Q-and-A with Apache Junction council candidate Walker Waldie

Two Apache Junction residents are running for mayor and four for three seats on the council in the Aug. 28 primary election. The Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent e-mailed questionnaires to the candidates. They will be posted online in the order they were received.

Walker Waldie

Name: Walker Waldie

Age: 27

Education: Pursuing bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University.

Present or most recent business/employment: General manager at Big O Tires (new store coming to Apache Junction).

Previous public office, boards and commissions (and what years): None.

What is the role of the city council?: The city council is the first line of help and assistance needed to develop Apache Junction into the best city possible. City council should be in touch with the community as well as understand the challenges that face our city today and work aggressively with the members of our community to ensure action is taken to achieve the goals of the people of Apache Junction.

If elected, what will you accomplish in your first 100 days in office?: In my first 100 days in office, I will look to work with the council members to address the issues facing our city, specifically transportation, trash collection and waste and water treatment. Additionally, I will continue to promote other city issues and community events.

What are your hopes for the city of Apache Junction?: I am a father of three beautiful children, two girls (ages 4 and 2 years) and one boy (2 months) and I am excited to see them grow up here. My wife and I chose Apache Junction because of the small-town feel with the big-city amenities. I don’t want to see our city lose its sense of community as it grows. I want to keep that community spirit here while also making Apache Junction a place for business development to thrive.

How would you rate the state of public transportation in the city of Apache Junction? What changes would you recommend?: Public transportation is something vital to any growing city. I want to work with Valley Metro to see what options they may facilitate while also exploring other options like Uber, Lyft and Waymo. Many cities around the Valley have found success from exploring all options and trying a variety of solutions.

Name one un-funded or under-funded program or project you would promote as a member of the city council and why: Something I hear time and time again as I am out listening to the members of our city is the need for a place to gather with pets. With the nearest dog park over 15 miles away, I would love to see us establish a place where we can gather and enjoy the beautiful weather with all members of our family.

What types of jobs does Apache Junction need? What is your plan for economic development?: Apache Junction has so much to offer businesses. With our quick access to the Superstition Mountains and growing population, we are ripe for new business growth. We need to see an array of entry-level, high-skill and good-paying jobs to sustain and build upon our current growth. With our tax rate at double that of Maricopa county and significantly higher than many of our neighboring cities, we need to become more aggressive and lure those good businesses to our city. I plan to work with both my fellow council members and the county to ensure that we continue to push growth and entice companies with good paying jobs into our communities.

What makes you different from the other candidates? How will you make a difference on the city council?: I am a fifth-generation native of Arizona and grew up in the East Valley. I am in a vastly different stage of life than the other candidates and I understand the challenges that many in my generation face. What I bring to the council will be a unique viewpoint, one that not only appreciates the heritage and success of yesterday, but also understands that the future is decided today. I respect all the hard work of those who came before me and I am excited to build upon the foundation they laid.

If residents of Gold Canyon petitioned to be annexed into the city of Apache Junction, would you vote yes? Why or why not?: If a petition for annexation came from the citizens of Gold Canyon and they were excited to contribute to our city, I would vote yes. Such a significant change for our city would require thorough deliberation among the members of the city council and the city at large, but in my daily life around Apache Junction, I am often reminded that many of our friends from Gold Canyon shop where we shop, take advantage of our library and parks and bring growth to our city. It would be natural for us to welcome them if that is what they choose and they were excited to contribute to the future of our community.

What opportunities do you see for regional collaboration?: The opportunities to work with all of our neighboring cities and communities are limitless. With Gold Canyon, San Tan Valley, Mesa and Gilbert, we can continue the growth that has pushed the East Valley for the past 10 years. There are many projects we would not be able to do on our own. Just as it takes all the members of our city to make Apache Junction great, it will take all of the cities in the East Valley to make our region excel.

In August voters will decide if a permanent base adjustment budget is approved in one election that would be adjusted annually by population and inflation. Are you in favor of this? Why or why not?: I am in support of the permanent base adjustment. Pinal county is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country and as a growing city, we need to be able to compete for businesses and invest back in our community. By approving the base adjustment, we set ourselves up for future success.

Twitter: @wjwaldie

Facebook: @WaldieforAJCityCouncil

E-mail: walkerjwaldie@gmail.com

Campaign office phone number: 480-208-1718

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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