Meet our DMO of the Month, Tempe City Council Member Joel Navarro
Our DMO of the Month, Joel Navarro may be made for Hollywood, but Tempe is glad to have him.
We all love to honor our first responders.
Visit a city council meeting anywhere, and you are likely to see the members rising to honor their city’s finest. We look to our emergency personnel after a weather tragedy, an act of violence, or an emergency down the block. These days, they are especially on our minds as our cities struggle to resolve pension funding challenges. And today, we have a very special first responder on our minds, as he is also our DMO of the Month.
Joel Navarro is a City Council Member in Tempe, Arizona and serves on the National League of Cities’ Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Advocacy Committee, and is Second Vice-President of the NLC Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) Board of Directors.
Navarro is a Captain and Paramedic with the Phoenix Fire Department where he has served since 1995.
While still a newcomer to his council, Navarro learned a valuable lesson that we are seeing play out all over the country. Voters are willing to support tax increases, when they understand and have a voice in where those dollars are going.
Reporter Dianna M. Náñez wrote in The Republic (azcentral.com),
Navarro recalls hearing from many residents who worried that Tempe was considering making too many cuts to community services during the downturn. He said residents told him they wanted the council to make enough cuts to stabilize the city but not so many that Tempe would lose its reputation for being a community-minded city.
That feedback, he said, is what helped him decide to support a ballot proposal that allowed voters to decide to approve a temporary sales tax to ease cuts during the downturn.
He and other council members who supported the proposal took heat from some constituents who argued for more austere measures. But Navarro said his roots in Tempe gave him perspective. He says he knew Tempe's history, how hard generations of residents had fought to make Tempe successful, and had heard from too many constituents to ignore their plea.
When the temporary tax increase passed with overwhelming support, Navarro said he felt good about allowing residents to have their say on the issue instead of bowing to a vocal minority.
Not just a city council member and paramedic, this well-rounded public servant coaches basketball, baseball, soccer and football. Navarro received a full athletic football scholarship to New Mexico State University, where he earned his first degree and later received an additional degree at Ottawa University in Secondary Education. Navarro has three children, Jillian, Parker, and Henley and lives in the same south Tempe neighborhood where he grew up. Joel Navarro’s biography may read like that of the nice guy next door in a made-for-tv movie, but we are glad he’s the real thing.
DMO is proud to honor City Council Member and first responder, Captain Joel Navarro as our DMO of the Month.