Letters

Littlefield knows who she likes in City Council race

One of the most amazing aspects of the contest between Barry Graham and Pamela Carter for the last open seat on the Scottsdale City Council is how desperate the overdevelopment crowd is to deny Graham that seat. Their latest laughable claim in their campaign is Graham lacks the experience required to serve on the City Council.

What makes this claim funny is that Barry Graham is in fact the most qualified non-incumbent candidate to run for City Council in recent memory. Consider his experience: over the past 10 years he has served on the Planning Commission and CHAIRED both the Transportation Commission and Building Advisory Board of Appeals. During that service Barry Graham studied and confronted the city’s most critical issues: apartment proposals, height and density, downtown parking, traffic, and many more.

But Barry Graham’s most important qualification is his voting record. During his tenure on the Planning Commission Graham stood up for Scottsdale residents and voted against the Kimsey, Scottsdale Collection and Greenbelt 88 projects and both Shea apartment complexes. All these projects were vigorously opposed by the surrounding neighborhoods and Graham stood with the residents on these votes.

Bottom line, Barry Graham has extensive experience with city issues; even better, he has a long record of voting to protect Scottsdale residents against the overdevelopment which threatens Scottsdale’s special character and high quality of life. 

With a glut of massive apartment projects coming before the City Council over the next year Barry Graham is exactly the person we need sitting on the City Council dais with me. 

The citizens of Scottsdale made it clear in the last three elections they want overdevelopment brought to a halt, and Barry Graham is the most qualified candidate to make that happen. He is literally “council ready,” which is why I and my husband, Former Councilman Bob Littlefield, enthusiastically endorse him in the upcoming election.

Please vote for Barry Graham for Scottsdale City Council to protect your neighborhoods and high quality of life.

-Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield

 

Former Mayor Jim Lane favors two SUSD Board hopefuls

One of the most significantly important local campaigns underway in this political election season is the one for the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board. School board elections in the past were more straight-forward, with competent and committed people who ran  to serve the parents and taxpayers of the district in creating and sustaining a quality educational system for our youth.

The playing field is different now. Budget transparency and accountability to parents and taxpayers have virtually evaporated. At the same time, new and different political and social ideologies have been introduced into the classroom and student curriculum without parents’ knowledge.

We collectively took our eyes off the ball while others, with a different intent and a very different direction, covertly worked to take control for their own interests and moved control of school operations and policy decisions about student education away from parents.

Even worse, when parents have objected to changes, they are denigrated by some school officials and are intimidated by local and federal officials labeling their resistance to these changes as acts of “domestic terrorism” to be investigated.

Governing board meetings are not welcoming to parents and purposely limit parents’ power to be a voice in their children’s education.

Two candidates who are currently running for the SUSD governing board, Amy Carney and Carine Werner, have gained my support for their ability to understand the current dynamics within the school bureaucracy and to articulate solutions that embrace transparency and accountability. 

They believe in consensus building between school officials, teachers, parents, and the school board. They believe in wholly accessible meetings and clear financial information for all interested parties. They will put the students’ education and quality teachers first, over the growing financial interests of administrators. They will give power back to parents who are concerned about academic achievement rather than politics. 

And they are parents with firsthand knowledge and understanding of school issues through having their own children enrolled as students in the district.

I am proud to support and encourage these two great candidates and their plans to open up the district’s financial records and meetings for the scrutiny of everyone impacted by the decisions of the school board in my city as well as school systems throughout the state. 

My wife and I had our children attend schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District, and we both still care about the local education system. We closely follow school Board elections and speak out for people and decisions that impact the quality of education in Scottsdale.  That strategy and action sets well with us as parents and taxpayers.

-Jim Lane

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