wants to build partners
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 17, 2006 12:00 AM
From building better relationships with
homeowners associations to trying to eliminate homelessness in the Valley,
Phoenix Councilman Greg Stanton kicks off a busy four years this month.
He represents District 6, which is Ahwatukee Foothills, Arcadia, the Biltmore
area and parts of north and east Phoenix.
Stanton and three other council members were sworn in earlier this month. It's
his second term.
Stanton recently discussed his priorities.
Question: What do you hope to do
for Ahwatukee this term?
Stanton: First and foremost, my
priority is to be an advocate for the people of Ahwatukee Foothills and to
provide the best constituent service I can.
A couple of my goals are to build better relationships with the homeowners
associations in the neighborhood to make sure we're working together in
partnership to protect the neighborhoods.
(I also want) to build a strong relationship built on trust with the new leader
of the Gila River Indian Community, Gov. (William) Rhodes. The transportation
and economic issues between our communities can and will be worked out, but it
needs to be built on trust, and it has to start at the top.
I think as we make decisions in regards to the planned (South Mountain) Freeway,
they need to be made with sound planning principles.
(Success for Ahwatukee) includes maintaining strong relationships with all the
communities bordering Ahwatukee, including Tempe and Chandler. I really view
that Ahwatukee Foothills exists as part of the larger region.
One of the things we have that's unique in our area is ALEX (the Ahwatukee Local
Explorer bus). I want to make sure it covers all of Ahwatukee Foothills,
including western Ahwatukee Foothills, which it currently doesn't cover.
(Another goal is) successful completion and having the grand opening of the
Pecos Community Center, which is going to be an outstanding amenity for our
community. And working with the Parks Department to manage our parks in
Ahwatukee Foothills to maximize youth sports opportunities.
If the Land Department decides to move forward with the (South Mountain) 620,
I'm going to fight for the people of Ahwatukee Foothills to make sure our goals
are met in terms of protecting the mountain park and making sure there's not an
overcrowding problem in the schools.
Question: What do you hope to
accomplish citywide during this term?
Stanton: I chair the subcommittee
on education and the knowledge economy. I focus on educational partnerships:
improving our after-school programs, improving the high school graduation rate
and promoting higher-education opportunities so there's not a "brain
I want to make sure every school in Phoenix has an after-school excellence
initiative program. Other programs were athletic-based. The committee I'm on has
led it to be more academically based: more tutoring, really extend the school
(I'm) leading the tri-city meeting of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe to plan the
future of Papago Park, which I think is an underutilized gem in the heart of the
Valley. We want to promote it and make sure it has all the amenities it should
I chair the regional Continuum of Care. We are the overseers of the plan to end
homelessness in the Valley.
Phoenix does not exist in a vacuum. Phoenix is part of a larger region and our
success is closely tied to the success of other Valley cities, and vice versa.
We're not in competition with Tempe or Mesa or Chandler. We're partners with
them as we build a regional economy.