November 4, 2018
Proponents of Prop 420 Say Their Campaign Is "Positive"
The Facts Say Something Different:
. Paying professional signature gatherers to frighten residents into signing a petition to put Prop 420 on the ballot by telling them it would prevent “commercial development” in the Preserve — like a McDonalds, a boutique hotel and an amusement park (commercial development is strictly prohibited in the Preserve today).
. Hastily concocting ballot language without consulting the city in order to hide the true purpose of Prop 420: To change the City Charter to limit access to the Preserve to hikers, bikers and horseback riders – especially those who live nearest the Preserve and want to continue using it as their “backyards.”
. Running a campaign called “Boycott Scottsdale” urging boycotting businesses, resorts and Scottsdale Community College.
. Posting negative online reviews of Scottsdale hotels and resorts to discourage tourism and limit visitors to the Preserve.
. Creating fake social media sites to confuse and mislead voters.
. Stealing and defacing NO Prop 420 signs.
. Harassing those who oppose Prop 420 by placing Yes literature at their homes in the middle of the night.
. Publicizing home values and addresses of the principals of the No Prop 420 Protect Your Preserve campaign
. Contacting No 420 supporters’ employers attempting to get them fired.
. Demonizing Preserve supporters and assassinating the character of those who challenge the truthfulness of proponents of Yes Prop 420 by calling them “pigs,” “bitches” and “whores.”
. Filing frivolous Campaign Finance and Ethics complaints against groups and individuals who oppose Prop 420 (all of which were dismissed).
. Suing the City of Scottsdale (case dismissed).
. Violating campaign finance laws (a ruling on an additional campaign finance complaint is pending).
. Keeping secret nearly $100,000 in anonymous contributions to run a Dark Money campaign to mislead voters.
. Cyber-bullying No Prop 420 supporters and cyber-stalking members of the City Council.
. Attempting to undermine the democratic representation process by subverting the authority of the City Council and empowering unaccountable commissioners to control the future of the Preserve.
The Facts Speak For Themselves.
Stand Up For Scottsdale.
VOTE NO PROP 420
November 1, 2018
The Incivility of the Yes 420 Campaign Starts With Its Leadership
Responsible leadership is about being accountable – which the leaders of the campaign to pass Prop 420 are unwilling to accept.
“Some members of our City Council are accused of being
‘incompetent,’ ‘evil,’ ‘untrustworthy’ and recipients of ‘bribes and payoffs.’
Leaders of the Yes 420 movement have used all these words.
Their followers then mimic them on social media.
I blame this behavior on the leaders of the movement:
Jason Alexander, Mike Norton, Bob Littlefield and their various
political action committees and not-for-profit organizations.”
Paula Sturgeon Scottsdale Community Advocate
Scottsdale Independent October 29, 2018
The leaders of the Prop 420 campaign refuse to take responsibility for their nasty dialogue that’s dominating the political discussion and dividing our city.
You can hold them accountable by voting NO on Prop 420.
Stand Up For Scottsdale.
October 30, 2018
Desperate People Do Despicable Things
“There has been a consistent pattern of
destroying and/or defacing signs opposing Prop 420.
The frequency of these incidents is more than
just a coincidence. This has been a coordinated
campaign to disrupt those who oppose 420.
“This is terrible and has
no place in the Scottsdale we love.”
Jim Bruner Business Leader
Scottsdale Independent October 25, 2018
Sadly, Prop 420 promoters have created a political environment in which anything goes.
There are no longer boundaries of civility. Ethics don’t matter. And the bullying, threats and intimidation have become all too common.
The actions of some Prop 420 supporters who say they want to protect your Preserve while destroying the property of others are appalling. They threaten not only the sustainability of the Preserve but also the stability of our community.
Stand Up For Scottsdale.
October 28, 2018
Realtors Organization Rejects Prop 420
There is no group that places a greater emphasis on supporting tourism, keeping taxes low and protecting our quality of life than the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors (SAAR).
That’s why, after careful deliberation and research on Prop 420, the organization recommends voting “No” on the proposition to change the Scottsdale City Charter.
“Proposition 420 is not a ‘small change to our City Charter.’ It falls well short of creating wise public policy and measuring up to the precepts of good governance.”
SAAR Warns Voters:
“Removal of the ability to be responsive and timely in the event of
unforeseen catastrophes such as wildfires, flooding or droughts
due to a required delay to hold a public vote, or even a potential
lack of support by future voters to further fund the Preserve,
could have many unintended consequences
to property owners.”
October 18, 2018
Commissioners Say Prop 420 Is Poor Policy
The proponents of Prop 420 are calling anyone who opposes the proposition
“shills" ... “thugs” ... “imbeciles” and even “whores.” But mostly the Prop 420 supporters are calling those who think the proposition is dangerous and deceiving: “LIARS!”
The zealots refuse to recognize the difference between opposing Prop 420 and
lying about it.
Here’s what two McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commissioners say:
“Voter-initiative forms of governance have had some inherent problems,”
says former two-term Commissioner Erik Filsinger.
“Often they are based on seemingly heart-felt issues, but the nature of
changing the underlying constitution means that
any proposition that turns out to be wrong
or have unintended consequences cannot be simply amended.”
Former Commissioner Michael Milillo adds:
“If the amendment language turns out to be such a ‘terrible’ thing,
the Prop 420 proponents have said, then
‘the council at the very next election can ask the voters’
to change the language!
“Also in their own words:
‘A simple majority vote of the City Council
can no longer control the dealings of the municipality.’
To the proponents of 420, Charter amendments and public votes are the
only way to govern the city.”
Take McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commissioners
Erik Filsinger and Michael Milillo’s word for it:
Prop 420 is poor policy and bad government.
October 12, 2018
"(Prop 420) is the only chance to save the largest urban preserve in the nation from becoming an amusement park."
Former Mayor Mary Manross
Scottsdale Progress September 30, 2018
Mayor Manross knows better. But it shows that even someone who was once as level headed as Manross can get swept up in the hysteria about Prop 420.
Because she served on the City Council from 1992-2000 and then as mayor between 2000-2009, she’s aware of all the safeguards in place to protect the Preserve from encroachments: including the General Plan, the Environmentally Sensitive Land Ordinance, existing zoning, the Preserve Ordinance and the City Charter.
Those protections are the reasons Prop 420 is unnecessary.
But Mayor Manross isn’t the only one caught up in the frenzy of falsehoods.
"If this issue does not pass, you will see all sorts of buildings going up in
the Preserve, from commercial ventures to hotels and even condos."
Councilman Guy Phillips
Scottsdale Independent October 2, 2018
It's difficult to say which is more frightening: Prop 420, which sets a dangerous precedent that could change the way our city is governed and create civic chaos ... or that a former mayor and current councilman would make such reckless statements in an attempt to scare voters into voting for Prop 420.
October 8, 2018
Prop 420: A Dangerous Precedent
Scottsdale’s founding fathers established a system of governing the city employing
a representative form of government: A mayor and City Council elected to set policy who are accountable to voters.
Our forebearers never intended or foresaw the city being governed by voters passing amendments to change the City Charter, like Proposition 420. Why would they?
Because that would undoubtedly be poor policy and obviously set a dangerous precedent.
According to the Scottsdale Independent on October 3, 2018:
“At the end of the day, (Jason) Alexander (one of the co-directors of No DDC) contends the political issues surrounding the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
come down to the idea a simple majority vote of the City Council can no longer control the dealings of the municipality.”
Prop 420 is the first step of potentially many more to undercut the sworn responsibilities of our City Council specifically spelled out in the City Charter.
Even more alarming is the idea that whenever a group of people disagree
with a council decision, they force a costly public vote.
That's not out of the question...
and it's another reason to vote NO on Prop 420
to prevent poor policy and preserve good government.
September 27, 2018
Who Owns The Preserve?
Few things, if any, are more serious for a city than changing its charter.
Every change should be taken seriously and never politicized.
Unfortunately, the proponents of Proposition 420 have turned their campaign to change the City Charter into a bumper strip crusade using hyperbole, hysteria and, above all, a false premise.
FYI: Taxpayers do not “own” the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Neither do those promoting Prop 420.
For the past 30 years literally millions of people, residences and visitors alike,
have helped buy the more than 30,000 acres of Preserve land with their tax dollars. That doesn’t mean any of us taxpayers “own” the Preserve. We no
more own the Preserve than we own the fire trucks at Station 602 on Indian School Road.
The City of Scottsdale owns those assets … and billions of dollars worth
Prop 420 creates a risky precedent: a group of disgruntled taxpayers being able
to seize control of the city’s most important asset. Then what would be next …
the Indian Bend Green Belt or the city’s libraries or Civic Center Mall?
Prop 420 Is Poor Policy.
That Makes It A Dangerous Proposition.
"The City of Scottsdale owns the Preserve.
Proposition 420 would move decisions made about the Preserve from
the City Council to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission
whose members are not elected by voters.
That means commission members are not accountable to citizens."
September 19, 2018
Why Prop 420 Proponents Can’t Be Believed
Boycott Scottsdale – Help Save Our Preserve.
What kind of people created that social media site? And who has threatened and intimidated local businesses like Harkins Theatres, the Bank of Arizona and the Princess Resort?
Who is attacking people at their places of business and trying to get them fired for disagreeing with them?
What group has developed fake social media sites to confuse voters?
Which campaign is using anonymous contributions to fund it?
Answer: The Proponents of Proposition 420.
Why would anyone believe the promoters when they tell voters that Prop 420 is only a “small” change to the Scottsdale City Charter and deny it’s designed to limit use of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve – especially by non-bikers and non-hikers?
It’s your Preserve, too.
The Preserve should be open and accommodate anyone and everyone, not just those who think it’s their own personal recreation area.
Discriminating Against Non-Bikers and Non-Hikers Makes Prop 420
A Dangerous Proposition.
"The Preserve does not belong solely to the able bodied residents
who consider it their own personal treasure.
We are a representative republic and balancing the needs
of the whole is vested within our City Council."
September 13, 2018
Don’t Be Fooled
Proposition 420 isn’t about the Desert Discovery Center/Desert EDGE –
it’s about making a significant change to the Scottsdale City Charter.
For all intents and purposes, the City Charter is to Scottsdale what the U.S. Constitution is to America. Any change should be thoughtfully deliberated and not turned into a political sideshow.
Regrettably, that’s what the proponents of Proposition 420 are doing by
using the proposition as a tool to limit access to your Sonoran Mountain Preserve and control its safety and sustainability … however they choose.
What began as a protest against the DDC by the affluent neighborhoods in North Scottsdale morphed into a campaign to amend the Charter. Now those promoting Prop 420 are trying to convince voters that making decisions about what’s “appropriate” for your Preserve should be left to a small group of unelected and unaccountable people.
That’s bad policy which invites unintended consequences:
Prop 420 is designed to put the city in a straightjacket.
It prevents our Preserve tax dollars from being used to restore the Preserve after catastrophes like a 100-year flood' raging wildfire or other unforeseen natural disasters. The proposition also prohibits using our Preserve tax dollars to maintain flood-prone washes that have the potential to impact the safety
of citizens and nearby property owners.
That makes 420 a dangerous proposition.
"The current City Charter sufficiently protects the Preserve.
According to Prop 420's Section 12, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission will determine new trails in the Preserve and
'appropriate restoration' efforts.
What if the law on accessibility changes or someone challenges
what is appropriate? If so, you and I will need
to pay to defend the lawsuits."
September 5, 2018
It’s Your Preserve
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is your preserve, too.
Unfortunately, there are several special interest groups that want to limit access to your Preserve and control its future.
These groups started in the elite neighborhoods near the Preserve. They have used fear tactics to spread an aggressive misinformation campaign to attack some of the founders of the Preserve in order to hide their real motivations.
You, your family or neighbors might have signed their petition to put Proposition 420 on the election ballot. To convince people to sign the petition, you may have heard some paid petition circulators say it would prevent commercial development in the Preserve, like a McDonald’s. Promoters of Prop 420 have even spread rumors about a boutique resort and a tram.
That’s ridiculous. We don’t need to pass Prop 420 to prevent that.
It’s what you aren’t being told about Prop 420 that’s the biggest threat to your McDowell Sonoran Preserve:
Proponents of Prop 420 admit it’s an end-around on the City Council designed to empower a small group of unelected and unaccountable people to make decisions about what’s “appropriate” in your Preserve.
That makes 420 a dangerous proposition.
"Typical of this kind of initiative, it comes replete with
misleading talking points, litigation,
anonymous money, angry and disruptive council hearings,
assaults and boycotts on businesses that support
Desert EDGE, and persistent and disparaging ad hominem attacks on
the very people who helped give life to the Preserve in the first place."