Leadership in Action:
We have highlighted these accomplishments to give you a better idea of some of the many great achievements taking place in Scottsdale under the leadership of Mayor Mary Manross.
Revitalization and Investment
Environment, Energy, Preservation
Other Major Accomplishments
Scottsdale is moving forward under Mayor Manross's leadership
When I became Mayor we were faced with a declining downtown, the southern part of our community was not moving forward and there was general concern about our future. Investment in Scottsdale had slowed dramatically and the city was seen as difficult to do business with. That has all changed. Under my leadership, we have taken many strategic steps to move this city forward. "It is a Bright New Day in Scottsdale". Our clear vision and unwavering commitment to building a bridge to the future has led to an unprecedented renaissance that is taking place in Scottsdale. Today there is a record level of investment taking place throughout Scottsdale.
Revitalization in Downtown and Southern Scottsdale
Today there is an all-time record $3.1 Billion dollars of new private and public investment underway in downtown and southern Scottsdale alone. A true revitalization and renaissance is in full swing.
Over the past 25 years, the development of the waterfront area at the corner of Scottsdale Rd. and Camelback has been a top priority for three successive Mayors. Under my leadership we succeeded in gaining both strong public and council support for the new development. It all came together on October 7, 2003 with the final approval of the project. The $250 million developer financed project is doing exactly what we wanted by pumping new life and vitality into Downtown.
The Waterfront, South Bridge, Valley Ho and surrounding developments are bringing an unprecedented vitality to our city. Scottsdale's downtown is, today, both a regional and national draw and the opening of the new W Hotel and other excellent projects underway will certainly add to our now thriving community.
SkySong and revitalization
I fought hard for SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, which is positioning Scottsdale and ASU as global leaders in the knowledge economy. As elected officials we have the responsibility to make decisions which will move our community forward. I believe the words of President John Kennedy are most fitting when discussing a unique project such as SkySong. "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by obvious realities. We need men and women who can dream of things that never were."
I am proud to say that the majority of our Council agreed to take a courageous and visionary step of partnering with ASU and the ASU Foundation in this cutting edge project. Had we faltered and failed to act, as the opponents wanted, this "once in a generation" opportunity would have been forever lost. This opportunity to put Southern Scottsdale on the global map as a thriving community fostering innovation, high tech employment, and global commerce would have been missed. I would like to thank those Council members, community leaders, and residents throughout the city, as well as ASU and the ASU Foundation, who stood with us and helped us bring this most important project to fruition.
SkySong is the cornerstone for the ongoing revitalization in southern Scottsdale. It is attracting businesses from the U.S., Europe and Asia, and will continue to spur local retail development, such as the new Lowe's at McDowell and Hayden. In addition, the owners of Los Arcos Crossing have now come forward with redevelopment plans. There is $650 million in new and planned investments along the McDowell Rd. corridor. SkySong's first phase will open after the first of the year. The second building is under construction and has already secured tenants. There is tenant interest from around the world. SkySong's estimated return to the city over 30 years is projected to be approximately $265 million.
Renovated and expanded Scottsdale Stadium
We renovated, expanded, and revitalized Scottsdale Stadium, springtime home of the San Francisco Giants. Working with the Charros, our long-time partners at the stadium, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, and the Giants we took charge of our future and the future of that facility. We negotiated a long-term agreement with the Giants so they will continue playing in Scottsdale for at least 20 more years. The City invested $3 million to leverage the $20 million from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority to upgrade the stadium and provide additional practice fields and improve facilities at Indian School Park.. Scottsdale Stadium is used for multiple civic oriented activities throughout the year.
Successful passage of Bond 2000
As Mayor I strongly supported the Bond 2000 Program because I felt it was critical to our quality of life. I was very pleased that we were successful in gaining its passage at the ballot box. Some of the many important projects that have been accomplished or are in process include the following catagories: $126 million in Transportation Improvements to improve traffic flow, $25.3 million for Neighborhood Flood Control, $27.1 million for Scenic Corridor Preservation and Enhancements, over $50 million for Public Safety, and $124.7 million for Libraries, Parks, and our new Senior Center at Granite Reef. The complete list of all Bond 2000 projects is available on the City's website.
The list of Library and Park improvements alone gives you a perspective on what a positive impact the success of this bond issue is having on our community.
A. Aging park facility renovation
B. Appaloosa Library
C. Arabian Library phase II
D. Bikeways Program
E. CAP Basin Lighted Sports Complex
F. Civic Center Mall Restroom Renovation
G. Cross Cut Canal Multiuse Path
H. Eldorado Pool and Ballfield Renovation
I. Grayhawk Community Park
J. Hidden Hills Trailhead Amenities
K. Lost Dog Wash Access Area
L. McDowell Mountain Ranch Park and Aquatic Center
M. Mustang Library Study Rooms
N. North Area Park Land Acquisition
O. Paiute Buildings 7 & 9 Renovation
P. Public Pool Equipment Replacements
Q. Scottsdale Ranch Park Tennis Courts
R. Scottsdale Senior Center at Granite Reef
S. Sonoran Hills Park
T. Sports Lighting Expansion and Upgrade
U. Trails Development/Acquisition
V. Troon North Park
W. Upper Camelback Wash Multiuse Path
X. Vista Del Camino - Yavapai Ballfields
Y. Vista Del Camino Community Center Remodel/Expansion
Z. Westworld Arenas, Landscaping, Pathways, Paving, Restrooms
Removed the redevelopment designation in downtown
To encourage property owners to reinvest and to remove concerns about potential condemnation, the city removed the redevelopment designation in downtown. This move was well received by all.
Waived fees in five development categories and streamlined plan review and permit process
To encourage development and revitalization the city waived fees in five development categories. This move had the desired effect of stimulating new development.
To encourage both revitalization and new development the city streamlined the plan review process and is always looking for innovative ways to further improve.
Designated appropriate downtown buildings and southern neighborhoods as historic.
While we work to build Scottsdale's sustainable future we are dedicated to preserving our historic past. Working with our Historic Preservation department the city has taken steps to preserve our past by designating appropriate downtown buildings and neighborhoods as historic. In November 2007 Scottsdale was designated a Preserve America Community by First Lady Laura Bush. This award demonstrates that we in Scottsdale are serious about preserving our history.
Expanded the popular Trolley System
Scottsdale's ever popular, and free trolley system continues to expand in both frequency and routes to better serve our residents and visitors.
Built two new downtown parking structures
We invested $10.5 million and created 640 additional off-street parking spaces in two beautiful downtown parking structures. As part of one of the new parking structures we built a livery stable where visitors can watch horses being groomed and visit Scottsdale's historical antique carriage display.
The Galleria brought back to life
The Galleria was a failed private enterprise of the early 1990's. It was a massive white elephant for nearly 10 years in our Downtown. As a new Mayor, I met with the new owners of the Galleria. They asked for my assistance to clear up past obstacles caused by the previous owners. I assured them that re-opening the Galleria was a top priority and that we would work aggressively to develop solutions to allow them to move forward. The new owners communicated their interest in doing a multi-million dollar facelift of the outside and a remodeling of the inside of the facility. Their goal was to convert it from a failed retail center to a corporate center. We were successful in removing the obstacles and today it is a thriving workplace where over 1000 individuals go to work each day. We succeeded in bringing the Galleria back to life without resorting to subsidies. When the opportunity was presented I was determined to leave no stone unturned in seeking a solution.
Scottsdale Road straightened
When the original Galleria was built, Scottsdale Road was altered to accommodate the development. When the project folded it left Scottsdale Rd. with a strange alignment and a hole in the road. It remained in that condition due to lack of council support to change it. As Mayor, I worked to get council support for the project. We straightened and landscaped the road. Today, the realigned road is far more attractive, provides an improved flow of traffic, and gives better access to our Stetson area shops. This is another long-standing issue which we have resolved.
Former Smitty's site is a neighborhood center once again
For decades, the Smitty's center on McDowell had been a neighborhood shopping and community gathering place. Changes in the grocery business forced the closing of the store and it sat empty for many years with no immediate prospect of being developed. As Mayor and as a former resident of the area, I was determined to make this area a neighborhood center once again. In spite of criticism by some, I pushed for the city to purchase the property so we could hasten its development. Today, on this site there is our popular Senior Center, Senior Housing, retail space and a restaurant. The neighbors were very involved with the design of the project. Our new Senior Center is the first Senior Center in the country to be a LEED Gold certified green building.
McDowell Corridor Beautification Project
To demonstrate our commitment to revitalizing "original" Scottsdale, we approved an aggressive beautification project along the entire McDowell Corridor. $6 million has been allocated for landscape, sidewalks, medians and pedestrian amenities along this important commercial corridor from Pima Rd. to 64th St.. While not yet completed, the beautification project has already had a very positive impact on McDowell Rd. The beautification of the north side of McDowell near Lowes will begin after the holidays.
Property Tax Rate Reduced for 10 Straight Years
For 10 straight years I have voted to reduce Scottsdale's property tax rate. Over the past decade the rate has dropped from $1.57 to $.79. Our tax rate, today, is less than half of neighboring Phoenix's property tax rate. That's being fiscally conservative.
Best Bond rating in the nation
During my first term as Mayor Scottsdale received AAA bond ratings, the highest rating possible, from Moody's, Standard and Poor and Fitch. We are one of only a handful of cities in the nation to have received these ratings from all three rating agencies. It demonstrates the strength of our local economy, our conservative budgeting philosophy, and our fiscally responsible management practices. A few of the reasons given by Fitch for the high bond rating were "The health and diversity of the local economy, proactive fiscal management, and continued tax base growth." The most impressive fact about receiving the AAA bond rating is that it has been reaffirmed every year despite economic ups and downs in the national economy. This bond rating reflects the health of our economy and in the past year alone saved our city $7.2 million dollars.
Job Growth and Retention of Dial Corporation Headquarters
Jobs are another sign of economic vitality and in Scottsdale we have created over 20,000 new high quality jobs for our residents. I am particularly proud that the Dial Corporation made the decision to stay in Scottsdale and expand their workforce. The corporate headquarters will be located in the new and exciting Scottsdale One mixed use development under construction near Scottsdale Rd and the 101. As your Mayor, I worked very closely with Dial CEO Brad Casper and had the full assistance of our City Manager, Economic Development Director and DMB. This was a true team effort and it will pay dividends for years to come.
Scottsdale adopts committee of the whole to study annual budget
In past years a budget subcommittee would review the budget and report back to the full council. This past year we adopted a plan to have the entire council participate in all budget hearings. While it was a far greater time commitment it served our city well and most felt the new process far superior to past practices.
Scottsdale combines Quality of Life Improvements and Lower Tax Rates
I am very pleased that after months of study and review, assistance from our professional staff, and considerable input from the public, the Scottsdale City Council adopted a balanced and responsive budget for fiscal year 2007/2008, and at the same time significantly lowered property tax rates. Our professional staff monitors the budget continually and closely manages the ebb and flow of revenues and expenditures.
Operating Budget Highlights: 07/08
Added 9 sworn police positions (includes the creation of a dedicated 4 member gang unit and 5 detectives to address investigation in fraud, auto theft, violent crime and burglary & theft.)
Added 6 firefighter recruit positions to staff ambulances. The positions will be reimbursed by the City's ambulance provider PMT.
Added 7 staff to expand the After School Program to better serve our youth and to address the increased citizen demand for these services.
Added 2 staff to address trails planning throughout the City and in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Decreased the property tax rate from $.97 per $100 of assessed value to $.79/$100 of assessed value, considerably lower than surrounding cities. For example neighboring Phoenix has a property tax rate of $1.82 and Glendale is $1.62. Over the past ten years Scottsdale has reduced the property tax rate from $1.57 to $.79.
Capital Budget Highlights: 07/08
Parks and Recreation - Grayhawk Community Park, McCormick Ranch Park Model Railroad Museum, Troon North Park, and Villa Monterey Open Space.
Libraries - ongoing funding was included for the Appaloosa and Arabian Libraries. We also added 12 new staff positions to support the service demands at the Arabian Library Expansion.
Transportation - approximately 14 lane miles of roadway improvements, 11 major intersection widenings, 5 miles of new on-street bike lanes, 5 miles of multi-use path improvements, 3 new path underpasses, 4 miles of sidewalk improvements and a new transit maintenance facility.
WestWorld - an additional $3.5 million for facility improvements
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Renovation - $5.7 million of funding was added to this renovation project bringing the total project budget to $14.0 million.
Fire - funding was included to build 4 fire stations and resources to purchase land for a future fire station.
Police - provided ongoing funding for the District 1 Police Facilities, Police Operational Support Building, and Public Safety Radio System.
A Record Year for Tourism in Scottsdale
Back in 1987 the economic impact of tourism on Scottsdale was in the range of $400 million. Today the annual impact is over $3 billion with over 7.5 million visitors enjoying our beautiful community annually. How did we get to where we are today?
It took a very supportive community and committed elected officials who understood the critical need to invest in Scottsdale's future. Quality of life enhancements to our city and tourism go hand in hand. Some of our major investments which have impacted tourism include The McDowell Sonoran Preserve: major upgrades to WestWorld; the attraction and support of world class events including the FBR Open, Barrett Jackson, the Arabian Horse Show, The Fiesta Bowl and many others. We established the Contemporary Art Museum, Theatre 4301, Vision Quest, and expanded the ever popular Art Walks. We removed redevelopment designations, established incentives for upgrading private property, and today we have the most successful downtown in the country. We built attractive parking structures, expanded our trolley service and established the Downtown Ambassadors. Most importantly we have maintained our strict guidelines which demand quality development. Scottsdale, ranked as one of the best places to live in America, is home to the Sonoran Desert and McDowell Mountains, beautiful neighborhoods, arts and culture, resorts, golf courses, shopping, spectacular major events, restaurants, and nightlife.
Each year the City Council allocates bed tax dollars to help fund the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, the organization responsible for marketing our beautiful city to visitors. This past year was the most successful ever. Those dollars are well targeted and well spent. For every dollar invested by the CVB in promoting Scottsdale this past year, it generated an impressive $32 in return for our city. Up from a return of $23 the previous year. With the W Hotel, the South Bridge Development and many others coming on line, an impressive and growing arts community, record investment in downtown and Southern Scottsdale, progress being made on the Desert Discovery Center and the Western Museum, and continuing improvements at WestWorld, tourism in Scottsdale will continue to flourish for years to come.
Scottsdale Airpark is One of the Premier Business Locations in the West
In many respects, the city of Scottsdale and the businesses that make up the Scottsdale Airpark have the same long-term goal. We're all striving for quality and sustainability.
Look around our city and you'll see examples of quality everywhere. We have built an excellent community, with amazing public amenities, first-class services, a thriving downtown, a world renowned resort industry, a balanced economy and a commitment to preserve a third of our land area as permanent open space.
Look around the Airpark. Its phenomenal growth and the quality and diversity of its businesses are truly remarkable. It is one of the premier business locations in the West. How do we sustain and build on that quality? How do we assure that our city and the businesses comprising our largest employment center can continue to thrive?
A bit of history will help frame the future. It has been more than two decades since a study of the city's economy told us that Scottsdale should focus on a much more diverse economic base, while continuing to build on the strength of its outstanding tourism industry. Scottsdale's civic and business leaders took the advice to heart.
While tourism continues to be a critical component of the economy, Scottsdale's overall business base has changed dramatically. Today's Airpark is a testament to that change. The number of jobs in the Airpark topped the 50,000 mark last year (an increase of 18,000 jobs since 2000) and they represent a remarkable range of products and services. The Airpark has played a critical role in making Scottsdale a "job exporter" to the rest of the region. More people come to Scottsdale to work than leave the city for jobs elsewhere. Scottsdale has become a stronger community by design, not by accident.
The only way to sustain this strong economic base is through a continued commitment to quality and a strong partnership between the public and private sector.
Major revitalization is now beginning to touch the older areas of the Airpark, even as new development occurs around the Loop 101 corridor. I worked hard to retain Dial's corporate headquarters in Scottsdale. Dial is set to relocate in the extraordinary One Scottsdale development now under construction at Scottsdale Road and the 101. A new 1.2 million-square-foot mixed use development, Scottsdale Crossing, is planned for the site of Dial's current research facility.
More revitalization is inevitable and growth in and around the Airpark is bound to impact the area too. That's why current transportation projects and major new planning efforts will be critical to its future.
On the transportation front, the city's current five-year plan for capital improvements includes more than $221 million in street and transportation improvements. We continue to invest in smarter streets, with our 286 traffic signals (and 45 traffic cameras) tied to the city's computerized Traffic Management Center.
Regional tax dollars will fund the construction of carpool lanes on the Loop 101 from the Airpark area south to its link with the 202. And Scottsdale continues to work at the regional level to accelerate the design of additional general purpose lanes for the 101.
Looking to the future, the city is in the midst of a Transportation Master Planning process, a comprehensive study of our transportation network, including streets, transit options, trails and paths. Because access in and around the Airpark is a major issue, the city has an Airpark Circulation Study underway, and its results will be incorporated into the Transportation Master Plan.
Finally, the city is poised this fall to begin a new Community Area Plan for the Airpark, one of six area planning efforts that will lead to an update of the Scottsdale General Plan in 2011. The area plan will consider existing and future land uses and the Airpark's connections to the Scottsdale Airport.
Scottsdale will be working with businesses and organizations in the Airpark to make sure business and property owners, employees and neighbors have the chance to provide input on the Community Area Plan.
Management expert Peter Drucker once observed the "The best way to predict the future is to create it." That's exactly what Scottsdale is doing. As your Mayor I am committed to quality and sustainability. I urge you to get involved as we continue to create the future of our great city.
Fiesta Bowl Headquarters re-located to Scottsdale
With the building of the new stadium on the west side of town I felt it was critical to secure our relationship with the Fiesta Bowl. We successfully negotiated a long-term contract with the Fiesta Bowl to ensure that Scottsdale hotels will continue to host the teams that play in both the Fiesta and Insight.com Bowls. The Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is now the exclusive booking agent listed by the Fiesta Bowl and Scottsdale features prominently in the event's promotions and advertising. The two bowls contribute between $14 million and $24 million each year to the local economy. This is a tremendous boost to resorts, hotels, restaurants and other local businesses. The Fiesta Bowl headquarters is now located in Scottsdale at the Waterfront. It includes a Collegiate Football Museum that will draw additional visitors to our downtown.
I am very pleased that we completed a new agreement with the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona confirming WestWorld as the home of the prestigious all Arabian Horse Show through 2017, and potentially 2027. The Equestrian community is part of our history and we must continue to support its growth.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers of all of the shows at WestWorld, including the Arabian Horse Association, the the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, the Sun Country Circuit Quarter Horse Show, Scottsdale Classic Quarter Horse Show and dozens of others.
Their Herculean efforts bring an enormous benefit to our City and its businesses of over $182 million in total spending.
Recognizing the value of our current partners and continuing our cooperation with them is a top priority for me and the entire city organization. Scottsdale has been very successful in signing long-term agreements with the San Francisco Giants, the Fiesta Bowl, and the Arabian Horse Show. We are also working closely with Barrett Jackson to help ensure their continuing success.
City of Scottsdale awarded the "Economic Development Organization of the Year" by the Arizona Association for Economic Development.
The City's financial status is a reflection of the community at large and we're seeing a continued commitment to invest here by business as well as residents. Highlighting a long list of new corporate neighbors and reinvestments, in addition to the well known successes in Downtown and at SkySong, is the commitment of Dial's corporate headquarters to remain in Scottsdale as it expands its operations here; the arrival of Careerbuilder.com; Quicken Loans; Ebay/PayPal; and Caremark to name a few. The City had its best year in a decade for job creation, with more than 2,000 new jobs announced! My goal is to insure that we continue to attract an educated workforce.
Scottsdale is becoming a major center for cancer care and research
I serve on the Arizona Bioscience Steering Committee. It is a very unique collaboration of leaders from business, government and various fields of science. It is tasked with creating a strong bioscience and biotechnology industry in Arizona, strengthening its medical research base and building a critical mass of bioscience firms and jobs. Scottsdale has been successful in recruiting bioscience and related industries.
Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, Scottsdale Healthcare, the Translational Genomics Institute or TGen, Arizona State University and numerous private sector companies in related science and pharmaceuticals are shaping Scottsdale's bioscience industry. Here are just a few of the organizations and businesses advancing the biosciences in Scottsdale:
InNexus - a Canadian Drug Development that develops super antibodies that can be targeted to combat certain diseases like cancer.
MAC5 - short for the collaborative Mayo Clinic - ASU Biodesign Institute working to create a vaccine to prevent cancer.
Scottsdale Healthcare which received a grant for cancer research and treatment through the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center and TGen. This grant will fund individualized cancer treatment. Scottsdale Healthcare's Virginia Piper Center personalized cancer treatment was featured on Nightline in October.
TGen - led by the renowned Dr. Jeff Trent, working with Mayo on pre-clinical drug development and really expanding the State's bioscience corridor.
Mayo Clinic Scottsdale celebrated 20 years in Scottsdale in 2007. Last year we rezoned their Scottsdale campus to be a Collaborative Research Community. This campus designation creates new opportunities for scientific research and, in turn, better health care for all of us.
Photo Enforcement on the 101 Freeway
In response to a public outcry about unsafe conditions on the 101 freeway, the majority of our Council agreed to initiate a "first in the nation" photo enforcement pilot program. This initiative has captured the attention of the nation. Speeding, collisions and injuries were significantly reduced. Scottsdale's impressive success with this innovative project prompted Governor Napolitano and DPS to adopt this program Statewide. It was Scottsdale's willingness to take the heat and initiate the pilot program that will now save lives and reduce accidents across the State and someday across the Nation.
Let's take a moment to congratulate our Police Department, Transportation Department, City Court, Government Relations and the many other staff members involved in implementing this first in the nation public safety program.
Scottsdale creates the Northeast Valley Coalition against Methamphetamines
Methamphetamine abuse is a growing problem in our region, effecting families, crime rates and identity theft. Scottsdale took a leadership role in passing a strict law regulating the sale of over the counter medicines used in its manufacture. Scottsdale also created the Northeast Valley Coalition Against Methamphetamines...partnership with Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the Salt River - Pima Maricopa Indian Community and Scottsdale. This coalition has been recognized for its strong leadership by the U.S. Drug Czar John Walters, the White House, and by Arizona State Attorney General Terry Goddard. It serves as a model for other cooperative efforts in Arizona and beyond. I am very proud of the City's leadership role in the organization. I want to thank the Governor's office for awarding Scottsdale a grant to assist our city in forming the Northeast Valley Coalition.
Domestic Violence task force creates Web of Friends
I serve as the Chairman of the Regional Task Force on Domestic Violence for the Maricopa Association of Governments. We have recently initiated a new program and internet site called Web of Friends, to educate our teens about this issue so they can help break the generational cycle. In addition, Scottsdale was the first valley city to create a Domestic Violence Action Team and we continue to look for innovative ways to deal with this problem. Our task force does considerable research to support advocacy at the Legislature.
Creation of a new municipal Fire Department
The successful creation of our new Fire Department has been most gratifying. No municipality in the country has ever had the opportunity to do that after having been around for 54 years. And to do it so smoothly and professionally is something we can all be proud of.
We continue to improve our fire service with the addition of new firefighters and the building of additional fire stations to help further reduce response times.
Expansion and improvement of the Police Force
Our Police Force is a wonderful organization that continues to be innovative and keeps Scottsdale ranked as one of the safest communities in America. As Mayor I have strongly supported increasing the size of our Police Force. Since the year 2000 when I took office, the number of sworn Police Officers has grown by 33% to over 430.
One example of the department's innovative approach is the initiation of a new service known as the First Responder Smart Card Program. The primary mission of Smart Card is to enhance the first responder's ability to provide the safest and most efficient service to individuals with special needs such as mental illness, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer's and certain medical conditions with behavioral implications. Scottsdale Police Department excels in many areas. They definitely are our finest!
Environment, Energy, Preservation
Mayor Manross honored as the "Preserve Champion"
"Mayor Manross is cited as the Premier Champion of the expanded boundary of the Preserve, ensuring that not only the McDowells but also significant acreage of Sonoran Desert, including the historic Brown's Ranch, would be preserved. Throughout her service on the Scottsdale City Council and as Mayor, she has worked with citizens and government officials at all levels to ensure the Preserve vision is realized. Mayor Manross is also a champion for the preservation of Taliesin West, and one of its key promoters with the groups she encounters worldwide." The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation April 24, 2003
Mayor Manross receives National Energy Leadership Award in Washington D.C.
Scottsdale's mayor was among a select group of national leaders recognized at a key forum on energy efficiency in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2007.
The 18th annual Energy Efficiency Forum presented the Mayor's Energy Leadership Award to Mayor Mary Manross, who along with Congressional leaders, and other national and international leaders were honored for their commitment to energy efficiency.
Scottsdale was the nation's first city in 2005 to adopt a goal that all new municipal buildings should be LEED certified at the "gold" level. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a standard set by the United States Green Building Council. In May, the new Granite Reef Senior Center met the LEED goal and other facilities are in line for certification. In 2006, Scottsdale's Green Building Program received the Award of Excellence for large cities during the annual Governor's Awards for Energy Efficiency.
Governor Janet Napolitano praised Scottsdale's focus on green building and energy sustainability as "a great example for governments across the country."
"I'm proud that Mayor Manross will be in Washington representing an Arizona city that is helping lead the way," the governor said.
"This is an honor for our entire community, our citizen board and committee members, staff and management and my fellow City Council colleagues," said Mayor Manross. "Successes like this are not accomplished by one individual alone, it takes a team of caring, passionate and committed citizens, staff and policy makers. I dedicate this award to them."
The Energy Efficiency Forum is co-sponsored by the United States Energy Association, which represents public and private energy-related organizations, corporations and government agencies -- and Johnson Controls, Inc, a global company specializing in building efficiency and power solutions.
The Energy Leadership Awards were established in 1991 to recognize public officials who have provided exemplary leadership in instituting and advancing energy efficiency in the United States and abroad. Past recipients have included Senators Hillary Clinton and John Glenn, EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.
"The award was well-deserved because of Mayor Manross's strong leadership in this area, the support of the City Council and the substantial results that Scottsdale can show for its efforts," said James Mulloy, member of the city's Environmental Quality Advisory Board, and chairman of the Energy Advisory Committee. The advisory committee comprises volunteers who provide guidance on the prioritization of environmental activities and programs in Scottsdale.
The city's energy-related accomplishments include the following:
The LEED policy adopted in 2005 and the certification of Granite Reef Senior Center in May as the city's first "gold level" LEED building.
The city's Green Lights initiative, which retrofitted about 1.2 million square feet of space in city buildings with fluorescent lighting that is 50 percent more energy efficient than the lighting it replaced.
The city's use of LED traffic signal lights that use 75 percent less energy than conventional traffic signals.
Energy efficient air conditioning and cooling system retrofits of most city buildings that use up to 65% less energy.
Installation of solar power systems at city facilities, including Granite Reef Senior Center, North Corporation Yard parking area, Civic Center Library, Mustang Library, Scottsdale Water Campus, WestWorld, and the Scottsdale Airport.
Use of solar power for flood monitoring systems at McCormick Ranch and the Indian Bend Wash and installation of a local, solar powered weather station.
Scottsdale the only city to qualify for the EPA's Environmental Performance Track
To highlight the efforts of companies and communities that go above and beyond their environmental requirements, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman visited Scottsdale, Arizona in 2004, to present an award to Mayor Mary Manross. The award recognized Scottsdale as the only city in America to qualify for participation in the EPA's National Environmental Performance Track, a partnership initiative that encourages environmental excellence, involves communities in environmental protection, and focuses on measurable results.
State designates 21 square miles for preservation within Scottsdale
During my State of the City Address in 2001 I issued a "call to action" to the residents of Scottsdale. I implored residents to aggressively lobby the State Land Commission to reclassify 16,000 acres of State Trust Land as suitable for conservation. The response by our residents was tremendous and we were successful in gaining the Arizona Preserve Initiative reclassification. One highlight of the our successful campaign was a meeting with the State Land Commission in which 1,500 attended and many Scottsdale citizens were allowed to speak in behalf of preservation. I am including my comments from that night.
"Tonight is a landmark meeting for our community. Our preservation program has been a citizen vision and citizen driven from the very beginning:
"Stronger than all the armies in the world is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo
Our residents have voted overwhelmingly, time after time, in support of preserving our fragile, extraordinary beautiful Sonoran Desert. If this beautiful land is developed, it would mean another city smack in the middle of our desert. It would compound every challenge we currently face.
The lands included in our preserve boundary are there for very specific reasons. The boundaries were drawn with great care to provide links to the Tonto National Forest, The McDowell Mountains, the Maricopa County Regional Park, and the Phoenix Wash and Trail system. We have also identified appropriate locations to use as gateways to the preserve, created to disturb as little of the desert as possible and prevent negative impacts to neighborhoods.
As our city goes through the API process, we will cover every facet of the application to demonstrate the strength of our case. Success will ensure that these lands are preserved in perpetuity. There is power, there is magic in these lands, not to mention economic benefit. We have proven ourselves good stewards of the preserve.
Everyone must realize that some things should not be for sale, not even to the highest bidder!
Scottsdale is willing and prepared to commit to creating a wonderful amenity for our entire state. Listen to the people!"
Scottsdale adopts LEED Gold certification for municipal buildings
Another example of Scottsdale's leadership was adopting a policy that all government buildings would be green building LEED Gold Certified. We were the first city in the nation to take that step. This program helps us to conserve significant amounts of energy and to address the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.
Scottsdale earns coveted LEED Gold certification
On May 1,2007 the U.S. Green Building Council recognized Scottsdale's Granite Reef Senior Center for its sustainable green building qualities. We're extremely proud of this LEED Gold certification. We are a national leader in the field of green building and I am committed to maintaining that leadership. Richard Hayslip, SRP assistant general manager, said "We commend the City of Scottsdale for their leadership and investment in green buildings, energy efficiency and renewable technology." Other LEED city projects currently under way include the Arabian Library, Fire Station 602, the Police Operational Support Building, TPC Desert Course Golf Clubhouse, Appaloosa Library, and the McCormick Ranch Model Railroad Museum.
Scottsdale achieves a major milestone to ensure long-term sustainability of water resources
Water is the lifeblood of a community. I would like to share Scottsdale's recent achievement that demonstrates our steadfast commitment to long-term sustainability of our water resources.
A major milestone has been achieved by Scottsdale. This past year we recharged as much water into the groundwater aquifers as was pumped out from wells. This balance is called "safe yield" and it ensures the long-term sustainability of the city's groundwater resources. Several factors contributed to this achievement, including strategic planning and the construction of the Water Campus. Scottsdale recently received the prestigious Crescordia Award for our Aquifer Sustainability Program during Valley Forward's annual Environmental Awards banquet.
"In 1980 Arizona passed the Groundwater Management Act that set the achievement of "safe yield," a balance between groundwater withdrawal and artificial/natural recharge, as a goal for Phoenix-area water providers. To achieve "safe yield" Scottsdale had to overcome several challenges - primarily its historic 100 percent dependency on groundwater to supply its drinking water, also, the city's wells are located on the upper-end of the aquifer, making the community more vulnerable to water-level decline.
Scottsdale implemented an innovative set of water resource management strategies, which culminated in the city's Aquifer Sustainability Program. Its surface water acquisition program was funded by the first impact fees in the state, developed by Scottsdale, dedicated exclusively toward water supply acquisition. The city now receives approximately 75 percent of its drinking water from two surface water supplies, the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project, and the Salt and Verde rivers through SRP.
The city then maximized its reclaimed water supply through its Scottsdale Water Campus, which delivers reclaimed water directly to 23.5 golf courses in north Scottsdale for turf irrigation. To better manage groundwater conditions, the city initiated a complex groundwater modeling effort, and helped to establish a strong water conservation ethic as one of the founding partners of the Valleywide "Water - Use It Wisely" campaign." Scottsdale achieved "safe yield" in 2006, a milestone that will help sustain groundwater resources."
Even though safe yield has been achieved, residents are still asked to conserve water and to take advantage of the tips and tools available to them from the city's Water Conservation Office. To learn more about how you can conserve, please call the office at 480 312-5650.
Scottsdale is a leader in the valley and the nation in conservation and in using artificial groundwater recharge to enhance the sustainability of the city's water supply. This is an important part of Scottsdale's overall water supply management strategy. Maintaining the city's safe yield balance is the city's next goal. Congratulations to our entire Water Resources team.
Scottsdale's Green Building Expo wins Crescordia Award
Mayor Manross invited the entire Green Building Expo committee to accompany her in receiving the Crescordia Award at the Valley Forward Awards Program.. It was the hit of the night and may be the largest group ever to receive a Crescordia on stage from Valley Forward.
Scottsdale's Green Building Expo further demonstrates our commitment to green building and our sustainable future.
"This unique educational event is coordinated through the boundless energy of a 20-member volunteer committee and a municipal collaboration among the cities of Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix. The grassroots initiative has helped to broaden the arena for environmentally sensitive building practices Valley-wide and continues to expand consumer interest and demand for green building products, materials and lifestyle choices.
Growing every year and involving nearly 90 exhibitors, the expo is designed to provide environmental awareness to a wider audience of the general public and building industry. The event features keynote speakers, workshops, films, book discussion and displays that demonstrate healthy, energy efficient design principles and building practices.
The Green Building Expo, held on the Scottsdale Mall, collectively involves over 7,500 citizens, designers and builders and represents a successful multi-jurisdictional partnership that fosters environmental education and stewardship."
Other Major Accomplishments
America's Promise Names Scottsdale One of the 100 Best Communities for Young People
America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth announced in 2007 that Scottsdale was a winner of a national competition to identify the 100 Best Communities for Young People.
Scottsdale is one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, in part, because of the community's efforts locally and regionally to ensure young people and their families receive critical after-school, recreational, educational, health and other programs to meet their needs.
America's Promise Founding Chairman General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret). "When a community provides all that its young people need to be healthy and secure, they deserve to be honored and showcased as an outstanding example of what it takes to successfully nurture this nation's young people."
"This is the second time that Scottsdale has been named to the Top 100 list, and it is among the most significant honors we have received," said Mayor Manross.
Scottsdale adopts new ethics code for all employees
The City Council was presented with a citizens' petition on April 5, 2005. The request was for the City Council to adopt an official ethics policy substantially similar to the policy that has been adopted by the Town of Paradise Valley, AZ.
Instead, the Council formed a Citizen Code of Ethics Task Force to study the issue and on May 2, 2006 the Scottsdale City Council adopted Ordinance No. 3675 which added to City Code a "Code of Ethics Behavior" that applies to elected and appointed City officials in Scottsdale. The Ordinance also imposes a complaint and enforcement procedure for violations of the Code and also mandates annual training on the code.
Scottsdale Officials Honored as "Champions for our Children"
Police Chief Alan Rodbell, Fire Chief William McDonald, and Mayor Mary Manross were honored at the September 11th meeting of the Scottsdale Unified School District's Governing Board. The Service Learning Students wanted to express their appreciation for the personal commitment to Scottsdale students demonstrated by Mayor Manross, Chief Rodbell, and Chief McDonald. School Superintendent John Baracy, speaking for the Service Learning students, made the presentation. He characterized the three community leaders as "Champions for our Children". Mayor Manross accepted the award and thanked them for the honor. She stated that it was "parents, teachers, and administrators who deserve to be recognized as true champions." Manross, a strong advocate for education, campaigned across the city on behalf of the SUSD School Bond Election which passed by a wide margin in November 2007.
Scottsdale Cracks Down on Signs
The voice of the residents has come across loud and clear when it comes to temporary signs in the public rights of way. This includes commercial, as well as, political signage. We heard your concerns and we have taken decisive action. A new sign ordinance was passed by both the Planning Commission and the City Council. The City's sign ordinance bans all temporary signs from the public rights of way, just as eight of our nearby communities do. No longer will our public lands be cluttered with unsightly signs. The only exceptions will be government related and directional signs. This move is a commitment to safety and aesthetics. It is also a genuine commitment to our quality of life. I am very pleased that we were successful in passing this ordinance.
Scottsdale's Museum of Contemporary Art ranked among the best
Frommer's Travel Guide has selected the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art as one of nine "Favorite Small Museums" along with other museums in London, Venice, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. Now that's an accomplishment! If you haven't yet visited our museum, please do so.
"At the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, or SMoCA, contemporary art, architecture, and design take center stage in a renovated movie theater. The space is small, but packs a lot of punch, from the design of the actual building and numerous educational programs to the permanent sculpture garden (where you'll find James Turrell's Knight Rise Skylight and the gift shop, which carries everything from coffee table art books and jewelry to furniture and clothing.
Since it opened seven years ago, the museum has evolved into a meeting place for the culturally inclined and now hosts a slew of special events including SMoCA Nights, an after-hours party that brings together art, fashion, music and entertainment."
Scottsdale sets national benchmark for local disaster response
Scottsdale is known as one of the safest communities in America, but we aren't resting on our laurels. In April 2006, working in a close partnership with Scottsdale Healthcare, General Dynamics and Arizona's Army and Air National Guard, Scottsdale held the first Homeland Security exercise of its type, the Coyote Crisis Campaign.
The disaster-response exercise, which simulated a terrorist attack, was designed to optimize relationships between government, military, hospitals and private business to facilitate emergency response coordination during a mass casualty crisis. Much of the learning takes place over the many months spent in planning the exercise. In April 2007, the Coyote Crisis Campaign conducted a mock "Avian flu" pandemic.
Observers from the military, local, state and federal government have hailed Scottsdale's Coyote Crisis Campaign as a national model for local disaster planning. Scottsdale is committed to public safety and will continue to work with our partners to be prepared for any contingency.
A More Open Government with Greater opportunity for public comment
In my first term I adopted a policy of holding what we call Special Meetings so the Council, in full view of the public, can discuss and vote on the merits of holding an executive session to receive confidential legal advice on a specific issue. Before I became Mayor executive sessions were routinely scheduled. I am happy to report that we have been successful in dramatically reducing the number of executive sessions, holding very few. In fact, our neighboring cities hold far more executive sessions than we do. We will continue to conduct city business in the spirit of openness and only use executive sessions when absolutely necessary, to protect the public's interest.
As Mayor I adopted a policy of expanding public comment. In past administrations a citizen would have to wait until the end of a City Council meeting to raise a subject or concern that was not on the agenda. We have expanded that opportunity to also include public comment at the start of our regularly scheduled meetings. In addition, in past administrations there was no opportunity for public comment during Council Work Study Sessions. I adopted a policy that allows for public comment at the beginning of those
Scottsdale Arts Festival ranked #1
American Style Magazine ranked Scottsdale's Arts Festival 1st among art festivals and among the Top 4 art destinations in the United States, based on its unique art and scenic outdoor venue. We must continue to support and build our arts offerings to maintain Scottsdale's wonderful reputation as an arts community.
Mayor successful in accelerating construction of HOV lanes on 101
As Vice Chairman of MAG, (I will become Chairman of the Maricopa Association of Governments in 2008) I was successful in helping to accelerate the construction schedule of the Loop 101 HOV lane between Tatum and Princess. As a result, construction is now set for 2007. This lane will not only encourage ride sharing, it will also provide a dedicated corridor for Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT. Currently, there is BRT in the Valley, but not nearly extensive enough to adequately serve the needs of the public. Coupled with park and ride lots and other local transit connectors, BRT can fill an important transportation gap for our work force commuting to and from Scottsdale - and help us reduce the number of cars on our local streets! As your Mayor I will continue to look for opportunities to expedite local and regional projects that benefit both Scottsdale and the regional system.
Scottsdale Honored as a Crown Community
At the National League of Cities Annual Conference in November 2007 I was honored to accept this award on behalf of our community. It recognizes the extra efforts that local governments make which have lasting effects on residents, businesses and the environment. Projects are judged on their uniqueness, short and long-term value to the community and effective/innovative financing. The Chaparral Water Treatment Plant was a recipient. The plant, which treats 30 million gallons of water a day, sits on only a nine acre site and is a technical marvel.. This project is also about community connectivity. The design of the plant allows it to connect the adjacent neighborhood to nearby Chaparral Park, rather than separate the two spaces and provides a beautiful Xeriscape Garden and extremely popular Dog Park.
Scottsdale named a Preserve America Community by First Lady Laura Bush
First Lady Laura Bush sent a letter to Mayor Manross informing her that Scottsdale has been accepted as a Preserve America community, recognizing its historic preservation efforts.
"President Bush and I applaud your achievement," Mrs. Bush wrote in her notification letter. "As your community shares its story with residents and visitors, you set a great example for others."
Preserve America is an Administration initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy the nation's cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities. Mrs. Bush is the honorary chair.
"This is an important designation for Scottsdale," said Mayor Mary Manross. "It confirms the community's commitment to honor our past and the special character that has made Scottsdale such a quality community."
Scottsdale was recognized for the city's demonstrated commitment to historic preservation and support for heritage tourism activities through partnership with the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The designation also means Scottsdale is eligible to apply for funding for a range of projects, including tourism, promotion and preservation activities.
Scottsdale ranked by Money Magazine as one of the most desirable places to live in America
Those of us who live in Scottsdale are fully aware that we are truly one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. Our city regularly receives such rankings from national organizations and prominent magazines. Our quality of life in Scottsdale is unmatched and our unwavering commitment to building a bridge to a sustainable future will keep us "Most Desirable" and "Most Livable". We are truly a community where the Old West meets the New West and are working to preserve our historic past while building Scottsdale's sustainable future.
We have highlighted these accomplishments to give you a better idea of some of the many great achievements taking place in Scottsdale under the leadership of Mayor Mary Manross.