By Scottsdale Pinetop
In last week’s Phoenix mayoral debate, 12News moderator Braham Resnik asked each candidate “Will being Mayor of Phoenix be a full-time job for you?”
Kate Gallego: “Yes”
Nicholas Sarwark: “Yes”
Moses Sanchez: “Yes”
Daniel Valenzuela: “I intend in serving my community as a firefighter in the West Valley and as Mayor.”
Excuse me? That’s not the answer Phoenix voters were looking for. Or deserves.
The complexities of leading the nation’s fifth largest city and solving its many challenges requires anyone’s full attention. That’s why it takes someone who is dedicated to the job 100%. And by the sound of it, that isn’t Daniel Valenzuela.
Valenzuela has served as a Glendale firefighter for the past 16 years and has found great satisfaction in helping others. That’s noble and to be admired. It takes a special breed of heroes that are willing to serve on the frontlines of life’s most dangerous situations. And it’s important to recognize Daniel Valenzuela’s service.
But similar to being mayor, serving as a firefighter requires undivided attention to protect their communities and best serve their residents.
If Daniel Valenzuela really wants to become Phoenix’s next mayor, he needs to rethink his plans to keep his full-time job. And, how can he effectively serve the people of Glendale for 40 hours a week while balancing the demands of being the Mayor of Phoenix?
Simple answer: He can’t. It’s impractical. It’s irresponsible. And it’s unfair to both communities. Phoenix is facing major issues like water, the expansion of the light rail and homelessness. In a city of 1.6 million people, Phoenicians deserve a leader that is willing to put in the time without being stretched between two jobs.
Part-time works in small communities but it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, for the nation’s fifth largest city.