Scottsdale Voters To Choose Between Longtime City Leaders For Mayor

By Mariana Dale
Published: Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 10:48am
Updated: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 1:34pm
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(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
Scottsdale mayoral candidate Bob Littlefield.
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Jim Lane
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
The development of a Desert Discovery Center in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve has been a contentious issue in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale resident Julie Auer hikes and bikes in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve a few times a week.

When it comes to local elections, it’s a top issue for her.

“Obviously the preserve, keeping that where it is, actually expanding it would be nice too,” Auer said.

Scottsdale voters will decide in November whether to re-elect incumbent Mayor Jim Lane or return former Councilman Bob Littlefield to City Hall.

If elected, Lane would serve his third and final term as mayor. Littlefield was on the council for 12 years.

Littlefield said the contested Desert Discovery Center plan for the preserve is part of what inspired him to run for mayor.

“I believe my opponent is selling out Scottsdale's special character and high quality of life for campaign contributions,” Littlefield said. 

A major issue for the candidates is the Desert Discovery Center that could be built in the preserve. The city has hired a company to create preliminary designs and research educational programs and is collecting comments from the public.

Littlefield wants to see plans for the contested quashed and a law to prevent future commercial construction in the preserve. Lane wants voters to have the final say on additions to the preserve.

"There is no designs on developing the preserve or anything like that," Lane said. "The hyperbole has gotten pretty intense."

Littlefield and Lane agree on some issues, like the significance of the preserve and light rail as a poor fit for Scottsdale, but they have been vocal in their criticisms of one another in the campaign.

Hear more from the candidates: