Paradise Valley Town Council candidates talk priorities if elected

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Paradise Valley voters will hit the polls Tuesday, Aug. 30 to elect a mayor and three members of town council.

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.

This week’s question-and-answer installment asks council candidates what their No. 1 priority will be if elected and what they intend to do, if elected, to accomplish that goal. This is what they had to say:

Mark Stanton

*If elected, what will be your No. 1 priority while serving on Paradise Valley Town Council?

Mark Stanton

Mark Stanton

My top priority is to protect our quality of life in Paradise Valley. Our quality of life is built on public safety, managed growth and fiscal stability. We enjoy a town that has thrived on smaller government and dedicated community leadership. While serving on town council my focus will be to build on our town’s success, maintain proactive communication with our residents and be responsible with our resources. Most importantly, I believe in maintaining the unique character and charm of our town and helping build the brand that showcases our amazing community.

 

*What will you do to accomplish the goals of that priority?

I will accomplish my priority of maintaining our quality of life with proven leadership, active engagement and dialog with our fellow Town residents and focusing on the details of critical issues that face our community. I will continue to represent our Town with thoughtful and balanced decisions. I believe in creating a vision for Paradise Valley and finding success through collaboration. I offer leadership, experience and an ongoing commitment to the residents and our quality of life in Paradise Valley.

Julie Pace

*If elected, what will be your No. 1 priority while serving on Paradise Valley Town Council?

Julie Pace

Julie Pace

My No. 1 priority for all of us is our quality of life. There are many things we can do to not only maintain, but improve our community in order to make Paradise Valley an even better place to live. I will work hard to protect the mountains for everyone — whether you live on the mountain or simply enjoy the ever-changing views of Camelback and Mummy mountains.

I will also work to protect the low-density residential character that makes our town unique. As a fourth-generation Arizonan and 13-year resident of Paradise Valley, I understand the importance of being faithful to our town’s heritage.

Our mountains and residential desert ambiance are what attracted many of us to Paradise Valley years ago, and are also essential to maintaining the vitality of the town’s resorts that generate revenues to avoid a property tax while providing for public safety and other town needs.
Within the past year, I have led efforts to defeat a proposed 64-foot structure on Camelback Mountain. That would have been as high as a six-story building. Shortly after that proposal was withdrawn because of our community’s opposition, we faced a proposal to dynamite a 480-foot driveway and building site for a 100-yard-long structure higher than any house on the north side of Camelback.

Proposals such as these would forever scar the views of Camelback from a large part of Paradise Valley.   In addition to preserving the mountain views, we must address drainage, erosion and infrastructure issues to improve the quality of life.  When it comes to our high quality of life, these are just some of the key issues facing us.  I intend to set the Pace by leading the way to work with the Town’s residents, the Mayor, my future colleagues on the Town Council, the Town staff and others to accomplish these goals.

*What will you do to accomplish the goals of that priority?

Whatever it takes. I owe it to the people of our community to make Paradise Valley an even better place to live. I will use my skills and experience in law, business, communications, and public service on various city committees, to get things done cooperatively and by building a consensus for practical solutions. Some people who run for office make promises they cannot keep. I am a big believer in the philosophy words and deeds must match. I look forward to using my opportunity to serve on the town council to take real action on all of the quality-of-life issues that are so important to all of us.

Specifically, I will propose the following steps so that the town and its boards and committees will be faithful to the spirit and intent of the hillside zoning ordinance:

  1. Prohibiting dynamiting on our mountains;
  2. Moving the hillside committee concept plan review for mountainside construction before variances are considered by the Board of Adjustment;
  3. Expanding the notices for construction projects that must be provided to neighbors;
  4. Avoiding taking action on board of variance decisions during August when many town residents are away;
  5. Requiring an evaluation of the impact of construction projects on drainage and erosion for nearby and downstream property owners.
  6. Maintaining an open door to welcome the ideas, thoughts, and opinions from the wealth of talent that is possessed by Paradise Valley residents.

Scott Moore

*If elected, what will be your No. 1 priority while serving on Paradise Valley Town Council?

Scott Moore

Scott Moore

My No. 1 priority will be to work with my colleagues to preserve and protect Paradise Valley’s exceptional quality of life and its unique residential character. This community is one of the finest places to live in the western United States thanks to our commitment to large residential lots, quality resort development, responsible hillside preservation, strong public safety and fiscal responsibility. We’re fortunate to live in an exceptional community with extraordinary natural beauty, despite being located in the middle of several dense and congested municipalities.

 

*What will you do to accomplish the goals of that priority?

To protect our community’s character and quality of life I’m committed to the goals that have made Paradise Valley so unique — low-density development, responsible hillside preservation, quality resorts, support of our police and fire departments and a commitment to never having a property tax. Our town’s leaders over the past few decades have understood the importance of these commitments. As we move ahead with the new Mountain Shadows resort, the new Ritz-Carlton and other large projects that are coming online, we must make sure that we hold true to these goals. I’m committed to ensuring our resorts have a positive impact on our town fiscally so we can continue to have sound funding in place for public safety without the need for a property tax. Responsible resort development is what helps us maintain the residential character that is the hallmark of our community. I’m committed to carrying on that tradition.

Daran Wastchak

*If elected, what will be your No. 1 priority while serving on Paradise Valley Town Council?

Daran Wastchak

Daran Wastchak

There are many issues of importance to the Town of Paradise Valley that I look forward to tackling as a member of the town council, including those that strengthen the quality of life for our residents, ensuring a strong police department, and adequate funding for capital improvement projects. However, my No. 1 priority, which underlies the success of each of these important issues, is maintaining strong financial health for our town. Good financial management applies to revenues and expenditures, ensuring that we have long-term, sustainable and reliable sources of revenue — without a property tax — as well as a thoughtful and prudent approach to how we spend the dollars we have.

*What will you do to accomplish the goals of that priority?

Having sat through the town’s budget development process in 2014 and again this spring, I feel very well-versed in the town’s financial position, including those areas of greatest need and stress. The No. 1 financial issue facing the town is an expenditure limitation which, beginning in 2017, will prevent the town from spending the revenues we have on capital improvement projects, public safety infrastructure, and paying down the police pension liability. Even prior to joining the council, I plan to promote the November ballot measure, which will adjust the town’s expenditure limit authority to address these important items. As a member of the council I will work diligently with my fellow council members and town staff to ensure adequate revenue from traditional sources such as bed taxes from our resorts and construction sales taxes from residential development, and also watch expenditures carefully so growth from year to year is prudent and in alignment with the town’s history of limited government.

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