Bien-Willner: A salute to Town Council’s recent successes

As Paradise Valley’s Town Council recesses for the summer, I wanted to express my thanks to everyone involved for a great first six months of this council term.

Jerry Bien-Willner

It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to serve as your mayor for the past six months. Your council and town staff, with valuable public input, has done a lot of excellent work to serve you.

We recently unanimously passed a balanced budget that funds all of our town’s needs in a responsible and disciplined way. In addition, I am very pleased that the council unanimously supported an additional significant payment into the police pension system before the end of the fiscal year, which will be up to a $3 million contribution toward the pensions of our police officers.

We also unanimously approved the town’s first ever Strategic Revenue Plan, an initiative that I advanced and worked to develop.

The strategic plan is not geared at raising revenues. Rather, it is an important tool that examines possible threats to the town’s existing revenue streams to guide the financial decision-making of this council and future councils, including resisting the temptation to overspend during good economic times, and ensure that we are achieving our mission of limited, efficient, and effective government.

You can find all of these financial documents on the town’s website: paradisevalleyaz.gov.

There are many other achievements to celebrate in these first six months, but the most significant to me is that a strong majority of this council has risen to defend the long-standing and unique low-density, residential character and values of our town.

Our great town was founded nearly 60 years ago by a determined group of visionary people who wanted to preserve a one-home-per-acre, residential lifestyle and limited government where they lived.

Like us, they respected and greatly appreciated their neighboring communities, but desired to maintain a different lifestyle and community setting for themselves. It is beyond dispute that these foundational town values have been to the great benefit of every town resident.

Put simply, we all enjoy among the highest property values, and lowest crime rates, in the entire region. This is no accident.

I sought elected office to protect these values and the resulting benefits to our citizens from them, and I will continue to do so.

In the face of a number of proposed projects this year that would ask us to stray from the town’s traditions, I am proud to have been joined by a solid group of colleagues who share in this commitment, and want to express particular appreciation for our senior councilmembers who have consistently worked with me, as your mayor, to preserve the town’s long-standing values — Vice Mayor Scott Moore, Councilman Paul Dembow, and Councilwoman Julie Pace.

The council and town staff have important work ahead of us, and I’m looking forward to a continued fantastic future for our town.

As always, I welcome your contact, feedback, and ideas, and you should feel free to reach me anytime at: jbienwillner@paradisevalleyaz.gov.

Thank you for the honor of serving as your mayor, and have a great, safe, and relaxing summer!

Editor’s Note: Jerry Bien-Willner is the mayor of the Town of Paradise Valley.

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