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Jim Lane (mayor)

Jim Lane
Mayor of Scottsdale, Arizona
Assumed office
November 2008
Preceded by Mary Manross
Personal details
Born Feb. 22, 1951[1]
Political party Independent Republican
Spouse(s) Joanne Lane
Alma mater Saint Joseph's University
Website Lane's official mayoral website

W.J. "Jim" Lane is a former Scottsdale, Arizona city councilman and the current mayor of Scottsdale. Lane is a resident of north Scottsdale[2]


  • Private life 1
  • Political career 2
    • Rural/Metro campaign 2.1
    • City Council 2.2
  • Election history 3
  • References 4

Private life

Lane has been a Scottsdale resident since 1973, when he moved from New Jersey. Prior to entering politics, Lane was a businessman; he was described as a "technology consultant" by the Arizona Republic during his first political campaign.[3] He attended Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, New Jersey. Having graduated with a BS in accounting from Saint Joseph's University, Lane went on to work as a certified public accountant and financial statement auditor for KPMG for 20 years, between 1976 and 1996.[4] Lane was elected president and chief operating officer of StatesWest Airlines on January 31, 1990.[5] Shortly after, StatesWest Airlines discontinued all flying under its own name and entered into an agreement with USAir to operate as USAir Express. He is the owner of Scottsdale-based internet service provider, financial consulting, and telecommunications company Chatham Hill Group LLC. Lane was also an adjunct instructor of business and accounting at Scottsdale Community College. Outside of business, Lane also spent several years as an officer of the Board Of Management of the Scottsdale Paradise Valley YMCA.[6]

Political career

Rural/Metro campaign

In the summer of 2001, Lane was appointed to the city of Scottsdale's Fire and Emergency medical services Advisory Committee.[6] He came to prominence locally for leading opposition to the proposed termination of the city's fire protection contract with Rural/Metro, and he co-chaired the Know Enough to Vote NO Committee, which advocated against Propositions 200 and 201.[7] In April, 2003 Lane authored op-eds in the Phoenix Business Journal and the Scottsdale Republic in favor of retaining Rural/Metro, arguing that the existing private fire and EMS services were "excellent" and the measures would end up costing more while Scottsdale was experiencing a budget deficit.[8][9] His effort was successful and the ballot measures were defeated by a wide margin, but Rural/Metro decided a few months later to abandon its work in Scottsdale after its contract expired in 2005, leading to the establishment of Scottsdale's municipal fire department. In a subsequent op-ed, Lane placed blame for the development on the International Association of Firefighters labor union, who had backed the measures, and were in failed contract negotiations with Rural/Metro.[10]

City Council

Lane's early political involvement established the fiscal conservatism and engagement in economic issues that he would later run on.[1] In 2004, Lane was a candidate for the Scottsdale City Council. He ran as a political outsider, criticizing the dominant political culture. Lane pledged to foster greater transparency and accountability, cut taxes, and reduce spending, especially by ending preferential treatment and subsidies for businesses.[11] He supported all three measures on the ballot with the City Council vote, which would increase the sales tax to support the McDowell Sonoran Preserve purchases and increase police and fire funding. He also campaigned on revitalization of south Scottsdale, noise reduction at the Scottsdale Airport (which he lives near), and ensuring the smooth creation of Scottsdale's new fire department.[4] Lane's candidacy for city council was endorsed by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Republic, and the Coalition of Pinnacle Peak, a local fiscal responsibility political action committee.[12][13][14] In a March primary election, all but one of the council candidates failed to secure the amount needed to avoid a runoff election. Lane places third in a field of nine candidates competing 4 open seats. The six candidates that moved on to the May 2004 general election placed in the same order as in the runoff; with the second-most votes, Lane was elected to the Scottsdale City Council.[15] Lane was inaugurated to his first term on the city council on June 8, 2004.

Soon after his election, Lane joined other new council members-elect in criticizing the outgoing council's decision to vote on a controversial new compensation plan for the city manager on their last meeting, calling provisions that restricted the city council's ability to remove the city manager a violation of the city charter.[16][17] An opponent of the city's expenditures on the development of the Los Arcos Mall site, in July 2004 Lane opposed the proposed ASU Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation (later known as SkySong) on the same site, which he considered a risky investment not worth the city's subsidy.[18] Lane expressed support for the banning of all subsidies and tax incentives for private businesses by the city government, and supported state legislation making such practices illegal.[19][20] After Lane and fellow conservative Bob Littlefield were left out of the budget subcommittee's membership, Lane accused Mayor Mary Manross of politicizing the subcommittee appointments.[21] In late 2005, Lane voted against the installation of photo radar speed enforcement on the Loop 101 freeway.[22] Lane was sharply critical of three fellow council members during the Scottsdale's city council 2006 election, after, in what became a minor scandal, secretly "having a shill, Karl J. Kulick, represent himself as an independent voter to challenge" a candidate, who was disqualified for coming just under the signature requirement.[23] However, Lane and some other council members raised eyebrows by endorsing candidates for the first time, rather than remaining neutral as had previously been traditional for sitting city council members; the candidate Lane endorsed, Bob Littlefield, was one of the council members Lane had accused of deceptive campaign practices.[24] In 2007, Lane voted against a proposed plan to extend protections against discriminatory hiring practices to gay and transgendered employees; the measure ultimately failed.[25] In December 2007 a similar measure was passed by the City Council, again with Lane's opposition.[26]

Election history

Scottsdale City Council General Election 2004
Candidate Votes Percentage
Henry Becker 10,065 8.63%
Steve Capobres 7,487 6.42%
Bill Crawford 8,873 7.61%
Betty Drake 22,166 19.01%
Merlin Gindlesperger 3,788 3.25%
Jim Lane 17,502 15.01%
Ron McCullagh 18,126 15.54%
Tony Nelssen 11,684 10.02%
Kevin Osterman 16,751 14.37%
Scottsdale City Council Runoff Election 2004
Candidate Votes Percentage
Henry Becker 8,694 10.48%
Bill Crawford 7,739 9.33%
Jim Lane 17,991 21.69%
Ron McCullagh 19,774 23.84%
Tony Nelssen 11,496 13.86%
Kevin Osterman 17,153 20.68%
Scottsdale Mayoral General Election 2008
Candidate Votes Percentage
Mary Manross (Incumbent) 17,098 49.22%
Jim Lane 17,463 50.27%
Scottsdale Mayoral General Election 2008
Candidate Votes Percentage
Mary Manross (Incumbent) 51,258 49.64%
Jim Lane 51,848 50.22%


  1. ^ a b Kristen Go. "Feb 5, 2004".  
  2. ^ Rosa Cirianni (December 11, 2003). "South Scottsdale candidates flooding ballot".  
  4. ^ a b Kristen Go (April 21, 2004). "CANDIDATE LOOKS UPON CITY AS A BUSINESS".  
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Jeff Singer (March 2, 2009). "Newly elected Scottsdale mayor takes on economic problems". The Scottsdale Chronicle. 
  7. ^ Mark Scarp (December 11, 2008). "Scarp: Mayor-elect Lane out to set city’s tone".  
  8. ^ Jim Lane (April 11, 2003). "Rural/Metro should be retained as Scottsdale's finest".  
  9. ^ Jim Lane (April 3, 2003). "'REPUBLIC' IS 'DEAD WRONG' ON FIRE DEPARTMENT COSTS".  
  10. ^ W.J. "Jim" Lane (November 21, 2003). "Fire could erupt if level heads don't prevail in Scottsdale".  
  11. ^ Jim Lane (February 5, 2004). "CITY HALL NEEDS A CHANGE OF DIRECTION, NEW CULTURE JIM LANE.".  
  12. ^ Dan Nowicki (February 16, 2004). "HOW THE CHAMBER CHOSE". Scottsdale Republic (Arizona Republic). p. 6. 
  13. ^ Rosa Cirianni (February 15, 2004). "Rivals share council picks".  
  15. ^ Paul Giblin (May 18, 2004). "Scottsdale City Council filled".  
  16. ^ Rosa Cirianni (June 2, 2004). "New council members dispute Dolan package".  
  18. ^ Rosa Cirianni (July 7, 2004). "Council can’t muster ASU center support".  
  19. ^ Ryan Gabrielson (September 19, 2004). "Retreat yields little progress".  
  20. ^ Jim Lane (June 28, 2004). "LOS ARCOS DOLLARS DON'T MAKE SENSE".  
  21. ^ Ryan Gabrielson (November 11, 2004). "Councilmen feel snubbed by mayor".  
  22. ^ Ryan Gabrielson (October 26, 2005). "Green light for Loop 101 photo radar".  
  23. ^ Jim Lane (Jan 13, 2006). "NESVIG FIASCO SHOULD BE EMBARRASSMENT TO ALL ON COUNCIL". Arizona Republic. p. 11. 
  24. ^ Ryan Gabrielson (April 7, 2006). "Politicians take sides in Scottsdale runoff election".  
  25. ^ Mike Sunnucks (December 14, 2007). "Business interests avoid Scottsdale's gay rights debate".  
  26. ^ Jeff Braeger (February 10, 2008). "Scottsdale City Council adds G.L.B.T. to its anti-discrimination ordinance". The Scottsdale Chronicle. 
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