Tag Archives: Mayor Jim Lane

Let’s Celebrate!

Macfarland_Wendy BlogBy Wendy Macfarland
Scottsdale Insurance Company

Class 29 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

Our City Government day taught us there’s a lot to celebrate about living in Scottsdale.  Held in the impressive Kiva, we gained a lot of insights into running the city, and even experienced a mock city council meeting.

IMG_6372Our day kicked into high gear with the introduction of new Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director Margaret Leichtfuss, and what’s not to appreciate about Margaret besides the extensive experience and background she brings to her role? Anyone who loves shoes and red wine gets an AAA rating in my book!

We were lucky enough to have time with Mayor Jim Lane who talked about the intricate balance between residents, businesses, and tourism that make his job both challenging and rewarding. Interestingly, while our resident Scottsdale population is about 225,000, during a season the number can swell to 3 or 4 times that and we host about 9 million visitors in a year. Big numbers! Clearly there are many who wish to experience the quality of life that our residents give a 98% favorable rating to.

Our city covers 183 square miles; 31 miles long and 11 miles wide, ranging in elevation from 1151 ft to over 4800ft. This is notable for the impact it has on water delivery; residents in the higher elevations must have water pumped uphill to them as the canals are at lower elevation and use gravity to deliver water to the valley. We have the 95th largest city in the US with a $1.2B budget. Based on what we learned in the break out sessions on budget and services, we get a great deal with over 50% of our property taxes going to the school district, and services that keep our neighborhoods clean, provide our visitors with a positive experience, and providing our residents with the facts and information they need to live, work and obtain support in the community.

And what if we want to become an elected official? I found it interesting that it takes raising an average of $29K (average raised for the last election was $58K), and if you plan to run in a presidential/mayoral election year the voter participation will be significantly higher (84%) vs a non presidential/mayoral election year (57%). For those with interest, we learned about various boards and commissions that work with the city council and how to take the first steps to becoming involved.

IMG_1461Our afternoon was spent on prepping for and participating in a mock city council meeting. As a member of the team that drafted the City’s General Plan 2035, I was interested to learn of the work that went into preparing the draft, the community involvement, the level of commitment and effort required to bring it to the council. As an observer of the council meeting it was also interesting to hear the varying opinions and perspectives, not only of the council members but also the community residents who attended and shard their feelings on the plan. For me the plan shows the intent of the city to continue on the current path of controlled growth, focus on services, and positive environment for residents, businesses and visitors alike.


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Do You Have a Voice? City Government is Listening …


By Mike Davis, Class 28
DMB Associates, Inc.

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

On City Government Day, I certainly did not expect to find myself entertained while learning how Scottsdale’s city government works – but that is just what happened.  With each Scottsdale Leadership class, I start the day thinking I have a good idea of how the day will unfold, yet in each class I continue to be pleasantly surprised… and City Government Day was no different.

To start the day, we were fortunate to have an intimate conversation with Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane, and learn how important reforms and government transparency are to him in his term as Mayor.  This was followed by a presentation from City Manager, Fritz Behring who explained how Scottsdale’s particular form of government works.

Now it is one thing to listen to a lecture on how city government works, but it is another thing entirely to experience it.  After our overview of Scottsdale’s city government structure, we went to small presentations that focused on code enforcement, city financials and boards and commissions.  These presentations tied city government to tangible scenarios, such as enforcing noise ordinances or settling residential disputes.

IMG_4194Next, the class witnessed a panel discussion with the Scottsdale City Council, answering various questions.  Our panelists included Councilmembers Robert Littlefield, Virginia Korte, Dennis Robbins, and was moderated by Councilmember Linda Milhaven.   Each councilmember participated in the discussion and answered questions based on their view of how the City Council is supposed to work.  We learned that members of the council often do not agree, and can have very spirited debates about topics that have a significant impact on the City of Scottsdale. 

IMG_4213One such topic is the General Plan, which the class staged a mock vote.  The class was divided into supporters, opponents, decision makers, and drafters.  The culmination of the exercise was the mock City Council vote on the Scottsdale General Plan – but only after hearing from people in favor of and opposed to the Plan.  This exercise was both humorous and valuable in that it demonstrated how a City Council meeting is run and how Scottsdale citizens can make their voice heard.

If this class day inspired you to get involved, whether it is simply to let your opinion be heard before a City Council meeting, or to run for a position within city government, then the class accomplished more than its objectives.

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Make a Run for it! City Government

Sandy Adler, Class 26
Realtor, Arizona Best Real Estate

The Class 26 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.

It was another fascinating day for Scottsdale Leadership Class XXVI as we learned about how the city government operates from those that are doing the operating!  From Mayor Jim Lane to City Manager David Richert to Councilmen McCullough, Littlefield and Robbins we were impressed with lots of little details about how our city runs and what makes it tick.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • In our council management form of government there are six charter officers who all work independently but all serve under the direction of the city council.
  • The city council sets the policy and the city manager implements that policy and oversees delivery of services. Along with that, the city manager proposes the budget and the city council reviews and approves it.
  • The state mandates that the city have a general plan that is updated every 10 years. The general plan involves concepts about the character of the community, land use and quality of life. It must be voter approved.

Personally, I most enjoyed our interaction with the councilmen. I was impressed with their knowledge of the issues and their opinions. There is a lot of time and work involved in being fully informed.  They mentioned that council meetings are seen by many more people now that they are available on television (channel 11) and they all get emails from people who want to be heard on certain issues.

They all seemed to feel that because of technology it is easier for residents to be heard by the council. Speaking of technology, seeing the traffic control center was another highlight of the day. It was especially interesting because the Waste Management Phoenix Open was in full swing and traffic in the area was robust. I never had any idea that there were people watching our roads using 60 cameras around town and monitored in a room filled with screens of various intersections.

Of course, we were all encouraged to get involved in city government on some level either by running for office, becoming a member of a commission or working on someone’s campaign. Running for office is a time consuming and expensive undertaking (estimated cost is about $50,000) and I think we were all impressed with the commitment that it requires. If nothing else, this day enhanced my understanding that there are ways I can participate in our city government that I never considered.

What do you do to participate in making our city the best possible place to live, work and play?

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Scottsdale Healthcare partners with the US military

Ryan O'DanielRyan O’Daniel, Class 25
Political Consultant, Kyle Moyer & Company

On Wednesday, January 19th, I attended the grand opening of Scottsdale Healthcare’s Military Training Center, located in Old Town Scottsdale, on the Scottsdale Healthcare medical campus. The event was accompanied by a press conference in order to announce the operation of the new facility.  It was interesting to see the dynamic between the public, elected officials, and event security in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson.  With Governor Brewer, Mayor Jim Lane, and the Honorable Harry Mitchell all in attendance, security was heightened.  While personnel kept a relatively low profile, choosing not to implement metal detectors or any intrusively visible measures, their presence was certainly felt.

This private/public partnership is a dynamic relationship between Scottsdale Healthcare and the US Military.  The mission of the facility is to help train and better prepare our military servicemen and women for medical combat.  While Scottsdale Healthcare has a long history of partnering with our armed services, this state of the art facility will enable our military to be better equipped for combat missions.

Scottsdale Healthcare is a leader in the medical field and has grown from one campus on Osborn in Old Town Scottsdale, to three campuses city-wide.  As the company has grown, so has their influence within the community.  Aside from being a healthcare leader, Scottsdale Healthcare has clearly demonstrated their impact and growing relevance both inside and outside the city of Scottsdale.  Taking a leadership role in an area of expertise is often overlooked by local business, but it can be the distinguishing factor between simply being a part of an industry, and leading it.

Scottsdale Healthcare can benefit from strong leadership in a variety of ways.  Since Scottsdale Healthcare is a non-profit, their success is based largely on strong leadership.  Vision through thoughtful leadership is what has guided and will continue to guide organizations like Scottsdale Healthcare.  In addition the medical provider relies heavily on volunteers.  Volunteering is certainly an area where strong leadership is necessary to the overall mission of providing the highest quality medical care.

While outside leadership is important to the success of Scottsdale Healthcare, the internal leadership is pivotal as well.  It is clear that the guidance of the executive staff filters through the ranks of employees to positively impact every staff member.  From the nurses to the doctors, from security staff to the board of directors, leadership is prevalent throughout each and every facility.  Without the leadership of Thomas Sadvary, Scottsdale Healthcare would simply be another hospital.  Today, however, Scottsdale Healthcare is a market innovator as a result of the leaders that guide based on resolve in the best interest of their business, staff, and community.

Overall, the event was a great experience.  The audience was engaged and the speakers were welcoming.  The facility is an amazing addition to Scottsdale Healthcare’s campus and will be a great support facility for the military.

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City Government Exposed!

2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the 11th of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

Class 24 embarked on another fact-filled, emotion-tickling day on February 5, 2010. City Government Day was hosted by Councilman Ron McCullagh, Class 18. He shared how the mayor and city council’s role is to approve the budget and set public policy for Scottsdale. Volunteerism plays an immense role with over 200 people in Scottsdale serving on City Boards, Commissions and committees.

Coffee with Mayor W. J. “Jim” Lane served as an espresso boosted view of how the City of Scottsdale is led. His philosophy is a business approach to City Hall and a citizen-driven government promoting efficiency, transparency and accountability.

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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