Vote Hudgins for Gilbert

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Closing Statement from Lyons Gate Community Forum


This is my hometown and I have had the privilege of being raised, going to school, working some of my first jobs, attending church, and starting my own small business right here in Gilbert. I have been very actively engaged in the Town for the last 12 years. I started regularly attending Town Council meetings at just 17 years old to be an active participant in my community. Over the years, I have learned how the Town works in various capacities. This will provide me extensive knowledge going into serving my community. Additionally, I have been running my small business located in downtown Gilbert for 7 years and will bring that valuable business perspective to our Town Council. While running my small business, I was appointed by the Mayor and Town Council to serve on the Gilbert Redevelopment Commission for downtown Gilbert. I was soon asked to become Chairman of the Commission and faced an important milestone regarding the future of downtown. During my term as Chairman, our commission had the responsibility of drafting and approving a new 10 Year Redevelopment Plan. This was an important milestone in the shaping of the Heritage District because we now had the benefit of understanding the amazing growth since the 2008 Redevelopment Plan. Lastly, I had the privilege of working on the Gilbert General Plan Update for 2020 that will be coming before voters this year.

My seven years of experience in small business is a big part of why I am running. We need someone on Town Council that has actually run payroll, managed expenses and done the hard work of running a business.

One of my top priorities is to increase economic development and bring more jobs to Gilbert, especially high-quality and high-paying jobs. First, many residents currently have to commute two hours each day to work. What would happen if they could commute within the Town? What could they do with some of that two hours? Perhaps spending more time with family, friends, neighbors, and volunteering to list a few. They could also do more of their lunch meetings within the town and spend their tax money locally. Second, I served as chairman of the Redevelopment Commission and we were responsible for approving a new 10-year Redevelopment Plan for downtown Gilbert. There has been tremendous demand for office space in our downtown, but we simply have not had the supply to accommodate. We made sure to include new office in the plan, so that we can attract much of those. The Redevelopment Plan was adopted by the Town Council, but that only serves as a guiding vision for the area. Once successfully elected, I will make sure that we see the full implementation of the plan to bring more high-quality and high-paying jobs to Gilbert.

My recommendation would be to prioritize essential and non-essential spending. Citizens and businesses care about their basic services – Gilbert should meet those obligations. I would look at proposing a task force to help us find areas to scale back. If things got really bad, we could defer future capital improvement projects and have our Rainy Day Fund in reserve.

The biggest issue facing Gilbert is approaching buildout in 2030. Over the next few years we will need to make some critical decisions. Thankfully, many previous leaders have made wise and proactive decisions for the town. We need to pass the torch to new leaders that understand our past and can see our future. Gilbert is my hometown. I worked some of my first jobs, went to school, attended church, served in leadership, and started my own small business in downtown Gilbert. I am a product of this community and have a strong sense of what makes Gilbert such an exceptional place. We need leaders that will help maintain the quality of life that residents moved here for and expect.

I believe that recycling is important, but it is also important to be cost effective. I believe that we should work with staff to see what ways we can make the best use of the program and find ways to make it sustainable.

I have a concern that many of our roadways are beginning to deteriorate and would push to begin work on repaving them. Additionally, there are many roads in Gilbert that we need to look at expanding in order to handle the level of traffic. I know our roadways have been especially troubling for many of our residents in the southern part of Gilbert. I have experience in this area while serving as chairman of the Redevelopment Commission for downtown Gilbert. We took a hard look at additional ventilation points for the downtown. The reality is there is only one main way in-and-out of downtown and that is Gilbert Road. We included a project in our 10 Year Redevelopment Plan that extends Vaughn Road along the railroad tracks and connects it to Neely Road (which stops at the train tracks). We expect this new roadway will carry about 8,000 cars per day and reduce some of the load on Gilbert Road.

We must think long-term to make the best use of what we have. A prime example is downtown Gilbert, which has transformed from virtually a ghost town to a vibrant part of our community. This stands in direct contrast to the Fiesta Mall area in Mesa which used to be the “downtown Gilbert” of the day. Mesa was not proactive to address the area concerns. They are now applying odd enhancements that do not fit the character of the area. I do not want to see this happen to Gilbert as growth moves eastward. This trend will continue as access and additional infrastructure make commuting more efficient. We must look at roadway improvements and revitalization efforts such as the Northwest Growth Area.

In coming years, I would like Gilbert to be known as an interconnected community. In the United States, there tends to be a culture of isolation from other people. This has increased with the rise of technology and more recently with the COVID-19 pandemic. As online interactions have risen, meaningful in-person interactions have declined. This has become evident as many have reported that they hardly know their neighbors. This is why I love what Joe Johnston has done in Agritopia. He has made intentional efforts to create development that encourages community members to be outside and around their neighbors. We have seen this kind of development in downtown Gilbert as well. When Postino and Joyride started, they revamped the original Gonzo’s building to be more open and inviting. The Gilbert Farmers Market has also been a fantastic opportunity to bring the community together. My vision is for Gilbert to be a community where neighbors know each other and look out for one another. Could we encourage this even more through policy, programs, and development long-term? I believe we can.

The Gilbert Town Council elections are non-partisan and we do not run with any party affiliation. This is because we deal mainly with issues such as water, roads, trash, etc. With that said, I am a registered Republican.


I support getting our economy running again as soon as possible! Small business is hurting significantly and this simply cannot be sustained. We must do this alongside the guidance of healthcare professionals and from the mindset of protecting the public from further infection.

We must be good stewards of taxpayer money and control spending. This includes ensuring that we are planning ahead for downturns by spending wisely in the up years.
Public safety is a vital part of the services we provide as a town. We can only continue to be one of the safest communities in the world by giving our first responders the tools and support they need to get the job done.

I supported and worked to pass the 2018-2028 Gilbert Redevelopment Plan. My goal is to make sure that we implement the plan fully over the next 10 years to continue our important redevelopment work in the downtown.

I support keeping taxes low and government limited.

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