Apache Junction election results; council candidates thank voters

Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy won a second term and Councilwoman Gail Evans, Councilwoman Christa Rizzi and newcomer Robert Schroeder won as council members, according to unofficial voting results from the Aug. 28 primary election.

Voters also approved a permanent base adjustment budget that is to be adjusted annually by population and inflation. The adjustment is $5.5 million and the city’s budget could be as high as $93 million, which could allow it to fund water, sewer, trash or transit services.

Gail Evans

“I would like to thank the residents of Apache Junction for their continued support. With the passing of permanent base, Apache Junction will be ready for the future,” Councilwoman Evans said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Apache Junction voters since 1985 have approved every four years a home rule option allowing the budget to be set at the local level. The last vote was in 2016. That vote is no longer needed as the permanent base adjustment was approved.

City of Apache Junction voters primarily live in Pinal County, but some live in Maricopa County.

In Pinal County, with 102 of 102 precincts reporting (last updated at 4:18 p.m. Aug. 31; the numbers do not include all dropped-off early ballots and provisional ballots), the permanent base adjustment won, 3,355-1,208.

With Maricopa County voters, the permanent base adjustment won, 49-13.

Unofficial voting results show the following for the Apache Junction mayor and council races:

  • In Pinal County, 2,980 for Mr. Serdy and 1,980 for Dave Waldron, for mayor; and 2,967 for Ms. Evans, 3,007 for Ms. Rizzi, 2,885 for Mr. Schroeder and 2,174 for Walker Waldie, all for council.
  • In Maricopa County, with 65 votes cast, voting results show 33 for Mr. Serdy and 25 for Mr. Waldron, for mayor; and 42 for Ms. Evans, 37 for Ms. Rizzi, 32 for Mr. Schroeder and 24 for Mr. Waldie, all for council.

Christa Rizzi

“I’d like to thank the voters of Apache Junction for passing Proposition 423,” Councilwoman Rizzi said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“This is such a huge win for our great community. It allows the city to continue providing important services for the public’s safety and quality of life along with saving about $30,000 from having to be spent on putting home rule on the ballot every four years,” she said.

“I also want to thank the voters for the honor of being elected to serve a second term on the city council. I’m very excited to work with the others who won,” Councilwoman Rizzi said.

“Congratulations to Jeff Serdy, Gail Evans and Robert Schroeder. Let’s keep our city moving forward and ensure that we protect our unique heritage that makes AJ the gem of the east Valley,” she said.

Dave Waldron

“Of course I am disappointed that I didn’t prevail in the election as anyone would be. I do so appreciate the support and help I received during the campaign and value the fact that I was able to meet so many great people,” Councilman Waldron said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“Another disappointment is the extremely low voter turnout and work needs to be done to improve those numbers. About 20 percent of the registered voters determine the direction the city will take,” he said.

“Of the over 9,000 folks on the early voter list, only about 2,500 were returned. We need to do more to improve these numbers. I will be working with a group to help improve the voter turnout for elections,” Councilman Waldron said.

“The voters absolutely made the right choice on the permanent base adjustment, which will give the city many options as we move into the future. It provides the opportunity to determine our growth without having the Home Rule option every four years,” he said.

Councilman Waldron said he plans to stay active in the community of Apache Junction.

“What next for me?  I am committed to Apache Junction and want only the best now and well into the future.  I plan on staying actively involved with the city and its residents,” he said.

Walker Waldie

“I am very disappointed that I will not have the privilege of serving the people of Apache Junction,” Mr. Waldie said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“I am satisfied that we saw the need to pass the base adjustment, which will give the city the ability to prepare for the future,” he said.
“As for my plans for the next two years, I plan on continuing to try and make Apache Junction more appealing to business and families,” Mr. Waldie said.
“I will certainly be making another run for office in two years. I believe that I can help make this community reach its full potential and stand firm in my resolution to do everything possible to achieve that goal. I look forward to growing with the city and plan to make this a wonderful place to raise my family,” he said.

Jeff Serdy

“I want to thank the voters for their confidence in me for two more years,” Mayor Serdy said in an interview.

“It’s a good thing that they passed Proposition 423. It really takes off the anchors to let us adapt,” he said of home rule vs. the approved permanent base adjustment budget.

Present members of the Apache Junction City Council are Mayor Serdy, with a term expiring in 2018; Vice Mayor Chip Wilson, with a term expiring in 2020; Councilwoman Robin Barker, with a term expiring in 2020; Councilwoman Evans, with a term expiring in 2018; Councilwoman Rizzi, with a term expiring in 2018; Councilman Jeff Struble, with a term expiring in 2020; and Councilman Waldron, with a term expiring in 2018.

The winning candidates

Mr. Serdy, 58, is owner of AJI Sporting Goods. He has served on the city council since June 2007 and was elected mayor in November 2016, according to ajcity.net/282/Our-City-Council.

Associations listed on the website include Apache Junction Little League coach, volunteer and manager; Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce member; lifetime National Rifle Association member; Governor’s Tourism Advisory Committee board member; Kiwanis; Superstition Horsemen’s Association; Greater Phoenix Economic Council board member; Focal Point and Tourism Committee chairman; Dons Club of Arizona; and founding member of Superstition Business Owner’s Group.

Robert Schroeder

Mr. Schroeder is owner of Three Phase Mechanical Air Conditioning and Heating in Apache Junction.

Councilwoman Rizzi is owner of Arizona Tiremen Services (2008-present); and worked at the Apache Junction Unified School District (2004-15).

Previous public office, boards and commissions include: Apache Junction City Council (2013-present); AJUSD School Board (2016-present); Apache Junction Drug Prevention Coalition (2008-present); Superstition Boys and Girls Club volunteer/member of FOB – (2007-present); Pinal County Juvenile Court Services (2004-16); AJ Planning and Zoning Commission – (2009-13); AJ Health and Human Services – (2008-13); Apache Junction Municipal Property Corporation (2005-13); Apache Junction Industrial Development Authority – (2005-08), she said.

Councilwoman Evans is a semi-retired Realtor and owner of office rentals.

Previous public office, boards and commissions include: being appointed to the city council to fill a vacancy for one year and elected in the following election. That election term was for five years, which ends Dec. 31. She served on the planning and zoning commission for the preceding six years, she said.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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