Over the last few months, I have met some great people in my run for Paradise Valley Town Council. The well wishes, support, genuine advice and openness I have been gifted with by many has been a rewarding experience. I am filled with gratitude.
It’s been an honor to meet and work alongside many other residents also working toward common goals such as protecting our community from commercialization, preservation and community outreach. We have a great resource in our people!
I am humbled and quite stunned at the amount and variety of support I have received from Paradise Valley residents, friends, family and strangers alike. I take this responsibility seriously, and I take the stewardship of the support I am honored to manage with careful consideration.
This show of support has only motivated me to learn more, stay open, and brush off attacks, mockery and false statements aimed at me and others.
Because I am so very grateful for the support I have received, and take my responsibility of garnering trust seriously, I know it is necessary for me, (as much as I would prefer not to give any attention to such shenanigans) to refute a few “incorrect items” spoken by a candidate at the Eagle Society forum. While my leadership style is to rise above these types of attacks, I owe it to those who support me to respond.
Incorrect item No. 1: Mr. Dembow alleges “most of my donations are from family or Realtors.” Additionally a “long term” PV resident Phyllis Patterson, in a mimic of Dembow narratives, claims this could indicate “muddy fundraising”. Not sure what she is referring to in her op-ed but happy to speak to her about it if I can locate her, as she cannot be found on the voter rolls.
Truth: My donations come from every walk of life, and range from $50 to the max donation of $6,550. As of the first campaign finance disclosure which I turned in on time, two were Realtors. One has been a childhood friend since 7th grade and the other is my sister. Donations from family, friends and sphere is nothing to hide. In fact, my campaign contributions documents are public record.
Incorrect item No. 2: Paul claims that the night of the Eagle forum was the first night I met him.
Truth: Mr. Dembow and I have spoken on the phone and through Zoom Council meetings many times over the last two years. We have exchanged many emails. We are not strangers.
Incorrect item No. 3: There were claims made that I have not attended a single town hall meeting.
Truth: I began to be more involved in our town’s affairs and attend meetings when my neighborhood was being significantly impacted by short-term rentals and a proposed prison home in August 2020.
All meetings were online and Zoom. I have attended Town Council, Hillside and Board of Adjustment meetings via Zoom and/or streaming, and I have yet to miss one Town of Paradise Valley Historical society meeting, either in person or Zoom since that time. I have been reading agenda packets and educating myself on the process, protocol and manner of all of these.
Incorrect item No. 4 Dembow consistently states that I am running on a slate, and that he asked me this question and I did not answer.
Truth: I am not running on a “slate.” The fact that some of us get along, and support each other’s common goals and have some similar, but also independent ideas, might be a foreign idea to some on council. I am supportive of other candidates who hold similar goals of Preservation and quality of life. Dembow never once has asked me this question.
These untruths were spoken by candidate Paul Dembow in a room full of friends and family, including my parents and my young daughter, and his language and accusations were mirrored in op-eds.
The bitterness displayed, personal attacks and bullying language by both are embarrassing to the town, and do not align with the paper’s “opinions with civility” assertions.
The position of Town Council persons deserves honesty, integrity and morality and none of these ideals need to be compromised in order to win this election. Please consider who displays those traits when placing your vote.
I humbly ask for your vote, which I value and will not take lightly, on Aug. 2. Thank you.
Editor’s Note: Christine Labelle is a 45-year resident and is a candidate running for Town Council. She currently serves on the Town of Paradise Valley Historical Advisory Committee.
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