Know your candidates: Thatcher Town Council

Contributed Photo: Heston Welker, back right, is running for re-election to the Thatcher Town Council. Here he is pictured with his family. 

This is the fourth installment of the Gila Herald’s candidate series for the council races for Safford, Thatcher, and Pima, and features Heston Welker, candidate for the Thatcher Town Council.  

Opening the series is the town of Thatcher, which has six candidates vying for three council seats up for election. The candidates include incumbents Ryan Rapier, Heston Welker, and Jenny Howard, with newcomers Brandon Homer, Mike McEuen, and Alfred Barquin looking to make the cut. Each candidate was given the opportunity to provide their own editorial and picture. This fourth installment of the Thatcher series features incumbent Heston Welker.

Thatcher Town Council – Heston Welker

Like so many of those in our Valley, I was fortunate to grow up here and my family ties to this area go back several generations. That fact of course doesn’t qualify me for a position on the council, but it has instilled in me a deep love for this area. When the opportunity arose several years ago to work for Eastern Arizona College, the love of this area and the college, helped our family make the decision to move back here.

I have now been at Eastern Arizona College for the last 15 years, and I am currently the Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer at the college. My education background includes a Bachelor of Science in Finance, as well as a Master of Taxation degree, from the W.P. Carey School of Business from Arizona State University (much to the chagrin of my Father – however, I still cheer for the Wildcats, at least when I am in his home). 

Ten years after moving back, I began serving on the Thatcher Town Council, when I filled a vacancy by appointment in August 2018. It has been my privilege since that time to work with the incredible group of employees we have at the town. While the council is there is provide general direction and decision-making, it is employees who get the job done, and most often make the recommendations on the direction the town should take.

I truly believe that you will not find another group of employees that are more dedicated, or who get more done for their city or town, than the staff we have at the town. I feel privileged to work with this group that is able to accomplish so much with a limited budget and resources.

Contributed Photo: Heston Welker

I also believe we are very fortunate to live in a town where there are so many individuals willing to serve in different capacities. This is true of an amazing town council with each member of the council bringing different strengths to this group. My specific strengths lie in being able to provide expertise in matters of finance, specifically within the realm of government.

In addition to my business and administration background, I am also a member of the Association of Government Accountants and certified as a government financial manager. This experience and background allow me to provide input and direction to the financial matters of the town.

However, regardless of any council member’s strengths, I believe our most important job is to listen to and understand the needs of our community. Our job is then to prioritize those needs while recognizing the importance of sound fiscal management of our limited financial resources.

In total, I believe our town has accomplished much in the last several years, and I hope I will have the privilege to continue to serve on the council as we accomplish even more in the years ahead.