Mayor Lane’s changes begin to take hold

By Curtis Riggs | April 8, 2009

Budget reductions to commission selections
SCOTTSDALE – Steps new Mayor Jim Lane has taken to change the selection process for city committees and commissions and to deal with the present budget crisis appear to be working.

Mayor Jim Lane“There was some opposition early on in the budget committee,” he said, which was solved in part by allowing city-council members to make their own selections for the city’s boards.

“This ensures tight communication between the city council and the commissions,” he said. “We wanted to make them as thoughtful and accountable as we could.”

The selection process instituted by Lane will also be used when Scottsdale soon forms the new Charter Evaluation Task Force, which will examine how the city is doing in fulfilling the mission outlined in its charter.

“We want to make sure we have clear concise workable solutions as we are moving forward,” he said.

He talks about how expenses have been reduced in each city department to cope with the present $63 million shortfall in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

“In the long run we will save about $9 million a year,” he said about department streamlining, which includes getting long-time employees to take early retirements. “That creates a greater need for structural operational cuts.”

Another example of changes Lane is making to Scottsdale city government is the April 18 McDowell/South Scottsdale Economic Summit, which will be held at the Granite Reef Senior Center. He said the summit, which will examine the future of Scottsdale’s Motor Mile, is designed to “engage stakeholders.”