Forty one graduates finish Queen Creek Citizen Leadership Institute

The Queen Creek Town Council recognized 41 graduates of the Queen Creek Citizen Leadership Institute at its May 1 meeting. (Submitted photo)

The Queen Creek Town Council recognized 41 graduates of the Queen Creek Citizen Leadership Institute at the May 1 Town Council meeting.

Mayor Gail Barney congratulated the graduates for completing the program and for taking the initiative to learn more about the community, according to a press release.

Graduates included Skyler Allen, Jason Barr, Justin Bartes. Noel Bartlett, David Brown, Lisa Buczek, Robert Burgheimer, Barbara Church-Peck, Kelly Crandall, Gail Davis, Gary Deardorff, Linda Dillehay, Jennifer Downs, Khara Erickson, Christina Flint, Lina Flores, Jeff Francisco, David Fulton, James Gilbert, David Gillette and Donna Golub.

The list of graduates continued with Andrea Hamilton, Colette Huxtable, Danielle Johnson, Anju Kuriakose, Jason Laos, James Little, Nadine Moreno, Chris Moss, Edwin Payne, Jessica Popham, Jon Pratt, Al Ramos, Dawnie Rocca, Jesse Roth, Corissa Ruggiero, Ralph Sandoval, Amber Valentine, Jeremiah Vigil, Sarah Winnegar and Cameron Zandt.

The Leadership Institute consists of 10 sessions where participants learn about local issues and how local government works. Participants get to know their Mayor and Council members, Town staff and local leaders from other organizations. Topics range from planning and zoning to economic development and transportation.

In order to graduate, participants must attend at least seven of the sessions and attend one Town Council meeting, one town committee or commission meeting, participate in one volunteer activity and one group project.

The following class projects were completed this year:

  • Backpack Drive: The group collected backpacks to donate to the Family Resource Center. More than 200 backpacks were filled with uplifting messages and donated to help individuals in need. The group hopes to continue the momentum and support backpack donations in the future.
  • Historical Sign at Desert Wells Stage Stop: The group consulted with the San Tan Historical Society and Town staff to install an informational sign about the Desert Wells Stage Stop along the Sonoqui Wash Trail. The sign would serve to educate people and direct people to the location, located off of the wash. The group raised $2,500 to create and install the sign.
  • Queen Creek Veterans Memorial: The group continued the efforts of a previous CLI group that conducted the initial research for developing a Veterans Memorial in Queen Creek. The current group proposed the memorial be incorporated into a future park with a variety of funding sources (corporate, individual and GoFundMe donations, grants and brick sponsorships. The group proposed creating a volunteer task force to manage the planning process.

The purpose of the Queen Creek Citizen Leadership Institute is to inform future Town leaders and interested citizens about local government; encourage an interest in Queen Creek issues; provide a forum for community discussion about topics of concern; and develop a pool of informed citizens who are willing to serve as community leaders on boards, commissions, task forces and among their neighbors

The 2019-20 Institute will begin in September and participation is free. Anyone who lives or works in the Queen Creek area is welcome to attend, however most town committees require residency in the Town limits in order to qualify for appointment.

The Queen Creek Independent publishes a daily newsletter and website. A print edition is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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