Queen Creek's field of Town Council candidates is growing. Seven people have picked up packets to run for three open Town Council spots.
Queen Creek's field of Town Council candidates is growing.
Seven people have picked up packets to run for three open Town Council spots.
So far, there are no applications turned in to fill a council seat left vacant by Gail Barney last month.
Barney resigned from the council last month to run for mayor. So far, no one has stepped forward to challenge him.
Council members Joyce Hildebrandt, Jon Wootten and Gordon Mortensen have all decided they will not run for re-election when their terms expire next year, leaving three spots guaranteed for new council members.
Robin Benning, Jose Rodriguez, Martin McLaughlin, Daniel Hall and Cordell Rogers have all picked up packets to get their names on the ballot.
Chris Clark, who has roles with several non-profit groups in town and ran for mayor in the last election, has identified himself as the person resident Cynthia Buffington picked up a packet for a few weeks ago.
Gregory Arrington also picked up a council packet but said he doesn't plan to run for the council this time around.e_SClBRodriguez is a Navy veteran who settled in Queen Creek after retiring in 2007. He has previously lived in Mesa and San Tan Valley and now serves as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America for the area.
Rodriguez said his experience solving problems and working with people from a variety of backgrounds in the Navy make him a good council candidate.
"I just wanted to serve my town," he said. "I served my country for 20 years, now I think it's time to serve the town where I live."
He's especially interested in making sure Queen Creek keeps its small-town flavor and manages its growth well going forward.
"I really would also like to represent the Hispanics in our town. I don't see enough leadership of Hispanics in our town," Rodriguez said. "I would like to be one of the first to step up to the plate."
Two of Rodriguez's particular interests are addressing needs of day laborers and encouraging the Hispanic community to partner with the town on cultural events.
Benning has lived in Queen Creek since 2005 and worked in the area since 1999. He has served on the Transportation Advisory Committee for four years and has been chairman of the committee for three.
"I've committed the last four or five years to trying to make Queen Creek a better place," Benning said. "I think this is a continuation of my journey."
Benning's top concern is the economy and what that means for Queen Creek.
"The town is experiencing probably the most severe challenges anyone could ever face," Benning said. "It's important for people with ideas who want to be leaders to step up to the plate."
Benning wants to make sure the town continues to support residents with a variety of services.
But he said that will be difficult since impact fees and development fees, which have traditionally made up a large chunk of the town's budget, are down as growth has slowed.
Benning said he's in the process of writing up specific proposals for addressing those issues.
McLaughlin said he did pick up a packet, but hasn't decided yet whether he's running. He said he couldn't say much more until he decided whether to run.
Clark, Hall and Rogers couldn't be reached Thursday afternoon before the Tribune's print deadline.
Council packets are still available. Completed packets must be turned in by Dec. 9.