When Joel Bramoweth became the first Scottsdale City Council candidate to announce his candidacy more than two years ago, the American public didn’t even know who was running for president.
Soon after, the real estate property manager became known to serious City Hall watchers by consistently speaking at City Council meetings. Wearing a badge and with an Arizona flag in his pocket, he would scribble his notes during the meeting and then would address the council, or in some cases turn around and address the audience.
“Quite frankly, I was practicing for the campaign,” Bramoweth said. “Then I really started to see that my being there and talking about issues was counterproductive.”
Bramoweth unveiled a number of slogans that attempt to depict him as a different type of politician without any ties to influential interests — none of whom have endorsed the 15-year Scottsdale resident.
Bramoweth says the “old politics of alliance and ideology do not work.” He uses phrases such as “elective office is a job, not a reward,” and “we need modern people without political fear or arrogance.” He said he’s not a politician and has no intention of being a politician. He even gathered most of his ballot-qualifying signatures himself.
Bramoweth said he hasn’t heard one original idea from this City Council, but rather sees them jumping from problem to problem, creating controversy, lawsuits and referendums.
Bramoweth said he didn’t like how council meetings were being conducted.
“They just didn’t get into facts. They put politics first and already decided how it’s going to go before the public discussion,” Bramoweth said.
In response, Bramoweth said he will base his decisions on facts, not opinions.
“I absolutely know that you can separate opinion from position,” he said. “Positions are based on fact and merit, based on the view of the voter and the long-term interest to the city of Scottsdale.”
Bramoweth has developed positions that he says must not only emphasize the ideals of public office, but help small businesses and tourism flourish in Scottsdale, allow for taller buildings in certain instances downtown, along Scottsdale Road and in the Scottsdale Airpark, while saying “no” to subsidies and light rail.
If elected, Bramoweth said he wants to create a city division of small business to help guide new businesses through “the red tape.” He wants a new Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on current city-owned land near WestWorld. Focused planning, such as placing the arts center in the geographic center of the city, can reduce traffic congestion, he said.
When not running for council, Bramoweth is a self-employed property manager of two retail centers in east Mesa.
He’s also been involved with land acquisitions and development in Colorado and Texas over a nearly 30-year Arizona real estate career, which was preceded by a marketing career in Massachusetts.
Bramoweth is one of eight council candidates seeking three open seats. The election is Sept. 2.