Karlene Keogh Parks said she’s running for Phoenix City Council in part because she’s tired of seeing city employees treated badly by City Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

“My late husband, Kevin Keogh, was a CFO for the city of Phoenix and he worked very hard,” she said during the Democrats and Donuts meeting at Biscuits in Ahwatukee on Tuesday. “I have a couple close friends who have worked for the city for years. One of the women who was groomed to be the CFO, when she could retire at an early age she took her retirement. Sal DiCiccio made her cry twice... There was another woman in the office who went through the same, and when I heard that I thought it was appalling. Then I started to pay attention.”

Keogh Parks stands on opposite sides of DiCiccio when it comes to city employee benefits. She’s opposed to the court’s recent ruling against taxpayer-funded release time for union employees.

“I am 100 percent behind police and fire and their unions and association,” she said. “We have to make sure if something happens to our officers that they have representation.”

Keogh Parks said she was encouraged by Mayor Greg Stanton to run for council, and when DiCiccio came out so strongly against the city adding the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community to its anti-discrimination ordinance she decided it was time for change.

Keogh Parks was the first woman in Arizona to sell life insurance. She started a nonprofit, the Keogh Health Connection, that brings health care and nutrition to disadvantaged individuals. She is currently senior vice president at HUB International Insurance Services.

During the Dems and Donuts meeting she expressed the need for consensus in decisions.

“There’s a lot of issues in the city and Ahwatukee, but we need to work together and focus on the positive,” she said. “We need to see how we can make it better, not just stir up the pot.”

Keogh Park’s campaign will be doing canvassing in the Ahwatukee area on Sunday, May 26. For more information on Keogh Parks, visit karleneforcouncil.com. The election is scheduled for Aug. 27.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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