Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brief Scottsdale Update, including TCE/Arizona American Water

...Congratulations on the group Height and Density (HAD) on gathering over 3000 signatures to force a referendum on the City Council's decision to approve the Hanover Scottsdale project. Assuming that the petition signatures survive the inevitable legal challenge (Hanover's lawyers - Shughart, Thomson and Kilroy in Phoenix), the election will probably be held in September or November.

On a related note, the rather illuminating HAD video of the harassment by thugs contracted to intimidate them was presented at Tuesday's meeting of the City Council by John Washington of COGS; the streaming video of the meeting can be viewed here. The HAD video presentation begins at approximately the 9:30 mark.

Note: The next meeting of COGS will be held on April 10 at 6:30 p.m., 8507 East Highland Avenue (north of Camelback Rd and south of Chaparral Rd--east off Granite Reef. 0

...In what had to be the quietest controversial moment in Council history, they approved the separation agreement with outgoing City Manager Jan Dolan without any discussion or debate. It was slipped into the consent agenda portion of the meeting, and few of the 100 or so people in the City Hall Kiva (and fewer still of those watching the meeting on TV) had any real clue about what they were witnessing.

Given Ms. Dolan's status as a lightning rod for the ire of certain members of the Council, I'm guessing that if Tuesday's public meeting was so peaceful, it was because last Thursday's special executive session of the council was so 'colorful.'

Oh, to be a bloggin' fly on the wall at *that* meeting. :)

...According to David Ellison, acting City Manager, speaking at Wednesday night's session of City Government 101, no timetable as yet been established for the search for and hiring of a new city manager. At this point, it isn't even known if the new manager will be hired before or after the elections in the fall.

Personally, I think that in the interests of fairness to the candidates for the job, the final interviews and selection of the manager should wait until the reconstituted Council is seated in January.

...On the TCE/Arizona American Water front, the council heard a staff presentation on some of the options available to the council to ensure a safe drinking water supply for all Scottsdale residents.

During the presentation and consideration of the matter, Paul Townsley, president of Arizona American Water announced that one well, SRP PCX1 has been permanently disconnected from AAWC's water distibution system. The water in the well is the source of TCE in AAWC's water supply and will continue to be remediated; the treated water will probably be discharged into the Arizona Canal.

He went on to announce that of the three options that staff presented to the Council (do nothing, buy the Scottsdale portion of AAWC's system, or join Paradise Valley in obtaining the entire system), he and AAWC (and AAWC's parent company) support the 'do nothing' option and that AAWC isn't for sale, in whole or in part.

I'm not sure if that stance is real or just a negotiating position, because as Councilman Bob Littlefield pointed out, American Water is preparing for an IPO, so in essence, it will *all* be for sale soon.

Mr. Townsley's presentation started at around the 3 hour, 48 minute part of the video.

In the end, the Council voted to expand the study to gather more detailed information about the actual costs and benefits of acquisition.


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