Higley School Board

Who should be making the decisions on how to best educate our children?  Some say parents, some say teachers, some say administrators, some say state governments and some believe it is the role of the federal government… This is the main question being asked of the voters in the upcoming election; and we have a wide range of alternatives to choose from.

I for one, am a big proponent of parental direction… Call me crazy, but they are OUR children; and I believe I will have a reporting to God for both what I taught them and for what I permitted others to teach them.  Now is not the time to go into my exact belief and preferences on the best and most proper form of educating our children, but as a parent, grandparent and as a taxpayer I will most definitely be throwing my support behind those that are the closest to my beliefs.

The local Republican legislative district (LD12) recently had a “debate” for many of the candidates – click here to view.  There was also another debate with only Higley candidates at the Higley Center for the Arts – however I have not been able to find video of that event.  I was present for both debates.

This is a readers digest analysis, but Rebecca Jarman is the closest to aligning with my preferences  in parental direction with Michelle Anderson next.  The whole “W for Winners” campaign of Whitener and Wojtovich believe parents are incapable (I am assuming due to our lack of time and information) of seeing the big picture and work towards a district and/or governmental control of our schools and children.

I know it has been said many times that “it takes a village to raise a child”, but to be frank, I believe that to be absolute crap.  Yes, we can all help one another as individuals, parents and fellow children of God; but something tells me when I kneel before the judgment bar of God in regards to my children, He will not be calling the entire village in to discuss.  The successes and failures will be on the shoulders of myself and my wife – along with the children themselves.  We, as parents, must acknowledge that the duty and responsibility of parenting (and teaching our children) has never and will never leave – it cannot be abdicated regardless of what governments do.  Therefore, let us start now in searching for and voting for candidates that will not seeks ways to “educate” us parents with scare tactics, but will seek out our wishes and desires on how we feel is best to properly educate our children.

Join me in voting for Rebecca Jarman and Michelle Anderson for Higley Unified School Board.

Prop 480….

While I believe that there has been a need for a county hospital; I believe that need is gone.  With Obamacare going mandatory on January 1, 2015 and the medicaid expansion here in Arizona.. who needs county anymore?  We the people are being forced into paying for Medicaid expansion and Obamacare in order to make sure everyone has access to “affordable” health insurance… and offering massive assistance to the low income among us.  So why do we need a county hospital still?  The truth… We don’t.  There are two legitimate reasons.  One is it is one of the finest burn units in the nation, and two, the colleges are using it as a “medical school”…  These are great functions – but should not be foot by the people of Maricopa county. These costs should be paid for by those using the burn unit (and their insurance) along with the universities using the facilities as a training ground (of course… we are subsidizing our in state universities too…and yet somehow college tuition has skyrocketed over the last decade or two).

This proposition is asking for just shy of 1 billion dollars… Are you kidding me??  For a county hospital (that really isn’t needed anymore)??

This one is a no-brainer – vote no on prop 480.

Take a look at what the Arizona Tax Research Association has to say – Click Here.

Higley Superintendent “picking” her own school board.

Many moons ago, when I decided to be more active in politics, I found myself “shocked” at some of what I found behind the scenes… Sadly, the longer I look behind the curtain, the less the “politics” business shocks me.  Similar is the latest with our Higley School Board elections.  I am not shocked at all, just find myself shaking my head.

Higley Unified School District Superintendent not only endorses certain candidates, but puts her money where her mouth is.  Ms Birdwell recently donated $500 along with her endorsement of incumbent school board president Venessa Whitener’s campaign. Here are the Campaign Finance Docs.  One will also notice a $250 contribution from  Vice President of Higley School Board Kim Anderson.

I am not sure which bothers me more… the fact that Ms Birdwell is giving money to a candidate (that has direct input on the superintendent position and it’s pay.. ) or that Venessa Whitener (who is a representative of the Higley parents) is accepting money from the very person/position she is suppose to direct.

Do we really have much say in what goes on even in our schools??  It appears to be nothing short of a “good old boys” club, or in this case, a “good old girls” club.

Would You Look at That…

Who would have thunk it??  Gilbert was just ranked #20 for America’s Best 50 Cities to Live!  Of course, we know our wonderful town is awesome – but to hear the media talking about our “poor performing” schools, you would think we were some backwoods group of morons.

Here is the link to most recent Gilbert accolades.   http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/09/17/americas-50-best-cities-to-live/13/

My question to you refers back to the “chicken or the egg” mentality.

What makes Gilbert so wonderful?  I have to admit I get a little ticked off when I hear our town officials telling us that Gilbert is ranked #2 for “safest cities in the country” and it is due to our wonderful police force… or Gilbert is struggling attracting new business because our limited government mentality or because our struggling schools are starting to get negative media…

So what does make our town so wonderful??  THE PEOPLE!!  Yes, crime is low – because we are generally good people… Our children do well in school – because we love our children and put forth effort into teaching them…

There are numerous ingredients into making Gilbert such a great place to live.  Those ingredients include teachers, police officers, town employees, businesses and many many more…but the staple is without a doubt the quality of the people that live here.

Who should pay for town growth?

What kind of town do we want to have?  I think first and foremost we all want a good safe place to raise our families.  We want good schools.  We want low taxes.  We want good roads.  We want shopping near by.  We want a clean well kept town.  I think we all agree on those points… but after that, our opinions all differ – which is great!

We have had a couple of interesting developments over the last year or so in our great town.  First, let me state how excited I am that we have a university coming to downtown Gilbert!  I think this is awesome!  But, I do have one small point of contention… Why the heck are the Gilbert residents paying for it??  I am all for St. Xavier coming to Gilbert, I would just prefer that the private, for profit, university, pay for the place.  I believe Gilbert is the best place to live in the entire valley.  It is wonderful!  We have great schools, heck I understand we are the 2nd safest city in the nation. Here is a quick story on the new college coming to downtown Gilbert.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/20131113gilbert-council-oks-developing-st-xavier-university.html

As many of you have heard, we narrowly escaped another large financial commitment by our town council with a BMX facility right near Greenfield and Germann roads.  The proposal was voted down after it became more public.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/Gilbert/2014/04/18/Gilbert-rejects-bmx-park/7868337/

Is there a reason the council is searching for ways to spend millions of Gilbert resident tax dollars? Is there a reason the council believes the only way we can be financially viable is to grow while at the same time “bribing” companies to come here by offering to build their facilities for them?  Did our town council learn much of anything from the economic collapse and the housing bubble?  Things change! Markets change.  What happens if the economy struggles again in 5 years and the college has no students?  What happens if the BMX proposal comes up again and passes (like many on our current council want) and that very small market changes?  It’s bad enough to spend our tax dollars on a private business, but it is immeasurably worse to put the Gilbert tax payers in debt for such nonsense by obtaining bonds to pay for these things.  My hat goes off to Victor Petersen and Jared Taylor for treating my current money and my future money as though it was there money!  To the other five on the council….wake the heck up!

Upcoming Republican Primary

Upcoming Races!

US Rep in Congress – For me, Matt Salmon has done a pretty decent job in DC. – Matt Salmon – http://salmonforcongress.com/

Arizona Governor Race – This race reminds me of an attraction at Disneyland, Thunder Mountain – aka, the wildest ride in the wilderness!  This is a crowded field with the following candidates.

This is a tough race as there are so many things that are factors in choosing a candidate.  Some believe principle is the driving factor, while others want someone that can beat the Democratic challenger Fred DuVal.  The field is full of moderate republicans and one liberal republican (Smith) – there is no true limited government conservative running.  What criteria one uses is personal and different for all of us.  I personally am a mixture, but tend to lean more towards principle.  About two weeks ago, this was considered a pretty open race with the leaders being Ducey and Jones; while more recent polls are showing it close between Ducey and Smith.  I do not support Scott Smith.  The 5 “moderates” are splitting the conservative vote while Smith is garnering the most of the liberals and moderates within both the republican party and independents (who get to vote in the republican primary) While I am not a fan of plugging my nose to vote for someone, I will be doing just that in voting for Ducey as he is MUCH better than Smith.  Here is an interesting article about the finances in Mesa during Mayor Smith’s tenure.  Mesa has “improved”, but Mesa has massively increased its debt and therefore is sacrificing its future. If Elected, Smith will do the same things to Arizona that he has done to Mesa.

http://www.gilbertwatch.com/index.cfm/blog/mesa-s-debt-bomb-thanks-to-former-mayor-scott-smith/

Pick – Doug Ducey

State SenatorAndy Biggs – http://reelectandybiggs.com/

State Representative – Voting for no more than two people.

Our legislative district 12, has in my opinion three of the absolute best legislators in the entire state of AZ.  They are not perfect, but in the political confused climate we have today, they are about as close as we can hope for.  They have done an excellent job!

Secretary of State –

Pick – Justin Pierce

Attorney General 

Pick – Mark Brnovich

State Treasurer

Pick – Jeff DeWit

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Pick – Diane Douglas

Corporation Commission – Vote for no more than two.

Pick – Doug Little and Tom Forese

Town of Gilbert Town Council – Vote for no more than four.

This race has become very political and due to what I perceive to be an orchestrated effort to oust limited government councilman Victor Petersen, I am only voting for Victor Petersen (and may vote for Jason Cvancara).  While incumbents Eddie Cook and Jordon Ray do not appear to be involved in the “Get Rid of Victor” campaign, they have not come out in support of Victor either.  I do hope that Eddie Cook is re-elected as he is a good overall member of the council…

Pick – Victor Petersen and Maybe Jason Cvancara

 

 

 

 

Gilbert Town Council Candidates

Hi friends 🙂

I wanted to send a quick reminder out that early voting has started today (for the primary election).
The regular (go to the polls voting) is on Aug 26th.
Last day to register to vote for the GENERAL election is Oct 9th
General Election is November 4th.
Many of you know that I am active in politics and for the last few years have been a precinct committeeman for our local district.  Hence the reminders 🙂
I have opinions (some are louder than others) regarding most of the races, but wanted to share a little info on the 7 (I believe only 7 now) that are running for the Gilbert Town Council.  I believe that if we really want to change anything in the country, you absolutely have to start with local government. The Gilbert Town Council has been relatively “conservative” over the years.  As Gilbert has grown, the town has enacted some bigger government policies as that was believed to be necessary for proper growth.
Here are the 7 candidates (for 4 open positions):
*  Eddie Cook (currently on council and serves as Vice Mayor), website is http://voteeddiecook.com/
“moderate to conservative” type of conservative
Cook works for international technology firm NetApp in its Scottsdale office and has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Arizona State University. He has lived in Gilbert for 28 years.
*  Victor Petersen (currently on town council), website is http://www.votevictorpetersen.com/
limited government type
Petersen works as general manager for his family’s homebuilding company, VIP Homes,and has lived in Gilbert for 23 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University.
*  Jordan Ray (currently on the town council), facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/votejordanray
“moderate to conservative type of conservative
Ray works for inData Corp. in Gilbert, a company that provides legal software and consulting. He has a degrees in information technology and law. Ray has lived in Gilbert for five years.
*  Jason Cvancara – website is http://www.jdcaz.com/
newcomer – seems conservative.
A Phoenix police officer and US Air Force Reservist.
Cvancara owns Serialtrak, a small business that provides home-protection services, and has a master’s degree in international security from University of Arizona. He’s lived in Gilbert for five years.
 
*  Brigette Peterson – website is http://about.me/BrigettePeterson
Newcomer – More moderate conservative.
Currently not employed.
Peterson has lived in Gilbert for 18 years and serves on the board of directors for the Gilbert Leadership program. She has served for about 14 years on the Planning Commission, taking on additional responsibilities as the zoning hearing officer.
 
*  TJ Tillman – website is http://www.votetjtillman.com/#!background/csgz
Newcomer – moderate to conservative type of conservative
Tillman studied finance at Capella University, an online education provider, and previously worked as a banker for JPMorgan Chase.
 
*  Tim Rinesmith – facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Rinesmith4Council
Newcomer – don’t know much about him.
Rinesmith has a degree in business administration from University of Phoenix and has lived in Gilbert for 11 years.
 
I personally will be voting for Victor Petersen for two main reasons:
1 – His voting record is very close to mine – more of a limited government and let the people run their own lives kind of guy.  
2 – He (along with Jared Taylor who is currently on the council and who’s seat is not up) have brought up very good points and many things to consider that many on the council had not considered.  I have a number of “moderate” friends that have said, how much they appreciate the different perspectives that they bring to the council.. even though they often disagree with them – after bring up some of those points, they have seen value and have somewhat changed their perspective.
 
If interested for any of my personal thoughts (or who I may be voting for) for this race or any of the other races, just shoot me an email.
 
Happy Voting!!
 
Thanks!!

Yes, I am opinionated.