The residents of Tempe will be electing their council members in the near future. Not only will they be voting for new council members, but they will also vote for a projected amendment for the City’s charter (The Apwa Reporter. 128). The newly proposed charter aims at limiting campaign involvement by people vying for the seats, which will ensure that there is elimination of any possibility of fraud during the city council elections. If the charter is passed, it will take effect in the 2018 election cycle. There are three vacant council posts, and six candidates are actively working towards filling the positions, which has formed the agenda of the meeting held on February 25, 2016, which I attended. Among the contestants are two incumbents, namely Joel Navarro and Kolby Granville. Also up for re-appointment as Tempe Mayor is Mark Mitchell, who appears to be running unopposed.
In the meeting held on 25 February 2016, four contestants vying for various council positions were the main agenda. The Council Candidate Open Microphone meeting ran smoothly, with the four contestants having one goal and purpose in mind; to convince the members of the Tempe community to elect them for their interested positions through laying down their objectives and how they intend to achieve them. Mark Mitchell, who is the current Mayor of Tempe City, is earnestly looking for a re-run, was the first person to assume the podium. Mark discussion was very simple and was based on the continuity of the ongoing projects in Tempe in his current term as the Tempe Mayor that is about to end. He claims that he has been open to new ideas and is always keen to listen to Tempe people’s concerns, while acting in accordance with the law. Not only has he been working hard to ensure that the members of his county, especially the youth, get employment opportunities, but he has been fighting to prioritize a wide range of projects that are vital for the growth and development of Tempe city and its dwellers including parks, road improvements, and fire stations.
Any city that intends to explore the heights of community development ought to preserve and enhance neighborhoods while ensuring that all people live in peace and harmony. In fact, this has been another area explored by Mark. He is a stout supporter of the laws that proscribe all forms of discrimination grounded on individual characteristics such as religion, race, sexual orientations, and other lifestyles. He believes that diversity, inclusion, and equality are the core pillars of every community. With all the projects that he has initiated and accomplished, he urges the Tempe community to vote for him in order to continue the progress together.
Phil Amorosi was the second candidate to air his views and reasons why he believed he was the most qualified and exceptional candidate for the position of a member of city council. Phil had three main objectives that were aimed at ensuring the development of the Tempe city. Primarily, he believes that if he is elected, he will be the community’s voice. His second objective will be to implement multi-modal means of transport in Tempe City. Phil is a firm supporter of the multi-modal transport system in Tempe. He argues that when all forms of transport such as bikes, auto, and other forms of transport are allowed to carry out transport activities, the Tempe population will have a wide range of options, which will significantly impact lowering the alarming rates of congestion in the city. In order to enhance economic development, Phil holds that the city should formulate a fiscal development plan to attract businesses to the city. He believes he is experienced in working with neighbors, and his hard work makes him the best contestant for the position.
Joel, an incumbent council member and a native of Tempe, is seeking to be elected as a deputy council in the 2016 elections. He believes that if elected for a third time, he would continue developing programs and initiatives such as improving Tempe neighborhoods and attracting good employment opportunities to Tempe people. Community health and wellness is essential for an industrious community. Therefore, he hopes to establish various health related programs that will ensure that Tempe’s population is healthy as well as promote economic development. The fact that he experienced in this field, having served in the City Hall for two terms, makes him the best candidate (Balsas, 158-169).
Kolby is running for a member of the Tempe City Council. He believes in giving all the individuals their basic rights as long as it does not threaten the well-being of other people. Giving people freedom also promotes democracy. He also hopes to work on enhancing the quality of life, supporting good parenting, and ensuring that the neighborhoods are clean and safe from environmental issues such as pollution (Brinegar, 497-513).
The Scope of the Meeting
The main purpose of Tempe’s candidate meeting is to offer a platform where contestants would air their views so that the members of the public can consider them for the positions. The four contestants of different council positions got an opportunity to give their agenda items so that Tempe’s citizens would get to understand their views and objectives. The Tempe Council candidate meeting did not lay an effective platform where the views and feedback from the community members would be obtained. It is believed that increased participation of the members of a community in decision-making processes has a wide range of benefits (Thomas, 113). Not only does it ensure that the goal and policies of a forum are positive, but it also ensures constructive environmental and social change within the distinct society represented. In contrast, members of the public were not represented in the Tempe Council Candidate meeting as only the contestants were allowed to air their views on what they would work to achieve after being elected or re-elected for the various positions. Although the meeting ran smoothly with a highly respectful atmosphere for every contestant, there should be an improved plan that would encourage participation of the public. This can be achieved by selecting some individual who should lay their concerns during the meeting and be allowed to comment on the objectives of contestants. In essence, the public participation will assist the contestant in understanding the issues of concern to the public and get feedback based on the people’s reactions to a policy or program suggested.
Balsas, Carlos J L. “Downtown resilience: A review of recent (re)developments in Tempe, Arizona.” Cities 36 (2014) : 158-169. Print.
Brinegar, Sarah J. “Response to Homelessness in Tempe, Arizona: Public Opinion and Government Policy.” Urban Geography 2010: 497-513. Print
The Apwa Reporter. Chicago: American Public Works Association, 1962. Print. Pp 128
Thomas, John Clayton. 1995. Public Participation in Public Decisions. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. Pp 113