Chandler council candidate: Darla Gonzalez - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler council candidate: Darla Gonzalez

May 27th, 2022 SanTan Sun News

DARLA GONZALEZ

Age:  56

Years in Chandler: 18

Immediate family: Husband, daughter

Education:  BA In business admin from Ottawa University Chandler Campus

Job:  Self-employed – Gonzalez Professional Services, grassroots director For Az Free Enterprise Club

Darla Gonzalez

Why are you running for Council?

I am running for Council because I love Chandler.  I have raised my family here for the last 18 years.  I want to apply my skills in leadership, government, administration, relationships and administrative serve the residents of Chandler with integrity and respect.

Prior to your decision to run for Council, how have you been involved in the community and/or in town government-related activities?

The last five years, I have been working full time in government policy and grassroots both statewide and nationally.  I have taught people the US Constitution and the role of government.  I lead a group of 11,000 (and growing) members to communicate to their elected officials on legislative policy issues which are important to them.

 

What attributes do you bring to the table that would serve the city well, particularly if economic headwinds such as inflation confront America in the next few years?

My greatest attribute is my ability to work well with people, committees, and leadership. I am a good listener, a problem solver, and a strategic thinker. We can always find something we have in common to work together for the good of Chandler residents.  We can get through the inflation problem working together and being transparent.

 

Name three your top concerns in Chandler for the next four years and tell how you would address them?

My top three concerns are:

Public Safety – making sure our police force is equipped, staffed, and have all the resources they need to keep all of us safe and can respond quickly to emergency calls.  People move out of cities where they don’t feel safe.  They don’t buy or rent in cities where they don’t feel safe.  We need to make sure our police officers are supported.

Keeping taxes low – I’ve always believed in having a lean fiscal budget especially when the revenue comes from the hard work of the constituents.  But now, more than ever, with the increasing inflation, we need to not add burdensome taxes to our residents.  For those who struggle the most, and I do know many on fixed incomes or are working long hours to make ends meet, I think we look for more partnerships utilizing outside community organizations who are equipped and passionate about helping people.

Pro-Business – We need to make sure we are rolling back burdensome regulations and removing barriers which help both small and large businesses.  If businesses can grow and thrive, they will employ more people and expand services.  Business owners need supported on an equal playing field.  Let’s continue to support our local businesses by buying locally and being good patrons supporting one another in our great community.

 

Name something you would change in city government that would improve it.

I would make the city government less political and make governing about serving, listening, being transparent, using common sense, take out the personal agendas and put people above the politics.  Most people will find more things they agree upon, than disagree, but yet people focus more on the disagreements.

How can the city facilitate the development of affordable workforce housing?

While government can referee the market, it’s not the role of government to intervene with the free market.  The only way to make it affordable (without federal assistance/subsidizing) is to provide more supply.  If we restrict housing supply, home values will increase. City Council can look at the proposals from investors, developers and businesses, look at their rules and fees and look at their strategic plan to find viable solutions to workforce housing.

What issue has been handled poorly by the current City Council and what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t characterize the City Council as handling something “poorly” but there is always room for improvement.  I love my city and think the council and previous councils have done a great job managing and planning Chandler with infrastructure, low taxes, water storage, parks but there are always opportunities for improvement.  My hope is to learn what needs improvement and how we can make those improvements working together.

Should Chandler pass an anti-discrimination ordinance with penalties for violating its provisions? Why or why not?

I work every day to create an equal playing field for all people.  I love justice. I believe in a free market where customers pick the winners and losers, not government.   I am always open to finding ways to encourage positive behavior instead penalizing negative behavior.

What you support a bond issue to make the runways at Chandler Airport longer? Why or why not?

I was born into a family of pilots. Sadly, my brother passed away in airplane accident due to a botched landing. If upon research, I find that the runway poses safety threat, I would support making the runway longer.  I would like to see the Chandler Airport be subsidized less by the city and be more self-sustaining.

What achievement/activity that benefitted your neighborhood or the city are you proudest of?

In 2021, my team along with grassroots citizens worked with legislators and fought hard for a 1.7 billion tax cut for all Arizonans. This included the income tax to reduce to a flat tax of 2.5%. With soaring inflation, this legislative win helped millions of Arizonans keep more money in their pockets.

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