As you likely know, we will have a contested race for both the Paradise Valley Town Council as well as Mayor. If you read this regularly (or even occasionally) you know that we are not a gigantic fan of Paul Dembow and precisely why. But what else is there to focus on in Paradise Valley? What are we looking for in such a nearly-flawless town as PV?
To be fair, it is pretty difficult to isolate what really needs to be fixed in Paradise Valley, as it involves a lot of splitting hairs, and that is reflected in the answers of the candidates. Ellen Andeen talks about preserving the natural beauty of the town, Christine Labelle speaks to the importance of clamping down on short-term rental “party houses”, and Anna Thomasson brings up keeping the single-family, one-care zoning restrictions of the town as the pre-eminent issues.
All of them are very reasonable primary platform issues yet also highlight how fantastic the town is. Some municipalities have to deal with crime, homelessness or addiction issues. Our priorities revolve around maintaining a very high quality of life. This would be the epitome of what some people would call “first world problems”, and we are thankful that those are our concerns.
Absolutely, we agree that preserving our quality of life is vital. After all, change for the sake of change isn’t positive, or more simply put, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. One additional point of focus is continuing to make sure that we have robust law enforcement to help maintain our fantastic status quo. This is why we agreed with the town’s choice to give our law enforcement officers a raise recently. Unlike our most progressive left-coast American cities, we actually want our law enforcement to protect our town.
That said, we think that Councilmember and now Mayoral candidate Julie Pace had a great idea as well: a town leadership program modeled after the Valley Leadership program that helps groom future local leaders by bringing them into the fold on local issues and showing them how the sausage is made, so to speak. We would like to avoid a situation like the current one where a 3-term councilmember runs for a 4th term. We need new blood and fresh ideas without sacrificing experiential knowledge. We think that this is a great way to accomplish that.
Otherwise, while many local elections have candidates running on change and looking to capitalize on general unhappiness, we are proud to announce that we would prefer “more of the same”. And it’s fantastic to live in an area where we can say that without a hint of irony.