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Opinion

Winkler: Vote Anna Thomasson for mayor

Posted

After serving on town council for 10 years and two years as your mayor, I have an appreciation for what is necessary to be a strong mayor. 

The council has benefitted having Mark Stanton, but I do not think that the CEO and president of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce should be the next mayor of Paradise Valley. Conflicts aside, the responsibility of our town’s mayor takes a tremendous amount of time and strong leadership. If you plan on being an effective community leader, the job of mayor must be your first priority.

Mary Hamway has council experience and spearheaded a number of projects for the town, we thank her for her contributions. Mary and Mark both voted for the Ritz project in 2015. Voting against the project were our current mayor, Jerry Bien-Willner, Paul Dembow and David Sherf. David Sherf was appointed to council because of his extensive knowledge in the resort industry.

When the Ritz came before council, Mary and Mark did not take the recommendation of our industry expert and approved the project anyway; nine years later the Ritz has yet to see the light of day. Those who opposed the project wanted a Ritz-Carlton Resort, but believed the residential component of the project was entirely too dense for Paradise Valley; we are living with the results of that decision. Mark and Mary voted for the extreme density the developer wanted.

Anna Thomasson has been on town council since 2019, after her service on the Board of Adjustment in 2018. She was unanimously elected vice mayor in 2022. She has proven to be driven by facts, not fiction. She has taken tough stances on overdevelopment by meticulously researching proposed density and then working with project developers to bring density down, as she did recently with the SmokeTree Resort. I urge you to vote for Anna.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.