City Councilwoman Peggy Neely resigned from District 2 last week and announced her plans to run for mayor, becoming the fifth candidate vying for the position.
"We're a great city," Neely said. "I know we're coming up on some serious cross roads and we need to make sure that we move the city the way that it needs to be done. I think there's some things that I bring to the job that I have the leadership to do. That deals with the economy. It deals with making sure that we take care of our budget and have better transparency."
Neely has had an exploratory committee for mayor since May. She has been representing District 2 for nine years. Now she says she is just excited to get debating and talking about the issues.
"To me it's about the economy," Neely said. "It's about making sure that we bring jobs, jobs, jobs to Phoenix. I can tell you that up here in District 2 I've worked on that on an everyday basis. That's something that I want to bring to City Hall. If I get there we're going to make sure that that is first and foremost, one of the most important things that we do."
Neely said she would like to see a business model that's more like Texas. She'd like to streamline the city's website to make it more user friendly and transparent. She also mentioned tough decisions that need to be made regarding the budget.
"I think we've done a lot of one time financial transactions to balance the budget," said Neely, who expects a larger deficit next year. "I think in the long run we're putting off some decisions and we need to make the tough decisions. You can't continue to spend and over spend what you're bringing in. We're going to need to have some bonding projects and capitol projects but we can no longer continue to use the credit card. We have to make tough decisions and make sure we're living within our means."
Neely did not support raising taxes before and she hopes a plan will be made to deal with the budget in a responsible way.
As for her opponents, Neely said she has been on the City Council with two of them but that she does not really know the other two.
Lobbyist Wes Gullett is focusing his campaign for mayor on water rates, small business and public safety. City Councilman Claude Mattox is promoting strong neighborhoods, quality schools and career jobs. Former City Councilman Greg Stanton is supporting education, protecting Phoenix neighborhoods and local businesses. Libertarian Thane Eichenauer recently ran for state treasurer.
The election will be on Aug. 30.
Neely's resignation also means her seat in District 2 must be filled.To be eligible for the seat candidates must live in District 2 and be a registered voter.
Interested candidates must complete and submit a declaration of candidacy form to the City Clerk Department by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 1. The office will be open to collect candidate information. For more information on the District 2 position, call (602) 262-6837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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