Tyler Hudgins | Age: 29 | Years in Gilbert: 29 | Occupation: Small-business owner | Education: 2 years college | Immediate family: Wife. | Community/civic involvement: Small-business Owner, chairman of the Gilbert Redevelopment Commission for downtown Gilbert, General Plan Advisory Group member for the 2020 General Plan update.
1. What skills set you apart from the other candidates?
I have been very actively engaged in the Town for the last 12 years. I have been running my small business located in downtown Gilbert for 7 years and will bring that valuable business perspective to our Town Council. I have served as Chairman of the Gilbert Redevelopment Commission for downtown Gilbert and helped approve the new Redevelopment Plan.
2. Name your top three priorities:
My top three priorities are creating jobs in Gilbert through economic development, being proactive as Gilbert heads closer to buildout, and keeping Gilbert the best place to raise a family.
3. Should the economic fallout of COVID-19 worsen for town finances, what measures would you recommend to avoid cuts/disruptions in services?
My recommendation would be to prioritize essential and non-essential spending. Citizens and businesses care about their basic services - Gilbert should meet those obligations. I would look at proposing a task force to help us find areas to scale back. If things got really bad, we could defer future capital improvement projects and have our Rainy Day Fund in reserve.
4. Should Cactus Yards be sold to a private operator? Why or why not?
Yes, it should be sold to a private operator. My understanding is that Cactus Yards loses $1 million in revenue each year. As a small business owner, I would not invest in a business if I knew that it would lose that much per year – why should the town?
5. What should the town do with recycling since it no longer generates revenue?
I believe that recycling is important, but it is also important to be cost-effective. I believe that we should work with staff to see what ways we can make the best use of the program and find ways to make it sustainable.
6. What is your assessment of the relationship between Gilbert Police and the community and what changes, if any, would you advocate?
I believe that Chief Soelberg has done a great job managing the police response to the current situation our nation is facing. I appreciate his leadership and the response of the community as a result. I would continue to encourage open communication for both sides to find mutual understanding and ways to grow.
7. The town’s updated general plan goes to voters in August, do you support the update? Why or why not?
I do support the 2020 General Plan Update. I sat on the General Plan Advisory Group (CPAG) that advised on the updated plan.
8. Do you think the town’s “City of the Future Initiative” does enough to ensure Gilbert continues to thrive well into the future?
Culturally in the United States we tend to isolate ourselves from other people. This has increased even further with the rise of technology and social media where we are connected online, but not as much in real life. I would like to see how we can encourage the community to come together even more through policy, programs and development.
9. Name three things you would fix or improve with town government.
Things that I would like to improve is additional ways we can steward taxpayer money better, making processes even more transparent for citizens, and traffic congestion throughout the town.
10. Name three things the town does right.
The things that Gilbert does right is making the community the best place to raise a family, keeping our community a safe place, and focused efforts on redevelopment in our downtown along with having the foresight on the Growth Area in the Northwest Corridor.