Money Belt | Local election candidates speak at the House Forum

Wednesday nightning, five local government candidates fromIfthese attended a forum in the Globe City Council Chambers at City Hall. The event, organized by the Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce, gave each of them the opportunity to introduce themselves to the public. The forum also featured a question-and-answer session with both candidates in the only contested local race.

In this race, to represent District 5 in the Globe City Council, incumbent Mariano Gonzalez takes on challenger Matthew Storms. Gonzalez was appointed to the seat in May 2021 after council member Charlene Giles resigned. “Since then, I started running; I had to do it,” Gonzalez said Wednesday night. “I had to bring my expertise from my career to help the city deal with fires and floods. Gonzalez comes to the board with extensive emergency management experience, including 16 years with Gila County. When asked what he was most proud of as a council member, he named the city’s swimming pool renovation project. “Just opening it would have been a feat either way. To see what it becomes now is a very satisfying moment. It will be quite a showcase for the region.

“I love serving,” Storms said when asked why he wanted to represent District 5. “Since I moved here, I’ve been involved.” Storms gave examples of his community involvement; chairing the Cobre Valley Youth Club and hospital foundation, working with Gila County on their foster care board, serving on the Globe Downtown Association, and as a member of the Globe and Miami Rotary clubs. “I think District 5 needs strong representation. The City acts as a whole, but each councilor must strongly represent his district. »

“There are 7,400 people who live in the city, and although we have one of the largest districts, I believe every council member has primary responsibility for the 7,400,” Gonzalez said. “If you look at all the meeting agendas and minutes, this advice comes down to one thought: what is the greatest good for the greatest number of people?” To connect with voters, Gonzalez held Monday aftermidday office hours at the Globe Public Library. “I think that’s a goal that we as a city should expect from our elected officials – accessibility, physical access.”

If elected, Storms said he would like to focus on solutions to the housing problem. With some owners using downtown buildings for storage, Storms would also be open to the idea of ​​a warehouse tax. “I know many small towns have gone down this path and have been successful. I would be interested in reviewing it because I think we all deserve to have a thriving downtown. If you want a thriving downtown, you can’t have empty storefronts.

“At least it brings in revenue on the one hand; a business owner had the good sense to go and rent a building. On the other hand, we would prefer to have active businesses; I’m okay with that,” Gonzalez replied. “We need to create, and continue to create, more coverage of opportunity for business owners to want to come here.”

Other candidates present at the forum were Globe City Council member Jesse Leetham, seeking re-election in District 3; Gila County-Globe Justice of the Peace Jordan Reardon, seeking a second consecutive term; and Globe Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton. Asked about their biggest accomplishments, Leetham and Stapleton listed the swimming pool project, the city’s strategic action plan, the creation of an IT department and an economic development department, the reduction of PSPRS liability and support for the Hill Street School housing project. They added, however, that the board is working as a team on these goals. Leetham, Reardon and Stapleton appear unopposed.

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