By Peg Chapados
August 2, Primary Election Day, is almost here. It’s time to vote for Maricopa City Council members and I humbly ask you to support and vote for Henry Wade.
I had the honor of serving on City Council with Henry. Although our political ideologies differ, we worked well together because of Henry’s willingness to listen, consider multiple perspectives, but always striving to make decisions in the best interest of Maricopa regardless of politics. Henry puts people first. For me, our working relationship exemplified how non-partisan works well at the municipal level.
One of the first things you experience when speaking with or listening to Henry is his compassion. He loves Maricopa, he’s a devoted family man, friend, astute businessman, and a doer. His number one priority is to help make things better than he found them, but Henry does so without ever losing sight of the people involved or impacted.
One of the innovative things Henry created was “Councilmember on the Corner.” This interactive public forum accomplished two particularly important goals: it identified topics under public scrutiny, and it embraced diversity in order to stimulate discussion and achieve positive outcomes.
Henry engaged, he solicited and weighed varied public opinions, and he sought out timely topics for discussion. He included SMEs (subject matter experts) or others who could speak on the dynamics of a particular issue, and he enabled citizen engagement through constructive, open dialogue.
Henry also worked hard to empower our youth. I was fortunate to work with Henry and his wife Gayle on the Mock City Council projects. Henry made it possible for Maricopa’s youth to “walk the walk and talk the talk” by sitting at the dais, being given the roles of mayor, councilmember, city manager, city attorney, department director, etc., and tackling a city-oriented project they were enthusiastic about. The Mock Council worked that project just like a city would through their respective roles. The results were commendable and the expressions on the faces of the kids involved said it all. What they thought and how they felt mattered. They mattered. Henry did that.
Henry’s approach to connect, empower, and challenge our youth, who are undeniably tomorrow’s voters and policymakers, was inspiring and extremely fulfilling for them as well as the adult facilitators. It reaffirmed the importance of leadership, listening more than speaking, and helped plant the seeds of civic engagement as a key ingredient to a great city.
Henry Wade has accomplished much in and for Maricopa and re-electing him will allow that effort to continue. Please remember to vote, and please VOTE FOR HENRY WADE FOR CITY COUNCIL. Thank you.
Peg Chapados is a former Maricopa vice mayor and councilmember.