Sunday, October 9, 2011

Public Policy Advisory Council Update

Bill Heckman, Chair Public Policy Advisory Board met on Tuesday, September 20, and had another packed house. Ross Cromarty presented highlights of the upcoming General Plan Update changes. Passed by the City's Planning Commission it now moves in October for consideration by the City Council. PPAC voted to support all recommendations which include designating several higher density zones for future development. The City has already tightened the number of Character Areas from over 20 to now 6 and there is some community concern about having too few to accurately represent Scottsdale’s unique characteristics. 

Representatives of the Cave Creek Unified School District made their case to support their upcoming Bond Override. Charts of how CCUSD compares in testing proficiency and funds per student to other metro area school districts were very impressive pointing out the high quality of their students’ academic success at the lowest cost per pupil of any district including SUSD & PVUSD. PPAC strongly supported the CCUSD Override and it was subsequently endorsed by the entire Board of Directors. 

Rick Kidder covered the planning process and key agreements for the East Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) on policy. He noted that to be brought forward for lobbying efforts, all Chambers must vote to support the proposed legislation. If an individual Chamber does not support, it is dropped from the agenda. 

Bill Heckman reported as a member of the City’s 2012 Bond Task Force some history of recent Bond elections. Bond 2000 was voter approved unanimously and is nearly completed. This provided funding for many needed projects that were highly leveraged with County, State & Federal Funds. Total amount of Bond Funds was over $300 Million. Given the dire economy, Bond 2010 was much more conservative but even more leveraged with other funding and still failed. It is believed that combined with the negative economy, lack of marketing effort to explain and support the Bond 2010 caused its failure to resonate with voters. The City is presenting the Task Force with less than 30 out of more than 100 departmental needs as their most urgent and deserving projects that can be eligible for Bond funding. This initial process will be completed by mid-November and we will begin to sort and process our recommendations. He plans to engage PPAC with the specific request for input to take back in finalizing recommendations. Priorities will be to insure Bond projects benefit the entire City, have as much additional leveraged funds as possible, can be completed in three years and support planning priorities and objectives. 

Next meeting is Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30 a.m. in the Chamber Conference Room.

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