Hugh Hallman got a reputation as a rabble-rouser in his four years as a Tempe city councilman.
On Wednesday, the former councilman announced he will run to become Tempe’s next mayor, and he made it clear he will continue to crusade.
"This campaign will be challenging," Hallman told about 80 people at Tempe’s Jaycee Park. "It will be a challenge to all of us who support new ideas. And we will be challenging those who support the status quo."
Tempe City Councilman Dennis Cahill is also expected to announce his candidacy for mayor later this month for the primary election in March. So far, no other candidates have surfaced, though residents can put in their names through Dec. 10.
Hallman said his main focus will be to rebuild Tempe’s economy and, in turn, use that money to fix up Tempe’s aging neighborhoods. He said he will promote major developments along Tempe Town Lake and Apache Boulevard, but he’ll try to draw more compromises and offer smaller incentive packages to developers.
"We’re not the ugly kid who has to have a pork chop tied around his neck," he said.
Hallman said he uses "shuttle diplomacy" skills he developed as a business attorney to find common threads in community disagreements. In his 1998 to 2002 term, he said, he helped work out two compromises that were especially difficult: An SRP power station and a plan to build a new pedestrian bridge over U.S. 60, both of which were originally opposed by neighbors. He also found money to hire 64 additional police officers, he said.
Hallman, 41, is married and has three sons. Besides his work on the City Council, he also helped found the Kazakh-American Free University in Kazakhstan, and he wrote books on how to do business in Kazakhstan and Sonora, Mexico.