Southside sorrow, and oil’s foil - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Southside sorrow, and oil’s foil

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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 7:29 pm | Updated: 11:49 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Permit a little reality check on just how long it takes to get things done in south Scottsdale since we are now in an election year and the folks running for office just might have some explaining to do.

I'm directing these questions to Mary Manross and Jim Lane, both running for mayor, and to those incumbents and candidates running for council since these issues are long-standing and all candidates claim to be fully and completely supportive of our southern clime.

Let's do a simple timeline reality check: 12 years ago Los Arcos Mall, on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and McDowell roads, went in the toilet. (It sat vacant for 10 years before SkySong was approved). Seven years ago the Smitty's at the northwest corner of McDowell and Granite Reef went in the toilet. (It sat vacant for four years before the city approved a senior center there). Four years ago, the K-mart on the northwest corner of Hayden and McDowell went in the toilet. (It took two years before the Lowe's was approved.)

In the meantime, two major-league auto dealerships on McDowell moved elsewhere. and others are considering a similiar move. Now, what does this tell you voters about the Scottsdale City Council's direct and personal involvement in south Scottsdale? My suggestion is that they just don't care. Despite their political professionalism, their actions (or lack thereof) speak louder than words.

Face it, folks, this is reality. Draw your own conclusions.

I recently sent a letter to Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., asking if he is for or against a proposal before Congress to extend the offshore drilling rights by 100 miles, where billions of barrels of oil and much more natural gas is located.

I received a long, rambling e-mail response from him that did not provide a definitive "yes" or "no." Mitchell, being a Democrat, is obviously following the urgings of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has encouraged Democrats to oppose the measure.

In his reply, Mitchell pointed out that extending the current boundaries would not provide resolution of our current problems because of the time it would take to bring such new areas into production. He went on to discuss solar energy and his desire to make it a focus in Arizona along with elements such as conservation, wind, batteries and so on.

I responded, thanking him for his reply and pointing out that I agree the extension of drilling areas would be of no immediate value because of the considerable time it takes to bring any new drill site into production. But, I went on to point out that we must start sometime in order to provide benefit to those generations yet to come. I further suggested that America really does not have an energy policy. What does exist is a series of efforts that are cobbled together with no rhyme or reason. Everybody seems inclined to blame the other guy and nothing gets done.

With gasoline now more than $4 a gallon and heading higher, the need for a national commitment to bring all elements of the energy problem into focus is paramount. I'd like to see somebody running for Congress from District 5 with the vision to appreciate the enormity of the problem. Extending the drilling areas offshore is but one single step.

Gary H. Boyd is a resident of Scottsdale and a former City Council candidate.

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