Years of experience in the private and public sectors, from teaching to owning a small business, serving on commissions and boards, and working in urban planning will help the community prepare for the future, candidates for Queen Creek Town Council said.
Queen Creek residents Robin Benning, Jeremy Benson, Jeff Brown, Jason Gad and Leah Martineau have filed petitions to run for Town Council.
The seats of three members of council --- Mr. Benning, Mr. Brown and Councilmember Jake Hoffman --- all who were elected in 2016, are up for re-election. Mr. Hoffman is not running as he is seeking office at the Arizona House of Representatives.
The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 4 primary election was July 6. If needed, the general election will be Nov. 3. Register to vote at Servicearizona.com or request a form from Maricopa County at 602-506-1511 (maricopa.gov) or Pinal County at 520-866-7100 (pinalcountyaz.gov).
For more information, contact the town clerk’s office at 480-358-3211.
Independent Newsmedia reached out to each council candidate seeking answers to a variety of questions, which can be read at yourvalley.net/queen-creek-independent. Below are their answers on what makes them different from the other candidates and how will they make a difference on the City Council.
Years working as an educator and time spent advancing legislation at the state capitol help make Ms. Martineau, 38, the best candidate, she said.
“Each candidate possesses different attributes, styles and characteristics. It is this diversity that currently makes our council strong and I believe that my background will contribute tremendously to the success of our council moving forward,” she said. “For the last 13 years I’ve dedicated myself to investing in the next generation as a teacher, currently teaching government and economics to high-school juniors and seniors and previously at the elementary level.”
She has worked with faith, family and freedom advocates at the state capitol, she said.
“Another unique element of the experience I would bring to the council is my work with various faith, family and freedom advocates at the state capitol to promote and shape legislation that reflects the values of our community. Over the last few legislative sessions I have been able to establish rapport with legislators from all corners of Arizona and am confident that both these experiences and relationships will allow me to serve the people of Queen Creek very well as a member of the Town Council,” Ms. Martineau said.
“I am extremely passionate about serving my community and seeing government be as reflective of our nation’s divinely inspired Constitution as possible. Between my passion for service and my consistent track record doing it, I hope to earn the trust of Queen Creek so that I can serve them on the Town Council,” she said.
She teaches 11th and 12th grade government and economics at East Valley High School. She previously taught preschool, kindergarten and first grade for 13 years combined.
Mr. Gad, 46, has years of experience from being on the council to serving on town commissions and his time as a military officer in the U.S. Air Force, he said.
“As a long-time Queen Creek resident, I have been a part of the community for 16 years back when we had only about 7,000 residents and so I have strong experience and understanding of our history and the decisions we’ve made across the years to serve the needs of our rapidly-growing town and our residents,” Mr. Gad said.
“I have a solid and unique set of experience, skills and capabilities gained over decades working in strategic roles across a number of industries in business, years of experience serving Queen Creek on the Town Council and on commissions and committees in leadership, and foundational background formerly serving as a military officer in the U.S. Air Force responsible for decisions and the lives of people I was blessed to be able to lead in difficult, challenging times,” he said.
Mr. Gad works as a strategic supply chain manager in the financial services industry.
Accessibility and experience are why Mr. Brown, 53, should be chosen for Town Council, he said.
“Experience --- I’ve been volunteering or serving the residents of Town of Queen Creek since 2003 on a whole host of committees and commissions and have logged easily more than 7,500 hours in service. As part of a team I was also called upon to help guide our town through the great recession and helped make many forward-thinking fiscal decisions that protected our town and helped us become even stronger as the recovery took place,” he said.
He has worked to secure freeway frontage for the town and to help connect to State Route 24, Mr. Brown said.
“I’ve been involved in all things transportation-related including our current 10-year, $200 million transportation plan that began in 2014 as we exited the great recession. I’ve been part of securing freeway frontage for our community and for connecting the near 200K residents of QC and STV to the extension of State Route 24 when it opens in 2022.”
Mr. Brown said he has a history of providing information to residents about local issues.
“Accessibility --- I simply will not be outworked by anyone on any area city/town council in terms of accessibility to the residents and stakeholders. I have a history of providing information and answering questions posed to me. In my view, part of my role as a representative is to make sure people are connected to information about their town. Local government is that which is closest to the people and I’ll continue to make that the case in Queen Creek if reelected,” Mr. Brown said.
Mr. Brown is self-employed in consultant services --- since 2007.
Experience from being a small-business owner to involvement in the town are reasons why, Mr. Benson, 37, should be elected, he said.
“I have been involved with the town consistently for years now,” he said. “Even before I graduated from QC Citizen Leadership Institute, being a local small-business owner I have been heavily involved in many aspects of the town.”
Mr. Benson owns iFixem Phone Repairs in Queen Creek Marketplace; and Light Your Garage.
Mr. Benning, 60, said he has worked with thousands of people in his career as an architect and urban planner and will use his skills to guide and develop the community of Queen Creek while on the council.
“Because of my experience as an architect and urban planner, I am uniquely qualified to guide the town as we grow into the future. Because I have worked for 35 years in development, I understand the general plan, zoning ordinances, building codes, and general requirements for new development to occur,” he said.
“I have worked with thousands of people in my career to assist them in building the homes, offices, restaurants, and shops of their dreams while ensuring that we made sure the neighbors were not negatively impacted by that growth. I have used my skills throughout my career in preparation for this role --- designing and guiding a new community in its development as a community where people desire to live, work, and grow their dreams,” Mr. Benning said.
He is on Twitter @RobinBenningQC and on Facebook @ReelectRobin.
Mr. Benning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-762-1496.