Q&A: Councilwoman Julie Pace talks Paradise Valley limited government

Paradise Valley councilmembers Julie Pace, Mark Stanton and Scott Moore being sworn into public office Thursday, Jan. 12. (Special to the Independent/Duncan Miller)

The Town of Paradise Valley Independent reached out to Paradise Valley Councilwoman Julie Pace to ask her how she defines limited government. This is what she had to say:

*What does “limited government” mean to you?

When government does everything that you want it to do, and none of your taxes are used for purposes that you do not approve.

While it is impossible to calibrate the level of government services to match with precision each person’s concepts of what limited government means, the philosophy of limited government in Paradise Valley is implemented through a lean, efficient government that provides needed services without a bloated bureaucracy.

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

Volunteerism of the town’s residents. We have an unpaid dedicated town council, unpaid excellent judiciary, many intelligent, committed and generous volunteers who serve on town committees, and we have outstanding police volunteers who expand the outreach of public safety services.

Because our town does not have a property tax, we have to deliver services effectively and economically. We have to be smart in the way we use our resources and exercise good judgment in setting our priorities. Technology plays a key role to deliver public safety services.

*How can a local government evolve over time?

The town evolves over time by being transparent, accessible to its residents, and responsive to residents’ needs and priorities. Town council and committees post their agendas in advance on the town website and there is live streaming and internet archiving of all meetings. There is public comment opportunities at each meeting. We are a small enough community to know our residents, to be available for residents to know us, to communicate with each other, and to tailor our government services to the input we receive from residents.

Because the town has financial stability, professional management, and is not having to engage in crisis management, residents are focusing more on enhancements to quality of life.

*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?

Limited government in Paradise Valley is essential to maintaining the ability to avoid imposing a property tax. The entire council is committed to continuing to be successful in avoiding a property tax.

*Does having a limited government ever present challenges?

Yes, first the town wants to provide the services people request. Doing so, without a property tax, makes us vulnerable to steps that the Legislature can take that would divert the limited revenue we have and that the town relies upon in the absence of a property tax.

Second, a limited budget and revenue sources restrict the ability of the town to achieve quality-of-life objectives that residents want, which includes addressing public safety, preservation of our mountain vistas, stormwater control, street maintenance, preserving our quiet residential ambiance and more.

I am fortunate to serve with great town council members and town staff who collaborate cooperatively and work tirelessly with the best of intentions and a commitment to limited government. We all take the time to study the issues, to listen to residents and each other, and strive to make good and enduring decisions for the overall best interests of the town we love.

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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