Leading the way
We often hear about Gilbert leading the way. Once again, we lead the region in new housing permits as we kick off 2012 with 149 new homes. We are known as one of the best places to live, and one of the safest in the nation. Our school children lead the way with their test scores, and our families lead the way in our efforts to attract new jobs, thanks to their highly skilled and educated workforce needs and strong character. This should make you as proud as it does me.
Our Municipal Court
There are also ways we may lead the way behind the scenes, by sharing our knowledge and encouraging regional growth and supportive partnerships. Our Gilbert Municipal Court is doing just that with a new regional 2012 Ethics Lab for Judicial Employees. Court staff from here at home, to cities including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler and Mesa, are converging here to learn and review the Arizona Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees. This is the kind of effort that makes a difference when you need an advocate the most, someone who acts with the highest level of ethical standards. I thank our Presiding Judge John Hudson, and his staff of facilitators – Judge Nicole Laurin-Walker and Deputy Court Administrator Susan Holliefield, for being our regional role model and investing our judicial resources in assuring the highest standards, and education as a high priority.
I am going to take the judge’s lead, and theme my update along the lines of how we currently, and how we will continue to lead the way to the best service at the best value. This update features our strategic initiative of livability.
Gilbert public libraries
Another way we lead the way is through our two public libraries, Southeast Regional and Perry Branch – which draw in more than 40 percent of all of the county library service. Our public libraries are important to us, and we are being thorough as we review our next steps in operating our libraries, now that we are responsible for all of the operations.
We have acquired a consultant with significant experience in library operations, who is assisting us as we review results from our customer satisfaction survey, a business security survey and crime prevention analysis, as well as technical, financial and statistical analysis. We expect to have an update presented to the Town Council at the March 23 meeting next month, during which time we can begin to work on our long-term operational plan for these important amenities that are widely used by our families.
Fire Department Response
Our Fire Department last week kicked off one of our four primary Wildly Important Goals, in their effort to lead the way in providing the very best service and response times. They are setting new goals and challenges which won’t impact your customer service at all. Their goals will increase their internal communications, so that, for instance, when they are finished with a call but still assisting family, they log in – making themselves available for a life-threatening emergency. If they are on a call that is not a life-threatening emergency, they can log that as well, allowing the greatest need to get the care first. Much of it is already done, but with a few upgrades and tweaks, our fire department will also be better able to track the true time they spend on individual calls as they continue to challenge themselves on giving you the best care when you need it most, where you need it most.
And this is where we join with our partner Gilbert Community Action Network, or Gilbert CAN, to ask for your help in leading the way as we plan for our community needs. I encourage you to take our online survey and give us the direction we need to assure we are planning for the future and representing our true needs and constituent interests. You can find the survey on our front page or here.
As we move forward with exciting innovation, we must never leave our story behind. As we enter this weekend celebrating Arizona’s Centennial with GilbertFest, a music and arts festival, we also watch as our Gilbert Leadership Class XX plans an historic downtown tour. Our history is rich, and we should look back with pride, as we continue to build our history moving forward.
-Patrick Banger, Town Manager