7 candidates vie for Tempe City Council seats
AZ Central 6-5-14
Seven Tempe City Council candidates are pursuing three seats in the Aug. 26 primary election amid a time of historic change for the city.
There will be at least one new member on the council because Councilwoman Onnie Shekerjian, Tempe's vice mayor, is not seeking re-election.
Incumbents Robin Arredondo-Savage, who works in her family's insurance company, and Shana Ellis, president of the Centers for Habilitation, are running for another term.
Challengers are: David Schapira, superintendent of the East Valley Institute of Technology; Lauren Kuby, a community engagement and events manager at Arizona State University; Dick Foreman, a Southwest Gas Corp. manager; Matthew Papke, director of contextual advertising for Lead Impact; and Ernesto Fonseca, a small-business owner and a revitalization manager for Avondale.
Tempe's leaders tout corporate developments that came to the city during their watch, bringing jobs, attracted by the city's central Valley location, urban downtown and college campus.
The next City Council will face difficult decisions about high-rise development, college-student apartments and other developments that would add density to the landlocked city.
The candidates already are promoting their vision for greater transparency in council decisions. They say residents should have more opportunities to weigh in on decisions about growth, development and how quickly to reinvest in city services.
Tempe residents recently approved an update to the city's General Plan to create a more-urban city. The council vote in December to approve the General Plan and refer the map for growth to voters came as some residents expressed fear over unchecked development.
Several council members promised to do a better job of approving quality developments and addressing residents' concerns about too much density in single-family neighborhoods.
The new council will vet the wave of developers who want to build in Tempe.
Those elected may determine a route for the streetcar, which has drawn support from the business community and concerns over the costly transit project from fiscally conservative council members and residents.
The primary election will include City Charter amendments, including changes that ban discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin and political affiliation.
The proposed changes would add two alternate members to the City Council appointed Merit System Board.
IMPORTANT ELECTION DATES:
May 28: Early ballot requests available
July 17: Write-in candidate filing deadline
July 28: Last day to register to vote in the primary election
July 31: Early voting for the primary election begins
Aug. 15: Last day to request an early ballot by mail
Aug. 26: Primary election
Oct. 6: Last day to register to vote in the general election
Oct. 9: Early voting for the general election begins
Nov. 4: General election
If you would like to get the latest news from EVNN,