Mayor’s car crash needed reporting - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Mayor’s car crash needed reporting

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Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2007 6:13 am | Updated: 5:51 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The last three mayors of Scottsdale and their vehicles have interesting stories.

Until this past week, we only knew about two of them.

The late Mayor Herb Drinkwater rather famously drove the Scottsdale model of the Chevrolet Suburban (others of the time were named for other towns with Old West connections, e.g. Cheyenne). It had a spotlight attached and he occasionally used it to rescue stranded motorists.

His successor, former Mayor Sam Campana, received national criticism once when she dialed 911 from her car, at the time a Volvo, not because she was involved in an emergency but only to ask for directions.

Mayor Mary Manross and her vehicle were involved in a collision Nov. 17 in which she and a woman in another car received injuries that were not life-threatening injuries, according to a police report. Manross was cited by police for failure to control speed to avoid a collision.

Drinkwater’s truck was easily spotted, and the 911 folks weren’t too happy about Campana’s call, which is why both of their stories were immediately well-known.

But Manross’ crash didn’t come to light for more than two months. The city said nothing about it at the time.

Scottsdale police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark said Friday his department didn’t issue a statement about Manross for the same reason as it didn’t a few years ago about a minor traffic stop involving actors Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.

“We didn’t treat the mayor any differently than anyone else,” Clark said. “We try to rise above and remain apolitical in our line of work.”

Still, you’d think that in a city the size of Scottsdale there might be reasonable interest in its mayor’s health and welfare. It’s understandable that Manross likely was too occupied with the crash that day to have thought about issuing a statement. But it wouldn’t have been “political” for the police to say briefly that the mayor was in a crash, she’s all right — and she got a ticket.

Manross being involved in an collision certainly is news because it’s expected that residents would want to know whether she was hurt. When you say nothing, there’s a risk that rumors will go unchecked. That’s not good.

On Friday, Scottsdale police did issue a statement about the theft of a regional Emmy award from the apparently burglarized Scottsdale home of baseball broadcaster and former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly. The statement about the theft was issued because police are trying to retrieve the Emmy and need the public’s help, Clark said.

Now, Brenly’s Emmy is certainly important to him and its having been stolen is news, to be sure — and I hope they find it. But if police regard its theft as worth a statement, shouldn’t a crash in which the Scottsdale mayor received a citation and minor injuries were involved be at least as significant?

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