Meet the Goodyear candidates

Kourtney Balsan's picture

2 running for mayor; 5 running for 3 City Council seats

Goodyear has five candidates running for three City Council seats and two facing off for mayor in the March 14 election.

Incumbent Mayor Georgia Lord is running for a second consecutive term against former Mayor Jim Cavanaugh, who served as mayor from 2003 to 2010, before resigning mid-term.

Council member incumbents Joe Pizzillo and Wally Campbell and newcomers Brannon Hampton, Sara Gilligan and Jayson Black are running for three open council seats.

Councilwoman Sharolyn Hohman is ending her time in office after one term, so her seat is up for grabs.

It’s an all-mail election, and voters can send in their completed ballots any time before March 14. Ballots can also be returned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day at Goodyear City Hall, 190 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, or the Maricopa County Recorder and Elections Office, 111 S. Third Ave., Phoenix.

If no candidate receives enough votes in the election to secure a seat, a runoff will be held May 16.

For information about voting in Goodyear, call 623-882-7830 or visit goodyearaz.gov/elections.

In addition to printing the candidates’ questionnaires, the West Valley View is co-sponsoring a candidate forum with the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at Skyway Church, 14900 W. Van Buren St., Goodyear.

The following are the candidates’ unedited answers to the questionnaire:

Mayor

James M. Cavanaugh

Age: 75

Last level of school completed: Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of Wyoming

Degrees, certifications held: MBA, Bachelor’s Degree, Real Estate Broker, USAF Officer

Occupation: Manage family Real Estate Business

Years you have lived in the city: 23

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: Mayor, City of Goodyear; Member, Goodyear Planning & Zoning Commission; Chairman, Goodyear General Plan Committee; Chairman, Maricopa Association of Governments; President, Arizona Chapter, National Brownfields Association; Governor’s Military Affairs Commission; Transportation Committee, National League of Cities; Executive Committee, Arizona League of Cities and Towns; Co-chair, Luke West Valley Council; Multiple commissions and boards during USAF career

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? Hundreds of times attending as councilmember and mayor. Lately, watch council meetings through streaming at home.

Why are you seeking election to the council?

Goodyear has deteriorated significantly since the All-American City days of 2005-2008. From competing with Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert and other highly rated cities for high pay skilled jobs and institutions of higher education, it now competes with other cities for lower pay distribution plants.

Taxes have increased from $1.60 to $1.86 per hundred dollars of assessed real property value. Sales tax increased from 2 percent to 2.5 percent. Prices for homes of $400,000 and higher have stagnated in Goodyear whereas the same price range has escalated in Scottsdale, Phoenix, East Valley, Litchfield Park, and Peoria. Goodyear has a higher real property tax rate than each city mentioned and for every city in the East Valley. Tax savvy businesses and private citizens tend to adopt locations with lower rates.

When compared to the vast majority of cities within the State of Arizona, the amount of personal income that Goodyear government demands from its citizens is alarming. Today, if there were an All-Southwest Valley City competition, the winner would not be the one-time All-American City of Goodyear.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

I support term limits at every level of government. Opponents of term limits will state that term limits diminishes the value of experience. To at least minimize the negative consequences of that valid concern, I have included in my platform an initiative to establish formal groups of citizens to annually review and evaluate all department requests for new spending. After four years of service, these citizens will be much better equipped to make decisions as elected officials if they decide to undertake the councilmember responsibility.

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

In the near term, the main issue is our alarmingly high real property taxes. Our taxes (including Council-directed Community Facilities Districts, CFD’s) rob our citizens of their hard-earned pay and savings, and adversely inhibit the City of Goodyear’s ability to attract businesses with high pay opportunities.

I will cut taxes. The reductions will be a direct result of reducing the cost of government. Among several actions, we will direct each department head to identify how costs can be reduced at the 5 percent level, the 10 percent level, and the 12 percent level. Council will select the most effective level for reduction.

In the longer term, the primary issue is water. Availability is threatened and costs are going through the roof. We must initiate a complete review of water resources to include private-public partnerships, condition of water reclamation facilities, future availability from both ground and surface sources, conservation efforts, and cost of direct water supplies and Ground Replenishment District (GRD) membership to each citizen both north and south of I-10. The question that can no longer be ignored is: At what point in time does the cost of water render current levels of residential development unaffordable?

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In my 30 years of military service, I had repeated opportunities to supervise, manage, and command elements of organization similar to the functions carried on within a city government. I was fortunate to have led and commanded highly qualified and devoted men and women in stateside as well as overseas assignments. In my last assignment, I commanded the installation selected for best personnel management within the United States Air Force.

As Mayor of Goodyear, I created and led efforts to bring higher education to Goodyear, accelerated the widening of I-10, and brought spring training to Goodyear. Additionally, I led efforts to bring Cancer Treatment Center of America and several highly regarded businesses to Goodyear.

I am totally honest in all dealings with the public. I stick to the facts and do not sugar coat reality, will step up and admit shortcomings, and work tirelessly to get the job done well. As evidenced during my earlier time as Mayor, I will personally create opportunities for Goodyear which will far exceed the capability of my opponent.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

Every decision rendered by elected officials includes two universal elements: It has ethical applications and it has consequences on those you are sworn to serve. In many discussions and votes, the question regarding right and wrong and impact on the citizens are evenly balanced.

Disagreements are largely based on a simple matter of choice and preference. Of course I would prefer achieving a result through processes I admire and practices I have historically followed. However, if my preference is not the majority’s wish and there are no negative consequences regarding ethics or to the persons we serve, I have in the past voted in support of a view in opposition to mine. My objective was to demonstrate teamwork. In the USAF, such was usually rewarded with a recognition that we were together unified and better prepared to mutually respond to tougher questions ahead.

In the local government arena, I cannot recall anytime that the opposition understood and appreciated my change in position to support teamwork. In questions in which the different approaches have an impact on ethics or may adversely affect the citizens we are sworn to serve, I will not relent to the opposition.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

Whether a captain, colonel, or mayor, I have always had an open door policy. There should be no other. In addition, I will work closely with citizen groups working to make Goodyear a better place to live.

I also intend to be available to the public at the same time, same place, every two weeks. The place will likely be at a park in the city and will be entirely informal — no appointment, no planned subject.

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

My job does not and will not place any restrictions on my capability to serve.

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

There aren’t any questions I fear answering. Nope, no skeletons.

Georgia Lord, incumbent

Age: 78

Last level of school completed: Real Estate License from Arizona State University

Degrees, certifications held: Attended Michigan State, Graduate of the Arizona State University School of Real Estate, graduated with fluency in German from the State Department Institute for German Language

Occupation: Mayor of Goodyear

Years you have lived in the city: 19 years

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: Longtime Co-Chair of the Luke West Valley Council; Member, Luke Forward; Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors; Maricopa County Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council; Transportation Policy Committee, and Economic Development Committee; WESTMARC Board of Directors and Executive Committee; West-MEC Bond Committee; Abrazo West Board of Directors; Arizona Mayor’s Education Roundtable; Arizona Town Hall alumni; Vice Chair of the Arizona Municipal Tax Code Commission

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? All, but perhaps 1 or 2

Why are you seeking re-election to the council?

It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Goodyear as Mayor and I am proud that the city is heading in the right direction. Together, we have accomplished a lot — creating jobs, putting the taxpayers first, and protecting Luke Air Force Base.

Over the past few years, Goodyear has added hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in economic investment. I am proud of all the work we have accomplished over the past few years, but there is still work to be done.

As our city grows, we must continue to make it easier for businesses to open and expand by continuing to cut red tape, ensuring Goodyear is on the top of the list for businesses that are looking to relocate. It is also important that we ensure that our taxes and fees remain low, allowing residents and businesses to keep their hardearned money, while also continuing to provide essential city services. I have a conservative spending record focused on core services and keeping taxes and fees low. Working together with the council, we were able to eliminate a multi-milliondollar structural deficit and successfully navigate the economic downturn.

I would be grateful to have your vote.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

I believe that term limits are helpful to bring in fresh perspective, but at the same time, they create challenges with institutional knowledge and allowing people to gain real knowledge and experience on the job. There truly is a learning curve when it comes to understanding how the city works and everything it takes to build a strong and safe city.

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

There are two critical issues that our city faces — attracting jobs and supporting our quality of life.

When it comes to attracting jobs, we have been successful in attracting a wide variety jobs including high skill and high wage employment. We have taken advantage of the Loop 303 to attract major national and internationally known employers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Huhtamaki North America, Sub-Zero, REI, and others. We will continue to build a broad and diverse base of employers including small businesses, retail, manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare and aviation.

When it comes to quality of life, we have kept taxes low, funded essential public safety, and supported our community. We have reduced the city food tax two years in a row, streamlined departments, funded critical capital projects, and set aside funds to cover the impending increase in ballpark debt service. We have also proactively refinanced existing bond debt to save the taxpayers $27.4 million.

In addition, we opened the new police operations center which will create more efficient public safety and we are working on a groundbreaking partnership to build the innovative Goodyear Community health park. We will continue to support fiscal responsibility while continuing to serve our citizens.

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

I am a collaborator who brings people together and works with people to find solutions. Sometimes, we agree on a solution and other times we do not, but I respect their opinions and continue to find ways to work together. I don’t hold grudges and I don’t claim to have all of the answers.

Serving the community and building a strong city council is about collaboration, not personal ambition. When I took over as mayor, I inherited a position that had been marred by conflict, strife, and controversy. Over the past 6 years, we have built a stronger Goodyear with a City Council that works together and city that is on the leading edge of attracting jobs and building a stable future.

My opponent does not bring fresh eyes to the council; he brings old conflict and scores that he would like to settle. He continues to bring up his failed proposal which would have put the city on the brink of financial ruin. He quit on the people of Goodyear and told them he couldn’t be an effective leader. I will not quit on our citizens. We need to move forward, not backward.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

A good leader brings people together to find solutions and as Mayor, I welcome new thoughts and suggestions. As I said, I am a collaborator who likes to bring an open mind and listen to all sides before I make a decision. It is important to listen to my constituency in order to find the best solution to issues facing our community.

I will stick to my principals as I arrive at my vote and ensure that all of our activities are in the service of the long-term economic and fiscal health of the city.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

As Mayor, I have been active in the community — attending events, meeting constituents, answering emails, social media, leading business and economic development meetings, and participating in regional and West Valley organizations. I believe in an open-door policy and always look forward to meeting with constituents to listen to their concerns.

Having a dialogue with my council and members of this community is the best way to reach decisions. Understanding the needs of our residents is vital when developing solutions that directly affect our City. I will continue to be a strong voice, working to ensure everyone in our community has a chance to offer their ideas for the future of Goodyear.

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

I am a full-time Mayor — committed to working the number of days, evening hours and weekends the job requires. My work includes: preparing for and running the Council meetings and work sessions, meeting with residents and the business community, attending events and representing Goodyear at regional organizations, attending business openings and ribbon cuttings, and other speaking engagements. My hours vary from week-to-week, but are typically 40 hours and sometimes exceed 60 hours.

As for my level of commitment to my constituents, I am active at the federal, state and local level depending on the needs of our city and the West Valley. Serving the citizens of Goodyear is my top priority and I have no other restrictions to serve.

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

Actually, I wish you would have asked a question about education, which I think is a top priority. I strongly believe that we must support education, but find fiscally responsible ways to do so.

I have supported local bond issues to fund education because K-12 education is critical to building the solid foundation for our future employers. I have also been a strong supporter of career and technical education (through West-MEC and other opportunities) recognizing the key role it plays in building our workforce.

The city has several initiatives that help raise awareness about the status of our education system. For instance, the council invites the superintendents of our 6 public school districts, which serve our Goodyear students, to provide an annual State of the District” updates during a City Council meeting.

Also, three new schools opened in Goodyear in the fall of 2015 — Basis Charter, Great Hearts Academy and Las Brisas Academy. In addition, we have worked with higher education institutions to find reasonable ways to locate in the city — without giving the handouts that we have seen fail in other cities.

 

City Council

Jayson Black

Age: 39

Last level of school completed: Master’s Degree from Arizona State University; Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University

Degrees, certifications held: Masters Degree in Educational Administration & Supervision; Bachelor’s Degree in Education Occupation: School Principal

Years you have lived in the city: 4

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: No answer provided.

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? I have attended every city council meeting since making the decision to run for Goodyear City Council.

Why are you seeking election to the council?

Raising a family in Goodyear, I believe that there is great opportunity to focus on the entire spectrum of a family, with safety, education and gainful employment being our top priorities. It is vital that families with babies and young children have entertainment opportunities, school choices and childcare facilities that support today’s working parents. Having teens myself, I understand the importance of providing citywide activities, events and opportunities for young adults to be actively involved while remaining safe.

Making my living in Goodyear, I understand that necessity of a strong business community and the realities of industry. As a member of the city council, I will continue to focus the attention of our local government on opportunities that will provide small businesses a chance to establish their brand in our community while providing quality employment opportunities.

It is also important to focus on the infrastructure of this great city so that businesses continue to seek out the opportunities to thrive. As our retirement community continues to grow, I will ensure that our city provides active adult lifestyle options both through entertainment and recreation choices, such as boutique restaurants offering a unique ambience and a focus on the fine arts.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

I absolutely support governmental term limits. Providing opportunities for community members and active citizens to enthusiastically reach out with a renewed vision is a key component when supporting growth and positive city transformation.

The electorates deserve choice and term limits allow for that opportunity. Furthermore, it is by belief that term limits encourages those in office to remain actively engaged with their communities. When time becomes limited it becomes valuable, that value then becomes action.

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

I believe that the primary consideration of any community should be that of the absolute safety of its citizens, visitors and stakeholders. To achieve success and to thrive in today’s economic and socially diverse environment, Goodyear’s residents must be guaranteed their safety.

When it comes to public safety, I will collaborate with our community members to both listen to and put action behind their wishes and desires. Working with the city manager, various departments leads, the police and fire chiefs and their respective union leaders, I will ensure that the will and wishes of the community is heard and that positive action is taken to meet their needs.

The second issue is that of our Goodyear families and their entertainment, recreation and educational choices. Families should have the opportunity to enjoy local comforts such as unique and diverse locally owned dining establishments, superior parks, recreational facilities that accommodate active families and additional amenities that invite creativity and imagination. The great residents of Goodyear deserve a place where they can gather together and enjoy life.

Furthermore, I will work with our city leaders to ensure that our schools and the superior education of our children remains a top priority.

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

As an educator for over 19 years, I have a wealth of experiences in the area of business operations, budgeting, human resources, community services, customer relations and building trust through honest conversations and sincere collaboration. My life has been dedicated to serving those around me and I have taken great pride in providing for my community.

I have public speaking experiences as I have presented to crowds of hundreds while sharing with my school’s community, school boards and professional organizations.

Opening a new school, I was placed in the role of project manager. Furthermore, I was blessed with the opportunity to bring together stakeholder groups to name the school, decide on a mascot, write our mission and vision, set goals and then develop and carry out those plans to achieve our set goals. I have facilitated discussion groups, planning committees and presented our findings to the school board.

I am experienced in analytical data analysis as it pertains to testing and performance measures and further believe that those experiences too, set me apart from the other candidates.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

I am elected by my constituents to speak on their behalf and make decisions that will most accurately reflect their collective voices. It is their wishes, desires and beliefs I will be representing and therefore, it is their voice that should be heard as I serve in this elected position.

My array of experiences have prepared me, beyond my opponents, to collaboratively work with opposing viewpoints and arrive at an outcome that is acceptable to all those at the table. I believe that it is through the active fostering of relationships, based on trust, where everyone is acutely aware that results are a product of all those that have brought information and insights to the conversation. Decisions go beyond that of just a single person and will be more representative of the community.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

Maintaining a close relationship with the entire community is essential to ensure that their voices are being heard and that their wishes, desires and beliefs are represented by my position on the Goodyear city council.

As an educator, I fully understand the importance of going into the community and meeting our families while they are in their most comfortable environments. Interacting with our city’s families is a critical component of staying connected.

I plan to regularly attend community functions, such as those organized by our city, and join more intimate gatherings that are sponsored by our great neighborhoods to build relationships and devote time as a listener. HOA meetings, school events, church activities, library functions, spring training games, business gatherings and other such activities are at the core of what makes our community great and it is my pleasure to attend such a range of community outings to stay in touch and informed.

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

With prior planning, my role as an educator has the inherent flexibility that provides me the freedom to serve as a member of the Goodyear City Council. Whether afternoon and evening city council meetings and committee gatherings or mid-day and weekend community events, being actively involved with then entire scope of city council is of great importance.

I have the full support of my school’s community, the entire staff, the site leadership team, executive directors, school owners and the Incito Schools school board.

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

I appreciate the opportunity to share about myself and the great opportunities that I will have to support the City of Goodyear. I value the opportunity to inform the voters of my vision and passion for family, education and public safety; free of negative and or disparaging prompts.

I trust that Goodyear voters will feel comfortable with approaching me with any questions or comments that they may have. I would like our community to know that I am open to engage in any conversation so that they may gain further understanding of what I will do to further support the advancement of our great city and extend the positive impact of our city council on the Goodyear community.

Wally Campbell, incumbent

Age: No answer provided

Last level of school completed: 15

Degrees, certifications held: Associates of Arts

Occupation: Goodyear City Councilmember

Years you have lived in the city: 16.5

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: I am a founding member and the current president of the Friends of the Library — Goodyear branch, Director of the Goodyear Historic Litchfield Station Foundation, a member of the West Valley Human Services Alliance, a member of the West Valley Child Crisis Center Board of Directors, and as a member of the All Faith Community Services Board of Directors. I also serve on the Southwest Valley Business/ Education Advisory Committee, Board of Directors for the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. Regionally I currently serve as the chairperson of the Maricopa County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Board of Directors, a member of the Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance, a member of the Arizona Assistance in Healthcare Board of Directors, a member of the Community Information and Referral Services Board of Directors (211), a member of the Maricopa Association of Governments Human Services and Community Initiatives committee, and as a Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Ambassador. Additionally, I was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer, and re-appointed by Governor Doug Ducey, to serve as the public member of the Arizona Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers. Nationally, I serve on the National League of Cities (NLC) Board of Directors, representing Arizona and also serve on the NLC Transportation and Infrastructure Services Steering Committee, and the Military Communities Council.

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? All of them.

Why are you seeking re-election to the council?

Our city is an All American City that welcomes and is welcoming to families and businesses alike. This is the place where families come to build their All American Dream. Businesses come because we have available land and labor. Working in partnership with the Business community the Goodyear City Council are providing opportunities for families and individuals to build the community of tomorrow.

I live and work here and I want to see this community continue to excel as the star of the valley. I want to preserve that dream for all generations of citizens.

The current City Council has implemented several strategies to ensure the stability and growth of Goodyear. By seeking reelection to the Council I hope to ensure continuity of those plans and the City Council. I work throughout our community to build pride and love for the City of Goodyear — an All American City.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

Yes I support term limits. Goodyear has a 3-term limit of 4-year terms for City Council members. Term limits ensure that there is a balance of seasoned member that can provide history and background for decisions that have been or are being made.

Newer members bring in fresh ideas and more direct connection to recent/younger communities of Goodyear. A mix of experience and ideas will strengthen the decisions made by the City Council.

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

I would be serving my second 4-year term. I will continue to raise the voice of the residents, continue to attract jobs and promote economic growth while being fiscally responsible.

The City of Goodyear is growing with the prospect to double or even triple its commercial development. It is the job of the City Council to promote the City of Goodyear and attract commercial development based on the needs of our citizenship and fiscally sustainable.

The City Council weighs the options and feasibility of every endeavor to ensure economic growth and fiscal responsibility and respond to the citizens of Goodyear. I hope to continue to work on bringing in businesses that support our communities and the City of Goodyear as an All American City.

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

I not only understand how the city of Goodyear operates, but I have spent the last 16 years working with various neighborhood and community groups in our city to raise their voice in our city government. I am engaged within our community daily and enjoy being someone residents have turned to for assistance. I have the ability to bring groups together and work for the common good of our residents and city.

I have over 20 years experience in state and local government and I know how the system works. I have been able to successfully navigate issues for our residents through our city government during my time as Councilmember. I am grateful for the respect and continued support from our community. I will continue to be a full time Councilmember.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

The residents of this city elected me to represent their views. I bring their concerns to every meeting and every decision made by the City Council. I consider the supporting documents and consult residents based on the impact the decision may have on them.

By discussing the issue with all parties concerned I can make an informed decision when I vote. It is not about what I want, its about what the citizens want and for the benefit of the City of Goodyear.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

I will continue to attend home owner association meetings, neighborhood gatherings, events in our city community parks, support Shop With A Cop, Goodyear Fill a Need, PTA meetings, serve on community nonprofit boards and commissions, high school sporting events, Little League games.

I go where our residents are and I am very visible and accessible to the community all year around. As City Council members we serve at the pleasure and benefit of the citizens of the City of Goodyear.

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

Being a Council Member is a full time position. I chose to run and serve with the full knowledge and understanding that my time and my energy would be directed to serving the residents of Goodyear as a member of the City Council. My work on the City Council is an extension of my service to the community in the years before I was on the Council. My service to the community is first and foremost.

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

I can’t imagine a question I would not be willing to answer. I may not have all the answers but as I tell those residents I meet with, if I can’t answer I will get you the answer.

I have always conducted my life and I pride myself on my integrity and honesty. I believe that conducting my self and my work with transparency has been key to ensuring the respect and continued support of the community. Nothing in my closet but clothes.

Sara Gilligan

Age: 50

Last level of school completed: Bachelor Degree Degrees, certifications held: Bachelor of Arts, Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine and K-8 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, University of California, Irvine

Occupation: Stay at home mom

Years you have lived in the city: 12.5 years

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: None

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? 6

Why are you seeking election to the council?

My husband and I have raised our family here, since 2004, while Goodyear has grown up around us. My parents live here as well. We are connected to Goodyear by three generations!

After collaborating on a couple of projects in our community, where I had the opportunity to interface with the city council, I realized that I might have some skills that are useful at the city level.

I am an excellent communicator. I listen to the members of the community and act upon our best interests. After discussing as a family, I decided that offering my time and service to our city was the perfect next step in my evolution as a resident in Goodyear.

I have participated in leadership in school PTO groups, led Girls Scouts, worked at the state level with educators, and volunteered many hours at schools. I am currently participating in Goodyear LEAD (Leadership Enrichment and Development) to prepare for service on council.

I look forward to meeting our Goodyear residents, listening to their concerns, and being their voice on council.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

I do support term limits, yes. Any citizen who is willing to devote their time to public service is worthy of consideration to serve. Yet, when elected officials remain in service for multiple terms, it can lead to a stale perspective.

Our city is growing and changing at a fast pace, and I believe it’s important to stay in touch with the needs of our whole demographic. It’s important to have representation on council from all areas of the city, and all members of our population. I am a fresh voice for all of Goodyear!

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

Our growth here in Goodyear, and how it is guided with financial responsibility, is our top priority. We are only at 10 percent development according to city statistics. Difficult to believe, but we are only in our infancy.

As we build vibrant housing developments, attract retail and entertainment, and secure professional employment opportunities, we must do so with an eye on our financial stability. As we put services and programming in place, we must be sure that our budget can sustain these.

Regarding retail development, I feel we need to find ways to support our local, small, or independent businesses so that we can bring character and camaraderie to our city. While we all shop the big box retail and patronize our chain restaurants, they don’t keep us here in Goodyear. We are all guilty of leaving our city to shop or dine out. Let’s bring style and character here to Goodyear so we keep our tax dollars here in Goodyear!

If elected, I’d like to work closely with the Economic Development department, to lead Goodyear to a thriving future. Let’s work together to create an area where we meet to dine, shop, and socialize. Living together, sharing life!

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

I am in a unique position to serve on council full-time. Currently, I am a stay at home mom. But, I like to think of myself as a professional family manager!

My children are 10, 14, and 16, and aren’t as demanding of my time as they were six years ago when I first considered serving on council. At that time, I pulled papers to seek candidacy for council, and quickly realized that the time demands did not match what I had available while raising three younger children.

Now, I look forward to the opportunity to attend regularly scheduled council meetings, but to also participate in daytime visits to schools, where I can listen to teachers and administrators about what support they could use from their communities.

I will be able to meet with police, fire, and safety personnel, and hear their needs for continued success while serving our residents. I can visit businesses, ask them questions of how their interactions with the city could be improved. Independent and small businesses do not have the support and backup of a corporate parent. We, the city, are their partner. Their success is good for all of Goodyear.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

As a council member, I mentioned earlier that I plan to visit with city residents in all communities, listen to them, reflect upon what I hear, and be their voice on council. It is important to look at the whole of Goodyear when making decisions. And, sometimes it will be important to consider one area of the city whose needs are so very different than the rest. It will be during these more challenging discussions that I will have remember what I have heard from our residents, take into consideration budget considerations, look at growth, remember the city vision, and come to a decision after thinking of all of these.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

I currently have both a website, www.GilliganforGoodyear.com, and a Facebook page, Gilligan for Goodyear, where our residents can connect with me. I have email, sara@gilliganforgoodyear.com, where I am happy to answer questions and address concerns.

During my campaign, I am holding meet and greets at local cafes, and I intend to continue this if Goodyear elects me as a member of council. I will partner with our six school districts, and many charter schools and private schools, to attend PTO meetings and parent nights.

I plan to be accessible. I will listen. I will ask questions. I will seek solutions. I have been posting a public schedule on my Facebook page each week with scheduled events, meet and greets, and city commitments. I will continue this so that our residents know they can reach out to me, whether through social media, or in person!

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

Being a professional family manager, or more usually known as a full time stay at home mom, I have many hours of availability. I have support from my husband and parents, who will help with any conflicts between my home responsibilities and city council duties. We have a wide network of friends who I trust to help me if ever I need support for my children while I commit to and serve the city.

My family looks forward to being a bigger part of Goodyear if I am elected to council. We already enjoy city events together! It will be rewarding to be a part of more Goodyear families as we enjoy our city together!

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

Well, I spent all of the 80s in high school and college. I am sure happy that we didn’t have digital cameras and social media capturing our everyday lives, including success, failures, and missteps! I don’t envy today’s youth growing up in a society where everything they do is broadcast for all to see, and documented digitally!

Brannon Hampton

Age: 34

Last level of school completed: Graduate School (Masters Degree)

Degrees, certifications held: Bachelors of Science in Business Management, Associates in Mechanical Maintenance Engineering, Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, Masters Certification in Process Improvement (Lean), and Certified SCRUM Master (CSM).

Occupation: Project Manager

Years you have lived in the city: 9

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: 2025 Goodyear General Plan Committee, Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) Past Board Member

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? I have attended approximately 90 percent of all meetings over the last seven months.

Why are you seeking election to the council?

I am running for city council because I believe in our city and want to see it grow to its full potential. Goodyear is wonderful place to live and raise a family and I want to see it continue to be so for future generations.

I represent the average demographic of Goodyear residents and believe my perspective can bring balance to the Council. I also believe in the significance of community service and it would be a great honor to serve as a councilman. I am a long term resident of the West Valley and I am invested in this community as my home.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

I support term limits as it allows for new ideas and perspective to come into the city council. I believe public involvement and citizen participation in the city is important. A strong Goodyear relies on citizens to be involved in boards, commissions and city council.

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

The top issues that I will focus on as a Goodyear City Council Member are:

1. Economic Growth — Goodyear can attract and grow more business in the city. We have the highest medium income and the highest educated workforce in the West Valley. I will work with the Chamber of Commerce, Business Incubators, Existing Small Businesses, ASBA, and the city to attract, grow and retain business in Goodyear.

2. Financial Stewardship — I want to reduce our debt and set the city up for future success. This includes not raising taxes on basic needs like water and food within the city that affect every citizen.

3. Public Safety — Residents deserve and should expect well-equipped Fire and Police departments. This includes keeping our streets safe and our fire response time’s top tier.

4. Quality of Life — The three above priorities will lead to a higher quality of life for our residents. This will include more amenities like parks, shopping, etc.

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

I am a native of Arizona and a long term resident of the West Valley and I care about the future of Goodyear. This community is my home and where I chose to raise my family. I represent the average Goodyear resident in age and I will bring another perspective to the board.

I have a Masters Degree in Business Administration and experience in process improvement, project management, business management, and in helping Small Businesses succeed. I have served as a Board member for Arizona Small Business Association and participated in the 2025 Goodyear General plan committee and the Goodyear Citizens Academy.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

As a Goodyear City Councilman I will be representing all of Goodyear. I will always do my best to accomplish what I think is right for the city and the community. On particularly difficult decisions I will seek the council of those parties involved and arrive at an informed decision that will benefit the city, community, and families of Goodyear.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

I am dedicated to ensuring that I have as many opportunities as possible to speak with citizens and business owners in person and through social media. Some specific ways that people can keep in contact with me is: Face to Face; Social Media; Attendance at block watch and HOA meetings; Email; www.Hampton4Goodyear.com.

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

There are no restrictions on my ability to serve. I have worked for Arizona Public Service at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station for over 15 years.

APS prides itself in being a good community partner. Employees provide thousands of volunteer hours to our communities and support the local communities that they serve. Palo Verde has an economic impact of approximately $1.8 billion annually and is the largest single commercial taxpayer in Arizona. I was recently recognized by APS for my volunteering within the community. See www.aps.com/en/ourcompany/news/latestnews/Pages/aps-recognizes-employee-....

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

I am very glad you did not ask me about my beautiful wife and kids because it would not have been possible to tell you about them in 200 words or less. As far as skeletons in my closet, maybe some of the teachers at Agua Fria High School could tell you a few stories.

Joe Pizzillo, incumbent

Age: 64

Last level of school completed: Masters in Business Administration

Degrees, certifications held: Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Masters in Business Administration

Occupation: Goodyear City Councilmember; Adjunct College Professor (Finance/Accounting)

Years you have lived in the city: 14 years.

Boards and commissions you’ve served on: City Council, City of Goodyear Audit Committee, City of Goodyear Community Funding Committee, South West Lending Closet, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Valley Metro

How many city council meetings have you attended in the last year? Have attended all Council Meetings. Have only missed one City Council meeting over my current 7 ½ year term, and that was for my 40th wedding anniversary celebration.

Why are you seeking re-election to the council?

I am running so I may continue to build on our successes of the past while working to ensure Goodyear maintains an exceptional quality of life for its residents, protect our neighborhoods from crime and blight, provide quality level core services in a cost effective and financially responsible manner, promote job creation, additionally support the recruitment of quality amenities while growing the City within a business-friendly environment.

As a member of your City Council, I have worked to overcome various financial challenges while maintaining a high level of core services. I am very proud to have been able to serve this City as its Acting Mayor from November 2010 to March 2011 along with a stint as your Vice Mayor. I feel this experience was invaluable in carrying out my duties as your City Councilmember.

I will continue to bring to the table my strong financial background, ensuring as the City moves forward, we deliver quality services in the most cost effective manner possible. I have been a part of Goodyear’s growth for more than fourteen years and I am proud of the many positive milestones, one being the recently opened Harkins Movie Theater in 2016.

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

Yes, I do support term limits. The City of Goodyear does have terms limits which include a maximum of 3 consecutive 4 year terms as a City Councilmember. I believe this rule is quite reasonable. If elected, this would be my third and last term as your City Councilmember. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your City Councilmember.

What is the top issue the city faces, and what action will you take on that issue if you are elected?

Today’s economic conditions, following the downturn in the economy, has created significant financial challenges to meet customer service demands, needed capital replacement and new capital projects of a growing community.

It is important as we move forward to have sound financial policies in place along with an adopted strategic plan to address such challenges. Creating an environment that grows our business tax base along with identifying efficiencies and cost savings within city departments is critical for our success.

I am proud that as a member of your City Council team we have adopted financial policies and strategies along with input from our various Citizen Committees to address key challenges such as our ballpark debt service, capital replacement programs, water master planning and implementation of the recent fire study.

The City’s current future growth trends will require a laser focus to meet our water, parks and open spaces, public safety and core service needs of our community. I will continue to utilize my financial background, community feedback, along with a team approach of our City Council to ensure our community’s expectations are met.

What do you offer as a candidate that your opponents do not?

I have local government financial experience and over 7 years on the City Council serving in the capacity as Councilmember, Acting Mayor, and Vice Mayor. My background and experience affords me the proper mix of skill sets to meet current and future needs of our City.

I am an active member of the community and belong to the Goodyear White Tanks Rotary Club, Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Lending Closet. My community involvement affords me the opportunities to receive regular updates regarding the wishes and concerns of our residents.

My comprehensive knowledge of local government financing and knowledge of the various governmental funding sources affords me the skill sets to address both opportunities and challenges going forward.

I will continue to work diligently and I am committed to meet all current and future needs of our City. I am very proud of the City’s past accomplishments and I would like to continue my community service as a member of the City Council, maintaining Goodyear as a premier community to work, play and to raise your family.

The council is elected to represent its constituency, yet at some point their wishes and beliefs will likely be contradictory to your personal beliefs. How will you arrive at your vote?

The City Council is elected at large and I take this responsibility very seriously. I arrive at my vote by receiving a variety of community input, researching the issues at hand and making my decisions based on what I believe is in best overall interests of the City long-term.

What specific practices will you implement to keep in contact with your constituents?

I am an active member in our community and attend various public gatherings in which I regularly solicit and receive community input regarding both business and public feedback into City operations. I also use our bi-annual citizen satisfaction surveys as a tool to identify Goodyear’s short comings and citizen priorities.

I have always been very assessable to anyone within our community who may have concerns or issues with City processes or its quality of service delivery. I take great pride in delivering high quality services to all in our community and meet with individuals whenever asked to address their concerns.

Does your job place any restrictions on your ability to serve?

I have a very flexible schedule that permits me to adjust my workload to meet the demands, responsibilities and opportunities of this position.

What one question are you glad we didn’t ask? Are there any skeletons in your closet?

I’m glad you did not ask me if I consider pizza one of the five basic food groups! Are there any skeletons in your closet? Last time I looked in the closet I could not find any skeletons!

 

Kourtney Balsan can be reached at Kbalsan@westvalleyview.com.

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