By Scottsdale Pinetop
The sun always seems to be shining in Paradise Valley. A unique desert oasis nestled between mountains. It’s the “best small town in America” as Mayor Collins often states. To ensure the Paradise Valley stays that way, it needs a council that shares its vision and integrity.
Last Thursday, the town’s Mountain Shadows Resort hosted the 2018 Paradise Valley Town Council debate where governing board candidates deliberated local issues and shared their vision for the future. Four council candidates will be pursuing three seats.
The Paradise Valley Town council candidates are Ellen Andeen, James Anton, Paul Dembow and Anna Thomasson.
A number of issues face this upcoming council. From the lack of progress on the Ritz-Carlton, cell service coverage to Senate Bill 1350, each candidate expressed their opinions and expectations for the town – some opinions stronger than others.
Each candidate gave it their all, appealing to the audience on why they deserved to serve the Paradise Valley community.
Longtime resident Ellen Andeen is a 3rd generation Paradise Valley resident and avid supporter of public safety and strict advocate of financial oversight. Feeling that Paradise Valley funds can be better allocated, she promises to foster quality life for all residents.
Paul Dembow, the most experienced candidate running, has served 8 years on the council. He’s always been, and still is, a strong advocate of limited government and business-smart venture – believing trust takes transparency. He’s not done yet with helping to improve Paradise Valley.
Newcomer and business savvy candidate James Anton believes leadership starts from the top. Living in Paradise Valley for over 30 years, he’s lived in every part of Paradise Valley. From Hillside to Mountain Shadow rentals to a gated community, Anton has seen it all. He is an advocate for executing the best interest of everyone in Paradise Valley regardless of location.
And last, but certainly not least, is the soul of Paradise Valley Anna Thomasson. Known as the candidate who has walked every square foot of Paradise Valley, 144 miles to be exact, she believes the uniqueness of Paradise Valley comes from its culture. While Paradise Valley is one of the best places to live in Arizona, there’s always room to build and improve.
Paradise Valley Vice Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner, who is running unopposed, is seeking the top spot of Mayor on the town council.
As Paradise voters turn in their ballots on Tuesday August 28 to elect a new Paradise Valley Town Council, they have to decide who best fits the needs of their community – a Paradise Valley police department volunteer, a member of the Planning Commission, a current councilmember seeking re-election or a member of the Board of Adjustment. So who will it be?