Jeff Struble, candidate for Apache Junction City Council

Jeff Struble

Jeff Struble

Name: Jeff Struble

Age: 53

Education: Rapid City (South Dakota) High School; Northern State University – Aberdeen, South Dakota; Bachelor of Science in accounting, finance and economics.

Present or most recent business/employment?: Owner of Padgett Business Services, an accounting and tax practice, 1999-present.

Why are you a better candidate than your opponent?: I am qualified to be a councilman for Apache Junction for the following reasons: I have a vision for the city and I will focus on working toward the vision with every decision that I make. That vision is for Apache Junction to be the example of prosperity, compassion and forward thinking for the other communities of Arizona and the nation. I have served on numerous boards with policy and budget authority, including the Superstition Mountains Community Facilities District No. 1 (sewer district), 2013-present. I have also served on AJ Parks and Recreation Commission, AJ Municipal Property Corp. and the AJ Industrial Development Authority. I have served as the CEO of rural medical facilities in Wyoming and Montana from 1989-99. During that time I dealt with all aspects of personnel, budgeting and government relations (local, state and federal). Since 1999 I have operated an accounting and tax practice throughout the Valley. I consult with small businesses in navigating through the immeasurable government regulations. This experience has given me the ability to listen, ask questions, learn and make decisions that affect individuals and the organizations.

In response to citizens’ concerns, the Apache Junction City Council at its regular April 19 meeting postponed acting on proposals that could extend the life and increase the height of the Apache Junction Landfill, which is nearing capacity, until the fall. Are you in favor of the landfill being increased in height and its life being extended? Why or why not?: Under the current circumstances the landfill does not have an end date, just a height level restriction of 1,685 feet above sea level. The landfill has been extending the projected close date for years because of changing economic and efficiency variables. There are various projected end dates out in the community rumor mill, 2023 to as high as “who knows?” I understand the citizens’ concerns for health and visual unsightliness. I also understand the need for economic development south of U.S. Highway 60 and how the land will be used in the future. From what I understand from the latest negotiation between the city and the landfill there will be an end date of 2035, an increased height to approximately 1,710 above sea level. In addition, the landfill will contribute to the city approximately $1.5 million to put toward the land development into a recreational area and plant some trees now to block the view of the landfill. If the height is achieved before 2035 the landfill will close the facility and still pay the money to the city. In addition, the landfill will install testing wells for water quality. I am in favor of the negotiated terms, as I understand them. I do not think that the existence of the landfill will hamper the economic development of the land south of U.S. 60. The additional money will ensure that the land will be developed into a recreational area. The landfill operators will still be liable for all current and future monitoring and remediation needed on the site. The city will not take on any liability concerning that issue. There is a concern about odor and dust from the landfill. I think the trees will help to alleviate this as they grow. There is also the issue of the trash transfer station that is located on county land. This issue can be dealt with by talking to the county and that operator.

Do you agree with the Apache Junction City Council’s recent decisions on a permanent extension of premises for Hitching Post LLC, 2341 N. Apache Trail? Why or why not?: These are the facts that I understand about the Hitching Post requested permanent extension of the liquor license premises. It was to allow for the existence of alcohol in the parking lot south of the Hitching Post building that is currently being prepared for future receptions and events. It was stated that there would only be six events per year in the parking lot. During the events the parking lot would be monitored by security and the lot would be closed so one would leave with possession of alcohol. There is concern about the security, noise and proximity to the highway. There is also concern that if granted permanent extension the area would be used more than six times in a year. Based on the information that I have received and in talking to people affected by the issue I agree with the vote of the city council not to grant permanent extension of a liquor license. The owner of the Hitching Post can request a conditional use permit for each event that is planned for the site. This will satisfy all parties concerned.

The Apache Junction City Council approved a $43 million budget for fiscal year 2016-17. If revenue is not as high as projected, what areas of the budget could be streamlined or cut to balance the budget and why?: The budget is approved by the city council on an annual basis. They should take into account unexpected changes in the economy or other issues that may affect the operations of the city. Then the staff is responsible for carrying out the operations accordingly. Unfortunately there are things that can greatly affect income, such as 9/11. Under normal circumstance the staff would bring any issues and suggested solutions to the council for consideration. Then any changes approved would be implemented. As to the question what areas can be adjusted, there are too many variables to consider without knowing the approximate drop in revenue. There are certain levels of operations that need to be maintained in the city, such as public safety and infrastructure. A large portion of any budget is payroll and benefits. Hours can be lowered for staff. For long-term shortfalls staff can be cut. This is part of knowing how to make the tough decision and balancing the needs of the citizens. There are no easy answers to this question. This is where my extensive experience in operating medical facilities and the sewer district, as well my own business, will help me to work toward a proper solution to the drop in revenue for the city. Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written. For further thought and ideas I have for our city, visit I appreciate your vote to serve as your councilman in Apache Junction.

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