We know our beautiful mountains, rural desert lifestyle, and one-acre zoning make Paradise Valley a great place to live, but the people who live, work and volunteer here truly make this paradise.
Our town staff is dedicated to making Paradise Valley feel like a community.
Here police officers knock on your door to let you know your garage door is open, our code compliance officer keeps a pair of loppers in her car to help a senior resident trim the occasional bush or tree limb, and our public works team plants flowers in a desolate traffic circle within days of a resident suggestion!
Our volunteer board and commission members have the experience and professional qualifications that would be the envy of any major U.S. city.
Council recently interviewed over 30 applicants to fill a dozen vacancies and we had to choose between CEOs, university professors, venture capitalists, billion-dollar real estate agents, entrepreneurs, Ph.Ds., architects, builders, EVPs of multibillion-dollar companies, law firm partners, physicians and others.
I was inspired by the number of accomplished professionals who volunteer to serve our town.
The town is well-managed and, as such, council and staff are always working to further improve our processes and enhance our quality of life. Earlier this year, working with other cities and towns, we defeated a short term industry-sponsored bill that offered only a tiny band-aid on the wound of out-of-control short term rentals.
As we continue the fight to regain local authority over these short term rentals, our staff, council and volunteers will continue meeting with these companies, lobbyists, law enforcement officials, neighborhood groups, the Governor’s office and our legislators until we regain the ability to preserve our PV quality of life.
Additionally, we unanimously passed our 2021/2022 healthy, balanced budget with sufficient funding for our police, and we settled the litigation with Five Star Development.
Finally, an ethics attorney hired by town staff to evaluate assertions of conflict of interest by several council members against other council members found that none of the assertions rise to the level of an illegal conflict of interest. I was not at all surprised by that conclusion, just glad that chapter is behind us.
As we head into summer, I thank Mayor Bien-Willner and my council colleagues, our staff and dedicated and talented volunteers for their work this past fiscal year. We have a lot to be proud of. I look forward to returning in person to the council dais in September.
Until then, you have my continued commitment to stay focused on my job of listening to all our residents, trusting the thoughtful work of our volunteer commissioners and working with our staff to make a great Paradise Valley even better.
Let me know if I can help: athomasson@paradisevalleyAZ.gov.
Editor’s Note: Anna Thomasson is a member of Paradise Valley Town Council.