(Gilbert Watch welcomes this guest letter by Jared Taylor, who is currently serving as the Vice Mayor in Gilbert. He has lived in Gilbert since 1996 with his wife and three daughters.)
Over the last few years, Gilbert has been showered in recognitions. I’m running for re-election to build on our strengths, address our challenges, and keep Gilbert the best place to grow a family and build a business.
Here are a few of the recognitions our wonderful residents and Town have earned: 22nd Best Place to Live (Money Magazine, 2014); 2nd Safest City in the US (Law Street Media, 2016); Best City for Raising a Family (Move.org, 2016); 7th Happiest City in America (Zippia, 2016), and Top 5 Safest Cities to Build Your Startup (Tech.Co, 2016).
We couldn’t live in a better place at a better time. Who would have thought that Gilbert would have grown from “The Hay Capitol of the World” to one of the most successful cities or towns in the US?
My appreciation goes to the many wonderful residents and Town leaders who have made Gilbert so great.
While we have had tremendous success, we continue to need strong leadership to address the challenges we face.
Over the last few decades, a large part of Gilbert’s budget has come from construction sales taxes.
Gilbert currently has a population of 240,000 and will reach buildout around 330,000 residents. The closer we are to buildout, the less construction tax we will receive.
This challenge must be tackled by people who have experience in planning, budgeting, and fiscal responsibility.
We can solve this problem in three steps. First, we must identify the gap between long-term costs for the Town and future revenue estimates. Town staff is currently working to create financial models to help us understand this gap.
Second, we must control our spending with deliberate and specific cost containment goals aligned to the financial gap.
Hiring too much administrative overhead and not controlling our labor costs will be very important to having a solid financial plan.
We must also leverage the power of LEAN Six Sigma tools and modern technology to eliminate waste and stretch our dollars.
Third, to avoid future tax increases, we must have a solid economic development plan to retain and attract businesses into our business districts.
Preserving and enhancing our key employment corridors and business districts will bolster our employment and tax base.
Other key economic drivers include a strong education marketplace, emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, and encouraging investment in our own small businesses.
My background with the Town budget, large global businesses, and small businesses will bring a unique perspective and tremendous value to the fiscal challenges we face in the future.
In this election, I would be humbled to be re-elected to the Town Council. I ask for your vote and pledge to continue the great work which has made us the best place to raise a family and grow a business.
For more information, please visit my website at www.votejaredtaylor.com.