Why are you running for City Council?
I love Mesa and want current and future residents to have the same positive experiences my family has had living here for 22 years. I will bring common sense and real, small business experience to the council. I’ll always stand up for our community and am a committed listener, making me a good fit to represent the residents of District 6.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your district?
District 6 is growing rapidly. We must meet this challenge by ensuring growth happens in a way that is sustainable and makes sense economically but also protects what makes our community special. Therefore, making our home a great place to live for current residents and future generations.
What is the city’s biggest challenge in the next four years and how would you address it?
Mesa is quickly becoming a leading American city, spurring economic development, new job opportunities, and rapid residential growth. To ensure Mesa’s growth enriches our City, we must focus on infrastructure, infill projects, new development and voter approved bonds to keep up with our growth and continue the great way of life we enjoy.
What is your vision for your district in 10 years?
I see district 6 growing in a way that promotes economic development but maintains a high quality of life for residents. I envision a safe community, filled with quality education options for our kids, infrastructure that prevents obnoxious traffic jams, well-paying jobs without a long commute and an affordable cost of living.
Should water be considered by City Council for all future proposed developments in Mesa? In what way?
Yes, our future depends on it. I support the current ordinance that gives “water budgets” to developers and also allows the option for businesses to “purchase” water to be used by the city to meet business needs. We should also consider other incentive programs for new developments to maximize water efficiency.
What are your funding priorities for parks and recreation in your district?
Right now, many district 6 parents must drive 20+ minutes to access certain programs. To fix this, I will prioritize funding to provide more opportunities for residents of district 6, particularly children and teens, to participate in parks and recreation activities that are closer to home.
What are your priorities for police and fire departments in your district?
Keep response times as low as possible and ensure our public safety departments have the resources they need to protect us. I will work closely with both the police chief and fire chief to get regular reporting on response times in District 6 and push for changes before there is a problem. I will also ensure each department has appropriate staff to respond to fire, safety and medical calls.
How would you assess rezoning cases anywhere in the city when a large number of neighbors object to the proposed development?
My strengths as a leader include relationship building, listening and collaboration, which helps me bring together groups of people who are not seeing eye to eye. I will facilitate both parties coming to the table to understand each other’s goals and intentions and create solutions that benefit residents and help developers move forward.
How can the city increase Mesa’s affordable housing stock?
Mesa can support a variety of quality and diverse housing options to keep up with current demand. This includes housing for a variety of income levels including single family homes, townhomes, and apartment units that bring value to neighboring properties and foster a live, work, play lifestyle.
What specific activities have you engaged in in the last three years to make your district AND the city better?
In addition to being a small business owner and parent, I have been a school and faith-based volunteer. I have focused my time helping teenagers gain confidence to lead, give back through service projects and hone skills that will help them gain further education, join the workforce and give back to our community.
Trendler: My loyalty is to my neighbors
By Darla Trendler
District 6 Candidate
A friend recently asked me what she should tell others when they ask why they should vote for me, someone who has never held office before. We do not need another career politician but instead need more ordinary people who are grounded in the same day-to-day lives as the people they are running to represent.
I’m Darla Trendler; I’m not a career politician, and I’m running to make Mesa District 6 better for everyone.
Real-life experience: Budgeting, solving problems and building relationships are critical skills to succeeding on City Council.
For me, I know what fiscal responsibility is because I have had to live on a budget myself. I’ve run a family business through good times, a recession and everything in between. I know what it means to use the money I have wisely and to save for the future.
Through volunteering for most of my adult life in both schools and my church, I have learned to work with a variety of people to accomplish goals that benefit everyone. This has meant sharing my own ideas but also listening to others and working collaboratively to find the best solutions.
As a mother and volunteer, I am in the community all the time building relationships with my neighbors, my kids’ friends’ parents, church leaders, administrators, teachers and coaches.
My involvement in my neighborhood, church and schools has helped me meet people and build relationships with others who have different experiences from my own. I have learned that behind every issue there are real people and I value listening to the experiences that have helped a person come to a specific perspective.
Fresh ideas: Someone who is new to political office brings with them fresh ideas seeing new solutions to issues which those who have been entrenched in government for years may not.
I haven’t been on council in the past. I can look at issues Mesa is facing from the perspective of an everyday citizen, not a political insider. As someone new, I will never have a “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality but instead “let’s do it better.”
No favors owed: My loyalty is with my neighbors, the people of District 6.
I bring real-life interaction and relationships with people in my district. I’ll seek feedback and solutions from the people of District 6. I am not running to further my political career or get back into office. I’m running because Mesa District 6 needs someone in office who can finally help bridge the gap between our communities and the rest of our wonderful city.
I believe residents of District 6 are working hard to provide for their families, seeking to help the next generation become productive adults and looking for ways to engage and make the community better. That’s who I am too and that’s why I will represent the people in this district well on Mesa City Council.
To learn more about some of my specific policy positions please go to my website: DarlaforMesa.com.
Trendler: Real people are behind every issue
By Darla Trendler
Tribune Guest Writer
There are many challenges facing our city but with challenges come opportunities.
Homelessness, a need for more high quality but affordable housing options, increased growth, and the need to invest more in public safety are just a few of the challenges.
However, behind each of these issues is something far more important than just talking points and solutions on paper – real people with valid experiences and a story.
Sometimes when I’m going door to door I only have a few seconds to share my message and pass out a palm card. Other times, I get to ask what concerns the person at the door has and hear what they think.
As the sun was setting one day last week, I was standing on one of the thousands of doorsteps I’ve visited this campaign as I’ve gone door to door in District 6. I had just knocked on Josh’s door to introduce myself and talk about my campaign.
My brief visit with Josh turned out to be an opportunity for a longer conversation as he stepped on to his porch, closed his door to keep his dogs inside and engaged in a conversation with me.
In less than 5 minutes, I learned what concerns Josh: data centers that use too much water, education and actually being heard by elected leaders. While it was certainly not the first time I have heard these concerns, I learned from Josh’s story about why these things matter to him.
I am prepared to act on all of the things Josh shared. I care about using our water resources wisely. I will support schools in our district and give everyday people a voice, but my point of view alone will not produce a sufficient solution.
Every time I come home after knocking on doors I have new things to think about and consider because I have heard from real people with stories that give me a deeper perspective on the issues.
It would be easy for me to sit in my air-conditioned home office and let others comment on social media and knock doors for me, but a core principle I live by is this– everyone has valid concerns and unique experiences that have brought them to their beliefs and opinions.
I would be missing the mark big time if I wasn’t always willing to meet them where they are and listen.
This isn’t just a tactic to get myself elected. I have always valued one-on-one interaction with my family, friends and neighbors. Hearing stories and making decisions with a focus on learning from others’ perspectives will be a keystone of my approach to being a Mesa City Council member.
If I knock on your door, I hope you’ll answer. Learning from each other by being face to face is what will make change possible.
To share your perspective with me now, go to my website, DarlaforMesa.com and click the contact button.