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Gilbert Town Council commits to mediated discussions

Three council members called for discussion on a vote of no confidence in Mayor Brigette Peterson during a special meeting Tuesday night.

GILBERT, Arizona — The Gilbert Town Council is calling for reunification amongst each other after three members suggested a vote of no confidence in Mayor Brigette Peterson during a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Council members Chuck Bongiovanni, Bobbi Buchli and Jim Torgeson filed a communication requesting the special meeting on Monday, July 31. 

The council agreed to move forward with mediated discussions on how to work through their underlying issues rather than making a motion for a vote during the meeting. 

Bongiovanni said the action Tuesday night was in regard to the mayor’s behavior. He said he legally couldn’t give any details about what he was specifically referring to. 

“It’s a tough situation to be in because we all know what I’m talking about, but it’s very difficult to verbalize this without subsequent ramifications,” Bongiovanni said.

Peterson, who was elected to the office in 2020, said she didn’t know what Bongiovanni was referring to. 

“I’m going to choose to not make a statement tonight and ask that we move forward, and I think that’s how I’m going to leave it. I would just like to move forward. Forward motion is good. As Council member Bongiovanni said, and I think I’m a little lost as to what we’re discussing this evening. So, I know that you said everybody knows but I don’t know that I do. So, I think it will take us getting together in another form,” Peterson said.

Vice Mayor Kathy Tilque said a vote of no confidence would be unprecedented in Gilbert.

Tilque said she felt uncomfortable with making a vote without mediated discussion. Councilmembers Yung Koprowski and Scott Anderson agreed.

Gilbert residents sounded off about what they’re calling dysfunctional leadership.

“It’s time for change,” Lony Chizen, a Town of Gilbert resident, said. “I’m just a little bit peeved and perplexed with the sentiment of what’s going on with this town.”

Some residents asked Peterson to step down from her position during public comment of the regularly scheduled August meeting. 

“It has to start with the mayor. It always starts at the top,” Chizen said.

Tilque said a vote of no confidence does not have any legal standing. She said it would basically be a public statement.

The possibility of a vote can be put back on the table if one of the council members chooses to revisit it.

The mayor’s team rejected 12New’s request to speak with Peterson after the special meeting on Tuesday.

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