Lies. Confusing rumors. Half-truths and innuendo. Those are the things that you might expect to find in a national election. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening in our own backyard, a smear campaign in our local city council election. An incumbent City Council candidate and her hand-picked newcomer-candidate, whom she has been campaigning for and with, are busy spreading as much disinformation as they can to confuse our well-educated, well-informed voters in Tempe.
Why would any local candidate choose to use distasteful tactics such as these and why is Tempe being targeted with this kind of misinformation right now? Well, these nasty techniques worked for this then candidate in 2013 when similar rumors and half-truths were whispered as she conducted an aggressive campaign and discredited her opponents while running alongside another candidate. Unfortunately, this current 2018 incumbent candidate has chosen to use the same tactics and bring along her self-described “best friend” and “ticket-mate” for an attempt at a partisan second term. This time her target is a compelling South Tempe candidate, Jennifer Adams, who is earning voters’ attention based on her own strong resume and door to door canvassing.
As voters, I suggest we go back to focusing on the qualifications of each candidate and judge them on their own individual merit.
I want to clear up a few things with the facts. Jennifer Adams spent 29 years at the City of Tempe, in Social Services and in Public Works. Last year, Adams retired from her position as Manager of Facilities Management, where she saved the City over $200K annually through phasing in LED lighting in city facilities and garages. By moving housekeeping from night shift to day shift, she saved Tempe taxpayers $40K annually by turning out the lights and lowering the a/c while improving employee morale at the same time. Jennifer Adams did the initial research and bench-marking with California cities which ultimately resulted in the roll-out of Tempe’s 311 program and she led the internal recycling program for the City of Tempe offices. She did not leave the City of Tempe under unpleasant circumstances, nor was she a disgruntled employee as has been alleged by the incumbent candidate. On the contrary, she began and ended her professional career at the City of Tempe, where in 2016 she was chosen as “Most Motivating Supervisor” in the City, and where she won the City’s Diversity Award.
Jennifer Adams understands the City and knows the right questions to ask of Staff during the budgeting process while analyzing the merits and costs of any council-proposed initiative. In Facilities Management, Adams managed a $7.5M budget, which she pulled from red to black in 6 months’ time. She also managed up to $5M in capital investment annually. This is a strong record of achievement and experience that deserves a vote.
As for the innuendos, smear campaigns and buddy-buddy techniques mentioned above, I really hope we can keep that out of our local politics. And the best way to do that is to vote for Jennifer Adams for Tempe City Council.