I’ve been taking this fabulous series of classes from the Scottsdale Association of Realtors, called Scottsdale 101. An amazing amount of information is being provided to us by the employees of the City of Scottsdale and my plan is to share some of what I hear. It’s interesting to learn about the inner workings of the city, and to see the dedication and enthusiasm of the many speakers who are educating a room full of Realtors on the inner workings of the city.
Scottsdale Governing Structure
In our first class, David Ellison, Assistant City Manager, and David Richert, Acting City Manager, explained the structure of Scottsdale city government.
Scottsdale operates under a charter government, where the elected officials, the City Council, set policies, and the City Manager and his staff, implement the policies and oversee the delivery of Scottsdale city services.
Scottsdale and many other cities in Maricopa County, including Phoenix and Chandler, use this charter form of government. The structure is set up to take the politics out of running the city, by separating administration and policy-making, thus providing a continuity of service.
The City Council consists of seven members and the Mayor. A similar set up to corporation with a Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board.
In Scottsdale, the City Council assigns six positions:
The Scottsdale City Manager is, in effect, the CEO running the equivalent of a $1.2 billion business, with responsibility for about 2400 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Approximately 100 other employees report to the other five positions.
One of the things that I’ve been most struck by in the six classes I’ve attend so far is how plugged-in and proud, the speakers have been. The assistant city manager talked a bit early on sharing that city employees created the employee values, and that they are actually implemented, because employees feel like they own them. He also talked about what an innovative and creative city, Scottsdale is. The excitement of working in such an environment has been evident in every present I’ve seen over the past three weeks.
Scottsdale General Plan
The city has a General Plan that serves as a guide to the city’s future in regard the character, land use, and quality of life. It also includes aspects related to:
- Economic vitality
- Community involvement
- Open Space & Recreation
- Preservation and Environment Planning
- Cost of Development
- Growth Area
- Public Services and Facilities
- Community Mobility
Voters actually have to approve the plan and the next iteration of the General Plan will be up for vote in 2011.
Get Scottsdale General Plan 2011 info on Facebook.
Scottsdale General Plan Growth Areas
The General Plan focuses on future growth of three primary areas of Scottsdale:
- The Airpark — Plans call for a roadway system surrounding the Scottsdale Airport which would allow travelers to circumvent some of the busiest intersections surround the airport. The City Council has already approved a $110M budget for the project with completion of Phase 1 occurring in 2012.
- Downtown Scottsdale – from Thomas to Camelback Roads, including Fashion Square
- McDowell Road (formerly the Motor Mile) — The remaining car dealerships would be moved to the 101 and McDowell Road.
Other Miscellaneous, but Interesting Scottsdale Facts
- The city is 32 miles long and covers 185 square miles.
- Downtown Scottsdale covers 800 acres.
- The fiscal year starts July 1st.
- Scottsdale is one of eighteen cities in USA with AAA rating by all three rating agencies. Triple-triple A.