Perkins declines Paradise Valley Town Manager position

Less than one month before newly hired Paradise Valley Town Manager Mark Perkins was to take his post, the Missouri-resident has decided to stay put.

Citing a very deep and long-standing tie to his community of Creve Coeur, Missouri, Mr. Perkins alerted the Town of Paradise Valley in December that he wished to terminate his employment contract with the town.

“Mr. Perkins contacted the council and stated that, after a period of difficult soul searching, he couldn’t get himself to leave his current position in Missouri — where he has been for almost 20 years,” Mayor-elect Jerry Bien-Willner said.

“While I believe this development was somewhat disappointing to the council given the unanimous support for his selection, changes in staffing in an organization like ours are to be expected, we are always well prepared for staffing changes and will remain prepared while I am mayor, and we have moved forward without missing a beat.”

The Town Council met on Dec. 21, voting 6-0 to approve the mutual agreement to rescind and terminate the Town Manager Employment Agreement and associated releases and related terms. Mayor Michael Collins was absent from the meeting.

Brian Dalke (submitted photo)

Interim Town Manager, Brian Dalke, will remain leading the town until a permanent town manager is selected. Town officials say the next steps of selecting a permanent manager will be determined by the incoming Town Council, which takes the helm Thursday, Jan. 10.

“We have many options available as far as recruitment, and I’m confident that the council will make studied, wise and timely decisions about the upcoming recruitment cycle,” Mr. Bien-Willner said.

Mr. Dalke was selected to take the interim position in August, after prior Town Manager Kevin Burke announced his departure to take a roll in the city of Peoria. Mr. Dalke, who came out of retirement for the temporary job says it’s been a great opportunity to work for the town of Paradise Valley.

“If it was earlier in my career, it would have been a privilege to serve as the long-term town manager,” he said.

“However, it has been a great opportunity to come out of my early retirement for this interim position. I remain committed to assisting the town as they transition to the next manager. I truly am enjoying the opportunity to work with the council, staff, residents and resort/business leaders. Paradise Valley is an amazing community. Serving as the interim manager has been one of the highlights of my local government career.”

Dawn Marie Buckland, deputy town manager. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Deputy Town Manager Dawn Marie Buckland says there isn’t a timeline set as to when a new manager may be selected, citing it’s dependent upon the process the new council decides to undertake.

“The town manager must be a consummate professional, a servant leader, and a gifted problem solver,” Ms. Buckland said of qualities necessary for Paradise Valley’s town manager.

“This position requires a great sense of balance: positioning the town for short and long term success; providing exceptional management of the town’s finances; implementing the council’s goals with excellence; providing strategic direction while tending to day-to-day operations and details; and soliciting and synthesizing ideas and solutions from the tremendous expertise we have throughout the organization and the community.”

News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at or follow her on Twitter at

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