Longtime Tempe activist John "Hut" Hutson has become the first person to declare he will run for one of three seats opening on the Tempe City Council.
The March election could be a big draw — Tempe residents also will elect a mayor. Mayor Neil Giuliano, who was voted into office in May 1994, is not eligible to seek reelection because of term limits.
Hutson, 62, has been an active Tempe resident since he moved to the city in 1960, having served on various boards such as those for the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and the Tempe Jaycees.
He is co-chairman of the committee forming Tempe’s General Plan 2030 and treasurer of the Tempe Industrial Development Authority, which helps companies in Tempe.
He also has worked to get voter approval of seven bond measures, two budget override measures and a sales tax increase. And he worked on developing Tempe’s strict rental code.
Hutson first ran for City Council in 1968. There were 16 candidates seeking three seats, and he didn’t make it to the general election. He is now retired, and has worked as a senior administrator for an airline research company, owner of a oil and gas consulting business and a deputy warden for the Arizona Department of Corrections.
"Management is management," he said of his diverse career. "You surround yourself with good people, and if you’re a good manager, you can do anything."
Hutson also puts up lighted decorations on Hayden Butte each year during the Christmas season. He and a group of friends maintain the figures, along with a cross they place on the butte during Easter.
He and his wife, Sandi, have been married for 38 years and have two sons.