Reform, jobs key for Peggy Neely as Phoenix mayor
Ex-councilwoman eyes changes at City Hall
by Lynh Bui - Jul. 28, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Peggy Neely has spent much of her life as a soccer mom, which partially explains why she always wants to win.
The mother of two and former Phoenix councilwoman describes herself as "strong-headed," "passionate" and a "straight talker."
The real-estate broker running for mayor says her competitive personality and decisive leadership style is what Phoenix needs to reform government and improve the economy
The thing that you will find in Peggy is that I'm a black-and-white person," said Neely, who is running for mayor against Anna Brennan, Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Greg Stanton and Jennifer Wright.
Councilman Michael Johnson, who is endorsing Neely, said she has been aggressive in bringing jobs to her district and can do the same for the city.
During Neely's nearly 10 years representing northeast Phoenix, companies such as American Express, Republic Services and the Mayo Clinic Hospital have moved to or expanded in the district.
Neely said her job-creation efforts would have a more regional focus as mayor. During her time as chairwoman of the Maricopa Association of Governments, Neely helped push Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties to start preparing for future growth in the "Sun Corridor," what planners say will become a megapolitan region connecting Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson economically.
"I've always had the philosophy that we need to look for good, quality jobs, and I'm always on the lookout to see if there is someone who can come, that we can recruit to Phoenix," Neely said. "But it's not only Phoenix now. It's the entire region."
Neely, who voted against the city budget for the past two years as well as the food tax in 2010, has called for more government reform, openness and transparency. Her campaign recently adopted an anti-union tone to convey her message about the need for changes at City Hall, and she has won the endorsement of the council's most fiscally conservative member, Sal DiCiccio. As a member of the minority on the council, it was difficult to push for change at City Hall, Neely said. As mayor, she would drive the agenda in a different direction.
"I'm supported by a whole lot of folks," Neely said.
"But I'm pretty strong-headed, too, so you're going to have to convince me that something is a viable project. And if I don't like your project, you'll know where I'm at. You're not going to get a flip-flop."
Job: Real-estate broker.
Experience: Served almost 10 years as Phoenix Councilwoman for District 2.
Family: Married, two daughters.
What is your vision for Phoenix? What big ideas would you like to see come to fruition in the next decade or two?
It is time for leaders to listen -- to work with the citizens of our great city to chart a course for a prosperous future. My vision is Phoenix as a regional and national leader. Phoenix should no longer accept a backseat in the area of public policy.
It must lead. It must lead in quality economic development focused on high-income jobs that are as diverse as our city. It must lead in transportation that is multimodal and serves as connectors to our neighborhoods and villages rather than dividers that create barriers and take away our sense of community. We must build bridges with other cities that foster regional cooperation on issues that affect everyone and that will benefit the taxpayers who pay the bills.
Our biggest focus must be on jobs, balancing the budget, and increasing transparency. At www.PeggyNeely.com, I have a comprehensive plan that will include several major initiatives.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2011/07/28/20110728peggy-neely-reform.html#ixzz1TWsXGBqD