Christian Price is running for the mayor’s seat. He answered questions from residents March 2 as part of InMaricops.com’s series of live chats with council and mayoral candidates for the March 13 primary election.
Price is running against Councilman Carl Diedrich.
The following are answers to questions he was unable to respond to in the allotted time for the live chat.
Q. What do you consider to be the biggest difference between you and your opponent?
A. I think there are many differences between us, but one of the biggest differences I see is our management styles and the ways each deal with people. I love listening objectively to differing opinions on a given topic or subject, and I do my best to literally place myself in the shoes of that person, before coming to a decision.
Throughout the discussion, I try and ask myself questions like, why is this important issue to this person? What do they see that I do not? Where are they coming from? What does the outcome of my decision do to their lifestyle or their way of living? Why is this so important to them?
I believe this helps me truly understand and connect with people in a way that validates their concerns and issues. I believe this to be a very important trait of anyone in any elected position.
Q. What are the drivers, in your estimation, that will need to be addressed for a prosperous Maricopa in the near future?
A. There are many, but primarily, I believe them to be the streamlining of our codes, city hall departments, flood-plain mitigation, and the attracting and encouragement of new business of all sizes and types to locate inside the city of Maricopa.
Q. What has the city council not focused on that you would like addressed?
A. I believe that Maricopa is searching for its identity, its niche if you will. Right now our plans are very nebulous as we try to not let anything go by, good or bad.
And it can be hard to define a focus when there is risk in doing so. But at some point we have to make the hard decisions. We must know specifically where to focus our efforts, our resources, our time, our energy, our staff, so that our citizens can participate in all the ancillary benefits: restaurants, entertainment, retail, industrial, etc. that come with a self sustaining, self perpetuating economy.
Q. As mayor of Maricopa, what will you do that will make an immediate impact?
A. Anytime there is a changing of the guard, so to speak, there is typically a renewed vigor or excitement for things to change. Often those who were obstructionists under an old regime before are more inclined to soften their stances and be more willing to work with those now working with them.
I would like to capitalize on this honeymoon period to do my best to persuade builders, developers, networking groups, regional partners, business entities, volunteer groups, police and fire departments, city departments, the citizens that together and creatively we can work towards a renewed vision that is a successful Maricopa.
Q. Please grade the current city council 0 being not at all successful and 10 being the most successful. Why did you give it that grade?
A. First I will say that it is always difficult to give of one's self in a thankless position. I fully understand this having been on many boards of directors, committees and commissions, and so I understand that our current council has had many problems to overcome. However, there is so much more to be accomplished. With some additional introspection and refocusing of our efforts, I feel we could become an even more accomplished and transparent council.
I would give them a 7. I believe there is always room for improvement.
Q. Where do you see the city of Maricopa in five years?
A. Realistically, I'd like to see the perception and reputation of Maricopa be re-born. During our boom years there was a real excitement and energy that existed here. For many, the economy, falling housing prices, and the failure to deliver on the promises of certain amenities has left a bad taste in their mouths.
I'd like to redefine what Maricopa is today, and what it can become tomorrow, offering a new, more realistic foundation of accomplishment and goal achievement to attain the desired expectations and an increased quality of life for our citizens.
Q. Why do you want to be the mayor of Maricopa?
A. Previously answered in the live chat……..but I love this city and have my heart and soul invested in it. I would love the chance to showcase that through a policy creation opportunity.
Q. What are the strengths you would bring to the table as mayor of Maricopa?
A. There are many characteristics that comprise successful leadership. But some of the strengths I bring are as follows: I have been a successful small business owner and financial advisor for over 12 years. Understanding what it takes to survive through good times and bad. Expertly managing finances, people, budgets, expectations; under promising and over performing. I have a strong legal and legislative background having worked as a legislative analyst for the Arizona State House of Representatives. I’ve served on many boards of directors, committees and commissions; I understand working with different people and varying view points.
I am also fluent in Spanish. I know what it means to identify with people and bring various organizations together to work on a diverse range of issues.
Q. What are your expectations of the city council members?
A. First and foremost I'm a citizen and a voter. My expectations should be the same as the expectations that all voters should have of their elected officials.
They should be held to a very high standard of care. Our mayor and council members should know this and act accordingly at all times. They should be respected for the position they hold and for the effort they have put forth to get there and what they do on our behalf. But they should never forget that respect of the people must be earned.
And the funny thing about earning respect is that it must be done over and over again. It’s not a one-and-done concept. This also doesn't mean simply attending meetings in the public's stead, but rather seeking to understand the will and desires of all the people whom they represent and vote in behalf of. In my view, therein lies the element of true selfless service, universal respect for all of Maricopa's citizens, an unparalleled adherence to ethics, upholding the law, and leaving one's personal ambitions checked at the door, is/are required and demanded by our citizens.
Q. What are your expectations of yourself as mayor of Maricopa?
A. See the previous question, but if you are going to lift someone to higher ground, you must first be standing on that higher ground yourself: Thus you must “Lead by Example.” In my estimation, you cannot expect it of others if you, yourself, are not willing to live it, act it, and do it.
Q. Collectively, what do you see as the city council's strengths?
A. Anytime you bring seven unique people from different backgrounds, upbringings, thought processes and opinions, you are presented with wonderful diversity that helps bring to light various viewpoints. This is exactly where our strength lies.
But like any strength, it matters what you do with it. If we will recognize and harness this diversity to help cultivate understanding in relation to one another's stances, I truly believe this leads a council to better represent its constituents.