New leadership for challenging times - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

New leadership for challenging times

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Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 4:00 pm

I started this campaign nearly a year ago as the long-shot outsider up against the status quo, aiming to challenge the old way of doing business with new ideas and fresh eyes. The pundits and pollsters said I'd never get this far.

I'm not a career politician. I'm a businessman. I believe in order to bring jobs back to Ahwatukee, we have to fundamentally change the way we do business. We need to challenge the status quo, reduce taxes, fees and rates, and cut red tape. And we're not going to do that by electing the same folks who got us into this mess.

If our success so far is any indication, tens of thousands of voters agree. And if the negative attacks that have been launched at me by my opponent are any sign, our message of reform isn't going over well with him and the entrenched special interests at City Hall.

Recently, this newspaper endorsed me, recognizing that Phoenix needs "new blood."

"Gullett has a wealth of experience to draw on from the business world and brings a much needed fresh perspective from outside the current City Hall environment," the editorial staff wrote. "Gullett is a businessman who understands what it takes to make business thrive in our community. He has a plan to cut red tape for small business owners, which is the life blood of Ahwatukee."

As mayor, I will keep a laser focus on job creation and make sure that every action taken, law passed, and policy adopted at the city of Phoenix has a positive impact on our economy. We need a government we can afford. The city cannot keep doing the same things it has done in the past.

I'm going to immediately repeal the food tax and stop the automatic water rate increases. My Government Reform Plan would pay for this tax relief, without affecting essential services or impacting police and fire.

We need strong and safe neighborhoods. But our city has gone months without a police chief. That's why I will finally begin the process of recruiting and hiring a police chief who our officers and community can have confidence in.

Unlike my opponent, I'm not beholden to the labor unions. So my reform plan includes rolling back the double pensions we give to the city's managers, moving to performance pay and finding efficiencies at City Hall.

As you can see, on Nov. 8, the voters of Phoenix will have a very clear choice to make in this election.

Our community has great potential. But first, we must have the courage to make a clean break from the past. That's why I'm asking for your vote. I know that together we can make Phoenix the greatest city in America.

• Republican Wes Gullett is a candidate in the race for Phoenix mayor.

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