As Maricopa continues to grow, local leaders must grapple with the multifaceted and often erratic march of economic development.
To achieve economic sustainability, local governments, businesses and community leaders have developed a roundtable of sorts – the Pinal Partnership – where ideas can be discussed and projects can be developed to better serve all of Pinal County.
Recently, Maricopa City Councilmember Nancy Smith was appointed a seat on the Board of Directors at the Pinal Partnership, a position she hopes will help create prosperity for both the city and the county.
“Since there is no one from Maricopa on the list of board members, we need somebody,” Smith said. “So, I couldn’t turn it down, because we’re such a big part of Pinal County.”
The partnership, Smith said, will help the city attack some of its largest obstacles including transportation issues such as the widening of SR 347 and the redrawing of the floodplain.
Per its website, “Pinal Partnership was formed to bring together all the people and ideas that will ultimately lead Pinal County to its full potential.”
Smith said she appreciates the retail and food industries that thrive in Maricopa. However, she hopes to see healthcare support services and professional services also come to town, regardless of the transportation or floodplain issues.
Smith, who has served on the city council since 2014, works as a program manager for General Dynamics. She is in charge of making sure projects meet budgetary requirements, an aptitude she feels carries over to her political career as well.
“At General Dynamics, I’m responsible for making sure a program comes in on budget or under budget,” Smith said. For the city, she added, “that’s [also] my purpose.”
When Smith and her husband, former Maricopa Mayor and current Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith, first moved to Maricopa 13 years ago they didn’t immediately get involved in politics. Instead, they focused on their faith and working to promote their church – Community of Hope.
After the city gained its incorporation, the Smiths began focusing their political scope, closely following Maricopa’s first mayor and city council. Soon thereafter they became entranced with local politics and while her husband was mayor, Smith sat back and learned all she could about local governance.
In 2014 a two-year seat opened up on council, so Smith took the opportunity to get try out her political legs a bit.
“I thought, ‘that’ll just give me a taste of what it’s like, and I’ll be helping the community and serving the community as well,’” Smith said. “And, I fell in love with it.”
When offered the position at Pinal Partnership, Smith already knew Maricopa lacked representation in the partnership, thus making it an easy decision.
Other members of the board include Pinal County Supervisors Todd House and Steve Miller, Global Water President Ron Fleming, Apache Junction Councilmember Robin Barker, and the board’s chairman Jordan Rose of Rose Law Group.