By Arizona Progress Gazette
There are few more interesting municipal elected officials in Arizona today than Scottsdale City Councilman David Smith. Having served as the City Treasurer he was the ultimate insider. Then as a candidate he ran as a quasi-outsider. Smith is whip smart and no matter one’s view of him he cannot be questioned about his affinity for the community.
Recently, however, the new outsider showed great fidelity to an old insider. A project called The Outpost, essentially a glorified gas station at Pima and Dynamite was vehemently opposed by north Scottsdale residents. But due to a purported close relationship between Smith and well-known project architect Vern Swaback, Smith abandoned his constituency for a party of one rather than a commitment to all. Indeed, Smith cast the deciding vote leaving North Scottsdale fuming.
Fast forward to a new case at 128th Street & Shea involving a new BASIS charter school, the #1 ranked public school in the state. Despite clear state law requiring the entitlement, Smith has presided over Design Review Board hearings that seem more a kangaroo court. Two thousands parents of BASIS students are wondering what is happening to Scottsdale.