PHOENIX –- The mayoral election in Phoenix is down to the wire with last-minute campaigning heating up.
When we asked you what you wanted to know from the candidates, the overwhelming majority told us through Facebook that the community needs jobs.
Here is how the candidates responded to our questions about improving the economy:
“Businesses are the ones who have to create the jobs,” said Claude Mattox. “We, from a government perspective can assist by eliminating hurdles that are preventing them from being able to expand. I want to make sure we don't lose jobs in Phoenix. That's my No. 1 priority.”
Peggy Neely said the mayor needs to promote the whole region to draw more companies with jobs.
“Right now our real estate economy is probably the best in the country,” said Neely, a former city councilwoman. “A lot take it personally, but we have affordable real estate in residential and commercial. We have some great schools both K-12 and secondary and we need to start selling those.”
Businessman Wes Gullet wants to slash permit fees so small businesses can get off the ground faster.
“Ninety percent of the jobs that are created right now come from small business,” said Gullett. “We've got to make sure that small businesses can start and expand quickly. The one way to do that, let me give you an example, one way to do that when you want to start a small business in the Gullett administration you're going to talk to one person and that one person is going to be your case manager.”
Another former council member, Greg Stanton, said the city should buy from local companies, improve education and diversify the economy.
“When the rest of the economy goes through a recession, Phoenix goes through a depression,” Stanton said. “In part it's because we have been so reliant on growth and real estate. We need more sustainability and more diversity in our economy.”
Attorney Jennifer Wright wants to make sure small business owners aren't overtaxed.
“You never know which small business might be the next major corporation,” said Wright. “We need to make sure we're not over regulating them and overtaxing them to the point where they are run out of business.”
Anna Brennan is a business owner who sees Phoenix as having a lot to offer if government would get out of the way.
“Eliminate those obstacles that make it hard and make it expensive for entrepreneurs to say I want to realize my dream, I want to do this,” Brennan said. “I want to be my own boss. We talked about one stop shop online.”