Syms: Steering a sound fiscal course and puttin’ on the Ritz

One of the great things about our democracy is that our leaders can engage in a robust, public dialogue on the budget and other issues and when all is said and done, respectfully agree to disagree.

Maria Syms

Maria Syms

After the budget vote, my fellow councilmembers and I shook hands and agreed that we look forward to working together to find ways to save money in the future. Several of my colleagues noted that when some of the line items we disagreed about come back to us for appropriation, they will look at them carefully with an eye to the town’s financial health before granting final approval.

That is a good thing and I appreciate those who are willing to revisit some of these topics at that time. I will hold them to that promise. While we may disagree about the course, method or priorities, one thing is clear, everyone on the council is passionate about ensuring the very best quality of life for our residents.

I applaud their volunteer efforts to make that happen.

I have often said the best way to ensure the fiscal health of the town, is to encourage responsible resort revitalization and development in keeping with our values of open space and low density.  So it was very appropriate that the Ritz-Carlton application was on the council agenda right after the budget vote. The project will now move on to the Planning Commission this summer — working on the details on what appears will be a world class resort for our community.

Our town derives a significant amount of our revenue to pay for public safety and other services from bed taxes generated by the resorts and some projections show the Ritz generating as much as $8 million in revenue for the town.

The developer of the project, Jerry Ayoub, has publicly stated that the Ritz will be the jewel of Paradise Valley. As I told him at the meeting, we consider Paradise Valley the jewel of Arizona and his project better keep it that way. We are watching and no doubt will have more robust debates on this when we return in the fall.

For more information on Planning Commission and town council meetings where you can participate in dialogues on budget items, the Ritz, Mountain Shadows, public safety and other topics, I encourage you to visit the town’s website at paradisevalleyaz.gov.

For additional news about the Town, you can also visit my website at symsforpv.com or like me on facebook at facebook.com/symsforpv.

Thank you and I wish you and your family a happy and safe summer!

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