Collins: pursuit of Capital Projects Committee meant to help better inform community

Thank you to those residents who have participated in neighborhood meetings and discussions about the planned improvements along East Doubletree Ranch Road.

Michael Collins

Many of you living along this stretch of road have voiced concern over specifics of the proposed project as well as the lack of opportunity to participate earlier and more often in the project planning and design process. I fully understand your frustration and accept your criticism.

Your concerns about the proposed changes, as well as the lack of opportunity for resident involvement, highlight some significant gaps in our process as a town in informing and engaging our residents about capital improvement projects planned for their neighborhood.

As one of my last major initiatives as your mayor, I am proposing changes to our process to close this gap and improve communications to give residents like you more opportunities to participate early and often in future capital improvement project planning.

Throughout my tenure on the Town Council, I have actively increased public engagement in other areas of town governance, including the formation of resident groups such as the 2012 General Plan Advisory Committee, 2013 Public Safety Task Force, Advisory Committee on Public Safety (ACOPS) in 2014, and the Homeowners Association Advisory Forum in 2015.

Residents often tell me how much they appreciate these new groups and believe they have been tremendously successful in improving resident engagement with town governance and its processes. I plan to use a similar initiative to address the proposed Doubletree Ranch Road improvements as well as future capital improvement projects.

At the Nov. 1 Town Council meeting, I will ask the council to form a standing Capital Projects Committee with a primary purpose of improving resident engagement, education, and participation early and often in capital project planning and design. This volunteer committee will help ensure that resident feedback is actively solicited and adequately and appropriately considered early in the design and timing of any potential future capital projects.

At the Nov. 15 Town Council meeting, I will ask the council to only move forward with improvements to the town entrance at the Doubletree and Scottsdale roads intersection at this time. I will ask the council to refer the balance of the project, including the proposed traffic circle at Doubletree and Invergordon, to the newly-formed Capital Projects Committee for future discussions with residents starting in 2019.

Creating an appropriate town gateway and entrance to our neighborhood is a simple, affordable and valuable improvement that I hope everyone can support. It was identified as a critical need in the 2012 General Plan and championed by residents at the first neighborhood meeting.

Thank you again for being involved in the community.

I remain committed to responding to your concerns over the impact of proposed improvements to this stretch of East Doubletree Ranch Road. I invite you to contact me directly with any questions or additional comments that you may have at mcollins@paradisevalleyaz.gov.

Editor’s note: Mr. Collins is the mayor of the Town of Paradise Valley

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