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News BYTES: Paradise Valley Town Council sets 2023 legislative agenda

Photo of Paradise Valley Town Council Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner
Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner at Town Hall. (Photo Arianna Grainey/
Paradise Valley Town Council gets Highground download at Town Hall
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Paradise Valley Town Council has set its marching orders for efforts at the Arizona Legislature as the statewide governing body convened for its current legislative session earlier this month.

“We are in day 18 of the puzzle palace,” said Doug Cole, who serves as chief operating officer at HighGround Public Affairs Consultants. “The Republican caucus has gotten more conservative. The Democratic caucus has gotten more progressive. All of these people are going to have to work together and that will take a lot of time.”

Highground Public Affairs Consultants is the lobbyist outfit employed by the Town of Paradise Valley.

During the Jan. 26 work session discussion at Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive, Mr. Cole outlined the formal legislative agenda pointing out how things have changed — and stayed the same — at the Arizona capitol as the results of last November’s general election unfold.

“There will be a lot of focus on homeless, homelessness and affordable housing,” Mr. Cole said of the change in persuasion at the Arizona Legislature.

“We haven’t seen a by-right bill yet. There are about 800 bills that have been introduced in the last 18 days.”

Found part of the Jan. 27 Town Council report is an outline of what Paradise Valley leaders seek to accomplish at the Arizona capitol this session.

“Efficient and effective solutions to difficult problems should not create new agencies or regulations nor duplicate existing ones,” the summary of the legislative agenda reads. “Our residents value the ability to determine appropriate service levels to preserve PV’s many unique qualities.”

For the elected of the Town of Paradise Valley, the ideas around ‘limited government’ continue to ring true at the Town Hall.

“This council has been very involved in the lobbying at the capitol,” said Paradise Valley Town Manager Jill Keimach as Mr. Cole outlined how in regard to new short-term rental regulations the Town Council served as the tip of the spear at the capitol.

Mr. Cole points out Paradise Valley Town Council was a key piece in the eventual passage of Senate Bill 1168, which allows certain local regulations for STR properties within municipal bounds.

“That was a monumental effort, and you led the charge on creating local ordinances,” he told Paradise Valley Town Council. “SB 1168 is not perfect, but it is a lot better than it was before.”

Of Note: Read the agenda report:

Mr. Cole pointed to a newly introduced bill coming out of Sedona whereas legislation is sought for communities with fewer than 17,000 full-time residents can treat STR properties in terms of the tax code as transient lodging enterprises.

“This is outside of the moratorium … the effort is to make it a part of transient lodging,” he explained of the new bill. “The bill has not been assigned to committee yet.”

Mr. Cole points out it would not be a legislative session in Arizona without a pursuit to end the usage of photo radar.

“As the sun rises, it would not be a legislative session without a bill on the prohibition of photo radar,” he said of newly introduced House Bill. “We got it killed last time, it was fun and we will do it again.”

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