Election 2020, Gilroy City Council: Carol Marques eyes economic recovery, fourth fire station

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Carol Marques will seek reelection to the Gilroy City Council in November. Submitted photo

When Carol Marques ran for Gilroy City Council in 2018, she promised that she would work to get any resident’s concerns addressed.

Two years later and nearing the end of her first term, Marques said she has kept her promises. Those include checking on the timing of stoplights downtown, having litter picked up around town, or reviewing speeding on certain roads.

Now seeking her second term on the council in November, Marques has the same mindset.

“Everything I promised people in 2018, I kept,” she said. “If I said I was going to return phone calls and address everyone’s questions, I can honestly say I did. I will never make a promise I cannot keep just to get a person’s vote.”

Marques, a Gilroy native, was employed as a junior high school teacher and academic coach with Gilroy Unified School District from 1974-2013 when she retired.

She served a year on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission before winning a bid in 2018 to fill the remaining two years of the late Paul Kloecker’s term on the council.

As a council member, Marques serves as a city liaison on the boards of the Gilroy Downtown Business Association and Gilroy Gardens, as well as vice chair of the Unreinforced Masonry Committee.

If re-elected, Marques said she wants to finish the projects she has been working on during her first term. 

One of those is the Glen Loma Fire Station. In late 2019, the council allocated funding toward the proposed station in west Gilroy, yet that funding was later pulled in order to pay for city services due to diminishing revenues brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marques said she will keep fighting for the revitalization of downtown, which she called “the cornerstone of our economic development program for the entire city.”

“A thriving downtown is one of the main reasons why a large company will think about locating in the city,” she said. “This goes hand-in-hand with economic development—bringing jobs and dollars to Gilroy which would allow us to rehire the people who were laid off and fund much-needed projects.”

Furthering Gilroy’s economic recovery is its recent efforts to make the city a recreation tourist destination, which Marques said she will continue to support if re-elected. 

“With our beautiful vineyards, wineries, city parks, agricultural fields and Gilroy Gardens, our city has a lot to offer people who live here or come to visit,” she said. “We need to expand these assets and create others to attract visitors. By bringing in investors to develop attractions in our city, Gilroy would benefit from the dollars spent here.”

The “ever-growing homeless crisis” and restoring jobs lost due to the pandemic are among the top issues Marques said she will work to address.

The city must also be frugal with its money, and Marques said she is opposed to hiring consultants when the city could employ its own staff to complete the job.

“The citizens need to know I will work my hardest for them and that I will not promise something that I know the council cannot deliver,” she said. “I take all requests from the public seriously and I do listen to people’s concerns—finding solutions for their problems whenever possible.”

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