Jenn Daniels says timing was right to leave Gilbert mayoral post

Jenn Daniels
Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels announces her resignation as mayor at the Aug. 11 council meeting. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels announces her resignation as mayor at the Aug. 11 council meeting. (Screen capture from YouTube)

The morning after Jenn Daniels dropped her surprise resignation upon Gilbert Town Council, the now-former mayor said it was simply time to leave the post.

“I am a woman of faith, and I just know that when you feel called to do something that you do it,” Daniels said Aug. 12. “That's how I ended up as mayor, and that's how I ended up leaving the position as well.”

Daniels announced her resignation at the conclusion of an otherwise ordinary Aug. 11 council meeting. The announcement surprised at least some council members, and Daniels admitted “there wasn’t a big behind-the-scenes, that’s for sure.”

Daniels said it has been on her mind for a while, but the timing was right now. Furthermore, she said she was confident the town is in good hands.

“I'm really confident actually in the ability for the people who are on the council to lead and also the town staff,” she said. “I just can't reiterate that enough. It was great before I became a council member and before I was the mayor, and it will continue to be great because of the people who live here and the people who continue to contribute, whether that's elected or appointed.”

She said she had done what she could for the town and was excited to see what a new group of leaders could do to take the town to the next level.

Daniels was elected to council in 2009. She became mayor in 2016 when council appointed her upon the resignation of John Lewis. A month later, she won the post by election as she ran unopposed. Her term was set to expire in January 2021, and she announced in February she would not seek re-election.

During Daniels’ tenure as mayor, the town celebrated its centennial, achieved AAA bond ratings from all three major bond-rating agencies, opened the 272-acre Gilbert Regional Park, won voter approval for the Public Safety Training Facility and lowered the secondary property tax rate from $1.06 per $100 assessed valuation to $0.99.

Daniels did not offer specifics as to what is to come next, though she said she plans to continue to remain involved in the town as a private citizen.

“I don't have specific or big plans right now,” she said. “I have some desires and some goals. And so I'm going to keep working like I always have toward realizing those.”

Daniels said she looks back on her 11 years of service in town government with gratitude.

“It was a tremendous amount of work, but I look back over the last 11-plus years, and I have nothing but gratitude," she said. "It's not like I loved every minute of it, but we worked dang hard, and we had so much fun.”
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.