Tag Archives: Tony Nelssen

Scottsdale Loses Leader

Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

Tall, lanky and dressed in western wear, Councilman Tony Nelssen made an impression every time he entered a room.  His slow smile and wry sense of humor complimented his look.  Yesterday, Nelssen lost his battle to cancer and Scottsdale lost a strong leader.

Nelssen’s first term on the city council began in 2006. He was running for re-election this year.   Nelssen’s love for the equestrian lifestyle and view of Scottsdale as “The West’s Most Western Town” provided much of his motivation to lead.

A native of Arizona, Nelssen was a smart man who paved his path to political office by actively participating in community affairs.  His stewardship included service on both the planning and the parks and recreation commissions.  He was a vocal advocate for preserving our desert.

I worked with Councilman Nelssen in two capacities. The first is in my role as executive director of Scottsdale Leadership and second, as a member of the Scottsdale Public Art Advisory Board.  In all instances, I experienced Nelssen as a respectful, approachable and honest person.  Nelssen enjoyed sharing his knowledge and views with Scottsdale Leadership class members who were eager to begin making their own mark on the community.  He was proud and supportive of the accomplishments and highly-respected reputation of the Scottsdale Public Art program.

Nelssen’s leadership required huge personal sacrifice. He gave countless hours preparing for council meetings, talking with citizens and attending events throughout Scottsdale.

His death leads me to ask, how can each of us do more?


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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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