The Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow, Aug 17, 2018


The Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow, Aug 17, 2018

A Conversation with Jan Gehler

Jan Gehler recently retired as president of Scottsdale Community College, ending a 10-year run of outstanding leadership at the college and in the community overall.

She became SCC ‘s second president in July 2008, following in the footsteps of Art DeCabooter.

She leaves impressive footsteps of her own. Beyond her duties within the college district and at SCC, Jan was an active and important leader in the community. The Scottsdale Chamber, Scottsdale Rotary, Scottsdale Leadership, Communities Celebrating Diversity and Scottsdale Healthcare are among the many groups she’s played a key role in.

Jan has always said that great cities include great educational systems and that education provides opportunity, and opportunity changes everything.

Kevin Maxwell, working with SCOTT, sat down with Jan recently before she moved back to her beloved Alaska to talk about her experience as college president and community leader.

This is one in an ongoing series of podcasts, “Scottsdale Talks,” with thought leaders in the city. If you have a suggestion for someone you’d like to hear from, just let us know by emailing

We invite you to listen to what Jan had to say, offered both in segments and full length:

What impact does the college have on the city of Scottsdale?

What makes Scottsdale great?

What concerns you about the future of Scottsdale?

Episode Two: Jan Gehler full episode
SCOTT on the Issues

Scottsdale’s infrastructure and capital improvement needs and financial solutions were the topic of the recent Issues & Experts forum co-hosted by SCOTT.
We will be examining various aspects of this issue over the next few weeks.
Today: Additional information on the proposed sales tax increase

The City Council approved a ballot proposal to increase the city’s Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax, commonly referred to as a sales tax, by 0.10% for 10 years. These monies could only be used to provide funds for transportation projects, specifically, Arterial Life Cycle Projects (ALCP) which are eligible for 70% matching dollars. A countywide fund to which Scottsdale taxpayers have already contributed provides the matching dollars if the city pays 30% of the project costs. If Scottsdale is unable to provide its local portion, the $170 million from the countywide fund would be made available to other communities in Maricopa County.

Scottsdale is faced with an estimated backlog of over $800 million of capital improvement projects (CIP) including maintenance, upgrades and replacement of critical city assets. The Capital Improvement Plan subcommittee will reconvene in fall 2018 to reassess CIP projects, funding sources and mechanisms. The idea is to prepare a bond package for voters to consider in 2019. Included in this bond package will be other types of projects as well as additional transportation projects that do not qualify for ALCP funding.

Source: City of Scottsdale

Next: Transportation capital improvement projects eligible for ALCP matching funds.

Scottsdale IQ

Dana Close, Owner, Close Community Concepts
Producer of the Scottsdale Home Tours
Member, Scottsdale Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee

Name a Scottsdale resident you admire and why.
I admire Coronado teacher and Jobs for Arizona Graduates (JAG) Coordinator, Wendy Paez. The JAG college and career preparation program focuses on developing leadership qualities and social awareness. Nancy brings rigor and caring to her 40 students who come from challenging backgrounds. They learn to fill out college applications, practice job interviews and greet you with a firm handshake and the eye contact of a seasoned business executive. It has even been my pleasure to have her kids work with me on the Scottsdale Home Tours. For hundreds of Scottsdale kids, Wendy Paez is the person they will credit for giving them the skills they needed to succeed in the workplace, and in life.

What does Scottsdale do right?
Scottsdale dares to dream big. One of my favorite examples of this is our Indian Bend Wash. Our beautiful park was destined to become a concrete flood channel. Fortunately for all of us, our Scottsdale leaders and community volunteers found a better and more beautiful way to deal with our flood water and the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt was developed. Anytime something grand is proposed, there will be plenty of opposition. But if it weren’t for their vision and tenacity our beautiful park would be nothing more than a concrete ditch.

Where does Scottsdale need improvement?
I believe our city has grown to the point that we need to change to a district representation system for our city council. While Scottsdale is one city, there are three distinct districts, North, Central and South Scottsdale that make up Scottsdale. The needs of each area could not be more different. It has been over 10 years since we have had a representative from South Scottsdale on council. We have grown to the point that it is physically impossible to be aware of what is happening from Dynamite Blvd, to McDowell Road. It costs a fortune to print campaign signs and mailers to cover a city our size. That means that the only people who can run are people who can afford that exorbitant expense. I believe it is time to change that.

Speaker Series

Do you need a speaker for your board, club, business or group of any kind in the city? Then let’s hook up. We’ll offer an interactive, educational program that helps us all get better connected to our city and its future. Just email director Don Henninger at and he will follow up.

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