During my four years as mayor, I have worked hard with a talented team to keep our town at the top and true to its bedrock values and unique residential character. I am proud of this work and of my proven record of protecting and enhancing our exceptional quality of life.
Recently, my opponent has made several false statements and exaggerations in the Town of Paradise Valley Independent. My opponent also made the following remark: “Carefully consider voting records to determine who actually preserves Paradise Valley with actions, not mere words. If you want Scottsdale, don’t vote for me.”
I felt that this statement deserves some consideration, because it’s a telling indicator of what this mayor’s race is all about.
First, let’s compare my voting record to my opponent’s while I have been mayor. The truth is, my opponent voted with me 484 out of 489 times — or 99% of the time. And the five occasions where my opponent voted on the other side, her position was the losing one and contrary to the town’s traditions of good governance, due process, and civility.
Consider also consequential votes in 2017-18, before my time as mayor. Ms. Pace approved spending $320,000 on a roadway redesign, but then flip-flopped and didn’t authorize the actual roadwork. She threw away these taxpayer dollars, while I voted consistently against the expenditures.
I believe the second part of Ms. Pace’s remark above speaks directly to questions of the temperament, awareness, and respect needed to lead teams, form coalitions, forge consensus, and solve problems. It’s much harder to build bridges than to burn them.
Does our community benefit when a Paradise Valley official publicly demeans our neighbors in Scottsdale to try to gain personal political advantage?
Paradise Valley relies on Scottsdale for vital public safety cooperation, sewer services, collaboration on issues of mutual concern (such as the short-term rental problem), and other important matters. I value our town’s relationship with Scottsdale — a different, but outstanding community — and I’m proud of our work to strengthen community ties without anyone sacrificing their unique identity.
The fact is, our town has thrived during my time as mayor, despite facing many difficult challenges. This is due not just to my work, but to the hard work and dedication shown by Town Council members, staff, and residents in our community. Our town’s wellbeing takes strategic thinking, constant effort, and skill to maintain — and cannot be taken for granted.
You can continue to count on me to protect Paradise Valley’s special residential character and exceptional quality of life, just as the eleven former Paradise Valley mayors and vice mayors and many other distinguished PV leaders and community members who endorse my reelection do.
I am honored to serve as your mayor, and ask for your vote in the Aug. 2 election to continue our success.
Editor’s Note: Jerry Bien-Willner is running for reelection in the Aug. 2 primary election to a third term as mayor in the Town of Paradise Valley.
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