We endorse Tolmachoff, Turner and Aldama

You have your ballot in front of you and you see a familiar name. That person has been on Glendale City Council for four years. If you live in the Cholla District, you don’t have to make a choice. Lauren Tolmachoff is running unchallenged; she is already a winner.

Still, Tolmachoff receives the formal endorsement of this newspaper for the sake of principle and because it is well deserved. She is a great leader on City Council. She is strong, has a good work ethic, and is not afraid to voice her opinion on any business that comes before the council. While she is open-minded and willing to listen, when she believes in an issue, she is persistent. She is articulate and explains her position thoroughly.

Tolmachoff’s actions as a councilmember show she is a fiscal conservative and would continue to maintain a tight hold on the city’s purse strings moving forward.

Voters who live in the Barrel District have a choice: incumbent Bart Turner or challenger Ray Strahl.

A novice at seeking office, Strahl is not new to politics. He said he worked on campaigns for Mayor Jerry Weiers, Councilmember Ray Malnar, and former Gov. Jan Brewer. He has been successful in the banking and business world for 47 years. 

Strahl’s platform on his flier begins with “Protect the Taxpayers,” then continues with “Safe Neighborhoods,” “Support First Responders,” “Attract New Employers,” “For Quality Schools,” “Pass Balanced Budgets,” and “Help Retirees and Vets.” All of these beliefs are well and good, and one would be hard-pressed to find a candidate who did not desire all of those things for his ot her constituents.

It is difficult to be critical of Strahl and his evaluation of the city and what City Council must do to rectify the situation concerning special events. He said he believes a task force of community leaders and citizens should be formed to come up with ideas for a better Glendale. One specific suggestion he gave during his interview with The Glendale Star was to start switching out all the Christmas lights for LED lights and power the lights with solar energy.

Strahl also wants to immediately see the streets in Barrel District fixed using the $162 million collected for light rail; money that must now be used for other transportation projects within the city.

To attract new employers, Strahl said he would like to see a tiered set of tax incentives for large and small businesses, acknowledging that small businesses have not seen the same tax incentives given to larger companies to bring their operations to the city.

What Strahl said he proposes to bring to the table is dialogue, town halls where everyone has a chance to voice their opinion and offer ideas for consideration.

Turner, who holds regular district meetings, is a lifetime resident of Glendale. His roots are here. He has been part of a council that has made great strides toward financial stability. Before he was elected, Turner participated in the community in other ways — through community service. He was a member of Glendale Arts Council, chairman of Glendale Parks and Recreation Commission and president of the board of Glendale Historical Society and West Valley Child Crisis Center.

He is tenacious, an independent thinker who does not take lightly his position on the council. He is part of a council that mirrors his own dynamic personality. With his input, Glendale City Council pulled out of a financial spiral that was heading for bankruptcy and now holds an admirable rating. He was a member of the council that contracted with an independent firm to manage Gila River Arena and in the process, save the city millions of dollars a year.

One cannot separate Turner from all of the solid decisions made by the collective City Council. His district is now reaping rewards from the five-year pavement management program adopted by City Council.

He is not afraid to say what he believes. We endorse the re-election of Bart Turner as the Barrel District candidate.

The Ocotillo District has Councilmember Jamie Aldama seeking re-election and his challenger is Emmanuel Allen.

Allen has been very active in the community activist mode, working on an advisory committee for Glendale Police Department’s Gateway Division, other advisory boards and now sits on the human relations commission for the city. He and his wife operate after-school programs at O’Neil Recreation Center and Glendale Community Center.

Allen considers homelessness and transients in city parks and public spaces the most challenging issues the city faces. He said he believes one of the answers is to bring a homeless work program to the city. He said he would work to provide Eglish as a Second Language classes,as well as citizenship classes to Ocotillo residents.

Allen believes the city council, for the most part, deserves an A for digging out of a financial hole to a good economic recovery. He criticizes Aldama for not supporting the school resource officer action. Aldama explained he felt the city acted hastily without consulting with employees about the consequences of the swift action; however, he added, he believes school resource officers are a positive addition to high school campuses.

Allen said he would like to build relationships with all of the constituents in the Ocotillo District and will be out meeting with and listening to them.

Aldama said he takes his mobile office to the community on a regular basis every month. He is happy with the direction the city is going because council is working together.

Ocotillo is where a stable presence is needed at this point in the city’s future. While Allen demonstrates a passion for social issues, Aldama presents an individual thoroughly familiar with the area he serves and is willing to listen to the people who depend on his determination to solve their problems.

We endorse Jamie Aldama for re-election in the Ocotillo District.

To our readers who will be voting for one of the candidates above in the Aug. 28 primary election, remember it has been the collective leadership of this council that has produced benefits for the city and its residents. We hope the choice you make will be based on experience and wisdom, not smoke and mirrors.

The Glendale Star

The Glendale Star
7122 N. 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013
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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013

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