2018 Town Council Candidates

The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the following candidates:

        Gilbert Town Council (4 seats) – James Candland, Eddie Cook,
                                                                Brigette Peterson, Jordan Ray

There are 4 seats available on the August primary and November general elections.  Each candidate was invited to provide bio information as well as answers to questions regarding their candidacy platform.  You’ll find an alphabetical listing of those candidates who responded to the questionnaire and below that information you will find all candidates’ answers to those questions.  A personal interview and candidate forum took place to determine the Chamber’s final endorsements.

James Candland
*Endorsed by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce*

Community of Residence: Gilbert, AZ   
Business: Small Business Owner

Occupation: Public Relations, Communications, Polling, Social Media

Education Background: Bachelors in Business Management, Masters Degree in Business Administration

Brief summary of employment history: Marketing Manager with APS Energy Services, Director of Business Development and Marketing with Siemens Corporation, Chief of Staff with Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and currently a Small Business Owner in Gilbert.

List of community organizations you belong to: Boy Scouts of America, Board Member with Sharing Down Syndrome of Arizona, Elected Board Member of the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT)- elected to two consecutive 4 year terms.

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? 23 Years

Position running for: Gilbert Town Council

Eddie Cook
*Endorsed by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce*

Community of Residence: 1760 W Aspen Ave, Gilbert, AZ 85233    

Business: NetApp Inc. and Town of Gilbert

Occupation: Technical Account Manager at NetApp and Councilmember/Former Vice Mayor at Town of Gilbert

Education Background: Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Arizona State University

Brief summary of employment history: I oversee NetApp’s global sales technical strategy, managing a team of worldwide technical experts working to provide best in class solutions for our largest Fortune 100 customers.  I work very closely with NetApp’s global sales account teams to build and manage the strongest possible relationships with our customers’ CIO, CTO, executive-level technology architects and IT managers.  I’m serving in my 7th year as Councilmember for the Town of Gilbert.  My major accomplishments are the transformation of local government to operate efficiently as a billion-dollar corporation and economic development while keeping Gilbert clean, safe and vibrant. 

List of community organizations you belong to:
Arizona Municipal Water Users Association – Vice President
Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Domestic Violence Council – Vice Chairman
Maricopa Association of Governments Economic Development Council – Board of Directors
Greater Phoenix Economic Council Healthcare Council – Liaison to the Gilbert Town Council
League of Arizona Cities and Towns Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee – Board Member
Gilbert Parks and Recreation Board – Liaison to the Gilbert Town Council
Gilbert Arts Commission – Liaison to the Gilbert Town Council
Gilbert Redevelopment Commission – Liaison to the Gilbert Town Council
Gilbert Chamber of Commerce – Liaison to the Gilbert Town Council
Roosevelt Water Conservation District – Liaison to the Gilbert Town Council
Gilbert Talks – Advisory Board Member
Catholic Education of Arizona – Board of Directors
Seton Catholic Preparatory Catholic High School – Chairman and Executive Board Member
St. Timothy’s Catholic Church Music Ministry
St. Timothy Catholic Church School – Volunteer
Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Marriage Conference Committee
Child Crisis Arizona – Volunteer
Boost a Foster Family – Volunteer
Arizona Republican GOP Asian American Committee
Arizona Asian American Association
Legislative District 17 Precinct and State Committeeman for the Maricopa County and State Republican Party

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? My wife and our 5 children/+2 grandchildren have lived in Gilbert for 32 years

Position running for: Town Council

Bob Ferron

Community of Residence:  Gilbert

Business: Daikin Applied

Occupation: District Manager

Education Background: BS Business and Recreation Administration

Brief summary of employment history: Current; District Manager Daikin Applied. Past; District Manager, Lennox Industries. Metro Sales Director, Johnson Controls. Regional Sales Director, Carrier Commercial Services. Territory Manager, Carrier Commercial Services. I have been in the HVAC industry for 30 years. My work history/experience includes extensive P&L responsibility, complex budgeting and forecasting, recruitment, hiring and personnel development.

List of community organizations you belong to: Director – Gilbert Youth Football League; Board Member/Vice Chair Town of Gilbert Park and Recreation Board (5 years); Down Syndrome of Arizona; Special Olympics volunteer; Coach – Gilbert Youth Football League (8 years)

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? 10 years

Position running for: Gilbert Town Council

Barbara Guy

Community of Residence: Broadland Ranches, Gilbert Arizona   

Business: Real Estate

Occupation: Business Owner

Education Background: ASU Entrepreneurial Program

Brief summary of employment history: 20 years in homebuilding, 6 years in health care

List of community organizations you belong to: Parks & Rec. Advisory Board * Parks & Rec. Foundation * Gilbert Chamber of Commerce * Gilbert Leadership XIX * VP Broadland Ranches HOA * Southeast Valley REALTOR® Association * National Assoc. of REALTOR® * GPS PTSO Leadership * GPS Parent/Superintendent Council * GPS Art Masterpiece * GPS & CUSD Site Base Council * GPS & CUSD Bond Election Committees * Dignity Health Community Investment Team & Community Grants Committee * Gilbert Fine Arts Association * Playworks * International Toastmasters

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? 22 years

Position running for: Gilbert Town Council

Brigette Peterson
*Endorsed by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce*

Community of Residence: Gilbert    



Education Background: High School graduate

Brief summary of employment history: 10 Years Raytheon in MA, 7.5 Years Banner Health in AZ

List of community organizations you belong to: Gilbert Leadership, Gilbert Sister Cities

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? 23 years

Position running for: Town Council

Jordan Ray
*Endorsed by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce*

Community of Residence: Town of Gilbert    
Business: CREWLegal

Occupation: Owner / National Litigation Consultant

Education Background: Bachelor’s Degree – Information Technology / Juris Doctorate - Law

Brief summary of employment history: Nearly two years ago, I started my own Gilbert based company, CREWLegal – a litigation consulting company. Prior to that creation of CREWLegal, I worked for and was part owner of inData Corporation for 17 years. Last year, we sold inData Corporation. Prior to inData, I worked as a Fraud Investigator for Bank of America.

List of community organizations you belong to: Boy Scouts of America, multiple boards and commissions for the Town of Gilbert.

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? 9 years

Position running for: Town Council

Aimee Rigler

Community of Residence: Gilbert   


Occupation: Director of Communications and Government Relations for Arizona Free Enterprise Club

Education Background: BA in Business Communications from W.P Carey School of Business, ASU

Brief summary of employment history: Co-Founder and director Small Business Alliance (2008-2014); Deputy Chief at Maricopa County for Supervisor Denny Barney (2014-2015); Director of Communications and Government Relations for Arizona Free Enterprise Club (2015-current.)

List of community organizations you belong to: Vice President of Operation Welcome Home/Welcome Home Veterans Park.

How long have you lived in the Town of Gilbert? Since 2001

Position running for: Town Council

1. Give three (3) of your qualifications/skill sets that make you a leading candidate for Town Council. Explain why these qualifications make you a better candidate than your opponents.

James Candland: a. Work experience in both business and government. I have had unique working experiences with both business and government, providing me with an understand of business operations, as well as government policy, politics, and management.
b. Appointment to the Gilbert Town Council filling a vacancy July 2016 through January 2017. It was a great honor to serve the Town of Gilbert as an appointed member of the Council for a number of months- with great learning and growth opportunities.
c. The ability to communicate at all levels of government as well as with businesses to understand needs and come up with solutions to complex issues facing different organizations.

Eddie Cook: a. As a business leader in corporate America, I recognized immediately that the Town is a billion-dollar corporation and needs to be run as such.  This requires leaders that have enterprise corporate experience, management skills, and corporate vision. I have those skills and have successfully demonstrated leadership in moving the Town of Gilbert to the next level of efficiency.  The Town is now on solid fiscal footing:  providing top-notch services with a sustainably balanced budget while paying off debt.  It’s been a great honor to serve our community and I will continue to do so fairly and enthusiastically if re-elected.

b. Having the privilege of serving as a Councilmember for 7 years, I recognize the priority and balance required for the cost of services with the revenue streams that we will have available in keeping Gilbert clean, safe and vibrant. Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development are the two initiatives and strategies I provide expertise as a policy maker.  A great challenge for the Council has been forecasting what it will cost to run the Town of Gilbert as a business after build-out.  The Town of Gilbert Strategic Plan is the blueprint that will guide us as a team to successfully reach that goal.  It is critical as a Councilmember to truly understand that cost and to develop the necessary strategic plans for revenue generation through economic development while containing our costs.

c. Over the past 7 years, I’ve developed intensive relationships regionally with leadership of many businesses, commercial land developers, construction companies, town staff, government elected officials, government agencies, utilities companies, transportation companies, non-profits, educational institutions, HOA’s and residences.  These relationships create a collaborative partnership to keep Gilbert the best place to live, work and play.  Maintaining that “small town” culture that is focused on families as well as a business-friendly environment is a major priority for me.

Bob Ferron: a. I have extensive business and budgeting experience which has proven to drive growth, control expenses, and lead to employee and customer satisfaction. My experience includes a construction background. I have a keen understanding of projects and cost. Gilbert should be run as a business.
b. Fiscal responsibility and communication. I am for transparency within the government. The residents should easily be able to see where we spend their money, and be available to discuss their concerns.
c. I currently serve on the Town of Gilbert Park and Rec board as Vice Chair and serve on several subcommittees. I am an active volunteer in area youth recreation groups. This perspective and experience with working with Gilbert Departments and Town Council helps drive my perspective. It is about families and businesses.

Barbara Guy:
• Principled leadership
• Accountability
• Innovative
As a 22-year resident of Gilbert, I have dedicated myself to positively contributing to our community. In my professional and volunteer service, I consistently demonstrate creative thinking to solve complex problems. I take serious accountability in handling my fiduciary responsibility as a successful businesswoman, appointed board official of the Parks & Recreation Department and elected HOA member. My work ethic, integrity and ability to listen will add a unique perspective to the Council and grant me the capacity to confidently address the needs of our residents and our business community.

Brigette Peterson: Over 14 years on the Planning Commission, prior to being on Council, is my greatest skill set. We are just beginning our 10 year update to the General Plan that will be voted on in 2020 (Gilbert’s Centennial) setting a baseline for our future and build-out. My leadership skills, developed through Gilbert Leadership, my past employment opportunities in the private, not-for-profit and public settings. Being an incumbent, currently serving as Vice Mayo, just over 3 years behind me, I can focus on work, not learning as I go. There is a huge learning curve as a new council member.

Jordan Ray: 1. Education and Work Experience – I am the only candidate with a law degree and work experience in the legal industry. I have the experience and education to understand contracts, potential disputes, and actual litigation.

2. Ability to work with others – My calm demeanor and personality allow me to sit down, discuss, and implement solutions without personal attacks or vendettas for others.

3. Community Experience – My family has been a part of this community for many years. We are vested in the community as homeowners, Gilbert based business owner, and community volunteer as Boy Scout Leader, Gilbert youth coach, and GPS volunteer.

Aimee Rigler: Communication –I’m able to convey ideas and convictions with passion and persuasiveness and listen and integrate other people’s perspectives. A councilmember should be able to justify their votes and decisions as policymakers and educate residents.
Leadership/Team Building –I have demonstrated the ability to bring groups of people together under a common cause and vision.  Councilmembers work within a team environment with other councilmembers, with Town leadership and residents.
Self-Starter/Hard Worker – I am used to diving two feet first into all my endeavors.  I’m intrinsically motivated to fully research and learn the complex issues so I can make well-informed decisions.

2. What is your vision for Gilbert in 20-30 years?

James Candland: My vision for Gilbert in 20-30 is sustainable growth for both business and residents in Gilbert. Looking to the build out of our town in 2030, and making sure that our regulations and taxes are kept in check so we can provide the services needs by those living and working in our community. Attracting and maintaining businesses that will provide high wage jobs and keep our community thriving well into the future. Making sure that Gilbert has the resources it needs to provide not only services to our community, but to maintain and keep up with infrastructure needs.

Eddie Cook: One of the greatest strengths as a leader is to “Dream Big”.  My greatest hopes and dreams are to help inspire or stir the soul of individuals to believe there is a vision ready to be discovered in Gilbert.  A vision that will be contagious and draws families closer together.  I envision a culture that values creativity, diversity and civility in our community.  I would love to see that this momentum we have created together will continue to excite the next generation of residences and business owners to make Gilbert a destination and a legacy for the future.

As I see Gilbert approaching 100% of build-out, we will have 330,000 residences living in Gilbert.  We will be the known as the “Best Place to Raise a Family” in the US.  Ranked “#1 Best City/Town to Find a Job” in the US.  Ranked the “Safest City/Town” in the US.  Ranked “#1 Best Place to Live in America”. Ranked the “#1 Happiest City in America”.  Ranked “1st Prosperous City in the Nation”.  Ranked “1st Best City to Start a Business” in the US.  Ranked the “Highest concentrations of graduate and professional degrees among US cities”.  All of this while maintaining the lowest cost in operating local government and providing the highest level of services to our citizens and business owners in the US.

Bob Ferron: What is your vision for Gilbert in 20-30 years?
To increase the business base, especially enabling small business. As we approach buildout, need to make sure infrastructure is updated and enables us to continue to provide our community with consistent basic needs. To enhance all opportunities for residents to enjoy recreation faclities and enjoy the Town, and to make it the best Town to raise a family. Long term growth is important not only for our generation, but for our kids and their kids. I want to drive Gilbert into a position that my kids (We have 6) want to stay and raise their own kids. I am family oriented, with family values. Gilbert is a great community. We can be even better.

Barbara Guy:
• Ensure diverse economic sectors that support financial sustainability and attract high-wage employment.
• Infrastructure will be in place allowing for a positive business climate to develop which will support our ability to compete aggressively with other municipalities.
• Protect our open spaces and ensure a high quality of life where residents can live, work and recreate.

Brigette Peterson: In 20-30 years Gilbert will be built out. The next 10 years are very important for that to happen effectively, aking sure infrastructure is built & maintained, building on the plans to pay for services once development (fees) comes to an end. At the 20 year mark, I see Gilbert as a thriving community with high wage jobs, strong education base, while maintaining faith & family as cornerstones. A foodie location in the East Valley, providing a regional destination with the new park equals fun and food! At ribbon cuttings, I’ve stated Gilbert is based on 4 things; family, faith, fun and food! 

Jordan Ray: In 20-30 years, Gilbert will be a safe and thriving community of over 300,000 residents, a booming business base which includes many high wage jobs, and a vibrant community consisting of beautiful clean parks for families to enjoy. All of this can happen while the taxes remain the lowest in the Valley!

Aimee Rigler: I see Gilbert being a trailblazer in good government organizational culture.  Most people are skeptical and dissatisfied with government in general and believe their institutions don’t reflect their values.  Gilbert is a unique community.  I want to see an average citizen be able to define the Town of Gilbert’s culture in the way that consumers can convey what Apple’s culture is.  I believe it’s possible for our town to redefine what the “government experience” is and for our culture to be synonymous with trustworthiness and fairness.  

3. What are the top two (2) priorities you would push to accomplish during your term as a member of the Council?

James Candland: My top two priorities would be to look at the regulations facing businesses in our community and see how to streamline and reduce regulatory burdens. Sound fiscal management- both the internal workings of the Town, as well as managing infrastructure and growth needs within the Town.

Eddie Cook: I ran for Council in 2011 after realizing that I could better serve my community by bringing business ideas to the town’s government.  I could not be more excited to work with a team whose hearts are about service for our community. The transformation of the town into a higher performance government guided by corporate best business practices and changing the culture to reflect a "One Team" spirit has been remarkable.  I'm extremely pleased with the progress of the Town during my two terms and am excited to continue our efforts to “Build a Legacy for Gilbert” during my next term.

Assuring Fiscal Responsibility and fostering Economic Development are my top two priorities.  As a team the Council has developed the Town of Gilbert Strategic Plan to identify six strategic initiatives to guide our efforts for the next five years.  They are focused on the following areas:  Long Range Financial Planning, Long Range Infrastructure Planning, Driving Economic Development, Implementing an Efficient High-Performance Government, Becoming a Technology Leader, and Community Livability (Clean, Safe and Vibrant).  I have and will continue to bring corporate best business practices into our local government to provide the highest level of services at the lowest possible cost.

Bob Ferron: a. Economic growth to support the community. Recruiting new business into Gilbert helps our tax base, presents new employment opportunities, and allows for diversification of services. Development of task force to identify strengths and weaknesses in our business base, engage community input and identify businesses for Gilbert. Make it easier to get things done. Reduce regulations that only slow the process down.

b. Communication/transparency. Majority of the residents have no idea what goes on at Town Hall and how those decisions affect their families. Regularly schedule communication sessions with our residents to make sure we get their input and they feel they are part of the process and their voice is heard. An educated and informed citizen helps in the process to drive growth.

Barbara Guy:
• Attract and grow sustainable businesses with high-wage employment.
• Ensure priorities of revenue to include investments in infrastructure, public safety, parks & recreation and funding for the arts.

Brigette Peterson: I’ve been heavily focused on Public Safety, we have needs as a large community that we need to keep moving forward, such as the Public Safety Training Facility. In order to maintain our status as one of the safest cities in the US our officers and firefighters need to be trained regularly. Healthy and Vibrant Community, working with non-profit partners in the most strategic and fiscally responsible way to fill the needs of our most vulnerable residents. As a Council member, I’ve formed relationships that help facilitate these connections.

Jordan Ray: My top two priorities are business growth and the implementation of our long-term plans.  Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous focus on economic development in both the Town of Gilbert and our region. This momentum must continue.

Additionally, over the last few years the council has embarked on multiple long-range plans, including the Parks Master Plan, the Transportation Master Plan, and the Infrastructure Plan.  Each of these plans are beginning to unfold. I look forward to implementing each of the plans, ensuring that the Town will be sustainable long-term.

Aimee Rigler:
- Collaboratively define the “WHY statement” for the town which will serve as the cultural blueprint for the organization.
- Reexamine department goals, processes and procedures, and most importantly communications strategy based upon the lens of the organization’s WHY statement.

4. How will these priorities further the long-term sustainability and economic growth of Gilbert and tie into your future vision for Gilbert?

James Candland: All of these priorities foster long term sustainability and economic growth. For successful municipalities to grow into the future, they need to create a master plan that allows them to do the following: analyze and understand business, residential, and community needs,balancing those needs with infrastructure and essential town services, while providing
parks, entertainment, and other benefits within the Town of Gilbert. This will be accomplished through communicating with business and industry, as well as citizens to understand wants and needs, balancing that with sound budgeting and fiscal management.

Eddie Cook: We must prioritize and balance the cost of services with the revenue streams that we will have available. Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development will lead us there.  A great challenge for the Council has been forecasting what it will cost to run the Town of Gilbert as a business after build-out.  The Town of Gilbert Strategic Plan is the blueprint that will guide us as a team to reach that goal.  It is critical as a Councilmember to truly understand that cost and then to develop the necessary strategic plans for revenue generation through economic development while containing our costs.

Bob Ferron: a. Prioritizing economic growth, and coupling that with the need for communication and transparency will enable our kids to have the growth environment to keep this Town vibrant for future generations. This is a process that never stops, only gets reviewed and tweaked with ongoing analysis of process improvement. The reduction of regulations restricting growth, will help the small businesses with timing and cost.
b. I have been very involved on the Parks board with the new Gilbert Regional Park. I have led sessions/groups in the community outreach of the project. We need to further develop the community awareness and communication on all projects. I have been involved from the conceptual design to presentation to Council. As we progress in development of the Regional Park, and Rittenhouse Park, I believe that my experience in construction and budgeting, along with my passion for Parks and Recreation will maximize Council’s ability to deliver a great product to the public, while making sure we don’t exceed our fiscal responsibility.

Barbara Guy: Growing sustainable businesses with high-wage employment will allow Gilbert to diversify its tax base as our construction sales tax will dwindle in years to come. Investment in infrastructure, public safety, parks and recreation and funding for the arts will attract the high-wage employment base we need and will allow Gilbert to be the place we continue to want to make our home.

Brigette Peterson: Public Safety; we’ve been proud to maintain the 2nd safest city in the US for several years, this is a fact that businesses find very enticing when looking to locate or relocate their business. Healthy & Vibrant Community; when the needs of your community are being met, it creates an even stronger sense of place, making for an even stronger community. 

Jordan Ray: To be sustainable long-term, it’s imperative that the Town continues to attract and retain businesses in our community.  These businesses will help to increase our tax base, thus helping to ensure long-term sustainability.

Another aspect to attaining sustainability is understanding what the needs and costs at build-out will be.  Each of the long-term plans we are currently focusing on will help the Town understand those costs. 
As we understand the expected costs and the expected revenues, we will be able to achieve long-term sustainability.

Aimee Rigler: The most successful organizations in the world can define and evangelize their reason for being.  Apple and Harley Davidson are prime examples.  Not only are their customers deeply loyal, so are their employees who go to work every day with a clear purpose. Gilbert will attract employees, residents and businesses who resonate with a clear culture.  An example of this is most cities around the country engage in an arms race of incentives.  Cities compete based upon demographics, incentives, infrastructure/regional asset advantages, etc.  But these are ultimately indistinguishable factors.

5. If elected to the Town Council, who would you consider to be your stakeholders and how would you propose to represent them?

James Candland: My stakeholders will be the residents and businesses that operate in our Town. Effective communication is the key to stakeholder management. Working closely with residents and businesses to understand needs and wants, and then communicate how to deliver those needs and services in a fiscally prudent manner. This will be accomplished by increasing outreach and communication, town halls, business visits, and forums that foster collaboration to our community.

Eddie Cook: I’m very grateful and humbled to have served on the Council these past 7 years.  I look at this role as an extension of my “community service” that I’ve done for years here in Gilbert and the region.  I gladly accept the responsibility to represent all of Gilbert.  I enjoy meeting with residences, business owners, faith leaders, town employees and educational leaders. I will continue to represent my stakeholders by embracing the practices of transparency and listening and sharing of ideas as we learn from each other.

Bob Ferron: The stakeholders are the residents, the individuals, the families, the small businesses that work so hard and are so proud to make Gilbert their home. Representing people is about being available, opening regular lines of communication and truly enabling each group to express their concerns to their leaders. They will get a hands on, engaged council member who has no agenda but to make this Town greater. I am very active in the community and will continue to support and drive youth organizations.

Barbara Guy: Stakeholders include those effected by Council decisions, specifically: residents, businesses, schools and neighborhood associations.
• Residents: I will be available directly to residents with a focus on community outreach, particularly in areas that have felt disenfranchised.
• Businesses: I will ensure that Town processes, which impact business, run efficiently with an open dialogue regarding policy matters.
• Schools: The Town’s largest employer should be included in policy matters that effect their ability to provide top-notch education.
• HOAs: Work jointly on improvements to quality of life through increased dialogue between associations and Council members.

Brigette Peterson: Every member of the community is a stakeholder! I make a point to be out in the community at events, ribbon cuttings, public meetings, I read and respond to emails, I take and return phone calls, take meetings when requested, I’m also extremely active on Social Media and correspond with many groups on a regular basis. I’m fortunate to be able to give a large amount of time to this position and I plan to continue that in a second term.

Jordan Ray: As a councilmember, the stakeholders include the residents and the businesses of Gilbert. I don’t have all the answers for every situation in Gilbert. The best way to better understand the issues and potential solutions is to lean on the experience and expertise of those who may be impacted by the actions of the Town. A perfect example of stakeholders and their tremendous help was the passing of the new sign code this year. Through meetings, conversations, and dialogue with stakeholders, the Town Council was able to update the sign code to be more business friendly.

Aimee Rigler: Every resident, taxpayer, business (within Gilbert and that does business in Gilbert), employees/town team members and service/civic/non-profit in Gilbert is a stakeholder.  I propose to represent them with honesty, integrity, transparency, and with accountability.  I plan on communicating frequently with constituents and welcome any and all to walk through my open door.

6. What experience do you have with complex budgets?  

James Candland: In my private sector experience, I have work on mergers and acquisitions with Fortune 500 companies. This meant understand budgets and complex financial terms and conditions of merging organizations. In my public-sector experience, I helped to manage a $2.3 billion-dollar budget with Maricopa County, working closely with county elected, appointed leaders, and department heads, to negotiate budgets, develop budget documents, and present findings. In all instances, communication was vital to successful outcomes.

Eddie Cook: Coming from a large business environment, this is a strong point of mine.  I have now been through six budget cycles as a Councilmember, working with the Town’s executive management team and staff.  My business background and experience allowed me to facilitate the Town adopting the enterprise business practice of “Zero Based/Priority Based Budgeting” so that we fund only those things that should be funded.  This process has transformed the Town of Gilbert to become a very efficient and high performance business-like entity.  The results have awarded the Town of Gilbert two AAA bond rating increases from Finch and Moody.  The financial benefits for the Town and its citizens will be felt for years to come.

Bob Ferron: I have extensive budgeting experience in the private and public sectors. Not only have I been involved in developing budgets, but also making sure we adhere to the budget. That takes prioritization. I use a common sense approach to determining where the money should be spent. First priority is how many residents (employees/customers) will benefit from the expense. Regular communication with the residents so they know where their tax dollars are being spent, and control of all special interest requests. The Town is a big business. I have run large and small businesses and had expense control over large and small business budgets.

Barbara Guy: I have extensive experience in managing budgets that have included land development, construction infrastructure and, most recently, in working directly with clients in real estate. In my work with Dignity Health, I was charged with budget oversight “process and selection” for community outreach grants. This includes community funding and evaluations of non-profits and municipalities’ ability to qualify for funding.

Brigette Peterson: My experience with complex budgets has all been gained while serving as a council member. Being an incumbent gives me the background of working with the town budget since 2015. I understand the history of changes, how the budget is developed each year, I attend the financial retreats annually, meet with budget staff to understand the current requests and ask any questions I might have. 

Jordan Ray: During my time on council, I have been a part of the modified zero-based budgeting process the Town has undertaken. The outcome has been very positive. The experience and knowledge gained during the last three years is invaluable as I continue to work with and help build and review the Town budget.

In my years of experience in the private sector, one of my tasks was creating and managing a significant portion of our company budget. Although our company budget is not quite as large as the Town of Gilbert budget, the budgeting principles are the same. 

Aimee Rigler: In my professional capacity I work down at the state legislature when they are in session.  Along with crafting bills to become state law, we also follow, interact, and at times influence the budget.  We have to be able to decipher the state’s $10 Billion budget as well as the accompanying budget reconciliation bills which are the substantive policy statements that define the spreadsheet of figures.  

7. How would you propose to interact with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and how do you see your respective roles on issues that may come before the Town Council?

James Candland: Interaction with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce would be done through communication with leadership, as well as attendance to regularly scheduled meetings. It is vital for business and government to work together in collaboration to meet the growing needs of the community. With that in mind, understanding business needs will be key to growth in our Town, and this is only done when there is open dialogue with business leaders and the Town.

Eddie Cook: I’m extremely grateful to the wonderful partnership the Town of Gilbert has with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.  I’ve had the pleasure in serving as the Town Council liaison to the Chamber.  I value my relationship with Kathy and her staff, the Chamber Board of Directors and all the businesses and business owners who are members of the Chamber.  I look forward to the ongoing collaboration and partnership that make Gilbert the best place to have a business.

Bob Ferron: I would ask to schedule regular meeting with the commerce where the members could voice concerns and ask about Town business. My grandfather owned a small business in Appleton, WI and he passed the business to my father. My father was involved in Chamber of Commerce and I saw the benefit the organization had in the success of the business. I want to grow the relationship between government and business by being part of the group and community
I am a leader who wants input and will communicate with the constituents. Through social media, news releases and web sites and with interaction with the people. Schedule regular “town hall” meetings with business groups and organizations with HOA’s and community groups.
I believe that with a common sense, yet fiscally responsible leadership style, this will bring the best of all worlds to Gilbert.

Barbara Guy: The Chamber is a critical stakeholder in representing a unified “business voice” and offers an essential viewpoint in matters of policy and business attraction to help grow Gilbert’s economy. I would continue to build on the strong relationship that has been in place for decades by meeting regularly with Chamber leadership, committees and members. It is imperative that the Council work with the Chamber to recognize the importance of both large and small businesses to ensure that they are valued and represented.

Brigette Peterson: I have a great appreciation of the Gilbert Chamber! Especially since serving as a Council Member & currently serving as the Gilbert Leadership Board Chairwoman. The Chamber is always reviewing upcoming cases, issues and sending their very concise opinions to the Mayor/Council. There is a very open dialogue between myself and the Chamber too, the Chamber is a key stakeholder in the community and a true partner. 

Jordan Ray: I have had the great privilege of serving as the Council liaison to the Gilbert Chamber for many years. Being able to meet monthly with the Chamber board and having frequent one on one meeting with Kathy Tilque has given me great insight into the work and successes of the Gilbert Chamber.

The Chamber and the Town share many of the same goals, especially relating to business growth and retention. As the Town and the Chamber continue to work together, these goals will continue to be attained.

Aimee Rigler: I will interact with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce as I would with any other constituent/stakeholder.  I value the opinions of our business community and welcome the chamber’s feedback and perspective.  We are partners in our community’s success.