Kurland: Public service missing from Arizona state government

By Eric Kurland

I am running to be your State Representative because I believe that the people of our district have been ignored for far too long.

The folks in Phoenix have forgotten that they are public servants and both the public and the service part are equally important.

Sometimes that means taking the lead and making laws that protect folks and improve lives. A perfect example for state government would have been to take the lead with COVID-19 (spoiler alert; they didn’t).

Other times, the state government needs to stay in its lane and not meddle. Such is the case with legislation concerning vacation rentals or commonly referred to as AirBnB’s (second spoiler, they didn’t).

SB1350 was Governor Ducey’s furthering of the shared economy back in 2016. We can argue about peer-to-peer commerce and whether it is healthy. I’m sure this appeared to be a good idea at the time and was intended to improve Arizona. But, it basically kneecapped cities and towns from regulating and restricting vacation rentals.

One sign of good leadership is evaluating decisions to see if they met the intended goal. If not, reverse and correct the course. Keep the train going on the tracks.

What should have been obvious then is certainly obvious now; we all can see that this is a local issue. We elect our neighbors to serve us and our local needs because they know our neighborhoods. They are part of our community.

Scottsdale is very different from Safford. Fountain Hills and Flagstaff are not the same.

Now that the law has been in place we do have some folks making an honest living while others are running party houses and micro hotels. Everyone saw the problem, but only our state representatives thought they should be the ones to solve it. They tinkered around the edges in 2019 to require a permit for a wedding and to provide contact information for all rentals.

Nothing but a full repeal of SB1350 will do. Full stop. Period. The end. Stop ignoring the heart of the issue and return local control. This is a local issue that differs from community to community.

Our current State Legislature reminds me of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Federal government is too big to make our laws. Local governments are too small to make their laws. But state government? They think they are just right…and often they couldn’t be more wrong.

Editor’s Note: Eric Kurland is seeking election to Arizona’s House of Representatives for Legislative District 23.

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