Eight Gilbert residents, including former mayor Cynthia Dunham and former councilwoman Joan Krueger, have been named finalists for the vacant Gilbert council seat.
Council members chose their top picks from the 31 applicants. The other six finalists are Ben Cooper, Bobbi Smith, Jared Taylor, Chris Anderson, Julius Keller and Michael Viscusi.
The council seat is vacant because Steve Urie, who had been on the council for 11 years, resigned March 26 to run for the state House of Representatives in District 22.
The finalists will be interviewed at 7 p.m. Wednesday during a public, televised special council meeting at Gilbert Town Hall, 50 E. Civic Center Drive.
Anderson, 37, is a senior partner with Steele Larson Anderson Wealth Management, an investment group. He has lived in Gilbert for 16 years, and is married with three sons. Anderson has coached his son’s baseball teams, is active with the Boy Scouts of America and volunteers at a Mesa men’s shelter.
Cooper, 38, is a commercial real estate investor. He has lived in Gilbert since 1983 and is married with three children. Cooper has served on the Gilbert Economic Development advisory board and the Gilbert 2011 General Plan steering committee.
Dunham, 55, was on the Gilbert council for two years and was the first elected female mayor of Gilbert for four years, from 1997 to 2001. She has lived in Gilbert for 20 years, and is married with four children and seven grandchildren. Dunham is the executive director and founder of The Leadership Centre, which provides education, mediation and events for leadership groups.
Keller, 57, is a pastor for Living Water United Methodist Fellowship church in Gilbert. He has lived in Gilbert since 2006, and is married with six children and four grandchildren. Keller is a graduate of the Gilbert Leadership Class and is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
Krueger, 52, was on the town council from 2005-2009 and is a former Planning and Zoning commissioner for six years. She has lived in Gilbert for 13 years and is a business consultant and realtor. Krueger is on the board of directors for Catholic Healthcare West Foundation and the executive board for the Fresh Start Women’s Center.
Smith, 48, is a self-employed property manager and organic farmer. She has lived in Gilbert for 17 years, is married and has two sons. Smith is president-elect of the Gilbert Leadership Board and co-founder of the Gilbert Unified School District Volunteer Network.
Taylor, 37, is a business manager for Heritage Academy charter school in Mesa. He is married with two daughters and has lived in Gilbert since 1996. Taylor is on the planning committee for Constitution Week USA and is a steering and planning committee member for Mesa’s Arizona Celebration of Freedom.
Viscusi, 53, is a semi-retired fleet/governmental sales manager for an automotive group. He has lived in Gilbert for 11 years, and has two children. He is president of the Circle G Highlands West Homeowner’s Association and on the board of directors for Paradise Valley National Bank.
The council will select the new member on May 19. That person will take office May 22.
The appointed council member will serve the remainder of Urie’s term until June 2011.