Gilbert Town Council candidates give their fiscal policies

The nine Gilbert Town Council candidates talk about what town fiscal policies they would advocate

Posted 7/17/22

For what town fiscal policies would you advocate on council?

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Gilbert Town Council candidates give their fiscal policies

The nine Gilbert Town Council candidates talk about what town fiscal policies they would advocate


For what town fiscal policies would you advocate on council?

Chuck Bongiovanni, co-founder and CEO of Majestic Residences Franchise Systems

"I boot-strapped all of my companies without any debt. I know that's not possible in townships, however, I have a saying on one of my signs, 'If it doesn't make sense, it shouldn't get our money.' Council members must stop just saying they're fiscal conservatives and start practicing it. We need to evaluate any potential waste of taxpayers' money and remember it isn't our money—it's the money of hard-working citizens. That's why I believe the council should have some members with solid business backgrounds. We can see and call waste a mile away because sometimes that depends on whether we received a paycheck in our own businesses."

Bobbi Buchli, real estate broker 

"Stop the overspending, keep taxes low and government transparency"

Mario Chicas, account representative 

Responsible spending. Using resident taxpayer money responsibly and when there is a surplus, to give it back to the tax payer and not give staff a bonus. This council just approved a 69% budget expansion from last year. $515 million bond, they will ask for another $273 million to 'finish parks,' $270,000+ for a study on commuter rail, and an overbuilt bridge and staff received a 5% raise regardless of merit. I understand that we have to spend money, but let’s be conscious that inflation is at an all-time high, groceries are extremely expensive and gas is insane. Let’s focus on safety and roads, necessities."

Michael Clark, president of Digital Illustrations LLC & AW Sales LLC 

Maintain financial practices in accordance with federal, state and local. I believe in two costs for everything. One, cost to develop, and acquire anything. Second, ongoing cost or reserve for maintenance. Another policy reviews the ability to pay debt service. At the financial retreat the Federal Reserve raised interest by a quarter basis point. Eye opening the interest added to the infrastructure bond payment. Fiscal policy pays costs necessary for quality of life and services required by residents, companies and visitors. The budget ensures revenues adequate to meet anticipated and unanticipated expenditures. All is clear and successful with full transparency and courage."

Yung Koprowski, civil engineer, council member

"Gilbert’s fiscal policies and practices are among the best in the country, with AAA bond ratings, putting itself into secure financial footing to balance available resources and the community’s need for services. I supported the use of surplus revenue to pay down debt early, including police/fire pensions and the University building, saving millions in interest. My knowledge as a civil engineer lends a unique and valuable perspective on Town Council, where 45% of budget expenditures go toward infrastructure projects. I’m advocating for public transparency of data, which is being compiled and will be presented through the Alex portal."

Bus Obayomi, management consultant

"As a management consultant, I have planned and monitored project spending/budgeting and guided projects to completion on time, within scope, and budget. My experience and background will serve me well in ensuring that we are fiscally responsible and able to account for every dollar expensed. Gilbert is prepared for the future. Gilbert as a smart city also means prioritizing the infrastructures that would accommodate the growth that we experience. That means having a sustainable transportation plan. That means understanding how the traffic lights impact the traffic in our town. That also means keeping up with technology and keeping up with the technology standard that will keep our town ahead. For Gilbert, growth is inevitable because of our town's family-friendliness and attractiveness. Encouraging job growth is a key to our long-term sustainability. We need to be able to attract business that will provide employment opportunities to our workforce. To continue to position the town for long-term sustainability is making sure that companies that move to Gilbert play a significant role in engaging the communities in town. This includes a continuous partnership between the Town Council and business agencies like the Chamber of Commerce and all the businesses that reside in Gilbert. We must study the patterns and significant business drivers and their contributions. A critical partnership with all these businesses is pivotal to knowing the essential issues that impact the workforce. As someone who has been involved in various facets of businesses, I consider myself a strategic partner to these businesses. The local companies need to know that they are a strategic ally in me as a Gilbert Town Council member."

Scott September, regional manager, council member

"I believe our residents deserve worldclass services while maintaining low taxes and fees. The fiscal policies of the town should be looked at through that lens. Gilbert residents deserve the best from their town. Whether that is the police department, the fire department or the planning department, our citizens should know that they will receive the service they need at a cost-effective price in a reasonable time frame. The Town Council must appropriately fund those departments while ensuring those services are provided at the least cost to the citizens."

Bill Spence, retired U.S. Navy nuclear engineering officer

"My number one fiscal priority is to ensure that the town never institutes a primary property tax. Second, our focus needs to be on the continued support of our business community through minimal and appropriate regulation and keeping the costs of doing business as low as practical. This allows for more employees with higher wages that, in turn, are dollars spent in Gilbert. When Gilbert businesses thrive, Gilbert thrives!"

Jim Torgeson, owner Mesa Sign Shop

"I would promote the lowest possible budget possible. I opposed the $515,000,000 bond because it was a blank checkbook for a council that spends freely. Our budget expanded 69% this year. We must prioritize what the purpose of our Town is. Public safety, good roads and sewers, the basics. We have lost our way and now look at things like how ornate a bridge can be or how fancy a water park can be. As our economy is, as Chase Bank says, on the brink of collapse, we need to stay focused on needs, not wants."

Gilbert elections, Gilbert Town Council, Chuck Bongiovanni, Bobbi Buchli, Mario Chicas, Michael Clark, Yung Koprowski, Bus Obayomi, Scott September, Bill Spence, Jim Torgeson