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Miami Town Council sees competitive race for three Town Council seats

Courtesy photo

The Town of Miami will get at least one new councilmember in 2025, as three seats are in play during the 2024 election cycle.

The seats of longtime councilmen Mike Black, Sammy Gonzales and Robert Licano will be up for grabs and while Black and Gonzales have thrown their hats in the ring, Licano did not file for re-election by the April 1 deadline.

There are seven candidates for the seats in what is the most contested Miami election in several years.

The Miami election statute states that the top-three vote-getters in the primary will win the seats without the need to face competition in November.

Once the primary election is decided, the only issue in the General will be Miami’s Home Rule Proposition.

The Primary Election takes place on Tuesday, July 30. The voter registration deadline is July 1.

There will be a candidate meet and greet hosted by KIKO radio in the Inspiration Room of the Bullion Plaza Museum on Tuesday, June 18 from 5-8 p.m.

Sammy Gonzales. Courtesy Photo

Sammy Gonzales

My name is Sammy Gonzales and I was born and raised in Miami, Arizona. I have lived in Miami for 54 years. I’m a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and currently employed at Miami Jr/Sr High School. I previously worked in the parts department at Chevy/Cadillac dealership in Globe for 25 years. In July 2011 I made a big career decision. Even though I had offers to make more money in other cities and states, I chose to become a school teacher in the public school system of our community. I began teaching on the San Carlos Reservation at the Jr/Sr high school. Ultimately, I wanted to teach in my hometown, and was very fortunate to get hired to teach at Miami Jr/Sr high school as a history teacher.

I was appointed as councilmember for my first term in 2011. In 2012, I ran for Miami Town Council and was elected and served until 2016. In 2016 I was re-elected and elected Vice-Mayor by the Council. I served as Vice-Mayor from 2016-2020. In April 2020 I was elected Mayor by the Council until 2022, and currently sit as a councilmember.

My priorities include helping out and bringing opportunities to the youth of the community, attracting new businesses and housing to Miami, as well as enhancing Miami’s public safety services. I have a vision and believe in the Town of Miami. I know what Miami looked like in the prosperous years during the 1970s-’80s and I know it has the potential to become prosperous and thriving, with residents and businesses once again. I bring knowledge of how government funding works to the council and the many avenues of revenue, a great dialogue with our surrounding stakeholders and local residents. I also encourage and engage our youth to be active in our community, local events and public administration conferences. I believe in the Town of Miami.

Gil Madrid. Courtesy Photo

Gilbert “Gil” Madrid

Born and raised in Miami, Gilbert “Gil” Madrid is a 1967 graduate of Miami High School and has had a lifetime of love and respect for his community. He is a firm believer in the concept of “once a Miami Vandal, always a Miami Vandal” and Vandals always have a winning attitude on and off the field!

Gil went on to study engineering and building construction management at Arizona State University and the University of Florida. He also studied business management at North Central College – Chicago, and graduated cum laude. His career started as a field engineer and he climbed the corporate ladder to president and CEO of an international company based in London, England.

After 48 years of industrial engineering and construction in areas of mining and metals, oil and gas, petrochemical, power plants, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, semiconductor, food and beverage, Gil sees the opportunity to serve the citizens of Miami as a great honor and one that he would treasure as one of his highest lifetime achievements.

I conceptualize the town of Miami as a diamond in the rough. My objective is to succeed in polishing this diamond to its brilliance by serving and leading our town council and the community in an accelerated continuation of both residential and business renovation projects. Doing so will result in a record breaking economic growth for all Miami citizens to prosper and enjoy for decades to come.

Malcom Nance. Courtesy Photo

Malcolm NasonMy name is Malcolm Nason and my family and friends call me Mal. I was born and raised in a family of seven in rural New Hampshire. Married in 1970, I moved to Bermuda and also lived in Florida, Nebraska and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia before coming to Arizona in November 1985. I have three grown children and with my partner, Rob Schultz we have six children, 13 grandchildren and now three great-grandchildren. 

While visiting the Globe-Miami area in the fall of 2005, we found a nail in the tire of our vehicle. As we waited for the repair to be completed, I found a Copper Corridor real estate newsprint of  properties listed in the Globe and Miami area. We looked at several properties and the first one on Live Oak Street was where we wanted to live. We worked on our home almost every weekend, and moved there permanently in December 2006.

While living  in Miami, I have worked at Community Bridges, Mazatzal Casino (Payson), Cobre Valley Center for the Arts and can be found at Julie’s Sewing Corner. My partner and I enjoy quiltmaking and are leaders of the 4-H Club Gila Wacky Quilters.

There are seven candidates running for Miami Town Council. There has not always been this much interest in the position and this is good news for our community. Miami has a long history and can have a great future with the help of the Council, employees and all of the citizens of our town. There are local businesses that have stepped forward to help our town, including Freeport-McMoRan, BHP, Resolution Copper, Cobre Valley Medical Center, Gila County, State of Arizona and the U.S. government. Miami needs to continue working with these and other resources to make Miami the town where we want to live and recreate. 

Miami Loco, Miami Fest, 2nd Saturday and car shows have brought lots of interest to our community. To see our townspeople get involved and the interest of visitors to come to our town because of these activities can and should be supported by the Council as well as our townspeople. I would like to be a part of that and believe we can do so with the support of our business partners.

Phil Stewart. Courtesy Photo

Phil Stewart

My work Experience includes 40 years in plastics manufacturing and I owned and operated PCM Custom Molding in Mesa, Arizona from 2003 to 2021. We opened Stewart’s Antique Nook in Miami on Labor Day 2021.

My community service includes being a past Board Member of Globe Miami Chamber of Commerce, past treasurer of H.O.M.E. (Hearts of Miami Engaged) 501-C3 nonprofit, serving on Freeport-McMoRan Foundation 2024 Community Investment Fund Committee and I am currently Board President and Director of Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum 501-C3 nonprofit

I bring years of negotiating skills to Miami. Understanding budgets, strategic plans, marketing and sales are things I deal with daily. In talking with citizens of Miami, they tell me they no longer feel they have a voice in our town. They don’t trust the town government and have given up. I want to change that. I will work tirelessly to earn the citizen’s trust.

I am for transparency and honesty in government. I truly understand that I would work for the people. I have no hidden agenda. I want to see Miami grow and prosper. I’m willing to work hard and look outside the box to make that happen. I will be accessible to the people.

My wife and I are financially invested in Miami. We could have opened our store anywhere, but Miami is where we stand. We do this with deep pride.

I am passionate for the Town of Miami and want to give back to the community that welcomed my wife and I with open arms.

Ray Webb. Courtesy Photo

Ray Webb

My wife Karen and I planned to find a small town to relocate our family and business to. We both grew up in Phoenix and since both of our families dated back to the late 1800s to early 1900s, it would be in Arizona.

My hobby is what brought me to Miami. In 1993, it was an old gas engine that brought us to our house. I like to say, “I bought the engine and Karen bought the house.”

It was the BoomTown Spree plus meeting some very good people here that sealed the deal!

After years using our house as the “cabin” and renovating our building, we made the move from Phoenix in the summer of 1999.

We have raised five great kids here and showed them the importance of community involvement and volunteering in youth programs and organizations. 

I was previously on the Council for two terms and our Council was very productive.

Health and safety were my main concerns back then.

We worked on cleaning up the town’s blight issues. We found funding so our police department could staff a force that would be on 24/ 7, not the 7 a.m. to 12 like before. We provided support to the PD in other ways too.

Our council also addressed issues with the failing wastewater system and enterprise. We took the difficult stand toward fiscal responsibility, so our wastewater system today is in good shape, but needs more.

Currently I see the Town moving forward, ready to grow, and I want the opportunity to help.

I support local businesses and encourage new businesses.

I support the arts, music, film industry and the economic development tourism brings.

I want Miami to find more funding so we can:

  • Provide for a better police department,
  • Improve Town infrastructures,
  • Annex more areas for growth and grow smart.
  • Bring back the recreation department and youth programs.

David Dobbratz and Mike Black did not respond to multiple requests for their information to be included in this article, but they will be on the ballot. This article has been updated to reflect that the seat of Robert Licano is up for re-election and not that of Don Reiman.

About David Abbott

Journalist, writer and editor who has worked for community newspapers for more than 15 years. After four years at Davis-Monthan AFB and a few years living in Tucson, moved to California to find his fortune. He is happy to be back in Arizona, in the mountains he loves.

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