2024 Gilbert Town Council Candidates

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Campaign Email Address: AccursoForCouncil@gmail.com
Campaign website or social media account: AccursoForCouncil.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: The Spectrum at Val Vista
How many years have you lived in Gilbert?: 17
Name of Employer: Poco Verde Pools & Landscape, Inc.
Occupation or Title: Construction Manager
Brief Summary of Employment:
• July 2017 - Present - Poco Verde Pools & Landscape, Inc. - Construction Manager
• April 2013 - May 2017 - St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church - Coordinator of Sacred Liturgy
• July 1995 - April 2013 - Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. - Various roles at multiple locations including Purchasing Supervisor, Operations Manager, Credit Manager
Educational Background (List Format): BBA - College of William and Mary in Virginia (emphasis in Accounting) - May 1995

Campaign Email Address: kenny@votebucklandforgilbert.com
Campaign website or social media account: kenny@votebucklandforgilbert.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Morrison Ranch, Lakeview Trails North
How many years have you lived in Gilbert?: 4+
Name of Employer: Safety Services Company
Occupation or Title: Sr. Director, Sales
Brief Summary of Employment: I manage sales operations for a safety company. We are a second chance company meaning, we hire felons who have served time in prison, develop them, provide them a high quality purpose driven job and help them become contributing members of society in hopes to reduce recidivism. As a business, we provide safety services and products that make companies and their personnel safer.
Educational Background (List Format): Master’s degree in Educational Leadership Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Graduate of the FBI National Academy Class 242 Graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command Class 208 Other Education, Training, Certificates received for: • All Hazards Incident Command • All Hazards Incident Commander Course • Weapons of Mass Destruction Incident Command • SWAT and Advanced SWAT Command • Four Disciplines of Execution by Franklin Covey

Campaign Email Address: votemontelyons@gmail.com
Campaign website or social media account: votemontelyons.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Town Meadows
How many years have you lived in Gilbert?: 5
Name of Employer: Honeywell
Occupation or Title: Global Director of Facilities
Brief Summary of Employment: Various roles in aerospace manufacturing, engineering, and flight test. USAF 1982 - 1986, Boeing 1986 - 2012, Moog 2013 - 2018, Honeywell 2020 to present
Educational Background (List Format): Two undergraduate degrees, one in Aerospace Science and one in Business Administration, Graduate Degree in Mediation, Arbitration & Negotiation

Campaign Email Address: mundtforgilbert@gmail.com
Campaign website or social media account: www.mundtforgilbert.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Allen Ranch
How many years have you lived in Gilbert?: 14
Name of Employer: SRP
Occupation or Title: Senior Engineer
Brief Summary of Employment: My professional background spans engineering, management, entrepreneurship, and financial stewardship. I have held roles in both engineering and management across various industries, including industrial process management, land development, and water and energy efficiency. Additionally, I have experience running businesses and driving strong P&L performance at small consulting firms and Fortune 100 companies. My diverse career has equipped me with a broad skill set and a deep understanding of operational and financial management across different sectors.
Educational Background (List Format): Bachelor of Science - Environmental Engineering Michigan Technological University, MBA Finance and Analytics specialization - University if Illinois Urbana Champaign

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.

  • Aaron Accurso: I am open minded and willing to listen to all perspectives before making final decisions. I am a long-time resident in this community, yet have lived all over the country. I have seen how other communities operate and function for their people and businesses, and I can take best practices to apply to our current issues.I am a working man, and non-business owner, so I will bring a fresh perspective to the council, as a resident.I believe these, among other reasons, will make me the best candidate to represent our community on the Town Council. I approach this office with the humility of a public servant and without any other agenda. My goal is to keep this the best community to raise and sustain a family and/or business.
  • Kenny Buckland: 1. Strong servant leadership. I have significant education, training and experience in leadership, and in diverse environments. I was second in command of the police department in Gilbert when it was the 89th largest city/town in America. Additionally, I have provided successful leadership in technology space, large corporate America at Amazon, as a Global Crisis Manager, and now in a Second Chance, safety company; In all of these different markets, I have been successful in casting vision, gaining buy-in, executing and delivering results. 2. Relational Intelligence. Although this is a non-partisan race, the nation and state politics are divisive in the recent years. This can carry down to local politics; the most important political environment as it directly affects citizens where they work, live and play. I have proven skills and relational intelligence that includes rather than divides. When I have disagreements about politics, policy, decisions, etc., I have successfully been able to agree to disagree but, listen to other opinions and work through the difficulty with civility, putting ego last and the right decision for the right outcome at the forefront. 3. I am the candidate with the most diverse experience. I have demonstrated proven leadership and service in both government and private sector. In small business to large, corporate America. I helped build Gilbert to where it is today and know how to help it remain at the summit as we move forward toward buildout. I am fully aware of the Gilbert zero based budget process and participated within it successfully. I also come without typical new candidate naïve agendas, as I know what statutes require, how the budget process works, how the departments interconnect as one team, and how the Town and the community and organizations connect to make Gilbert an amazing place to live, work and play.
  • Monte Lyons: Program Management, Facilities Management, & ADR experience. These three areas of experience I believe will serve me well as we mature as a town. New infrastructure is needed and current infrastructure will need to evaluated for upgrades and eventual replacement. I believe my experience in planning & management of industrial construction projects gives me a unique perspective that will help ensure success in addressing these challenges. My experience in ADR is not only helpful in negotiating and managing projects but has been extremely helpful in navigating management / employee relations.
  • Noah Mundt: Engineering Expertise and Development Experience: As an engineer with a background in development projects, I bring a unique perspective to the table. My hands-on experience in navigating the intricacies of infrastructure, zoning regulations, and sustainable development practices equips me with the knowledge to make informed decisions that benefit businesses and the community. My track record of successfully overseeing various development projects demonstrates my ability to balance growth with preserving Gilbert's unique character. Why I Stand Out: Unlike my opponents, my professional background directly aligns with our town's challenges and opportunities. My deep understanding of engineering principles and development processes enables me to propose practical solutions that foster economic growth while maintaining the charm and integrity of our community. Extensive Board and Commission Service: Over the past eight years, I have dedicated myself to serving Gilbert through various boards and commissions, including my current role as Chairman of the Planning Commission. This hands-on involvement has afforded me invaluable insight into the complexities of local governance and the needs of our diverse community. I have cultivated relationships built on trust and mutual respect by actively engaging with stakeholders and collaborating on key initiatives. Why I Stand Out: Unlike my opponents, my extensive service within the town demonstrates a deep commitment to understanding and addressing the issues that matter most to our residents and businesses. Through my leadership roles, I have proven my ability to facilitate constructive dialogue, drive consensus, and implement solutions that reflect the collective interests of our community. Entrepreneurial Spirit and Business Acumen: As the founder and operator of a successful small business in Gilbert, I intimately understand the challenges and opportunities facing our local entrepreneurs. My firsthand experience navigating the regulatory environment, managing finances, and fostering growth has honed my business acumen and resilience. I am passionate about promoting an environment where businesses of all sizes can thrive, driving innovation, job creation, and economic prosperity. Why I Stand Out: Unlike my opponents, I bring a firsthand understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and small businesses' vital role in our economy. My experience as a business owner uniquely positions me to advocate for policies that support entrepreneurship, streamline regulatory processes, and promote a vibrant business ecosystem in Gilbert. As a parent, I am deeply invested in ensuring that our town remains a welcoming and prosperous place for families to put down roots and thrive for future generations.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: 1. As we have come closer to the end buildout, I want to ensure that our town remains the family friendly, business friendly community that it always has been. 2. I want to refocus the town on what is best for the families and businesses within it before spending money or expanding regulations. 3. I want to see the town honor the voter approved General Plan, with only minor adjustments to the best of our ability, so that our community is prepared for the future.
  • Kenny Buckland: 1. Ensuring diverse business and economic development opportunities exist. With firsthand experience as a former small business owner, I understand the importance of a strong connection between the Town and the business community. I recognize the need for efficient processes and overall balance, where businesses of all sizes can thrive and will continue working to ensure diverse business opportunities are available. With my leadership, Gilbert will remain a vibrant hub for entrepreneurship and economic development, empowering businesses of all size to flourish. 2. Enhancing Public Safety, ensuring we have the appropriate staffing and resources, through data driven approaches and cutting-edge technology to support the police and fire services as they protect us and keep us safe. 3. Sustainable Infrastructure is critical as we move toward buildout. We need to commit to the due diligence now, for the little things that can extend the life of our current infrastructure, while also ensuring we replace what is necessary before catastrophic results. This process requires planning, proper execution and will help us remain financially responsible along the way.
  • Monte Lyons: My first is to understand the towns plan for future development. I need to know what I don't know from the people who understand what is planned and the why. Secondly position the town to be successful in attracting business and tourism, thirdly address the negative information that is being reported about our town and ensure residents and visitors feel like Gilbert is the place to live, work, and play.
  • Noah Mundt: Strengthening Community Engagement, Collaboration, and Teen Safety: My top priority is to foster a culture of community engagement and collaboration within the Town Council, ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in shaping Gilbert's future. By prioritizing transparent communication, accessibility, and inclusivity, we can build trust, foster civic pride, and create a more vibrant and resilient community. Additionally, I am dedicated to enhancing the safety and security of teenagers in our town, working collaboratively with local law enforcement, schools, and community organizations to address issues such as substance abuse, mental health, and juvenile delinquency. Promoting Economic Growth and Job Creation: I am committed to promoting economic growth and supporting job creation in Gilbert. This includes attracting and retaining businesses of all sizes, streamlining regulatory processes, and investing in infrastructure to facilitate commerce. By nurturing a diverse and thriving business ecosystem, we can stimulate innovation, expand employment opportunities, and enhance the overall prosperity of our community. Addressing Infrastructure and Water Scarcity for Technological Innovation: Gilbert's future as a top destination for robust technological businesses hinges on our ability to address infrastructure challenges and water scarcity issues. I will prioritize investments in sustainable development practices, including smart infrastructure solutions and water conservation initiatives, to ensure that our town remains an attractive location for high-tech companies. By proactively managing our resources and leveraging innovative technologies, we can position Gilbert as a leader in technological innovation while preserving our environment for future generations.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: By putting families and businesses first when making policy for the town, combined with keeping our costs as low as possible with superior services, we will continue to thrive as a community that individuals and families will desire to live in. This will also provide the best and least cumbersome environment for our businesses to thrive.
  • Kenny Buckland: My priorities are directly to enhance our economic growth and long-term sustainability. These two outcomes must be tied with public safety as well. If citizens, businesses and visitors feel unsafe, there will be a direct, negative impact on our economic growth, and the ability to fund the long-term infrastructure and sustainability.
  • Monte Lyons: First and foremost, it ensures I have an understanding of the problems and opportunities that face the town. Overall, it will help me to ensure we don't fail to take advantage of situations that position the town to be successful over the next decade.
  • Noah Mundt: These priorities are integral to advancing Gilbert's long-term sustainability and economic growth, aligning with my vision for a vibrant and prosperous community. Strengthening Community Engagement, Collaboration, and Teen Safety: By fostering a culture of community engagement and collaboration, we empower residents to actively participate in shaping Gilbert's future. This inclusive approach not only builds trust and civic pride but also strengthens social cohesion, which is essential for long-term sustainability. Additionally, prioritizing the safety and well-being of teenagers ensures that we are investing in the future leaders of our community, creating a supportive environment where they can thrive and contribute positively. As these teenagers grow into adults, they will become active participants in Gilbert's economic and social fabric, driving sustainable growth and prosperity. Promoting Economic Growth and Job Creation: Attracting and retaining businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, and supporting job creation are foundational pillars of Gilbert's economic growth strategy. By creating an environment that encourages innovation, investment, and business expansion, we not only stimulate economic activity but also generate revenue that can be reinvested in essential services and infrastructure. Sustainable economic growth creates opportunities for residents to pursue meaningful careers, access quality education and healthcare, and enjoy a high standard of living, all of which contribute to Gilbert's long-term viability and attractiveness as a place to live and work. Addressing Infrastructure and Water Scarcity for Technological Innovation: Investing in infrastructure and water sustainability is critical for supporting Gilbert's growth as a hub for technological innovation. By modernizing our infrastructure and implementing water conservation measures, we ensure that businesses have the resources they need to thrive while safeguarding our natural environment for future generations. Smart infrastructure solutions not only enhance efficiency and resilience but also position Gilbert as a leader in sustainable development and environmental stewardship. By embracing innovation and sustainability, we can attract top-tier technological companies that seek to operate responsibly and contribute to the economic vitality of our community. In summary, these priorities are interconnected and essential components of my vision for Gilbert as a dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable community. By fostering community engagement, promoting economic growth, and addressing infrastructure challenges, we can create a future where Gilbert continues to thrive as a desirable place to live, work, and innovate for generations to come.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: As a Councilmember I recognize that both the town’s citizens and the businesses located within the town are the major and equal stakeholders. Regardless of what I may think on any particular topic, I will be open to listening to and carefully examining all perspectives. From that, I will take all input and carefully make the decision and champion what I believe will work best for our community and those stakeholders.
  • Kenny Buckland: 1. For economic development and business opportunity, the Chamber is the most critical stakeholder in the Town. Having worked in Gilbert for more than 20 years, I observed the strong relationship between the Chamber and Town and will work to maintain and improve what is already very strong. 2. Government entities such as MAG, ADOT, Maricopa County, school districts, and others are critical stakeholders to ensure we are aligning on what is best for our citizens, when those entities touch parts of the Town. 3. Citizens, Faith based organizations, cultural associations, HOA’s, Industry such as Medical, Technology, Manufacturing, etc., all make up the town both as residents and workers in Gilbert. They all have expectations of the service the Town provides so they are critical stakeholders to understand how well the services levels are. 4. In all circumstances and as Gilbert moves into the future, we need to continually evaluate who our stakeholders are to ensure we have representation from all stakeholders of the community.
  • Monte Lyons: From my perspective the stakeholders are the taxpayers, whether its businesses or residents and the employees that run the town and ensure we have the services we come to expect.
  • Noah Mundt: If elected to the Town Council, I would consider a wide range of stakeholders who contribute to Gilbert's vibrant community fabric. These stakeholders include: Residents: The residents of Gilbert are the heart of our community, and their voices must be heard and respected. I would prioritize representing the diverse needs, concerns, and aspirations of our residents by fostering open communication channels, hosting town hall meetings, and actively seeking input on key issues affecting our town. Businesses: Gilbert's economic prosperity relies on the success of our local businesses, both small and large. I would advocate for policies that support entrepreneurship, streamline regulatory processes, and foster a business-friendly environment. By collaborating with local businesses and industry leaders, I would work to identify opportunities for growth, innovation, and job creation that benefit our entire community. Community Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, and community associations play a vital role in addressing social, cultural, and environmental issues in Gilbert. I would engage with these organizations to understand their priorities and explore opportunities for collaboration on initiatives that enhance the well-being and quality of life for all residents. Government Agencies: Collaboration with local, state, and federal government agencies is essential for addressing complex challenges and leveraging resources effectively. I would work closely with government agencies to advocate for Gilbert's interests, secure funding for infrastructure projects, and navigate regulatory hurdles that impact our community. Educational Institutions: Gilbert's schools and educational institutions are critical partners in shaping the future of our community. I would collaborate with educators, administrators, and parents to support quality education, promote workforce development initiatives, and ensure that our schools remain safe and inclusive environments for learning. To effectively represent these stakeholders, I would adopt a collaborative and inclusive approach, seeking input and feedback from all segments of our community. I would prioritize transparency, accessibility, and accountability in my decision-making processes, ensuring that the interests of all stakeholders are considered and respected. By fostering constructive dialogue, building consensus, and advocating for policies that promote the common good, I am confident that we can create a brighter future for Gilbert together.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: Common ground and consensus is good on the council, but so are differing opinions. I believe in bringing an open mind with differing perspectives to the table when examining issues. Utilizing and examining problems and issues from these different perspectives is imperative to making good, strong decisions for our community. While we might not all completely agree on the final solution, it will be stronger when we understand where everyone is coming from.
  • Kenny Buckland: I have met every Council member on the current council and although we don’t all agree on everything, I know from prior meetings and conversations that we can work together. One of my strengths is in listening and being able to work with people I am not in agreement with, getting us all to put egos aside and just put in the work to provide the best possible solution for the citizens the Council serves. I do this by being objective, kind, civil, and the having the ability to disagree without being judgmental. I have not met the other three Council candidates however, I have no doubt that we will be able to work respectfully together and put the citizens and businesses first.
  • Monte Lyons: I will engage each member and find out what is their vision and interests related to the town's direction especially their perspective on our strengths and weaknesses. From there discuss how they would approach both and look for areas where our ideas and thoughts intersect.
  • Noah Mundt: My plan to find common ground and consensus amongst the Council centers on fostering a culture of collaboration, respect, and open communication. Here's how I intend to achieve this: Establishing Clear Communication Channels: I will prioritize establishing clear communication channels within the Council, ensuring that all members have the opportunity to express their viewpoints, concerns, and ideas in a constructive manner. Regular meetings, both formal and informal, will provide avenues for dialogue and collaboration, fostering understanding and trust among Council members. Active Listening and Empathy: I believe that active listening and empathy are essential for finding common ground. I will make a concerted effort to listen attentively to the perspectives of my fellow Council members, seeking to understand their motivations, priorities, and underlying concerns. By demonstrating empathy and respect for differing viewpoints, I aim to build bridges and cultivate a spirit of cooperation within the Council. Identifying Shared Goals and Values: I will work collaboratively with my fellow Council members to identify shared goals and values that unite us as representatives of the Gilbert community. By focusing on our common interests, such as promoting economic prosperity, enhancing quality of life, and fostering a safe and inclusive environment, we can transcend partisan divides and work towards solutions that benefit all residents. Seeking Compromise and Creative Solutions: In instances where there are divergent viewpoints or interests, I will actively seek compromise and explore creative solutions that address the needs of all stakeholders. This may involve brainstorming alternative approaches, conducting thorough research, or engaging external experts to provide insights and expertise. By maintaining a spirit of flexibility and openness to new ideas, we can find innovative ways to move forward together. Building Trust and Mutual Respect: Trust and mutual respect are essential ingredients for consensus-building. I will prioritize building strong relationships with my fellow Council members based on honesty, integrity, and accountability. By demonstrating reliability, transparency, and a commitment to the common good, I aim to earn the trust of my colleagues and foster a positive and productive working environment within the Council. Overall, my plan to find common ground and consensus amongst the Council revolves around promoting open communication, active listening, collaboration, and mutual respect. By embracing these principles, I am confident that we can overcome differences, find common ground, and work together effectively to serve the best interests of the Gilbert community.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: Gilbert has positioned itself in an excellent way for the future. The leadership has done a good job with managing our tax money so that we have a premium credit rating. This allows our town, when and if the need arises, to borrow money at the lowest possible cost. We are almost at build-out and will most likely achieve this in the next decade or so. We need to continue to build on the existing infrastructure and repair / replace as needed.
  • Kenny Buckland: I think Gilbert has done exceptionally well in this area. I was here as a police commander when the current Town Manager was brought in. In the years he has been here, Gilbert has grown with intentionality, solid planning, and strong balance. I remember when we were 85% residential with very little business industries within the Town. Financially, it was very difficult with that level of imbalance. There is still more to do, however, the Town has done a really nice job in this area.
  • Monte Lyons: I don't know if I have an informed answer to that question, but I have noted actions the town has taken to develop businesses, jobs, and improve services to well position Gilbert for success.
  • Noah Mundt: Gilbert has been proactive in positioning itself for long-term sustainability by investing in critical infrastructure, adopting innovative technologies, and implementing sound financial management practices. These efforts have been crucial in ensuring reliable access to clean water and effective sanitation services for its residents, enhancing operational efficiency, and building a resilient economy that can withstand economic fluctuations. Gilbert's investments in water and wastewater infrastructure demonstrate its commitment to addressing water scarcity challenges. By upgrading and expanding water treatment facilities, implementing water conservation measures, and investing in water reuse technologies, Gilbert has safeguarded this valuable resource for future generations. Smart city technologies have also been a key component of Gilbert's sustainability efforts. By leveraging data analytics, sensor networks, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Gilbert has introduced innovative solutions to optimize traffic flow, manage energy consumption, and improve public safety. These technologies not only enhance operational efficiency but also support data-driven decision-making that maximizes resource utilization and minimizes environmental impact. Gilbert's economic diversification and innovation further enhance its long-term sustainability. By attracting and supporting a diverse range of industries, including technology, healthcare, education, and advanced manufacturing, Gilbert cultivates a resilient economy that can thrive in a rapidly changing global landscape. Additionally, initiatives such as the Gilbert Innovation District and partnerships with educational institutions and research centers create opportunities for collaboration and entrepreneurship that drive long-term economic growth and prosperity. Gilbert's financial management practices prioritize fiscal sustainability, which is essential for ensuring long-term resilience. Through sound budgetary planning, responsible spending, and strategic investments, Gilbert maintains a balanced budget while preserving essential services and infrastructure. By adhering to transparent and accountable financial practices, Gilbert also safeguards taxpayer dollars, maintains a favorable credit rating, and ensures long-term fiscal stability for the benefit of current and future generations. Gilbert's community engagement initiatives foster dialogue, build partnerships, and empower residents, businesses, and community organizations to contribute to the town's sustainability goals. By involving the community in decision-making processes, Gilbert ensures that its sustainability efforts reflect the values, priorities, and aspirations of its diverse population. This approach also promotes social sustainability and enhances the quality of life for Gilbert's residents. In conclusion, Gilbert's investments in critical infrastructure, innovative technologies, and sound financial management practices have laid the groundwork for long-term sustainability. These efforts demonstrate Gilbert's commitment to safeguarding the environment, promoting economic growth, and enhancing the well-being of its residents.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: I have been attending and watching our council meetings for over 15 years. I intend on meeting with as many officials as possible between now and the time I enter office to get to know them and more fully understand their roles. The council exists as a representation of the community to set policy and direction for the town staff to adhere to. The staff is there to implement this direction appropriately, and be held accountable to that direction.
  • Kenny Buckland: I have a strong understanding based on the fact I worked in Government. In Gilbert, I worked directly with every department in the Town including Public Works, Parks and Rec, IT. I have worked with Economic Development in meeting with business leaders ensuring they understood how policing worked, how economic development and the business community connect, and ensuring they understood fully how government and business need each other. As a second in command of the police department, with time served situationally as Acting Chief, I have had numerous opportunities to work directly with the Town Manager and the Town Council. I have spoken several times representing the Police Department during Council meetings and directly with them one on one for questions about initiatives, programs and budget. Not thinking I know everything, I have studied the Arizona Revised Statues as it relates to political office. Additionally, my wife has served in high level government leadership. Both loving government service, we discuss often processes, law, and implications of good vs poor government service.
  • Monte Lyons: I have reached out to employees, department heads, been to and watched town council meetings online. In addition, I have spoken to council members from Gilbert and surrounding cities to get their perspectives on how things function.
  • Noah Mundt: My understanding of how local government functions has been cultivated through years of active engagement and hands-on experience in various capacities. Here are the steps I've taken to familiarize myself with the intricacies of local government: Leadership Roles in Municipal Corporations: Serving as the President of the Gilbert Water Municipal Property Corporation provided me with invaluable insights into the inner workings of municipal finance and infrastructure development. By overseeing the issuance of green bonds totaling 500 million, I gained firsthand experience in navigating complex financial transactions and funding mechanisms to support critical water treatment infrastructure projects. Involvement in Planning Commission: My tenure on the Planning Commission has afforded me a comprehensive understanding of land use policies, zoning regulations, and development processes. Through collaborative efforts with staff, council members, and community stakeholders, I have actively participated in shaping Gilbert's growth and development while balancing the needs of residents, businesses, and the environment. Attendance and Participation in Council Meetings: Attending or watching and following council meetings has been instrumental in deepening my understanding of local governance processes and decision-making dynamics. By staying informed about agenda items, deliberations, and policy discussions, I am able to grasp the broader context of issues facing our community and the considerations driving council decisions. Reviewing Staff Reports and Documentation: Regularly reviewing staff reports, documentation, and other pertinent materials provides me with essential background information and insights into the operational functions of local government. By staying informed about administrative procedures, project updates, and policy recommendations, I am better equipped to contribute meaningfully to discussions and decision-making processes. Engaging with Community Members: I prioritize actively engaging with residents across Gilbert to understand their perspectives and aspirations for our community. Whether through attending local events, participating in neighborhood gatherings, or hosting open forums, I seek to create avenues for meaningful dialogue and collaboration. By listening to the diverse voices of our community members, I gain valuable insights that shape my approach to governance and decision-making. I am committed to representing the collective interests of Gilbert's residents and working collaboratively to address their needs and concerns.

What experience do you have with complex budgets?

  • Aaron Accurso: Complex budgets, little. However, I know priorities exist, and we must spend the public’s money appropriately in order to help protect, and serve them. We must prioritize correctly in order to have the best impact for a good and sustainable future.
  • Kenny Buckland: I have significant experience in this area. I managed multimillion-dollar budgets from various funding sources in both government and in private sector. I worked collaboratively with the other leaders in the town through the challenging budget process within Gilbert. There is never enough funding compared to what is requested and I have worked with the other leaders to prioritize organizationally what is most important, justifying every dollar in the approval request, ensuring we were being financially responsible in delivering best in class service to the Town. I have met with Town officials, understanding that the process I utilized in Gilbert is still in existence, and learning at an even higher level what is expected of me when I am elected. I also have a little advantage because wife was the budget director from 2010 – 2015 and implemented the current budget process.
  • Monte Lyons: Over the last 25 years I have successfully managed multimillion dollar consolidation and modernization projects for Boeing's and Honeywell's aircraft manufacturing facilities while still maintaining production operations. This is a very specialized and quality intensive environment with no room for failures.
  • Noah Mundt: I have significant experience with complex budgets through my involvement in various leadership roles and initiatives that required meticulous financial planning and management. Here are some examples: President of the Gilbert Water Municipal Property Corporation: In my role as President of the Gilbert Water Municipal Property Corporation, I oversaw the management of substantial financial resources, including the issuance of green bonds totaling 500 million. This involved developing comprehensive budgets, financial projections, and funding strategies to support critical water treatment infrastructure projects. I collaborated closely with financial advisors, stakeholders, and regulatory agencies to ensure prudent fiscal management and compliance with regulatory requirements. Small Business Owner: As the founder and operator of a successful small business in Gilbert, I am intimately familiar with the intricacies of budgeting and financial management in a dynamic business environment. I have experience in developing annual budgets, monitoring cash flow, managing expenses, and making strategic financial decisions to ensure the long-term viability and growth of my business. This hands-on experience has honed my ability to analyze financial data, identify cost-saving opportunities, and allocate resources effectively. Planning Commission Member: During my tenure on the Planning Commission, I have reviewed and evaluated numerous development proposals and projects with significant budgetary implications. This has involved scrutinizing project budgets, assessing funding sources, and evaluating the financial feasibility of proposed developments within the context of the town's overall budgetary priorities and constraints. My experience on the Planning Commission has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the financial considerations involved in land use planning and development. Input on the 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan: Recently, I had the opportunity to review and provide input for the 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) published by the town. This involved analyzing proposed infrastructure projects, assessing their budgetary implications, and providing recommendations to ensure alignment with the town's strategic goals and financial priorities. My involvement in this process further deepened my understanding of long-term budget planning and capital investment strategies, equipping me with valuable insights that will inform my approach to fiscal management if elected to the Town Council. Overall, my experience with complex budgets spans various contexts, including municipal finance, small business operations, and land use planning. I am adept at analyzing financial data, developing strategic budgets, and making sound financial decisions to achieve organizational goals and priorities. If elected to the Town Council, I will leverage this experience to ensure responsible fiscal stewardship and prudent budget management for the benefit of Gilbert and its residents.

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

  • Aaron Accurso: My philosophy about the role of federal grant monies is that we should attempt to use them as little as possible. There is of course the right time and place for them, but in general, I believe that they bring unwanted and unneeded national policies into local communities. Our town is best governed by those closest to the citizens. Monies spent locally should be at the discretion of the most local authorities, and not from bureaucrats thousands of miles away. State monies are our lifeblood, and should only be used if in line with the needs of the locality using them. Fiscal projects with local implications are best made by local officials with no or as few strings attached from outside/broader government entities.
  • Kenny Buckland: I worked in Gilbert during times when there was very little funding to support the Council direction for our service and performance levels. I have directed and/or authored the application of numerous federal and state grants for the police department, including, UASI funding for SWAT equipment, DUI Task Force funding, the very first neighborhood speed enforcement grant in the State from GOHS, AZ DUI abatement grant funding, and grants for equipment to support police initiatives. This saved the Town millions of dollars and ensured we had what we needed to provide the service levels demanded. For eight years, I served as the Senate President Appointee to the DUI Abatement Council, a body which reviewed grant applications and awarded grant funds as statutorily directed from DUI convictions, required to support overtime and equipment related to DUI enforcement. Additionally, I have worked as a vendor in technology providing government technology that they purchased from Operation Stonegarden grants, supporting our southern border efforts. It is very important that when applying for grants, we fully understand the expectations of the grant and only apply when we can meet the requirements and expectations in reporting and service delivery. It is also extremely important that never supplant the operating budget with grant funds.
  • Monte Lyons: Federal grants come with strings attached to them. It's an aera where great care needs to be taken to ensure the goal of the funding agency does not conflict with the goals and values of the community.
  • Noah Mundt: My understanding and philosophy regarding the role of federal and state grant funding for local government services center around fiscal responsibility and maximizing the benefit to our community. Grant funding should complement responsible budgeting and prudent financial management at the local level. It should align with our community's priorities and strategic objectives, supporting critical infrastructure projects, public safety initiatives, economic development efforts, and essential services. While residents contribute tax dollars to the state and federal governments, it's pragmatic to seek grant opportunities that enhance local resources without unduly burdening taxpayers. However, we must maintain a degree of skepticism regarding the reliability of grant funding over the long term and prioritize building a strong and resilient local economy less reliant on external sources of funding. In summary, a pragmatic approach to federal and state grant funding involves strategic pursuit of opportunities that support local priorities, while ensuring long-term financial sustainability for our community.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

  • Aaron Accurso: Government exists to protect the rights of its citizens. The government in the United States, in Arizona, and in the Town of Gilbert has been created to help protect these rights and enable the individuals and businesses to prosper to the best of their ability. Government is meant to be the referee, ensuring as level and safe of a playing field as possible for these constituents regarding their choices in life and business.
  • Kenny Buckland: It is important that we get to know and understand every candidate’s “why” for entering such a race. So many people do it out of anger from an isolated situation or total misunderstanding of the real information or process. I am not entering on such an agenda. Rather, I am running because I and so many people I know believe that Gilbert needs strong, servant, and civil leadership in this time. I have a solid track, record of this kind of leadership and I want to help. So, whether or not you vote for me, please get to understand who the candidates are, why they are running and then make sure you vote in the primary election.
  • Monte Lyons: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss my thoughts on Gilbert and its future.
  • Noah Mundt: In closing, I am incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve Gilbert on the council and represent the wonderful people who have been my friends and neighbors for the past 14 years. Gilbert is more than just a community to me; it's a place I am deeply invested in, where I've seen families thrive, businesses flourish, and dreams come to fruition. I am committed to working tirelessly to uphold the values that make Gilbert such a special place and to ensure that our town continues to grow and prosper for generations to come. Thank you for your trust and support. Together, we can make Gilbert an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.
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