Opinion

Whitehead: My endorsement of three candidates

Posted 10/20/20

If there is one thing Americans agree on, it is this: Special interests funding political campaigns does not serve public interests.

Without meaningful campaign donation limits in Scottsdale, I …

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Opinion

Whitehead: My endorsement of three candidates

Posted

If there is one thing Americans agree on, it is this: Special interests funding political campaigns does not serve public interests.

Without meaningful campaign donation limits in Scottsdale, I continue to worry about the influence of money at City Hall. For this reason, I am endorsing three candidates: Betty Janik and Tom Durham for City Council and Eric Kurland for House of Representatives.

Scottsdale residents are high information voters. Still, the six-figure, special interest funded campaigns of some council candidates is worrisome.

Every candidate running for City Council aspires to have a thriving downtown that builds on Scottsdale’s luxury brand. But in order to achieve this result, Councilmembers must be willing to negotiate hard and outright reject subpar development projects.

I am endorsing candidates Janik and Durham because both have the gumption and financial independence to get it done. I am also endorsing Eric Kurland for the Arizona House of Representatives.

Kurland has earned the endorsements of the fire fighters, teachers, and Arizona’s nurses and is a resident supported.

I endorsed Janik and Durham this past spring, which can be read here.

In June, both candidates came out in support of Scottsdale’s mask mandate to save lives and give businesses the freedom to re-open safely. As well, Janik and Durham firmly support quality development.

The influence corporate interests on state laws cannot be overstated. Corporate-backed bills often negatively impact Scottsdale’s financial security, quality of life, and public safety.

No law more visibly illustrates this point than SB1350; the Airbnb law that took away local zoning control and devastated Scottsdale neighborhoods.

Eric Kurland is committed to repealing SB1350 and defeating other bills that further erode local control. Quite a few are expected next session. While the scope of these bills is broad, my priority boils down to three words: Restore local control.

Scottsdale needs a strong legislator that can defeat these bills and thousands of residents agree that Eric Kurland in that legislator. I agree. Kurland will oppose any bill that:

  1. Pre-empts Scottsdale’s ability to require open space or uphold high design standards on new development.
  2. Curtail Scottsdale’s zoning authority especially in residential areas. Think: Vape shops adjacent to schools and in neighborhoods.
  3. Reduce taxes and fees paid by developers forcing residents to pay for development they likely opposed. Separate legislation aims to let developers acquire public right of ways, free of charge.
  4. Negatively impact Scottsdale’s Fire Code or its ability to enforce its Fire Code provisions or measures that restrict City’s ability to enact local risk reduction measures.
  5. Legalizing additional fireworks or other changes that would increase the risk of fires to residents and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

This week, I overheard a prominent Scottsdale-based organizer admonish voters to “never view local candidates through a partisan lens.”

This is good guidance if Arizona’s quality of life and future prosperity matter to you. I hope you will consider casting a vote for Betty Janik, Tom Durham and Eric Kurland.

Editor’s Note: Solange Whitehead is an elected member of Scottsdale City Council.

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