What are your priorities if elected to Gilbert Town Council?
Chuck Bongiovanni, co-founder and CEO of Majestic Residences Franchise Systems
"Fiscal Accountability: The town government always needs to remember that tax revenue comes from citizens and businesses. It is the people's money—not the government's. Being good stewards of the money is extremely important. That leads to transparency. It is vital that government is transparent with all aspects of government spending and includes citizens along the way—not just telling them what they are spending their money on but helping them understand why that specific project is essential.
"Responsible Growth: Responsible Growth means so many different things to so many different people. For some, that means never changing anything and stopping all new development. For others, that means developing areas that don't include their own backyards. Responsible Growth doesn't mean I'm against growth like some of my opponents. It simply means that with growth comes responsibility, both governmental and individual. I believe that there may be some reasons to request code changes, but developers must be able to verbalize how such changes will benefit the community and the Town's shareholders, not just their own.
"Quality of Life: Quality of life means so many things. It can be traffic for some people and lower taxes for others. Quality of life also includes being heard. Citizens must feel like the Town is theirs. This means we need to find ways to increase civic engagement and respect the input from our citizens."
Bobbi Buchli, real estate broker
"Residents first, government transparency, fiscal conservative, keep taxes low/stop the overspending, oppose Commuter Rail, low density/low height apartments—oppose high rise/high density, support our Police, Fire and Ambulance services "
Mario Chicas, account representative
"Responsible growth: Leadership is confident the town of Gilbert will grow to the max occupancy of 330,000 residents. I understand why people move to Gilbert—it’s for the same reasons I moved to Gilbert, to raise a family and live in a safe town. The town has given the council access to $515 million dollars. I want to see this money spent responsibly. Limit the tax burden on Gilbert residents. Protect the civil liberties of Gilbert residents. No shutting down private businesses. No masking children or adults and allowing full bodily autonomy. No government mandates. "
Michael Clark, president of Digital Illustrations LLC & AW Sales LLC
"(1) Crime Lab and support to all first responders, (2) Family Advocacy Center, (3) Apartments not to exceed 3% of Gilbert's landmass, (4) Water Conservation, (5) Support the Reserve Fund for infrastructure, capital replacement, and repair, (6) Improve the Northwest Corridor, (7) Improve transparency, (8) Support programs to keep Gilbert's Heritage, (9) We need to be a good steward of the resources available and the assets we already have. Community first!
"When you read other candidates' information, look for the word 'I.' There is no 'I' in 'Team.' Serving Gilbert is my goal and passion."
Yung Koprowski, civil engineer, council member
"From replacing and maintaining our aging infrastructure to providing exceptional community amenities, I will ensure Gilbert continues to provide the best quality of life for our families. I will advocate for efficient use of your tax dollars while providing comprehensive and innovative services for residents and businesses. I will support business prosperity, diverse employment, and higher education so our children and grandchildren have bountiful opportunities to live and work in Gilbert. With growth comes challenges. I will continue to back our Police and Fire departments so they have the tools, training and resources needed to protect and serve our community. "
Bus Obayomi, management consultant
"(1) Protecting property rights, (2) Maintaining our high home values, (3) Supporting our schools and public safety personnel."
Scott September, regional manager, council member
"My wife and I moved to Gilbert 18 years ago to raise our family. Our sons are now adults, and I want Gilbert to be a place that our sons, and others, would want to raise their families. To do this, I have three priorities: (1) Maintain a well-equipped and staffed police and fire department to keep our town and neighborhoods safe, (2) Keep taxes and service fees low while maintaining the highest level of services that Gilbert citizens deserve, (3) Promote responsible growth and prioritize commercial development as we near build-out to ensure we have balance in our community and robust economic drivers that support our infrastructure long term."
Bill Spence, retired U.S. Navy nuclear engineering officer
"I have a common-sense, conservative approach to government leadership. I believe government decisions should be data-driven and derived logically versus ideologically. I believe that 'less is more' and that regulation should be clear, concise and the minimum necessary to assure fair application of the law. Local government should ensure the safety of residents, provide high-quality services and develop growth plans that represent the desires of residents and needs of business.
"Economic and Workforce Recovery—The current economic environment has created a unique set of challenges that must be addressed. Recruitment and retention of qualified employees must be a priority. Additionally, we must work to overcome the critical manning shortfalls within our Fire and Police departments, and other departments that provided essential services to our town. Inflation, supply-chain issues, and other resource constraints will cause problems with essential town projects. We must aggressively manage our capital improvement and maintenance timelines so that we receive high-quality results that are both timely and at a minimal cost to the taxpayer.
"Review of Town Code/Ordinances—During the pandemic, the town identified several ambiguous, ineffective and outdated ordinances, and it’s now time to capture and codify the best efficiencies and process improvements. We must also conduct a thorough review to ensure intent, value, and enforceability of our ordinances, and streamline these processes to allow businesses and residents to execute town business in the most efficient manner.
"Veterans Initiatives – I helped create Gilbert’s Veterans Advisory Board (VAB), and I believe that they are ready to expand their reach into no-cost Veteran Business and Workforce Assistance initiatives. This is a relatively untapped resource of highly skilled and experience workers, and potential entrepreneurs, that are available to support Gilbert businesses at all levels. It is my goal to make Gilbert, and the East Valley, a preferred destination for veterans to live and work following their military service."
Jim Torgeson, owner Mesa Sign Shop
"To rein in an explosive budget, contain the rapid urbanization of Gilbert and increase awareness of what Gilbert, as a government, is doing. I want to prioritize Police and Fire because they are one of the most basic services we demand. We should be all about our infrastructure so we can handle more commerce and home building without impeding the quality of life for those who already live here. Finally, I'd champion a battered women (family) shelter for the most at risk in our community. What's fair is fair, and doing our part is truly the role of government."