Economic Development

For many years Gilbert confused residential growth with economic development.  For every new house that was built we collected fees.  For every house  built we had to provide: roads, sewers, fire hydrants, parks, police protection, courts, clean water, libraries,  and fire stations. Simply not Economic Development.

When I was elected Mayor in 2001 I had a lot of work to do.   Builders Magazine had just named Gilbert "The Worst Place in America to Build Anything".  Houses were being built, but that is all.  We had a population of 107,000 and didn't have a hospital, had two car dealerships and  one 500,000 sq ft shopping center.  The first thing I did was remove the impediments that were discouraging new businesses from locating in Gilbert.  Next,  I began an extremely aggressive campaign to bring commercial development to Gilbert.  The results:

  • San Tan Mall
  • San Tan AutoPlex
  • San Tan Villages
  • Six new auto dealers
  • Five new 500,000 sq ft shopping centers
  • Three new hospitals
  • Ten Million Square Feet of new Commercial Buildings.

When I hear the current Mayor and Council measuring economic development in terms new housing starts, I worry about our future . They have  ignored Gilbert's  voter  approved General Plan and are rezoning our precious commercial  property to allow  building of apartments.  It is bad enough they have not brought a single major employer to Gilbert since I left office. What is worse, showcase  employers like Infusionsoft,  are leaving  Gilbert  and building new facilities in Chandler.   It's not too late to get  back on the winning track:  I know how to do it, I've done it before.