2024 Mayoral Candidates

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Campaign Email Address: Gilbertmayoranderson@gmail.com
Campaign website or social media account: gilbertmayoranderson.squarespace.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Circle G Meadows Gilbert
How many years have you lived in Gilbert?: 36 years
Name of Employer: Gilbert
Occupation or Title: Vice Mayor
Brief Summary of Employment: Policy development
Educational Background (List Format): B.S. Brigham Young University, M.P.A. University of Colorado

Campaign Email Address: natalie@votenatalie.com
Campaign website or social media account: votenatalie.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Ray Ranch
How many years have you lived in Gilbert?: 18 years
Name of Employer: Self-Employed
Occupation or Title: Business Owner and Realtor
Brief Summary of Employment: Realtor 2005-current, co-founder of Great Start Preschool - 2006

Give three (3) qualifications/skill sets that make you a leading candidate for Town Council. Explain why these qualifications make you a better candidate than your opponents.

  • Scott Anderson: * Institutional knowledge of growth and development of Gilbert leading to better decision-making immediately unlike a learning curve for others. * Leadership through statesmanship for contentious issues that other candidates have not experienced.
    * Focused on Gilbert issues as build out approaches, unlike others that appear to be focused on national issues.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: As a fourth-generation Arizona native and 18-year resident of Gilbert, I've witnessed the town's triumphs and challenges firsthand. Raised in a family that prioritized community service and connection, I've dedicated my life to serving and engaging with my community. My extensive volunteer experience in the field of victim advocacy and trauma/mental health awareness, has given me unique skill sets that will help me address the multifaceted issues our town faces today.
    My engagement with the community has granted me profound insights into how policies impact residents and I believe that community centered polices are best for Gilbert and its residents.
    As an entrepreneur in the East Valley, I possess a deep understanding of our community's economic needs and how to foster development to ensure our town has responsible growth that meets the needs of Gilbert residents. This knowledge in combination with my experience in civic engagement, advocacy, and entrepreneurship equips me to lead Gilbert with vision, empathy, and effectiveness.

What are the top three (3) priorities you would like to see accomplished during your term on the Town Council?

  • Scott Anderson: 1. Strong economy. Continue to attract new businesses and strengthen small businesses; foster a strong employment base through policy and innovation.
    2. Community prosperity. Keep a ""small town feel"" by facilitating policy that encourages neighbor to neighbor connections. Emphasize keeping people safe as they support a community that is clean, safe, and vibrant. 3. Infrastructure. Ensure development and maintenance of infrastructure that will continue to build wealth and sustain Gilbert's quality of life.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: One of my top priorities is ensuring Gilbert achieves a more balanced tax base so that it’s budget can rely on more than just consumer sales tax and property tax as revenue streams. This entails a focus on economic development and the revitalization of existing commercial areas.
    I believe community-centered policies are best for Gilbert. These policies must prioritize the needs of residents amidst the town's development and expansion. Preserving Gilbert's unique and welcoming culture is of utmost importance, as this community centric way of life is what attracted so many Gilbert residents and business owners to our town. Another top priority is to promote safe and healthy neighborhoods that foster a strong sense of community where everyone feels safe to live, work and play. It is my goal to encourage resident engagement and communication with the town so that town leadership is more connected with the pulse of it’s town.

How will these priorities further Gilbert's long-term sustainability and economic growth and tie into your future vision for Gilbert?

  • Scott Anderson: These priorities are part of Gilbert's City of the future initiative which will sustain our unique quality of life for future generations as we reach build out.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: Diversifying the town's revenue sources is vital for ensuring long-term affordability for residents and businesses. By prioritizing redevelopment and revitalizing commercial spaces, especially in the northwest corridor, we can attract successful businesses, fueling the economic growth needed to safeguard Gilbert's future. This approach helps ensure a more fair and predictable tax burden for both residents and business owners alike. My goal is for residents to not get priced out of the town they love. Achieving this requires a focus on economic growth, easing of the tax burden and bringing high paying jobs to Gilbert. Gilbert’s small-town culture is what made most of us fall in love with Gilbert. This reputation not only draws new businesses into Gilbert but also retains those already established here. It's imperative that we uphold safety-focused community policies to maintain Gilbert's standing as one of the safest cities in the nation. Our town's sustainability hinges on fostering a secure environment where people feel confident and safe. We must implement strategic policies that foster economic development and create opportunities for both businesses and residents to prosper.

If elected to the Town Council, who would you consider your stakeholders, and how would you propose representing them?

  • Scott Anderson: Stakeholders are many and varied depending on the issues being considered. For CIP discussions, business owners (often through the Chamber), land owners and residents have a stake. For water issues, water professionals, HOA Boards and residents are typical stakeholders. Each issue will be of interest to various groups, but residents are common to all. Representation comes through listening and consensus building.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: If I were elected my stakeholders would be all residents, businesses, community groups, and town departments. I'd represent them by listening to their feedback through meetings and engagement, and advocating for policies that reflect our community's diverse needs. Establishing new advisory boards and fostering regular communication with existing stakeholder groups will ensure their voices are integral part of the decision-making process. I believe in a collaborative approach to leadership, Gilbert is filled with intelligent and invested residents whose voices deserve to be heard.

What is your plan to find common ground and consensus amongst the Council?

  • Scott Anderson: At this time, Gilbert needs an experienced leader that can act as a statesman building trust with each Councilmember. I plan to spend more time listening and exploring all sides of issues that can contribute to consensus building.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: As mayor, my plan to find common ground and consensus amongst the Council would involve creating an environment of open communication and collaboration. I will encourage the use of study sessions and town halls so that the voices and expertise of advisory boards, town staff, and residents are heard by all of council and considered as we build consensus and plan decisions. By prioritizing transparency, inclusivity, and mutual respect, we can work together effectively to find solutions that benefit our community as a whole.

How do you feel Gilbert has positioned itself for long-term sustainability?

  • Scott Anderson: Gilbert has set in place a series of indicators in our City of the future initiative that will ensure a sustainable future. The indicators will measure quality of life issues and will be used to implement long-term actions.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: Gilbert's approach to long-term sustainability needs refinement, particularly in terms of redevelopment, taxation and growth strategies. There's a pressing need to prioritize these aspects to alleviate the burden our growth has put on residents and the town. By implementing strategic redevelopment initiatives and nurturing an environment conducive to business growth, Gilbert can secure its financial future while promoting a thriving community. Ensuring sustained prosperity and resilience in the years ahead requires forward-thinking leadership that doesn't solely rely on policies of past to guide our path to the future.

What steps have you taken to understand how local government functions?

  • Scott Anderson: I have been involved as an employee for 25 years and Councilmember for 7 years. This experience will not only provide the knowledge needed to serve, but it will also be a confidence builder as the Council takes on future issues.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: Over the past few years I've immersed myself in community affairs, attended town hall meetings, and engaged with various stakeholders to grasp the intricacies of our local governance structure. Additionally, I've conducted extensive research on municipal policies, budgeting processes, and regulatory frameworks to familiarize myself with the responsibilities and challenges inherent in governing our town. As a leader I believe it is important to approach tasks humbly realizing that if I don’t have all of the answers, our town is full of residents, staff and community groups that hold vital knowledge needed to formulate solutions collaboratively. This dedication to serving and understanding will help me serve our community effectively and responsibly if elected as mayor.

What experience do you have with complex budgets?

  • Scott Anderson: I have been involved in Gilbert's budget process for more than 30 years, as a team leader and as a Councilmember.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: As an entrepreneur I have experience with budget management. I have had to prepare and analyze budgets as well as forecast financial revenue based on how a business will perform in the future. I have established standards and procedures to guide the company members on where and how to spend according to their individualized budgets and monitored spending patterns to measure and assure adherence to budget guidelines. I analyzed and approved strategic growth plans with external stakeholders and prepared reporting and explanation of internal budget decisions with those external stakeholders.

What is your understanding/philosophy of the role of federal and state grant funding for local government services?

  • Scott Anderson: Grant funding from federal and/or state sources can have a positive or negative impact on local municipalities. "Strings" should be minimal and the future funding, if needed to maintain facilities or services, should be carefully considered. The Council should also consider that if funding is refused it does not return to its source, but instead goes to another municipality.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: I recognize the significance of federal and state grant funding in supporting local government services. My understanding is that these funds play a crucial role in supplementing our town's budget, allowing us to address pressing needs and implement essential programs that benefit our residents. I believe in pursuing grant opportunities proactively, leveraging available resources to enhance public services, infrastructure, and community development initiatives. However, I also recognize the importance of fiscal responsibility and strategic planning to ensure the effective utilization of grant funds in alignment with our town's priorities and long-term goals. I am committed to maximizing grant opportunities while maintaining transparency and accountability in the allocation and management of these resources for the betterment of our community.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

  • Scott Anderson: Thank you for your consideration and service to our community.
  • Natalie DiBernardo: In Gilbert, I've found more than just a place to live; Gilbert and its community have become a cherished extension of my own family. Throughout my life’s tragedies and triumphs, this town has been a steadfast companion to my family and I. My local coffee shops, restaurants, and parks have helped write the narrative of my life's journey. I often sit at my favorite coffee shop early in the morning when it is quiet and replay decades of memories. I replay all the all the toddler play dates, first days of school where the cousins meet up for pastries and pictures, sharing life struggles and tears with friends over a cappuccino, and all of the wonderful regulars I met that became friends. I replay getting life advice from my mother as she held and spoiled her grand babies, getting all the family gossip from my tough as nails grandmother, and surprising my daughter with her new car in that very same parking lot. I am always filled with such a sense of gratitude that I was fortunate enough to settle in Gilbert all those years ago. I've witnessed Gilbert's growth unfold alongside the growth of my own precious children and although it is very bittersweet for me I am excited for Gilbert's future. With every passing day, my love for this town deepens, and I am wholeheartedly committed to preserving the essence of what makes Gilbert so special so that other families may be moved to become as deeply rooted in the community as I have been. People over politics should always be the goal of our leadership because the people of our town are what has made Gilbert such a wonderful place to call home.
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