Q&A with mayoral candidates

Avondale’s election offers no competition as three candidates run for three open seats on city council, although there is at least one new member.

Council member Bryan Kilgore was facing term limits and could no longer run for re-election. Newcomer Max White is seeking the Kilgore seat and incumbents Tina Conde and Curtis Nielson are seeking re-election.

The first ballots come out on July 6 for the August 2 elections.

Those who choose to vote by mail are encouraged to mail their ballot by July 26 or drop it off at a ballot drop-off location or voting location by 7 p.m. on August 2.

The Arizona Republic asked each candidate to answer four questions about city issues, ranging from city management to housing affordability. Nielson didn’t respond, but here’s what the other two candidates had to say.

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Candidates for Avondale City Council

Avondale fired its city manager in December. Is the city well managed? If not, what changes are needed and what qualities are you looking for in a city manager?

Avondale City Council member Tina Conde is running for re-election.

Conde: “The search process for a new City Manager is progressing very well and we are excited to find the perfect person who will continue to drive things forward as our city develops and grows. We have provided information to a recruitment company to create a detailed recruitment brochure highlighting the ideal candidate.

“Our city continues to be well run and we look forward to interviewing candidates who are passionate about community service and making Avondale the best city it can be.”

Newcomer Max White is unopposed in his bid for a seat on Avondale City Council.

White: “Yes. The City of Avondale had an employment contract. This employment contract was to be terminated with the former City Manager for cause and this dismissal was sent to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for investigation by the city ​​direction.

“Since then, the City of Avondale has not missed a beat. Mayor Ken Weise and Council have continued operations with the Acting City Manager and Deputies. The 16 departments, their directors and city staff over of 700 (full-time employees) have never ceased to serve the city by meeting and/or exceeding the expectations of their colleagues, local businesses and Avondale residents.

“The City…has enlisted Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct the search for a qualified City Manager…

“I am looking for the same qualities described in the section “The ideal candidate” of the city manager recruitment brochure. I would also like to see a candidate who demonstrates personal financial courage, responsibility and stability.”

Avondale is historically a farming town. Is it important to you to retain these cultural roots and is the city doing enough to protect its history? Why or why not?

Conde: “We are proud of Avondale’s rich cultural roots and history. Three of our biggest signature events include: Billy Moore Days, Fiesta Avondale and the Dia de Los Muertos Festival which reflect our cultural roots and history.”

White: “Absolutely, Avondale’s main goal is to ‘make life better’, which is why the city has evolved to meet the needs of residents, business people and those who have found our beautiful city a place ideal for work, play and stay.We welcome more urban amenities…

“Avondale seeks to blend a wide range of cultures. There needs to be a balance in our environment for family and business. Farmers have the support of federal, state and local governments to be sustainable in the agriculture industry. .. .

“A strong set of advisory councils, commissions and committees with Avondale residents (provide) input to influence the future of our town. Check out the annual events to celebrate the rich heritage of our beautiful Southwest community. Please visit: https://www.avondaleaz.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation/events to learn about some of the annual events open to the public to celebrate and honor Avondale’s history.”

Avondale has long been a town where young families could find affordable housing, but that has increasingly changed in today’s market. What would you do as a city leader to push for affordable housing options in your city?

Conde: “I’m proud to say that our city has made great strides in supporting affordable housing options. One in particular is supporting the expansion and completion of Norton Circle, a 46-unit housing community that will be replaced with 100 quality affordable housing units. »

White: “I’ve been out in the community, talked to tenants, landlords and those in need of housing in Avondale. As commissioner of the Neighborhood and Family Services Commission, we are engaged in the discussion of the city’s annual action plan for fundraising activities required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Housing affordability is a national concern. I will be an advocate at Avondale to explore ways to keep workforce housing accessible. I have shared my ideas regarding workforce housing with Mayor Weise and Vice Mayor (Veronica) Malone. I want our city’s first responders (and, in the future, all employees) to receive a substantial incentive to work and live in Avondale.”

Q: What do you see as the city’s two most critical challenges and how would you help solve them?

Conde: “Engaging with constituents is the best way to understand the needs and challenges of our residents. The top two I have heard from our residents are a need for groceries – in response to which staff are working to bring in additional grocery stores in our town.

“The second is traffic issues. We are working with staff and our residents to find solutions, as well as communicating and educating them about the process.”

White: “Environmental sustainability – Avondale has award-winning public works. I will be engaged and involved in the process of diversifying the city’s water portfolio to meet growing water demand. We can explore alternative energy options like wind power , solar and hydro. I look forward to being part of an innovative organization that will be able to support clean energy, land and water conservation programs to ensure a beautiful city for our next generation. .

“Community Involvement – Avondale is home to nearly 90,000 residents and only 42,556 are registered voters. I want to help raise awareness and involve our community in the political process in Avondale. I will have information…to lead the people on the way register to vote and how to get involved in our city’s civic process. We need everyone’s help to make sure Avondale aspires, delivers and accelerates.”

Reporter Maritza Dominguez covers the southwest valley can be reached at [email protected] or 480-271-0646. Follow her on Twitter @maritzacdom.

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