Mesquite Misrepresentation and the Trailhead Project

After corruption or illegal activity in office, the worst thing an elected official can do to his/her constituents is to walk out on their term to run for a higher elected office. A candidate makes a commitment to the voters – you vote for me and I will serve you for the length of that term.

Our councilwoman, Bridget Binsbacher, recently vacated her council seat mid-term to run for mayor. Quite frankly, I find it very hard to believe this wasn’t her plan when she asked for our votes in 2020 to be elected to represent Mesquite for another 4 years.

Ms. Binsbacher resigned her seat prior to the Council’s vote to approve the Trailhead Project at the corner of 83rd and Happy Valley Avenues. For those unaware, Trailhead is a very controversial project which included high density apartments. A project according to the developer will potentially include “high end” restaurants and upscale grocery but as yet no commitment from Safeway or any restaurants. Specific details of the project which were for all intent and purposes withheld from the local resident of West Wing, Rock Springs, Aloravita, Terramar – until it was too late.

Ms. Binsbacher’s heir apparent is Mr. Brad Shafer. At an educational event in January 2022 Mr. Shafer told me of Ms. Binsbacher’s plans to resign in April and he would be appointed to fill her seat. He was her appointee to the Planning and Zoning Commission. At the April 7th P&Z Commission meeting (four days after Binsbacher’s resignation) Mr. Shafer voted to approve the Trailhead Project then immediately resigned his seat in order to be appointed to and ultimately run for the Mesquite seat.

Mr. Shafer attended the April 19th City Council meeting at which the Trailhead Project was approved WITHOUT representation for the Mesquite District. Many residents spoke in opposition to the project. The primary request being that the vote be postponed at least until such time as the Mesquite district has representation (although his P&Z vote clearly indicates how Mr. Shafer was likely to vote). Mr. Shafer sat silently; neither brave enough to defend his vote on P&Z in favor of the project nor was he willing to stand with his future constituents in their request to postpone the vote.

It is certainly curious that this issue was withheld from the Council’s agenda until after her resignation; perhaps so that Ms. Binsbacher would not have to contend with a controversial vote on this project during her bid for mayor. But then strategically placed on the agenda prior to Mr. Shafer’s appointment so that the Trailhead vote would not have to be on the record as his first vote against his constituents.

Interestingly the developer’s attorney held a fundraiser for Binsbacher’s mayoral race prior to her resigning and opening a campaign for that office. How much money the developer will put into her and Shafer’s campaigns is yet to be seen.

I am running for Peoria City Council because the citizens of Mesquite deserve better. I ask for your support and your vote in November. I stand with my neighbors not wealthy developers!