I implore all residents of Paradise Valley to watch the recording of the latest Town Council meeting (the recording is available on the town website, Jan. 13 meeting at timestamp 2 hours and 45 minutes) and witness for yourself the abhorrent behavior exhibited by one of our elected officials.
One of the first orders of business for our Town Council each new year is to appoint the vice mayor of the town. Although this is more ceremonial than significant, it creates a stately moment to both thank the efforts of the outgoing vice mayor, and promote the next council person into the role.
As our newly appointed Vice Mayor, Anna Thomasson, sat noble in her Zoom square, her peer Julie Pace hijacked the moment to selfishly and inappropriately perpetuate her own message.
Councilwoman Julie Pace breaks from the agenda to take a stab at Councilman Dembow, and in doing so breaks not only meeting etiquette but also executive privilege. This is illegal. Keep in mind that Councilwomen Pace often reminds the public in these meetings that she is an attorney, implying in her typical bull-in-a-china-shop way that she knows better.
How embarrassing for her, because in this case the Gammage & Burnham attorney who “knows better” is the one breaking the law. She publicly boasts about how well she works with OSHA and other large organizations in her day job, but forgets basic manners when she steps into her role as an elected official. What a disgrace.
Then it goes from bad to worse. Mayor Bien-Willner tries to refocus, employing the help of the Town Attorney for legal clarity, but even that proves ineffective in slowing down Pace the disgrace. Pace retaliates with her usual weapons of condescension and self promotion.
It is an abhorrent and illegal display by an elected official. I can only hope that the council and the mayor consider a censure of Ms. Pace so her tantrums don’t tarnish the work of the other council members who remain professional, selfless, and focused on serving our town.
Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Adler is a resident of Paradise Valley.
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