Thank you to the Eagle Society for organizing the recent Town Council candidate forum. It will certainly make filling out my ballot an easier process.
The leaders of our town were easy to identify.
Councilman Dembow and Vice Mayor Anna Thomasson spoke with brevity and a depth of knowledge about the town, both now and going forward. They were both personally and professionally admirable, and both have a solid record of experience and service.
Unfortunately, the other two candidates reflect very poorly on Paradise Valley.
I’m still baffled that current Councilmember Ellen Andeen, who is running for another term, is not even a property owner in Paradise Valley. How can you represent the interest of property owners in Paradise Valley when you’ve never been one? She might be moving out of her mom’s house soon, as she’s engaged to be married. Problem is the fiancée is not a town resident.
If her physical address doesn’t disqualify her, her shallow resume and experience should. Andeen spent her time at the podium telling us about her father’s legacy, not her own, which she seemingly has yet to establish. I was appalled when, during other candidates’ time, she turned around and chatted with her mom who was seated behind her, was on her cell phone, and at one point even stood up to walk over to her purse and grabbed her lip balm. She clearly lacks basic decorum and manners. Not PV’s finest.
Spirited newcomer Christine Labelle was equally disappointing. Based on her presentation that night, I’d say her campaign is reminiscent of someone running for Junior High spirit squad. “Give me a chance” she repeated.
I will not be gambling with my vote and supporting someone who has never even been to a Council meeting. Her bubbly personality won’t make up for the fact that she doesn’t even know the job she is applying for, and the fact that she’s already entered muddy waters with the ethics of her campaign fundraising.
Vice Mayor Thomasson shared her depth of leadership experience, both in business and politics. She spoke with class and intelligent insight into the issues facing our community today. Councilmember Dembow has a resume that reads like a novel, sharing his rich history of service to Paradise Valley and listing off the numerous improvements our Town has seen during his tenure.
I know I get three votes for Town Council on the ballot, but I will only be checking the box for the candidates who have earned their way into Paradise Valley leadership, and there are only two.
Editor’s Note: Phyliss Patterson is a longtime Paradise Valley resident.
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