With the passing of Mayor Georgia Lord and Joe Pizzillo stepping up as the city's newest mayor, the Goodyear City Council will be appointing a new councilmember.
Here is a glance at the candidates who applied for an appointment to the Goodyear City Council.
23 CANDIDATES WHO APPLIED FOR THE VACANT COUNCIL SEAT
Gregg N. Clymer
Sara MacInnes Gilligan
5 FINALISTS CHOSEN TO INTERVIEW TO FILL THE VACANCY
What stands out immediately is the lack of females in the chosen few. 7 women applied. That's about a 3rd of the candidates. Not a single one was chosen to interview.
Of the 5 finalists to fill the vacancy, all seem to have a lot of experience and many years as residents.
It appears candidate interviews will be February 22nd with the new member of the Goodyear City Council being sworn in February 28th or March 7th.
When it's all said and done, the biggest concern to me is who are the pro-parental rights candidates?
While Goodyear City Council does not oversee education... the candidates are very likely to move into higher legislative roles.
For instance, former councilmember Joanne Osborne is now a member of the House of Arizona State Legislature. She's recently come under fire by Corey A. DeAngelis for voting against school choice. Additionally, Garret Lewis of KNST is calling for people to "Call the RINOs Not Supporting HB 2616 Which Unmasks Kids in School" with Osborne listed as one to call.
GOODYEAR, AZ AUGUST 2022 ELECTION CANDIDATES
Here are the candidates, so far, running for election in August 2022.
Bottom line? Elections - and appointments - have consequences.
Driving down Estrella Parkway, it seems our little town is really growing up. From new industry and small businesses to housing developments and homelessness... Goodyear has a lot on its plate.
Have you seen the construction next to the Goodyear Ballpark? That vacant land will be home to "Gates at Goodyear" - condos with mixed-use for the west Valley. Reportedly, "It will feature 80 residential units, with office, dining and retail space below. Noting Arizona’s heat and long-lasting sunlight as motivations, Fair also plans for the structure to be energy independent and efficient, with the goal of residents having net-zero energy consumption. One feature is that residents’ units will have what Fair describes as transition glass, which darkens when exposed to sunlight." The CEO is Andra Fair who got the idea from his land partner, David Byrd, who owns several Goodyear hotels. "The development also involves Sonnen home energy storage systems, so each unit will have two solar-powered batteries, allowing residents to go on or off the grid, he explained."
We're chomping at the bit for Saddle Mountain's patio to open. Maybe October? Hopefully? We can't wait!
MC85 at Lower Buckeye Road is going to take on new shape in Goodyear. Microsoft is moving in south of the Goodyear Airport. Check out more here.
A new school! Litchfield Elementary School District is building a new school. "School 16" will be located at 18601 W. Campbell Avenue in Goodyear... just north of Indian School Road and east of Perryville Road.
Pickleball courts at the Goodyear Community Park unveil September 22nd. Goodyear says, "The event will kick off with a tour of the court and remarks by city officials. Later, there will be on-court demonstrations by local pickleball players as well as mini-clinics covering the basics – from selecting the right paddle to understanding the rules of play. The celebration concludes with the courts open for general public play. The project, which was funded and approved in response to residents’ request, converted basketball courts to accommodate pickleball and maintain two high school-sized basketball courts." The cost to build these was $168,000. The project plan reports, "Repurpose the existing basketball court to include four lighted Pickleball Courts and two lighted high school level basketball courts. The courts will receive new court surfacing and striping."
Dunkin' Donuts is reportedly opening this week on Estrella Parkway just south of Van Buren. Don't forget, there's a fabulous Sunrise Donuts just south of there at 725 S. Estrella Parkway, Goodyear, Az. They're a mom and pop shop with lots to offer!
Rumor has it that a Culver's is opening in Goodyear. We checked with the company and they said they do NOT have plan for a Goodyear location. (Hope I'm proven wrong. Although, they are located in Avondale and around the west Valley.) They also sent the franchise link to me if anyone is wanting to open a Culver's. Anyone?
Dream Swirls, owned and operated by Estrella residents, moved to a new location. We stopped by during the grand opening and it was PACKED! I love mom and pop shops. Be sure to check them out. 15557 W. Roosevelt Street, Suite 102, Goodyear, Az. Near Robeks on Estrella Parkway.
A quick jaunt into Litchfield Park for a moment... Teacup has opened. Its menu looks awesome and I hope to get there soon.
The City of Goodyear made two new hires in big positions. Lori Gary is the new economic development director. Goodyear states, "Prior to accepting the post in Goodyear, Lori was a senior project manager for the city of Mesa’s Office of Economic Development. Specifically, she promoted new investment, redevelopment and reuse, and job creation within Mesa’s Fiesta District, Falcon District, and West Mesa."
Tammy Vo starts in October as the city's new communications director. "Tammy has spent the last six years working as the marketing and communications manager for the city of Phoenix. Before then, she spent 13 years in television news."
Both positions seem to have high turnover in Goodyear. Let's wish them the best of luck in our growing city.
Soon-to-be hired are interns for the Goodyear Spring Baseball Season. Check out opportunities here.
At Goodyear City Council tonight, Police Chief Jerry Geier and Sgt. Justin Hughes of the Professional Standards Unit will discuss a difficult issue... Homeless Outreach. The agenda reads, "City Management requested that staff prepare information on the issue of homeless outreach and nuisance behaviors such as panhandling in order to ascertain the Council’s level of interest in pursuing an ordinance, policy revision, or other action. This issue has not come before Council in the past."
When I assisted Goodyear with its All-America City application in 2008, Goodyear reportedly knew of just 11 homeless people. Now that the city has grown immensely, and so quickly, it's sadly obvious that number is growing. "Staff has compiled information on the issue of homeless outreach, including definitions, existing conditions, and information from other valley cities. Possible alternatives will be presented and direction will be based on Council feedback," Goodyear Staff Analysis.
Homeless Youth Connection sent out an email today inviting the community to attend its Empowering Youth Breakfast. It's October 25th. You must RSVP. More here.
If any of the above issues interest you, I encourage you to run for office. In 2021, several termed-out seats will be open and we'll have, potentially, an all new council. Now is the time to brush up and get involved.
We were beyond thrilled this week to see Councilmember Laura Kaino announce she's running for the position she was appointed to when Joanne Osborne vacated the seat. We worked with Kaino on the Goodyear Water Conservation Committee and hope she brings that knowledge and ideas to the table. Please follow her on Facebook. She's been very active in the community!
Open Seats in the Goodyear Spring Election of 2019 are:
Finally, if you're looking to watch some great high school volleyball this weekend, please check out the Wolves Classic Invitational at Estrella Foothills High School. It's Friday/Saturday. The school's high school Homecoming Parade and Carnival follows at 5pm Saturday night. Best wishes to all the students and athletes this weekend!
We'll continue to follow what's happening in Goodyear and the west Valley. Our mission to keep informed ramped up again this spring when a Goodyear City Councilmember falsely made accusations against us. She got us wondering about what's really happening. We know it's important to the community and taxpayers to stay informed. If there's something you'd like for us to check out, please contact us.
It's time to get back to the original purpose of West Valley Families.
In 2014, I started West Valley Families as a resource guide. As a parent, it was hard for me to find local events. Since then, our web calendar has been filled monthly with local events showcasing all the great things happening in the southwest and west valleys of Phoenix, Arizona.
The other purpose of West Valley Families was to be the eyes and ears of the west Valley.
Local news is sparse in this area. I'm a retired journalist and it's frustrating to me that we really don't know what's happening here.
I was happy to see the West Valley View newspaper come under new management. But, it's impossible for the small outlet to cover some of the most important topics in this growing region.
2018 has been a very challenging time for my family. I got away from covering Goodyear City Council meetings. I've grown my own company. And I'm the mom of a very social teenager.
Even though I served on the local Water Conservation Committee in Goodyear for the past two years, my focus was pulled away from local politics. (I enjoyed the respite.)
Unbeknown to me, a local councilmember went on a rant on a competing Facebook page for the past several weeks, thinking she was talking to me.
When brought to light, the other page acknowledged I had no affiliation with it and stated, "Apparently, some councilmembers aren't very happy about it [their page] and want us silenced."
I do not have any affiliation with Goodyear Guardian or Citizens for a Stronger Goodyear. (You can find those pages by clicking on the links.)
But, I am the creator of West Valley Families and its Estrella counterpart. If I have something to say, my name is on it. I don't hind behind anonymous Facebook pages. You'll also find me taking my concerns to City Council meetings. You may recall my concern about longer than average response times and a request for fire stations in Estrella and the west Valley here.
*By the way: Estrella's fire station is on track to open in fall 2019. The west Goodyear station would be open in late 2020. Track each station's progress at http://www.goodyearaz.gov/government/city-projects.
With another spring election coming up and candidate packets being available soon, it's time to get back to covering Goodyear meetings.
Councilmember Joanne Osborne is stepping down soon and I'm excited about one of the potential residents looking to fill the vacated seat. More on that later...
I will always stay true to my vision of being a positive force in the west Valley. I saw Goodyear through the All-America City competition in 2008. There's so much good here. The City continues to collaborate to make great things happen here.
But, it's time to get back to seeing what our lawmakers are doing. And that's the "why" I plan to get back to over this summer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is a Goodyear resident resident of almost 20 years and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of what's happening in the West Valley of Arizona.