Scottsdale Update - Aug. 21, 2023


Tomorrow! Donate a new backpack and take a spin in a police car. The Scottsdale Police Department is already gearing up for next school year’s Back to School drive in hopes of collecting 600 backpacks. The fun takes place from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, at McKellips District parking lot, 7601 E. McKellips Road. The ride will take place on a short, closed course and is available to anyone 12 and older. There will be some fun photo opportunities for those too young to ride.

"Speak Up Scottsdale" encourages residents to engage in community conversations. Residents are invited to be part of a new online community designed to foster continuous, meaningful conversation among residents, businesses and the city – part of Scottsdale’s implementation of the Collaboration and Engagement chapter of the voter-approved Scottsdale General Plan 2035. The city partnered with Scottsdale-based research and design firm ATOM Innovation to create Speak Up Scottsdale, a hosted online platform that allows participants to contribute their insights, opinions and feedback about city initiatives, local issues, civic matters and services. To join this new community of civic contribution, visit

Welcome to Mayor Ortega’s new Chief of Staff Adam Garrett Santiago. He joins Scottsdale from working in a similar role with the city of Glendale, Ariz. Santiago graduated from Stony Brook University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in religious studies. He went on to further his education at New York University, earning a certificate in global affairs and graduated from Harvard University where he earned a Master of Liberal Arts concentrating in government. Santiago lives in Scottsdale, with his wife and daughter. 


Get a head start learning about city issues, projects and activities by attending or listening in on the many public meetings we host. Here’s what’s coming up: 

Learn about the responsibilities of city Boards and Commissions and how you can serve. 


Learn how Navajo Code Talkers saved American lives during World War II. A group of young Navajo men enlisted in the Marines without knowing they would be called on to develop a secret code against the Japanese military. This select group of Code Talkers devised a Navajo language code that was accurate, quick, never broken and saved many American lives. This free program profiles four Code Talkers who reflect on their lives growing up on the Navajo Nation homeland before and after the war. It begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Mustang Library.

Saddle up for the Arizona Black Rodeo, one of the largest and most popular African American cultural and educational events. The event features bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, ranch bronc riding, steer undecorating, ladies barrel racing and breakaway, junior barrels … and so much more. Other entertainment includes Spanky the Rodeo Clown, grand entry presentations with character re-enactments and lots of good old-fashioned grit and gumption. Three shows are available: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1; and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at WestWorld. Learn more and buy tickets.


Get more events information


Get an inside look at all aspects of Scottsdale Water through the citizen academy. The city's water utility is one of the most advanced municipal water systems in the country, and you have a chance to learn why. Sign-ups start Wednesday, Aug. 23. Participants must be able to commit to five consecutive Wednesday evenings starting Sept. 13. Learn more

Scottdale Sister Cities Association updates:

  • Student Leadership Conference: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, Scottsdale Community College. The conference centers on global awareness and cultural communication skills. Hear inspiring speakers, plan your club’s activities and participate in fun activities. Free to Scottsdale Sister Cities members; $10 for others. Register.

  • Alamos Student Exchange: Applications due Monday, Sept. 4, for the Oct. 6-14 trip. Apply as a youth ambassador to Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, for exchange during fall break. Visit schools, stay with host families and practice your Spanish all while enjoying the charm and the sights of Alamos. Contact Bob Rink at [email protected] or read this: Alamos Exchange info flyer (pdf)

  • Desert Mountain High School student Diana Lopez is the winner of the Young Artist - Classic Artist Category - “Food Security in My Community.” Lopez said of her painting, “This piece is inspired by the millions of Latino generational farmworkers who work to secure the future of agriculture production and accessibility. Approximately 75% of farmworkers in America are Latino migrants who remain the unsung heroes in crop production.” Her piece depicts a mother passing down a seed to her daughter to symbolize the responsibility. Meet Lopez and view her artwork.

The association’s mission is to promote the city as an ambassador of international friendship and goodwill. This is accomplished through student, educational, cultural and economic development exchanges and advancement of long-term international partnerships.


Investing in Our Scottsdale: Paving crews are taking it to the streets. Over the next three months, paving crews will apply more than 154,000 square yards of micro seal coating to 22 segments of roadway. The coating extends the life of asphalt streets and reduces maintenance costs. Additional benefits include a smoother and safer ride and enhanced curb appeal. Learn more about the city’s Pavement Preservation Program.

Fleet Management receives a $165,000 natural gas tax credit. The IRS offers qualifying tax-exempt entities that buy and use alternative fuels, including natural gas, a credit of 50 cents for each gallon-equivalent used. Fleet has filed rebates for two additional back years and expects to receive similar amounts for each one. 

Vendors can participate in the city’s annual Arts and Crafts Fair. Over the past 38 years, this arts fair has evolved into a large community event, with more than 150 vendors who sell a variety of original artwork, jewelry, photography, glass and iron work, clothing and much more. This year’s fair will be 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a vendor, fill out an application by Friday, Oct. 27.

Job of the Week: Wastewater Maintenance Technician I – Trainee. The successful candidate completes training for advancement to the Water Maintenance Technician classification, while performing a variety of skilled work in maintaining and repairing the city's water or wastewater reclamation transmission, regulatory and related equipment. Benefits include 12 paid holidays; sick leave; medical, dental and vision benefits; tuition reimbursement; participation in Arizona State Retirement System; and more. Learn more and apply.

Watch the latest Fast Five. Scottsdale reduced water use during the hottest month on record, the city extends hours at Day Relief Centers and a new online community for Scottsdale residents – these are just a few things happening in our community right now and highlighted in this month’s episode of Fast Five. Watch now.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West named “No. 1 Western Museum" in the nation by True West magazine. Western Spirit’s mission is dedicated to preserving the rich history and cultural heritage of the greater American West and works to highlight the importance of safeguarding artwork, artifacts, and stories that illuminate the region's past to shape our future. Its editors base the selections on criteria evaluating exhibits, facilities, multi-media and online accessibility, events, and promotion of historic/cultural resources. Learn more about the museum.


Scottsdale What Works Cities 2023 Gold certification

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