NEXT MEETING

Next Meeting:
January 10 2019
9:30am - 11:30am


TOPIC: Our group will discuss what issues/action we would like to address in the coming year.

LOCATION:
Scottsdale Congregational Church
4425 N. Granite Reef Rd.

NEWS

Desert Discovery Center Info
DDC Plan
DDC Proposal Report

MINUTES & REPORTS

  • POSITION STATEMENT
    Here is the LWV Position Statement Released to DDC Citizen Rights

    LWV Position Statement Released to DDC Citizen Rights
    Citizen’s Right to Know / Citizen Participation - Protect the citizen’s right to know and facilitate citizen participation in government decision-making.

    Natural Resources
    Promote the management of natural resources as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems.

    Public Participation
    Promote public understanding and participate in decision making as essential elements of responsible and responsive management of our natural resources.

    AZ LWV Positions
    LAND USE Consensus 1975; Reviewed 1995
    The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports:
    ● Action to achieve a physical environment beneficial to life, with an emphasis on achieving an optimal balance between human needs and the carrying capacity of the land and its resources.
    ● Measures to preserve open space and natural habitat, identify and regulate area of critical concern, including fragile areas, historic areas, riparian habitats, renewable resource lands, and natural hazard lands.
    ● Requirements for evaluation of economic, social and environmental impacts of major land use projects, whether initiated by government agencies or by private interests.
    ● Increased coordination and communication among land use agencies at all levels of government, and between those agencies and the public.
    ● Public input into all stages of planning and decision making.

    Paula McKey
    May, 2017

  • JAN 2018 MINUTES
    Report from the meeting held in January, 2018. Read more here…

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS MP
    Scottsdale Team

    Meeting Date January 11, 2018 at 9:30 am at the home of Gerry Corey.

    Members Present: Judy Levine (Host), Pat Bauer, Eva Binder, Gerry Corey, Leslie Gordon, Paula McKey, Diane Mueller, Joanne Pamperin, Doris Perlmutter, Alice Stambaugh, Anne Walsh, Solange Whitehead, and Katie Wilke.
    Guests attending are Janet Nicholas and our guest speaker, Allegra Fullerton.

    Agenda 1
    – We extend our warm welcome to new Scottsdale team members Diane Mueller and prospective member Eva Binder.

    Agenda 2
    – The December 14, 2017 minutes were approved by consensus.

    Agenda 3
    - We welcomed our guest speaker, Allegra Fullerton from AZ Schools 101. Ms. Fullerton is a volunteer speaker for AZED101, a former teacher and she was a core team leader for SOS (Save Our Schools). Her college majors included Public Administration and Policy. Following are some of the highlights of her impressive 90-minute Power Pointe Presentation.

    -Arizona currently has the 10
    th highest class size in the U.S.

    -AZ teachers are 51st in the U.S. in teacher pay rankings.

    -Out of the 8353 teachers needed for this school year, over 2000 positions remain unfilled and over 4000 AZ positions are filled by long-term subs. AZ teachers average 3 years of teaching experience, are unprepared to teach their subjects and experienced teachers are overwhelmed and unable to mentor new teachers. She referred to a March NY Times
    article about Steve Yarbrough and the Arizona School Voucher program.

    -The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and attorney Tim Hogan filed a lawsuit on behalf of several school districts alleging the governor and state Legislature have shorted
    districts hundreds of millions of dollars a year for building-maintenance and soft capital needs. According to Allegra, the School Board pulled out of the suit.

    -In 2009, then-Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature started cutting soft capital and
    building Maintenance. Cuts continued under both Governors Brewer and Ducey.

    -Since 2009, ongoing cuts in this area have topped $2 billion


    - For capital expenses- school districts are supposed to get approx. $450 per
    elementary student and $490 per high school student. (Those figures had remained unchanged
    since the 1980’s)

    -Currently receiving between $40-$80 per student; depending on district

    -As of FY 2014, AZ ranked 49
    th or $7,528, in overall per pupil spending in the U.S. Comparing Charter, Public and Private School funding:

    -Both are considered public schools

    -Charter schools are contractors that receive taxpayer dollars to operate privately schools

    -Charter school materials/equipment are usually privately owned and leased to the school at
    taxpayer expense Allegra’s presentation pointed out the different sources of revenue for Public Schools,
    Charter Schools and Private Schools. Charter schools do not have geographic boundaries and therefore, receive no revenue from district property taxes. They get the majority of their funding from the state’s general fund. They can charge optional fees and receive tax credits. Private schools can receive STO (student tuition organization) or ESA (Empowerment
    Scholarship Account) money from the state and they charge tuition. What can we do to improve AZ public education? Allegra ended her presentation
    emphasizing the need to educate our fellow citizens through the following approaches: Attend PTO meetings, Support your local school, Attend school board meetings, Attend Legislative District meetings, Contact your local senators and representatives and the Governor, Investigate candidates’ campaign funding and Elect officials with clear understanding and clear support for public education. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education should be emphasized in order to provide students with real problem solving skills. Allegra informed the group on the House and Senate Education Committee Meetings held at 9am on Mondays and Thursdays, respectively and encouraged our involvement through RTS (Request to Speak). Mentioned at the meeting were three areas of concern: 1) Proposition 301 renewal in 2020,
    2) Increase Recess breaks from 1 to 2 daily and 3) Increase in funding, including PTO
    funding.

    Agenda 4
    – Alice – RTS (Request to Speak) Only when a bill is in committee, use RTS to make a comment or a Thumbs up or Thumbs down. Alice offered to assist League members who are interested in signing up for RTS at the Capitol.

    Agenda 5
    – Announcements – Leslie Gordon is enrolled in the current Scottsdale
    101 sessions. Anne is participating in LWV’s “Observer Corps”. At November’s Scottsdale City Council Meeting, Anne reported the following items of interest
    1) the Fire department is underfunded and receives only 20% of what they request.
    2) Councilman Smith says we underfund our infrastructure.
    3) Council members Smith, Phillips and Littlefield were the “yes” votes in the 4-3 “No” vote to address dark money. At the January 8 meeting, a motion to approve a letter to the Arizona State Legislature expressing support for an update to Arizona’s nondiscrimination statute to be inclusive
    of sexual orientation and gender identity was approved 6-1, with Councilman Phillips
    dissenting.

    Agenda 6 – Suggested topics for next month. Solange stated that our involvement in DDC continues. The Petition calling for a public vote for Desert EDGE is being circulated. Topics to consider:
    1) Councilwoman Korte wants to reduce funding for the Palomino Library
    2) City funds for Scottsdale Unified School District partnerships and
    3) Council’s support of schools.

    Next Meeting is Thursday, February 8 at 9:30 am at Judy Levine’s home.
    Minutes Prepared by: Katie Wilke Final 2-5--2018

  • OCT 2017 MINUTES
    Report from the meeting held in October, 2017. Read more here…

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS MP
    Scottsdale Team

    Meeting Date: October 12, 2017 at 9:30 am at the home of Judy Levine
    Members Present: Judith Levine (Host), Pat Bauer, Gerry Corey, Joan Lowell, Paula McKey, Doris Perlmutter, Alice Stambaugh and Katie Wilke.
    Agenda 1 – We welcome our newest member to the Team, Joan Lowell.
    Agenda 2 - The minutes of our last meeting were approved by consensus.
    Agenda 3 – Update on Desert Edge (formerly Desert Discovery Center) - Members acknowledged reading some or most of the extensive amount of information found in newspapers and on websites from interested parties and the public pertaining to the proposed Desert Edge (DDC). In addition, some members attended or reviewed the latest DE presentation at the City Council meeting on September 26.
    Agenda 4 – Update on Public Vote for Desert Edge - No-DDC and POP (Protect Our Preserve) continue their promise of filing a lawsuit if the Council votes “no” on holding a public vote. The City Attorney still contends that the Ordinance supports the argument for the Council to make the final decision without a public vote. Members had questions regarding a public vote, such as whether there would be a Special Election, and would the vote be held in 2018 or Fall 2019. Council members Korte, Millhaven and Smith are not inclined to support a public vote.
    Agenda 5 – League Concerns re costs of project and ongoing maintenance – Affirmed
    Agenda 6 – Introduction of Joan Lowell to speak about the business plan submitted by the Desert Edge commission – Joan is a member of the AZ
    Community Foundation and has extensive experience and expertise having served on 31 Foundation Boards. Joan reviewed the Executive Summary from DE’s 192-page Business Plan. Their proposed attendance averages 306,000. (Q? Is this number from cars or people?) Off-site parking will be provided in Peak Season. The Capital Campaign is projected to raise $61,184,466. The projected Annual Operating Budget is $6.3 million in a stable year. Earned Income from tickets, retail, etc. will be $4.6 million. $1.7 million in Annual Fund Development from gifts, bequests, and interest on the $6.3 million reserve fund is projected. Joan provided a chart of “Comparisons by Genre” which included the AZ Desert Museum in Tucson, the Desert Botanical Garden, Oregon’s High Desert, the Botanical
    Cactus Gardens in Las Vegas and the Living Desert in Palm Springs. Information regarding attendance, earned income, contingency and operating costs was obtained from their annual reports. Joan also provided 2016 attendance figures for 9 locations in the Phoenix Metro Area. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (MSC) reported 700,000 attendees in 2016 (admission is free). With this type of facility, it takes a minimum of 12 years to financially break even. DE will hire a private company to run it. Anne Walsh emailed the following questions and information. “Q? What is ASU’s commitment to this project? How realistic is the DE’s ability to raise $1.7 million? The annual salaries for development staff are projected to be $229,000. Is this a normal ratio? Only one $35,000 position for Volunteer Coordinator/Trainer is provided. This
    seems low.” (Q? Will MSC have office space at DE?) The husband of one of our team members,
    Pat Bauer, is involved in future planning and fund development for MSC. MSC has lost $150,000 a year for the last 4 years and consequently had to lose their Volunteer Coordinator and the Fund Development Director. They have 650 volunteers. (Q? Why can’t MSC get funding from tourism tax money?) According to Joan, Conde Nast wrote
    an article on the this Preserve. Members expressed concern that Preserve tax money used for DE will take funding away from the Preserve. Scottsdale citizens voted a tax for acquisition of land only. The City provides the building and maintenance. To obtain more information regarding the Preserve, go to mcdowellsonoran.org.
    Agenda 7 – Discussion of Business Plan – Joan acknowledged the overall credibility of the DE Business Plan. A Citizen Science presentation will be held on October 17 from 1-3p at Scottsdale Community College. Members expressed interest in a discussion for more local support of MSC volunteers and concern over the duplication
    of services between MSC and DE. Q? What is the time frame for city staff to follow up on important information requested by the Council at the last meeting? Judy will follow up on this.
    Agenda 8 – Next steps for our Team. – As individuals do we take a stand on DE? The LWVMP, through the Scottsdale Team, has taken a position in favor of a public vote. We encourage citizens to educate themselves and support a public vote. Q? If there’s a vote, do we educate? We will decide later.
    Agenda 9 - COGS has provided information through their newsletters regarding the DE.
    Agenda 10 – Future events. Alice mentioned the We the People Summit on November 4. The LWVMP Holiday Lunch is on Saturday, December 9 at 11 am. Legislative Day will be on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at the Capitol.
    Agenda 11 – New Business. Do members wish to have a meeting in December? (December 14) Judy is focusing her membership recruitment in the Girl Scouts organization, the Pima Indian community and Scottsdale neighborhoods.
    After Desert Edge is decided, what suggestions do we have for future focus?
    Members made the following suggestions:
    1. Recommend attending Scottsdale City Government 101 which is a series of free classes summarizing overall city government and how it works. Class size is limited and will be held again in Spring 2018. To be placed on their Advanced Notification Wait List, contact Christy Hill at 480-312-4126 or email her at chhill@scottsdaleAZ.gov.
    2. Observe City Council meetings. There is a current discussion regarding whether
    Council members should continue to run at large, or represent a particular district.
    3. Gerry inquired about the most effective way to provide voter education and registration for the Salt River Pima Indians. Their reservation is bordering the east side of AZ State Route 101 in Scottsdale.
    4. The issue of Fake News
    5. Sponsor events, such as a film series.
    6. 2018 Voter Registration – LWV Voter Guide ballot issues
    7. Candidate Q & A programs
    8. Hold public” Meet the Candidate” events
    9. National Popular Vote – The NPV Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among a group of U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and DC. It seeks to get states that comprise a majority (270) of the 538 votes in the Electoral College to agree to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. It has been enacted in 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes. In Arizona, in January 2017, the NPV bill was re-introduced in the House and remains in committee.
    10. Rank Choice Voting versus “winner take all” in each state.
    11. School Voucher Bill – National LWV has taken a position.

    Next Meeting will be Thursday, November 9 at 9:30 at the home of Judy Levine.
    Minutes prepared by Katie Wilke on November 3, 2017 FINAL

  • FEB 2018 MINUTES
    Report from the meeting held in February, 2018. Read more here…

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS METRO PHOENIX
    Scottsdale Team

    Meeting Date: February 8, 2018 at 9:30 am at the home of Judy Levine.
    Members Present:
    Judy Levine (Host), Pat Bauer, Gerry Corey, Ethel DeMarr, Loree Janusz, Ruth Jones, Dale Kalika, Diana Love, Diane Mueller, Diana Nashban, Martha O’Connor, Joanne Pamperin, Doris Perlmutter, Pinny Sheoran, Alice Stambaugh, Anne Walsh, and Katie Wilke.

    We extend our warm welcome to LWVAZ Co-President Robyn Prudhomme-Bauer, new member Kathleen Sankey and Guest Mary Ellen Roche.

    Agenda 1 –
    The January 11, 2018 minutes were approved by consensus.

    Agenda 2 – Update on Desert Edge (DDC) According to Pat Bauer, 5,000 signatures have been gathered for the Petition for a Public Vote. 30,000 signatures are required by the June 30 deadline. The City Council is looking at land near Taliesin West, where the project financing would come from the General Fund. Pat volunteered to be our Point Person for Desert Edge.

    Agenda 3- Anne plans to attend the Scottsdale 101 course which is set to begin in March. The city provides this course free to Scottsdale residents. Diane, Alice and Judy attended in 2017. Graduates receive a thumb drive containing course highlights. As a note of reference, according to maps in the Scottsdale Independent, Lincoln Drive is the dividing line between North and South Scottsdale.

    Agenda 4Dark Money Petition - Alice received an email from former Attorney General Goddard’s manager, Amanda. She expressed the critical need for more signatures. LWVAZ has pledged to complete 250 petitions for a total of 3750 signatures. The breakdown of the 5 State Leagues and the number of completed petitions pledged is suggested as follows: Metro Phoenix (65), Tucson (65), and the three other districts 50, 50 and 20. This is in addition to what’s already been handed out to volunteers. Metro Phoenix could be divided into 5-6 divisions, for example. The Scottsdale Team agreed to complete 10 more petitions (provided by Robyn at this meeting). We need 1-2 people to focus on gathering signatures at locations, such as schools, libraries, community colleges, political meetings, and aquatic centers. Cindy Hans, in the East Valley, is a paid petition manager. Pinney volunteered to be our team’s Petition Coordinator. She will post a schedule through email using Sign up Genius. Please return all Petitions by June 1.

    Agenda 5 – New Business. Gerry met with Sandra Castro Solace, from the ACLU “People Power” activists’ branch focusing on “Get Back Your Right to Vote” campaign for felons. We may want to consider assisting with voter registration at their clinic.

    Agenda 6
    What do we focus on in the future?
    1.–
    Ranked Choice Voting Diana Love commented on RCV saying that “the lowest vote rank counts.”
    2. -
    Scottsdale City Council and School Board. LWV supports public education, transparency and accountability in Charter Schools. LWV does not support the expansion of ESA vouchers for private schools. Members could observe meetings and respond with public comment, verbal or written.
    3.
    Dark Money – Members who have read the book Dark Money by Jane Mayer highly recommend it. Members also pointed to recent articles in the AZ Republic regarding the AZ Corporation Commission and some candidates’ and APS’S refusal to disclose their funding. Ethel and Alice proposed a Scottsdale Team Study on the linkages of Dark Money to many Scottsdale organizations, such as School Board, County Corporation Commission. City Council, Desert Edge (DDC) and Tourism, etc. Team members agreed and recommended observing respective meetings and inviting speakers from those organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce and Experience Scottsdale.
    4.
    ERA- Rep. Ugenti-Rita co-sponsored a bill to ratify the ERA. She likely received more public attention than her Democratic peers because she’s a Republican.
    5.
    Voter Motivation - Dale expressed interest in motivating non-college educated millennials to go to the polls. LWV National owns Vote411.org. which provides voter registration and education on line.

    Agenda 7 – Announcements
    - – LWV Legislative Day was held on February 7. Team members attending were Dale, Diana Love, Gerry, Kathleen Sankey (with her mother) Alice and Katie (with her LWV friend, Kathleen Hindle). Survey Monkey will be used for feedback from Legislative Day participants.
    Pinney announced an event to be held at her home on February 24. She is expecting Rep. Ken Clark or former Phoenix Mayor and Attorney General Terry Goddard to speak about “Outlaw Dirty Money.” Fellow team member Solange Whitehead, a prospective candidate for City Council, is also invited to speak. Other invitees include candidates for City Mayor, School Board and the State Legislature as well as a representative from Protect Our Preserve. She requested an LWV member to be available to sign up new LWV members.

    Agenda 8Future Meeting schedule Judy may have a scheduling conflict in April and May.
    Anne offered her home as a substitute location for the April meeting.

    N
    ext Meeting is Thursday, March 8 at 9:30 am at Judy Levine’s home.
    Minutes Prepared by: Katie Wilke Final 3-2-18

  • DEC 2017 MINUTES
    Report from the meeting held in December, 2017. Read more here…

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS MP Scottsdale Team

    Meeting Date December 14, 2017 at 9:30 am at the home of Gerry Corey.
    Members Present: Gerry Corey (Host), Pat Bauer, Ethel Demarr, Loree Janusz, Dale Kalika, Judy Levine, Diana Love, Paula McKey, Diana Nashban, Joanne Pamperin, Doris Perlmutter, Alice Stambaugh, Solange Whitehead, and Katie Wilke.
    Agenda 1 - We welcome new Scottsdale team member Solange Whitehead.
    Agenda 2 – The November 9, 2017 minutes were approved by consensus, with the following correction: add Martha O’Connor to Members Present.
    Agenda 3 – Our speaker, Solange Whitehead, a former member of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission, gave a brief history of the DDC at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Twenty years ago, the discussion of a DDC (Desert Discovery Center) gained interest and support from the Tourism Department. The DDC was built
    into the Gateway Trailhead. There is original documentation for the original DDC. The same financial interests that didn’t want the Preserve, i.e. Developers, do not want the proposed 4,000 contiguous acres added to the Preserve. There is no data to support more tourism. Feedback shows that returning tourists want to see the wilderness. 65-98% of Scottsdale citizens oppose the DDC/DE development. The proposed DDC/Desert Edge breaches the ordinance. The continuing annual expenses of the Museum of the West are $4 million with an annual loss of $2 million. The
    DDC/DE projected annual operating cost is $6.3 million. The maintenance of the DDC/DE could bankrupt the City. As a member of the group, Protect Our Preserve, Solange states that a new charter amendment is needed so that the City Council can’t approve the DDC on the Preserve
    without a public vote. The Protect our Preserve strategy is a new (reworded) Initiative that requires 35,000 signatures. It states “Any development of the Preserve will have to be approved by the voters.” Sam Campana has hired all paid circulators and tried to hire their attorney. POP has the same attorney as Save Our Schools.
    When Council member David Smith was the City Treasurer, he used to remark that there was no way that tax money should be used for development. Council members Korte, Millhaven, and Smith do not support a public vote. The opinions of Mayor Jim Lane and Councilwoman Klapp (a future mayoral candidate) are not yet clear. Council members Phillips and Littlefield are not inclined to spend money on this project.
    Solange does not believe that the Council would vote against the DDC/DE on the Preserve. Solange plans to run for City Council. Dale Qs – How many citizens are aware of DDC and MSP? A survey of 3-5% of the population, or around 10,000 citizens, would have been helpful. How does it personally impact citizens? Who are the stakeholders? The continued fundraising for the DDC/DE will take tourism dollars away from downtown. Alice would like a fact sheet that lists issues such as the debt, the additional 4,000 acres, the future project campaign promises, etc. Protect Our Preserve pact members include Howard Myers, B Janik, Solange, and Kaye. Former Mayor, Mary Manrose, will be their spokesperson. One way to spread word about the
    citizens’ initiative could be through “Nextdoor”, a neighborhood communication
    website.
    Agenda 4 – Advocacy Update – Alice. Cindy Hans, LWV Chandler representative from ODM campaign, Rivko, Anne Pyron and Alice are the LWV Lobbyists.
    Agenda 5 – Outlaw Dirty Money (ODM) Petitions – Alice. Nearly 300,000 signatures are needed. Alice referred to Robert Robb’s recent column in the Republic and recommended reading the book Dark Money by Jane Mayer. She also read a
    relevant quote by Justice Scalia, recommending that we make it available to potential
    petition signers. Alice provided the following handouts:
    HO#1 – Fast Facts – What is “dirty money?”
    HO#2 – What is the Outlaw Dirty Money Constitutional Amendment
    HO#3 – General Tips for gathering signatures and Compliance Guidelines
    (Do not sign your own petition.)
    HO#4 – Frequently Asked Questions.
    Agenda 6 – Announcements – Alice. Anne Schneider – UU Legislative Day, District 23, February 21. Looking for volunteers. Wednesday, February 7 is LWV Legislative Day. Breakfast, Lunch. Registration is required. Alice provided a Handout for the February 7th Faith Community Environmental Day at the Legislature.

    Next Meeting is Thursday, January 11 at 9:30 am at Judy Levine’s home. Allegra Fullerton from AZ Schools 101 will be our speaker. Doris Perlmutter is the backup for meeting location.

    Minutes Prepared by: Katie Wilke Final 1-8-2018

    *To accurately refer to this quote: In the 2010 Doe vs. Reed case, regarding disclosure of petition signatures, the Court ruled “that disclosure under the PRA (Public Records Act) would not violate the First Amendment with respect to referendum
    petitions in general…” In his Concurring opinion, Justice Scalia wrote, “Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously (McIntyre) and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.”

  • SEP 2017 MINUTES
    Report from the meeting held in September, 2017. Read more here…

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS METRO PHOENIX
    Scottsdale Team

    Meeting Date: September 14, 2017 at 9:30 am at the home of Judy Levine
    Members Present: Judith Levine (Host), Pat Bauer, Gerry Corey, Ruth Jones, Dale Kalika, Diana Love, Paula McKey, Diana Nashban, Martha OConnor, Joanne Pamperin, Doris Perlmutter, Katie Wilke, and Mary Zongolowicz.
    Guest: Joan Lowell
    Guest Speaker - Sam Campana, Executive Director of Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale
    The following is a brief overview of the main points of Ms. Campana’s presentation. By way of background Ms. Campana mentioned her experience on the Scottsdale City Council from 1986 to 2000 and her leadership in the establishment of the Audubon Center, an 8,000- acre ranch and education center located on Central Avenue in Phoenix. She listed some of the members of the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale, Inc. Board of Directors including Chairwoman Christine Kocach (former Conservancy Board member), Dr. Art DeCaboote, Dick Bowers (former Scottsdale City Manager), and Joan Fudala (community historian). According to Ms. Campana, Desert Edge is built around “education” in order to be better stewards of the desert. She acknowledges the negative concerns from nearby communities. For example, In the Wingate community, DDCS, Inc has received approximately 200 “No” responses out of 600+ households. DDC’S Thinc Designers, who built the 911 Memorial in NYC, also built the only permanent pavilion in Dubai for the Global Sustainability Conference. DDC, Inc. has raised $500,000 plus $100,000 in in-kind contributions, which includes payment for the exhibit design. The architectural firm contracted for the DDC is Swaback Partners, who also designed the Discovery Center at Kartchner Caverns. Referring to their mission statement, she emphasized the purpose is to “drive global visitors.” The local tourism Industry has invested $12 million for future support of DE. The final cost will be $1.6 billion by the end of the project. Currently, there are approximately 300,000 visitors annually, consisting of 55% local and 45% visitors. Currently 75% are from the areas north of Shea Boulevard, leaving 25% from surrounding areas. Currently, there are 600,000 annual visitors to the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson and approximately the same number attended the
    Chiluly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden.

    According to Ms. Campana, all improvements were paid for by the second public vote. One half of the tourism bed tax of $18 million will be used for advertising and the other half will be used for events, etc. Dale inquired about sustainability and the impact on nature and animals in the preserve. Ms. Campana reported that the AZ Game and Fish provided a limited impact study which included the Lost Dog handicapped trail. In response to an inquiry regarding another location near Taliesin West, Ms Campana explained in some detail why that location was not feasible. DDC anticipates that off-site parking will be required 15-30 days annually, at most, usually Saturdays in season. Since most hiking occurs mornings from 7-9 am, DE plans to open at 9am. The map shows the bus drop-off location. Originally 30 acres were available for the DDC, and now they are using only 5.34 acres. DE is relocated to an area between the handicapped trail and the parking lot. 30,000 sf of solar collectors will be etched into any overhead design over the walkways between the buildings. They also provide shade similar to a Palo Verde tree. The Desert Edge will include the following areas of interest:
    1. A gift shop, restrooms, information and history provided free in the commons area.
    2. 3D maps showing seasons, weather and hidden desert including smells and sounds.
    3. Meetings for a maximum of 300 people will be held in largest building, which is enclosed.
    4. Experienced designers of buildings from ASU Global Drylands Institute
    5. Desert lowlands
    6. Mountains and Valleys
    7. A steward making presentations
    8. Geology
    9. Saguaro forest
    10. Desert Edge – History and how are we going to do better.
    11. Current shed would be converted to a Volunteer Center.
    The admission fee will be $17.50 adults, $11 seniors, children on busses are free (corporation funded). There will be a limit of 60 events, each sponsor providing their own liquor license, as required. They will be held inside the building and end no later than 9pm. The attendees will be shuttled in and workers will be out by 10pm.
    The Global Drylands Institute at ASU is 3 months old today. ASU is the first university to offer a Sustainability Degree. Dr. Crow is passionate about sustainability and will provide $30, 000 to teach teachers to educate the community. Traditionally, ASU buildings are built by the communities, then ASU provides the costs of the interior and maintenance. The total capital cost is $61.2 million all in 2020 dollars with 20% contingencies. The Capital Campaign is asking for another $12 million from tourism for a total of $24
    million. There is $10 million in capacity for interest and the remainder from Preserve tax. The annual operating cost will be $6.3 million. Two-thirds to three-fourths of the recommended revenue is from earned income. There will be naming opportunities.
    Q – Who has the final decision? The Preserve Director (Conservancy) or ASU, which could be influenced by the Koch Brothers, who are climate change deniers. The Conservancy’s position on DE is that they can work with the center, but prefers the DE be located outside the Preserve. Information regarding the latest report on DDC or DE can be found on the City of Scottsdale website. The library has hard copies of the DE report. She plans to meet with the Tourism council next Tuesday at 8am.

    Members of the Scottsdale team held a meeting following the above presentation to discuss steps going forward. Members stated their desire for a Public Statement from LWVMP encouraging people to educate themselves about the proposed DE and including our position that the final decision be put to a public vote. Four members, Judy, Paula, Corey and Katie, met the following Saturday, September 16, to compose a public statement. A draft of the statement is attached.
    Next Meeting will be on Thursday, October 12 at 9:30 at the home of Judy Levine.
    Minutes prepared by Katie Wilke October 10, 2017. (Revised Draft)
    Attachment: Public Statement
    September 2017
    Subject: Attention Scottsdale Taxpayers
    Hi, please don’t ignore…this affects you! The Scottsdale Team of the non-partisan League of Women Voters, as part of its educational mission, has been studying the proposed Desert Discovery Center (which is now renamed Desert EDGE) on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for over a year. You will be paying for it somewhere down the line, so read on. The proposed Desert EDGE will be presented to the Scottsdale City Council at a meeting on September 26 and will be up for final decision sometime in late October. The League has taken a stand in favor of submitting this controversial project to you through a public vote rather than have the City Council make the decision. We are not taking a position on the building of Desert EDGE, but list the points at issue below. Please read them and think about
    this.
    1. The value added by building Desert EDGE
    2. The environmental impact on the Preserve of Desert EDGE
    3. The degree to which local residents’ taxes will or might be raised to fund ongoing operations
    4. Impact on existing adjacent infrastructures
    Additional information on the project is available on the Scottsdale city site
    (www.scottsdaleaz.gov), No DDC (www.Noddc.org) and Protect Our Preserve
    (
    www.protectourpreserve.org).
    Please review this information and then contact Scottsdale City Council Members
    with your opinion at
    citycouncil@ScottsdaleAZ.gov.
    For further information about the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix,
    please visit the website www.LWVMetroPhoenix.org.

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LWV Metropolitan Phoenix Contact Information

Phone
480-231-6426

Mailing Address
LWV Metro Phx
3219 E. Camelback Rd #187
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Email
infoLWVMP@gmail.com