Voice & Vision

Betty Janik for Scottsdale City Council

An Eye to the Future and Respect for the Past

I have enjoyed calling Scottsdale my home for the past 16 years. Moving here I found a city of wide diversity from the mesmerizing McDowell Mountains, to lush resorts, golf courses, horse properties, art galleries, the award-winning McCormick-Stillman Train Park, and of course, historic Old Town. However, in the past several years, there has been a noticeable shift in our landscape with erosion of open space and sweeping views to a landscape with greater height and density. This is the new norm throughout Scottsdale – no neighborhood is spared thanks to the current city council majority. Residents are angry and speaking up against this change in vision. It’s time to listen to these voices. It’s time for a new city council majority. With an eye to the future and respect for the past, I am running for city council to be a Voice for YOU.

The General Plan for Scottsdale is the guiding light for community goals on growth, development, and character of our city. Attempts to update the plan over the past decade have failed voter approval leaving us with a plan that is 20 years old and in violation of state law. As work on the new plan begins, let’s ensure that the various committees forming the plan generate a citizen plan that is not controlled by people with a vested interest. A functional General Plan will help resolve the issue of “up zoning”. The constant stream of approved zoning changes is detrimental to our neighborhoods and character areas, and disruptive to the citizens. Zoning regulations need to tighten up, loopholes closed, and requests for up zoning be reviewed with careful consideration of the consequences. New proposals require comprehensive cost/benefit analysis of impact on population, neighborhood character, traffic, as well as future maintenance costs to the city. In general, regulations need to be clear and concise, not open to subjective interpretation by city council.

Of greatest concern to me was the City’s plan to build a $65 million Desert Discovery Center (Desert Edge) within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This prompted me to become one of the Founding Members of the Protect Our Preserve organization, serving as Treasurer. We worked tirelessly starting on July 8, 2016, when we filed the bylaws to form the Protect Our Preserve non-profit corporation. This started the journey to bring Prop 420 to the ballot, giving Scottsdale residents a vote on whether they wanted such development within the Preserve they had purchased with their tax dollars. The Proposition passed with over 70% approval. I am most appreciative of the hundreds of Scottsdale citizens who worked for passage of this initiative.

With your help, we can shape the vision of Scottsdale together.

My Goals for Scottsdale City Council

CONSISTENT LAND USE POLICY

Zoning divides land in a municipality into zones (e.g. residential, industrial) in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited. Zoning guides urban growth and development. It is promise from the City to maintain the uniformity of a neighborhood. Consistency in zoning is essential to stable neighborhoods. Current Scottsdale City Council keeps changing the zoning which is disruptive to the citizens.

PRESERVATION OF OPEN SPACE AND VIEW CORRIDORS

Scottsdale is known for its sweeping views and open skies. Traditionally, homes and businesses had a low profile that preserved these characteristics. Of late, high rises are popping up all over due to changes in zoning (lack of consistency in land use) and destroying our vistas. Once gone, they are lost forever.

OVERSIGHT OF BOND PROGRAM FOR COMPLIANCE

In 2019 we voted in a $300 million bond package. Let’s make sure the projects and costs match what was outlined in the bond package.

BUDGETARY DISCIPLINE

When new projects are proposed, costs estimates need to include cost of ongoing maintenance so better decisions can be made at the City Council level. The incentives given by the city for new construction should be limited and have a reasonable payback timeframe. New projects should have proven financial benefit to the city. Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul.

SAVE PLANET EARTH

We all need to work together to protect our environment. What is good for planet earth is also good for our economy. I will do what is needed and work with other Council members, city staff, developers, and our citizens to make Scottsdale a leader in sustainability. Let’s innovate!
I am proud to announce that I have been endorsed by the Arizona Green Chamber. This is an outstanding organization. They provide information on living green. Their goal is – “To inspire, motivate and empower so that profit and planet exist in harmony now and for the future.”