Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My vote in the Scottsdale election...

I wasn't going to weigh in on the races in Scottsdale, but since it seems that everyone else with an online outlet for their opinions is doing so (Scottsdale Republic endorsements here, Jim McAlister, an AZ Rep blogger, lists his votes here, and the EV Tribune has coverage of a number of different endorsements here), here's how I voted...sort of (more on that later)...

The candidates for Council basically fall into two camps (yup, I know that I'm simplifying their positions, probably far more than any candidate would ever want, but) -

- The continued unfettered growth/"whatever is good for developers is good for Scottsdale" crowd (supported by the Chamber of Commerce) - incumbents Ron McCullagh and Betty Drake, as well as candidate Suzanne Klapp. Candidates Liza Borowsky and Oren Davis seem to fall into this category (to be fair though, with Davis it's hard to tell because he's been dealing with some family medical issues and hasn't been able to focus on campaigning in an effective way. Could be an interesting candidate if he chooses to run again in two years.)

- The No Growth/"we like Scottsdale the way it is and won't let anything change no matter what" crowd - Nan Nesvig and Tom Giller.

As you might be able to tell from the way that I've simplified (perhaps oversimplified), I don't exactly subscribe to either school of thought. Mostly, I think that both schools of thought are shortsighted. The first ignores the needs and desires of most of Scottsdale's residents who just want *homes*, not a cover story in Architectural Digest. The second ignores the fact that change happens whether you want it to or not; trying to totally prevent rather than to control and guide change only leads to uncontrolled change.

Joel Bramoweth, the eighth candidate for council, doesn't really belong to either grouping. Therefore, I voted for him.

OK, not really. I *did* vote for him, but because he has nuanced, well-thought out positions and because he has worked hard for the last couple of years to learn about Scottsdale's government from the boards and commissions on up, not just at City Council meetings.

He does tend to ramble a bit when speaking in public (ok - he rambles a *lot*), but he's an educated, intelligent, and decent human being who will be an asset to the Council and to the City (even if occasionally annoying to listen to :) ).

While I'm sure that we are going to disagree on some positions and votes, I firmly believe that when we differ, his positions will be chosen because he truly believes that those particular positions are the right ones, not because he is in someone's pocket or because he wants to appease some local reactionaries.

In other words, he'll be wrong, but he'll be honest and reasoned about it (God knows when we disagree, it won't happen because *I'm* wrong, right?? LOL).

I did cast votes for Mayor and the other two seats on the Council, but those were all exercises in "trying to find the least bad candidates" rather than "voting for good candidates." I won't name who I voted for but will say that my votes for Council were split between the two camps.

Anyway, have a good week; don't expect any more posts at least until Friday from Denver.


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