say … the fix is in!!!


“I get the distinct impression that Jim Lane and Howard Myers are in cahoots.”


“I frequently find myself agreeing with your blog – and the current one about the DDC is no exception.  While people are fretting over several acres of desert, our city’s infrastructure is crumbling.  I know people don’t want to hear that, but it’s true!  If we don’t take strong measures to correct things soon, we will regret it when we see what it will cost to catch up.”

Dick B.

“I like what Councilwoman Klapp has been saying about the Desert Discovery Center that it’s a way for those who can’t hike the preserve to take part in it.  For the life of me I don’t understand how some people can be so callous.” 

Carl O.

“We have Bob Littlefield to thank for making such a big issue out of the Discovery Center.  What part of ‘preserve’ don’t the shysters who want to build the DDC on Mountain Preserve understand?”

Billy Jo

“Guess what, Voice … the DDC is the BIGGEST ISSUE facing Scottsdale!”

Sandy S.

“I couldn’t agree more with your latest blog about Audrey Thacker.  She was bullied out of downtown by a bunch of business bigots.  They will be sorry.”

Bruce J.

“I hated hearing that George Jackson wasn’t going to run for re-election to the SUSD Governing Board.  For the past four years I found him the most level headed and non-political person on the board.  What a shame.”

Carol Lee

“Almost every time I go on twitter I see Mayor Lane in a restaurant.  He looks like he’s waiting on tables.”

Ben C.

“As a non-gallery business owner on Main Street, I sincerely believe if Ms. Thacker would have been allowed to continue her no-overhead business downtown, some galleries would have been driven out of business.”


“Three cheers for Audrey Thacker.  You go girl!”


“I work at a well known restaurant and bar in downtown Scottsdale.  Our entire staff from the front door to the kitchen could not be happier that Audrey Thacker is back in business, even if it is Tempe.  I think if some people had their way in this area they would roll back the clock to the 1990’s.  They really don’t get what it’s going to take to bring downtown back to life like it once was.”

Name Withheld

“When the final votes for Jim Lane and Bob Littlefield are counted November 8th, it’s going to once and for all quantify the political divide in our city.  I predict a 55-45 vote.  Lane will be re-elected, and who knows where Littlefield goes after that? 

The Chef

“Who is Dan Schweiker?  I’ve seen his signs on the street, but I’ve never heard of him!

Toni M.

“I hope Mayor Lane gets re-elected and then quits to run for State Treasurer.  Virginia Korte would make a great mayor.”

Name Withheld

“Mark Hiegel’s comment in the Bite Me section about those of us who don’t want to see the DDC built on the preserve, pretty much captures the arrogance of the Chamber of Commerce and those who support the organization’s political positions.”


“My experience with Jim Lane is that he is a man of his word.  If he is elected to a third term, I truly believe he will serve the whole term and not resign to run for higher office.”

Beth Y.

“If, as you say, 4 out of 10 voters are still undecided about who they’re voting for in the mayors’ race, that speaks volumes about the nature of the two candidates.  But mostly Mayor Lane.  After eight years as mayor of Scottsdale, he should easily be over the 50% mark by now.”


“One of the things I like about your blogs is that you tell it like it is.  Can’t imagine that your current one was well received by some of the gallery owners and the downtown businesses still trying to make old business models work in the new economy.  Those folks need to wake up and smell the truth … but obviously, they can’t handle the truth!”

Joyce F.

“I try to shop in the downtown area as often as possible.  But with each trip I make there (and try to find a parking place), there’s less and less I can find.  We do like to eat at some of the new restaurants, though.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the future of downtown will be made by restaurants and no longer the galleries and knick knack stores.”

Rudy E.

“We have friends who are familiar with the new special events’ code.  You’re right, they say it’s pretty difficult to interpret.  The city needs to make it easier to stage events, particularly downtown, not harder to meet all the criteria.”


“I enjoy reading your columns.  But sometimes I wish they offered more solutions instead of pointing out the problems.  I hate to see the businesses downtown not making it.  I heard that five of them closed last month on 5th Avenue. Really sad.”

Kathy G.

“Let’s face it.  Much of downtown Scottsdale is on life support.  All kinds of shops are dropping like flies.  Maybe they’ll start to get the message if they start reading the Voice of Scottsdale.”

Franklin and Friends

“Now that the mayor and council are on vacation, it looks like it’s safe to come out.”


“You’ve got it right. The rest of this year is going to be more of the same. I’m disappointed that the council put off addressing whether or not they are going to call for a public vote on the Desert Discovery Center.  I think they’re also scheduled to revisit the Updated General Plan.  Hopefully, they’ll get off the dime so we can get this issue behind us.

Ron M.

“My friend dragged me along to the LD-23 meeting where Jim Lane and Bob Littlefield were debating.  I’m glad I went because it was informative.  Mr. Littlefield put Mr. Lane on the defensive from the very beginning and never let up.  Mayor Lane’s support of the Desert Discovery looks to be his Achilles Heel.  No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get out from under the specter that he’s tied to special interests with deep pockets.”

Bruce J.

“Like what you said about our esteemed Chamber of Commerce being reduced to a ‘business club.’  I can’t remember the last time the organization actually did something meaningful for the community at large.”

Ken D.

“I’m absolutely sick about hearing light rail this and light rail that.  Let’s put it to a vote and get over it.”


“I can’t quarrel with your analysis that the three incumbents running for re-election will be returned to the City Council.  Perhaps the mayor, too.  So I don’t expect much to change in city government.  I hope a new city manager can be chosen sometime soon.”

Trudy O.

“Best blog yet.  We really appreciate your insight and powers of prognostication.  It also looks like there may have been a little tongue-in-cheek humor.  One of the things you mentioned was that Dan Schweiker may not make the cut in the council election.  Personally, we think he would make a good councilperson.  We’re not sure that many people recognize the changes our city is going through.  As they say in politics, ‘we’re at a crossroads.’  Unless some of our so-called leaders get on the stick, Scottsdale is going to be stuck as other cities pass us up.  Keep up the good work … we look forward to your next blog.”

The Simpsons

“Why even meet with candidates for city manager if you’re not going to choose one of them?”

Judy R.

“This is probably a good time for the council to go on vacation.  They need it … and so do we.”

Flower Girl

“Is Brian Biesemeyer serving as the city manager for six more months the good news or the bad news?”


“Thank you very much for disclosing the troublesome issues bubbling in some of our city department’s.  It’s much worse than most people realize.”

Gene K.

“I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall during the city council’s session behind closed doors when they tried to pick a city manager.  It must have been a truly awkward situation to reject City Treasurer Jeff Nichol’s application.”

Stephen O.

“It confounds me why a city with the status of Scottsdale has so much trouble finding and keeping city managers.  I’m beginning to wonder if the city doesn’t have an inflated importance of itself.  Maybe, just maybe, our city isn’t viewed with high esteem by those who don’t live here.  In addition, the horrible history of the lifespan of a Scottsdale city manager can’t be helping.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.”

Evana T.

“Fritz Behring was the best city manager Scottsdale ever had.”


“Glad to see that long, ugly stretch of dirt along the canal at Camelback and Scottsdale Road is finally going to be built on.  But do we really need more condos and a hotel?”

Tami L.

“It’s hard to fathom how the city council could overlook hiring Jeff Nichols as our city manager.  Jeff is a leader in a leaderless bureaucracy.  He would have been the perfect choice to pick up where Fritz Behring left off.  I wouldn’t blame him if he told the City of Scottsdale to take a hike.  But that’s probably not his nature.”

Cindy G.

“I read that the whackos in the Republican LD-23 organization only endorsed one candidate for the City Council, Guy Phillips.  What’s up with that?”

Bean Counter

“None of the finalists for the city manager position can hold a candle to Fritz Behring.”

William T.

“It was terrific to see John Little’s quote used in your Bite Me.  I thought John might have moved on.  Glad he’s still here and not afraid to speak up by challenging the political establishment.  I still think he would have made the kind of councilperson we need.  Rock on. John!”

Patricia O.

“So who died and left Guy Phillips in charge of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve?”


“As both a parent and a teacher in SUSD, I’m looking forward to visiting the Desert Discovery Center.  It will be a great blend of entertainment and education.  Truthfully, I couldn’t care less if it’s in the preserve area.  But it should be close to the preserve.  Otherwise it really doesn’t make much sense.”

Kena T.

“We support the Discovery Center … but the devil is in the details!”

Phil D.

“I disagree with you.  The Desert Discovery Center is not Scottsdale’s next big idea.  The DDC is just a big waste of time and money.  As long as taxpayer money is involved, I doubt that it will ever be built, either inside or outside the Mountain Preserve area.”


“Outstanding analysis of what’s happening or not happening with the struggle over the Desert Discovery Center.  I’ve been waiting for the backers of the DDC to come out of hiding and defend the project.  But no such luck.  All they’re doing is making Guy Phillips look like a genius!  Personally, I would like to see the DDC built. “

Liz A.

“I find it interesting that no group like the hoteliers or resorts have surfaced in the debate about the DDC.  The facility would be all about tourism, right?  So where are the ones who have the most to gain from more visitors coming here?”


“It makes no sense to build anything, no matter how big or small, in the Mountain Preserve.  There’s a reason it’s called a ‘preserve.’”

Phil O.

“Hey, Scottsdale … let’s give the DDC process a chance to work and stop the whining before we even know where it’s going to go or what it’s going to look like.”


“If the Desert Discovery Center never happens, it’s going to be on the people too frightened to speak up and defend it.” 

Gene T.

“Your readers might like to know that some of the same people who worked for the North Chamber of Commerce against Guy Phillips 4 years ago, are the same people behind Scottsdale Strong.”


“Before this election is over, Bob Littlefield should be prepared to be attacked by dark money.  It happened when he ran for the legislature and it’s going to happen again.

Phil T.

“I’ve watched Councilman Phillips’ video about the Discovery Center.  He has really upped his game.  He’s still not my cup of tea – although I think he’s sincere.  It’s probably good that we have someone like him on the City Council.  But, frankly, one of him is enough.”

Vicki G.

“I know for a fact that some of those people who are backing Mayor Lane’s re-election campaign are nervous as a cat about this election.  They privately say that they expect there to be a run-off with Bob Littlefiled.”

Name Withheld

“The election for mayor isn’t a slam dunk for Mayor Lane.  He may end up winning, but before it’s all over Bob Littlefield is going to give him a run for his money … all $100,000 of it!

Carole G.

“Mark my words. Bill Crawford is going to be a spoiler in this election between Jim Lane and Bob Littlefield.”


“It really sucks that dark money has crept into our city’s politics.  I wanted to think that Scottsdale was immune from evil doers with deep pockets.”

Craig T.

“Thanks for the scoop on the Cultural Council’s latest shenanigans.  Now that the local Republic is no longer covering these kinds of issues, organizations like the Cultural Council don’t think they need to be accountable.  Keep up the good work.”


“The morale at the Cultural Council has been a problem for as long as I can remember.  Now it can no longer be blamed on Bill Banchs!”


“We’ve thought that the Cultural Council has been a train wreck for several years.  We like to attend the concerts and other events at the Center for the Performing Arts.  We also like to take our out-of-town guests to SMoCA.  But we have had some really bad experiences with the people who say they work directly with the Cultural Council.  Many have been rude and unfriendly.  We think they have no sense of customer service.”

Carol T.

“Excuse the pun, but there’s something wrong with the culture at the Cultural Council.”

Phil G.

“Neale Perl is a better cello player than he is a manager of an arts organization.” 


“Last night I watched Guy Phillips’ video about the Desert Discovery Center, and it was convincing.  There are still many more questions than there are answers about the project.  But for now, I’m hesitant to support the concept until we know a whole lot more.”


“One year of Brian Biesemeyer as acting city manager is one year too long.”


“Nice try mayor, but no cigar!  It’s obvious you’re trying to pull a fast one on southern Scottsdale.  I’m not opposed to some form of district representation.  I’m just against being played during an election year.”

Vicki T. 

“Yes, I’ve also heard about the rumor connected to Mayor Lane that he would like to run for state treasurer in 2018.  I think he would probably make a pretty good treasurer.” 

Harold G.

“It’s hard to criticize Mayor Lane for trying to capitalize on the district representation system in the south part of our city.  It’s just good politics.  If it happens, it happens.  No big deal.”  

Betty D.

“I think you made the point that it doesn’t always matter if south Scottsdale has a person on the council.  Although Kevin Osterman lived here, once he got on the council, he became part of the political establishment. So that was that. 

Judy K.

“Great blog about South Scottsdale.  You got it – we feel like the prettiest girl at the dance with all the attention we’re getting down here.  I would like to think that it’s not just because it’s an election year.  But even if it is, there are many of us who can live with that. I believe it’s up to all of us who live in South Scottsdale to keep the ball rolling.”

Bruce G.

“If Jeff Nichols, our esteemed treasurer, is hired as city manager, does that mean Judy “Hot Pants” Doyle will be appointed treasurer?” 

Name Withheld

“I see that the Scottsdale Independent has turned into a political war zone.  There are at least two columns every day from people either running for the city council or their supporters.  Does the Scottsdale Republic even know there’s an election this year?”

Carol Lee

“I don’t care who the next city manager is – just as long as it’s not Brent Stockwell!!!” 


“If Mr. Nichols has actually thrown his hat in the ring to be the new city manager, I say good for him!  As a veteran city employee, I’ve seen lots of Charter Officers come and go.  He, as you said, is truly one of the best in city government.  I think the title of city manager would fit nicely in front of Jeff Nichols’ name.”


“It’s starting to sound like the Voice of Scottsdale is in Jeff Nichols’ back pocket.  There’s no way he can be as could as you report.  Surely he has some shortcomings besides being too nice of a guy.” 

Coffee King

“It’s a shame more people haven’t wanted to run for city council.  We need more choices.  If we had the district representation system, more of us could afford to run.”

Peggy Sue

“For the life me, I can’t understand what all of the paranoia is about over light rail.  If some citizens had their way, we would probably still be getting around in horse and buggies.” 

Mac the Knife

“Bet your readers aren’t aware that the Scottsdale School District is one of the only ones in Arizona that is going to be penalized if Proposition 123 passes.”

Mel B.

“I was glad to see that Mayor Lane didn’t cave in on light rail.  He obviously has the courage of his convictions.”


“Hopefully, some of those folks who fancy themselves as people who can influence others on issues learned something from the debate the other night at the council meeting.  The days of the good old boys network running our city are disappearing.  Scottsdale is no longer a place where old-timers call the shots.”

Arlene O.

“It’s becoming clear that businesses, both big and small, don’t speak with one voice on every issue.  That’s probably a good thing.”

Judy S.

“I thought you would like to know that the Voice of Scottsdale was a major topic at the Chamber of Commerce yesterday.  It’s hard for them to admit that their powers of persuasion with the City Council aren’t what they used to be.  The chamber’s failure to have any mention of light rail inserted into the transportation plan was talked around, almost like it never happened. I don’t think that many of the organization’s deciders understand the political dynamics of what’s happening in the city.”


“Jeff Nichols would make a great city manager!!!”

Karen G.

“Is there any truth to the rumor that Tom Silverman may come out of retirement and run for council?”

Craig O.

“Two weeks ago we had visitors here from Kansas.  We took them down to Old Town twice, once in the day and then again at night.  Both times it was nearly impossible to find a parking place.  Something has to be done about the parking problem down there, especially for tourists.  The parking issue sends the wrong kind of message about Scottsdale.”


“Why do council meetings have to be so gosh darn long.  I started watching last night’s meeting about transportation and gave up after 3 hours.  Ridiculous.” 

Mack M.

“Is anybody really surprised that Jim Lane’s idea for district representation didn’t generate any enthusiasm? I’m not.  I bet if anybody else on the city council would have proposed it that people would have taken it seriously.  When Lane did it, people saw it for what it was … political pandering at its worse.”

Chuck E.

“It’s hard to believe that Rachel Sacco has been at the Convention and Visitors Bureau for 30 years!  She has managed to dodge trouble and not step on any toes.  Don’t know if that’s the good news or the bad news?” 

Maggie May

“I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of reception the city council gives Mayor Lane’s proposal for his ‘hybrid’ election system.  I won’t blame them if they postpone any decisions to send him a message about going rogue.”

Ken P.

“I see that the members of the Executive Forum are pitching light rail.  None of these business leaders have businesses or homes near what will probably be the eventual rail lines.  It’s interesting how these big shots know what’s best for the rest of us while they have no skin in the game.”

Herb T.

“I agree with your blog.  If we’re going to change the way we elect people to the City Council using district representation, the city should be divided up in six different districts.  That’s the fairest way to do it so everyone is treated the same.”


“Councilman Phillips asked the question in a newspaper column that a lot of us have been asking: Why does Scottsdale allow food trucks.  They’re tacky!  Reminds me of stuff you see at a carnival.  I wouldn’t eat food off of one of those rigs if you paid me.”


“I’ve started following the Scottsdale Independent online for news about Scottsdale.  The Republic has nothing worth reading anymore, unless you’re looking for tips on how to bake bread”

Betty D.

“Who the (bleep) is Lane kidding.  The day Jim Lane gives a hoot about south Scottsdale I’ll buy him all the beer he can drink at Fate.”


“I could go either way on the district representation concept.  But I would be willing to give it a try.”

Devil in the Blue Dress

“Trust me, Mayor Lane didn’t dream up the notion of district representation on his own.  He’s not that bright!”

Rachel S.

“Nobody on the Council should be surprised that Jim Lane went off on his own to the press about his idea for instituting a district representation system.  I thought everybody knew that the mayor plays by a different set of rules than the rest of the council.”

Name Withheld

“At first I was surprised to see Bill Murphy’s name pop up as a possible candidate for the city manager’s job.  Then I thought about it, and it makes total sense. Two of my immediate family members work for the city, so I follow local politics pretty closely.  The culture in the city is just as you describe it … chaotic.  That is why I think Mr. Murphy deserves the council’s serious consideration to replace Mr. Behring.  Employees need somebody they can trust and believe.”

Ralph O.

“I would like to see the Voice published more often.  Once a week isn’t nearly enough. Thank you for your consideration.”

Tom G.

“I read where Mayor Lane wants to break the city up into three parts to elect people to the city council.  Why only three?  Why not six, like the number of those on the council?  I’m not sure that the mayor has thought through this idea.”

Beth Y.

“Brian Biesemeyer should never have been appointed acting city manager.  It’s probably the only mistake Fritz Behring made when he was city manager.”

Name Withheld

“I understand than Dan Schweiker is supposed to be running for the city council.  But what’s he waiting for?

Patty Jo

“It was a real relief to read than Dan Worth won’t be included in the pool of candidates for city manager.  When he was the interim manager before Fritz was hired, he was absolutely terrible.  He treated employees like second-class citizens.”


“Scottsdale should be able to attract good people to work for the city, including a city manager.  But given the lifespan of our city managers, I’m overcome with pessimism that we’re going to get the kind of candidates for that position the city deserves.  We would be foolish to not to believe that Scottsdale is developing a national reputation as a place where people don’t want to work.”

Carol Lea

“If I hear someone at the city say that ‘our employees are our biggest asset’ one more time, I’m going to scream … then puke.”

Judy R.

“I wonder if it’s time for the city to change its health care provider.”

Maya W.

“If Brian Biesemeyer is the acting city manager, who’s running the city’s water department.  He can’t be doing both, can he?”


“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … Scottsdale is Trump Country!”

Ivan the Terrible

“Can anyone tell me what Mayor Lane has against people with alternative lifestyles?”

Debi F.

“My wife is an employee of the City of Scottsdale, so I have been following the city’s feeble attempt to resolve the health care coverage issue.  Believe me, we are thankful for being able to have medical insurance.  But what the city staff is putting their fellow employees through is totally unacceptable.  From what I understand, the buck stops in the city manager’s office.  I hope that the members of the City Council intervene.  Thank you!”

Steve G.

“Please tell us that Brent Stockwell isn’t being considered as the city’s next city manager.  God forbid!!!”

Black Bart

“Two friends of mine who both work for the city say that Fritz Behring has retained an attorney and is probably going to sue the city.  I really hope that the Fritz era doesn’t have an ugly ending – it’s already sad enough.

Name Withheld

“Not sure I agree with the notion that the city’s art scene is dead.  It’s just not what it used to be.  And that’s okay, what is?”

Frankie G.

“I think Scottsdale’s leadership’s true colors came out with the demise of the non-discrimination ordinance.”


“The city’s arts community has been running on fumes for years.  It’s about time that somebody called it out.  The Cultural Council is a joke and the downtown galleries look like a flashback to the 1980’s.  It’s time for the arts community do some real soul searching.

Hank O.

“Today’s blog was pretty clever bringing all three things together. We’ve been reading the Voice for two years.  One of the best!”

Betty D.

“What is it with Scottsdale not being able to keep a city manager.  We moved here from Tucson 3 years ago, so we weren’t here for all of them … but we find it very strange.  Could the city be cursed or just unlucky?”


“I agree!  If the Chamber gets active on this year’s campaigns, there’s a good chance they could do more harm than good.”


“I had the dreadful feeling the non-discrimination ordinance wasn’t going to cut the mustard.  Not in Scottsdale this year.  I think Councilwoman Korte has it right.  We’re going to have to change some of the members on the council if an ordinance stands any chance of passing.”  


“It’s too bad the council had to let Fritz go.  After all the years of trying to find the right city manager, it has to end like this.  We should all pray for his recovery.  I’m a realist. I know he will never be back.  But he’s a good guy we should all be pulling for.”

Michael O.

“Mark Hiegel has turned out to be a great replacement for Rick Kidder.  Truthfully, I wish it would have been done much sooner.”

Craig J.

“I’ve been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for 12 years.  For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Chamber should be messing around in politics.  The organization should stick to what it does best … promoting business.”

Name Withheld

“I hear that Kathy Littlefield was the only member of the council who didn’t have a videotaped message for Jim Lane’s State of the City Address.”


“I don’ see how the city can talk about a 20-year transportation plan without at least addressing light rail.  I know some people think talking about light rail means the end of the world as we know it.  But it’s hard to imagine all of our neighboring communities having it and Scottsdale not exploring the possibility of being connected to it.”  

Alan B. 

“It was a good turn out for Mayor Lane’s State of the City speech today.  I know these annual addresses are supposed to highlight all of the good things happening – but every year it’s noticeably absent what the mayor is going to do to close the political gap that only seems to be growing in Scottsdale.”

Rachel S.

“Two members of my family rely totally on bus service.  Scottsdale has a long way to go before even coming close to its bus service being adequate.”

Felix S.

“I remember clearly how the Puliam family blocked the effort to install freeways 40 years ago.  You had it right.  I can’t help but think the people who are resisting even discussing mass transit for our city are doing exactly what they freeway naysayers were doing in the 1970’s.  They’re like ostriches with their heads stuck in the sand.”


“If we build some kind of high-capacity system, Scottsdale residents will never ride it.  Maybe the people coming from other places to work in our hotels and restaurants – but not anyone I know.  Spending our tax dollars so a bunch of minimum wage people can ride it is ridiculous.”


“As a city employee in a mid management position, I can’t believe our own staff’s proposal to cut back the health care provider network and force us to stop seeing our family doctors because they’re being eliminated from the provider network.  One of the primary reasons I came to work for the City of Scottsdale seven years ago was for the health care benefits.  This kind of radical change to the program is going to send some people packing.”


“I’m not in favor of building high-rises.  But if the city is going to allow it, at least the Fashion Square group will be clustering them all together.  Better that than spreading towers throughout the city.”

Candice O.

“It sounds like the sky is going to be the limit at Fashion Square.”

Tom G.

“I get a real kick out of the stand-off between the affluent going to battle over the location of the BASIS charter school.  Money usually talks with an issue like this.  But both sides have plenty, so who knows how it’s going to turn out.”

Billy Jo

“The people at Fashion Square are serving up the high-rise issue on a silver platter for Littlefield and Phillips.  They’re going to find themselves right in the middle of the elections.  It’s going to put the mayor in a tough spot with his friends at the Macerich company.”

Trudy K.

“Two words: Height and Density.”


“I was glad to see Laurie Roberts writing about a Scottsdale issue again.  We’ve really missed her insight and ability to uncover issues here.  I wish she would do it more often.”

Betty D.

“The devil is in the details.”

Devil in the Blue Dress

“Those who turn their back on the Lord will regret their actions on Judgment Day.”


“I can’t believe Mayor Lane and the Council is actually going to allow a Satanic prayer to be used to open the April 5th City Council meeting.  Satanism isn’t even a religion … it’s a cult.  It’s embarrassing and disgusting.”

Carol Ann C.

“I never thought I would see the day when Christianity was replaced by Satanism in the Kiva.  I’ll remember that on election day.”

Loretta T.

“When I first heard about the satanic group being approved to give the prayer at one of our council meetings, it sounded like a political prank.  I can’t believe it.  If these devil worshipers are allowed to do it, I’ll join the organized protest, providing there is one.”

Karen C.

“I don’t think Bill Crawford being in the race makes any difference whatsoever.  My prediction is that Mayor Lane walks away with the election in August … so a runoff won’t be necessary.”

Cecil O.

“Truthfully, I didn’t know Bill Crawford was still around.  He’s been surprisingly quiet, so I thought he might have moved.  I believe Bill’s heart is in the right place, but I’m concerned that in a three-candidate competition he will tilt the election in favor of Bob Littlefield.  Since he stopped sounding off about the bar district, I think he got more moderate about city issues.  That’s why he may chip into Mayor Lane’s vote.”


“I can’t wait for the debates in the mayor’s campaign.  If Lane shows up, it should be entertaining.”

Scottsdale Voter

“Leave it to Bill Crawford.  We finally get the showdown that’s been brewing for years between Lane and Littlefield, and Crawford goes and spoils it.  I think Crawford getting into the race hurts Littlefield more than Lane.  Isn’t that why Crawford is running?”


“I got a real laugh out of your blog saying Jim Lane has had to work with four different city managers like it was a badge of honor.  Lane is the only one to blame for that.  He’s the one who helped chase off Dolan, Little and Richert.”

Debi T.

“Nobody I know is dismissing Bob Littlefield’s campaign as a sideshow.  You just wait.  Bob is going to be the main attraction this election year and give Jim Lane a real ride for his money.”

Joanne K.

“Never ever underestimate Bob Littlefield.”


“Appreciate you bragging about Mayor Lane.  But guess what, he didn’t do it alone!  He had a little help from his friends on the city council.”

Rita D.

“I’ve never known the Voice of Scottsdale to be a fan of Mayor Lane.  You sure keep us guessing.  Like you say, Jim does have a lot to brag about.  Littlefield is going to have a tough time convincing voters the mayor doesn’t deserve another term.”

Name Withheld

“It’s hard to say how history will remember Mayor Lane.  He’s certainly no Herb Drinkwater.  However, he’s probably a pretty good fit for this time in Scottsdale.  I like the idea that he’s fiscally conservative.  I wish he would be more open minded on social issues, though.  Right now improving the economy should be our first priority.”

Sheila S.

“Mary Manross was just about the perfect mayor for Scottsdale.  I think the political climate of the city changed radically after Jim Lane was elected mayor.  I really don’t feel that was a coincidence.”


“I’m not a big fan of Bob Littlefield.  But I respect him for challenging Mayor Lane.  So many people like to criticize politicians, but aren’t brave enough to do more than just scream and shout. At least Littlefield is willing to stand up for what he believes.”

Name Withheld

“The mayor can spend all the money he wants, but it won’t make a difference because Bob Littlefield’s political capital is the truth.”

Ms. Fantastic

“I believe Mayor Lane has earned a third term.  He led our city through and out of the worst economy that most of us have ever seen.”

Alan B.

“Jim Lane has never faced a political competitor with the courage and tenacity of Bob Littlefield.  Bob isn’t bashful about telling it like it is.  I commend him for walking the talk.  He’s getting my vote.”

Mr. Rogers

“I remember the campaign between Mayor Manross and Jim Lane quite well.  I worked on Mary’s campaign, so I had a ringside seat on what Lane’s group threw at her.  You’re right … it was a very nasty affair.  Mary could have won the election if she would have been willing to turn her campaign into a mudslinging contest.  She was, and still is, a class act.”


“We can’t wait to take our family, including our grandchildren, to the Desert Center.  Hurry up and build it.”

George & Betty Y.

“$1.7 million for a ‘plan’ for the Desert Discovery Center.  They’ve got to be kidding.”

Ben G.

“We should be allowed to vote up or down on the DDC.  What are the mayor and his friends on the council so afraid of?  Oh, that’s right, maybe that we’ll defeat it!”

Marty O.

“Hello … planet earth.  Bed dollars are tax dollars!”

Craig P.

“I attended the council meeting Tuesday night and was pleasantly surprised how articulate and under control people on both sides of the Desert Discovery Center were.  Maybe there’s hope that some of the ugliness that has infected our wonderful city the last several years is dying down.”

Maggie May

“After watching Bob Littlefield at the City Council meeting about the DDC, I can only come to one conclusion: What a Buffoon!”

Sally R.

“I wasn’t around when our city fathers were working on launching the green belt way back when, so I wonder how much pushback they had?   I think we should give the Desert Discovery Center a chance to succeed.  Some day I hope we all look back on this time and are able to joke that some people actually tried to scuttle the DDC.”


“I’ll be backing Bob Littlefield in the election for mayor. If he changes his mind and pulls out, I won’t be voting.”

Tea Party Tim

“Artisan Markets didn’t get a fair shake.  Shameful.”


“When voters, particularly the ones in the north, defeated most of the bond proposals, it set Scottsdale back at least 5 years.  Now the city is being forced to play catch up.  I’m puzzled about where we’re going to find the millions of dollars to repair some of our most needed infrastructure.”

Fran M. 

“I miss Lisa Borowsky!!!”

Slim Jim

“Curious if your blog staff would ever consider ‘Where Are They Now’ features.  I would be interested in knowing where people go and what they’re up to when they leave the city council or no longer work for the city.”


“I remember when the Scottsdale Republic used to have a year-in-review.  Now that the newspaper has all but thrown in the towel, I guess it’s left to the blogs like the Voice of Scottsdale.”

Carole G.

“If Mr. Behring is unable to return as city manager, wonder if the city has a back-up plan?”

Peter K.

“I think it took a year to see what kind of councilperson Kathy Littlefield is going to be.  I was giving her the benefit of a doubt.  She’s starting to turn into a disappointment.  Oh well.”

Vicky G.

“Everyone in our office (at an undisclosed location) really enjoyed your 2015 wrap up.  Unless something else breaks, most of our attention is going to be on the goings on in the school district.  The search for a new superintendent to replace David Peterson has the potential to be a real adventure.  I hear the sides are already being drawn.  Keep up the good reporting.”

Molly & Company

“David Peterson reached a point of diminishing returns with our school district.”


“The school board elections next year are going to be intriguing.  I think the terms expire for Bonnie Sneed, George Jackson and Kim Hartman.”

Eraser Head

“Around SUSD Pam Kirby is known as ‘The Black Widow.’”

Concerned Parent

“How on earth can we expect to attract a top flight superintendent after the way Dr. David Peterson was treated?”


“David Peterson had to go because the Scottsdale school district wasn’t big enough for both him and Pam Kirby.” 

Betty D.

“As a former administrator for SUSD, I know how toxic the environment is around the district.  It’s no surprise to me or employees both past and present why Dr. Peterson called it quits.  Although he had the support of the majority of the Governing Board, Barbara Perleberg and Pam Kirby made his life miserable.  Both women are well known throughout the district as troublemakers.”

Name Withheld

“I see that the Voice of Scottsdale nailed it again by being the first one to disclose why David Peterson threw in the towel.  Nice work.  The Scottsdale Republic, the alleged newspaper of record for our city, hasn’t even reported that he quit.  Thanks for being on top of the issues in our city.”

Gloria O.

“I liked the tidbit you threw in about the Cultural Council on your recent blog.  What cheapskates!!!”

Patti U.

“We just heard that Dr. David Peterson resigned as SUSD’s superintendent. Wow.”

The Wilsons

“How can the Scottsdale Republic call itself a newspaper when it no longer reports news? If it wasn’t for columns by Paul Messinger and Dana Close, I wouldn’t even read it.”

Phil O.

“I could see Guy Phillips and Bob Littlefield running as a two-man political slate.  They really could be a strong one-two punch.


“The last time Scottsdale had a really competitive race for mayor was in 2008, Lane vs Manross.  Lane vs Littlefield should be just as competitive.  I’m not sure that Bob can win – but he sure will give Lane a run for his money.  I hope this is a wake-up call for Jim Lane.  He won’t be able to sleepwalk through this election.”


“You’re right! I remember when Lane and Littlefield were called ‘Jim-Bob.’  I’m looking forward to the pubic forums. They should be very entertaining.”

Peggy Sue

“Not sure that I would support him, but at least Littlefield has stopped playing the cat and mouse game and is finally going to run for mayor.”


“It’s interesting that Bob Littlefield is running for mayor.  But it’s intriguing that his wife, a councilwoman no less, is going to be the treasurer of his campaign.  That’s one thing about the Littlefields … they never seem to do anything half way.”


“Is anyone really surprised that the people in the north torpedoed two-thirds of the bond proposals.  It used to be said that the neighborhood activists in the south were our city’s naysayers.  Now it’s the fat cats up north who are the political obstacles.”

Ruth G.

“I heard that Bob Littlefield is running for mayor!! Is this a political prank?” 

Mr. Rogers

“When David Smith voted to approve the Outpost project, he sold out the members of COGS who endorsed him last fall.  He was the swing vote.  Expect there to be consequences.”

Pete O.

“l can live with Brian Biesemeyer.  But I can’t live with Brent Stockwell.


“No one wants Fritz Behring to come back to work more than me.  But it may be time for the city council to begin discussing Plan B.

Name Withheld

“Brian Biesemeyer is no Fritz Behring.”


“Thank you for writing the blog this week about Mr. Behring.  I’ve gotten to know him pretty well in the last two years.  He’s a good man who isn’t afraid to make tough decisions.  I hope he returns to work soon.”

Betty N.

“The city really misses Fritz Behring more than most people can imagine.  It’s difficult to replace experience … and nearly impossible to replace a person of Fritz’ character.  As someone who comes in contact with the city manager’s office on a frequent basis, I think we could be just one decision or incident away from finding ourselves in a real mess.  Yes, I agree:  Fritz can’t get back to work fast enough.


“It’s amazing to hear that Jim Lane set some kind of fundraising record. At the rate he’s raising money, he’s going to dry up funds for the incumbents running for re-election … and that would be stupid on his part.”

Ron T.

“It looks like the leadership at the Cultural Council still can’t get the hang of how to cultivate relationships with the people on the City Council.  How on earth do they expect to get even half of what they ask for when they only have two members of the City Council willing to support them?”

Bev S.

“Congratulations, Firefighters.  Let’s build those new fire stations.”


“By my count, our esteemed mayor has not campaigned for the last three bond packages.  What a loser!!!”

Zip Lock

“After the bonds were defeated, bet Bob Littlefield still has a hangover from celebrating.”

Beth Y.

“I hope the Culture Council got the message last night.  The city can’t afford to keep paying the freight for the organization.  How about if the city stops shoveling money at the group who are nothing more than art elitists.”

Name Withheld

“The group that was working to pass the bond proposal could learn a thing or two from Guy Phillips.  He out worked them and out smarted them.  Yes, they should be very embarrassed!”

Recovering Politician

“When are those Yes bond signs going to be taken down.  The No signs were down days ago!”


“When my husband and I voted for David Smith, we thought he was a person opposed to government regulating private businesses. So now he has become the voice for gallery owners?”

Diane R.

“Now that the bond proposal to build new fire stations was approved, our firefighters won’t have to work out of a trailer up north.  It’s about time!”

Alan B.

“From what I hear after last night’s Transportation Commission meeting, the city won’t be pursuing making Scottsdale Road into two lanes through the downtown area.  Even money says the gallery owners and bar owners got together and put the squeeze on the City Council.”

Virg H.

“Guy Phillips … Dragon Slayer!

Peggy Sue

“The greedy gallery owners should be a shamed of themselves.  Running Artisan Markets out of downtown is nothing more than old-fashioned bullying.  I’m also shocked that the council is allowing themselves to be manipulated by them.  I thought this council was supposed to be all about free enterprise.”

Zach G.

“In my opinion, just about any other city would welcome Artisan Markets.  I wouldn’t blame Audrey Thacker for telling Scottsdale to shove it!”

Hank S.

“The Fat Lady just sang for Artisan Markets.  Too bad.”

Ms. Fantastic

“Hoping that Audrey Thacker doesn’t give up.  As a downtown business owner, our area needs as much life and vitality as we can muster. Audrey and Artisan Markets has provide both of those.  I for one am grateful” 


“I’m probably in the minority of your readers, but I believe the city did the right thing in not allowing Artisan Markets a special events permit for next year. Actually, the arts group should feel lucky that they were permitted to carry on as long as they did.”

Kathy H.

“What a joke!  Do the city’s bureaucrats really expect us to believe that Audrey Thacker and her Artisan Markets organization was run off the bridge at the canal because they were a public safety issue. How dumb do they think we are!”

Carl S.

“I was sorry to see Randy Grant fall on his sword for the acting city manager.  It should have been Brian Biesemeyer stepping out front on the Artisan Markets issue, not Randy, the head of planning and zoning.”

Betty R.

“It wasn’t evident until recently that the art gallery owners are a bunch of cry babies!”

Fran J.

“South Scottsdale is miserably under represented on the city council.  We need someone on the council who lives south of Thomas Road and understands our issues.”


“I hope and pray that Fritz Behring returns to work in the city manager’s office soon.  If people knew what was truly going on and how issues were being handled, they would be appalled.  Get well, Fritz … the city needs you.”

Name Withheld

“I’d give anything to know which person on our distinguished council called the downtown dust up with the two arts groups a ‘cluster (you know what’). They had it right.” 

Merle P.

“I’ve never had such a hard time making up my mind about an issue in our city than the battle between the downtown gallery owners and the Artisan Markets group.  Both sides have persuasive arguments.  I doubt it will ever get resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.  In the end it will only be the city that suffers.”


“Your blog today asked an important question I’ve been asking for years: ‘Who’s Really in Charge at City Hall?’ It’s becoming obvious it’s not the City Council!”

Cindy R.

“We watched the council’s session about the McDowell Road Corridor last night.  We thought the discussion started out worthwhile, and then reached a point of diminishing returns.  As residents of south Scottsdale we hope the city staff (Randy Grant and Danielle Casey) are able to interpret the vast and wandering input from the council.”

Dot and Paul G.

“Loved Paul Messinger’s newspaper column on chickens – outstanding!


“NO Tax!  Those yellow and black election signs on the corners are really effective.  Everyone I know agrees with them.”

Cheryl V.

“As a 25-year resident of PV, I’ve seen my share of politicians come and go.  Dan Schweiker was one of the best who ever served on our town council.  He was honest and responsive to every resident.”

Harold G.

“Our current City Council is one of the better ones that I can remember.  Good political diversity and a cross-section of personalities.  Unlike some of the other councils, this one is fairly unpredictable.  I like that.”

Mary Jo

“I agree … never ever count Guy Phillips out of any election.”


“We know Dan Schweiker. Paradise Valley’s loss is Scottsdale’s gain!”

Billy Jean

“We really loved the Dan Schweiker-Ned Flanders comparison.  You’re right.  Not only do they look alike, they’re pretty much the same character.”

Judy S.

“The city’s political establishment shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch.  Just because Dan Schweiker is running, it doesn’t mean that Guy Phillips won’t be re-elected.  I could see a scenario in which Schweiker and Phillips both are elected.  That would leave Councilwomen Klapp and Korte battling it out for the third seat on the council.”


“I couldn’t be happier about Dan Schweiker running for city council.  He’s a class act, and our city would be lucky to have him serve on the council.”

Trent W.

“Scottsdale is Trump Country!

Cecil O.

“I tried watching the council’s work-study session about special events Monday evening.  Didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.  It seems to be a topic that exceeds the council’s capacity.”


“It’s hard to imagine a political scenario in which a Democrat gets elected to the Council.  John Little probably had a fair chance at it last year until he dropped out for family reasons.”

Pete W.

“I’m not so sure that I agree that the majority of our city council is politically moderate.  Klapp, Milhaven and Korte, maybe.  Smith and Littlefield are more populist.  And what can you say about Guy Phillips.”

Name Withheld

“If Mayor Lane campaigns for the 2015 bonds, it may make a difference.  But that’s a pretty big ‘if.’”


“Here They Go Again …” I’m voting no on the bonds!!!

Vivian P.

“Really like the current blog.  Pretty clever how the bond campaign was introduced.  Keep up the informative work.”

Carol Lee

“I remember that election in 2012 quite clearly.  A Democrat like Wayne Ecton didn’t stand a chance to be re-elected.  That was when the Tea Party was starting to assert itself in Scottsdale.  Conservative Republicans were starting to dominate the political scene.”

Arman G.

“I’ve been reading the VoS for about 4 years, and I can’t remember a better blog than your last one that included the hate emails to our City Council.  Those emails give people a real flavor of the kinds of people who oppose a non-discrimination ordinance.  I don’t think they represent how most people in our city feel about the LGBT issues. Keep up the great work on this topic!!!”

Julie V.

I can’t believe that Mayor Lane doesn’t believe our city has discrimination issues.”

Name Withheld

“I sure hope Scottsdale doesn’t become the epicenter of the non-discrimination issue.”

Betty N.

I was at the council meeting the young lady named Christiana Holcomb spoke at.  Your blog did a good job of accurately describing her.  I found her very strange.  She reminded me of a character from the ‘Stepford Wives.’”

Cindy R.

“As a lifelong Christian, I can’t accept the fact that my fellow Christians are not more tolerant of those who are practicing an alternative lifestyle.  I’m not going to become engaged in a battle of dueling Bible passages about the issue.  In my heart I know what’s right.”

Karl H.

“I pray that our city council has the wisdom to pass a non-discrimination ordinance.”

Vivian W.

“Had never heard of the Alliance Defending Freedom until you mentioned it in your column.  It’s hard to believe an organization like that resides in Scottsdale.  Good to know.”


“I hope Fritz Behring returns to work soon. We miss you Fritz!


“Kathy Littlefield’s stock just went up with me. Under the circumstances, it took real courage to change her mind about the non-discrimination ordinance process.”

Nancy D.

“I heard Mayor Lane in an interview on KJZZ regarding the LGBT issue several days ago.  He said he’s unaware of any discrimination in Scottsdale.  Really, Mr. Mayor! Does he live under a rock?  It’s really embarrassing that our mayor is so out of touch.”

Name Withheld

“It would be interesting to know how many downtown gallery owners have signed the Unity Pledge.”

Beth Y.

“I predict Jim Lane and Guy Phillips’ opposition to doing the right thing for the LGBT community is going to haunt them when they run for re-election next year.” 


“There’s a special place in hell for those trying to force a non-discrimination ordinance down our throats.”

Bruce F.

I find it interesting that David Smith, Kathy Littlefield and Suzanne Klapp have come over to be supportive of doing due diligence about a discrimination ordinance.  Mrs. Littlefield has clearly explained her switch – but I wonder about Councilpersons Klapp and Smith.  It would be nice to know why they flipped.”

Pony Pants

“Kudos to Councilwoman Virginia Korte.  I was one of what must have been nearly 100 business leaders and elected officials at Coronado High School at yesterday’s breakfast.  Virginia gave the keynote speech about the important role schools can play in the revitalization of South Scottsdale.  Glad someone is speaking out about helping our schools in the southern part of our city perform better.”


“As a long-time resident of Scottsdale, I never thought I would see the day when the gays would take over our city. It’s despicable.” 

Sandy G.

“At least twice a year we can count on the City Council to have a humdinger of a meeting.  Last night was one of them.  Can’t remember the last time there were that many people jammed into the Kiva.  From what I could tell the crowd was evenly split between support for the LGBT folks and those who oppose what they’re trying to do with the non-discrimination ordinance.  I say let’s pass the dang thing and move on.”


“I was a little surprised to see that Bob Littlefield supports a non-discrimination ordinance.  But I was mostly pleased … finally something Bob and I agree about.”


“Until I read your recent blog, I had forgotten that John Little worked the downtown scene.  He was the perfect person in the right place at the right time.  But even when things were clicking downtown, the gallery owners were bitching and moaning.  Some things never change, I guess.”

Cactus Flower

“I totally can’t wait to hear what the members of the Scottsdale Gallery Association have to say for themselves at tomorrow night’s Council meeting. I think they expect way too much from the city.  The art business has always been about survival of the fittest. 

Hank W.

“I really look forward to Paul Messinger’s historical features.  They’ve become my favorite part of the local newspaper. “

Fran K.

“I think the city should pitch in and do everything within reason to help promote our downtown arts district.  Art is supposed to be a big part of Scottsdale’s brand, so let’s support it!

Bobby R.

“Let’s face it, folks … the downtown gallery owners are a bunch of crybabies!


“I remember the good old days downtown like they were yesterday.  It was magical.  Lots of people.  So positive.  Now it just clubs and bars and fistfights.  Really sad to see what our once great downtown has become.”

Alyssa O.

“Absolutely great blog about the downtown art galleries.  Glad someone is telling it like it is.  As a former owner of a gallery, I had the good sense to get out of the business while the getting was good.”


“I’ve got a fundamental problem with ‘for-profit’ providers of emergencies services.  Can you say ‘private prisons.’” 

Betty N.

“My neighbor and I went to the open house last night for the new development that’s supposed to be coming to 64th St. and McDowell Road.  Bob Littlefield, whose not even on the council anymore, hijacked the meeting and delivered one of his anti-developer rants.  It was rude and totally out of line.  Mr. Littlefield was a guest of the developer who was putting on the presentation.  He needs to learn some manners.”

Cactus Flower

“To call the Scottsdale Republic a “news” paper is the biggest misnomer that’s ever happened in our city.  Bring back the Tribune!”

Carol Lee

“PMT was the best ambulance company our city has ever had.  They worked closely with the Scottsdale Fire Department and understood customer service much better than Southwest Ambulance and Rural/Metro.”

Marion the Librarian

“Dear Rural/Metro: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out of town.”

Burton Y.

“Thanks for your report on our new ambulance company.  It has been building for at least two years.  Anyone paying even a little attention to the emergency services world shouldn’t be surprised.  From what I understand, people at city hall were in a deep state of denial that Rural/Metro would handoff to some out-of-state group we don’t even know.”

Annie P.

We moved here from Las Vegas earlier this summer and we love it!!  AMR provided the ambulance service in Vegas, so we have experience with their company.  All I can say is that Scottsdale is not going to like its new ambulance company.


“I signed the Unity Pledge, but I’m not sure I’m ready to support an ordinance about non-discrimination yet.”


“Now that she’s on the council, it’s good to see Kathy Littlefield come around and support the bonds that are going to be on the ballot this November.  I feel like being on the council has given Kathy a wider and better perspective on what Scottsdale needs. Thanks, Kathy.”


“Thank you for keeping the non-discrimination issues alive.”

Tami B.

“I have owned a business downtown for 13 years.  As business people, we can’t afford to send messages about Scottsdale that we don’t welcome customers from all walks of life and lifestyles, even if we don’t always agree with their politics.  Starting to at least discuss LGBT issues is not only the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do.”

Arman G.

“Very astute observation.  If the Councilpersons running for re-election allow the non-discrimination ordinance to become an issue in their campaigns next year, it will only further divide our city.  I think it’s their responsibility to bring people together, not pull them a part.”

Victoria K.

“Like the new format, and restoring ‘Voices.’ Always like reading other people’s opinions since the local newspaper scuttled letters to the editor.”


“Glad to see Bob Littlefield popping up in the newspaper about south Scottsdale.  I smell a campaign coming.  Welcome back, Bob.

Harold K.

“Z’Tejas filing for bankruptcy!!! Oh, how the might have fallen.  When more people started staying home to eat, places like Z’Tejas were doomed to fail.  This chain restaurant is probably only the first of several that the recession finally catching up with.”

The Morgans

“Help me out: Why does South Scottsdale need a brand?” $50,000 …  I think not!!!

Nancy C.

“Prediction: the next big disconnect in our city will be how to update the General Plan.  It sounds like the battle lines have already been drawn both on and off the City Council.  If ever there was a time for compromise, this is it.  But that looks highly doubtful.  Some of the old divisions between developers and neighborhoods and preserving the desert are going to re-erupt.”

Philly Boy

“It’s super sad that those folks who live in the trailer park in South Scottsdale are being tossed out on their ear. Of course it’s all in the name of progress.  Kudos to Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield for trying to help.  I wish there was more the city could do, but I realize there are limits. Very frustrating.” 

Kathleen H.

“Have you signed the Unity Pledge?”

Katie G.

“The peace and quiet with the city council on vacation is enjoyable.”


“I’m probably in the minority – but I think Rick Kidder overstayed his usefulness at the Chamber of Commerce.  As a member of the Chamber for the past 27 years, I’ve always been of a mind that the president of the organization, which is really just a glorified executive director, should only serve a 5-year term.”

Mr. Small Business

“The Cultural Council is star-crossed.”


“Since the Scottsdale Republic stopped covering news coming out of the Cultural Council, can’t thank you enough for filling the void.  Because the city is doling out $4,000,000 a year to the organization, taxpayers have a right to know what management is up to.”


“Andrew Chippindall will make a great chairman of the Trustees at the Cultural Council. 

Tammy R.  

“We really like the ‘new’ Voice of Scottsdale – especially the Home Page with our favorite Scottsdale mayor, Herb Drinkwater.  Thanks for keeping Herb’s legacy alive!”

The Franks

“I realize that institutions like the Cultural Council have to evolve.  But from what I hear, Ellen Andres-Schneider was thrown under the bus and replaced by one of the new breed on the Board of Trustees.  Ellen deserved better.”

Ruth O.

“A good day for people trying to earn a living as sign walkers!”

Frank P.
June 30, 2015 

“Thank you for the salute to Rick Kidder.  Mr. Kidder did an outstanding job representing businesses of all sizes throughout Scottsdale.  I believe he recovered nicely from his run-in with the mayor years ago.  He was a class act.”

Beetle Man
June 27, 2015

“Fantastic celebration for the Scottsdale Fire Department’s 10- year anniversary!  It seems like only yesterday that Rural/Metro left our city high and dry to start our own municipal fire department.  Many thanks to our three great fire chiefs over the last 10 years, William McDonald, Garret Olson and Tom Shannon.  Job well done, gentlemen.”

Mary and Marvin H.
June 26, 2015

“Eric Larson will do a fine job filling in for Rick Kidder at the Chamber.”

Patti Jo
June 25, 2015

“If the council’s work-study session is any indication, any updates to the city’s General Plan are going to be torturous.  Another 4-3 vote.  I don’t see either side giving in.  At this rate, there’s not going to be anything on the ballot next year, and we’re just going to keep using the same General Plan that’s already in place.  It’s a stand-off.”

Kathleen H.
June 25, 2015  

“Our organization was stunned to learn about Rick Kidder returning to his roots on the East Coast.  Rick did everything expected of a CEO for the Chamber of Commerce, probably more.  He was superior at responding to the organization’s members and guided the Chamber through some choppy economic waters.  No matter how dark the skies, Rick was always the first person to remind us about the light at the end of the tunnel.  His humor, intelligence and wit were an asset.”

Craig T.
June 24, 2015

“The LGBT community has my total respect for keeping its cool and not acting out in the face of adversity about passing a non-discrimination ordinance.

June 20, 2015

“How cool … the Scottsdale Republic has a new columnist: Dana Close.  Loved her first column and can’t wait for the rest.”

Terri G.
June 19. 2015

“I feel the city is doing the right thing by circulating the Unity Pledge.  

Gary G.
June 18, 2015

“We really like the series of reports you’re doing on the non-discrimination issue.  Your blogs obviously have a point of view, but they’re still fair.  Most of my friends have signed that Unity Pledge.  However, that’s just like a proclamation.  Scottsdale needs an ordinance.  That will send everyone a message that our city is willing to take a stand for equality. 

Beth Y.
June 17, 2015

“The Cultural Council is hurting Scottsdale’s art reputation.  They need to be more accountable.  The city council should cut the group’s funds in half to get their attention.  I bet that would straighten them out.”

Ralph G.
June 14, 2015

“Not long ago, I wanted to give Neale Perl more time to right the ship at the Cultural Council.  The more I hear about what he’s doing, the more inclined I am to say his time is up.”

Victoria O.
June 11, 2015
“’The Mess on the Mall’ … I love it!!! It makes no difference who’s running the place … it’s the most dysfunctional bureaucracy I, as an artist, have ever experienced.”

June 10, 2015

“Scottsdale can better brighten up its tarnished image, not by repainting cowboy signs, but by passing a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance.  I offered Jim Lane, Suzanne Klapp, Kathy Littlefield, Guy Phillips and David Smith, the disastrous-for-Scottsdale image of a group of disabled veterans, who just happen to be gay, in wheelchairs at a Council meeting.”

John G.
June 9, 2015

“We got rid of our Rural/Metro stock years ago.  Best investment we ever made.”

The Wilson Family
June 7, 2015

“Many us can remember when Rural/Metro was a Scottsdale icon.  It’s sad to see it crumble into a shell of its former self.”

June 3, 2015

“Unfortunately very true (“Rural/Metro’s Poor performance Impacting Company’s Future).  Yesterday a friend in a Pima Road-located rehab facility for post-brain bleeding, had a seizure.  They couldn’t call for an ambulance because it would take her to Shea North – she needed the Scottsdale Osborn ICU neurology where she had been for 3 weeks prior to rehab.  So they called for the transport at 9:30 in the morning.  It arrived around noon.”

Sonnie K.
June 1, 2015