Newly elected Oro Valley Town Councilman Bill Garner was sworn in to his post at the council meeting last Wednesday, June 4.
He, along with recently elected Councilwoman Salette Latas, won his seat in the March 11 primary election.
A native of Philadelphia, Garner came to Oro Valley with his wife and two children in 2004.
This is the first of two interviews with the incoming town council members. Look for comments from Latas next week.
Have you ever thought in the past that you would run for and win a public office?
No, but actually I’d always been involved in my community. I thought the town needed a new direction.
Coming into the town council, do you see some issues that needed tended to right away?
The Arroyo Grande issue (the town’s proposed annexation of state land department land north of Oro Valley), that’s still going to be hot and with the potential for a ballot initiative. Between Arroyo Grande and the now five general plan amendments are the hottest issues.
Now that you have had your first meeting, what do you think of the experience?
Actually, doing the job and sitting in front of the people in the audience, the reality really hits home.
What do you think this election says about the people’s desire for change?
I think it sends a strong message. That speaks volumes for change — people were tired of the status quo. The voter turnout was strong, but I’m still disappointed we didn’t get a greater turnout. (32 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the primary; 34 percent did in the general election on May 20.)