As the election gets rolling for Mayor of Glendale, incumbent Jerry Weiers said his decision to run for re-election was easy for one reason.
“I haven’t finished the job I started,” Weiers said. “I haven’t completed the job and I am not a quitter and want to finish the job I started for the citizens of this great city.”
Weiers was elected mayor in 2012, defeating Manuel Cruz, to become the first new Mayor of Glendale since 1993, after Elaine Scruggs decided against running for a sixth term.
Weiers first moved to Arizona in 1966. He and his wife, Sandy, have been married for 33, going on 34, years and have one daughter.
Weiers is an accomplished pilot with more than two decades of flying experience, who flies out of Glendale Airport. He is a motorcycle enthusiast who rides a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic, and performs in parades across the state. He is also a reservist for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
“I just love this city and decided I wanted to try and make a difference,” Weiers said. “Things were tough, when I ran the first time, but I felt I could help turn things around.”
After leading the city through the economic downturn, Weiers led the council in making tough decisions to help improve city finances and its bond rating over the past year.
“We corrected some mistakes of past councils to increase our bond ratings and balance the budget, including city finances,” Weiers said. “I really am proud of the way the pride in this city has turned around and people are once again proud to say they are from Glendale.”
He said he is focused on continuing to improve the city’s finances, annexation of land West to Loop 303, selecting the correct route for light rail and improving pride among citizens in the community.
“I will always continue to fight for the taxpayers and citizens in this city,” Weiers said.
When he began as mayor, Glendale faced mounting debt, lowering bond ratings and finances that had the city on the brink of bankruptcy. Over his first term, he has helped turn the bond ratings around, improved the city’s finances and improved the growth in the city with businesses looking to build within the city.
“We have had tremendous growth over the past few years, with American Furniture Warehouse, multiple health care facilities and numerous businesses that have come to the city,” Weiers said.
One downside during his first term - the battle between the city and the Arizona Coyotes - continues to haunt him, but he still feels there is a solution, as long as it doesn’t hurt Glendale taxpayers.
“As far as the Coyotes, we hired AEG to manage the city’s arena and given the opportunity, I believe they will be successful,” Weiers said. “They are the largest arena management company and have had great success in other areas, and I think there is a strong possibility they will be successful.”
Weiers added that he is hopeful the team will stay, but he will not allow the city to mortgage its future to do it.
“Do I regret trying to work in favor of the taxpayers? No. I will never be sorry for fighting for Glendale taxpayers. I have never flip-flopped on this issue and I want the Coyotes to stay, but I also want to protect the citizens in any deal.”
Weiers also said that expansion and annexation of land west to Loop 303 is going to be a key economic goal of the city and that it will be the key to the economic future of the city.
“That is going to be huge, the expansion out to Loop 303,” Weiers said. “Once the EPCOR water plant launches, that will provide services out to that area and it will kick-start major growth.”
When it comes to light rail, Weiers said he has never been against the project, but feels that citizens deserve the best route that helps the city. He said he is against the current project, but hopes Valley Metro listens to the council and includes the project ending west of Grand Avenue.
“I have said multiple times that I cannot support light rail unless it benefits the City of Glendale,” Weiers said. “That was one of the reasons I fought for adding trolley cars down Glendale Avenue, because light rail coming north of downtown is not going to benefit the city.”
He said he has offered a different plan to Valley Metro, where light rail would come north on 43rd Avenue to Glendale Avenue and trolleys would run down Glendale on tracks that could be used for light rail and eventually run out to University of Phoenix Stadium on days of events.
“That way, the trolleys would run downtown, which would help business directly, and light rail could run on those tracks out to the stadium, when it goes that far,” Weiers said.
Weiers sits on numerous committees, including Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council, transportation policy committee, Luke West Valley Council, West Valley Partners, and WESTMARC’s board of directors, among others.
He has the endorsements of former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, Congressmen David Schweikert, Trent Franks, and Matt Salmon.
“I am not going to mislead the voters or campaign dirty. My goal is to stand on my successes and be as honest as I can, so the voters can make an informed decision,” Weiers said.