District 3 councilman to continue meetings

by Connie Cone Section – Aug. 12, 2009 07:43 AM
The Arizona Republic

Maria Baier may have left as the council representative for District 3 but that doesn’t mean the meet-your-council member opportunity has vanished. Bill Gates, who was recently appointed to replace Baier is continuing the meetings.

Residents are invited to meet with Gates, an attorney, to discuss concerns and provide feedback on city issues. He’ll be available from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Cowden Center of John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital, 9202 N. Second St., north of Dunlap Avenue.

It’s by appointment only. To arrange a time, call the District 3 office at 602-262-7441 or e-mail council.district.3@phoenix.gov.

The Phoenix City Council chose Gates, 37, from a pool of 20 applicants to replace Baier. She resigned to head the Arizona State Land Department.

A special election will be held Nov. 3 so voters can elect someone to fill out the remainder of Baier’s term. Gates is among the candidates.

The Republic asked Gates to list his four priorities for the district, which encompasses north-central and northeast Phoenix. His answers are below:

1. “Constituent service, responding to the needs of District 3, making sure that road projects going on in the community are getting done properly, making sure the community centers, the libraries, senior centers that they or their relatives are using are being run efficiently.

2. “A focus on public safety, really getting a good handle on crime issues and preparedness issues. EL5

3. “Economic development is extremely important, and I’m excited to hear the council is already tackling one of the major issues that I identified, which is the vacant strip malls.

4. “We want to get a good handle of where we are for the 2010 census. That is of such vital importance that we get an accurate count, because federal funds are based upon that, and so are state-shared revenues and congressional representation.”