Scottsdale 'ambassador' serves residents well - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Scottsdale 'ambassador' serves residents well

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Posted: Monday, October 6, 2008 5:34 pm | Updated: 11:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

On any given day, rain or shine, visitors and residents can see Sonnie Kirtley manning an information cart in downtown Scottsdale, answering questions and providing directions.

Kirtley has been an ambassador for the downtown area for the past eight years. She has lived in Scottsdale for more than 40 years and believes her role as a resident is to be informed and involved in the community.

On the second Thursday of every month, Kirtley and 60 others pack the Granite Reef Senior Center to discuss community issues.

"We're speaking for citizens who aren't as vocal as we are," she said.

The public meeting sometimes draws City Council members and developers.

"Developers and landscapers often show us their plans before they present them to City Council," Kirtley said.

City downtown liaison Robin Meinhart, said Kirtley is not only knowledgeable about Scottsdale, but also the Valley and state.

"She's a true civic servant," she said.

Kirtley regularly attends City Council meetings, often articulating her perspective.

While dedicating her time and involvement in city affairs, Kirtley taught science and oceanography at Saguaro High School.

Kirtley began volunteering more than 30 years ago in Scottsdale. She established the first neighborhood alley cleanup and the first business property-enhancement award.

She is currently the chairwoman for the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale.

"She walks the walk when it comes to representing the community," Meinhart said.

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