The two candidates for Phoenix City Council District 6, Independent Karlene Keogh Parks and incumbent Sal DiCiccio, will debate publicly for the first time in Ahwatukee next Wednesday.
The forum, sponsored by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce and the Ahwatukee Foothills News, will take place at the Grace Inn, 10831 S. 51st St., from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on July 24. Candidates will be asked questions that have been gathered from local residents concerned about issues specifically facing Ahwatukee youth, homeowners associations, businesses and seniors.
The race between Keogh Parks and DiCiccio has already been ugly. A case brought against DiCiccio claiming he misused campaign funds was recently thrown out by a judge, who said he believes the case was politically motivated.
Both campaigns have been issued notices about their campaign signs being up before state law allows, but Keogh Park’s campaign says the timing of the notices is suspicious since it was sent out days after their signs went up and not months earlier when DiCiccio’s first appeared.
Keogh Parks has seen support from Arizona Fire Fighters and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, while DiCiccio has received support from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
DiCiccio said the three issues he plans to focus on are job creation, fiscal accountability and crime. Keogh Parks promised to focus on strengthening public safety and the economy, stopping the Loop 202 extension from going down Pecos Road through Ahwatukee Foothills, and bringing transparency and accountability to City Hall.
Keogh Parks was raised in Phoenix. She was the first woman in the state of Arizona to sell life insurance, and eventually established her own brokerage. Keogh Parks also founded the Keogh Health Connection, a nonprofit that provides health care to disadvantaged individuals and families. She has been active in the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and Phoenix Rotary 100. For more information on Keogh Parks and her campaign, visit karleneforcouncil.com.
Ahwatukee resident DiCiccio was first elected to the Phoenix City Council in 1994 and served until 1998. He was appointed by the mayor and City Council to fill out the term of then-Councilman Stanton in February of 2009. In the past few years on City Council, DiCiccio has helped push reforms that make opening a business in Phoenix much more efficient, has championed the zero-based budget, and has questioned employee benefits and pay raises. He has also been active in the Loop 202 debate in Ahwatukee; Red, White and Boom; and issues at city parks and trail heads. For more information on DiCiccio, visit salforcitycouncil.com.
The election will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.