November 15, 2017
Today I am announcing my candidacy for a second term to represent you on the Scottsdale City Council. I am proud of Scottsdale and passionate about participating in our city’s future.
When voters elected me in 2014, I had never held elected office, although many citizens knew me from the years I served as Scottsdale’s City Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. I offered voters proven financial experience, a record of fiscal integrity and a vision that apparently resonated with many of my fellow citizens. I promised, if elected, I would be their voice to…
- Ensure the fiscal sustainability of our city, spending your tax dollars wisely and for your benefit,
- Protect and enhance the financial investment you have in our city by protecting and enhancing our quality of life,
- Preserve our heritage, building on the special “place” called Scottsdale, and
- Pursue visions for the future as bold as the visions of the past to distinguish us from other cities.
Now I have a record of providing keen financial and business analysis to the issues that come before Council. I’ve searched for the facts and diligently listened to citizen voices on all sides of the issues.
I invite you to consider whether my leadership has represented your interests:
- Ensuring our city’s fiscal sustainability is still my most important initiative. As a city, we have “kicked the can down the road” on major liabilities for too many years. Capital reinvestment in our infrastructure continues to be less than depreciation, as it has every year since 2008. As a member of the Council’s newly formed Subcommittee on Capital Investments, I am working to develop long-term, sustainable solutions to recommend to the full Council.
- Protecting and enhancing your financial investment and quality of life has influenced positions I’ve taken regarding tourism, economic growth and development. I have been a champion of tourism, arguing for every initiative that promotes this vital industry, as well as arguing against initiatives that threaten to undermine it. As a 35-year resident in different parts of the city, I look for development projects that protect and benefit our community at large.
- Preserving our heritage and building on the special “place” we have today has guided my views on development, but also influenced my positions on tax reform. I have argued for eliminating our sales tax on groceries. To be known as a special place, with a heritage of caring for our neighbors, we should not be imposing the most unfair tax any city can levy on its citizens.
- Pursuing visions for the future as bold as the visions of the past is an important responsibility of any Council. I picked up where previous Councils left off and voted to authorize the study of an educational, interpretative and research center (referred to at the time as a Desert Discovery Center.) We needed to define what this vision could add to the unique character of our city and what it would cost to build and operate.
The study was completed this summer and now Council is tasked with deciding whether this is a vision we want or can afford. Large groups of citizens are speaking excitedly (for and against) this project, based on its purpose, location, cost to build and cost to operate.
Some of my colleagues propose to immediately refer the question to a public vote. As your elected representative, I accept responsibility to search for solutions that are financially prudent, improve the cachet of our city and support tourism. That’s a tall order, but I believe that’s what you expect from your Councilmembers.
My first-term votes on Council were often in the minority, but many of you have encouraged me to continue making my voice (our voices!) heard on the issues affecting our community. I commit to provide strong financial leadership and oversight, always mindful that I am spending your money.
If my positions on City Council have aligned with your vision for Scottsdale, I hope you will support my candidacy for another term. To mount a successful campaign, I will need…
- 1,000 petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. The sooner we qualify, the sooner we can focus our attention on issues.
- Supporters willing to declare their position by displaying campaign support signs in their front yards or windows. (In 2014, I pledged not to clutter public rights-of-way with campaign signage and I make that pledge again!)
- Leaders willing to host neighborhood gatherings that give me an opportunity to discuss city issues with a broader audience.
- And, financial support. An early report of strong fund-raising from a broad array of supporters will send a powerful message to the community.
Electing members of City Council is an opportunity for every citizen to select the voices that best represent their vision of our great city. Next fall, you will have the opportunity to vote for three Councilmembers; I would be honored to again receive one of your three votes.
David N. Smith