Opinion Photo

The city of Peoria has become synonymous with the idea of a great place to live. Residents across the city can expect a high quality of life in every aspect of their daily life. 

With an incredible parks and trails system, well-maintained network of roads, impeccable service delivery and distinguished public safety teams, it’s no wonder Peoria is recognized across the nation as a destination city. In fact, this year the city of Peoria was named the No. 1 Best Place to Live by Ranking Arizona, following a run as Arizona’s only city on Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” — and the list of awards continues to grow. 

These distinctions are not coincidental by any means. They come as a result of the guidance and policy set forth by a well-functioning city council. This type of collaboration among elected officials is rare, and why I believe it is important that this council remain united. 

As the city continues to grow (the latest census totals show Peoria at a whopping 191,000 residents), it is critical that city council remains focused on creating a sustainable and balanced future for our city. Staying engaged with local needs, regional trends and fiscal impacts across the state is all part of the council’s job as we move Peoria forward.

This council has successfully worked together for several years, learning and implementing best practices and policies to address these challenges. For example, we recently kicked off the “Growth Series” as part of the council’s study session agenda. 

These discussions allow city leaders the opportunity to evaluate growth trends and opportunities. Vital topics like public safety, water management and design guidelines are explored from every perspective in order to properly manage resources for the future. To put it simply, the city of Peoria does not approach policymaking with a “set it and forget it” mentality; constant communication and collaboration is key. 

These discussions not only occur on the local level but at the regional stage as well. This past summer city council gathered for a workshop to learn about market trends across the Valley. Experts from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) provided insight on current housing data, trends and needs, allowing the council to have a robust conversation about housing, open space and the needs of their own districts. 

Discussions like these allow the mayor and council the opportunity to discuss individual district needs, while identifying solutions to the complex needs of our growing communities.  

So how can Peoria continue its record of successful planning? The answer is a collaborative city council that works together. Cohesiveness is the key to forward momentum. Councilmembers are elected by their districts to represent the interests and needs of a collective area. This may lead to differing opinions, and there is nothing wrong with that. What is important is that councilmembers respect each other’s ideas and recognize their validity, while coming together to form a united front that represents Peoria.

I joined Peoria City Council because I wanted to see our community become the best city it can be. Prior to being elected, I was disheartened by the constant barriers faced by the city due to personal agendas getting in the way. Local government exists to serve the residents and businesses within a community, not to appease those of us sitting behind the dais. With this current council, I believe we are making remarkable progress at achieving our goal of making Peoria the best city it can be. 

The city of Peoria is an incredible place. Every corner of our community is bursting with vibrancy and potential. The current mayor and city council believe in this potential and work as a unified group every day to ensure Peoria progresses sustainably and successfully. I am honored to be working alongside these incredible representatives and humbled at our role in creating a future-ready city. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Peoria as this council continues to work together for a better future.