Tolleson is getting ready for a big primary election: The mayor and three council seats are on the 2020 ballot.
The election for city council and mayor candidates in Avondale, Buckeye, Litchfield Park and Tolleson is next week. (Goodyear does not have any seats up for election this year.)
The last day to mail ballots is Wednesday, July 29, for the Aug. 4 election.
On the Tolleson ballot will be current Vice Mayor Juan Rodriguez, the only candidate for the mayor position. Current Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar is not running for reelection (though she will be on the ballot as a candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission).
For the council positions, incumbents Lupe Leyva Bandin, John Carnero and Albert Mendoza face challengers Donnie Gerhart, Jimmy Davis and Adolfo Gamez.
The West Valley View emailed questions to the Tolleson candidates. Here is the second part of the responses of those who replied:
What is the role of the general plan goals and policies in your decision making on development proposals?
The general plan should guide the decision making of the city council. We must all work on pushing policies forward that help the city reach its long-term and short-term goals. I have always been a big-picture thinker.
The general plan is the guiding policy that tells our story to potential developers. It talks about our priorities to recruit quality retail, housing and other economically sensitive options for Tolleson like e-commerce. It has been amended to reduce the recruitment of more warehouse/industrial development, but zoning has become our enemy.
The general plan goal is the direction the city would like to go in. First, I would make sure the development proposal benefited the city. I would use data and research and collaborate with experts and other council members before making any decision.
The general plan is a document that the city council created with input from residents of Tolleson. This plan is a guide by which the city uses when development presents itself to the city. This designates the different zoning options available for development within the city proper. This plan is a guide that can be changed if the city council decides to go a different route.
Lupe Leyva Bandin
General plan goals play an important part in the decision-making process because it is approved by the voters and provides the guidelines to follow in fulfilling our mission: retaining the foundation of our family-oriented, friendly, small-town atmosphere and supporting a positive, diverse growth environment that maintains and enriches the quality of life for everyone.
How important is neighborhood safety, livability and compatibility in development proposal decisions?
Lupe Leyva Bandin
Very important to the future of Tolleson in order to attract and retain residents.
All developments should take into account safety, livability and compatibility with our community. We have to always look at what value any development will have for our community. We must always put the needs of our constituents above all else.
The three issues of this local election that stand out to me are housing and revitalization and imposing the no-drug activity in our city, slum and blight areas.
It is very important. All three elements must be in play for the development proposal to be successful. Otherwise, problems will arise.
The safety of our neighborhoods is a top priority.
It’s extremely important. Safety and livability is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to quality of life for our residents. New developments need to sustain current conditions or preferably enhance our resident’s ability to enjoy their community. Proposed developments that take away from our quality of life need to be opposed with every tool we have available.
Are you supportive of selling public-owned parks and open space for private development?
No. We don’t have enough parks or open space to begin with, let alone selling it for private development.
Lupe Leyva Bandin
No. As a matter of fact, the city of Tolleson is currently planning to expand and upgrade it parks system.
We need to keep our parks. They give us a place to take our kids and socialize with others. If we give up our parks, we will not have a place to hold annual events.
We have to look very carefully at all our options for development in our community. Our land resources are very limited in Tolleson.
I do not support selling public-owned parks to one space for private development. We need places of recreation for our youth and our residents in general.
Why should someone vote for you?
I have cared about the community my whole life. Being on the council was never a stepping stone, because the only thing that has ever mattered to me is the well-being of our residents, the financial sustainability of the city and its success. My track record as a problem solver, collaborator, hard worker, and dedication to the community confirms my commitment to Tolleson.
My constituents know they have someone on the council that truly cares for the well-being of the community as a whole. Community includes friends, family, neighbors, young adults, business owners, schools, places of worship, warehouse industries. They can assure themselves that when decisions have to be made at council meetings, I vote on behalf of the best interest of Tolleson residents, not for my own benefit. My years of service to Tolleson stem out of dedication and pride for this 6-mile radius of land I call T-Town.
I’m well prepared to take on the challenge of being Tolleson’s next mayor. I bring with me a wealth of experience, a high level of education, and more than anything a love for our community. Tolleson is composed of hard-working, family-oriented people. I look forward to working hand in hand with them in moving our city of Tolleson forward!
I am running for Tolleson City Council because I believe that change begins at the local level. Tolleson is one large extended family. We are all connected in one way or another. We must work together to build a better future for our family. I come before you as someone who is dedicated to education, living wages, health care, and a justice system that is truly fair and just! All people have the right to the American Dream. It is time that we stand together and build a nation that is true to who we are as a people.
Lupe Leyva Bandin
I have good ideas and collaborate to see them through. I provide thoughtful leadership, unique experience and dedication to the position of council member. I am honored to serve.
I care about what happens in Tolleson and have been on several city boards. I graduated from Tolleson Union High School and served in the Air Force for 17 years. My family (wife and four daughters) have lived here for over 10 years. I want Tolleson to continue to grow to attract new businesses and remain safe for our family and neighbors.