Buckeye Candidates

On Aug. 4, Buckeye will elect a mayor and council districts 1, 2 and 3. 

All three current representatives—Tony Youngker, Jeanine Guy and Michelle Hess—will be on the ballot. 

Eric Orsborn resigned from his council position to run for mayor. He is the lone candidate for mayor.

Tedy Burton submitted enough signatures to make the ballot and challenge Youngker in District 1.

The West Valley View emailed questions to the Buckeye candidates. Three responded:

 

Please briefly describe your background including any relevant education and work history.

Jeanine Guy 

I have lived in the city of Buckeye for 40 years. This is where I raised my family and have watched the city grow. I started working for the city in 1992 as library director. As the city grew, I became community services director, assistant city manager and city manager. I retired in 2010. 

Michelle Hess

As a resident of Buckeye for over 10 years, our family has dedicated themselves to serving people, because people are the priority. I have served on the Buckeye City Council since 2012, as representative of the council’s District 3 residents. 

I am a summa cum laude graduate of Grand Canyon University with a liberal arts degree in theology and received my master’s in ministry from Johnson University. I have always wanted to ensure that I am serving our residents to the best of my ability.

In 2014, I was selected from leaders nationally and internationally to participate in the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government. 

 I have worked in the nonprofit sector for almost 20 years. 

Tedy Burton

Friend raiser, Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce, 2015-present. Program director for BOSS (Buckeye Outreach Social Services), 2006-2015. Buckeye Airport Board, 2015-2017. At large alternate for the city of Buckeye’s Planning and Zoning Commission, 2016-present. Math tutor, Odyssey Preparatory Academy, 2015-2016. Campus pastor, The Citadel Of Praise Church of Buckeye 2019-present. Member, Buckeye Elks Lodge, #2686 2016-present. Ran for Buckeye City Council, election 2016. Override Committee, Buckeye Elementary School District, 2013-present. Buckeye Leadership, class of 2008.

What neighborhood do  you live in and for how long have you lived there?

Tedy Burton

Currently I reside in Encantada Estates and have lived here four years. Prior to that we lived in Sunset Vista for seven years. All in District 1.

Jeanine Guy

I  live in the downtown area—some refer to it as Old Town Buckeye. I have lived there for 40 years.

Michelle Hess

I live in a neighborhood along Miller road and Broadway and have lived here since 2006.

 

Why did you choose to live here?

Michelle Hess

We loved the house and the feel of the community.  We saw the great opportunities in Buckeye, and we wanted to be a part of it. 

Jeanine Guy

I wanted to raise my family in a small town. My husband was working at the nuclear generating station, and Buckeye was a perfect fit for us. 

Tedy Burton

I chose to live here because of affordability. I fell in love with this community.

 

What are the three biggest issues of this local election?

Tedy Burton

The three biggest issues are water, the lack of infrastructure and good-paying jobs right here in Buckeye.

Jeanine Guy

For the city of Buckeye—water, infrastructure, and being fiscally conservative as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. 

Michelle Hess

Budgeting with COVID-19. Resident engagement with COVID-19. Planning for future water and infrastructure. 

 

What experience do you have with managing spending?

Michelle Hess

I have been on the Buckeye Council for the past seven and a half years. We were coming out of a recession, and since that time we have improved the financial health of the city. This includes the creation of designated contingency funds or rainy-day funds. As well as increasing the city’s overall bond rating. My job outside of the Buckeye Council is the CEO of a nonprofit organization. This includes the management and oversight of all funds for the organization. 

Tedy Burton

My experience with managing spending is being a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. I also have run a nonprofit with a modest budget.

Jeanine Guy

I have 20 years of working for the city creating and managing a budget. As a member of the City Council, I now have the opportunity to help create policy that is implemented through the budget process. 

 

What new ideas do you have?

Jeanine Guy

I  don’t believe these are new ideas, but I think that we must continually find ways to make our government operation more simplified and transparent.

Michelle Hess

Flexibility, creativity and strategic thinking. The landscape of the workplace, schools and more are all going through massive changes. Some of these changes are here to stay and some may not. The strengths I can offer my city at this time is my flexibility, the ability to think outside of the box, work regionally because of relationships developed over the years, and creativity.  Leadership at this time will require those two attributes as well as strategic long-term visioning.

Tedy Burton

My ideas, there are things that I would love to work on such as working with our young people and supporting our schools.

 

What is your track record and style of responding to questions from the public?

Tedy Burton

I love the face-to-face method, but we are living in a new day. So I would say by any means necessary. Email, Zoom.

Michelle Hess

I have always strived to be accessible, communicative and available to the public. I try to answer all calls, emails and social media within 24 hours. I have maintained and managed this during my term.  

Jeanine Guy

I  prefer email but will certainly respond to anyone within 24 hours. 

 

Which historic elected official do you most admire?

Michelle Hess

Lincoln. He has always been one of my favorite historical figures. He was an eloquent writer and was masterful in the way that he circled himself with those who thought differently from himself.  He was a man of conviction and was a true servant leader. 

Jeanine Guy

(no answer)

Tedy Burton

Mayor Tom Bradley. The first and only African American to become mayor of Los Angeles.

 

Which current elected official do you most admire?

Tedy Burton

U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar.

Michelle Hess

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. She is such a gracious and strong leader. She knows how to work well with her fellow mayors and leaders, as well as engage her residents. She is willing to try new things for the sake of her city.  

 

What is the role of the General Plan goals and policies in your decision making on development proposals? 

Jeanine Guy

The General Plan is the guide that drives all our development in the city of Buckeye. That document is voted on by citizens, and I make my decisions based on those policies. 

Michelle Hess

The General Plan is a very important document. It is a collaboration between our residents and staff that will help us create a vibrant community where people want to live and work in.  It is our strategic plan and guiding document for the future.   

 

How important is neighborhood safety, livability and compatibility in development proposal decisions? 

Michelle Hess

The tension of new development and neighborhood safety and livability is very important to me. As a growing community with only 5% current buildout, this is something we try to balance much of the time.  

Tedy Burton

(no answer)

Jeanine Guy

Those items are the most critical elements of a development agreement. All departments in the city participate in initial meetings with the developer to ensure that public safety and quality of life issues are addressed at the onset of the project.

Are you supportive of selling public-owned parks and open space for private development?

Jeanine Guy

No.

Michelle Hess

No. Our current leadership and voters believe in keeping the open spaces we have, and we will do what we can to protect them.

Tedy Burton

No, I am not.

 

Why should someone vote for you?

Jeanine Guy

I am dedicated to ensure that the city of Buckeye continues to be the very best place to live, work and play.

Tedy Burton

Vote for me because I am the best candidate. Should you vote for me you will get the hardest-working councilman. I promise that I will represent District 1 and the city of Buckeye with honesty and integrity. I promise to show up and be visible in our community, not just with the people I grew up with.

Michelle Hess

I have worked passionately for the residents of Buckeye since moving here but believe there is still work to be done. We need to continue to focus on infrastructure, water management, economic growth to create more jobs, support our schools and keep public safety our top priorities. Development is coming, and we need leaders who are educated and experienced to ensure smart growth for the future.

 

How do you define integrity?

Tedy Burton

Integrity is making sure that what you say and what you say line up.

Michelle Hess

Integrity is a life of consistency and sincerity, with no deception or pretense; no discrepancy between one’s public life and one’s private life.

Jeanine Guy

Acting with honesty at all times—staying true to my moral compass.