The Apache Junction City Council election is nearing in a few short months.
The 2022 primary election is Aug. 2 and will include four candidates for three seats: Darryl Cross, Ari Kalan, Robert Schroeder and Bryan Soller.
As the primary election nears, the Independent is conducting Q&As with each council candidate to get his opinion on various topics to do with the city of Apache Junction. You will also see a similar Q&A series for the two candidates vying for the office of mayor: Mehmood Mohiuddin and Chip Wilson.
This is the second installment of the Q&A series, asking candidates, “What do you think should be the city’s priorities?”
As the election gets closer, keep an eye on yourvalley.net/apache-junction-independent and the print edition of the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent for more from the Q&A series.
Ari Kalan, 34, works in general construction and remodeling. He has been back living in Apache Junction for three years; he grew up in Apache Junction and graduated from Apache Junction High School in 2006.
What do you think should be the city’s priorities?: As a city, our youth and children are our future. It is imperative that we afford them an excellent education as well as extracurricular activities for the development of all ages.
We also need to develop and incorporate into the downtown plan a city aesthetic that keeps our rich, rural and Western history alive. As a city, we also need to make sure that with the current and inevitable growth, that we grow responsibly and make sure that our infrastructure and amenities can handle the influx of traffic.
We need to work closely with ADOT and keep the pressure on them to resolve the daily and seasonal traffic backup on U.S. Highway 60 with a plan to add at least another lane in both directions from Signal Butte through past Gold Canyon.
Robert Schroeder, 50, is owner/operator of Three Phase Mechanical Air Conditioning & Heating. He has lived in Apache Junction for 15 years.
What do you think should be the city’s priorities?: I feel the city’s priorities should be transparency and communication with the public, safety and learning to balance growth without overshadowing the mystique and legends that is the Superstitions that has made Apache Junction the epicenter for travelers and film makers. Growth is good. Balanced, healthy growth is better.
Bryan G. Soller, 62, is a police lieutenant. He has lived in Apache Junction for 3.5 years.
What do you think should be the city’s priorities?: Very calculated and reasonable growth. Ensuring we have the natural resources, understand the impact of growth on the community and keep Apache Junction from growing out of control.
Darryl Cross, 57, is a fire sprinkler service technician. He has lived in Apache Junction for 18 years.
What do you think should be the city’s priorities?: Recently the city was given a presentation on a 10-year strategic plan. This plan gives the city very specific areas to focus on which include manufacturing, retail, hospitality, entertainment and tourism. The plan also sets priorities. The four big priorities are: business recruitment and expansion, workforce development, livability and tourism development.
In addition to these priorities, I think the city should come up with a plan for the downtown area that is more in tune with what the community wants to see developed. A great number of folks want to see a theme and design that reflects our Western heritage. They don’t want that big-city entertainment district and nor do I.