Educational Background: University of Arizona – M.A. International Security
Harvard University – Negotiation Skills: Strategies for Increased Effectiveness
Current employer/job: President, Silbar Security of Phoenix
Senior Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force Reserves
Immediate Family (spouse’s name/number of children): Jamie Cvancara (Nurse, Phoenix Children’s Hospital). I have 4 kids (3 girls and 1 boy)
Year you moved to Gilbert: 2008
Last book read: Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War: Robert M. Gates
Why are you running for or seeking another term on Town Council?
I am running for Gilbert Town Council for many reasons but there are three that stand out more than others. One, I want to use my 11+ years of law enforcement experience to help keep Gilbert residents safe. As our community grows, so will the crime and I will do everything possible to minimize the risk to our community. Two, I don’t want to see our taxes or fees raised once cent and will fight everyday to ensure they don’t. Three, I want to put family and faith back at the center of or our Town’s priorities.
FOR NEW CANDIDATES: Why should voters consider you?
I am the only candidate with a background in public safety which will be important as our community grows. The Gilbert Police Department can’t fight crime by themselves and will need help from everyone. I will use my experience to work with the Gilbert Police Department, community leaders and organizations to find proactive ways to combat crime. One of my goals in the first 100 days is to create a Gilbert Block Watch Advisory Board which will consist of block watch leaders, a Council member and Gilbert Police Officers with the goal of more community involvement in curbing crime.
How can the Town Council promote commercial-residential balance in Gilbert?
To better promote commercial-residential balance in Gilbert, the Town first needs to do a better job of effectively reaching out and listening to the residents of Gilbert prior to even considering the rezoning of certain sections of property. There have already been several disputes involving zoning issues in our community which I feel could have been avoided had the town done a more effective job at providing information to those living in the immediate area. Two, thoroughly vetting any rezoning of property to ensure it is what’s best for our community.
Gilbert has several large public projects in the works, including Gilbert Regional Park and the public safety training facility. How should the town approach paying for these types of projects?
In reference the park, the question needs to be focused on why government needs to be involved in multi-million dollar projects such as this in the first place. I would rather see smaller less expensive parks connected with bike paths to encourage fitness.
For the public safety training facility, I don’t support it due to the upfront and long term costs. If there was a legitimate need, I would support it but I believe the training facilities we currently use seem sufficient. I would rather see funds given to public safety for recruiting/retention so we can hire/retain the best.
What role should public funds play in the redevelopment of the Heritage District moving forward?
As someone who believes government’s role in our community should be minimal, I would not support the use of public funds in the redevelopment of the Heritage District.
What is the biggest challenge facing Gilbert over the next five years?
I personally believe the biggest challenge Gilbert will face over the next five years will be dealing with crime related issues. Anyone who has studied or dealt with crime knows just how difficult it is to fend off and even worse, get rid of once it takes hold. Not only do we need to deal with our own internal issues related to crime, we will also need to deal with crime issues coming from neighboring cities such as Mesa. Yes, we are a safe community now, but I want to do everything I can to ensure we stay that way.
What are your three primary goals if you are elected?
My three primary goals when elected are to keep Gilbert safe, keep our taxes low and to make faith and family the priority of our community leaders.
Keeping Gilbert safe and making faith and family a priority can be done by actively engaging community members through various means such as community forums and utilization of social media so solutions come from and are implemented by the community itself. Keeping your taxes low can be done by using fiscal conservative practices aka controlled spending.
‘I will keep the core aspects of what makes Gilbert great’
By Jason Cvancara
Changes in schools I attended, towns and neighborhoods I lived and friends I had over the years was a repetition growing up in a military family. Change was a constant in my childhood, but my parents imparted a valuable lesson from that change that still resonates with me today.
In order to handle change, one must also have established practices that remain constant. Dinner was always around 5 p.m. with the family gathered around the table. Friday nights were movie night! Sundays were breakfast with Dad reading the newspaper and sharing his opinion about the articles, especially politics.
As your Gilbert councilman, I will apply the lesson I learned many years ago from my parents that was the foundation of our family traditions.
As our community grows, the things that we cherish the most about life in Gilbert does not have to change or be lost to advancement.
I will keep the core aspects of what makes Gilbert great at the heart of all decisions I make as your councilman because I will always put Gilbert first!
I am always open to meeting with anyone in our community. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cvancara: Will curb excess local government spending
By Jason Cvancara – Aug 05 2018
My Grandfather passed away when my Dad was only 15 years old, which left him and his four siblings to be raised solely by my Grandmother in rural North Dakota.
The situation provided a tough life lesson for my Dad on how to be a fiscal conservative and, over the years, that mentality has been passed down to me. T
The heart of what my Dad taught me unfortunately contrasts with what we often see in government today – that even when times are good, you still need to have fiscal restraint and a plan for the future.
A lot of times when people think about excess government spending, they often think it only happens at the federal levels of government. But when you look closely, it happens at all levels.
Just look at the spending we have seen by our current Town Council over the last several years: $37 million spent on Saint Xavier (who left after just one year), $14 million for a parking garage, $800,000 given to GoDaddy and on top of all of that, in the last two years, the Town’s budget has increased 57 percent.
Not to mention the fact we also have two large projects going to the November ballot, one for the “mega park” which has associated costs over $100 million and another is the public safety training facility which has a price tag of approximately $60 million.
The argument with all of this then becomes do we need this and if so, who pays for it? With me, my decisions involving fiscal matters will often be based in the mentality of limited government and the $14 million parking garage is a perfect example for this.
Yes, we need parking in the downtown area but my question is, why is government in the business of building parking garages? Why is this project basically double the cost of the one previously built? Why was a private investor not allowed to build, run, maintain and secure a parking garage?
We could have leased the land and avoided any associated cost/risk to the taxpayer.
At the end of the day, I just want what’s best for our community. Yes, we will disagree on some issues, but we need to work together as a community to find the best ways to use tax payer money to fund the actual needs of our community in the most fiscally responsible way and to find ways to assist the private sector in providing the wants which will limit the role of government in the private sector.
As always, I am open to meeting with anyone in person to discuss any issue you may have and this will continue if I am fortunate enough to become your councilman.
Please feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com
Cvancara: Politics should be about bring people together
By Jason Cvancara August 12, 2018
So just a few days ago, as I expected it would, the race for Gilbert Town Council started to get dirty.
Someone created a social media account where negative comments were posted about me, one other Town Council candidate and several candidates for state offices. I’ve also noticed other candidates’ campaign signs being vandalized. I’ve heard false rumors, and of course, no one ever takes responsibility for any of it.
The negativity is honestly the part I absolutely hate about politics. I think political races should be about a person’s abilities to perform in the position they are seeking in addition to how they will vote on issues concerning our community.
Every person has flaws or has made mistakes but that’s life. As long as a poor choice is learned from and does not become a habitual one, a person is better because of it.
Personally, I can deal with the negativity. As you can imagine, having served as a police officer for over 11 years, I’ve dealt with stuff like this so it doesn’t bother me one bit.
My concern is for the good-hearted, well-intentioned people who want to serve their community but shy away from it because they don’t want to deal with the negativity. Politics should be about bringing the community together and not tearing it apart.
During my time with the Department of Justice, the absolute most rewarding part of the job was getting people who didn’t see eye to eye to come together and have positive conversations about fixing their communities.
I personally worked with many people who were polar opposites from me in regards to political views, but we still were able to have positive and productive conversations.
At the end of the day, this community will select four individuals to serve on the Gilbert Town Council.
I hope to be one of them, but if not, I will continue to fight to make our community better.
I truly appreciate everyone’s support for our campaign over the last several months and am blessed for the opportunity. Thank you, God Bless, and now it’s time to get snack.
Anyone want to grab some donuts and coffee?