City Council Candidates: In Their Own Words

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In an effort to assist voters in getting to know the individuals seeking to represent them as members of the Maricopa City Council in advance of the May 18th election, inmaricopa.com posed three questions to all the candidates:

1. If you could accomplish only one thing while in office, what would it be?
2. What do you see happening with the expansion of the City’s infrastructure in the next 2-5 years and how will it be paid for?
3. Why do you deserve being elected?

Responses from those candidates who chose to address the issues are listed, verbatim, below (in reverse alphabetical order):

PHYLLIS VON FLECKINGERIf you could accomplish only one thing while in office, what would it be?
As a leader of the community I would like to see the City of Maricopa be the pilot city of Arizona for the “Character First” program and really put emphasis in the UNITY in community. Briefly, leaders of areas of the city, education, media, faith, agencies, gov., parents, take one of fortynine character traits and focus on it for one month. For more details see www.characterfirst.com or the second issue of the March Communicator.

What do you see happening with the expansion of the City’s infrastructure in the next 2-5 years and how will it be paid for?
At the April 6th City council meeting the city appointed a public works consultant & city engineer, a planning consultant, and Wildan governmental services firm. I would take recommendations from these experts on infrastructure planning. These projects will be funded by different shared revenues, taxes, and developers.

Why do you deserve being elected?
My life experiences have prepared me to bring wisdom and knowlege to this office. I am deeply committed to represent and protect the individual not just the public in general. I have the time to meet that commitment because I do not have a business, a job, or children who need my time AND the support of over 50% of the voters of Maricopa in the primary election.

BRENT MURPHREE

If you could accomplish only one thing while in office, what would it be?
I would like to put in place, grow and maintain a system of pubic safety that will ensure that everyone in our community is secure in their homes, in their businesses and on our streets. We need all agencies involved in our community’s pubic safety to work together and coordinate their efforts. As chairman of the Public Safety Committee I have insisted that we establish this policy between the city, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department and the Maricopa Fire Department. I will also continue my relationship with ADOT and DPS to ensure that the major highway through Maricopa is safe.

What do you see happening with the expansion of the City’s infrastructure in the next 2-5 years and how will it be paid for?
If we plan well, we will see roads that meet the traffic needs of the city. We will see emergency teams with rapid response times. City services will become centralized. Parks will facilitate organized sports and community events. We can take care of all of these issues and more if we plan for the future. We have good and bad examples that we can learn from in the Phoenix Metro area. Funds are available from federal, state, county and local sources. Economic development – hospitals, industry, small business – must be in the mix early on to provide a strong foundation on which to build our community.

Why do you deserve being elected?
I don’t know that I deserve anything. I only know that I have a good track record in Maricopa for public service and leadership. I have worked to make our town safe and build community through my church and other community organizations. I have strong moral convictions and am a hard worker. Most importantly, I love my hometown and will always work to ensure that we have a good quality of life. As we grow, we need to do it wisely, look to the future and ensure that our families have a nurturing environment in which to grow.

KELLY HADDAD

If you could accomplish only one thing while in office, what would it be?
I know there are far more important issues that the city needs to accomplish; however, they are not things that we have a choice in, they have to get done and they are getting done (i.e. city code, tax code, etc.). Therefore, if I could accomplish only one thing while in office, it would be to establish a Parks, Recreation and Library Department that is second to none. I have said it over and over that I feel a Parks and Recreation department not only will provide activities for families moving to Maricopa and for those who have been here for many years, it will also become a large part of what brings a community together.

What do you see happening with the expansion of the City’s infrastructure in the next 2-5 years and how will it be paid for?
There will be a complete overhaul of the city infrastructure in the next 2-5 years do to necessity. The current Infrastructure will not be sufficient with the growth we will be experiencing. I hope that the majority of these improvements are taken care of by the developers; however, the city will be ultimately responsible. In the case that the city has to take on some of the responsibility, most of the cost will come from state shared revenues and of course city sales tax.

Why do you deserve being elected?
I deserve to be elected because I have also been working for the city through the incorporation process and as a current city council member for nearly 2 years. As a council member, I have voted on issues with the community’s best interests I mind. I have tried to make myself available to everyone to voice his or her concerns and will continue to do so if elected. I am not seeking a seat on the council for personal gain; I am simply concerned about our city and the challenges it faces over the next several years. In fact, I f I chose not to run, I would have a great deal more time to spend at home with my family and friends. Finally, I appreciate your support and look forward to serving the community.

WILL DUNN

If you could accomplish only one thing while in office, what would it be?
This question is kind of like “If you had to have only one finger cut off, which would it be?” With so much needing to get accomplished in our city right now, trying to narrow it down to one thing is nearly impossible, without other “things” of great importance being relegated to a lesser position. I believe in being straight forward and not tiptoeing around a hard question, so please don’t think I am doing this now.

If I could only accomplish one thing while in office it would be that I would always, with every decision, discussion, vote, meeting, committee, employee, citizen and friend, act with honor. I am the father of four fantastic children and am blessed with a wonderful wife; with these very important people watching me, learning from me and following my example, I must be a man of honor.

“Doing the right thing” isn’t just my slogan, it’s what I am teaching my children. It means putting the citizens of Maricopa’s interest and welfare above my own. It means, “avoiding even the appearance of impropriety”. It means making a stand when injustice is happening. It means not being afraid to speak the truth. It means being open and available to our citizens. It means saying your sorry when you make a mistake. It means working as hard as you can with every task set before you. It means be the person you want your son or daughter to become.

When we act with honor for our city, the decisions we make will be the right ones.

What do you see happening with the expansion of the City’s infrastructure in the next 2-5 years and how will it be paid for?
We are going to continue seeing tremendous growth in our City’s future and with growth comes growing pains. But with those growing pains come opportunity. Much of the infrastructure needs will be paid for by those developers that are bringing the growth to our City. This is simply a fact of economics. If they build a shoddy neighborhood, no one will buy a home in that neighborhood. The developers have a vested interest in helping us build a nice community.

There will always be people who will try to “get by, by doing a little as possible” but as a city management team, planning and zoning department and by hiring the right people, we will keep those types of people from short changing Maricopa’s citizens and future citizens.

We have already established a tax base and we receive the state shared revenue streams, as well as, the myriad other established revenue streams for a city. Should these not prove to be adequate, we can and should establish reasonable impact fees that are for the purpose of meeting our infrastructure needs. We don’t want to stop growth but our system is established so that growth must pay for itself.

It is of vital importance that we establish a vibrant, growing, sustainable economy in Maricopa. This means bringing in good jobs for our citizens and clean, long-term industry to our community.

Why do you deserve being elected?
I have never deserved any of the things I have been blessed with. To think that anyone deserves to be elected is like saying the King’s son deserves to be King because he is the son. We only have to look at history to see the fallacy of that.

What I can say is that I want to continue to be on the council because I have a vested interest in our community. That interest is my children, who besides my wife are the most important people in my life. This is their home. This will be their future. The decisions we make on the council will have a long-term impact on their lives.

Also, as a business owner in Maricopa, the success of my business is, in a large part, going to be the result of Maricopa becoming a success. While I am paid nothing for being on the Council, it is in fact a very expensive investment I must make in terms of time as well as money to do this job, the only benefits come in terms of responsible growth for Maricopa will bring responsible growth in my business.

Finally, my record on the Council stands on its own. Taxing necessities like food and electricity is wrong. Over spending of taxpayers money is wrong. Government getting itself involved in the Churches’ business is wrong. Not doing our due diligence when we hire or appoint anyone is wrong. Government regulations for the sake of regulating are wrong. Not looking long and hard at all options for our city services is wrong. This is my record on the council and I will continue pushing the council to do the right things.

I have never been afraid to stand up and ask the tough questions and when decisions are being made for our citizens I will always stand up for the best interests of our citizens. This is who I am and who I will continue to be. This is hard work and I have never been lazy. I will work hard for the citizens of Maricopa should they bless me with the opportunity to serve them on the City Council.