Guest Editorial: The Power of Teamwork in Protecting Paradise Valley’s Residential Neighborhoods

By Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner

Dear Fellow Paradise Valley Resident:

Tonight the Town is honored to publicly recognize and thank former Mayor Robert (“Bob”) Plenge, who is “retiring” as a Police Department volunteer after many decades of stellar volunteer service across many areas for our community. Here’s a quote from Bob about public service that stands out in my mind.

“I think everyone on the Council has to remember that they are working for and on behalf of the residents of the Town. Council Members should be politely receptive to anybody who comes in and makes a request, and not be arbitrary on any decisions. But, having said that, I think the Councils need to keep in mind that because we are a residential community — it was designed that way; is that way; and most of us want to keep it that way — they have to continue to resist the pressure.”

— Mayor Robert Plenge, Interview on January 27, 2000

If you have contact with Mayor Plenge, please join me and the Town Council in thanking Bob and his family for his selfless dedication and lasting, positive impacts to our great Town!

With experience — and the privilege of mentorship by many accomplished former Town leaders, including Mayor Plenge — I understand that our Town is at its best when Town leaders listen, work respectfully and productively with citizens and stakeholders, and collaborate effectively as a team for our community’s greater good.

Our successful teamwork at Town Hall continues. We recently became aware that company called Pacaso was interested in entering the Paradise Valley market. Pacaso is a relatively new company that facilitates “owners” using and sharing a single home.

In response, among other efforts, several Town leaders participated in face-to-face meetings with Pacaso to share that timeshare uses are not what Town residents want in our community. This response from a united team (including Vice Mayor Anna Thomasson, Councilmembers Scott Moore and Mark Stanton, Town Manager Jill Keimach, Town Attorney Andrew McGuire, and myself) worked. Pacaso informed us last week in writing that in light of our meetings, it has abandoned its plans in Paradise Valley. All the better, the result was achieved without a highly confrontational or extreme approach.

This is important progress in our efforts to protect and preserve our Town’s character, and our continued fight against the negative impacts of non-traditional home uses. I thank everyone who has taken part in these efforts, including the many residents who have helped. We will continue to keep a watchful eye and act as appropriate on all threats to our quality of life, including from short-rentals.