Guest Editorial
Mary, Mary, quite contrary

By Ed Schneider | May 28, 2008 | Vol. 14 No. 22

Because Scottsdale mayoral candidate Mary Manross in vicious “Catwoman style” publicly attacked my integrity, and lied while doing so, I have deferred publication of “Enemy of the State, part II” until next week. The deceitful Manross deserves and will receive herein, an appropriate response. Mary Manross, you are a liar!

At a SSRC (South Scottsdale Revitalization Coalition) meeting on February 24, Manross claimed that the magnitude of “developer money” that I reported she happily took from the destroyers of Scottsdale (Feb. 11 and 18, 1998) was false. In fact, Manross claims she doesn’t take developer money — another flagrant lie. She said that I was “meanspirited.” I would happily wear that label if she were honest. If she told the truth. But Mary Manross is a liar. And because she obstreperously contested my writings, I repeat and reinforce them — particularly regarding her banking of developer-related dollars.

Manross took developer money all right, lots of it. When I did my research in 1997, I used official paperwork that she signed and submitted. We asked the Scottsdale City Clerk for “all available financial documents” and the following information is based upon the data released to us by the city clerk, as submitted by Manross between 1992 and 1996.

I personally, line by line, recorded each donation into a computer database and included the name, stated vocation and amount given by each contributor. I emphasize “stated vocation” because by omission or misstatement, probably intentional, 34 donors concealed their ties to development, in violation of law, by omitting their occupation. This “oversight” piqued my interest and I searched further — and using the telephone and telephone directory tracked some of these deceptions to developers, Realtors, attorneys, and other development-related donors. The cumulative total of Manross’ reported donations according to the paperwork I have is $13,020.00. Of this, $7148.00 — 54.9 percent — was by my standards, development-related! This includes donations from developers, Realtors, bankers, insurance companies, construction companies, politicians and former politician-landowners, speculators, zoning attorneys, and others who lobbied the Council (read: Manross) for high density upzoning. And yet, Manross denies these are developer-related donations.

Let’s look at some of the names on the “Manross list of development:” The queen of upzoning, Lynne Lagarde, $200; Paul Gilbert, John Berry and others in the firm (zoning attorneys), $350.01; Gilbert and Susan Chester (Westcor), $100.00; Geoffrey and Jane Edmunds (developer), $100.00; Billie and Warren Gentry (former councilwoman and landowners at Horseman’s Park on which Manross “coincidentally” voted “YES!”), $100.00; Lou Jekel and Robert Howard (Jekel’s partner), $150.00; Jerry and Florence Nelson (developer), $240.00; Robert and Kristen (Kristi) Ryan (developer), $50.00… the list goes on. These people and others like them are why Scottsdale is what it has become. These are Mary Manross’ friends — her stalwarts — her contributors. And these are the people to whom she is beholden.

Mary claims that I lied. She says her development-related collections amount to less than 15 percent. That depends upon what you call “developer money.” Did she count donations from zoning attorneys? Or from Jane Edmunds, wife of Geoffrey Edmunds, who listed her occupation as “none?” Or Billie and Warren Gentry who wrote “retired?” Or Jerry and Florence Nelson, who also listed their occupations as “none?” Is that your ploy, Mary? Do you selectively isolate and discount donations that you don’t want to count? Well, Mary, the truth doesn’t work like that!

Do you know a politician other than citizen advocate George Zraket who does not lie?

Politics in Scottsdale is synonymous with trickery, greed and power. What I write, however, by virtue of truth, is a politician’s worst nightmare. Writing about Mary is fun. It’s gratifying. Especially after in a fit of childish rage, she made false accusations and claims in defense of the indefensible. Shame on you, Mary Manross! I stand by everything I have published regarding your taking of developer money including the sources, amounts, dates and reasons. Mary, Mary, quite contrary …

Ed Schneider was a former editorial columnist for Sonoran News. He currently lives in Venice Florida, and can be reached at