Paradise Valley officials report nearly zero gifts during tenure

Former Mayor Michael Collins was the only elected official between 2016-18 to report any received gifts valued over $500, a records request shows. (File photo)

In the past three years, only one Paradise Valley elected official has received gifts to report through a local financial disclosure statement.

A public records request submitted to the Town of Paradise Valley, for gifts received during years 2016-18, produced the local financial statements for the town council members during that time.

Former Mayor Michael Collins was the only elected official to disclose a gift valued at more than $500: Tickets to Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in 2016 and 2017.

A “gift,” as defined on the Arizona financial disclosure statement, is a gratuity, special discount, favor, hospitality, service, economic opportunity, loan or other benefit received without adequate consideration and not provided to members of the public at large. In other words, a personal benefit an elected official or member of their household received without providing an equivalent benefit in return.

Items which do not qualify as gifts include gifts by will; gifts received by intestate succession; gifts distributed from a living or by will trust established by a spouse or family member; or political contributions reported on campaign finance reports.

The document requires elected officials to disclose gifts over $500 received by the public officer or household member.

The public records request includes financial disclosure statements for:

  • 2016: Former Mayor Michael Collins and councilmembers Jerry Bien-Willner, Paul Dembow, Maria Syms, Mark Stanton, David Sherf and Mary Hamway.
  • 2017 and 2018: Mr. Collins and councilmembers Mr. Bien-Willner, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Sherf, Mr. Dembow, Scott Moore and Julie Pace.

The financial report for 2019 will be due by elected officials on Jan. 31, 2020, town clerk Duncan Miller said.

News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at mrosequist@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Mrosequist_

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