Mayor answers Times’ candidate questionnaire

Seven candidates are running for Peoria City Council, along with Cathy Carlat running unopposed for mayor.
The primary election is Aug. 28. Any candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the votes will win outright. If no candidate reaches that number, a runoff will be held on Election Day, Nov. 6.
Early voting for the primary begins Aug. 1. The deadline to mail back early ballots is Aug. 22, and early voting ends Aug. 24.
To register to vote, go to or
To request an early ballot, go to
To find out which City Council district you live in, visit
To find your polling location, visit
The Peoria Times recently sent questionnaires to all candidates and here are Carlat’s responses.

What is your age, marital status and children, if any?
I am 61 years old and have been married to Dennis Carlat since 1987.
What is your educational and career background?
As a district manager for a Fortune 500 company and vice president of a real estate leasing firm, I have experience steering organizations to bright futures. As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges facing businesses. After 13 years employed in the communications department of Central Arizona Project, I resigned to become a full-time mayor for the city of Peoria.
To complement my career choices, I have attended numerous programs, courses, conferences and tracks in management, communications, creative visioning, strategic planning, team building, Arizona government, land-use planning, conflict resolution and leadership in local government.
How long have you lived in Peoria?
I have lived in Peoria since 2001, originally locating to Phoenix in 1969.
Why are you running for mayor?
During my 13 years serving the citizens of Peoria, first as a councilmember, then as mayor, I fought to make economic development a priority in our city, to invest in public safety to insure a safe and secure community now and in the future, and to adamantly assure financial stability and transparency. I worked hard to raise the standards of acceptable development and will not relent under the weight of new growth. We have much to be proud of and still much to do.
Why do you believe you are better qualified than your opponent?
Although I have no opponent, I believe it’s important, as we enter the next phase of Peoria’s progression, to have someone who is experienced, and forward-thinking with a proven track record, leading the way.
How many City Council meetings have you attended (or watched) in the last year?
I have attended and participated in every council meeting for the last 13 years with the exception of three meetings. The estimated number of meetings over that time is 190.
Have you served on any city boards or commissions and if so, which ones?
League of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Committee, current Arizona Municipal Water Users Association treasurer, current Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors, current Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council, current Flinn Foundation Bioscience Steering Committee, current Peoria Council Subcommittee for Boards & Commissions chair, 2005-2015
Do you have any other political history other than city boards and commissions? If so what?
I was first elected to the Peoria City Council in 2005 and won re-election twice, in 2009 and 2013. During my time on council, I served as vice mayor in 2008 and again in 2011. In 2014, I was elected as Peoria’s first female mayor.
What do you believe is the No. 1 problem facing Peoria and what will you do to fix it, if elected?
We must do all we can to attract quality employers to our community. We also must balance our city’s growth with the need to protect neighborhoods and precious open space.
I am proud of our successes, but we also have a lot of work left to accomplish as we seek new opportunities for the future. Every avenue to create employment in our city should be explored. We must utilize every economic tool available in Arizona to attract quality employers that are looking to relocate from high-cost coastal cities as well as international locales such as those in Canada where financial sector businesses are pursuing growth opportunities.
A critical component to the attraction of quality employers is evidence of an innovative workforce. A culture rich in public amenities, art, recreation and open space not only enhance our economy, they protect neighborhoods, boost property values and enrich our residents’ quality of life.
What grade would you give the current council and why?
I am impressed with the current council and would give them an A. They hold the responsibility of their elected offices as a top priority, they genuinely care about representing their constituents to the best of their abilities and they are fiscally prudent and support a vision for a sound economic future for Peoria.

If elected, what would you do to address Peoria’s growing homeless population?
As homelessness grows throughout the Valley, Peoria is no exception. Mental illness, drug addiction and the need for housing assistance are all part of this complex issue. Peoria SUPPORT is a great program designed to address these needs and will soon be augmented with a resource services facility. We have an engaged and compassionate police department, and we need to watch closely to see when more officers and non-sworn personnel should be deployed to directly assist those in need of shelter, food and services.
Do you think the city is a good or bad steward of its residents’ tax dollars and why?
A financially responsible city should live within its means, balance its budget every single year and manage funds efficiently and transparently. Peoria does all of these things and is an exceptional steward of its residents’ tax dollars. To guard against short-term financial or political risks, Peoria management and council adhere to the Principles of Sound Financial Management to ensure that taxpayer dollars are managed wisely and properly.
What would you say to disillusioned and undecided voters?
Politics is a four-letter word these days with extremists on each side of every issue touting the worst of the other side. There will always be reasons to stay out of the conflict and as long as you do, nothing will change. Apathy is a necessary component for the status quo to prevail. Voting is your power. Spend a little time looking behind the curtain, assess the candidates beyond their words to see their past actions and the company they keep. Use your vote to shape the government you want. It is your right as an American. Don’t throw it away.
If elected, how will you make yourself available to you constituents?
I am a representative of the residents of Peoria and as such, I make myself available in many ways. Every month, I hold an open Morning with the Mayor meeting at locations all around the city. I have an active presence on the three most prevalent social media outlets. I touch the economic community through monthly business and restaurant visits that allow me to shine a light on their organizations. I am always available to anyone who writes, calls or asks to meet. The best reason to be in local government is to be close to the people you represent, building community together.

The Glendale Star

The Glendale Star
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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
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