Too many questions about McCullagh to warrant re-election - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Too many questions about McCullagh to warrant re-election

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Posted: Friday, June 6, 2008 7:42 pm | Updated: 10:32 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

While I can understand that residents and taxpayers are busy with their own lives and families, and may not have the time to be as involved with candidates platforms as other residents and taxpayers are, there has to be some balance of information that those people can read in our local media opinions pages.

On Saturday May 31st of 2008 the editors of the paper ran an opinion from Lisa Haskell. (McCullagh, candidate of conviction and character)

While I can understand that residents and taxpayers are busy with their own lives and families, and may not have the time to be as involved with candidates platforms as other residents and taxpayers are, there has to be some balance of information that those people can read in our local media opinions pages.

The writer of the article had three questions that she would pose to all candidates running for office and the problem is that those are the same questions that residents of southern Scottsdale have been asking for over 4 years. We already know the track records and responses of sitting council members such as Mr. McCullagh who have been in office for the last 4 years and still have never broached a response to any of the questions she asked; but yet the writer will throw her support to one of the people who should have already responded to these questions and never has?

Nearly 8 years ago the residents of the south asked the city what was the plan for "revitalization" of the south and to date still have no answers or plans.

Nearly 6 years ago we asked the city to start long range planning for the eventual demise of the motor mile which will happen at some point in time and to date we still have no plans for the future of that area.

The writer still laments about how we have to help Sky Song succeed but does not mention that the taxpayers are already helping with an outrageous 200 year ground lease, over 100 million in subsidy support from the taxpayers and the real question should be; How much more should we have to help a private arrangement of this nature?

In the end the writer exclaims why she would support Mr. McCullagh based on no past expertise on answering or coming forward with answers to her questions.

Mr. McCullagh wants to earmark 10 million dollars to threaten a private water company with condemnation for flaws that have been corrected by the State and the Federal Government leaving 10 million dollars of taxpayers money unusable for other things like the completion of parks that are under funded and street and sidewalk repairs that are lacking in the city. For that matter, 10 million dollars has been wasted for other projects so we can threaten a private company in which Mr. McCullagh has a vested interest as one of their disgruntled customers.

Finally, Councilman McCullagh who properly filled out his campaign contribution reports from his first run for office, knowingly tried to hide his contributions in this re-election from developers, land investors from out of state, real-estate owners, bankers, and basically anyone from other than Scottsdale.

Once confronted by formal complaints to the city clerk it was clearly noted that Mr. McCullagh even stated that he submitted the reports in this manner because his campaign contributors asked not to be identified.

Sorry but these were clearly violations of State campaign finance laws in which even the city letter to the councilman made it clear that they were not even sure if he had clearly followed the process but since he amended his statement after city demand, the issue was overlooked.

The real question I have is "how could anyone vote for a candidate that has not answered your questions for over 4 years, then subverts the laws of the state, uses his seat in office to threaten a private company that has corrected an issue they had, and all the while has taken away the possibility of using that 10 million dollars for other issues the residents ask the city to take care of in which the city says we don't have the funds for?"

Michael Merrill is a Scottsdale resident.

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