2016 Queen Creek Town Council candidate Craig Barnes, part two

Craig Barnes

Craig Barnes

 

Craig Barnes is one of eight candidates running to fill one of three seats on the Queen Creek Town Council in the Aug. 30 primary election.

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Queen Creek Independent: Why should voters vote for you for town council?
Craig Barnes: My family and I moved to Queen Creek in 2000 and since then I have been part of the community. I have been part of re-establishing the chamber of commerce where I served as the vice president and was the first chairman of the board. I with some help from others established the American Legion where I served as the first commander and many other roles as the years went on. I have served on many citizen committees and commissions prior to running for town council. As a council member we went through the hardest economic down-turn in recent history and came out of it with a higher bond rating and much better financially than many cities and towns in the country. I have a deep love for Queen Creek and am proud to say I’m from The QC. I have proven my leadership throughout the last eight years that I have been on council. We have important projects in place and our momentum is strong. I’ve always been told, “Don’t fix things that aren’t broken.” We aren’t broken.

QCI: Queen Creek’s Town Center has been a hub of activity and new businesses. While very welcome in the community, most are chain stores and restaurants that can afford pricier retail centers such as Queen Creek Marketplace and QC District. How do you propose encouraging the opening of new businesses outside of the Town Center and keeping the price of doing commerce in Queen Creek affordable for mom and pop businesses?
CB: This is a great question. Unfortunately, the council can’t make a landowner lower the price of their land nor can we force a builder to have low rent. What we have done for the businesses that are locating in the Town Center is to have a façade improvement grant where we help businesses with the cost of signage and improvements to the fronts of their buildings. As far as the rest of the town is concerned, private development sets the pricing.

QCI: The town recently announced plans for the 30-acre West Park at 196th Street and Appleby Road, near Ocotillo and Sossaman roads. What role does parks and recreation play in the well-being of a community and which amenities do you believe are most needed during the next few years?
CB: Parks and recreation play a huge part in having a healthy community and I don’t just mean fit. Parks and recreation programs get people together; friendships are formed from the classes, sports and events that they hold.  After the great recession we are starting to build up our parks and recreation department. As the question alludes to, we are building a new park. There are many amenities needed. They take a lot of money and with the state legislators changing laws that limit the size of our parks and what we can and can’t spend impact fee money on we are kind of at a disadvantage. We are doing a study of what the residents want for amenities right now. It doesn’t matter what I want; it matters what we all want as one.

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