Gilbert Mayor Candidates – Do they lean big or small government?

Includes direct quotes from the candidates’ websites.

In order of last name

Matt Nielsen

Leans small government.

Understands that his responsibility is to the citizens, not to business or any other group or interest.

“1) Government should make smart financial decisions that protect taxpayer dollars and execute the town’s needs excellently, efficiently, and economically. 2) Gilbert citizens should keep more of their money. We have the second lowest taxes in the valley. I intend to continue that. My default position will be no new taxes. If someone comes to me proposing a tax increase, the burden will be on them to prove the necessity and value. 3) Government also has a responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens – not infringe on them.”

“When it comes to development, we need to be mindful of both individual property rights and local community needs.”

Brigitte Petersen

Leans big government.

Voted for many wasteful spending projects while on the Town Council.

Misled voters over tax increases related to the gold-plated Public Safety Training Facility. She and Jenn Daniels told voters that there would not be any taxes raised to finance the wasteful project, but in fact there has been two.

As of 7/11/2020 there is no reference to limited government or government’s role, only to “being fiscally responsible” (note above tax and ambulance votes do not align with this statement).

Lynne King-Smith

Leans big government.

“Gilbert is one of the safest communities in the nation, thanks to our public safety departments…” This is an invalid claim. Public safety departments are essential services, however the good, law-abiding people of the community is what makes Gilbert one of the safest communities in the nation. You cannot police a community into safety.

Appears to argue that the recent tax increase is not an increase because the rate did not change. While she is clear that the overall increase in tax you will likely pay will be relatively small in the scheme of things, what is missing is the concept of having guiding principles. Should you raise taxes at all during the worst recession of our lifetimes?

“…as Mayor, I will align the recovery efforts in the town of Gilbert with Governor Ducey’s office and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, among others, to avoid unnecessarily replicating efforts; and relying on the guidance of the CDC and the Arizona Department of Health Services to maintain community safety.”

“When we begin to reopen, and return to public gatherings, our new normal may include public hand washing stations, reconfigured restaurant seating, and even continuous wearing of masks and gloves.”

Her comments regarding COVID-19 appear to demonstrate a belief that government will have the answers and set the rules for individuals and businesses, rather than the residents and businesses themselves.

Here are some resources to learn more about the candidates: