Mayor's annual State of the City address
Each year the Mayor of Scottsdale delivers a State of the City address that looks back on the past year's accomplishments and looks forward to the goals and opportunities ahead.
|Mayor’s State of the City Address
Presented by Mayor W.J. "Jim" Lane
Feb. 21, 2013
VIDEO: View 2013 State of the City Address
(Introduction by Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey.)
Thank you very much for that introduction, Doug. It’s a pleasure to have you here – you have done an excellent job as our state treasurer.
And thank you to everyone with us here today. I see many familiar faces, which is wonderful, and I see some new faces too, which is very encouraging as well. Thank you all for coming.
Previous State of the City events in Scottsdale have been held in the evening; today’s of course is a lunchtime event.
Previous events were held at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, today of course we are at the beautiful W Hotel Scottsdale.
Previous State of the City speeches have really been about hearing me talk; today’s is really about supporting a great community program: Operation Fix It.
There is one more important difference to acknowledge. Previous events have been put together by city staff. This year, a new group stepped up to help put it together. The Scottsdale Business Development Forum, led by Greg Patterson and Mark Dewane, led the charge to help make this State of the City Address something different, exciting and new.
Thank you to everyone who helped put this together and for your continued support of our community.
Part of the format change evident here is the desire to harness the power of this event through your generous participation to raise money for Operation Fix It, which is a truly inspiring program that partners businesses and volunteers together to help the less fortunate in our community. More about that later.
SCOTTSDALE’S IMPROVING ECONOMY
For the next few minutes, I want to look in the rear-view mirror at 2012, and through the windshield at 2013. Some great things transpired in Scottsdale last year, and more great things are ahead of us. Let’s talk about a few of them.
Economics and finances are really the base of everything, so that’s a good place to start.
Not long after I first took the oath of office four years ago, Scottsdale was hit with a $47 million deficit.
After four years of responsible reforms, we have a solid budget and financial ratings that are second to none.
We successfully pursued a strategy of fiscal responsibility and made the tactical decisions necessary to stabilize municipal finances. Scottsdale city government is leaner, more transparent in its operations and more financially sustainable than ever before.
Those are among the reasons that Wall Street 24/7 .com named Scottsdale one of the nation’s ten best run cities for the second consecutive year.
As a city government, and as a community, Scottsdale is in excellent financial shape. At City Hall, our pencils remain sharp as we work together to keep spending down while maintaining the high level of services that Scottsdale residents and visitors expect and deserve.
Scottsdale employees deserve a lot of credit. 2012 continued an era of great changes for your city government. City employees faced changes in leadership, many faced changes in workload and changes in job responsibilities but kept one goal in mind – providing great service to the citizens of Scottsdale, for whom we all work.
Employees under the leadership of City Treasurer David Smith were instrumental in achieving millions of dollars in savings for Scottsdale residents.
Refinancing bonds issued in 2004 to finance capital investments, land acquisitions and other costs related to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is projected to save taxpayers more than $8 million during the next 13 years.
The city refinanced debt specific to three different community facility districts. That move will save residents who pay into those districts about $4.5 million over the next several years.
Through the efforts of our city treasurer, city attorney and acting city manager, we were able to restructure and renegotiate a long-term lease for the Nordstrom parking garage at Scottsdale Fashion Square – a move that will save the city more than $30 million over the next fifteen years.
We resolved a dispute with the Arizona State Retirement System and saved $1.5 million in the process. We also identified a past error in sales tax paid to the state for water purchases, and were reimbursed more than $560,000.
What’s in store for 2013? I know our executive team will continue to look for savings opportunities presented through refinancing debt or renegotiating old agreements to the city and the citizens favor.
I want to say a bit more about the leadership changes I mentioned.
We lost some key staff last year, including our fire chief and our water resources executive director. A lot of institutional knowledge left when those men departed for career opportunities closer to their families.
But we were able to promote from within to hire our new Fire Chief Tom Shannon, and we attracted a very experienced water administrator, Brian Biesemeyer (BEES meyer) from the other side of the Valley. These were both first rate hires who will be a big part of leading our city forward.
Of course that’s not the only leadership void to be filled. As most of you know, Scottsdale is looking for a new city manager. Finding the right professional chief administrative officer will be a real priority this year.
Dan Worth, our acting city manager since last July, has been doing an excellent job. Under his interim leadership, the city and its employees are accomplishing great things. But Dan only took the title “acting” city manager.
So we are now engaged in a nationwide search to find a candidate who will meet our requirements in managing our great city and serving our citizens.
We will hire someone with a head for business and a heart for service. Someone who understands smart spending and responsive service delivery. A leader who can engage and excite our work force, and connect with this community.
Scottsdale is a great place, and we know it can be even greater.
Speaking of getting better, I would like to shift focus for a few minutes to Scottsdale’s business climate and its overall impact on our city.
In the last year we have become more focused on positive economic development, marketing our city in new ways and smoothing the path for businesses in Scottsdale.
In calendar year 2012, business relocations and expansions in Scottsdale brought more than 1,600 new jobs, occupied more than 360,000 square feet of commercial space and made more than $61 million in capital investments.
Scottsdale has clearly emerged as a hot destination for technology and software companies who are choosing downtown, the McDowell Road Corridor, the “Cure Corridor” on Shea Boulevard, and the Loop 101 - Airpark in growing numbers.
Yelp has continued to grow its Scottsdale location, and this last year Jobing – parent company to Jobing.com – moved its offices from Phoenix to SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.
In addition to Yelp and Jobing, CA Technologies, Yodle, and McKesson are all companies who have significantly expanded their Scottsdale presence in 2012.
The urban vibrancy in this area of Scottsdale is attractive to these companies and the hundreds of technology workers they bring. These companies absorb available commercial space and residential housing, which in turn contributes to demand for new space and for supporting businesses and services.
In recent months Scottsdale’s Downtown and McDowell Road corridor have attracted more than $1 billion of business investment. Every job that comes with that investment makes the area and its economy more vibrant.
We can’t talk about the McDowell Road Corridor without talking about the great things that continue to happen at SkySong.
A 2012 study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council found that SkySong and its tenants generate $113 million annually in regional economic output.
SkySong hosts companies on-site and collaborates with companies virtually as well. As of today, SkySong hosts six international firms and 36 US-based firms, including nine ASU spin-outs.
The original two buildings at SkySong are fully leased. Now, SkySong 3 and SkySong 4 are pre-leasing. Construction on those buildings – an additional 300,000 square feet of commercial space – is expected to begin in 2013. SkySong’s new luxury apartments are under construction as well. Other businesses near SkySong are already expanding in anticipation of those new residents.
SkySong is brick, mortar and fiber-optics blended with an incredible array of educated, passionate and creative people who are on the vanguard of modern education, business development and entrepreneurship. And I feel very fortunate to say that SkySong is not the only place in Scottsdale where that is occurring.
Northcentral University is a leading online graduate school that just announced plans to double their Scottsdale office to more than 50,000 square feet to handle increased demand. Northcentral University employs more than 220 people here in Scottsdale.
Meanwhile, downtown Scottsdale continues to be a center of attention and activity, where hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment are bringing more people and energy to the city’s historic core.
Optima Sonoran Village is a high-end project nearing completion, and its beautiful, progressive design is already garnering more attention and acclaim for downtown Scottsdale.
The City Council recently approved the exciting addition of Mercedes-Benz at a new location near Scottsdale Fashion Square. It’s great to have a luxury brand like Mercedes-Benz back in Scottsdale. It’s a perfect fit in our thriving downtown that will have a substantial positive economic impact.
It’s a sign of the times in downtown Scottsdale, where the lifestyle has become a destination for people and for businesses.
It’s easy to focus on the new things, but our existing spaces are thriving as well. The Scottsdale Galleria is really an amazing story of transformation and renewal. It represents a new hub of technology companies right downtown.
SCOTTSDALE AS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND
Scottsdale is an international brand, one that will be further enhanced around the world as we continue to work hand-in-hand with like-minded cities to foster a greater exchange of tourism and business development.
Whether it’s international golf tournaments with our sister city of Haikou, China or economic development opportunities in Alamos, Mexico, we are working hard towards mutually beneficial projects. We hope to share exciting news about them in 2013.
The coordination and collaboration between the Scottsdale Business Development Forum and the Kelowna Scottsdale Business Council is already making headlines.
Kelowna, British Columbia is a beautiful city in the Okanagan Valley just a few hours from Vancouver. The relationship between our cities and these organizations was established just one year ago. In the short time since, business networking opportunities have grown, with some brand new ones in place as a result of a January visit to Scottsdale by 25 Canadian business people.
There are some specific discussions underway for our medical and bio-science industries such as TD2 and Mayo. And connections are developing on resorts, golf and even car shows.
The president of Royal Bank of Canada – John Taft – was invited to Scottsdale to speak to this group about financing for the American/Canadian connection. His remarks were well received, and his visit to Scottsdale is a sign of the potential power of our growing relationships north of the border.
I touched on medical and bio science, and would like to recognize some other activity in that area. Technology and software companies like Jobing and Yelp are young, hip and exciting.
But the strong and often silent types like Scottsdale Healthcare and TD2 are not only driving our economy, they are developing processes, treatments and partnerships that will positively impact humanity. And they are doing it right here in Scottsdale.
TD2 – which for those who don’t know is the drug development arm of TGen – has been working in partnership with Scottsdale Healthcare and Mayo Clinic for years. The breakthroughs that these scientists, physicians and researchers have made in cancer diagnosis and treatment have been truly remarkable.
New partnerships should continue along that amazing path. TD2 recently announced a relationship with FORMA Therapeutics, a Massachusetts company that is a pioneer in oncology treatments with small molecule drugs.
I am hopeful that their work together will continue the record of success that is making Scottsdale’s Cure Corridor a place where miracles actually happen.
Bio-technology in Scottsdale doesn’t just happen on Shea Boulevard – the Scottsdale Airpark is home to leaders in that industry as well as others.
In 2012 West Pharmaceuticals expanded their operations in Scottsdale. It’s one of those companies whose products you have probably benefited from, even if you may not know their name. They have been manufacturing syringes and a wide range of sophisticated pharmaceutical delivery devices in Scottsdale since 1967.
In the next five years, they will invest $34 million to expand and modernize their facility while adding 100 new bio-science jobs.
The Airpark of course is home to many different companies from many different disciplines.
Just over one year ago Scottsdale welcomed Guardian 8 to the Airpark. A new kind of professional security device manufacturer, Guardian 8 chose Scottsdale.
Their product is earning new patents, and they just announced their first international order.
There is a theme developing here. New ways of thinking about old problems. Fresh ideas. Energy. Innovation. All of these things are core parts of Scottsdale’s heritage and our community character.
In the years ahead, we will build on this activity. There is a tremendous amount of synergy among these kinds of companies and a community like Scottsdale.
Together we create places and experiences that attract bright minds, who in turn push themselves and the community to make the future even brighter.
I would like to take a moment to recognize one of those bright young minds.
A while back I received a very strong worded letter from a young Scottsdale entrepreneur. Sixteen year old Leo Blavin decided to take me to task because of Scottsdale’s decade’s old ban on his business, ice cream trucks.
If you would bear with me, I thought I would embarrass Leo a little bit, and maybe myself, by reading his letter to you.
Dear Mr. Mayor,
As a youth member of Scottsdale I was shocked to see that the business I planned on starting in Scottsdale was in fact illegal. I was hoping to start an Ice Cream Truck business in my local neighborhood of Arcadia.
The permit for the city of Phoenix is rather easy to obtain however in the great city of Scottsdale such youth entrepreneurship is outlawed. For a pro-business mayor I was shocked to see that such business ventures as food trucks and other street vending is illegal.
Children across the country love the daily Ice Cream Truck visit. Yet in Scottsdale "The Most Livable City" such a fond childhood aspect is outlawed.
I was hoping that as mayor you could look into such an anti-business zoning law and possibly rectify this ordinance. Please let me know if I must take further steps to possibly help ratify this problem.
Sincerely, Leo Blavin, 16 years old
As I am sure you can all imagine, his letter caught my attention. So, I met with Leo and his father Paul and together we set ourselves on getting the ban lifted.
After many months of public outreach I am happy to announce that “Leo’s Law” will finally be before the City Council on April 9th.
I can’t have him stand up and be recognized, because Leo is the kind of young man who would not ditch class – not even to attend this afternoon’s state of the city address.
But I would like to publicly thank Leo for not only starting his own business at such a young age but for pushing his hometown to change its laws.
While I am not sure whether or not the ordinance will pass given some of the comments made by folks diametrically opposed to the ice cream man, I am optimistic.
Working together, we can de-criminalize ice cream in Scottsdale.
It’s a cone – not a crime.
EVENTS AND TOURISM
In the past month, Scottsdale has been on display for the world to see. Attendance at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson collector car auction broke the 300,000 mark for the first time, and a million more watched on television.
The greatest show on grass returned to TPC Scottsdale as Phil Mickelson almost broke 60 to the delight of more than 525,000 fans at the most attended event on the PGA Tour. As he went on to win our Open with an approving local crowd, it may help to get Phil to come back to Scottsdale as an Arizona resident.
Come home, Phil.
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse show was back, and bigger & better than ever. Tens of thousands attended, and while the event wasn’t widely televised, it certainly continued to attract worldwide attention to the west’s most western town.
Even with the amazing technology, software, bio-science and other industry leaders who choose Scottsdale, tourism will always remain a lynchpin of our identity and of our economy. This is no accident.
We have invested and will continue to invest voter-approved bed tax dollars to bolster our tourism venues and events. This creates a self-funding mechanism for tourism capital facilities without added burden on our resident taxpayers.
We are halfway through the expansion and modernization of the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at Westworld. Once this event season concludes, work will re-start so that by the end of 2013, we will have a fully enclosed and climate controlled venue worthy of the world-class events held there.
This project marks the first use of the Scottsdale bed tax dollars dedicated to tourism infrastructure authorized by voters in 2010. This could not have happened without the participation and partnership of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona and the Arizona Quarter Horse Association. They all committed money to help get the project built.
This project is an example of the importance and impact of investments of tourism-generated tax dollars in tourism infrastructure.
Another example is the new agreement the city reached with the TPC Scottsdale and PGA Tour to renovate our signature golf course, home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
By committing bed tax dollars to improve the stadium golf course and clubhouse, we lock-in a PGA Tour event at the facility for the next nineteen years along with its vast media and advertising exposure.
These are smart investments in our core assets. The international attention generated by these facilities and the events they bring defines Scottsdale to the world – in an incredibly positive way.
And we continue to seek new opportunities to hone our brand.
The Scottsdale Polo Championships, “Horses & Horsepower” was the largest single day polo event in United States this year with almost 10,000 in attendance.
Born right here in Scottsdale, in only its second year, this event has grown substantially and showcases the ingenuity of our unique and successful tourism industry.
To expand on that growth, I am thrilled to recognize Dan Coleman who is with us here today.
Dan is not only a member of the Arizona Polo Club but he is also a board member of the United States Polo Association. On Dan’s behalf, I am pleased to announce that, next year, Scottsdale will play host to the United States Polo Association's annual conference which will coincide with the Polo Championship.
This partnership will not only result in hundreds of bed nights at our resorts but will further solidify Scottsdale’s future as the best place for polo in the United States.
Thank you Dan for all of your efforts and for being with us here today. We look forward to partnering with you.
I would be remiss, of course, on the eve of Spring Training 2013 if I did not congratulate Scottsdale’s spring partner, the San Francisco Giants – Major League Baseball world champions for the second time in three years.
I hope you’ve bought your tickets, because most of their Spring Training games are already sold out.
In the year ahead, we will continue to assess and explore other ways that we can add to the Scottsdale experience, and strengthen our attractiveness to millions of tourists and potential tourists that help drive our economy.
We’re giving it a very thorough look as part of a five year hospitality and tourism strategic plan. Creating that plan has been a group effort, and I want to thank the more than 200 community leaders and stakeholders who have lent their time and expertise to crafting this shared strategy.
It contains dozens of objectives to strengthen and invigorate the tourism industry that is so important to Scottsdale. Moving forward on these will be the work of many. Many in this room may be involved – it will be important work for the year ahead.
That five-year plan specifically identifies downtown Scottsdale as an elemental part to the future growth of tourism.
We have an active, vibrant downtown with a lot to offer – it’s truly an asset for us.
However, with this vibrancy has come complications. With somewhere between 15 and 20 thousand visitors to our downtown on an average weekend, it is not hard to imagine the diligence we must employ to ensure that the area remains clean, safe and fun.
Over the last two years, we have worked hard to ensure that downtown Scottsdale remains the entertainment capital of Arizona. We passed one-of-a-kind littering laws and set mandatory minimum fines for those that get too out of hand. We encouraged the downtown bars to form an association, which now works closely with the city to pick up trash after our busy nights.
But, sadly, none of these positives steps stopped the brutal and violent murder of Tyrice Thompson.
As I am sure all of you are aware by now, Tyrice was a remarkable young man with an incredibly bright future ahead of him. He was a father, a son, brother and friend – and his death was senseless and unacceptable. Tyrice worked as a Civilian Security Officer at a bar just down the street.
In the performance of his duty to protect the welfare of those law-abiding citizens enjoying all that downtown has to offer, Tyrice stepped in to break up a fight and in doing so was viciously attacked. A brave act that cost him his life.
As Mayor of Scottsdale, it is my responsibility to do everything I can to keep Scottsdale the number one place to live, work and play. And, in order to accomplish that goal, Scottsdale, first and foremost, must be safe.
So, following the brutal attack on Tyrice, I called for a meeting between bar owners, the Scottsdale Police Department, Code Enforcement and city staff to evaluate new ideas to improve the overall safety of our nightclub establishments.
While I won’t go into specific details here, our initial meeting brought forth some very solid and practical ideas that we will implement as soon as possible. Making things better will take continued partnership and commitment on behalf of the city and downtown businesses – and I am absolutely confident that everyone involved will do their part.
I promise that the city will take every reasonable measure possible to ensure the safety and viability of our downtown.
SCOTTSDALE MCDOWELL SONORAN PRESERVE
As much as we have invested, and will continue to invest in our tourism infrastructure and plans, let’s not forget about the majestic natural beauty with which Scottsdale is blessed.
We have invested in that too. In our latest land acquisition last November, we combined our citizen-approved dedicated sales tax dollars with $16 million in state grant money to add 10 square miles to the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
That state grant money was not guaranteed. One of our biggest successes of 2012 was protecting the will of the voters by protecting those state land grant funds from being swept by the legislature for other purposes.
We have many members of the state legislature to thank for protecting those funds – most notably our legislators John Kavanaugh and Michelle Ugenti.
With the most recent acquisition, the preserve now spans 27,800 acres – more than 43 square miles. It is now connected to the 3-million-acre Tonto National Forest, a milestone that ensures a sustainable wildlife population for generations to come.
By leveraging state grant funds over the last four years we have been able to save the city more than $78 million while extending the purchasing power of local sales taxes dedicated to expanding the preserve.
We’re doing more than buying land in the preserve – we are continuing to improve access to the preserve as well.
Last October, we opened the Tom’s Thumb trailhead. This new facility blends beautifully with the natural northern slopes of the McDowell Mountains. It provides access to the northern reaches of the McDowells through five miles of new multi-use trails, including the Marcus Landslide Interpretive Trail.
As we speak, construction of the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead is underway. That facility will help people explore the northern reaches beyond the McDowell Mountains when it opens in the fall of 2013.
BONDS AND GENERAL PLAN
Before I leave the subject of investment, let’s talk about a key question that will come before the City Council and eventually before the citizens of Scottsdale. Whether or not to invest in identified infrastructure needs across the city through a bond election.
A citizen bond task force has been hard at work over the past several months, learning about potential projects from city staff and helping to sort and prioritize them.
I want to thank Chairman Bill Heckman and all of the citizen task force volunteers for the time they put into that important process.
The next step is deliberation and decision by the council to consider a bond election so the voters can decide whether or not to fund the capital projects placed on the ballot. As that process continues, I hope that each of you will stay engaged and be well informed so that if and when a bond election is called, you are making an educated decision as a voter.
Another important city process is underway as well - the 2014 General Plan.
Earlier this month, 100 Scottsdale residents participated in a town hall to draft a new vision statement for Scottsdale’s future.
Crafting a draft vision statement through the Town Hall process was just the starting point. There will be significant opportunities for widespread citizen involvement as the General Plan process moves forward, culminating in a possible public vote in November 2014.
The general plan is Scottsdale’s blueprint for the future, and I hope each of you will learn more about it, and offer your input. There will be many opportunities to do so.
OPERATION FIX IT
I am very excited for 2013. After listening to these remarks, I hope that you are excited too.
Scottsdale remains an enviable place to live and work. Generations before us have laid the foundation, and we have continued their work. We have inherited greatness, and we will make it even greater.
One of our strengths has always been our neighborhoods. Scottsdale is a wonderful place to visit, no doubt. But there is something truly special about living in Scottsdale. And that comes from the people and the sense of community you will find in our neighborhoods.
That’s why today’s event supports Operation Fix It. As I alluded to earlier, this program is about neighbors helping neighbors.
Occasionally people fall on hard times. And in a community – in a neighborhood – when that happens, people step up and help out.
When someone is having difficulty maintaining or repairing their property, due to illness, age, finances, or other reasons, Operation Fix It is there.
It was originally started by our code enforcement officers who recognized that sometimes they were asking people to correct violations who simply did not have the ability or means to fix them.
So city employees stepped up, as they often do, and soon volunteers stepped up as well. And donations of materials were sought from local businesses, who also stepped up. Let’s take a look.
The program has been successful – but like many things of this nature, there is more demand than we have resources.
So that’s why we’re using today’s event as a fund raiser for this program.
Would Ed Capasso from Henkel please join me on stage? As we heard in the video, Henkel and its employees have been ardent supporters of Operation Fix It for years, and Ed is here today to make a very special presentation to the program.
Thank you very, very much Ed, and thank you to Henkel.
With this check, and all of the money we have raised here today, we will expand the reach of Operation Fix It to help even more people in need.
Thank you so much for your support of this program, and of Scottsdale’s neighborhoods.
If today has inspired those of you in the audience to donate your time, or materials, or even some more money, I encourage that as well.
This is my fifth state of the city address, and if I have learned anything, it is to end on a high note.
I would like to take a final moment and recognize my council colleagues.
I want to sincerely thank them for their service to the citizens of Scottsdale. While we may not always agree, I want each of you to know that I value your input and am pleased to serve alongside you.
Over the next two years, we seven members, the elected representatives of this fine city, will debate many things. But mainly we will debate the future of Scottsdale.
As I said in my inaugural remarks:
Some councilmembers will argue against growth and any change from our past. Others will view “regionalism” as the path for our future… merging us with our neighboring Valley cities and their look and interests in growth. Each of these directional thoughts deserves and will get a full vetting in an open and transparent process.
But, like most things, somewhere in-between both of these views rests the right path for our city. For me, I want to see Scottsdale grow gracefully while continuing the strict standards that preserve our firm grip on the reins of our unique heritage.
Scottsdale is not “special” because of our location or some natural resource. We are not “special” because we are perceived to be “wealthier” than our neighbors.
We are “special” because we “Citizens” choose to be.
We choose to invest in land conservation. We choose to have high standards for both public and private development. We choose to have the best park system in the state. We choose to be a Mecca for tourism with the best downtown and the best events calendar in the state.
Ronald Reagan once said that if government doesn’t know what it is supposed to do, it will try to do everything. As usual, he was right.
Thankfully, I think Scottsdale knows exactly what it needs to do. It needs to continue building on the success of its past. Such things as limited and effective government, equal opportunity for all, and a fidelity to our western heritage.
And, above all else, the unwavering pursuit of truth should continue to serve as the stars that hang always in the heavens above us, much as the stars that used to guide mariners to safe harbor, they are there to guide our conduct.
Together, we must stay vigilant in order to live up to these expectations.
Scottsdale, to me, is not just another city in Arizona. I see Scottsdale as a place that shines bright for all to see.
A place where people from all over the world can come to live, work, play and thrive. A place where families want to raise their children and a place where grandparents want to retire. Where businesses want to locate and grow their companies, and where tourists want to visit.
We have so much to offer. Throughout our entire history we have strived to set ourselves apart. We have continually reached for our future with confidence and set upon ourselves strict goals and standards that, if met, would set the standard for how other cities should operate.
I am very proud to be the mayor of Scottsdale. Scottsdale has been my home for 40 years and I would not imagine living anywhere else.
Scottsdale is a place where every citizen regardless of his or her circumstances can be welcomed with shining opportunity. Where everyone has the right to live, to work and to be themselves in pursuit of achieving whatever his or her talents and vision combined can make of them.
I commit to you that as long as I am Mayor, I will work every day to ensure that prosperity remains the promise of Scottsdale, to all who seek it.
Thank you for attending this afternoon and especially for supporting a wonderful community program: Operation Fix It.
May God bless you and continue to bless our efforts.