SECOND CANDIDATE FORUM
Thursday August 4, 2016 6:00 PM
Gila County Community College
The second forum for candidates was held this evening,
again sponsored by the Arizona Silver Belt, the Globe
Miami Chamber of Commerce and Gila Community
College, where the event was held on the Globe Campus.
Candidates for the Miami Town Council and Globe City
Council who are facing opposition in the August 30th
primary were included.
The audience, which included Globe City Councilmembers
Mike Stapleton, Roberta Lee Johnson and Lerry Alderman;
Superior Court Judge Bryan Chambers; and Chairman of the
Gila County Board of Supervisors Mike Pastor, was smaller
than the first forum on Tuesday, with about 30 people in
Miami candidates included incumbents Sammy Gonzales
and Don Reiman, along with newcomer Gary Vessels. This
is the second election for Gonzales, who was originally
appointed to the Miami Town Council to fill a vacancy
before successfully running for office. Reiman, the current
Vice Mayor of Miami, has been on the Council for seven
years. Vessels, a Miami resident for the past ten years, is a
Six issues were raised including: Miami's infrastructure
needs and the progress of the sewer project, the importance
of Resolution Copper, whether a regional aquatic center
should be supported, the economic fate of the town, the
possible adoption of a ban on smoking for anyone under 21,
and rumors of the police department disbanding.
All in attendance felt that ultimately Miami having its own
police department is economically unfeasible. Reiman said
that the police budget is half of the general fund. Gonzales
added that the issue is currently under analysis with the
County. And Vessels felt everyone wants to be safe, but
there's a lot of work yet to be done to achieve it.
Globe candidates included Al Gameros and James Gillette
running for mayor; Freddy Rios, Terry Wheeler and Alexis
Rivera, a write in candidate, running for District One
Councilmember; and Charlene Giles and Bernard Wohlforth
running for District Five Councilmember.
Al Gameros, who was born and raised in Miami, spent 18
years as chief of the Globe Fire Department before filling in
briefly as city manager in the past year. His is focus is on
James Gillette, with a military background, is a third
generation Globe resident who feels everyone in the county
deserves good representation.
Freddy Rios has been coaching youth sports in Globe for the
past 30 years. A 34 year employee of AWC in Globe with
many years in management, Rios has been attending City
Council meetings regularly for the past three years and
believes his background makes him well suited to navigate
regulations and handle people.
Alexis Rivera, who hails from Puerto Rico originally, has
been in Globe for the past 12 years. He's the former
financial manager for Hayden, and currently is an
accounting consultant for the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
Terry Wheeler, the current Mayor, has been in Globe since
1958. He's been immersed in Globe politics since 1998.
Charlene Giles brings 20 years of local government
experience in Ohio to Globe. She believes the area has a
great environment and she wants to proactively help Globe
Bernard Wohlforth moved to Globe five years ago. Bernard's
Coffee Shop located here is the culmination of his dream.
He believes that God made it happen and he wants to bring
God back into politics.
Like the Miami hopefuls, the Globe candidates tackled six
issues including how the city handled the PSPRS funding
shortfall of $10 million (all thought Globe did a good job),
the bed tax, blight (everyone dislikes it, no one had a
solution), the city's aging infrastructure, what each candidate
felt made him or her qualified to serve, and what each felt
should be the city's top three priorities. All were in
agreement that bringing people to the area and improving
Globe's economy were at the top of the list, though each
offered different nuances on how that might be achieved.
Al Gameros reminded everyone to vote yes on Home Rule
an issue that will have grave negative impact on Globe, and
also Miami, if it does not pass on August 30th.
Some of the Globe Hopefuls
The rest of the Globe Hopefuls