Glendale voters have some major decisions to make on Tuesday, including choosing a new mayor and whether to reverse a sales tax increase.
State Rep. Jerry Weiers and Manny Cruz are in the final stretches of their campaign for mayor, reaching out to different parts of the city. Mayor Elaine Scruggs will retire at the end of the year after 20 years on the council.
Manny Cruz said he’s in the middle of a voter outreach with many of his volunteers in the next several days before the election.
“We’re making phone calls, knocking on doors and touring facilities and businesses in the city to let people know about my six-point plan to stabilize Glendale and move the city forward to where it really needs to be,” Cruz said.
Weiers said he’s had the privilege of meeting with thousands of Glendale residents, which has been an exhausting but exciting experience.
“While I have heard many different points of view, the thing that unites us is our love of Glendale and our concern for its future,” Weiers said. “We all agree that Glendale’s best days are ahead with the right leadership. We agree that Luke Air Force Base is the jewel in the crown that is Glendale. We all agree that more needs to be done to build our economy. As a state lawmaker, I have the experience to balance our city budget and rebuild our local economy.”
If voters repeal the sales tax increase, the city of Glendale could possibly cut as many as 250 employee positions, including in the police and fire departments; close two libraries and eliminate the majority of the downtown festivals.
In June, the City Council voted to increase the sale tax on all purchases from 2.2 percent to 2.9 percent, one of the highest in the Valley. The new tax became effective on Aug. 1.
Then, council members adopted a two-tiered sales tax that exempted items more than $5,000, which benefited many of the car dealerships in the city.
There also are three runoff elections for council seats, including Cactus District candidates Gary Hirsch and Ian Hugh and Sahuaro District opponents Diane Douglas and Gary Sherwood.
Voters also will decide whether Glendale City Council member Joyce Clark of the Yucca District retains her seat from challenger Sam Chavira, a Phoenix firefighter.
Peoria voters will determine two council seats. Shawn Hutchinson and Bill Patena face off in the Ironwood District, while Jon Edwards and Joan Yenerich Evans are up for the Willow District seat.
One two-year seat and two four-year seats are up for vote in the Peoria Unified School District. Hal Borhauer is the lone candidate for the two-year seat. Eddie Smith, Joe McCord, Matthew Bullock, Peter Pingerelli, Tracy Livingston and Bill Bercu are up for the four-year seats.
In the Deer Valley Unified School District, Marc Kuffner and Greg Gregoire are challenging incumbents Ann Ordway and Ron Baye for three open board seats.