Scottsdale voters do not have confidence in the City Council and more than 60 percent said they think the council ignores voters, a recent political survey shows.
The survey, countered Mayor Mary Manross on Friday, has “no credibility” because the organization funding it is connected to Scottsdale’s two adult clubs.
“I don’t put much confidence in the poll,” Manross said. “The only poll that counts is at the ballot box.”
Joel Wright, the northern Arizona political consultant who conducted the survey, said the results indicate voters do not trust the council.
“I think the perception is that there is a real lack of confidence in the mayor and City Council,” Wright said.
The survey was funded by the Scottsdale Small Business Association, an organization with ties to Scottsdale’s two adult clubs, Babe’s Cabaret and Skin Cabaret.
The clubs, both on Scottsdale Road, are at war with the council over a lap dance ban the council unanimously passed in December with scant public input or open debate.
The clubs rallied to get Proposition 401 on the ballot in the Sept. 12 election in an effort to get voters to reverse the new ordinance.
Manross said the survey is skewed to give the kind of answers the adult clubs are looking for.
The survey was conducted by telephone in March and April among 385 registered voters who voted in at least one of the last three elections, Wright said.
Wright and Lamar Whitmer, another consultant hired by the clubs, declined to give further details about survey questions and would not say how much the clubs paid for the survey.
Vice Mayor Jim Lane said he agrees there is a perception that the council is not open and forthright in its dealings with the public. “It comes down to an issue of trust. It’s something we’ve got to work on,” Lane said, adding he believes the council needs to do a better job of communicating with the public.
Otherwise, Lane said he does not put stock in the survey results.
A telephone survey of 385 registered Scottsdale residents who voted in at least one of the last three elections indicates some voters do not have much confidence in the City Council.
When asked about problematic issues facing the city: 65% said they think the mayor and City Council ignore voters. 71% said they think insider dealings in the City Council and cutting corners on projects are a problem. 83% said traffic is the No. 1 problem.
On questions concerning the city’s image and elected leaders: 34% said they think the leadership is focused, and 36 percent said they think leadership is arrogant and ignores voters. 33% characterized the city’s leadership as “can do” types, and 29 percent described them as “can’t do” types. 30% said leadership operates openly and in the public interest, and 42 percent said leadership acts in its own self-interest. 46% think Scottsdale is a hip/cool/unique place to live, and 17 percent said they think the city is boring. NOTE: Survey was taken March 24 through April 14 and has a margin of error of +/-5.1 percentage points SOURCE: Wright Consulting TRIBUNE