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Schoenfeld: Is Paradise lost?


As our weather heats up, regrettably, so does the town’s political climate. Let us temper it now.

Recently, Councilmember Ellen Andeen filed a lawsuit challenging the signatures of council candidate Tim Dickman, necessary to place him on the ballot. Tim, a retired healthcare executive, and long-time volunteer, chose not to expend personal resources on legal defense, opting instead to continue dedicating thousands of his volunteer hours to serving this community. He graciously withdrew his candidacy and will continue to serve on the Planning Commission.

Whether Ms. Andeen's actions were influenced by others is uncertain. Nonetheless, the consequence is clear: voters are left with no choice, as now there are only three candidates for three seats. Slam dunk.

Ms. Andeen's statement that she is familiar with the effort required for a successful campaign, coupled with her accusation that Mr. Dickman lacked such effort, is ironic given her unexplained absence from council duties in February and March. During this time she missed all council meetings, apparently with no notification. While those of us following the workings of the council have observed this, we refrained from gossip or media attention. Had she, or a family member, confidentially shared a personal emergency or health crisis, I’m certain that the council would have understood her situation and indicated as such.

I treasure the civility and respect we extend to one another in our exceptional town. I extend an invitation to Ms. Andeen, Ms. Pace, and all candidates to do likewise. Our time-honored tradition of encouraging volunteers to serve is second to none. Thus, it saddens me to observe such game-playing. Let us celebrate our well-intentioned volunteers and encourage others to serve. Let us eschew litigation and disparaging remarks, and maintain a positive atmosphere. After all, we are blessed to live in paradise.

This writer is using a pen name. Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.