After extensive discussion with family, friends, and community leaders, Lewis said that he felt comfortable with the decision, and he looked forward to future opportunities to serve the town. Lewis commented, “Gilbert is our home. We have lived here for 27 years. We enjoy the small town feel and big city amenities. It would be an honor to continue to participate in the service opportunity of a lifetime as Mayor.”
In 2009, Lewis emphasized a message of “leadership for the future.” In comparing 2009 to 2013, Lewis said, “With the economic downturn, our Town Council was required to focus on cutting our Town budget without reducing our services. In spite of many challenges, we maintained our service levels and used this important time to plan for the future. Our General Plan, which serves as our ‘blueprint of the future,’ was approved last year, and a Strategic Plan with five areas of emphasis was created to provide specific direction for the next few years. The next four years will provide a different leadership test. Instead of an emphasis on how to manage with reduced funds, we will focus on how to lead an organization out of a recession and implement sustainable policies for future Town prosperity.”
Under the direction of the Council and Town Leadership, Gilbert has the lowest taxes in Greater Phoenix, is known as the safest community in all of Arizona, and has a quality of life that continues to attract the highest number of new single family permits compared to any other city in the valley. Gilbert received national recognition last September, when Mayor Lewis accepted, on behalf of the Town of Gilbert, the “Freedom Award,” known as the most prestigious award given to an organization for their support of the National Guard and Reserves from the Department of Defense.
Related to economic development, Gilbert made great progress. In 2009, many site selectors for businesses said that Gilbert was not even considered in their analysis. Today, Gilbert continues to be a prime location to attract new businesses. Apple said that Gilbert was one of their top choices as they considered Arizona for their North American headquarters. Lewis expressed appreciation to the business community, “Our local business leaders have worked with the Town to create a business friendly, ‘open to business’ environment that has helped attract small and large businesses. For our future sustainability, and to create jobs in Gilbert, economic development will continue to be a critical priority for the Mayor and Council.”
Lewis is known as a collaborator. He often uses the phrase, “What we do, we do together.” He has organized economic development, faith group, youth, neighborhood, business, and art forums and summits to gather citizens together for dialogue and planning. In anticipation of the future, Lewis made the statement, “I believe that our best is yet to come. I look forward to four more years of service as Mayor.”