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Dembow: Pace’s actions do not match her words


After having served 12 years on Paradise Valley Town Council, I have perspective that most don’t. I’ve walked in the shoes of elected local government officials, and unfortunately in the shoes of those that understand personally the tragedy that can occur when there is not a sidewalk available for safe passage.

I believe that a government’s primary function should be the safety of its residents. This means limited government for Paradise Valley with the exception of prioritizing actions that will enhance our community safety.

During a recent Town Council meeting, I watched Councilmember Julie Pace grandstanding about the recent loss of one of our residents in a car/pedestrian accident. She lectured about how unsafe it was to be in the street, and how the accident could have been prevented. Although it is common for Councilmember Pace to lecture down to her peers and the people she is elected to serve, this incident is exceedingly offensive because her words are empty, as they are in direct contrast to her own recent voting record. 

“Do as I say, not as I do.” Pace voted against constructing a sidewalk on the east side of Mockingbird, south of Lincoln to McDonald and Mockingbird Lane. The entirety of Mockingbird from Northern down to Lincoln already has sidewalk on both sides of the street.

The land to be used for the sidewalk is 100% Town of Paradise Valley owned and the federal government would have covered 95% of the cost of construction.

Our general plan, approved by over 80% of our residents, specifically states that a sidewalk should be placed in such areas. The street in question has an elementary school, a religious school, a house of worship and many youth activities on the sites. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has been implemented through federal funding. It’s designed to make it safer for our children and parents walking to school.

We had the opportunity to use “free” federal dollars to complete the safety update. It appears that Pace forgot that the Ritz-Carlton and SmokeTree resorts are opening soon and they have amenities that residents and guests will be walking to enjoy. Now children walking to school and worshipers going to pray have to cross a minor arterial, creating a less safe scenario.

I’ve served on council with Pace and her antics have been consistent over the years. Instead of taking responsibility for her own actions, she’ll blame town staff, other council members, or even town residents.

She’s given children and worshipers another thing to pray for, safe passage. Paradise Valley deserves better than Pace.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.