Scott Anderson | Age: 66 | Years in Gilbert: 32 | Occupation: Vice Mayor | Education: B.S. Brigham Young University, M.P.A. University of Colorad | Immediate family: E.J., 5 children | Community/Civic involvement: 25 years working for the Town of Gilbert as Planning Director and Director of Riparian Institute, 3.5 years Town Council.
1. What skills set you apart from the other candidates?
I have a deep understanding of Gilbert’s policies and procedures having served on staff, and written some of the plans that have implemented town policy. I have participated on executive teams and formulated budgets in the Town during 25 years as a staff member.
2. Name your top three priorities:
The first is a strong economy, which will be measured by job numbers, tourism, types and numbers of new businesses.
Second, a prosperous community where we foster a strong sense of place through safe neighborhoods, great open spaces and community involvement.
Last, an exceptional built environment that will provide the infrastructure to support a strong economy and prosperous community.
3. Should the economic fallout of COVID-19 worsen for town finances, what measures would you recommend to avoid cuts/disruptions in services?
The Town will follow the revenue “gateways” outlined by our budget office. A report is given to the Council each month. We are required to have a balanced budget and if any gateway shows a shortfall, appropriate action will be taken to prevent a deficit.
4. Should Cactus Yards be sold to a private operator? Why or why not?
The reason Cactus Yards is currently being operated by the Town is the failure of a private vendor to protect a town asset. The Town is now recovering from the failure through superior business practices. I am inclined to favor privatizing operations in the form of a public-private partnership if the business model demonstrates it can exceed the Town’s expected operation.
5. What should the town do with recycling since it no longer generates revenue?
Polls indicate a strong desire to continue recycling. Since the Chinese market is restricted, new markets should be found and/or developed in the region. Also, schedules may need to be modified to cut costs.
6. What is your assessment of the relationship between Gilbert Police and the community and what changes, if any, would you advocate?
After attending listening sessions in the community it is clear the community supports our police. However, after hearing from residents, there are opportunities to improve training and refine department oversight.
7. The town’s updated general plan goes to voters in August, do you support the update? Why or why not?
The update to the General Plan is essential for implementation of the City of the Future initiative. The Plan has unique language that will guide development to buildout in the next 10-12 years and protect the small town feel with a population over 320,000.
8. Do you think the town’s “City of the Future Initiative” does enough to ensure Gilbert continues to thrive well into the future?
Along with the 3 priority goals, the initiative will have 20 indicators with 115 metrics measuring the overall health of our quality of life in Gilbert far into the future. The data from this initiative will be extensive and shared with the entire community, and used as a means to sustain a unique place.
9. Name three things you would fix or improve with town government.
1. Improve public involvement in internal processes such as participation in the pre-application meeting with applicants.
2. Continue seeking full transparency when major proposals are made that will have a significant impact on the budget or residents.
3. Continue making codes and processes simpler and more efficient.
10. Name three things the town does right.
1. Serves a large population while making their “place” feel like a small town.
- 2. The mission statement, which is to Anticipate. Create. Help People.
- 3. The most fiscally responsible community in the Valley.
Anderson: We can achieve, maintain prosperity
By Scott Anderson
My vision of Gilbert in 10 years is a community that has a strong local economy providing opportunity for all to pursue a career across many types of businesses.
Second, it will be a prosperous community that enjoys safety and a sense of being connected through unique destinations and experiences. In 10 years, Gilbert will also have an exceptional built environment that supports our neighborhoods and provides the infrastructure to maintain our economy and prosperity.
In short, my vision is a Gilbert that does not experience the typical urban decay that historically afflicts most cities in the country.
Our economy is becoming more diverse and I would expect growth in tourism activity, STEM-related industries and other high-wage opportunities as indicators that we are achieving the goal of a strong economy.
Other targets over the next 10 years will include commercial vacancy rates at 9.5 percent or lower, sales tax revenues increased by $ 4-5 million annually, labor rates above the national average and job availability and quality rated at or above 80 percent.
A strong economy will be achieved as we achieve these, and other targets, during the next 10 years of growth.
We will continue to enjoy a prosperous community over the next 10 years by considering such indicators as safety and well-being, strength of our schools, creating a sense of place and our social connections.
Keeping Gilbert safe over the next 10 years as we reach build-out is achieved by effective community policing and keeping response times and crime rates low.
In addition, other measures to achieve a prosperous community include parks and open spaces as a percentage of land use, the rating of Gilbert as a place to raise a family, and the connections we make with neighbors.
We will know that we have achieved the goal of a prosperous community if our measures preserve and enhance our quality of life today and into the future.
Lastly, the often-hidden strength of a community is its foundation, which is the built environment.
Gilbert’s goal is to have an exceptional built environment.
Our priorities to achieve a strong infrastructure will include provision of clean water from reliable sources, economical trash collection, street maintenance and efficient traffic flow.
Also, the health of our community will depend greatly on the attention given to our aging parts of town. Some sample measures are percentage of waste recycled (currently 21.9 percent in other cities), the percentage of upgraded signalized intersections (increase by 5 percent each year), .53 miles of trails per 1,000 residents at build-out, currently .21.
These, as well as indicators on the health of our neighborhoods, will achieve an exceptional built environment at buildout by 2030.
These are a sample of our City of the Future initiative metrics that the Council adopted in the last year.
These goals and indicators will measure our success in achieving our overall goal to maintain Gilbert’s quality of life as we grow toward build-out.