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On the ballot: Parkside candidates discuss community issues

2/24/2016

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

ANTHEM – Parkside Board of Directors candidates Lenore Little and Chris Yano and incumbents Doug Sutherland and Teresa Oorin discussed their priorities for the Anthem community at a Meet the Candidates forum held Feb. 17. Three seats are available on the Parkside Board of Directors. Anthem Community Council Parkside representative Ryan Halleran, who is running unopposed, also shared ideas and goals in the forum.

Anthem election ballots are being mailed to homeowners this week. Residents can vote either by mail or online; instructions are in the ballots. Voting ends on March 11. Election winners will be announced on March 16. All residents are encouraged to vote.

Candidate Lenore Little noted in her opening statement that she has lived in Anthem for 10 months. She formerly worked for the city of Glendale and said she felt that the responsibilities she had carried working the city would “lend well to a group like this.”

Candidate Chris Yano has lived in the Country Club and Parkside in Anthem. He reported that he has recently gotten involved with the policy committee; he also has been involved with work on the Community Council Web site and apps. This is his first time running for a Board of Directors position.

“Where I really feel like I can have a big positive impact is listening and giving residents a voice,” Yano said.

Candidate Doug Sutherland reported that he’d been a resident of Anthem for over five years. He related his background in city council and government, noting his experience in finance and community relations. He has served on the Anthem finance committee and is currently on the Parkside Board.

Candidate Teresa Oorin is also currently on the Board of Directors and serves as Secretary. A 16-year resident, Oorin has a background in property management and accounting. 

ACC Board candidate Ryan Halleran noted in his opening statement that he is finishing up his first three-year term. He referred to some of the planning and growth of Anthem that he had been involved in, including the vote for the Opportunity Way Park. Halleran said he wanted to continue serving on the ACC Board to “grow and sustain what we are building in this town.”

Candidates were asked to list prioritize the importance of communication, finance, enforcement, and policy limitations.

Yano listed communication as his top priority, aiming for “listening and having solutions.” Policy implementation, enforcement, and finances followed.

Halleran’s response referenced a Meet the Candidates forum three years prior, when he answered the same question as a candidate.

“My number one was communication, and it’s still communication. None of these other things really matter if people don’t understand what’s going on,” he said. He noted that the ACC Board is on the “right path,” with a rebranded Web site and a strong embrace of technology to help keep residents informed.

Little also listed communication as her first priority, noting that an issue with policy, enforcement, or finance “can be defused with substantive communication.”

Oorin listed finance as her top priority, saying, “Without the financial stability, you can’t do anything else.” She also cited the importance of communication, saying she wanted residents to know that “we’re here to help, not aggravate you.”

Sutherland rated communication highly, saying that communication and finance go together, communication and enforcement go together, and communication and policy go together, as well.

Next, the candidates were asked what issues they felt were most pressing, specifically to identify “burning issues.”

Halleran cited continued work on the community master plan.

“What is the next major project that we’re going to work on? What is the most important project for this community? We want to hear from the residents,” Halleran said, noting the wide range of requested projects.

Little spoke about a potential dog park person, saying she is “very interested in a dog park” and that she wants to know more about the background of that issue and what discussion has previously ensued. She declared that she is passionate about finding positive activities for community teens, noting that the community needs to have safe activities for teens that parents can feel comfortable with.

Other than the ongoing issue of parking, Oorin said they “don’t really have any burning issues.”

“For the most part, I think we’re in good shape as far as burning issues, other than parking,” Oorin said.

Sutherland also referenced, particularly in the Paseo neighborhood, calling it a “significant issue.”

Yano referenced finding answers to commonly asked questions and improving communication for residents with questions. He noted that increasing crime was an issue and that he had gotten involved with his neighborhood watch. Yano also mentioned the number of events in Anthem each year, including Autumnfest, Anthem Days, and the Veterans Day parade, noting how “everybody comes together” for these community events.

The meeting concluded after audience Q&A. The candidates and organizers thanked the audience for their attendance.

Residents can read bios of these candidates and see more information on the Parkside election process online at www.onlineatanthem.com/2016-anthem-elections.