Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins eyes end of political road

Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins says he is moving on from the local political arena at the close of his current term.

Michael Collins

Mayor Collins says he does not anticipate resting on his laurels during the remaining 22 months of his time at the helm of the Town of Paradise Valley.

“I want to spend the next two years in office absent of any reelection drama and focused on wrapping up important projects underway, setting the stage for greater public participation in town governance, and hosting a smooth transition of effective town leadership,” he said in a Feb. 28 statement.

“I’ve told council colleagues and senior town staff about my decision not to seek reelection. I wanted to share the news not just with a few insiders, but with the entire community.”

Mayor Collins has been a public servant at Town Hall since 2007. First being appointed to the Paradise Valley Planning Commission and serving from 2007 to 2010. He then went on to being elected to town council in 2011 until his successful run in 2015 for the station of mayor.

Mayor Collins says he is looking to see others lead the Town of Paradise Valley’s next municipal chapter.

“It’s been an incredible run and we’ve accomplished a lot over the past dozen years and don’t get me wrong we’re not done yet,” he said. “But a tremendous amount of my time and mental focus has been spent with past and present council colleagues, town volunteers and staff to achieve the progress we have. As we continue 2012 General Plan implementation and wrap up resort development activities, I would like to see others around me step forward to lead.”

Mayor Collins says he sees his role changing in the world around him.

“I would like to start spending a little more time mentoring others and more time in the present with my family, my friends and my business as I make myself available to whatever life has in store,” he said. “The town is well positioned for continued success and financial strength, and I’ve always been one to leave while on top.”

The Town of Paradise Valley Independent reached out to Mayor Collins upon learning of his pending political announcement to learn more about the decision. This is what he had to say.

*What have you learned during your time as mayor?

My decade of service to the town has been an incredible journey and learning experience. I’ve learned how municipal and state governments and legislative processes work and how they don’t. I’ve sharpened my skills as a chairman, chief executive and community leader. I’ve honed my confidence running constructive and productive public meetings. I’ve learned how to get things done that matter. But most importantly I’ve learned how amazing the people in this community are and how lucky I’ve been to meet and serve them.

*How do you plan to spend the last two years of your time as mayor of Paradise Valley?

It’s a given that I will continue to fight for public safety, better cell phone reception, increased property values, improved roads and streets, completion of resort development projects, and fiscally conservative budgeting and financial planning. But I’ve also started to think about succession planning, and sharing the experience and lessons learned over the past dozen years in service to the town with my council colleagues and friends and neighbors.

We’ve made significant progress in delivering transparency in government and I hope to embed some of those principals into our policies and procedures. I will continue to defend the success of a directly-elected mayor against those who seek to weaken the position for personal or political gain. I hope to spend the next two years demonstrating even more leadership, getting more residents engaged and participating in local government, and hosting a smooth transition of effective town leadership. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I am excited for the next two years and beyond.

*What lies ahead for Captain Collins?

During my tenure with the town I’ve been fortunate to have council majorities committed to reducing crime and making significant improvements to public safety, stimulating resort development, investing in infrastructure, and improving the financial strength of our town. But we can’t rest on these past achievements. We still need to fix cell phone problems and finish our resort development projects while staying committed to and focused on public safety. I look forward to working with this new council to continue our trajectory of success. I look forward to making my skills, knowledge and experience available to whatever opportunity comes my way. It’s an exciting time to be the mayor of the best small town in America.

*What do you think you accomplished during your service to the Town of Paradise Valley?

  • Worked hard to make the new Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley Resort a reality. The result? Soon we will see the groundbreaking of an amazingly world-class development and the first Ritz-Carlton resort property to be built in North America in the last 10 years.
  • Led the effort to form, and then chaired the Town of Paradise Valley Public Safety Task Force to review existing public safety services and performance and make recommendations to improve public safety. The result? Reduced crime, significant improvements to public safety technology and infrastructure, more patrol officers on the street, and improved performance
  • Led the effort to provide solid long-range planning for Paradise Valley’s future through chairmanship of the General Plan Advisory Committee and leadership in writing the town’s 2012 General Plan. The result? A plan that was approved by 80 percent of voters and resulted in resort redevelopment in all three development areas.
  • Led the new town manager recruitment process. The result? We brought a successful and effective new town manager into the position who has focused the organization towards improved customer service and quality of services provided to residents. We have also hired a new police chief and new director of finance and government affairs, thus completing a healthy renewal of senior staff leadership positions.
  • Worked with Mary Hamway in bringing storm water management to the forefront of council discussions. The result? Two watershed studies are underway to identify flood-prone or flood-damaged areas of town, identify potential solutions to reduce risks to human health and property damage, and prepare storm water management policy alternatives.
  • Worked hard to win approval for the long-overdue reconstruction of some of the worst roads in town. The result? We have completed the reconstruction of Mockingbird Road between 52nd and 56th streets; Stanford Drive between 32nd and 40th streets; and 56th Street between McDonald and Lincoln drives and are in the process of designing a new Mockingbird Road and traffic improvements to Lincoln and Tatum. Also See www.pvmayorcollins.com

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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