Pace: Paradise Valley could benefit from a leadership program

Posted 3/7/22

I strongly believe in term limits, succession planning and implementing a Paradise Valley leadership program to educate and mentor potential future candidates to serve on council and as volunteers on …

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Pace: Paradise Valley could benefit from a leadership program


I strongly believe in term limits, succession planning and implementing a Paradise Valley leadership program to educate and mentor potential future candidates to serve on council and as volunteers on town committees.

Three years ago I brought up this concept of developing a Paradise Valley leadership program. Why? Because every good organization needs to train and mentor new people to take the place of those currently serving in leadership.

There has not been support yet for the concept, but the time is now. These type of programs have been implemented in other municipalities with great success.

The opportunities for residents to learn about the various departments, operations, finances, and Town Hall functions creates a larger number of residents to gain knowledge, experience and confidence to serve as volunteers on committees and to run for council with confidence to hit the ground running and make a difference.

And, we gain the benefit of creating an alumni group of graduates who are empowered with knowledge, camaraderie and commitment to help preserve Paradise Valley.

Alumni can be activated to testify at the legislature, or to network with others throughout the State of Arizona to address issues that could harm Paradise Valley. The alumni also can join elected officials to provide support for mutually beneficial projects.

Paradise Valley is special place. We all feel truly blessed to enjoy each and every day. But our town’s uniqueness also causes conflict with the Legislature when they adopt one size fits all laws. Our town is not like any other city.

We have no commercial businesses, no property tax, we have one house per acre, and we undergrounded all of our utility lines. How many municipalities are like us in Arizona? Virtually none.

To keep our town the special place it is, we need to work together in a grassroots style to involve our residents and give them a voice with knowledge and focused goals to preserve our town.

We have operated far too long in a vacuum. We need to reach out and become involved and connected as that is how we will keep what we all value as special in Paradise Valley. Our future quality of life depends on doing things better.

We have seen the recent attacks on our community to try and take away our one house per acre zoning, allow party houses, eliminate our underground utilities, and many more items that adversely impact our community.

PV Leadership alumni allows our town to implement term limits. We do not need to be beholden to those who want to stay in power too long. Serving two terms as a councilmember and a mayor is enough.

We currently have people running for third and fourth terms. Why? They state they are needed and that the town will fail without them continuing to stay in office term after term. These elected officials do not train or mentor or try to replace themselves.

The sign of a good leader is someone who is trying to find people to take one’s place as a leader. Good leaders do not hold back information, talk in false whispers to undermine peers, or take actions to orchestrate attacks to preserve power and control.

Good leaders are grounded in confidence, want the best for the community they serve, and want to find other like-minded individuals to join in the effort. Good leaders welcome new people to the table.

I have enjoyed my past 40 years of experience serving as a volunteer in public service and non-profit work. I always work to recruit good people, mentor them, and support and involve them to serve in the hopes they will take my place on whatever committee, public service, or elected official capacity I am involved. That is the goal of good leaders. It is my goal.

I am proud of the people I have recruited to serve in the town and in neighborhoods in various capacities. They are all doing phenomenally well serving our community and they beam with pride at making a difference.

I recruit and train as part of my job as an employment lawyer so I am glad to identify people with solid traits to serve in various opportunities. I have a knack for finding good people, matching them to the right positions, and persuading them to serve.

We have a lot of talented and educated individuals in our community who can assist. A Leadership program is a good start to increase participation. We should be mentoring and fostering the success of the next generation of leaders to serve.

Having graduates from a PV Leadership Program provides stability and strength in our overall town government and community. It means no one person is ever needed and the vitality and institutional knowledge continues forward to truly protect and preserve our town.

Join me in helping to create this vision for our town. The benefits will serve us all and preserve Paradise Valley for generations to come.

Editor’s Note: Julie Pace is a Paradise Valley council member, former vice mayor, lawyer, and a candidate for mayor.