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A New Start

Julia Wheatley Begins Her Term as Mayor of Queen Creek

Julia Wheatley is starting 2023 as the 6th Mayor of Queen Creek, Arizona. This is in addition to running a real estate and mortgage company with her husband, Benjamin, and raising four children. Originally from Gilbert, Julia moved to Queen Creek in 2007 after being drawn to its openness and small-town feel. When her first child was only two weeks old, Julia heard that there would be three available spots on the town council, with nine candidates running. After some quick thinking, she grabbed a clipboard and a pen and went down the line of people waiting outside Target on Black Friday to acquire signatures and support. She spoke for several minutes with each person, listening to their hopes and concerns for their town. 

Service is familiar to Julia, whose father, Eldon Hastings, was a town council member and vice mayor in neighboring Gilbert. Both her parents were active in the community and those values were instilled in her from a young age. Yet the road from town council member to mayor was not initially in Julia's plans. It was only when former mayor Gail Barney announced his retirement and phoned her up to say she should consider running that the possibility was presented. 'I was very flattered.' she said recalling the conversation, but she was also daunted. Being mayor was a big responsibility and a 4-year commitment. For Julia and her husband, their schedule was already full with work and their 12-year-old, 10-year-old, and 8-year-old twins. 'My husband and I had a heart to heart.' she says, describing how with his support and that of her peers, she threw her hat into the ring. 

Despite the challenge, Julia appears ready and eager to serve her town. Already, Julia describes her wonder at how much and how far Queen Creek has come in its 33-year history as an incorporated town. The businesses that have made a home here, bringing with them jobs, and attracting many young families to the surrounding natural beauty as it did for Julia. 'We used to camp near the base of the San Tan mountains here.' she added. That outdoor lifestyle and spirit of Queen Creek are still precious to her. It is the one thing she wouldn't change amid all the new developments in town. 

In fact, Julia is a proponent of the parks system in Queen Creek. As a mom, she understands the importance of having a place to take your kids and away from the temptations of electronics. The parks are also a place for residents to gather and continue that sense of community. The town has already broken ground on the 85-acre Frontier Family park which will have a lake, ball fields, splash pad and more. The site will also have a recreation and aquatic center, which will open after the park. There are also plans to expand the Queen Creek and Sonoqui wash trails which encourage families to get out and explore. 

As mayor, Julia only wants to continue to promote that outdoor, healthy lifestyle that so many seek out in town. The prospects are exciting and Mayor Julia Wheatley calls herself Queen Creek's 'number one fan'. 'We have a saying,' she says, 'comfort of the country, convenience of the city.' Queen Creek certainly seems to provide that balance of live, work, and play. Going into 2023, Julia's resolutions are to be intentional in all that she does, even in a new, demanding position. As mayor, she has faith that this year for Queen Creek will be even better than the last.   

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  • Mayor Julia Wheatley