Q&A: Councilman David Sherf talks Paradise Valley limited government

Paradise Valley Councilman David Sherf, left, and Mayor Michael Collins. (File photo)

The Town of Paradise Valley Independent reached out to Paradise Valley Councilman David Sherf to ask him how he defined limited government. This is what he had to say:

1. What does “limited government” mean to you?

Limited government, to me, is focused on a fiscal responsibility to our residents to not have a large staff base that is expensive to fund.

2. What aspects of a limited government contribute to the unique and special qualities of the Town of Paradise Valley?

We often tout that we have more town volunteers than paid staff and that is true and I doubt if any other municipality can make this claim. Having so many active volunteers in town provides these people with a real insight on what goes on in town and allows them to better know the people making decisions and express their opinions. In turn this allows us as council members to better know more people and to listen to their thoughts. So while we may be “limited” in staff we more than make up for it through our extensive volunteer network.

3. How can a local government evolve over time?

There seems to be more issues that local government must get involved with as society and communication channels expand. To me, a key is to try and be in front of issues that we think will impact our residents so we are a proactive body rather than a reactive body. Being proactive allows us to have the necessary time to understand an issue rather to deal with an issue that suddenly may become critical. Examples of this in recent years are our efforts to curtail drones, and address party houses/short term rentals. Unfortunately, the Arizona Legislature chose different solutions to ours. Recently we were among the first towns in Arizona to address the aesthetics of small cell phone towers.

4. Having a limited government municipality is something many residents vocalize their support for — why is this is such an important aspect to Paradise Valley residents?

Residents truly value their quality of life and do not want government to intrude into their lives. More government leads to more costs. Our residents rank safety as their primary concern along with properly maintained streets and an ability to make their voices heard. Limited government allows us to fund our public safety department and maintain our infrastructure without a local property tax.

5. Does having a limited government ever present challenges?

Limited government makes us better prioritize what dollar and time resources we have, since we cannot just add staff to address issues. Challenges are always present like in any business, but when you know you have to find a way to address an issue with limited funds you tackle it that way. This is a culture of our town staff and council.

News Services 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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