Jenn Daniels is a spring chicken compared with the current members of the Gilbert Town Council, who are all in midlife and beyond. "I'm 29 and a half," she jokingly clarified during an interview.
Still, the stay-at-home mother of three boys, who's never held public office, cites experience as one of her qualifications in her campaign for a council seat.
That experience, in part, comes from motherhood and time spent as a board member with the state chapter of United Families International, a nonprofit organization that campaigns against same-sex marriage and abortion, among other things.
She said her experience as a bookkeeper would be helpful in future budgeting issues.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to balance the budget," she said. "I think we overcomplicate it in government."
Steve Kraus, who's known Daniels for about 13 years and affectionately calls her Jenny, said she was an extremely adept bookkeeper for his multimillion-dollar exporting and importing business, Distribuciones de la Frontera in Dana Point, Calif.
"She's the most trustworthy person I've ever met in my entire life," he said.
Kraus also said Daniels was extremely organized and unflappable in her demeanor.
"She's just great," he said. "Everybody loves her."
Daniels said she's against tax increases to close the town's budget shortfall, and would consider cuts to every department except police and fire.
She also said the town should consider moving certain departments to a four-day work week as Queen Creek and Mesa have done.
Daniels is also running on the promise to help make the council more transparent and accountable to residents, saying there's a disconnect between Town Hall and residents.
"A friend came to me and said that she had called a Town Council member and said, 'You know they're putting in a commercial development in my backyard,' and 'What should I do about it?' The council member's response was 'Don't bother.' My response to that would be 'See how many people you can get behind you. Let's see what the need is.'"
She cited Big League Dreams' exceeding its budget as another example of disconnect.
"What bothers me about it is there's zero accountability," she said. "No one is saying 'Hey look, we didn't do this right. Let's take this as an example of what not to do with a public-private partnership and let's move forward.' No one's doing that."