BUS OBAYOMI | Age: 33 | Years in Gilbert: 6 years | Occupation: Digital Consultant/ Founder & President of New Zeal Int. Consulting | Education: Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – 2020, Southern New Hampshire University; Masters of Art in International Affairs – 2011, City University of New York, New York, NY; Bachelors of Art in Political Science – 2009, The State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY. | Immediate family: wife, daughter (2 years old) | Community/civic involvement: Gilbert Leadership Board, Community Board for Youth and Education, New Zeal Intl. (Founder), Bethel Chandler Church.
1. What skills set you apart from the other candidates?
I am the founder and principal consultant of New Zeal Intl. I provide training in project management and technology. I also help job seekers to navigate the job market and develop the necessary skills for the force. My expertise has been diverse from Government, to finance, and to technology. I have been involved in a community board as an advocate for youth and education. In my role, I advocated the issues in the rise of teenage suicide. I have also been an advocate for continuous support for public and charter schools. I am a believer in servant-leadership. As a servant-leader, my goal is to work with everyone to solve problems. Servant-leadership requires checking one's ego to achieve for would be for the greater good of our residents. I have a knack for working well with everyone. The leader we need now is someone that would unite us as a community and not divide us.
2. Name your top three priorities:
- I. Fiscal responsibility: As your councilman, I will work to make sure we lower taxes for our residents.
- II. Support for public and charter schools: I firmly believe that our public schools and charter schools deserve more funding than what they have right now. As a councilman, I will make it a priority that Gilbert public schools continue to be the best in the State of Arizona.
- III. Supporting and equipping our police force. We have one of the best police units in the State of Arizona. This is common knowledge, and the Police need our continuous support in the advent of police killings in many regions in the United States. We also need ongoing police engagement in our community. We want to make sure that policing in Gilbert serves all our residents. It is our priority to make sure that all communities and families who call Gilbert home are fairly treated, and our police force is duly honored as well.
3. Should the economic fallout of COVID-19 worsen for town finances, what measures would you recommend avoiding cuts/disruptions in services?
The economic fallout of COVID-19 should not have worsened our town finances. While other Valley municipalities are slashing spending for the next fiscal year due to current financial conditions, our town council proposed a $993 million spending plan for 2020- 2021. Our current Council could have focused on getting small businesses and residents back to normal than creating 82 new high paying positions.
The budget could be used for struggling companies in Gilbert. What we need now more than ever is not more job opening on the town level. If we genuinely care about our residents, we could have proposed a budget hold for 82 new positions in 2020-2021. That shows that our current Council is not putting Gilbert businesses and residents first. That must change. As your councilman, we will not propose a budget to the detriment of our residents.
4. Should Cactus Yards be sold to a private operator? Why or why not?
I would not recommend selling Cactus Yard, formerly known as the Big-League Dreams. This is one of the primary trademarks of Gilbert were families can participate in games and activities to benefit the Gilbert residents. We do need a long-term plan that would provide continuous maintenance to the Cactus Yards.
5. What should the town do with recycling since it no longer generates revenue?
We should continue to recycle as the town. Beyond it being revenue generation, it is also value-driven to recycle. We would have to be creative in ways there we can get more people to see the benefit of recycling and the impact it has on our environment. We do not can cancel have to cancel a segment of the town because it is no longer revenue-generating; we must look at the holistic impact on our community.
6. What is your assessment of the relationship between Gilbert Police and the community and what changes, if any, would you advocate?
In Gilbert, I do believe we have a reasonable police force, but we always are better. What the former police chief, Chief Dunn did well was to engage the community. Chief Dunn interacted with the community organizations and welcomed the involvement of organizations who would like to learn more. We need to continue the culture of the Police Force to engage with every aspect of our community. There is no room for prejudice in our Police unit. Gilbert is growing in population, and people are moving from everywhere.
My wife and I moved to Gilbert because we believed it is a great place to raise a family. I love our town. I also want everyone that lives here to feel the same way as well. If there is concern that comes up, our first action should not be defensive but to understand the situation.
7. The town's updated general plan goes to voters in August, do you support the update? Why or why not?
I do think that it makes sense it goes out in August. I would recommend it goes out late July before the primary election so that the electorate can have a proper scope of our town and our Council.
8. Do you think the town's "City of the Future Initiative" does enough to ensure Gilbert continues to thrive well into the future?
As someone in the digital space, I do believe that our town leveraging technology is not a thing of the future but now. The advent of COVID 19, has prompted our transition to "the City of the Future Initiative." I do believe that protecting our residents should be our first and primary priority without violating their privacy. It will be great for us to re-review the initiative because some aspects invade the privacy of our residents. There needs to be further dialogue with our residents on such issues.
9. Name three things you would fix or improve with the town government.
- I. Lower property taxes
- II. Develop a robust initiative that would encourage the growth of small businesses in Gilbert
- III. Engage new residents more in issues relating to Gilbert while honoring our long-term residents. My goal would be listening to our we can further engage our new residents to make them feel at home in Gilbert. Not everyone had the opportunity; I had to embrace Gilbert at home. I also believe we need to honor long-term residents by making sure that they still own their properties and enjoy the lifestyle they have always loved.
10. Name three things the town does right.
· In Gilbert, we have a fantastic police force. We have a role to play in making sure that our police force is honored, but there is also no room for prejudice in our town. Gilbert is growing, and we are not perfect. We must make sure that no matter who comes to our town and where they come from, Gilbert is a home for them too. By 2030, Our city would have grown population, but our values would remain the same. Our safety will still be our top priority. Just as former chief Dunn has served our town, we will continue to make sure the Police force is aware of the residents in Gilbert. We would continue to make sure that the police force as a cordial relation with all communities in Gilbert. I am the best councilman to do that.
- · Gilbert is family-friendly and safe. We are listed as one of the safest towns in America. I do not want that to change. Gilbert is a beacon for the state of Arizona
- · Our current council has done some good works in public relations. The PR team has been very committed to disseminating information to its residents on major issues impacting the town. As councilman, I will continue to encourage the quality of the PR that we have in Gilbert.
Obayomi: Do more, be more and make a difference
By Bus Obayomi
As an American, I take pride in the opportunities that the United States has afforded me.
There is still injustice in our world. And yes, I am against injustice. I also believe that anyone can rise against any obstacle. I am for righteous anger. But anger that is rooted in bitterness would only lead to chaos.
There are many just people whose goal is to live justly and righteously. Leadership is about service. If your leadership position is a cushion for your comfort, then you have no idea about service. I am a proponent of civil discourse. There will always be bad apples among us. I am always inspired by those who have risen above all odds and overcome the challenges of their time.
I found inspiration in people like Frederick Douglas, George Washington, Martin Luther King, etc. These people had every right to blame the institution of their time. If they rioted for their lives, they would still be justified, but they did not. They found hope in hopelessness. They saw opportunities amid oppression.
They fought the battle of their time on their knees, but they also came up with ideas. They were change-makers of their era. They invented, came up with ideas, developed themselves, and made themselves indispensable. Because of the upheavals they had to overcome, every word they spoke mattered. Every word they spoke counted. They knew there was an injustice, but they also knew that they had to find solutions.
Sensationalism has a way of making us feel relevant but will never beat logic.
In Gilbert, we have a fantastic police force. We have a role to play in making sure that our police force is honored, but there is also no room for prejudice in our town. Gilbert is growing, and we are not perfect. We must make sure that no matter who comes to our town and where they come from, Gilbert is a home for them too.
By 2030, our city would have grown population, but our values would remain the same. Our safety will still be our top priority. Just as former chief Dunn has served our town, we will continue to make sure the Police force is aware of the residents in Gilbert. We would continue to make sure that the police force as a cordial relation with all communities in Gilbert. I am the best councilman to do that.
As a Christian, the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart. And secondly, it is to love your neighbor as yourself. If you are a Christian and this is not the foundation of your belief system, you have a problem
During this time, a COVID 19 and racial upheaval, this is the best time we can reach out to our neighbors and check how they are doing.