Fifteen Apache Junction residents will be interviewed Monday to replace two City Council members who left to run for other elected offices.
They are: Natalie Ackerly, Erik Arriola, Charles Beal, Sheryl Bigelow, Tim Brechon, Joe Durbala, Peter Heck, Bambi Johnson, Jaime Lanza, Jeff Mitchel, Nola Perkins, Danielle Sanders, Frank Schoenbeck, Jeff Struble and Jerry Walker.
A work session with the interviews begins at 7 p.m. May 16 in the City Council Chambers, 300 W. Superstition Blvd.
At the May 17 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. and will be held in the same place, votes will be taken to appoint two new councilmembers. There will also be a swearing-in ceremony for the newly appointed council members who will be filling the two vacancies.
Applicants for the council vacancies must be residents of the city of Apache Junction at least one year prior to the election and be at least 18 years of age. One appointee will serve until the position is filled at the next regularly scheduled election. The other appointee will serve the balance of a four-year term, until Jan. 7, 2025.
The applicants, how long they have lived in the city; when they filed the application; schools attended and degrees earned; and their answer to the question “Please state the reason(s) why you feel you are qualified to serve on this board/commission” are as follows.
Ackerly has lived in Apache Junction for three years, according to an application filed April 29.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in business management.
“I feel I am qualified to serve as having lived in Arizona since I was 19, and just landing finally in Apache Junction three years ago after living in Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa, I bring a perspective of being a ‘newer’ member of the community in a newer home that I can imagine, probably upset long term residents. I see both sides. My career, both corporate and now self-employed, has given me the education to understand how both operate and what their goals/needs are — employment opportunities and what type — and what those experiences are in the different worlds,” Ackerly wrote.
Arriola has lived in Apache Junction for five years, according to an application filed April 12.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Westwood High School (Mesa), high school diploma; Mesa Community College (Mesa), Arizona State University (Tempe).
“I feel that I am qualified to serve on the Apache Junction City Council because I can relate to the average Apache Junction citizen. I also bring a vast variety of business skills from being a district manager for corporations like: Hollywood Video, Fletcher’s Tire & Auto and Firestone. I have also been on the Board of Directors for several local 501c3 non-profits and a youth minster and understand business from an entirely different angle. Most importantly, I am able to see and think long term when making decisions or brainstorming resolutions to issues at hand. I also have the ability to work with many different types of personalities, even when we do not see eye to eye,” Arriola wrote.
Beal has lived in Apache Junction for 38 years, according to an application filed April 27.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Rio Salado Community College; Central Arizona College; Electrical League of Arizona Associated Builders and Contractors School, electrical apprenticeship.
“I have negotiated contracts with cities and suppliers in the millions of dollars, I have direct experience in residential, commercial, industrial, and civil contracting. I am an electrical/electronics professional that is highly respected in my field. I am open and honest in my dealings and negotiations. I have lived in this community and have followed its challenges over the last two decades,” Beal wrote.
Bigelow has lived in Apache Junction for 15 years, according to an application filed April 12.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Citizens Leadership Institute, graduate May 2022; Central Arizona College, associates in art, graduate December 2022; Gateway Community College, certified medical transcriptionist; certificate in health service management; Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy, certified aromatherapist.
“I feel I am qualified to serve on city council because of my relationships with the community, local businesses and local nonprofit organizations,” Bigelow wrote.
Brechon has owned a house in Apache Junction since 2019, according to an application filed April 29.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: SIU Carbondale, Illinois, BSEE; Rockford University in Rockford, Illinois, masters in art of teaching mathematics.
“Well educated, interest in good government, and previous board experience,” Brechon wrote.
Durbala has lived in Apache Junction for 35 years, according to an application filed April 27.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Western Illinois University Board of Governors.
“Been on council for eight years. While being on the council some of the major projects were the expansion of the landfill, the impact fees, getting Walmart to change location to AJ, setting up the new water company for the city, the sexual ordinance for business which has never been changed in court, the new city hall rec center, the library, the skate board park ... the sewer company in Apache Junction. Pushing for growth in business and industrial park bring good paying jobs to AJ. Working with Mayor Coleman in getting Apache Junction boards and future council members attend the academy,” Durbala wrote.
Heck has lived in Apache Junction for 11 years, according to an application filed April 15.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Wheaton College 1973-77, bachelor of science in biology; Villanova University 1982-83, credits toward a masters in health care administration.
“I believe I would bring a unique perspective to the City Council. My many years of volunteer service to the city and supporting organizations has positioned me to have a broad understanding of the city and its strengths and opportunities for improvement. I have been a consistent member of the P&Z Commission for the past eight years. I was the vice chair for three years. I am in my second term as the chair of the commission. I have missed very few commission meetings. I believe that I have the confidence of the other members of the commission. Having served on multiple boards and served with organizations that support the city and its residents has given me insight into the unique elements of the city,” Heck wrote.
Johnson has lived in Apache Junction for 22 years, according to an application filed April 13.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Washington High school (PA) diploma; Penn Commercial College (PA) associates degree business management and accounting.
“I feel that my diverse background which through business involves human resources, financial planning, development and operations, and personal volunteer work through veteran organizations, would be of benefit on various boards for our city. I regularly work on current day issues while working toward three- to five-year goals in minds for projects,” Johnson wrote.
Lanza has lived in Apache Junction for 21 years, according to an application filed April 21.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Baker University, three years, master of science; St. John’s College, four years, bachelor of science.
“I have an extensive experience dealing with the public, and dealing with crises, and have a master degree in public administration,” Lanza wrote.
Mitchel has lived in Apache Junction for two years, according to an application filed April 22.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: North Central College (Naperville, Illinois), bachelor of arts, human resources and psychology major, conferred 2007; Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University (Downers Grove, Illinois), graduate certificate in entrepreneurship, conferred 2010; Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University (Downers Grove, Illinois), master of business administration, conferred 2011.
“I am applying as a servant leader who loves our community and if appointed, I will work tirelessly to make sure we put our residents first as we grow as a city. My strength is strategic planning and I understand the budgeting process with my background as a financial advisor. I have an educational background and a record of service experiences which I feel make me good applicant for this vacancy,” Mitchel wrote.
Perkins has lived in Apache Junction for 10 years, according to an application filed April 12.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: High school, one year college, 10-plus years continuing education in the legal field.
“My legal background, my managerial experience and interest in my community make me very well qualified to fill this position. I have no personal agenda or liaisons that cloud my objectivity,” Perkins wrote.
Sanders has lived in Apache Junction for four years, according to an application filed April 12.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: Mesa Community College for applied science in mortuary science (associates degree in applied science).
“I have lived and worked in this community for over four years. My husband and I provide services to law enforcement and to the community through our business. We work hands on in the community and I am invested in the future growth and development of Apache Junction,” Sanders wrote.
Schoenbeck has lived in Apache Junction for 10 years, according to an application filed April 28.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: University of Wisconsin-Madison, BA-1975, political science and history.
“During my service with the Board of Adjustment, Library Board, and Parks and Recreation Commission, I have seen how our city deals with change. In that time I have been involved in short- and long-term city planning processes. I am familiar with the city staff members and how they serve. I bring an unusually broad perspective the various jobs I’ve had as well as the several places lived. My college degree was earned in part by expressing a written opinion based on research. In my positions on the Board of Adjustment and Parks and Recreation Commission, I used that experience in making decisions. I learned a great deal about group decision making and cooperation at Marathon Coach where eight department managers would get together for planning, some longterm and some immediate crisis management. We were constantly involved in process improvement. As a damage controlman on destroyers in the U.S. Navy, I learned to remain calm under pressure. Coming under fire from shore batteries made it critical. Military service was also my first introduction to leadership, a lifelong interest. My customer service experience at La Mesa RV was a lesson in taking heat from someone while remaining cool. I did well and would do so relating to citizen complaints,” Schoenbeck wrote.
Struble has lived in Apache Junction for 15 years, according to an application filed April 19.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: BS in accounting, finance and economics from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
“I have a strong desire to move Apache Junction and its citizens into the future with quality growth and development. I have a wide and unique perspective in serving our community. I have developed several relationships throughout the valley and state that will benefit the city of Apache Junction,” Struble wrote.
Walker has lived in Apache Junction for 1.5 years, according to an application filed April 15.
Schools attended and degrees earned are: University of Central Arkansas, BS sociology and psychology, MS counseling and psychology; Parents Community College, AS public health tech; Charter Oak College, BS public Health; and Midamerica Seminary, master of arts Christian education. Also, honorary doctor of health education (PhD) emphasis in public health.
Walker did not state a reason for being qualified.
“To augment the great team in place and to provide insight that is currently not being taken advantage of,” Walker wrote in the section for “Please state why you would like to be appointed to this board/commission.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here