Mayor Collins discusses top issues impacting the Town of Paradise Valley

Michael Collins

Michael Collins

Paradise Valley voters will go to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 30 to elect three members to town council while also electing a mayor.

Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins, who is running unopposed, is seeking re-election while four council candidates are seeking one of three seats. Paradise Valley council candidates are: Scott Moore, Julie Pace, Mark Stanton and Daran Wastchak.

To be elected at the primary, candidates must receive a majority of the total valid ballots cast while the town’s races will be consolidated with the county, state and federal races appearing on the same ballot and this year the municipality will not be holding an all-mail election, according to Town Clerk Duncan Miller.

In partnership with Cullum Homes and Rose, Moser & Allyn Public Relations, the Town of Paradise Valley Independent is hosting a town council candidate forum at The Village at Mountain Shadows Thursday, Aug. 11.

The forum will be moderated by North Valley News Editor Terrance Thornton and will feature opening statements, a debate of local topics that matter and an opportunity for audience involvement.

This week’s question-and-answer installment features Mayor Collins and what he thinks of top issues impacting the Town of Paradise Valley. This is what he had to say:

•If elected, what will be your No. 1 priority while serving on Paradise Valley Town Council?
To continue to be fair, accessible and transparent, and to accomplish things that are important to residents. We have accomplished a lot over the past two years and the vast majority of residents are happy with where we are and the direction we are going. Our town council priorities over the next two years will build upon recent accomplishments and progress and continue to focus on the most pressing or critical issues.

•What will you do to accomplish the goals of that priority?
As mayor, I will join the rest of the new town council early in 2017 to establish our collective goals and objectives for the next two years. These goals and objectives will form the backbone of our agenda schedule and provide a visible direction and list of accomplishments that we seek to achieve. The next vice mayor, town manager and I will then work to bring these issues forward to the full council in a deliberate, informative, and transparent order and fashion that seeks to maximize resident participation and feedback and result in the best public decision making possible.

•Why are you pursing the mayor’s seat again?
It’s been an incredible honor to serve as the mayor of the Town of Paradise Valley. The friends I have made and the neighbors and residents I have met during my tenure on the town council have enriched my life. I hope to continue meeting new friends and neighbors as we join together in civic duty to focus on matters important to the town and making progress and accomplishments along the way.

•What have you learned during your first term that you will be able to apply to your second that will make you a better elected leader?
A former mayor once told me that one of the most important qualities of a good mayor is the ability to run good public meetings. I have always taken that to heart and I work very hard at running engaging, participatory, and successful meetings that stimulate debate and good public decision making. We are learning how to better engage residents and measure community satisfaction. I will continue to apply these lessons to run good public meetings and do my best to bring more resident input into our decision making processes.

•What role do you think zoning plays in the quality of life in the Town of Paradise Valley?
Zoning protects our private property rights by giving us predictability in land use. The 2012 General Plan allowed for rezoning or “downzoning” of 1-acre residential property only within three identified and mapped development areas (Mountain Shadows, Ritz-Carlton and the Andaz/Smoketree resort properties). Now that we have successfully initiated redevelopment in all three of these areas, we need to hold firm and resist the inevitable urge by others to expand this high-density residential and commercial zoning into other areas of Paradise Valley. It’s time to embrace and promote the exciting range of housing products associated with our three development areas and resort development pipeline. It’s time to shut the door on any additional product in the town that is not one house per acre.

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