Only eight residents submitted applications for seven seats on Scottsdale’s new commission charged with promoting downtown.
So the city has decided to stretch Monday’s deadline a week. The City Council plans to appoint members at its Dec. 8 meeting.
"We’re kind of waiting until December 1st to see what comes in and then we’ll go from there,’’ said Natalie Lewis, assistant to the city manager. "We want to make sure that the council has choices.’’
Applicants so far include Marilynn Atkinson, Dawn Cartier, John Casale, Jimmy Eriksson, William "Bill" Faust Sr., Thomas Giller, Roberta Henrickson and Paul Piazza.
The council could find itself in a bind since it can pick only one representative from each of downtown’s four specialty districts — Fifth Avenue, Old Town, West Main and Marshall Way — a fifth district recently created for Stetson and Sixth avenues, and two atlarge members.
Based on the current candidate pool, the council would be able to fill three of the seven seats at best.
Of the eight, Atkinson and Casale are from Old Town; Cartier, Faust, Piazza and Eriksson are from West Main; and Giller is the sole at-large candidate. Henrickson did not specify an area on the application supplied by the city clerk’s office, and she could not be reached for comment.
Turnout could have been different had the council created an association
rather than a commission, said Dwayne Richard, executive director of the Downtown Scottsdale Partnership, which the commission will replace.
Members of any city commission are required to be residents, while association members could include people outside the city limits.
Since many downtown property/business owners live outside Scottsdale, they argued they were being disenfranchised because they would not have a chance to serve or have a say about how more than $600,000 in special tax money would be spent to promote the areas.
"They want to, but they can’t,’’ Richard said. "That was one of the big cries that these business owners were saying. That’s why they screamed ‘taxation without representation.’ They’re paying the tax but they can’t talk about how to spend it.’’