DEARBORN — Having experience on one city commission already, Gail Walls is looking to bring her experience to the Charter Revision Commission.
Walls, who has lived in Dearborn for the past 33 years, has worked and raised her family in the city. She has worked for Ford Motor Company for 34 years in purchasing as a buyer and a business analyst.
Walls said she believes giving back to the community is important and has shown it by volunteering with her church; with the Girl Scouts as a cookie mom, chaperone and treasurer; at Vista Maria as a tutor and mentor; as a trustee of the neighborhood association; as a representative on the Dearborn Federation of Neighborhoods and as a member of the Dearborn Traffic Commission, where she’s served as chair and vice chair.
All ideas from the residents and the elected members of the Charter Commission need to be heard, discussed and evaluated. — Gail Walls
“Several residents who know me as a neighbor and through my volunteerism in the city encouraged me to work on the review of the charter,” she said. “After careful consideration, knowing it would require me to forgo my work on the Traffic Commission, I decided to run.”
Walls said she has learned a lot by being on the Traffic Commission that she can bring to the Charter Revision Commission.
“My work on behalf of Dearborn residents as a member of the Traffic Commission has shown me our city’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the priorities and concerns most important to residents,” she said. “I believe working toward practical solutions is a balance that must be maintained for long-term good and viability of the city. I have previous experience working toward these goals within a charter review process. While on the Traffic Commission, we commissioners worked together to review and update the Commission’s Charter. We had excellent discussions and I am proud to say our final document easily passed the legal review of the city attorney.”
With an extensive city charter to review, Walls said the most important issue is ensuring residents receive top-quality, ongoing services and public safety.
“Before considering any change, our fire, first response and police organizations or any other relevant stakeholders must have a meaningful role in the conversation,” she said. “Another key issue is to ensure the best-possible governance, which requires experience. One item that may be considered is how the Council president selection is determined. If individuals without previous experience consistently obtain the most votes, it is prudent to consider an alternative method to select the president to maintain excellence.”
Having no preconceptions or a specific agenda, Walls said that her goal is to review the charter from an altruistic position.
“All ideas from the residents and the elected members of the Charter Commission need to be heard, discussed and evaluated,” she said. “All legal and budgetary restrictions need to be considered, as well as the long-term effect on any proposal. In my business experience, I worked in a global environment that encompassed many cultures and considered a range of values before making any final decision. Negotiations require the ability to listen, understand the concerns of those involved and any legal or budgetary restrictions, and then work to the best solution. My goal is to listen.”