Elected Official Q&A: Henry Wade wants legacy of community service

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Maricopa voters elected political and community activist Henry Wade to represent them on their city council in November. The Air Force veteran’s election to the Maricopa City Council is the culmination of a record of volunteering for his community.

How long have you been in politics and what got you interested in it?
I have been actively engaged in politics since 2008. First as a PC for Pinal County Democratic Party, Affirmative Action Moderator for Arizona Democratic Party, Pinal County Democratic Party Chair, Member/ Vice Chair Maricopa Planning and Zoning Commission and now City Councilmember. I have always wanted to serve my community and this is the ultimate way of doing so,

What do you hope your legacy as a city councilman will be?
That I was a positive and productive voice for the community that I love.

You’re a strong proponent of public education. How do you think Maricopa and Arizona will fund our schools in the future?
Arizona is not doing the things our community needs to fund our schools. We are currently waiting for voter approved funding to make its way to our district.  And, of course, we recently saw our latest attempt to pass an override fail. So unless we can convince our legislative representatives to promote and/or support legislation to provide adequate funding for our public schools we will continue to short change our schools and ultimately our students.

What are your political ambitions?
Right now to be a good city councilmember.

What are Maricopa’s three greatest assets today?
Its citizens, community-based non-profit support organizations and close proximity to I-10 and I-8.

What are the city’s three greatest liabilities?  
Being located between two sovereign Native American nations, limited east-west and north-south corridors and lack of support for public education.

What impact can and will the City Council have on them?
We will have no impact on our physical location. We are currently addressing opportunities to establish transportation corridors.

How has your military experience prepared you for political and public service?
It has taught me that you must be focused on the mission and be capable of working with whoever is assigned to support that mission.

If you could change anything about Maricopa, what would it be?
Have our home values reflect the prices we paid for them in 2007.

What is a day in the life of Henry Wade?
I am an early riser and enjoy Morning Joe (MSNBC) for some background chatter and contact with the world. Soon I am out the door heading for the 347 follies. In my role as director of commercial and single family property management, I handle between 50-80 emails and phone calls daily requesting service or support. At the end of the day, I am back at the 347 follies heading home. Depending on what day of the week it is, I will attend no more than three but no less than one community meeting including Council business. A nice dinner with Gayle, a little television, if not too late, then on to bed.

Where do you see the city in five years?
I pray our population will be at approximately 75,000 and that we were able to snag a major employer, preferably high-tech or bio-metric if those industries continue to view the Southwest as premium employment centers. That our 347 overpass will be completed and delivering the kind of smooth traffic flow we require and expected. And hopefully if the Legislature does not move in the right direction to help properly fund the schools, that the city will finally view education important enough to support the schools through the override process.

What do you envision for Democrat party in Pinal County?
Continued to be challenged. I believe voters are really put off by the party system regardless of the party.

Henry Wade
Age: 60
Family: Divorced with three sons; engaged to Gayle Randolph (one son, one daughter)
Education: AA Business Management, University of Maryland – European Division.
Occupation: Director commercial/single family residential property management, Tiempo, Inc.
Hobbies: Traveling and working with youth
Maricopan since: 2007