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Meet Mayor Jim Lane

This week on the Gov Gab series, Brian speaks with Mayor Jim Lane of the City of Scottsdale, AZ about making changes, leadership and more.

SHOW SCRIPT:

Jim
There certainly will be times as it were cooperating with even higher levels of law enforcement when you talk about events that this ties, but it's, it's a major tactical advantage and is strategically planned every time.

Brian
Welcome to another episode of the Gov Gab podcast. I'm your host Brian Ondrako. Thanks again for being a part of this episode and excited to introduce our guest for today. Mayor Jim Lane with the City of Scottsdale, Arizona. Mayor Lane is in his third term as the Mayor of Scottsdale. And prior to that he was actually on the City Council for one term prior to running for mayor. So he's got a lot of rich insight and experience on, you know, the city as a whole things that they're dealing with both as challenges coming up in the future, but also a lot of the positives that are going on there and things that they've done, you know, over the last 10 years since he's been the mayor, to improve the city to improve the communication, and just make an overall better place not only for the citizens, but also businesses as well as tourists that come in throughout the year. So excited for you guys to listen to this wide-ranging conversation with Mayor Lane. So without further ado, let's jump into our chat today with Mayor Jim Lane.

Mayor Lane, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining this evening.

Jim
Glad to be with you.

Brian
Well, so I want to start off. So you know, obviously one of the things that you know we're doing here with Gov Gab is we talk to a lot of mayors and city managers across the country. And I'm always intrigued, especially from a mayor standpoint, is you know how this all started for you? And I don't know if it started, you know, some folks said, Hey, when I was a kid, I kind of got involved others It was later in life. Can we start there? When did the idea of getting involved in local government? What was that something that inception in your mind? When did that happen?

Jim
Well, it wasn't something from early childhood, childhood or even school, my school years, one way or the other through college, my intent was always to be involved in business. And I got my degree in accounting and finance and went to work for CPA firm. So I was business oriented, really from the get go. And I've worked for a number of companies in a financial capacity and executive officer position, president and then my own companies. And so I've worked in and owned and operated to different extents. But nevertheless, in aviation and construction, electronics. My last two companies actually were technology companies and ISP, and early years and also network integration company. I've done other things, but most of them were on sidelines while I was doing some primary businesses. So my background is business and how I got engaged and who ultimately was just from the standpoint that I am. I was doing some volunteer work for the YMCA and someone came to me and asked me to consider being on a task force for the then mayor of Scottsdale, on fire and EMS. And it was about a nine-month project and I made a presentation to the council and went over well and running was copacetic. But you know, there we got the desired results of what they wanted. And they went from there. But for me, was sort of an error action into an area of things in that particular area. So to get city government and have been public safety and of course fire and EMS. That got me interested as to how those kinds of services were actually provided and, and how what the mechanisms were in controlling that from an elected position from for the constituents and making sure that they were quality and efficient. And in fact, the nature of that entire task force was really to determine a quality of service relative to cost. So is right up my alley, as far as that kind of thing went. But anyway, long story short, that was presented to the Council on the Council decided to take an action that ran against our recommendations. But nevertheless, they put something on the ballot that was related to it. And people started to ask me to run a campaign to retain our current situation as it was. And so I did do that we were successful on winning that campaign. It was a you know, it was really a David and Goliath kind of thing, because we have very limited resources. And we're up against some big out of state money, actually to the tune of $5 million against about a $35,000 budget we had ourselves. But we had the general population on our side. So we won that. And that led to the idea of people asking me to run for Council. I had just sold a couple of I'll be at small technology companies to a Canadian outfit, I was in the under contract to work out a year or two on that. And so I decided, yeah, go ahead and run for Council. And then I'll give, you know, do one term, I told my wife, in fact exactly that. And then get back into business. But when when to Council, I was motivated by virtue of what I thought needed to be done and what I thought I could do, if I were to run for mayor. So I did, I ran against an incumbent mayor who was she was well liked and that there were other situations that I drew, I think positive comparisons against her record and, and her background. But nevertheless, I wanted it was a very, very tight race, but I didn't win it. And next thing I knew was my hair. And I've subsequently have one two other terms and term limited to three marriage. I'm now in my third term about halfway through. 

Brian
You know, something we haven't talked about too much on the podcast, but I'm actually curious now that you bring it up is, you know, how does the like how do you prepare for an election? Obviously, it's not like a presidential election. We know all the jazz that goes on with that. Right? But what what are some of the different things that you had to do to prepare for it? Are there different debates set up? Like how did you guys do it there in Scottsdale?

Jim
Well, you know, coming right out of the box probably was a good thing to do was to have been on the task force. So I had some idea of a major issue. And frankly, how governance apply to those kinds of services and, and constituent concerns in those areas. So that was helpful, then being on council before being on running for mayor was also helpful, because it was more instructive of the other areas that I had real interest in and, and probably had some just general business background in that I felt that would apply well running for mayor. And budgets are a big part of any local government element. And so, you know, I felt very comfortable in that arena as far as the kind of questions to ask and the analysis of some of that. So that was a big part of that along with some other functional business kind of things. You know, city government is only a municipal corporation. It may be fun to accounting, but the only real difference is that the discipline in private sector is a bottom line. The discipline in the municipal set corporation is essentially your elected body. They have to be watching out for efficiencies, they have to be watching out for effectiveness and quality of service on those things. And there's a bit of a difference in structure. As I came into the office, I made some pretty big changes. Now with the public voting on it, but submitted reforms to our charter to accomplish some of the things I felt were necessary.

Brian
Was there anything you were nervous about leading it and you can even talk on, you know, going to counsel the first time or when you are running for me? Anything you were nervous about that was kind of debunk later on? You're like, I don't know why worried about that, or maybe it was confirmed, I don't know, you can take it however you want.

Jim
It's funny. I don't know that maybe a lot of people would make the same statement. Having been in business and being in leadership positions in businesses, I felt pretty comfortable about a presence. But I will tell you, what I really wasn't probably ready for the extent of public speaking, that I would need to engage in impromptu as well as organized and structured and scripted kind of thing. So, and I, you know, I can talk like anybody else. But to talk intelligently about things. One of the first things I found it was absolutely necessary is to gather as much information as I possibly could about all areas. In a very real sense, I probably took on particularly as mayor took on a major effort to educate myself to the fullest extent I could, in everything, so that I had a working knowledge of it doesn't mean I had an answer for everything that ever was asked to me. Of course, anytime you go to speak this Q&A sessions, and you can always say I that's not something I have, you know, I know exactly directly. And I maybe can get back here or we can talk later. But you want to make sure that people know you're engaged. And so being engaged means you're going to know, sort of at least a 30,000 foot view of things. And so that's that was an important thing for me. And I, I suppose, was I nervous about it? Yes, to some degree, and it may have all revolved, in part being public speaking. But it's it comes with the territory, I don't mean to say that I've never given a thought sense, but at the same time, that was probably one thing. That was nervous, running a campaign. One of the things I probably found out is that in running the campaign, it was less about what you knew about the, you know, the engaged topics, even though you needed to have an idea where you're going. But what I found personally, and I hope this continues to answer this question, what I found personally, is to have a philosophy of governance and principles that would guide you that you could express in a campaign and that people could count on you to operate within those guidelines, within those principles, and within that governance, follow Sufi. Because issue the issue, even though I'm fairly opinionated kind of guy and I come from a specific direction. There's always areas that can be gray, or certainly that there are other considerations for something I don't mean to say it changed the law. And, but there are some subjective decisions that are made, and some massaging of things. Again, all within what people would expect, not only from the philosophical, the governance, philosophy, but also the principles, but also the circumstances of public particularly decision, you don't want to say, Hey, this is where it's at, for me, no matter what the hell's going on, you know, thousands of people will die if I stick to my friends stuff club says, I'm exaggerating to make the point. But so you just, you know, you, you've got to have some leeway. But you also have to have some consistency.

Brian
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm curious, and I have to go back, I want to pull the onion layer back one more, did you take any, like public speaking classes like Toastmasters or anything like that to prepare? Or was it just more that getting comfortable with the knowledge and research? 

Jim
Actually, probably way back when I'm talking about early in my business career, I took not a Toastmasters, but it was something similar to that. And I may have relied a little bit about on that. But it's hard to say it was a long time ago, a long time ago, decades ago, decades before I got into public office. But I also had occasions, in my capacity as president of the airline. And other things were, you know, I was called upon to talk about a subject that I knew very well, yet about, it was a little different than government where you're, you know, if you know, the airline business, you're in a pretty good position. And you're going to know a good bit about every aspect about that business. And frankly, most people aren't looking for you to talk about every aspect of the business. They do want sort of a wider scope of things, particularly if you're planning some do change, you know, you're in touch with those things. So it was helpful, and maybe part of that was getting to know the topics and to the government is pretty diverse in the in the range of things it does. But so getting to know all the different things, it's like a lot of different companies actually wrapped up into one all consumer related kind of operations for the well. Absolutely. I don't know if that answers that question. But yes, I had some, but it is I think it's more a matter of just the in life.

Brian
I think you talked about, you know, a lot of those experiences you had, you know, being in companies having your companies, you know, understanding leadership and those type of things. And, and I'm actually always curious to that relationship that especially that you have with like a city manager, you know, how does that work? How was that dynamic there? p talk about just a little bit of the relationship you guys have and you know, how you go about, you know, kind of structuring things decision making process and how that all works?

Jim
Well, obviously, the city manager is our chief administrative officer. And I'm probably ought to throw in at this point in time, part of the reforms that I initiated, but got the council to agree to and get it on the ballot, and they overwhelmingly they passed, and changing our charter and amending our charter is like changing the Constitution. So I had to put together a task force to do it first, with some ideas that I planted, and then it came to back with things that we agreed upon, put them on the ballot and they want and one of the prize, it was an effort to increase transparency, accountability, control by the elected and this means taking it a bit away from the bureaucracy, even though even you know, the city management and and also investing or making those principally five charter officers, our executive team have become answerable to myself and the council, first and foremost, which means answerable to the public, rather than just answerable to the city manager, which is the way had been exercised and actually handled in the past. So the city managers, city treasurer, the city auditor, the see attorney and the city clerk are all hired, fired, evaluated and compensated by City Council. Now that's somewhat unique. So my relationship has been through the entire time I've been in the position we've we've operated under those rules, previously, no. So it was a trial, it's now being studied actually at ASU and other universities across the country on their MPA programs, just simply because everybody wonders how it'll work. I won't get into the history I had with the struggles we had in trying to get that passed, but also then getting it implemented by a status quo bureaucracy that really did not want it to happen. So it was it was, it was a pretty big change.

Brian
Has it been successful?

Jim
I think it's been exceedingly successful. But as I tell my fellow council members, and I said, you know, obviously as Mayor in a little bit different position than they individually do, even though I need their support to make any changes in we have made changes on their on our charter officers position on the basis of their inability to deal with the structure. It's been interesting and dramatic. And of course, it was reported as disruptive, but nevertheless, by papers and news outlets, but it has is served me well. And I think it's served the city well, in that we have real accountability. And we get information from each of the skill sets that we previously did not, that was restricted or held by the city managers as whatever he or she might feel we deserve to know. And I don't mean to make it sound too conspiratorial. But in some instances, they were sort of protecting us politically, or so they would say, and I used to tell them, you know, we can make a mistake every day of the week with all of the vape all the information we need. But we don't have a prayer if we don't have it. And so because at a point in time, I asked city manager, who obviously is not with us any longer, but nevertheless, that's why I couldn't get this information. She said, well, if you have that information, the public will see that will have access to information. So why is that a problem? She never did answer that. And of course, it says there were some changes that were made. But in any case, that's the kind of thing that I think is really important to when you elect people is to have them know, our system. And then for them to be able to have the wherewithal to exercise their authority in that system, judiciously and you know, doing it right. But knowing, you know, just knowing that this is your responsibility, we have no more do we have an excuse that we didn't have that information? We have the information makes us more account, too. I mean, the whole Council.

Brian
So obviously, you've done a lot of good changes there, it seems and have obviously been, you know, shuffling things up a little bit in your time there. Is there one or two, maybe it's one you already said that you've been the most proud of.

Jim
I will tell you the most dramatic and probably the most meaningful is that I've just mentioned to you getting those amendments to our charter. And I think it's been impactful, it's allowed. I might also mention one of the other things we had within those changes is that we don't pay subsidies to any individual or business. It's we consider patently unfair, we provide a very good place for people to do business. We just don't need to pay people to come here. I think it's patently unfair to our existing businesses to subsidize possibly their competition. And the other is the fact that it creates some potential. I'm not saying it happens at all cases. But it creates a potential to be seen as a corruptive force on the council, even as a body, you know, as the wherewithal to give somebody millions of dollars to bring their business here. So it's, that was another one that we had in there. But that's all part of what I was just talking about. But there's a couple of other things that we've been able to accomplish that I think are very meaningful to and really, there's the rebuilding of our economic engine and how we went about doing it with the economic development that we instituted right here, business connections, and bringing the business community on board, when we're in the deepest, darkest days of the Great Recession, to help us and help our communities operation fix it was to help people stay in their homes, and help them avoid being cited for code violations and helping them maintain their homes. A lot of times the elderly and people who are financially or physically unable to maintain their homes, didn't seem right to be citing them for lots of money. So we ended up as a community neighbors helping neighbors under program that I was in existence but minor and renamed operation, fix it and work to get it funded, independent of the city to keep people in their homes. And it's been very successful and really did a nice job at the time keeping neighborhoods from going. And this is only in the sense that it's sometimes is used going south, you know, is if you've ever heard of the broken window effect once the neighborhood starts to go bad, and you know, it's a little sleazy, maybe taggers or you know, broken windows, and that suddenly valuations, you know, drop off like a rock and the community, the neighborhood goes bad. So it's been my contention better to save it before it gets there than it is to try to recover it later.

Brian
Yeah, and, you know, it's always interesting to I mean, one, those are some great initiatives, I'm glad you were able to, you know, kind of get those going and move forward with them. One of the things I also want to talk about was, you know, and I had done some research prior looking at the different priorities of the city, how do you all come up with those as a group kind of looking very futuristic, right and forward thinking many years? How do you guys decided what are going to be the main priorities going forward? Is that is that collective with the citizens' involvement? How do you guys go about that?

Jim
Well, an awful lot of times, obviously, we have master plans. And we have a lot of master plans that we end up paying a good bid for. And then they get shelved, oftentimes, because they're not fundable, because they're too dependent upon government expenditures and taxpayer funding. And that's a careful area, the plan that we implemented and many years ago now, if you don't know, I've been in the office for I'm in my 11th year in the office now. But many years ago, the idea was, hey, we want to rebuild our economic engine, we wanted to have a measure of control as to what happened. But at the same time, I wanted a free market response to this. If we start dictating what it is we want, that means taxpayers are going to pay for it for gonna have to subsidize somebody. And when you manipulate the market that way, sometimes it becomes damaging. He just never can quite tell exactly what the end result is going to be. Now, some people would say we just have to just let the market What are they over? Bill? Well, I'd much rather overbuild in heaven on the the financial head of the private company that's investing if we still have, you know, zoning laws, and we have building codes, we have things that we can make sure that we have an acceptable project and we have acceptable, folks to be able to do it, they got to be able to do it, I suppose with you, you got to buy the land first, and you got to get the zoning in line with whatever it is you're looking to do. But nevertheless, so we have some control mechanisms, just don't want it to be too overreaching, where we end up getting too involved. And we're putting other people's money at risk. And for things we want to do. And most people recognize that when that happens, if you're going to tell them what to build, they're going to want you to be part of the risk. And that means taxpayers. And so if the thing doesn't go, and it ends up being vacant property or something, and thankfully we haven't really had is a but with one case, but we did not give any subsidy in any case. It's on the head of other investors, not taxpayers. But we don't want to see that happen. We want to see people succeed. But we also feel that sometimes I do that in giving speeches these away. If somebody needs help from the cities, is that not an indication? Maybe they don't think they can make it otherwise? And you know, that's not that's not the kind of investment we're looking for. Really. I don't mean, that's in every case. But it's it could be seen that way in because you are your question, was it did we master plan, we do master plan things. And oftentimes, if they're government related, it's a funding issue doesn't mean that that, you know, when we talk about streetscapes and other things that our city issues, we find a way eventually to follow through on. So we have master plans for different areas of town, we have our general plan, you're probably maybe you're familiar, maybe not maybe I should probably at least mention that in the context of that question. A master, our general plan is just that it's a general plan of land usage with that throughout our city. And it's part of a state statute is called growing smarter. And it's been in place for a couple of decades or more now, and every 10 years, you need to revamp it, rethink it, and present it back to the public to vote on. As you probably well aware, there are constitutional rights to development of your own land, even though there's zoning restrictions on certain things, and there's no, and we have the power of eminent domain, even though we try very hard not to use that, except for an absolute public purpose, something that public needs on the overall.

But in any case, we would, just lost that a little bit. But nevertheless, we're just talking about planning. The general plan is land usage. And it's difficult, but it has to be possible to be able to change, the use of land law requires that we have an avenue for change, otherwise, we'd still be farmland all around here. And so we do, but it's very judicious and it takes while there's a commitment on the part of a property owner to change the land use. But there is an avenue for it. And it does happen. The underlying zoning also has to be changed at the same time. But that's another control factor in the master planning of things. So a lot of planning is going into the land use and the kind of use even on the underlying zoning, specifically, whether it's commercial or residential, or, or retail versus commercial office and those kinds of things. So that's, that's the general overall view. And if you let the market within those zoning requirements, find their way the town will grow as we founded hands in the way that you sort of wanted to, because they're going to see the value or not. And if in fact, there's some change that has to take place, and we recognize it as time evolves, that we might just allow for that general plan amendment, and will allow for zoning change, to sort of maybe change it slightly, not hugely, or you know, we're not going to go from pig farms to Well, I should say, apartments are single family homes to pig farms or something like that, that's not going to happen. The other thing is you can never we can never do a property owner denigrate their zoning. That was if they see less value in the zoning that we somehow change we have to pay for. You may know that and I only throw that out because it's another controlling factor.

Brian
Now, that's really good insight. Because, you know, obviously a lot of the different folks that are listening right may or may not know some of that. So I appreciate you kind of sharing some of that depth on there. And, you know, one of the things I'm curious about is, you know, so we talked about a lot of the positives, the city and it's a beautiful city, I've been here several times, and I always remember being very clean. I haven't been back down a while I remember as all the young girls like Nancy is very clean city, just FYI. So maybe that's the impression others get as well.

Jim
Well, as they do. And we're very proud of that fact. And probably at this point, in juncture, if you've been here, you probably do know, we're a tourist community, we're an event centered kind of tourism as well, you know, with big horse shows in the Phoenix waste management open and Barrett Jackson or classic car and a car auctions. So, you know, we're talking about entertaining 9 million people a year, here in the city, we're only a city of 240,001 event, actually is one event attraction a week three times are equivalent population. So it means a lot to us that we look and show well. And that our businesses and our resorts and everybody else is in a good environment for it. So we we pride ourselves on a great platform to live work and thrive and to recreate?

Brian
Well, I was going to ask I mean, you know, kind of going down that road, how do you work with, you know, neighboring cities, maybe the county, when you do have all these big events in terms of just organizing, you know, what personnel are going to be used, how they're going to be structured? How do you guys go about managing all that? Is that is that the role of the council? Your role to do that? Or does that get to someone else.

Jim
Now, we obviously work through our executive team, you know, we are our legislative body. And but no, it's. So we more or less send policy, but we do hold our executive team accountable, as I mentioned before, as far as our role with that executive team. And so we really keep a close eye on it. But I will also tell you that without a doubt, that city manager's position you asked earlier on, in because it's still a chief administrative officer, that's a critical position for us. My relationship with the current city manager is, I think, very good because he's, he's probably one of the smartest city managers that I've had the benefit of working with here. So he's, you know, we were able to really, I think, talk to an awful lot of things, just he and I. But nevertheless, he's got great crews under him, of course, public safety and fire. And he Ms. By job, he is all part the same first responder kind of activities. But also we collaborate and form partnerships with our health care facility or community and security, other security forces. When we have the open here, for example, we're over 770,000 people here, it's a city unto itself every day, somewhere in the area between 150 and 240,000 people on the properties. So it's, it's huge, but we've grown up with this, a lot of the people and we have, you know documented how we do this, we have actually almost like what you might call field hospitals, out on the course, when there's that many people involved. And so we're tending to things very close. And security is always an issue, as well as just traffic flow and any number of things, getting people in and about safely. So we became we become a training ground for others who would like to at least understand what we do. And so every time we have something, oftentimes at their own cost, they'll send some of their personal over just more well to observe but to be activated with us. And so that's is really something the city of Scottsdale, I think has been just great staff, great police department, great fire department and the EMS. All of it says tremendous organization that really puts it all together well. And of course, great leadership from a city manager who understands exactly what it takes to keep that motivated and keep it properly attended to and holding, holding people accountable. I mean, we're grateful that is there's not a a whole lot of hardship and trying to hold people accountable, because they're, they're great. And they're, they're good at their job, and they hold themselves accountable. And I think it's just, it's, it's a good match, and it's good mix. But do we do we cooperate with accounting? And most assuredly we do. But and there were certainly will be time as it were cooperating with even higher levels of law enforcement, when you talk about events of this size, but it's it's a major tactical event and is strategically planned every time. Those events, the car auction itself is somewhere in the area of five to 600,000 people to over about a week's time as well.

Brian
And that's pretty fast. Yeah, no, the waste management open how big that gets. I had a golf background, so I kind of understand. I mean, there's a what a couple hundred thousand people just on hole 79 I think alone. Right?

Jim
16th hole is the one that is in, but you may be right at this point, because they just expanded 17. But the 16th hole is.

Brian
I will par four you. And they have both there. So like par three 610. They're both pretty exciting. But what so what do you foresee, as you guys look forward, what's maybe the biggest challenge you foresee in the next few years with the city that you guys are trying to get ahead of?

Jim
Well, right now, we're I'm hoping on a road for real success on a major general obligation bond for infrastructure. With a downturn in the economy and a few other political issues. We've had a tough time getting a general obligation bond, if you're familiar with that structure. Of course, it's a bond that goes to the public to vote on. And we communicate the need. And I personally am a big advocate of general obligation bonds, because they sunset themselves once the project is built and bonded, the bond is paid off, it goes away, it's done. And it it has a community on the overall pay from the general funds over a period of time so that no one period is going to be you know, hit with it, if you tried to fund it. You know, from general funds, you'd be trying to save money and then trying to pay for it I this is just general financing issues as far as that's concerned. But I see and tell people it is the most democratic way really to fund your capital needs long term capital needs, should have long term financing. And that's just a more or less a rule in business too. If you're you know, if you're dead oriented, some people fund from equity. But that's not really a play with the city government, we're not in the business of saving the taxpayers money. We're in the business of collecting and paying out as sorry to provide the services annually. So that's that's one that we're tackling and I think, are on the road to success to do that, which will take us a long way to catching up on some things that in the downturn, we had to defer. We differed some things in a downturn, we actually had a cut a small cut and salaries, we reduce staff by 14%. We did some things because we were often our revenues by 35 to 40% over a period of time, but it built to that number said it was a dramatic play that we didn't raise taxes. We trim down we had to be a player along with our business community, which was already on its knees, and to make sure we got it to work. And so it and it did. And but the one caveat to that is the public. They were also underneath, we're looking for any kind of increases in any kind of property taxes. And so a passing even a modest property tax, and there were some that were matching funds for other funds that were available for us that were highly leveraged, and were what would have been a good thing to be able to accomplish, that they just couldn't get an appetite for any of it for you know, for a number of years. So that's that's a that's a challenge. And I think it's one that we're overcoming right now, as we head into next November's election. That's, that'll be on the ballot.

Brian
So I'm curious, you know, after all this stuff you've done, you are you've been on the council and obviously the you know, third term as mayor. But you're also obviously a businessman, right? And you've done a lot of that for your for, you know, the career, how have you managed to juggle all these different competing priorities, right? And you're obviously on different committees and those type of things still in task force, etc. Is there any time management habits you use any daily, you know, priority daily routines, or anything that you've learned or have been helpful to you? I'm just curious how you kind of structure your day?

Jim
Well, it's a good question. I'm not sure I have a great answer for it as in fact, I've got a good scheduler, we confer all the time. There's a priority of things that I'm engaged in. I'm no longer  engaged in business outside of the city hall here. But I sit on a couple of the governor's commission's state level. And frankly, head up one of our major regional water resource committees a Arizona municipal water us Association, I've been president there for a couple of years. And it's these all take time to get to be prepared for of course, and of course, to be able to, to work those meetings and of course, mag, which is a co op Association and governance, I'm on the Regional Council Council, I've headed up their executive committee at different times. But they're all they're all intimately are intimately involved with what happens here with the City of Scottsdale. So it's time that is well spent, it gives good representation to the city and in decisions that are made. And those those organizations and frankly, in driving policy and some of those organizations. There's there's several others that I have been involved with, could I have had to actually back away from eventually. Not too many, but a couple where it just didn't, it didn't have the return that I personally saw for the city. That it was that I was that I was getting the return I was getting through the time I was spending.

Brian
Let me ask you this to kind of end on is with all your experience. I'm curious. And you can take this in a couple of ways. I'll let you however, whatever path you want to go down or both, you know, if you were kind of given some advice or insight to a citizen that, you know, had never been involved in local government, is there a certain piece of advice you would share with them? And at the same token, and maybe similar advice to someone that has been involved a little bit, but now maybe to get involved more in council or run for mayor of their own local community? Anything you'd share with those different groups that you've learned in your career?

Jim
Yeah, I would say, and this is a question actually, that is asked, somewhat, somewhat frequently, I mean, not every day. But nevertheless, I'm particularly by younger people. And really, I'd say my advice is always to bring something to the table. I don't care whether you are a stay at home parent, or whether you are a farmer or anything else. And you've had to make a living the workaday world. And you know, you've been out there dealing with things and budgeting for yourself even. But, but frankly, to a greater extent of background you can bring to the table, I think the more positive your opportunities will be. But how you will be received in a campaign. People who come and decide they're going to run, because they're, they're angry about one thing, one thing, and we might just call them single issue, candidates generally have a rude awakening. When they get involved, now, they may have some background and other things. But if their intent is just to change one thing, there's going to be more expected. And sometimes that becomes a little distressing form and difficult, even in getting elected. Because people are going to want a better rounding from somebody. with young people, I think having a life experience is really important. It's not that we're here telling everybody else what to do. I'm talking about in elected office, we're not. But we do set policies that do affect people's lives. And we design those policies on the basis of what we think is good for our general population. That's what we all hope to be thinking all the time. And so you need to have a sense of how this would impact you on the outside. And I mean, I'm talking simply but you know, some of this is not as clear cut as just saying, you know, how would I react to this law or this particular regulation or something? So it's, it's just good to have a good sense. And in you and your best, like people?

I think it's important to like people, that's a good place, you know? Yeah. I don't know, if that's what you're looking for. I'm, I tend not to try to get to detail about that kind of thing. But nevertheless, I have a little bit of a philosophical approach.

Brian
And I think it's important that, you know, anyone can get out there and help their community, right, it doesn't have to take any some special random person, right? It can, it can be really anyone, as long as they're committed, obviously, helping improve. So I certainly appreciate that insight there.

Jim
And I would add one thing to that to oftentimes, I'll say, you know, start someplace, be on a task force be on a commission. You know, if it's talking about mayor, be in Council first, you know, there's all things that build a bank and knowledge.

Brian
Now, that's great insight. I'm taking your advice. Actually, I just put in my application for the Town of Cary. I live in North Carolina, to be on a committee. So I'm excited to hopefully get chosen and start a start serving. So I think others should take that advice as well.

Jim
Yeah, I think it is important. I mean, it's just important, I think because it communities deserve a bit different congratulations on that personal decision. To do that, I mean, the to get engaged in that level.

Brian
Well, Mayor Lane, I really appreciate you taking some time out and chatting on here. And and given some really insight around the City of Scottsdale, and obviously a lot of things, you know, you've learned throughout not only your business career and how that's helped, and being the Councilman and Mayor, but obviously inside in the city as well, and how you guys are developing and changing. So thank you so much for the time this was it was really awesome.

Jim
Well, as certainly as appreciate having the opportunity to talk to you, too. So you're certainly welcome on one hand, and thank you for the opportunity as well.

Hey, everyone, just one more quick thing before you run along on your day, please head over to iTunes, leave us a quick review, give us a rating. Let us know how we're doing so we can make this podcast better each and every episode, and really put out a good product here for you guys to listen in and learn a little bit more about your local communities and some of the folks that are running them. We certainly appreciate you sticking in listening through these and providing that feedback and hope you guys will join on the next episode. Take care and have a phenomenal day.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai
 

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