Gilbert Town Council approves teen violence subcommittee after heated debate

Jan 10, 2024, 4:25 AM | Updated: 10:34 am

PHOENIX — The Gilbert Town Council unanimously voted to create a new subcommittee to deal with the spike in teen violence during a Tuesday meeting.

However, heated debate preceded the final vote. It began after Councilmember Kathy Tilque proposed the work of dealing with teen violence be added to the Community Engagement Task Force.

“First, we would have to expand their scope of work to include teen violence, expand the number of task members to a total of 11,” Tilque said. “We could add advisory positions from each school district school interested in participating.”

A subcommittee has only three task members, which means the rest of the Council may not be able to participate in teen violence solutions, she added.

Councilmember Chuck Bongiovanni strongly disagreed with her proposal. He was one of three Councilmembers with a small orange candle in front of their seats. Councilmembers Jim Torgeson and Scott Anderson also had memorial candles.

Why the Gilbert Town Council meeting got heated

“I’d like to move ahead with a subcommittee focused just on this issue,” Councilmember Chuck Bongiovanni said. He called for immediate action and said he didn’t want to have to wait two weeks for the wheels of bureaucracy to churn out a solution.

Mayor Brigette Peterson, however, said a task force may have fewer restrictions than a Council subcommittee. Her stance sparked rebuttals from both Torgeson and Bongiovanni, who argued a subcommittee would be able to more effectively tackle teen violence than a task force that might sideline it in favor of other topics.

“I can’t believe we’re having a turf war up here,” Bongiovanni said. “It’s insane.”

The room, which was full of people wearing orange shirts that said #JusticeforPrestonLord, erupted in applause — even though Vice Mayor Scott Anderson previously asked the audience not to clap.

At one point of the debate, a member of the audience called out that there wasn’t enough urgency. Peterson agreed and the vote quickly followed suit.

Bongiovanni, Torgeson and Anderson agreed to serve on the teen violence subcommittee. They have until the next Gilbert Town Council meeting on Jan. 23 to hammer out how the subcommittee will work.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally Saturd...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins Missouri and Idaho caucuses, sweeps Michigan GOP convention

Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the convention in Michigan.

1 hour ago

Maine man, 79, dies while hiking Pyramid Trail in Sedona...

Damon Allred

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, establishes chief heat officer

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the state's first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, creating the country's first state level heat officer.

2 hours ago

Kacey Musgraves, center, performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Su...

Kacey Musgraves to play Glendale concert in September

Seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves is scheduled to perform at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale on Sept. 27.

4 hours ago

Jose Andres Guerrero Talamantes...

Arrest made in fatal hit-and-run case in Carefree from December

Police arrested a man on Friday on felony hit-and-run charges involving death as part of an investigation into a crash that occurred in Carefree.

6 hours ago

Traffic is backed up on Interstate 10 near State Route 347 south of metro Phoenix...

Report lists Phoenix, Tucson among U.S. cities with worst drivers

Two Arizona cities have landed in the top 10 of a national ranking of places with the worst drivers in the nation.

8 hours ago

Caution tape in front of police car....

2 police officers injured in crash with suspected impaired driver in Phoenix

Two police officers suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle crash in central Phoenix early Saturday morning.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Gilbert Town Council approves teen violence subcommittee after heated debate