By Alexis Young / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
It’s no secret that Florence might be gearing up for one of the most interesting Town Council election seasons it's seen in a long time. New candidate on the ballot Cassandra Scherm uses the breadth of her personal and professional skills and titles to try her hand at local government.
Scherm has been an educator in public, charter, and correctional facilities. Her desire to enlighten students of all ages and backgrounds is compounded by her admiration for Florence. In 2018 those sentiments led to her joining the Community Emergency Response Team. Now she’s ready to heed the encouragement from friends and family, using her life’s roles, from big sister and wife to educator and volunteer team leader, to make her debut on Florence’s political stage.
NewsBreak: Your running platform is ‘Faith. Family. Florence.’ What are your experiences with those words, and how does it inform your candidacy?
Scherm: "I've been married for over 20 years, and I'm a very active member of my church. I like to have strong moral values, and I just want to make sure that's also within our community; we need to have that as a base. I'd love to build relationships. I’m the oldest of eight kids, so I've had to deal with conflict and problem and solution, probably my whole life. I have six brothers and living in a house with one sister and six brothers was never the easiest thing. Always trying to be the peacemaker and trying to find resolutions when solutions didn't seem like they were an end in sight. I think that's been embedded with me since I was little. I don't know if you're familiar with Florence, but there's really not a lot going on for our youth in our area, so we need to make sure that we have a lot of opportunities here in that area. With continued growth, the opportunity to properly staff or police and fire it'd be nice to see more of our public safety in the area, either with departments or personnel or equipment.
The growth of Florence’s population overshadowing the appropriate number of events and attractions on the town’s proverbial “activity board” seems to be a common concern among Town Council candidates. How do you plan to aid Florence’s growth?
“I'd like to help create opportunities for the town to actively engage and communicate ways to improve the goals of the town. The town has to make sure it remains Business-friendly. That's always been kind of their thing as a small town. There have been instances in the past where the town received negative feedback due to its business practices. So we need to reach out to current and future business partners to ensure the town is doing it right by the business partners. I know the town has reached out with its grant process to help those in the downtown quarter. With that continued growth and anthem and the downtown areas of the town need to bring in more eateries and shopping areas. There are issues that have been brought up to my attention by those that have reached out during my nomination period about how to fix it, and I would be able to go and talk to these different developers or different people out there and try to figure out how to bring them into Florence or Anthem.”
We’ve spoken about your prolonged involvement in Florence’s community and your support system that’s encouraged your candidacy for years. Why now? Why 2022?
“I think it's just from talking to people in the community. They really want someone that they can come and talk to and share their concerns and share what's going on. I’ve always been kind of that advocate for people. Knowing what I know and having the confidence I have now — I mean, I feel good about myself. I’m in a good place, and I have a really good support system; why not.”