So, I know I've been slacking on this whole blog thing lately--more on that soon. For now, I felt compelled to note a couple of important developments related to our Village's plan and that of the entire city and metro area. First, in case you are not one of the dozen or so people who attended the last meeting, I have proudly joined a great group of people on the Laveen Village Planning Committee. Councilman Nowakowski submitted my name and received City Council approval in a September meeting, and then I sat in on my first official LVPC meeting last week.
This leads to the next important topic: PlanPHX. If you are any sort of community leader (i.e. block watch representative, HOA board member, or similar), City of Phoenix representatives likely found you and invited you to help with Phoenix's 2050 plan (see the website for more info). Please accept the invitation. After all, as one of my readers, I assume it's safe to say that you care about how our region develops and want to have a say. Although we will leave the nuts and bolts up to our highly able planning staff, please understand that they are eager to hear public input and put it to good use. So come to the next LVPC meeting and let Mr. Zonn know what Laveen residents want to see for the future of our city, so he can share with the rest of the planning department as they compile results from all the villages. (BTW, how cool would it be if, for once, Laveen were one of the squeakiest wheels....)
We all know that Phoenix is at a critical point right now, as we prepare to complete several important infrastructure projects to serve an ever-growing population (see the recent news on our population from the Urban Land Institute here). It's important to understand that while we strive to define the overall character and interconnectedness of our metropolitan area, we are directly impacting how future growth will occur here. And as noted by many business leaders, including Phoenix's own Kimber Lanning, our current housing market has forced people to stick around and improve our communities rather than constantly chase greener pastures. Overall, this is a great silver lining on otherwise cloudy skies, but there is plenty of work to do.
It sometimes saddens me that not only must we all try to lead our community down the right path, often arguing about what its true assets are and how to address the challenges, but we also must constantly fight cynicism and apathy. And then there's negative external attention that we definitely do not need..... Please see the blurb that I somehow discovered linked to a more current article, in which the writer bashes Phoenix as one of the cities that will not/should not survive future green planning. As one of my neighbors, I'm sure that you believe this is utter nonsense--especially if you travel frequently to other major metropolitan areas and deal with the traffic, pollution, litter, and other problems that Phoenix seems to handle much more effectively (and at generally lower tax rates--but we can debate our state/local budgets later if you like). Below is my hastily written reply to the author's article; while not nearly perfect, I feel that it effectively highlights the kind of response that such articles deserve. So please, let your pen be mightier than a sword and remain vigilant of opportunities in which we need to better inform the misinformed masses about our great village, city, and state.