Log in

Guest Commentary

Bien-Willner: Top priorities for Paradise Valley mayor’s office


Spring greetings, friends and neighbors! As the weather warms and the desert starts to bloom, Town Hall continues to serve you.

Here are some items of note.

First, it was great to share coffee and discussion with dozens of citizens at the first “Coffee with the Mayor” event earlier this month at Town Hall. Lots of valuable information was exchanged in a relaxed setting. Please join us at the next meeting, which will be at Town Hall on Friday, April 14.

Next, I want to thank publicly all of our wonderful town volunteers. The Town Council just concluded its annual volunteer appointment cycle. We are so blessed to benefit from incredible citizen volunteerism. Thanks again everyone who has helped to make our town an even better place by volunteering or offering to volunteer.

Regarding upcoming town business, here are some of the topics I will be asking the Town Council to consider during the next several months:

• Bullet-proofing town finances: We are starting the annual budgeting process.

As we look to the future, I will continue to champion effective, limited government that never requires a property tax and has sufficient planning, resiliency, and cash reserves to weather any storm while providing top service levels.

This was our experience during the pandemic, when the strategic revenue planning initiative I brought forward before that disruption helped keep our town running optimally. I will ask for that plan to be updated with lessons learned. I will also urge the council to support conservative and prudent budgeting and robust strategic reserves, with continuing prioritization of public safety and capital project funding (such as road repairs and drainage).

I will not be seduced by any perceived bounty in the town’s current financial position. Responsible and cautious long-term planning will continue to be my focus and the foundation of our success.

• Enhanced Regional Teamwork: Since I began my service as mayor, I have dedicated myself to working cooperatively with other leaders throughout the region to strengthen our community’s position whenever possible. This has been of great mutual benefit, and one area I will be asking the council to support is allocating additional amounts — above our prior commitments — to fund ongoing regional efforts that combat homelessness.

It is in our community’s best short- and long-term interests to help those who are suffering.

All the while, the town team will continue working to promote our community’s interests at the state legislature, which includes preserving public safety tools, protecting our prized low-density residential zoning and great neighborhoods, and preventing elimination of existing revenue sources.

Please know that you are always welcome at our meetings. You can stay tuned to upcoming matters on the town’s website and by using AlertPV. We expect the coming months to include the review of local resort renovation proposals in front of the Planning Commission and council.

With my experience as our town’s longest serving directly-elected mayor, I am as confident as ever that our town remains on a winning course that both embraces and protects our community’s exceptional standards.

Please stay in touch and involved on matters in our town near and dear to you. Thank you for the privilege to serve!