Citizens line up to volunteer for commission | City News

“Is anyone here for a job interview?” Mayor David Ortega asked, only half jokingly, before a March 7 meeting at City Hall.

“Yes – but not the one who pays,” replied one of the 20 residents who are ready, willing and eager to do free work on the city’s six commissions.

Over the next hour, board members repeatedly noted how impressed they were, not only from the size of the pitch but also the level of qualification and passion shown by the candidates.

“I was very impressed,” said Councilor Solange Whitehead.

“Incredibly talented candidate,” Councilman Barry Graham agreed.

Councilman Tom Durham, acting as informal emcee, summed up the city’s position: “I want to thank the individual for their willingness to volunteer their time and service to the community.”

For free work, it turns out to be very competitive. Each candidate gave a brief statement, with many desperately trying to get a council vote.


Everyone loves libraries – and, in Scottsdale, many want to be part of the library system.

There have been five Library Board nominations for just one position.

Eric Goeld, a 30-year resident, told the council, “I’ve always wanted to volunteer.”

He has a master’s degree in engineering and extensive experience in electronics. Since retiring, he adds, he has published four books, “most of which were written at the Mustang Library.”

George Hartz said he was a longtime resident and board member of the Friends of the Scottsdale Library for 10 years.

“I have been a lover of libraries my whole life,” said Hartz, vowing to continue making libraries “accessible and attractive to residents”.

Enid Seiden says she has lived in the town since 1995 and retired from the Scottsdale Unified School District, where she continues to volunteer “to help support student exams.”

He previously served on the Human Services Commission. As a teacher, he “was a big supporter” of libraries, he said.

Christine Wilson describes herself as a city dweller for 27 years, and also a former teacher. “I have always, always loved libraries,” he said. “The main problem I see today is trying to get more people to come to the library.”

Gould, Seiden and Wilson received two votes each, forcing a second round.

And the winner was… well, it took another round, with Gold and Seiden getting three votes each in the second round.

In the end, Eiden won by 4-3 votes.


For the Airport Advisory Commission, Sabrina Haverty attended the meeting via video. He said he had lived in Scottsdale for a year–and could see the airport runway from where he lived. He promised to keep an eye on air traffic.

Charles McDermott, another candidate filling a vacancy, attended alone. He is currently the chairman of the airport commission, an aviation management engineer and has worked in the aviation field for more than three decades.

“Scottsdale is experiencing tremendous growth… it is very important to protect the airspace around the airport,” said McDermott.

McDermott was reappointed by unanimous decision.

Development Review

There is one opening and one candidate for the Development Review Board. Michal Joyner, current board member, was reappointed to review architectural and design plans. Even though he was unable to compete, he gave a strong presentation.

He notes his council’s challenge is similar to that of councils: “Citizens have high expectations from us about how they want to live. Developers who come to Scottsdale expect to be treated kindly and fairly and to have their cases reviewed fairly and impartially.

With the law looming, Joyner identified a “new threat” to urban planning: “The state and federal governments seem to want to tell us how we can run our cities and how we can build.”

Human relations

The Human Relations Commission has four nominations for one position.

Marcie LePine describes herself as an associate professor at ASU’s WP Carey School of Business working in the human resources field. He does research in the field of resilience. So, it should come as no surprise when he identified the main problems facing the commission:

“I see resilience as encompassing stress, well-being and burnout.” He promised to work to increase residents’ sense of “belonging”.

Cynthia Romagnolo says that in her work in banking, “I focus on raising women’s voices.” He added the commission’s challenge was to share with residents that “despite their perceived differences, they have much more in common than they perceive.”

Marietta Strano, who comes here from Kansas, where she works in the education system, emphasizes collaboration. He also previously taught in China and volunteered at the library. The issue for the commission, he said, “Could be how and when to reach out… to promote better understanding.”

Romagnola received five votes to win the appointment.

Environmental Advisor

For one vacancy on the Environmental Advisory Commission, there are also several candidates.

Nancy Brady moved here from Colorado, where she was county commissioner. A former auditor and accountant, he said he wanted to “make sure policies and procedures met the highest standards.” Here, he is the ambassador of the Old City. He identified water conservation as the commission’s biggest concern.

Lee Cooley said he had lived in Scottsdale for 17 years, and had worked on Make a Wish here. He identified finding grants as an important goal.

Sheri Lopez said she was a flight attendant for 25 years and a “trafficking survivor.” He said he wanted to keep the “Old Town charm” while “creating positive future growth.”

Brady received four votes to take the commission seat.

Parks and Recreation

Two nominations went after one opening of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Eric Maschhaupt said as a father he “spent a lot of time in our garden”. He is a software technology professional who says the board’s main problem is “spending the available budget wisely.”

Kim Ollerhead said she has lived in the city for 40 years and is a “housewife, blogger and influencer” who spends a lot of time with her child in the park. The biggest challenge, as he sees it: “keeps our parks inclusive.”

Maschhaupt was appointed unanimously.


Ray Michaels, who worked in the cruise industry for three decades, and Anna Mineer, a hospitality professional whose three-year term has ended, are nominees for the Mineer Tourism Development Commission chair. Mineer was reappointed by six of seven votes.

Veterans Advice

Four candidates are running for a Veterans Advisory Commission seat.

Roger Day, a Vietnam War veteran and current member of the commission, said many veterans were not aware of resources. “We need to help provide that information,” he said.

Joe DuBois says he is a West Point graduate and war veteran. Through a career as a lawyer, he said, “I never lost my passion for veterans.” He emphasized supporting female veterans.

Justin Layman also says he is a war veteran, with many placements before becoming a small business owner. In a high-energy presentation where he apologized for being nervous, he said veterans who were homeless and/or suffering from PTSD would be his priority.

Bethany Schilling said she served in the military for 12 years and had “several deployments” and was the wife of a current military professional. His biggest problem is providing resources for veterans.

“Once again, we have an embarrassment of riches,” Durham said, ahead of the vote. Lay won four votes and designation.

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