Candidates

John Griffin, who retired from the California Highway Patrol, is a write-in candidate for Peoria City Council in the Mesquite District. (Photo courtesy John Griffin) 

Jon Edwards is running for reelection in the Willow District. (Photo courtesy Jon Edwards)

It’s decision time in Peoria.

Ballots for the primary election were mailed last week by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the city of Peoria will hold its primary election. Voters will consider

Peoria City Council candidates for the Ironwood, Mesquite and Willow Districts.

William Patena (Ironwood) and Jon Edwards (Willow), both incumbents, are the only candidates in their districts. In the Mesquite District, incumbent Bridget Binsbacher faces write-in challenger John Griffin.

The Peoria Times emailed questions to the four candidates. Two responded:

Please briefly describe your background including any relevant education and work history.

Jon Edwards

My work experience includes employment with two Fortune 500 companies, CompuCom and Global BPO LLC and currently Target Stores Inc. – all where I have held multiple program and project management positions. The leadership, communication and financial analysis skills that I have developed in my business career have enabled me to leverage them in our community, with active participation in both the Fletcher Heights Community and Fletcher Heights HOA for over fifteen years.

John Griffin

I retired as a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol in December 2018. As a CHP officer and sergeant I served an array of assignments including Road Patrol, Dignitary Protection, Governor’s Protective Detail, Office of Inspector General and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. In these assignments I supervised uniformed and non-uniformed Departmental employees in the day to day operations and functions of the Office and Area. Being accountable and available to the citizenry and allied agencies is a task I am well versed in and welcome.

What neighborhood do you live in and for how long have you lived there?

Jon Edwards

Fletcher Heights for 19 years.

John Griffin

My wife, son and I live in the Vistancia area of Peoria and have so since June 2019.

Why did you choose to live here?

John Griffin

We moved here because it met all of the conditions that most people want and need. Great health care, affordable housing, abundant recreational activities, low taxes, safe, clean neighborhoods, a conservative electorate and great schools.

Jon Edwards

My wife and I did a lot of research of the school district and surrounding cities and Peoria was the obvious choice

What are the three biggest issues of this local election?

Jon Edwards

Sustainable growth, transportation, fiscal management.

John Griffin

In my opinion the three biggest issues of this campaign are managing growth, commensurate infrastructure and spending. Arizona, and Peoria specifically, are places that corporations, small business, and home owners are attracted to, ensuring that our capabilities maintain pace with our abilities and will make reasonable growth without placing an undue burden on current residents.

What experience do you have with managing spending?

John Griffin

As a supervisor for the CHP I was placed in a position to assist my area (office) with spending in several aspects of budgeting including: personnel scheduling and overtime, weekly, monthly and annual services for a fleet of vehicles, training of employees, and facility maintenance which included a bid process where I was able to have the best service for the best price. In all of these functions I was, and am, well aware that I am spending taxpayer money, not mine. I was fiscally responsible then and I will continue as your city councilman.

Jon Edwards

Program/project manager with the same computer service company for 27 years, responsible for two Fortune 500 companies.

What new ideas do you have?

Jon Edwards

Engage youth throughout the city in as many ways as possible. Once they feel like their input counts as part of the community, we can tap into young minds with fresh views. I believe that we have to carefully review how our existing assets like parks, basins and roadways are aging so that we can plan with our fiscal resources.

John Griffin

Proven ways of conducting business should not be cast aside for the sake of trying something different, however there is always room for new ideas and personal development. As your city councilman I will seek advice from an array of individuals and other government and non-governmental leaders to ensure that the citizenry is served first and best.

What is your track record and style of responding to questions from the public?

John Griffin

When you are in a position of authority, elected or appointed, you are expected, and rightfully so, to adhere to a high degree of personal conduct. Part of this is being available for constituents and other members of the community. I spent a career where I was on call during the middle of the night, weekends, and holidays, with questions and concerns from employees, dispatch, allied agencies and the public. I answered every call. If the public has a question for me, they will get an answer from me.

Jon Edwards

As often as efficiently possible, the information requested will come directly from my office.

What current elected official do you most admire?

Jon Edwards

(no answer)

John Griffin

California State Sen. Melissa Melendez is the current elected official that I admire most. She is a strong conservative legislator in a highly liberal state. She has been steadfast in her commitments to constituents, a transparent leader, and fighting to save her state from ruin. She is a selfless advocate for conservative principles.

What historic elected official do you most admire?

John Griffin

Ronald Reagan is my all-time favorite politician. I was 15 years old when he was first elected President of the United States, I felt then that although I did not understand a lot of the things going on in the world, that it would be all right, because he was there and in charge. As an adult, his example of leadership and conservatism has guided me through every facet of my life.

Jon Edwards

Ronald Reagan.

What is the role of the General Plan Goals and policies in your decision making on development proposals?

Jon Edwards

Residents vote on the General Plan and this is the time to take a long-term view of how we collectively want our city to look in the years to come. The General Plan that is approved by voters is important to me when proposals come from the development community. This where all development proposals must first be considered, and any deviations must be carefully vetted with public input.

John Griffin

The General Plan, a road map for growth, is the document used for growth and development in Peoria, it is approved by the voters every 10 years and I will adhere to the goals set out by the council and approved by the voters. With the amount of growth expected, and currently being implemented in the Mesquite District, the General Plan is paramount as a guide to funding growth impacts. As an example developer exactions and constructed infrastructure are used, because of our General Plan, to ensure that developments pay for themselves.

How important is neighborhood safety, livability and compatibility in development proposal decisions?

John Griffin

Neighborhood safety, livability, and compatibility are principal considerations for any development proposal. Over developing an area, without ensuring basic public needs, like safety, is not progress and should not be implemented until those needs are met. Police, fire and EMS should be appropriately staffed to the population they serve.

Jon Edwards

Residents take these three things very seriously, and on their behalf I do as well. They have invested in their neighborhood and they expect that new development will take place with consideration for existing neighborhoods in mind.

Are you supportive of selling public owned parks and open space for private development?

Jon Edwards

Absolutely not.

John Griffin

Public parks, for me, should not be sold for private development. There is enough accessible land in our area to provide developers the opportunity to build without taking recreational areas away from our residents.

How do you define integrity?

John Griffin

Defining integrity is easy, I have told my kids this for years, “Do the right thing, even if no one is looking.”

Jon Edwards

A quote I try to live by: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” C.S. Lewis.

Why should someone vote for you?

Jon Edwards

I have worked tirelessly to earn your trust and confidence. My top priority is to protect the interests and future of every Peoria resident. I take pride in being Your Voice in Peoria. My strong work ethic, passion for good government and open communication style allows me to focus on keeping our Peoria citizens informed and involved in important city decisions. I am considered an impartial and good listener, a strong researcher of facts on both sides of an issue and creative when solving city problems.

John Griffin

A vote for me, is a vote for you. As I stated at the beginning, I am retired and not looking for a career, I am looking to make a difference. I have no endorsements, no lobbyists, no donors, I am beholden only to the voter. Since my campaign is a write-in campaign my name will not be on the ballot; the voter will have to write John Griffin on the ballot. I have said this before, and it’s true, you write me in and I will not write you off. I will listen to you, I will respond to you, I will represent you.