Gilbert mayor apologizes for staff secretly rating residents’ levels of outrage over project

By Maritza Dominguez || The Arizona Republic

Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson apologized to Maricopa County residents who live within the town’s planning area after they found out staff was tracking how loud their voices got when they opposed a road widening project.

The town proposes to widen Ocotillo Road from 148th Street between west of Val Vista Drive and Greenfield Road to two lanes in each direction. But to do that, Gilbert will need to acquire unincorporated county residents’ properties to make room for the right of way.

Residents got ahold of a spreadsheet in which staff subjectively scored them 1 to 4, based on how loud they’ve been towards the project, with one being the most vocal.

“Why are we as residents, who are trying to exercise our rights, being ranked by your staff on how compliant we are with you,” said Richard Robertson, one of the residents facing eminent domain, the power that allows local governments to seize private property for public gain if they pay owners the fair market value.

Robertson, who was rated a 2 on the town’s scale, was one of a handful of residents who showed up at a February Town Council meeting to confront the council over the document.

Residents with a 4 rating were deemed “reasonable people” while others have comments like “hard to get a hold of and could become problematic” or question marks filling out the column, according to the document.

At the meeting, Peterson apologized for the behavior saying she wasn’t aware such a document existed and that it wasn’t acceptable. Later in the week, she, along with Town Manager Patrick Banger and Public Works Director Jessica Marlow, sent an email to “Ocotillo residents” once again apologizing.

“This (vocal level) label has understandably caused frustration and anger in the community and the Town of Gilbert apologizes sincerely,” the email said.

Take 2:Commuter rail ordinance back on the Gilbert agenda at the request of mayor

What’s in store for the future?


Share this!

Additional Articles

Get Our Twice Weekly Newsletter!

* indicates required

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

News Categories
March 2023