Country, e.g., Zac Brown Band.
Scottsdale (pop 250k) is renowned as an upscale, manicured town east of Phoenix, and one element in ensuring that attractiveness is a rigorously enforced ordinance that residents keep their houses in good repair. However, some disabled, elderly, and low-income residents are not able physically or financially to do so. The city wanted to help them comply, without budget impact.
In 2010, Jim jump-started a private effort called Operation Fix-It, consisting of fundraisers and, above all, volunteers who help get the exteriors of houses in order. They paint, nail, caulk, mow, trim, and plant. Some of them are expert woodworkers, plumbers, handymen, painters, and landscapers donating their time; most are just plain fellow citizens spending part of a weekend helping out. Last year, 700 folks assisted in sprucing up over 200 homes.
The mayor’s annual State of the City address is Operation Fix-It’s largest fundraising event. Last year it garnered $32,000 from nearly 500 attendees, a part of the $125k Jim has raised to date. Proceeds are used to purchase supplies and tools needed for the volunteers’ home maintenance efforts. The city’s only direct contribution is staff time for one program coordinator (Michelle Holmes) out of the neighborhood services department, which also helps identify who may need help.
Grew up in Chatham, New Jersey; BS in accounting from St. Joseph’s in Philly; came to Scottsdale in 1973 to take a job with Peat Marwick. Over the years he has been a serial entrepreneur in areas like construction, mining, computers, telecom, and aviation. Elected to City Council in 2005, then mayor in 2009; reelected in 2012, and last November to third term, after which he is term-limited.