Tags Articles tagged with "Election"

Election

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Pinal County Recorder Virginia Ross is reminding voters and potential voters that the midterm election will be soon upon us.

“Time is running out to register to vote,” Ross stated. “It’s important that if you have any questions about if you are registered or not, to give our Citizen Contact Center a call at (520) 509-3555 or by cell at 3-1-1.” Or check the status of your registration at Voter View https://voter.azsos.gov/VoterView/RegistrantSearch.do

If you would like to register to vote, you can find a voter registration form at most city, county and state offices or libraries. The Recorder’s Office will mail you a form if you call and request it at 520-509-3555. You can also go online to the EZ Voter Registration page https://servicearizona.com/webapp/evoter to complete a form electronically.

If you would like to be on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), you can go to: http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Recorder/Pages/PermanentEarlyVotingRegistration.aspx and download a request. You can also fill one out at the Pinal County Voter Registration Office in Florence or at either Pinal County Recorder’s Office satellite locations in Casa Grande and Apache Junction.

Important dates for Upcoming Elections

Primary Election
July 14, Military & Overseas Registered Voters ballots are mailed
July 30, Last Day to Register to Vote
Aug. 1, Early ballots are mailed to the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) & absentee voters; early in-person voting begins at the three Recorder’s Office locations
Aug. 28, Primary Election

General Election
Sept. 22, Military & Overseas Registered Voters ballots are mailed
Oct. 9, Last Day to Register to Vote
Oct. 10, Early ballots are mailed to the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) & absentee voters; early in-person voting begins at the three Recorder’s Office locations
Nov. 6, Primary Election

Offices on the ballot for the Primary Election
Voters will receive a ballot according to political party affiliation (Republican, Democrat, Green or Libertarian), Independents choose which ballot and may select “Nonpartisan” which will have only city/town contests.
• Federal offices: U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative for Congressional Districts 1, 3, and 4
• Statewide offices: Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Mine Inspector, Corporation Commissioner
• Legislative offices: State Senate (one seat) and House (two seats) for Legislative Districts 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 16
• County offices: Clerk of the Superior Court, Justices of the Peace, Constables, Precinct Committee Persons (partisan only)
• Cities/Towns: Primary election for city/town council members and mayor. Runoff in November, only if necessary.
• Special Taxing Districts: There may be some that participate in the primary, but most will be on the November ballot.

Offices on the ballot for the General Election
All voters will receive the same ballot for a given precinct part – all candidates from all parties that won in the primary are listed.
Same offices as discussed for the primary, except cities/towns may not be included if they don’t need runoff elections.
Additional contests:
• County, city/town, school district, special taxing district ballot measures
• School district and special taxing district governing board candidates
• Retention of judges (Arizona Supreme Court, Arizona Court of Appeals and Superior Court)
• Statewide ballot measures

Candidates
If you are interested in who has qualified for the Primary Election, you can click on the following link: http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/elections/Documents/UpcomingElections/PrimaryCandidates.pdf

#InMaricopaTownHall

Linette Caroselli (Sunshine and Reign Photography)

By Linette Y. Caroselli

Never in a million years did I think I would ever become a teacher. My dream was to be the next Barbara Walters. I always had a passion for journalism. I would watch the evening news and tell myself one day, I would be on TV. Well, life had other plans.

I graduated from Bloomfield College with a B.A. in English Communications in 1996, a year late. I had a little baby girl. Walking across that stage to get my degree was a huge accomplishment because people told me I wouldn’t be able to finish. Shortly, a chance meeting at a BBQ would change my life forever.

There were five teachers from Newark, New Jersey, in attendance. We began talking about education specifically writing because after all I was going to be the next Barbara Walters. They told me that wasn’t my calling. Teaching kids Language Arts was. The look on my face must have been comical. Me, a teacher?

I was told it was the perfect job given my situation as a young mother. I went to the East Orange Board of Education and applied for a substitute position to give it a try. The lady taking my information saw my hesitation and said, “Don’t worry. The kids will let you know the first day if this is the job for you or not.” She was right.

That day turned into a year. That year turned into 21 years. I have never looked back.

Teaching to me is one of the greatest blessings in my life! I have had the opportunity to positively impact the lives of over 1700 children from all walks of life. I have inspired, motivated, guided, fed, clothed, mentored and most importantly developed future adults into productive individuals. I am so very proud to be in this profession that makes all others possible. I knew I would never get rich doing this but the rewards are priceless. I am more than a teacher; I am a mentor, a confidant, a 2nd mom, and a role model.

As I move into the next venture of my life as a possible city council member, my role as a teacher will play a vital role in the decisions I make. The impact of my decisions is carefully considered because they affect lives. I will now have the opportunity to positively impact an entire city.

 

Linette Caroselli is an eighth grade ELA teacher at Desert Wind Middle School and a candidate for City Council.

debate_audience2

All seven candidates for three seats on the Maricopa City Council participated in a primary election forum at Maricopa Unified School District on Saturday. The Junior State of America Club at Maricopa High School organized and hosted the event, which allowed every candidate to answer a handful of questions submitted by the community. Maricopa Rotary Club was the presenting organization. Some responses:

Who has a plan for attracting more businesses and jobs?

Linette Caroselli: “To bring them here, we have to show the value of being here. When you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream.” Caroselli, an MUSD teacher, said the city needs to be customer-based.

Vincent Manfredi: “I think we need to concentrate on small-business owners who will grow.” The incumbent said Maricopa needs more office space, light industrial and infrastructure.

Bob Marsh: An IT consultant, Marsh said he might pull some industry strings connected to the Belmont smart city proposed by the founder of Microsoft. “I would contact Bill Gates and see if they could test some of their concepts here.”

Cynthia Morgan: The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce stalwart said the city should be “talking one-on-one” with companies that have potential to move to town.

Leon Potter: “Shop local.” The former councilmember and current write-in said the city needs to tap into local organizations like Maricopa Economic Development Alliance and Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Paige Richie: “Hard work and accessibility.” The youngest candidate said the city should ask companies like car dealerships and call centers why they don’t locate to Maricopa.

Rich Vitiello: Asserting international business experience, Vitiello said he plans to “Work hard and meet people we need to work with.”

Henry Wade: The incumbent said the current council may have not always been successful, “but we didn’t quit.”

What is Maricopa’s water future?

Wade: Holding Arizona Corporation Commission’s feet to the fire, Wade said, relies on elections, and scrutinizing Global Water is less difficult “if the right folks are making decisions.” He said the city had looked into buying the private utility, but the subsequent tax rates would have been enormous.

Vitiello: Also saying the council needs to “stay on top of” Global Water constantly, Vitiello said it will take work. “I have a pool. My bills are pretty big.”

Richie: The city needs to work with Global Water, Richie said, “to find more cost effective and more sustainable options.”

Potter: “Regulating water is not within the city’s jurisdiction.” Potter said he intends to work with Global Water but also listen to constituents. “It takes a lot of negotiation and going in front of the Corporation Commission.”

Morgan: “We’ve all tried to fix the problem,” said Morgan, who led a push to take Global Water before the ACC and make a deal on fees. Because Global Water invested a lot of money in Maricopa, it won’t be leaving anytime soon, and she said the best solution is to keep talking with GWR staff one-on-one.

Marsh: “Developers aren’t going to build subdivisions without a 100-year supply.” Marsh said Maricopa had a “secret” water supply with the Santa Cruz. He said developers made the “stupid” decision to create green landscaping to lure Midwesterners into buying desert homes. “We’ve got to stop that.”

Manfredi: With current regulations and Global Water’s wells, Manfredi said, “I don’t believe we’re going to have a water problem for a very long time.”

Caroselli: To assure affordable water, Caroselli said the answer is to “elect a Corporation Commission that’s actually going to do something.”

About 90 attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Maricopa Monitor and Helen’s Kitchen. The candidates will next share the stage Aug. 4 during the InMaricopa.com Town Hall.

Vincent Manfredi is a minority owner of InMaricopa.

Maricopa High School is hosting the InMaricopa.com Town Hall Aug. 4 at the MHS Performing Arts Center. The free event is open to the public and will feature at least 33 candidates in 10 races.

IF YOU GO
What:
Primary Election Town Hall
When:  Saturday, Aug. 4
Where: Maricopa High School Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave. | Maricopa, AZ 85139
Format: Town Hall
Schedule (tentative) and participating candidates
Cost: Free
RSVP: MaricopaEvents.com
Facilitators: Mayor Christian Price, Judge Lyle Riggs, Janeen Rohovit
Questions: 520-568-0040, Raquel@InMaricopa.com

Maricopa High School is hosting the InMaricopa.com Town Hall Aug. 4 at the MHS Performing Arts Center. The free event is open to the public and will feature at least 32 candidates in 10 races.

Among the candidates who have committed to attend are all three Republican candidates for U.S. Congress District 1, six candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates utility services, and seven candidates for Maricopa City Council.

“Our mission is to prepare students to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens, and this town hall will not only provide such opportunities for our students but for all residents of Maricopa,” said Maricopa Unified School District Superintendent Tracey Lopeman. “Government affects every facet of our lives – especially public education – and to make the changes we want in our society, it’s imperative we be educated on and engaged in the political process.”

Candidates will take questions from the audience in attendance and watching live through social media. InMaricopa.com Editor Raquel Hendrickson said the town hall format would allow voters latitude to challenge the candidates about their positions. “We want to markedly reduce the role of the moderator and let citizens get the answers to questions they want to ask. We want a format that would allow candidates to more fully engage with each other on the issues.”

The Town Hall will be separated into time blocks. The first block starts at 10 a.m. with Congressional District 1 GOP candidates Wendy Rogers, Tiffany Shedd and Steve Smith. Gubernatorial candidates Ken Bennett and Kelly Fryer as well as candidates for superintendent of public instruction, treasurer and Corporation Commission will also participate. The three Republicans seeking two seats in the Arizona House have confirmed their participation, as have all candidates for city council and constable.

“Our goal is to inform our readers and viewers,” Hendrickson said. “Our community will be much better served if we go to the polls with an understanding of the issues and the candidates who want to represent us in public office.”

Among the facilitators for the Town Hall are Maricopa Mayor Christian Price and Judge Lyle Riggs. They will enforce simple rules that apply to the candidates and audience alike: Be respectful, be succinct, stay on topic and don’t repeat yourself.

Price, a three-term mayor whose term runs through 2020, invites Maricopans and those from outside the city to attend: “Join me Aug. 4 to learn about the people wanting to represent you and your family in public office.”

Please RSVP at MaricopaEvents.com.


 

 

Seven people are competing for three seats on the Maricopa City Council. Vice Mayor Peg Chapados opted not to run this year, but Henry Wade and Vincent Manfredi are seeking re-election. They face five candidates, none of whom has held elected office but all of whom have provided varying degrees of community service to Maricopa. The Primary Election is Aug. 28. City council candidates will appear in a Town Hall debate Aug. 4 at Maricopa High School Performing Arts Center.

Here are the candidates in alphabetical order.


Linette Y. Caroselli

Linette Caroselli (submitted photo)

Age: 45
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Years in Maricopa: 4
Occupation: Teacher
Family: Widowed with three children (16, 19, 22)
Political background: First time entering politics, worked with Irvington Municipal Councilmember A. McElroy on Irvington Scholar Program and Community Development Zone
Previous community service: Take It to the Block: Voter Registration Drive, CNN screening- Black in American: Almighty Debt, Breast Cancer Walk, health fairs, chaired debutante balls, March of Dimes, Operation Big Book (donated school supplies to Maricopa Elementary and Desert Wind Middle School for four years), Swim 1922 (initiated program in Maricopa to teach children water safety with the AZ Seals), and more; I have over 20 years of community service experience.

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why? My campaign slogan is Your City, Your Voice! The one thing I would love to change is development of community programs that involve the true voice of the city. I believe we can implement a full community collaboration that will provide quality services that are relevant, convenient and beneficial to the public involving all stakeholders. We can offer programs that benefit the community at large: human trafficking education, outreach programs for our veterans, health fairs inclusive of mental health, teen suicide prevention, campaign for a 24-hour emergency center, and exclusive activities and enrichment resources for our senior population.

Qualifications? A fresh perspective for Maricopa that involves thinking outside the box is what I offer. My ability to identify, analyze and implement efficient and wise targeted expenditures while providing greater service, greater progress to the public makes me qualified to serve my constituents.

Proudest achievement? My proudest achievement is being blessed to be a blessing. When I serve my community, it makes me proud and happy to pay it forward, exemplifying servant leadership. You do not have to be rich to serve your fellow man, but I have learned it requires collaboration, implementation and vision.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? I just completed the Maricopa Citizen Leadership Academy, which was a great experience. I would love to learn more about transportation to better serve my constituents. With the current issues of Route 347, it is important to understand the dynamics and then present different avenues to resolve the problem.



Vincent Manfredi (incumbent)

Vincent Manfredi

Age: 47
Hometown: West New York, New Jersey (Exit 16E)
Years in Maricopa: 8
Occupation: Maricopa City Councilmember, director of advertising and small-business owner
Family: I am married with 3 beautiful daughters.
Political background: Current Maricopa City Councilmember and district chairman for the Pinal County Republican Committee. Campaigned for many candidates throughout the state.
Previous community service: Numerous nonprofits, including the City of Maricopa itself. Volunteered with Babe Ruth League, Little League, Maricopa Pantry, Maricopa Food Bank, The Streets Don’t Love You Back, Maricopa High School Football Boosters, Maricopa High School Baseball and Softball Boosters, Relay for Life, Maricopa Board of Adjustment, Maricopa Zoning code re-write taskforce and more.

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why? I have worked to make many changes, but perhaps the one that has evaded me is the ability to make Maricopa a city of YES. We have made strides to get there, but we have not quite achieved the goal of being a city that says YES when approached by developers. To clarify, I want us to never say “No, we can’t do that,” but instead say “Yes, we can, and this is how.” Together we can make Maricopa a destination for development of residential, retail and industrial.

Qualifications? Before I ran four years ago I served on two city boards and commissions, attended two years of council meetings and worked with our mayor and staff on various issues. Since being elected in 2014 I have nearly perfect attendance at meetings, and have networked with other elected officials throughout the state while serving on various boards.

Proudest achievement? As a councilmember I would say it is a toss-up between keeping our budgets balanced and working with the mayor, council and staff to facilitate the start of the SR 347 Overpass. On a personal level, my proudest achievement is working together with my wife to raise three daughters who make us proud every day.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? This is a hard question to answer as an incumbent councilmember. We must be knowledgeable in all aspects of city government. One aspect where I could use improvement would be Human Resources, as council does not normally weigh in on HR issues.

Vincent Manfredi is a minority owner of InMaricopa.


 

Bob Marsh

Bob Marsh

Age: 74
Hometown: Poultney, Vermont
Years in Maricopa: 7.5
Occupation: IT industry consultant, former electrical engineer, software engineer, systems engineer, and project manager, former human resources manager, compensation manager, and community development manager
Family: My wife, Cynthia, 2 children and their spouses, wife’s 3 children and their spouses, children, and grandchildren
Political background: Ran for Maricopa Flood Control District Board (lost by 3 votes)
Previous community service: City of Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, Zoning Code Rewrite Task Force, Subdivision Ordinance Rewrite Citizens Committee, Vision 2040 Citizens Committee, General Plan Update Committee, vice president of Arizona Industrial Compensation Association, board member of International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners – Arizona Chapter, treasurer of Maricopa Multi Cultural Consortium.

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why? While transportation, flood prevention, employment, health services and housing are rightfully top of mind in Maricopa, I would like City Council also to prioritize the development and distribution of senior services in our city. We are about the only city in Arizona that doesn’t have a senior center, and we are currently missing out on many senior benefits because we have no place for those programs to land and no one to administer them. I think the city is missing out on a great opportunity to raise the quality of life for our seniors.

Qualifications? I’m an engineer with experience and proven skills in problem solving. With over 25 years in Arizona, I understand the state’s resources and issues. At Microsoft, I worked in Community Development, where I created programs that grew Microsoft’s worldwide services community from 30,000 to now more than 17 million people.

Proudest achievement? Personal: My two grown children. My daughter has a master’s degree in library science and works in a university library in Texas. My son is a software engineer at a major consulting company in Washington state. Professional: Having computer equipment I designed and built used by NASA on the lunar landings.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? I don’t have experience in playing politics. I’ve always worked on boards, teams, commissions and committees to build consensus and to get things done by working as a team player in group efforts. I feel that’s the way an effective city council should work.



Cynthia Morgan

Cynthia Morgan

Age: 60+
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Years in Maricopa: 11
Occupation: “MURDER IN…” Mystery Dinner Theatre and events.
Family: Husband Lindy Tidwell, 2 daughters, 3 stepdaughters, 9 grandchildren: 2 attended Maricopa H.S. and 1 Butterfield Elementary.
Political background/previous campaigns: In California 1973-74: worked at Democratic Campaign Headquarters on Jerry Brown Campaign for governor and Robert Mendelson for Controller. Switched parties and worked on Pete Wilson campaign for governor. In Arizona, worked with Sen. Barbara Leff and the Arizona Film Commission on authoring the tax bill to attract more film business to Arizona. Helped with numerous local and state campaigns, from Anthony Smith to Doug Ducey.
Previous community service: I’ve been committed to service to my community since a teen when I spent almost every weekend and my entire summer breaks as a “Candy Striper” at Indiana State Hospital (we were called Pinafore Girls), Lions Club, Rotary Club, Soroptimist Club, Copa Film Fest, Seeds of Change, F.O.R. Maricopa food bank, numerous chambers of commerce, including volunteer positions with Maricopa Chamber. Started the first Miss Maricopa Pageant here in 2011. Founded the “Stop Global Water Coalition” and helped organize the first time we got GW in front of the Corporation Commission.

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why? Council’s refusal to work with its own Chamber of Commerce is NOT in the best interest of the community.

Qualifications? Passion. Love for community. Lifetime of hard work and long hours. I’ve always worked well with others. I am in touch with and communicate very well with the people, my fellow taxpayers and citizens. I listen to ALL opinions and points of view to make an informed decision.

Proudest achievement? A tie: 1) The P.A.T.H. program: “Training and placement of Actors with Disabilities, Women and Minorities to create Diversity and Equality on Stage & Film” because it changed the industry. 2) The 3 biological grandchildren of my late husband. We raised them, as his daughter was a drug addict criminal who abandoned them, & instead of excuses and playing victims to justify bad behavior, they took the alternate path. No drugs or bad behavior, instead were honor students. Of the 2 oldest who attended Maricopa H.S., one graduated NAU with Honors and is a counselor at Southwest Mental Health; the second just graduated ASU Magna Cum Laude and has already taken a job at EXXON Corporate, in Houston, and the youngest is a straight A High School Junior, and plays Varsity Football. I like to think that is because of the values we instilled in them against the bad hand they were dealt.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? Crunching numbers! UGH!!!

This is a corrected version of an item previously appearing in print.


 

Paige Richie

Paige Richie (submitted photo)

Age: 20
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
Years in Maricopa: 8
Occupation: Student
Family: I am the youngest girl of 6 children to Janine and Thomas Richie, both active members of the community who value growth and development of our youth. My mother is a teacher who has spent much of her career in Maricopa and my father is an active member of Maricopa who has coached school teams and taught as a substitute.
Political background: This is my first campaign, but I am registered as an independent.
Previous community service: Assisted in planning and promotion of multiple fundraiser events for local schools. Participated as a mentor for youth for several years and directed a number of community events for students and local youth. Assisted teachers in building lesson plans, student projects and developing classroom environments. Organized and promoted a number of fundraising events for the community and local families. Devote time to reach youth and encourage civic engagement in our community.

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why? I’d like to work on Maricopa’s environmental impact and sustainability. With the effort our city has made to prevent light pollution, I feel as though we have expressed a value in our role in the environment, and I would like to further pursue that value and help our city to lessen our environmental impact. Furthermore, by looking into environmentally friendly options, this may open new pathways for economic stimulation in the form of jobs and growth for Maricopa.

Qualifications? I have extensive knowledge and experience of working with the Arizona community and their state programs through working with the Department of Economic Security. This experience is furthered by my political science major at ASU, giving me the tools and knowledge to apply justice and sustainability to my community.

Proudest achievement? I am most proud of my education. Coming from a family where a college education hasn’t always been an option, I am proud that I am actively a senior at Arizona State University.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? Zoning regulations and how they are applied in order to make our city as efficient as possible.



Rich Vitiello

Rich Vitiello (submitted photo)

Age: 53
Hometown: New York City, New York
Years in Maricopa: 13
Occupation: Sales
Family: Wife Joann, 4 daughters, 8 grandkids
Political background: Previously campaigned for Maricopa City Council and Pinal County Board of Supervisors
Previous community service: Volunteer with Maricopa Police Dept.; Food Bank; 2040 Vision Committee; City Board of Adjustments; MUSD J.V. softball coach; fundraisers for Maricopa residents in hardship; donations of bicycles to fire and police depts.; umpire at the American Legion Annual Softball Game; graduated from Maricopa Leadership Academy.

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why? Maricopa needs more local, high-paying jobs. I look forward to using my 27 years of business experience to work with the economic development dept. And attending educational and trade meetings and conferences to bring more business opportunities to our city to improve the quality of life.

Qualifications? Transparency, honesty and accountability are what made me successful. I have been actively engaged in city government issues and have participated first-hand in initiatives that have a direct impact on Maricopa’s development, growth and quality of life. I was endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police and Arizona Association of Firefighters.

Proudest achievement? Being a husband, father and grandfather. Family is the most important thing to me. My family is part of this community, and my dedication to my family and this community is steadfast.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? One-third of Maricopa is in a flood zone, affecting city housing, transportation, growth and business development. I am learning more about how this issue may be resolved by sitting in on meetings with Flood District President Dan Frank and Mayor Christian Price. I look forward to learning more.


 

Henry Wade (incumbent)

Henry Wade (submitted photo)

Age: 63
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Years in Maricopa: 10
Occupation: Director of Housing Counseling Services, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc., City Councilmember, City of Maricopa
Family: Gayle Randolph, Jeremiha Ballard and Jovan Wade
Political background: Member of Maricopa City Council since 2014, campaigned for County Supervisor 2012
Previous community service: Planning & Zoning Commission (2 years as Vice-Chair), Chair – Pinal County Democratic Party, Affirmative Action Moderator Arizona Democratic Party, Vice Chair African-American Caucus Arizona Democratic Party. Numerous community task force and committees. Scout leader and 20 years active duty military (Air Force retired)

What is the one thing you would like to change about Maricopa as a councilmember and why?  I would love to change the access to our community. I think the most significant concern of most residents, including myself, is the extreme limitation of State Route 347. Not just because it is restricted to four lanes but that the entry and exit to feeder roads are dangerous and deadly. I am prayerful that through the efforts of the recently formed Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), we are steps closer to fixing a problem that has harmed many of our citizens and plagued us all enough.

Qualifications? I have hands-on job experience. My qualifications and experience comes from successfully serving the community on council diligently and faithfully for last 3+ years. Additionally, I serve as liaison or vice on Maricopa Unified School District #20, Planning and Zoning Commission, Cultural Awareness Advisory Committee and Youth Council.

Proudest achievement? Connecting the underserved community to city government, encouraging citizens to serve on Boards, Commissions and task forces along with participating in the Maricopa Leadership Academy (MCLA).  I am especially thrilled at the recent successful, youth conducted, Mock City Council meeting, as part of my Councilmember on the Corner outreach program.

On what aspect of city government are you least knowledgeable? If I have a limitation, it is in the Human Resources department. As a director of staff, I recognize that HR is a special department with many moving parts and aspects. I applaud the civil servants’ that manage those duties. It is an ever-changing landscape.


This article appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

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submitted photos

Three men are campaigning to be the next constable of the Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Court. Republicans Bill Griffin and Glenn Morrison meet in the Primary Election, which is Aug. 28. The winner will face off with Democrat Andre LaFond in the General Election in November.

All three men will be among participants in the InMaricopa Town Hall scheduled for Aug. 4 at Maricopa High School’s Performing Arts Center. Learn more about them below.

REPUBLICANS

 

William Lee “Bill” Griffin
Age: 63
Hometown: Huntington Beach, California
Residence: Cobblestone Farms
Occupation: Retired deputy sheriff
Family: Married, father of 5 children; 10 grandchildren
Political background/previous campaigns: none
Previous community service: Boy Scouts of America, (scoutmaster, merit badge counselor), Master Gardner, Community Garden, Make a Wish, Addiction Recovery Program

What are your qualifications to be constable?
Honesty, morals, integrity. Those are the foundations of trust. I have 25 years of service as a full-time deputy sheriff. I come from a long line of law enforcement officers, including my father, both of my grandfathers, great-grandfather and great-uncle. I am uniquely qualified to be the next constable because I have the experience, values and character needed for trust in public service.

What is the most important function of the constable?
The Constable is responsible for serving and executing legal papers issued by the Justice Court. We need someone who is committed to public service, not politics. You need to trust the people you elect. The courts need people they can trust. The constable needs to do the job and do it right. I have the honesty, morals and integrity to do the job right and be committed to this community.

Why do you want to be constable?
I have a commitment to serve the public with honesty and integrity. I’ll never forget the look on the faces of the judge and jury the first time I testified in court. The importance of my word as a peace officer was evident. The same applies to the constable – truth makes all the difference in the world for those using our court system. I want to serve the public and bring integrity back to this office.


Glenn Morrison
Age: 58
Hometown: Tucson
Residence: Rancho El Dorado
Occupation: Realtor and Pinal County Sheriff posse member
Family: Significant other Sharlyn Ryan, also a sister and cousins
Political background/previous campaigns: None
Previous community service: Multiple charities including ASPCA, MDA, Red Cross, Public/community service non-profits and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office

What are your qualifications to be constable?
I have been extensively trained in conflict resolution and de-escalation while serving for seven years as a volunteer Sheriff’s Office member.  I have learned through lifelong experience in business management and law enforcement that it is vital to communicate respect and compassion for all individuals. Therefore, I am uniquely qualified in communication, cooperation, team building and public safety.

What is the most important function of the constable?
The most important aspect of the job will be to gain the public’s trust. Constables are public servants and peace officers who must be meticulous in their duties. Executing the duties of constable as defined by law, tempered with compassion and respect, is paramount.

Why do you want to be constable?
I truly believe we should all make a contribution, and this is the role I am seeking. I volunteer hundreds of hours each year with the Sheriff’s Office and with other organizations because community service is very important to me.  The office of Constable would be a natural progression of my skills, experience, and passion to serve my community.

DEMOCRAT

 

Andre LaFond
Age: 33
Hometown: Aurora, Illinois
Residence: Rancho El Dorado
Occupation: District security manager
Family: My beautiful wife Kaylie, 2 dogs and a cat
Political background/previous campaigns: None
Previous community service: Boy Scouts, CERT

What are your qualifications to be constable?
I am an Eagle Scout, Army veteran, and have spent the last 14 years in private law enforcement. I am trained and experienced in conflict de-escalation without the use of force. As a private law enforcement professional, I must deal with varied situations and dangerous persons in public.

What is the most important function of the constable?
The constable is charged with the duty of issuing out orders of protection. These must be professionally and safely handled without delay as the safety of others may rely on it. This is a vital service for the community.

Why do you want to be constable?
It’s important to me to be of value to the community. It’s why I joined the Army, why I’m in private law enforcement, and why I want to bring my skills and experience to the Office of Constable. I believe that my background and temperament best fit this position.

 

 

Bridger Kimball

 

Bridger Kimball is withdrawing from the legislative race.

The Maricopa resident had been campaigning for the state House of Representatives in District 11. He is a former Maricopa City Councilmember.

Kimball, a Republican, said a group in Saddlebrook challenged the validity of 73 signatures on his petition. The Pinal County Recorder’s Office went through the petitions and tossed about 61 signatures, according to Recorder Virginia Ross.

“I had collected 28 signatures over the minimum, so I ended up 32 short,” Kimball said.

Ross said signatures were invalidated because people signed who were not in the district, were in the wrong party or were not registered to vote. Though he could have challenged, Kimball said it would have required a court appearance and around $7,500 in legal costs.

“So, I decided to drop out,” he said. “I’m filing my withdrawal papers today.”

That leaves incumbent Mark Finchem of Oro Valley, Bret Roberts of Maricopa and Howell Jones of Maricopa on the GOP side and Democrats Hollace Lyon of Tucson, Barry McCain of Casa Grande and Marcela Quiroz of Maricopa in contention for two seats.

The Primary Election is Aug. 28. There will be a Town Hall forum with the candidates Aug. 4 at Maricopa High School’s Performing Arts Center.

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Kyrsten Sinema, Doug Ducey and Steve Gaynor have large receipts for the first quarter in their respective races.

(Candidates ranked by receipts)

Federal Offices
(January 2017-March 2018 receipts)

U.S. Senate

Kyrsten Sinema (D)
Cash balance: $6,688,670
Receipts: $6,552,764
Disbursements: $2,127,728.43
Debts owed: $0

Martha McSally (R)
Cash balance: $2,578,746
Receipts: $3,377,931
Disbursements: $799,184
Debts owed: $0

Kelli Ward (R)
Cash balance: $432,553
Receipts: $1,980,775
Disbursements: $1,600,150
Debts owed: $127,652

Joe Arpaio (R)
Cash balance: $254,938
Receipts: $503,191
Disbursements: $248,252
Debts owed: $0

Deedra Abboud (D)
Cash balance at: $16,423
Receipts: $63,952
Disbursements: $47,530
Debts owed: $98,095

U.S. Congress AZ District 1

Tom O’Halleran (D)
Cash balance: $885,083
Receipts: $1,327,921
Disbursements: $460,129
Debts owed: $0

Tiffany Shedd (R)
Cash balance: $250,583
Receipts: $339,600
Disbursements: $89,016
Debts owed: $150,000

Steve Smith (R)
Cash balance: $244,541
Receipts: $307,778
Disbursements: $63,236
Debts owed: $0

Wendy Rogers (R)
Cash balance: $201,317
Receipts: $238,543
Disbursements: $42,215
Debts owed: $0

Miguel Olivas (D)
Has filed no first-quarter reports

State Offices
(January-March 2018 receipts)

Governor

Doug Ducey (R)
Cash balance: $2,678,448
Cash receipts: $549,965
Cash disbursements: $220,817
Loans received: $0

Steve Farley (D)
Cash balance: $309,010
Cash receipts: $265,192
Cash disbursements: $188,542
Loans received: $0

David Garcia (D)
Cash balance: $184,925.97
Cash receipts: $238,551.58
Cash disbursements: $135,538.67
Loans received: $0

Kelly Fryer (D)
Cash balance: $48,419.19
Cash receipts for: $88,395.30
Cash disbursements: $39,976.11
Loans received: $0

Noah Parker Dyer (I)
Cash balance: $19,380.17
Cash receipts: $35,868.25
Cash disbursements: $18,876.71
Loans received: $46,429.55

Ken Bennett (R)*
Has filed no first-quarter reports

Secretary of State

Steve Gaynor (R)
Cash balance: $557,179
Cash receipts: $623,000
Cash disbursements: $65,821
Loans received: $620,000

Michele Reagan (R)
Cash balance: $451,706
Cash receipts: $75,230
Cash disbursements: $91,055
Loans received: $0

Katie Hobbs (D)
Cash balance: $169,228
Cash receipts: $115,206
Cash disbursements: $62,437
Loans received: $0

Mark Robert Gordon (D)
Cash balance: $40,608
Cash receipts: $54,118
Cash disbursements: $40,203
Loans received: $0

Attorney General

Mark Brnovich (R)
Cash balance: $453,067
Cash receipts: $112,750
Cash disbursements: $43,206.57
Loans received: $0

January Contreras (D)
Cash balance: $162,550
Cash receipts: $124,443
Cash disbursements: $68,443
Lon received: $0

Treasurer

Kimberly Yee (R)
Cash balance: $539,685
Cash receipts: $17,490
Cash disbursements: $17,805
Loans received: $400,000

Mark Manoil (D)*
Cash balance: $5,365
Cash receipts: $9,330
Cash disbursements: $6,142
Loans received: $0

Mark Cardenas (D)
Cash balance: $6,515
Cash receipts: $6,515
Cash disbursements: $0
Loans received: $0

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jonathan Gelbart (R)
Cash balance: $70,778
Cash receipts: $9,375
Cash disbursements: $6,468
Loans received: $25,000

David Schapira (D)*
Cash balance: $59,619
Cash receipts: $100,034
Cash disbursements: $58,290
Loans received: $0

Frank Riggs (R)
Cash balance: $27,386
Cash receipts: $28,790
Cash disbursements: $2,224
Loans received: $46,800

Kathy Hoffman (D)
Cash balance: $11,573
Cash receipts: $11,857
Cash disbursements: $6,220
Loans received: $0

Diane Douglass (R)
Cash balance: $6,004
Cash receipts: $2,405
Cash disbursements: $685
Loans received: $1,300

Mine Inspector

Joe Hart (R)
Cash balance: $544
Cash receipts: $4,090
Cash disbursements: $4,500
Loans received: $1,000

Bill Pierce (D)*
Cash balance: $2,365
Cash receipts: $826
Cash disbursements: $202
Loans received: $0

Corporation Commissions

Kiana Sears (D)*
Cash balance: $101,965
Cash receipts: $104,167
Cash disbursements: $9,232
Loans received: $0

Rodney Glassman (R)
Cash balance: $366,661
Cash receipts: $66,001
Cash disbursements: $36,547
Loans received: $100,000

James O’Connor (R)*
Cash balance: $4,696
Cash receipts: $12,435
Cash disbursements: $13,123
Loans received: $0

Bill Mundell (D)*
Cash balance: $13,158
Cash receipts: $7,530
Cash disbursements: $1,764
Loans received: $0

Sandra Kennedy (D)*
Cash balance: $5,562
Cash receipts: $5,060
Cash disbursements: $118
Loans received: $0

Eric Sloan (R)
Cash balance: $3,094
Cash receipts: $2,465
Cash disbursements: $75
Loans received: $0

Tom Forese (R)
Cash balance: $620,057
Cash receipts: $1,000
Cash disbursements: $2,447
Loans received: $0

Arizona Senate District 11

Ralph Atchue (D)*
Cash balance: $17,283
Cash receipts: $15,720
Cash disbursements: $1,215
Loans received: $0

Vince Leach (R)
Cash balance: $114,272
Cash receipts: $12,775
Cash disbursements: $2,547
Loans received: $0

Arizona House District 11

Hollace (Holly) Lyon (D)
Cash balance: $70,547
Cash receipts: $24,823
Cash disbursements: $4,605
Loans received: $0

Mark Finchem (R)
Cash balance: $23,062
Cash receipts: $5,363
Cash disbursements: $3,253
Loans received: $0

Bret Roberts (R)*
Cash balance: $4,488
Cash receipts: $1,965
Cash disbursements: $305
Loans received: $350

Bridger Kimball (R)
Cash balance: $1,720
Cash receipts: $2,100
Cash disbursements: $2,583
Loans received: $0

Barry McCain (D)*
Cash balance: $0
Cash receipts: $0
Cash disbursements: $0
Loans received: $0

Marcela Quiroz (D)* – interim report
Cash balance: $0
Cash receipts: $0
Cash disbursements: $0
Loans received: $0

Howell W. Jones (R)
Filed no first-quarter reports

*Clean elections candidate


This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Vice Mayor Peg Chapados

Vice Mayor Peg Chapados invites all City Council candidates, or anyone interested in learning more about what serving on City Council involves, to a free 90-minute workshop entitled: Top 10 Lessons Learned on City Council. The workshop is Feb. 27, 7-8:30 p.m., in Council Chambers at City Hall.

“Serving on City Council is a ‘learn the job by doing the job’ endeavor. There aren’t a lot of classes, books or courses that offer ‘how to” instructions,” said Chapados. “What I am sharing are important lessons I’ve learned as a member of City Council.”

Chapados was originally appointed in November 2012. She was elected to a four-year term in 2014 and unanimously voted vice mayor in December 2017. She  serves on the Budget, Finance & Operations (BFO) Council Sub-Committee and as a Council Liaison to the Age-Friendly, Cultural Affairs and soon-to-be Arts Committees, as well as the Board of Adjustment and Planning & Zoning Commission. She is active on the City of Maricopa Housing Needs Assessment Steering Committee, Housing Plan Committee and the Subdivision Ordinance Review Committee. She is also a sustaining Platinum MAP (Maricopa Advocate Program) member.

“There’s more to being on Council than just meetings,” Chapados said. “There are expectations and requests that demand your time. You must find a balance between everything you want or need to do with what your schedule will allow. Knowing all this ahead of time helps prepare you and your family for what lies ahead during the campaign and if you’re elected.”

Topics covered in the workshop are:

  • It’s All About You/Who? – elected officials, politics and public service
  • 24/7/365 O.J.T. – what is this, and how does it impact your position/life
  • Icebergs & Governance – perceptions, scope, and so much more!
  • The “easy” part
  • O.I. – it’s much, much more than what you think
  • SMEs – Who? What? When? Where? Why?
  • Connecting the “DDOTS” – influences & resources for effective and positive decision-making
  • The ART of asking – questions and answers are just the beginning
  • Building something – economic development, or something else?

Chapados will share her experiences and tips as well as some programs and initiatives that she has successfully brought forth during her tenure on Council.

“Now is the time to prepare and learn all you can. If you’re elected, your first decisions happen right after you take the Oath of Office. You begin making decisions and fulfilling your duties at your first meeting. There’s no waiting period and the learning curve begins with every action you take.”

She will also share strategies and steps that candidates can take advantage of today. “I encourage all council candidates to attend, ask questions, and learn what’s involved and expected if you are elected to City Council. The more you can learn now, the better prepared you will be.”

There is no need to register in advance, but if you have questions, you can contact Vice Mayor Chapados at peggy.chapados@maricopa-az.gov.

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Some of the early candidates for the 2018 ballot.

 

It may be an “off-year” election, but a U.S. Senate race is already heating up, a Maricopan is making a bid for Congress, and state and local races may prove to be contentious.

Federal

After a tumultuous 2017, Arizona’s political role on the national stage is likely to continue down the same raucous path during the 2018 mid-term elections.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, who butted heads with President Trump, announced he will not seek re-election, leaving his seat vacant due to what he considers an unsavory political climate among fellow conservatives where there exists a “flagrant disregard for truth or decency.”

“[What] if decency fails to call out indecency,” Flake asked rhetorically during an Oct. 24 speech on the Senate floor. “Were the shoe on the other foot, would we Republicans accept such behavior on display from dominant Democrats?”

In the wake of his announcement, Republicans began to flex their campaign muscles preparing for what’s likely to be a contentious battle to fill Flake’s seat.

Thus far, from the relatively moderate end of the conservative political spectrum, Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally from Arizona’s second legislative district brings a bipartisan approach to hot-button issues such as healthcare and social security.

“While there is a lot of attention on areas of disagreement on healthcare, I am committed to working to find areas of agreement and governing,” McSally said in July 2017 press release.

At the far-right end of that spectrum lay more fiery GOP candidates, including former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and state Sen. Kelli Ward of Arizona’s fifth legislative district, both ardent Trump supporters. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for violating a judge’s order when he “continued to detain and harass” suspected undocumented immigrants who had not been suspected of or charged with a crime.

President Trump pardoned Arpaio in August 2017, and called him an American patriot who “kept Arizona safe.” Both Ward and Arpaio are staunch supporters of Trump’s immigration policy, including his now-defunct ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, save for the recent barring of immigrants from Venezuela and North Korea. McSally defended Trump’s attacks on the press.

In opposition, Democrats are offering their own dose of partisan fervor to tilt the political scales to the left.

Phoenix attorney and Democrat Deedra Abboud is also running to fill Flake’s seat. Abboud is an American-born progressive Muslim who states on her website “we must be free to forge our own futures, to determine our own destinies, and to follow our own faith, including no faith at all.”

Also on the left, fighting for Flake’s seat is Kristen Sinema, a Blue Dog Democrat with moderate liberal views many consider to be “GOP-friendly.” With political clout and actual campaign capital, some see Sinema as a formidable force capable of turning the red seat blue.

In the race for U.S. representative for District 1, conservative Republican state Sen. Steve Smith of Maricopa and other candidates are challenging incumbent Tom O’Halleran, a moderate Democrat who resides near Sedona.

Smith and fellow Republican candidates Kevin Cavanaugh and Tiffany Shedd have their work cut out for them in creating name recognition in a vast district that is nearly equally divided between the majority parties.

O’Halleran, a former Republican and former independent before winning his seat two years ago, has shown a moderate bent in D.C., with a record of bipartisan work with veterans and law enforcement.

 

Arizona

For the governorship, incumbent Doug Ducey is seeking re-election after one term. Campaigning for the job are Democrat state Sen. Steve Farley and Army veteran and educator David Garcia, as well as numerous candidates from other parties and independents.

For Secretary of State, Republican Lori Klein Corbin and Democrats state Sen. Katie Hobbs and attorney Mark Robert Gordon all want incumbent GOP Michele Reagan’s job.

For Attorney General, Republican incumbent Mark Brnovich is running for re-election. He is being challenged by Democrat January Contreras.

Other state-level positions up for grabs are Superintendent of Public Education, State Treasurer, Mine Inspector, and two Corporation Commission seats.

 

Legislative District 11

Republican state Rep. Vince Leach and Democrat Ralph Atchue are running to fill the Senate seat vacated by Republican Steve Smith.

Running for two seats in the House of Representatives, one vacated by Leach seeking the Senate seat, are three Republicans: incumbent Mark Finchem, Maricopa Constable Bret Roberts and former Maricopa City Councilmember Bridger Kimball. Running in opposition are two Democrats: Hollace Lyon and Barry McCain.

 

Pinal County

In Pinal County, incumbent Clerk of Superior Court Amanda Stanford is running unopposed so far.

For Justice of the Peace of the Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Court, incumbent Republican Lyle Riggs has not yet declared his intention to seek re-election.

For Maricopa/Stanfield constable, three men are running for the seat being vacated by Bret Roberts, who seeking the LD 11 representative seat. Declared candidates are Republicans Glenn Morrison and Bill Griffin and Democrat Andre LaFond.

 

Maricopa

Registration for Maricopa City Council candidates opened Jan. 22 and will close April 30. Candidate packets must be returned from April 30 to May 30. Three seats are up for election.

Two seats are available on the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board. Candidate packets will be available from the Pinal County Superintendent’s Office in mid-March. Due date to file is July-August, but those date have not yet been set. The school board election is only on the General Election ballot.


This is an update of a story that appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith talks to members of the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce Oct. 12. Photo by Michelle Chance

Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith and Maricopa Mayor Christian Price urged local business owners to “solve the problem of misinformation out there” regarding transportation Propositions 416 and 417 Thursday morning.

During a Maricopa Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Smith and Price detailed the project’s relevance to Maricopa, including the addition of lanes to State Route 347 and the proposed East-West Corridor.

On Nov. 7, Pinal County residents will vote on a 20-year transportation improvement plan and a half-cent sales tax to fund the projects.

“When we moved to Pinal County, you all signed up to be pioneers,” Price said. “If you are all truly pioneers along with me and you don’t like taxes like I don’t, but you believe in investing in your future, you believe in economic development, you believe in growing — then our jobs are to get out and spread this word to solve the problem of misinformation out there, and there’s a lot of it.”

Smith said comments on blogs and social media made by residents county-wide expressed skepticism in the project. Specifically, Smith said some residents doubted whether the sales tax was legal and if projects benefitting their area would really come to fruition.

Over the summer, Smith said county officials sought opinions from legal counsel on the constitutionality of the tax portion of the propositions, eventually leading to a green light from Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer and other attorneys.

Additionally, Pinal County Public Works Director Andrew Smith said the plan took into consideration 2,500 pages of studies conducted by towns, cities and the county since 2006.

“We’ve done our due diligence and we’ve put together a plan, and now it’s up to the voters,” Smith said.

The improvements benefiting Maricopa are listed on the project’s first phase during fiscal years 2018 through 2022. During the presentation, Price broke down the numbers for the $640 million county project.

“Maricopans are getting almost $100 million of the projects out of the entire county,” Price said. “That’s just a little under one-sixth of the entire funds raised.”

The city is on track to complete 1,200 building projects this year, a sign of positive growth, but also a sign of an even more congested 347, Price said.

Price noted his efforts partnering with stewards of the 347: the Gila River Indian Community, Maricopa County Department of Transportation and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

“It’s about partnerships, it’s about leadership and it’s about bringing money to the table and if we don’t do that we can always fall back on this phrase that I’ve always used my whole career which is that ‘If you do nothing, you get nothing,’ period.”

Little has changed in the commuter traffic on State 347 of 10 years ago (left) and today.

Pinal County residents will have the opportunity to vote in November to approve a sales tax funding infrastructure improvements across the county.

For Maricopa, it could mean several direct improvements including additional lanes on major roads, including State Route 347, the securing of a right-of-way for the future Interstate 11 corridor, and public transportation expansion.

Proposition 417 would fund these projects with a half-cent county transportation excise (sales) tax. The revenue from Prop 417 would provide funding to the updated Regional Transportation Plan – Proposition 416 – which voters will also have the chance to approve in November.

The first phase of the transportation plan includes measures to widen State Route 347 to six lanes north of Maricopa and to create an “East-West Corridor” by widening Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Val Vista Road to four lanes.

Revenue from Prop 417, which officials are estimating to be $641 million over its 20-year lifespan, will be exacted on any business transaction involving the sale of “tangible personal property” in Pinal County.

There is, however, a limitation built into the tax.

The 0.5 percent tax would only be applied to the first $10,000 of income from any given item.

For example, if you purchase a car for $12,000, $2,000 of that would not be subject to the tax since a vehicle is considered a singular item. If you purchase another vehicle for $10,000 and then add $2,000 worth of accessories all $12,000 would be subject to the tax since additions are typically considered separate items.

Maricopa City Councilmember Nancy Smith said she rarely supports tax increases, but she will consider it if it meets three criteria: A rigid timeline, voter approval and specified purpose.

Smith said she supports both Propositions 416 and 417.

“I can’t help but say we have to stand up and help ourselves and apply this half-cent tax, which is equivalent to $88 per family per year,” Smith said.

Pinal County Public Works Director Andrew Smith said it’s important to note these issues will be on a special mail-in ballot only. Last year, he said, when the issue was first poised to be on the ballot, there was some concern with the length of the ballot given the nature of the general election and all the other propositions it contained.

Supporters are working against a “no new taxes” mindset among several Maricopans as well as cynicism about the cooperation of Maricopa County and Gila River Indian Community in widening SR 347 all the way to I-10.

Andrew Smith said he appreciates the concerns specific communities have about the tax and transportation plan and how it affects them directly. However, they should have a macro view of this plan, which will improve the quality of life for everyone who does business, has a job, owns property or lives in Pinal County.

“Try and look at it as a resident of Pinal County,” Andrew Smith said.  “How do you get around? You do go to Maricopa County, you do go to Pima county, so this establishes a regional plan that will enhance the whole county and improve economic development.”

On a much longer timeline, the transportation plan is further considering the potential path of Interstate 11, which Pinal County hopes to bring into its boundaries, just west of Maricopa. Revenue from the tax will help preserve county rights-of-way in the area that could eventually give Maricopa direct access to the major highway.

“What I like about that being on the RTA is that it says our county is looking to influence I-11 and where it comes,” Nancy Smith said. “If we don’t have the money to secure the purchase of right-of way, then our chances become much slimmer at becoming part of that road, so I love that we’re planning ahead in that aspect.”

The Regional Transportation Plan also includes measures to improve public transportation by funding rapid transit services and expanding current transit services such as Park and Ride, Dial-A-Ride and Maricopa’s COMET.

Eligible voters should automatically receive ballots by mail. Voters can confirm they are on the mailing list by calling  the Pinal County Elections Office at 520-866-7550.

http://cagaz.org/RTA/documents/PRTA_Brochure_ReadOnly.pdf


This story appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

Ed Farrell (from left), Tom Shope and Connie Van Driel are supporters of Pinal County Propositions 416 and 417.

By Connie Van Driel, Tom Shope & Edward Farrell

The Phoenix crowd is at it again. The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute is trying to keep Pinal County residents from voting on a plan to provide new roads and freeways to communities across our county. The Institute is suing our elected leaders. And if voters say yes to Propositions 416 and 417, approving a plan to keep traffic moving in Pinal County, the Goldwater Institute is threatening to go to court to overturn the will of the people.

This Phoenix based group wants to take away your vote. And if that doesn’t work they want to take away your roads and freeways.

Not surprisingly, a dark money group from Phoenix called “The Arizona Free Enterprising Club” is touting the Goldwater Institute lawsuit in its recent messaging. The Arizona Free Enterprise Club has been questioned by the FBI for its smarmy political ways.

It’s also not surprising that the loudest voices against Propositions 416 and 417 are coming from Phoenix. These groups don’t care if our friends and neighbors are stuck in traffic. And they apparently are not concerned that traffic jams slow emergency response times for law enforcement, firefighters and ambulances. They don’t care about the economic benefits of Propositions 416 and 417.

When it comes to the huge need for new roads and freeways in Pinal County do you trust out-of-town groups with questionable agendas or the people who live, work and serve in Pinal County?

Propositions 416 and 417 have the endorsements of every mayor in Pinal County, all five of its supervisors, numerous chambers of commerce, our county sheriff and county attorney. It has support from Democrats and Republicans from all over Pinal County.

The plan for new roads and freeways has been crafted over many years with incredible input from city councils, dozens of community meetings and considerable media attention. Indeed, ballots are being mailed to every registered voter in Pinal County for the Nov. 7 election.

This transportation plan creates highways and parkways to help residents go from north to south and east to west. This infrastructure will attract job creators so more of us can live AND work in Pinal County.

We think the final say on whether Pinal County gets new roads and freeways should be with the people of Pinal County, not a handful of lobbyists and lawyers in Phoenix.

But beyond trust look at the plan for yourself. Judge it for yourself. It’s very impressive. Click here to view the plan map. We stand for the plan and for Pinal County, and hope you will too by voting yes on Propositions 416 and 417 on Nov. 7.


Connie Van Driel is a resident of Apache Junction. Tom Shope is the former mayor of Coolidge and owner of Shope’s IGA. Ed Farrell is a Maricopa resident and was the community’s first mayor.

Scott Skinner

By Scott Skinner

It’s a rare moment when average ordinary people can actually place limits on overdevelopment. Voting against Prop 416 affords just such an opportunity.

While ostensibly about new roads, 416 is really about laying the foundation for the urbanization of Pinal. It’s predicated on the idea that we all want growth, that growth is good, and that we’re all willing to subsidize it. Just so we’re clear: growth means more people, more sprawl, higher population densities, and more — not less — congestion. It’s a vision for Pinal that is the polar opposite of its rich rural character.

In other words, 416 is not about roads to make your commute easier, as it’s designed to encourage growth, stimulate development, and increase traffic. And that is why some of the largest donors to the 416 campaign initiative are in fact land developers. They’re chomping at the bit to profit from this once-and-forever-gone opportunity to transform our wild and open spaces into more urban sprawl. So, if you love city life, enjoy subsidizing new residents, enjoy subsidizing developers and large corporations, enjoy big government, and want Pinal to ultimately resemble downtown Phoenix, then by all means support 416. Let your reps know that you can’t wait until every last acre of prickly desert is paved over, along with all the chittering wildlife that lives there. But don’t delude yourself. No matter what you’re told, it’s not possible to strip-develop Pinal while at the same time preserve its rural qualities. And don’t believe any nonsense about growth being “inevitable.” If it was, then they wouldn’t be asking you to pay for it. They wouldn’t be resorting to hard sell scare tactics like, “VOTE 416/417 BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!” — pitched with all the finesse of a used car salesman (or, more likely, insiders that stand to profit considerably from its passage).

How bad do they want this? So bad that they’ve even split the mandate into two votes, so that you can approve development while seemingly avoiding any cost. Rest assured that if you accept the 416 urbanization plan, you will be paying for it, and Prop 417 is only the start. Rest assured that if these roads are built, you will be sharing them with Maricopa and Pima County drivers who won’t have to shoulder the regressive three-quarter-billion-dollar tax burden. I’m sure they’ll give you the right-of-way, and thank you for your generosity. Ultimately, this vote isn’t about roads; it’s about values. It’s about different visions for the future of Pinal. One vision endorses growth and urbanization; the other honors and respects our rustic heritage. Are places like Phoenix so bad? Certainly not. But if Pinal residents wanted to live there, then they wouldn’t have moved to Pinal. Voters who want urban life have endless options. But for those of us who don’t, the choices are dwindling fast.

Pinal’s cowboy country character is what distinguishes it from other counties. It is in fact Pinal’s greatest asset. And once it’s gone, there’s no going back. City life or country life — the choice is yours — at least until there are no more rural places left.


Scott Skinner is a Pinal County resident living in Gold Canyon.

Scott Kelly (left) and Bob Marsh are running an amicable campaign for a seat on the Maricopa Flood Control District Board.

A local flood control authority is reconciling changes to state election laws as its October special-election approaches Wednesday.

The Maricopa Flood Control District is holding a special election Oct. 4 to fill the seat of board member Owen Kelly, whose term is expiring this year. However, recent changes to election regulations are already having a bearing on the outcome.

Prior to Jan. 1, 2016, it was acceptable for representatives of businesses and trusts who own land in the flood protection district to cast ballots in those special elections. Now, the law has changed to allow only property owners to cast ballots.

As a result of the changes, the MFCD states, “representatives of trusts, corporations, partnerships and estates that owned property within the district became ineligible to vote in district elections.”

Likewise, only members of the eligible electorate are allowed to run for positions on the board. This means Kelly, as a non-property owner, is not allowed to defend his seat.

“It’s complicated,” said Dan Frank, president of MFCD. “I’m not happy about it. My property is in trust, and I can’t vote in this election even though I am president of the board.”

Candidates for Kelly’s seat are Scott Kelly and Bob Marsh.

MCFD Manager David Alley is concerned about how the limitations are potentially disenfranchising people who pay property taxes, whether through a trust or business, who are now ineligible to vote.

“If you own property in the town, you’re supporting the flood district through your property taxes so you should be able to vote and you should be able to run,” Alley said.

The change happened, Alley said, because a law that guaranteed those types of taxpayers the right to vote expired and state lawmakers didn’t have to forethought to replace it.

Alley said the district is in the process of coordinating with other flood control authorities and state legislators to get the law fixed before the next election cycle in 2019.

The decision is a “no-brainer,” he said alluding to the fact that he couldn’t foresee any opposition to a legislative fix. But, he added, “you never know, because with politics anything can happen.”

2017 Voting Requirements  

  1. You must be a registered voter in Arizona.
  2. You must own property within MFCD boundaries, and your individual name must be listed on the property deed.
  3. The taxes on that property must be paid and current.
  4. Ballots can be cast in person Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the clubhouse at Villages at Rancho El Dorado, 20991 N. Butterfield Parkway.

MaricopaFCD.com

 

Meet the Candidates

Scott Kelly

Occupation: Senior design engineer at Electrical District No. 3

Years in Maricopa: 49

Why are you running for this office? My interest in the vacant seat on the Maricopa Flood Control District Board stems from a genuine interest in future development in the Maricopa area both personally and professionally. My position at ED3 is directly related to residential and commercial progress. It would be of great value for me to have knowledge and participation with on-going expansion.

What in your background qualifies you for this office? I am a lifelong resident of Maricopa. I graduated from Maricopa High School in 1986 and continued my education at the University of Arizona graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. I strongly feel that my lifelong residency and ongoing employment in the Maricopa area make me an ideal candidate.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the district and how do you propose the board should overcome that challenge? it is important to me that development progresses with minimal negative impact on the residents and businesses throughout our community.

 

Bob Marsh

Occupation: Retired engineer and manager

Years in Maricopa: 7 (Years in Arizona: 25)

Why are you running for this office? The responsibility of the MFCD Board is to maintain the Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa washes through the city of Maricopa and the rest of the district south of the city. That job involves engineering, financial management, contracts management, and project management. In my career, I’ve worked in all these areas, and I feel I can do a good job for the district.

What in your background qualifies you for this office? I’m an MIT graduate engineer, and have worked for several decades solving problems and managing projects for major companies and government agencies.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the district and how do you propose the board should overcome that challenge? I see the main challenge to be the ongoing maintenance needed in the washes, dealing with the invasive and rapid growth of salt cedars and other bushes and trees and continued erosion of the channel banks from water washing in from neighboring subdivisions. This challenge should be handled with frequent inspections of all channels, businesslike project bid and proposal practices, and follow-up inspections. If the channels – especially the bridges under the railroad and under SR238 – get clogged with plants, trees, and trash, then when we do get a flood, the water could back up and potentially to serious damage to homes and property. The MFCD Board is a small board with a small budget and a very limited job to do, but staying on top of the job of keeping the channels clear is important to homeowners, business, and farms in the district. In this election, we are fortunate to have two capable and qualified candidates running, both with engineering backgrounds, and I feel that whoever wins the open board seat, the district will be well-served.


This story appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

County Attorney Kent Volkmer and Sheriff Mark Lamb are speaking out in favor of two propositions on the Nov. 7 ballot.

By Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb

Pinal County is a great place to live and work, but the challenges created by our current roads and freeways not only make commuters late for dinner, these problems also make our county less safe.

This new plan widens the 347 from 4 to 6 lanes and provides a new highway between Casa Grande and Maricopa, reducing reliance on I-10.

Propositions 416 and 417 would create $640 million worth of new roads and freeways in Pinal County. In addition to solving current and future traffic problems all over Pinal County, this project will also help reduce response times for sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, police officers and ambulances.

Minutes matter for first responders. Lives are put in danger when an ambulance driver is stuck in traffic. Public safety is threatened when a sheriff’s deputy is delayed in getting to a call for help. Lives and property are in harm’s way when firefighters have to contend with traffic jams.

The new infrastructure created by Propositions 416 and 417 will also will help to reduce the number of fatal crashes in our county, which have been increasing significantly in recent years.

Let us share with you one example.

Maricopa doesn’t have a major regional hospital. Residents in need must be transported to Casa Grande or Chandler. So what happens when Highway 347 is jammed up along with Interstate 10? This new plan widens the 347 from 4 to 6 lanes and provides a new highway between Casa Grande and Maricopa, reducing reliance on I-10. Go to www.yeson416and417.com and check out all the roads and freeways Propositions 416 and 417 will provide. From Apache Junction to Mammoth and Superior and SaddleBrooke to San Tan and Florence, the improvements are dramatic.

And while we speak to the public safety improvements, think of all the other improvements to your quality of life. Not being late for your kids or grandkids plays or games. Getting home for dinner on time. Not being stuck on I-10 forever. Enjoying open roads rather than clogged arterials. This vote on Nov. 7 is a boon for Pinal County commerce and your quality of life.

We are proud to join nearly two dozen community leaders in filing ballot statements in support of Propositions 416 and 417. Supporters include mayors from every corner of Pinal County as well as Democrats, Republicans, elected officials and business leaders.

This carefully crafted transportation plan addresses transportation concerns in every corner of the county, allowing motorists faster and safer ways to travel north to south and east to west. There is also funding for Dial-a-Ride services that help seniors and the disabled.

You don’t have to be a lawyer or a lawman to realize our current roads and freeway system needs some serious infrastructure. Props 416 and 417 provide that infrastructure for a half-cent increase in the sales tax. The average cost per resident is less than 25 cents a day.

Please join us in voting yes on Propositions 416 and 417. End gridlock, improve public safety, and give Pinal County the roads and freeways it deserves.

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Julia Gusse will again be on the Maricopa City Council, probably joined by sitting Vice Mayor Marvin Brown. Dan Frank and incumbent Bridger Kimball are trailing.

With a large number of ballots counted and votes tallied the city of Maricopa appears set for change in the coming years.

This election cycle, Maricopans had the chance to vote on four items that have the potential to alter the framework of their city. On the ballot were two local initiatives seeking approval and two city council seats needing to be filled.

In the race for the two council seats Vice Mayor Marvin Brown will apparently remain on the council.

If Brown maintains his lead he said he is happy to continue working to address issues concerning transportation and the flood plan, and that he will do whatever he can to bolster economic growth in the city.

“I’m honored and very grateful for their [Maricopa residents] support,” Brown said. “I look forward to working with the mayor and council and keep trying to bring as much business to Maricopa as we possibly can these next four years.”

Former council member Julia Gusse grabbed a strong early lead overall four candidates and is maintaining her ground with more than 900 votes over third place candidate Dan Frank. Gusse, too, is happy to return to the council and is elated that Maricopa residents have again chosen her.

“We’re excited, we worked hard and obviously the numbers show that,” Gusse said. “I’d like to make sure and get in a thank you for [voters’] support and having the confidence in me.”

Current council member Bridger Kimball is down nearly 1,200 votes behind Julia Gusse, and more than 500 votes behind Vice Mayor Brown.

Poll numbers show one of the initiatives, Prop. 415, the city’s new General Plan, will pass by a landslide of 81 percent. Maricopa Mayor Christian Price said because of their routine nature, city plans usually don’t see much opposition from constituents.

“You never take anything for granted in elections,” Price said. “But at the end of the day it’s a fairly benign thing.”

The second initiative, the education budget override for Maricopa Unified School District, started off behind but only by a slim margin of 96 votes. Maricopa City Council member and champion of the override Vincent Manfredi pointed out the city has attempted to pass similar overrides in the past but they have never started off so close.

“The override itself has been bombarded in Maricopa,” Manfredi said. “It failed numerous times in the past and it failed by a large margin.”

The override now appears to be leaning toward passage with a lead of more than 900 votes.

According to Arizona Secretary of State Director of Communications Matt Roberts there are nearly 53,500 outstanding provisional and early ballots in Pinal County being tallied.

Republican Mark Lamb has had a consistent margin over Democrat Kaye Dickson all night.

Mark Lamb has maintained a big lead over his Democratic rival in his campaign to become the next sheriff of Pinal County.

A Republican in a heavily Republican county, Lamb has 56 percent of the vote to Kaye Dickson’s 44 percent in the early vote count.

The current sheriff, Paul Babeu, is not having the same level of support in the District 1 Congressional race. With 73 percent of the statewide vote in, Democrat Tom O’Halleran of Sedona leads with 50 percent of the vote. Even in Pinal County, O’Halleran led during the early hours of the vote count, with Babeu only moving past him late in the night.

County voters have overwhelmingly gone for Donald Trump for president (56 percent) and John McCain as U.S. senator (55 percent).

Arizona Early Results (73% reporting)

President
Donald Trump 840,036 – 49.4%
Hillary Clinton 776,377 – 45.66%
Gary Johnson 64,326 – 3.78%
Jill Stein 19,569 – 1.15%

U.S. Senate
John McCain 892,734 – 53.10%
Ann Kirkpatrick 696,325– 43.41%
Gary Swing 92,313 – 5.49%

U.S. Congress District 1
Paul Babeu 74,332 – 44.18%
Tom O’Halleran 84,479 – 50.21%
Ray Parrish 9,449 – 5.62%

Prop 205 (legalized recreational marijuana)
Yes 804,725 – 47.76%
No 880,353 – 52.24%

Prop 206 (minimum wage)
Yes 994,303 – 59.38%
No 680,234 – 40.62%

State Senate District 11
Steve Smith 36,335 – 58.07%
Ralph Atchue 26,238 – 41.93%

State House District 11 (elect 2)
Mark Finchem 32,677 – 35.89%
Corin Hammond 27,588 – 30.30%
Vince Leach 30,780 – 33.81%

Pinal County Sheriff
Mark Lamb 33,333
Kaye Dickson 25,674

Pinal County Assessor
Douglas Wolf 33,721 – 59%
Jacqueline Minto 23,648 – 41%

Maricopa City Council (elect 2)
Julia Gusse 2,051
Marvin Brown 1,900
Dan Frank 1,690
Bridger Kimball 1,482

Prop 415 (Maricopa General Plan)
Yes 3,593 – 81%
No 848 – 19%

MUSD Override
Yes 2,276 – 49%
No 2,372 – 51%

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Pat Lairson

By Pat Lairson

By now, you may have already voted or are about to. The question so many are asking is, “How will the election effect the housing market?” There is no doubt the next president’s economic and employment policies will be a key influence on the health of the nation at large and the price you may pay for a mortgage.

A recent survey reveals increasing numbers of Americans believe the 2016 presidential election will have a negative effect on the housing market.

The survey, by national real estate firm Redfin, shows 27 percent of homebuyers believe the election will hurt real estate. The poll was conducted May 17-23 and includes responses from 975 homebuyers in 36 states, Redfin says.

On the flip side though, 63 percent of respondents believe the election will have no or little effect on the housing market. The real estate market is robust in Arizona right now. Resale and new-build sales are moving, and we have a nice even market between buyers and sellers in Maricopa.

Of course, a lack in consumer confidence or a substantial increase in interest rates or unemployment could slow the market and maybe even create higher inventory, which could create a stronger buyer’s market.

In Maricopa, there is no reason to lack confidence about buying a home at this time. I say this from a very realistic perspective and by analyzing the market at large. Even if there is a mortgage rate increase after the election, it will likely be a slow increase over time. A mortgage can still be bought for under market rent, and even though lenders are still strict on lending guidelines, there are various down payment assistance programs available.

Home prices have increased, but not at an inflated pace, and Maricopa still averages about 40 percent less per square foot than homes in neighboring Chandler.

We have 323 active listings available on the market. Almost 25 percent of those listings for sale are in the 55+ subdivision of Province. At the time of this writing there are 215 homes pending or under contract waiting to close. Between Sept. 12 and Oct. 13, 139 homes closed in Maricopa at an average of $86.92 per square foot. This means there is about a two-month supply of inventory.

The new build market is also moving forward with many empty lots in subdivisions being filled.


Pat Lairson, Realtor
The Maricopa Real Estate Company
520-280-5862
PatLairsonRealtor@gmail.com

Barry Goldman

By Barry R. Goldman

Law enforcement isn’t about politics – it’s about public service, taking risks and saving lives. It’s about getting bad people off the streets, out of our neighborhoods and protecting our citizens, no matter who they are or what they believe. It’s about helping people.

The election for sheriff should be about choosing the candidate with the right experience, education, ability and stamina to manage a very task-oriented agency and do the right thing for our residents.

Each voter might consider him/herself part of a candidate’s interview committee. We get to decide who gets hired by a majority vote based on our own criteria of the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and leadership ability.

My own criteria for the job might read something like this:

“I’m looking to hire a candidate for the CEO of a law enforcement agency that pays well, has good benefits, and requires adherence to a set of structured policies and provisions. The candidate needs good moral character and good sense to lead an organization of 600 or so understaffed and overworked employees, some of whom direct and control up to 1,500 inmates, many of whom are dangerous characters. The candidate must understand and relate to the dangers faced by subordinates. The successful candidate has management skills to see that tasks are assigned and completed, that customer service is at it’s highest level, and promises made are promises delivered. The candidate must be educated, experienced and forthright enough not to make pie in the sky promises resulting in under-delivery or sloppy execution.  

“The candidate must have a vision and plan to make the organization increasingly successful.The candidate must be a straight shooter who can develop as well as execute such a plan taking responsibility for it, good results or otherwise.  Excuses for poor past performance, dependency on others to do tasks, and political connections to enable the candidate to squeak by are undesirable traits. 

“The candidate cannot be a fool or someone who can be manipulated by others with an agenda.  The candidate must be able to take charge, make revisions as necessary, and live within a given budget.  The most qualified candidate will have a truly positive, “can do” attitude and the least amount of baggage and questionable behavior in their past and present.  The candidate must have sufficient experience.  The candidate must operate under heavy criticism and have their answers and actions second guessed by the public, press and politicians on a regular basis.”  

Law enforcement is about serving the public. The office of sheriff should be occupied by a person who understands the complexity of the job.  It’s about officers or deputies taking a call and knowing that it may possibly be their last.  It’s about fellowship, working together and knowing whom to trust. It’s about good times and bad, trying to minimize the hurt and damage that others have caused innocents, remaining professional, while at the same time emphasizing with the victims. It’s about preventing casualties and getting those who cause havoc to places where they can do little or no harm. It’s about being part of and supporting our communities.

It’s not about a “D” or an “R”.


Barry R. Goldman is a resident of Maricopa.

Incoming Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer talks about why he came to Arizona from Ohio.

Soon to be the new Pinal County Attorney, Kent Volkmer sat down with InMaricopa to talk about the campaign against fellow Republican Lando Voyles, changes he wants to make in the office, how he will work with a new sheriff and his opinion of state Prop 205. Volkmer has been in private practice in Pinal County for nine and half years. He won the GOP primary in an upset and has no competition in the Nov. 8 General Election.

The 2016 General Election Candidate Debate in Maricopa is set for Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center.

 

Candidates have been invited from Congressional District 1, Pinal County Sheriff, Pinal County Assessor, Legislative District 11 and Maricopa City Council.
They will be asked questions by a moderator. Questions from the public can be submitted before and during debate for screening. Questions can be emailed to Raquel@InMaricopa.com and AGaub@TriValleyCentral.com by 5 p.m. Friday.
The event is sponsored by Maricopa Chamber of Commerce, InMaricopa, Maricopa Monitor and UltraStar Multi-tainment Center.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Cones Cafe will sell coffee, tea and breakfast items.
After the debate, there will be time for a meet-and-greet with the candidates upstairs at Luxe Lounge until about 10:30 a.m.

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Photo courtesy City of Maricopa

The City of Maricopa General Plan will be on the Nov. 8 General Election Ballot as Proposition 415. By state statute, municipalities must update their general plans every 10 years. This is Maricopa’s first update. Maricopa plans to use information gathered for its 2040 Vision Strategic Plan to implement its general plan.

 

GROWTH AREA ELEMENT
Maricopa expects to see its population grow at a pace of about 4 percent per year. The biggest concentration of growth is expected along John Wayne Parkway, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and State Route 238, according to Maricopa Association of Governments forecasts.

 

population-projections-graph
LAND USE ELEMENT
Maricopa is aiming for a village-style design in its development and the land-use element of the general plan is the most comprehensive section. That includes higher-intensity mixed use in the “village” centers becoming less intense moving away to low-density residential areas. Locations identified as future village centers are the Heritage District and the City Center (including the Central Arizona College campus). The Heritage District is also a redevelopment area. There is a goal to create more diverse housing in the city.

 

land-use-graph
ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING
This section addresses air quality, floodways, energy and water resources. Listed objectives include amending the city code to allow enforcement of dust/pollution standards and establishing regulations for cattle yards. The plan is also to encourage renewable energy and remove barriers to solar applications.

 

SAFETY ELEMENT
This section encompasses the police and fire departments as well as preparation for natural or manmade disasters. Land-use planning and community design are factored in as hazard mitigation.

 

CIRCULATION & CONNECTIVITY ELEMENT
The city’s Transportation Master Plan is a key component of this section. The general plan’s goals are to create a better commuter experience and connections to other cities, an adequate intra-city road network, an efficient transit system and safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT
The general plan describes Maricopa as “under-served in most every industry group.” Among several objectives listed in the plan are connecting education to industry needs, training entrepreneurs, improving infrastructure, recruiting businesses and industries that are missing and conducting an employment study.

 

employment-industries-graph
sales-tax-industries-graph

PARKS, RECREATION & OPEN SPACE ELEMENT
City policy already requires residential developers to provide open space and parks. The goals of the new general plan are to make sure those areas are accessible for all and meet the requirements of the Safe Routes grant. The plan is also to create a multi-use trail system along the Santa Rosa Wash and create more pocket parks in under-served areas.

 

Parks & Trails Open Space Master Plan Standards
Type                              Acres
Grand Park                   200+
Village Park                 80-200
Community Park          20-79
Neighborhood Park    10
Special Use Park        variable
HOA Parks                   0.33-2
Source: City of Maricopa

 

PUBLIC BUILDINGS, FACILITIES & SERVICES ELEMENT
This wide-ranging section of the general plan includes maintaining an array of public facilities. That includes fire stations, the library, the court building and Copper Sky. But it also involves expanding healthcare services and improving Santa Cruz Wash.

 

Objectives for Removing Maricopa from the Floodplain
•    Create flood control/drainage master plan
•    Implement a floodplain improvement strategy
•    Engage regional partners
•    Remove SR 347 corridor and southern Maricopa from Vekol Wash floodplain
•    Complete design of North Santa Cruz Wash
•    Apply for grants
•    Become city’s floodplain administrator
•    Take control of Maricopa Flood Control District
•    Review prior approved-but-not constructed development plans

 

See more details in the draft plan at http://bit.ly/2bdpq9j


This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa. Watch for a detailed breakdown of the major elements starting next week on this website.

Rich Vitiello

By Rich Vitiello

Since this will probably be my last campaign editorial before election day, please let me remind you of some of the differences between myself and the incumbent. Firstly, I haven’t lied, deceived or told any half-truths and don’t intend to, either. Any claims or statements that I’ve made in my campaign have been based on factual research. I’ve run an honest campaign.

Where folks wanted to get to know me and hear my views on a subject, they got it. I haven’t couched anything behind political double-talk, deception or evasion. I believe in transparent, open and honest government. Where I have presented issues, I based them on factual research, not something conjured up out of a rumor mill. I don’t base my opinions on speculation – I look for the facts and try to understand the issues as best I can. Where I have an opinion, it’s clearly that – my opinion.

I look forward to hearing others’ opinions, as well. Casting an opinion in stone before all the facts are in can be a dangerous proposition. I respect others for their opinions. I’m willing to hear what others have to say and look forward to learning more. It’s the right thing to do.

I’ve run my own campaign. Although campaign donations are nice (and I thank the folks who donated), I’ve funded the majority of my campaign out of my own pocket. I don’t owe anyone anything, especially out of county attorneys, their clients or developers. I’m in this race to represent the people who live here, not to do the bidding of out-of-area campaign donors. Once elected, I’m not going to tailor my vote to suit some campaign donor. My integrity means too much for me to sell out.

I am grateful for the endorsement and friendship I have developed with Sheriff Babeu. Contrary to what some others might say, he’s a great guy and a good friend to have. As he is running for a congressional seat, he won’t be our county’s sheriff next year, but my wish is that he succeeds in his election bid.

With this new board, and the folks I’ve come to get to know in the Sheriff’s Office and other Pinal County departments, I will work hard as part of a team. The loss of the ICE contract put the county budget in the hole by some $10 million; if we can get that contract back, it will help a long way to allowing our county to move forward with restaffing public safety positions that are open and doing the things our government needs to do.

I’m going to look for other ways to streamline our county government and stretch the taxpayer dollar. I don’t like fiscal waste and will do everything I can to make sure your tax money is used efficiently.

I don’t believe in grandstanding and taking credit for things that I don’t do. If an idea is brought to my attention that would make government run smoother or more efficiently, I will be happy to give credit where credit is due. People are one of our most valuable resources, and with everyone working together as a team, more can be accomplished. I want to see good things happen.

There are only so many hours in the day, and time is limited. I know that I will have to allocate my time according to priorities, but my priorities will always be what is best for the people in Pinal County, specifically District 4. Going to out-of-county meetings where the supervisor can mingle and strut around like a proud peacock is not an efficient use of time. I’ll look into attending certain events by video conference or other means as much as possible (after all, what’s the Internet for?). I’m looking forward to doing, being proactive in resolving issues, not just talking about them.

There are a lot of issues that have been raised during the campaign, including public safety, the flood zone, business development, marijuana and other things. I will do my best to distinguish myself by being true to my word. After all, provided I get elected, you will be my boss and you will judge my performance.

I will have an open door policy. My cell phone number is (480) 358-8051. I don’t intend on changing it. I plan on having regular website updates and hours at the Sheriff’s substations in Saddlebrooke and Arizona City. The office in Maricopa will also be open on a regular basis. Folks can come in, have a cup of coffee, and discuss what’s on their minds. If folks can’t make it during business hours, I’ll make arrangements to meet with them. It’s important that people connect, and the only way to do that is by both parties making an effort. I promise I’ll do my part.

I’ll say it again: I’m looking forward to a brighter future. I hope you are, too. I promise to work hard for you. Please vote for Rich Vitiello for Pinal County Supervisor. It’s time for a change.


Rich Vitiello is a candidate for Pinal County supervisor in District 4 and a Maricopa resident.

Councilmember Nancy Smith

By Nancy Smith

Education funding should be resolved at the state level. It is the state’s responsibility to fund Arizona’s education needs and provide superb education that allows us to compete at the same level in our nation and globally. Pressure should be placed appropriately, at the state level to solve this problem.

There are two methods that would resolve funding education in Arizona without raising property taxes.

1. Transfer federal owned land to Arizona:

In 1914 states were promised that federally owned land would be transferred to the states in which they exist (including surface rights, water, timber and mineral rights). This transfer has not happened in the West states the same as it has in the East states. As an example, in New York 97 percent of lands are under private ownership and generating property tax, and only 17 percent of Arizona lands are in private hands. With this record, is there any doubt as to why Arizona struggles with having the funds for education?

In 2015, some members of the Arizona Legislature met to request the transfer of federal lands to the State of Arizona for long term education funding. If this were to happen, as promised, it would create a larger state land trust and better fund education. Nearly half of the land in Arizona is owned by the federal government and results in a loss of $2 billion per year to taxpayers. If controlled by the state, Arizona would have choices in how to maximize the land to increase funding for education.

2. Arizona State Land Trust:

As we have learned over the past year with Prop 123, Arizona has a State Land Trust where the investments proceeds are used to fund education. What was not mentioned very much during this discussion was Arizona’s own ‘dragging their feet’ to sell land in this trust to put more land into private ownership. Selling land within the state trust would be helpful in two ways; 1) Proceeds of the land sale would increase the value of the State Land Trust allowing for an increase of funding to education. 2) Private ownership increases property tax which could be available for funding education.

These two movements would make a significant change to education in Arizona, far more than an override, without raising property taxes.

I would like to see our school boards, teacher unions and Override committee members participating in the American Lands Council to make these two transfer types happen and putting heavy pressure on our state and federal legislators to make this happen soon. This would be a permanent solution and not one where the public is continually asked to increase their property tax to fund what the state should be already be funding.

I believe our Maricopa City Council should have a liaison participating in the American Lands Council as well. If re-elected, I will volunteer my time to participate in this council and fight for the transfer of federal land in Arizona to the state.

Lastly, when asked whether I support the current MUSD Override at the city council debate, I sincerely answered, informing the public that I have been in discussions with the override chairman regarding some concerns that I and members of the public, who have shared their concerns with me, still have. Answering the current question, “Do you support the Maricopa Unified School District override?” in one word: Undecided.


Nancy Smith is a member of the Maricopa City Council.

Candidates for three seats on the Maricopa City Council are (from right) Joshua Babb, Marvin Brown, Dan Frank, Julia Gusse, Bridger Kimball, Leon Porter (all photos by Tyler Loveall) and Nancy Smith (photo by William Lange).

Seven people are running for three seats on the Maricopa City Council. The Primary Election is Aug. 30. Early voting begins Aug. 3.

Joshua Babb

Joshua Babb. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Joshua Babb. Photo by Tyler Loveall

Age: 30
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
Years in Maricopa: Four
Family: Wife (Charsty), four daughters (Akira, Aurora, Ariella, Abigail)
Education: I have a certification in retail sales management, project management and several information technology certifications.
Professional background: Strategic National Consultant for Verizon, responsible for project management on a national level from concept to implementation.
Service organizations: Maricopa Fire Department Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Maricopa Amateur Radio Association, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boy Scouts of America
Like most about Maricopa: I like how close we are as a community, and how we come to each other’s aid in times of need. Unfortunately, this is rare in many communities today. I also enjoy our community events such as the Great American Fourth of July and the Salsa Festival, and the small-town feel that comes along with them – not to mention that Maricopa never loses a contest!
Like least about Maricopa: The 347 commute, high utility rates, lack of employment opportunity within the city.
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: Future is now
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Fishing, community events and community volunteer work
Favorite sports team: I don’t have a favorite sports team. Live long and prosper!
Favorite quote: “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” – Alexander Hamilton

Why are you running for city council?
I want to bring my ideas for ways we can lower the cost of living in our great city. I want to promote more jobs, and not just in retail sales. I would like to promote the growth of light industry so our residents have a choice not to commute elsewhere.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them? The first concern I would have a strong approach on is economic development. Maricopa needs more jobs inside the city. I will focus on bringing companies into Maricopa that will provide good-paying, full time jobs. With more companies in Maricopa we will also alleviate the 347 congestion. Second, utilities. While most Maricopa households struggled to survive the current economic downturn, Global Water chose to increase rates and Electrical District 3 acted to suppress solar energy by limiting the number of solar installations in Maricopa. As a member of council I will challenge the utilities whenever there is a rate increase.

Explain your approach to government spending.
My approach is that of a fiscal conservative. I believe cities, just like citizens, should maintain a balanced budget and that means not spending more than they take in. Also, by maintaining city services in balance, saving and building to our 2040 vision, we can maintain low tax rates for years to come.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
I will be a voice for the community on economic development, road improvements, flood planning and utilities.


Marvin L. Brown

Marvin Brown. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Marvin Brown. Photo by Tyler Loveall

Age: 81
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Years in Maricopa: 10
Family: Wife, three daughters
Education: Urban Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison; American Institute of Banking, Wayne State University
Professional background: Management
Hobbies: Reading historical biographies
Service organizations: Kiwanis Club, Lafayette Park, Travelers Aide Society, Chairman of Detroit Non-Profit Housing Corp.
Like most about Maricopa: Warmth and friendliness of its people
Like least about Maricopa: One way in and one way out
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: On upward trajectory
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Cards and games; shooting pool with friends.
Favorite sports team: Spurs and Steelers
Favorite quote: “It’s possible that people will overlook outright brutality sooner than they forgive undisguised contempt.” – Christopher Hitchens

Why are you running for city council?
I have been involved with a number of organizations and projects, which positively impact Maricopa. I would like to see the completion of the grade separation, which I have been involved with for eight years.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them?  Maricopa needs a much greater footprint in major retail and light industry.  I supported the expansion of our Economic Development Department, which will allow greater outreach to those industries.   Maricopa also has a major flood plain issue, which will stymie development.  I serve on the lower Santa Cruz River Alliance along with 30 other stake holders, including three tribal communities, to deal with that issue.  We need to prevent the kind of flooding which occurred in 1983 and 1993 which devastated Maricopa.

Explain your approach to government spending.
I think any government, federal, state or local, should be prudent in the expenditure of public money. I do believe, however, that you should never be so frugal as to prevent proper services being provided.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
Every issue.


Dan Frank

Dan Frank. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Dan Frank. Photo by Tyler Loveall

Age: 49
Hometown: San Bernardino, California
Years in Maricopa: 11
Family: Wife Tina, daughters Andrea, Sabra, Chantelle and Sharlee
Education: B.S. Civil Engineering, Arizona State University
Professional background: 20-plus years as civil engineer; 16 years working in the corporate world, vice president 2008-12; works as consultant of own company (DCF Consulting) providing a range of civil engineering solutions.
Hobbies: Mountain biking, hiking, gardening
Service organizations: Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (since 2001, past president), Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Mountain Rescue Posse (since 2001, inactive during campaign), Habitat for Humanity
Like most about Maricopa: The small-town feel, camaraderie and sense of pride!
Like least about Maricopa: The lack of adequate bike and pedestrian routes within the city
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: Steadily moving forward
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Playing softball or pickleball at Copper Sky
Favorite sports team: I am too busy to have a favorite team, but I do enjoy going to a Suns or Cardinals game from time-to-time.
Favorite quote: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Why are you running for city council?
I have a heart for serving the community and I want to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that we are not only doing things right but we are doing the right things. My experience, background and qualifications are well suited for this time in our community’s growth.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them?  As a civil engineer, my focus is finding solutions, and the floodplains are areas of concern.  Not just the major watercourses, like the Santa Cruz, but neighborhoods like Desert Cedars, Maricopa Meadows, Tortosa and the Heritage District need affordable, viable solutions to completely removed them from the floodplain. I have already identified possible solutions.

Improving and expanding transportation linkages to the valley is also a chief concern.  This was identified as a goal of the City’s 2040 Vision (which I was chairman of). I believe my background and relationships as a civil engineer will help bring about implementable solutions.

Explain your approach to government spending.
In regards to budgeting, I am conservative. I believe in a balanced budget, not only in my personal life but in business and government as well. We should strive to avoid debt whenever possible, not incur additional debt without thorough research and justifications on the project purpose, cost and benefits.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
As president of the Flood Control District, I can help facilitate rapid improvements to the floodplains that impact Maricopa.


Julia Romero Gusse

Julia Gusse. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Julia Gusse. Photo by Tyler Loveall

Age: 46
Hometown: East Los Angeles, California
Years in Maricopa: 12
Family: Married with three children, three siblings (two of which reside in Maricopa with their families), in-laws in Minnesota and parents/extended family in Southern California.
Education: BA (California State University), MA (University of Arizona) and applying for a Ph.D. program (Arizona State University).
Professional background: Veterans Upward Bound Program Coordinator at Arizona State University. Former employee of the City of Maricopa and a former councilmember (2010–2014). Licensed AZ Realtor since 2005 and currently with The Maricopa Real Estate Company. Former sixth grade teacher at MUSD.
Hobbies: Real estate; everything from buying and selling to maintaining and remodeling rental properties.
Service organizations: Founder/President of VetIT, Inc., a Maricopa based nonprofit veteran 501(c)3 organization. Former commander of Maricopa American Legion Post #133. Former president of Maricopa American Legion Auxiliary Unit 133. Volunteer with Girl Scouts of America for over 15 years, a Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation Board Member and currently the State of Arizona Selective Service System Board Member (aka the Draft Board).
Like most about Maricopa: The peaceful small town feel and the people; the teachers, coaches, volunteers, PD/FD/City employees and all the many friends and family we have in Maricopa.
Like least about Maricopa: Arizona State Route 347; we need a better solution than the “one way in and one way out.”
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: Optimistically prosperous community
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Spending time with my family and friends; I especially like the Ak-Chin Circle (movies, dinning, bowling) just down the road from my home.
Favorite sports team: American Legion Post #133 Baseball team and the Maricopa High School Baseball teams.
Favorite quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Why are you running for city council?
I am running for the privilege to continue where I left off. I say it is a privilege because the people of Maricopa elect seven individuals to represent over 47,000 residents. I am a resilient and resourceful veteran with the moxie to take on difficult issues and find reasonable solutions.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them? Maricopa’s major concerns are utilities and lack of jobs.  This is a bedroom community, and unless our elected officials start working for us, this is all we will ever be.  In the last two years since I have been off council, our elected officials did not fight to reduce utilities.  On the contrary, they approved a trash service rate increase and allowed ED3 to take credits from future solar users. The strongest approach is to work with the utility companies in ways that our residents and new businesses will benefit in order to keep and attract future residents/employers.

Explain your approach to government spending.
Is anyone worried about the city’s $15 million (possibly more) contribution to the 347 overpass that is/will be owned by ADOT? Did you know that there was a $180K solution to the Amtrak passenger loading/unloading obstruction? I want to bring transparency and common sense to our city’s government spending.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
All issues. I have been the voice of leadership when many remained silent on issues that mattered to the people.


 

Bridger Kimball

Bridger Kimball. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Bridger Kimball. Photo by Tyler Loveall

Age: 35
Hometown: Arizona Native
Years in Maricopa: 13
Family: Wife Mary Kimball, stepsons Liam and Keegan
Education: Mountain Pointe High School
Professional background: Co-owner of Caswells Shooting Range
Hobbies: Off-roading in my RZR, camping and fishing
Like most about Maricopa: Community camaraderie
Like least about Maricopa: That its 40 miles from my store
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: Progressing along nicely
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Watching movies at UltraStar
Favorite sports team: AZ Cardinals
Favorite quote: Too many great ones to choose just one

Why are you running for city council?
I will continue to be a strong voice on council in helping to guide our future in a positive direction as I have been for the last four years – focusing on helping our veteran community, enhancing economic development, and providing the highest quality municipal services we can to the citizens.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them?  I feel as though all concerns facing our city have been met with a very strong approach during my time on council and it seems as though many of those concerns have been not only addressed but either handled or are in the works of being handled.  Only one really sticks out in my mind at the present moment and that is of the 1% tax cap.  We, as a council, need to work with our state legislators to fix this issue in the very near future.

Explain your approach to government spending.
Government spending at a municipal level should be looked at just like a business. Setting a balanced budget every year for what the city needs to provide excellent services for the citizens. Not spending what we don’t take in and not using tax dollars in excess for unnecessary things.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
I have proven to have been on the following: Firearms Ordinances, Community Events, Economic Development, Public Safety, Budgeting, Veteran Services


Leon Potter

Leon Potter. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Leon Potter. Photo by Tyler Loveall

Age:45
Hometown: Ontario, California
Years in Maricopa: 11
Family: Wife of 25 years Gabriela Potter, three children Michelle (20), Alan (19), Leon (11), one granddaughter Aileen (almost 3)
Education: AA Business Administration, Central Arizona College
Professional background: U.S. Navy (11 years), tax accountant (17 years) with Enrolled Agent designation since 2008
Hobbies: Reading, youth sports coach
Service organizations: Past president of Maricopa Rotary Club
Like most about Maricopa: Close enough and far enough from Phoenix Metro at the same time
Like least about Maricopa: East side of town needs more commercial development
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: Strong family community
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Movies at UltraStar
Favorite sports team: Arena Football Rattlers
Favorite quote: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)

Why are you running for city council?
For nearly two years, I enjoyed my experience and I took being an elected representative seriously. I resigned, or quit, in 2014. Although I stand by my decision, I have learned from the experience. I would do things differently and complete a full term if elected again.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them?     1. Highway 347 is main thoroughfare to Phoenix Metro. Work with Gila River to negotiate an alternate route.

2. Although progress has been made in economic development, more can be done in the east part of Maricopa. More jobs and traffic relief away from 347/John Wayne Parkway. Focus attention to Tortosa area to find solutions available, and work with state Legislature for solutions that are used by other states that aren’t available in Arizona.

Explain your approach to government spending.  
Zero-based budget, determine priorities, determine cost of priorities, project revenues (conservative estimate), shift funding in line with priorities, have reserve funds in case of unforeseen challenges or opportunities.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
As a board member of Maricopa Community Alliance Against Substance Abuse, I am driven to be a positive role model.


Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith. Submitted photo
Nancy Smith. Submitted photo

Age: Would not disclose
Hometown: Joliet, Illinois
Years in Maricopa: 13
Family: Husband, five children
Education: Associate’s degree in Electronic Technology, bachelor’s degree Business Management
Professional background: 30 years in program management at Motorola and General Dynamics
Hobbies: Crafts, sports, hanging out with family
Service organizations: Six years with American Cancer Society – Relay For Life, Co-founder F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank
Like most about Maricopa: Maricopa’s community spirit is the best that I have ever seen or experienced in any city that I have ever lived.
Like least about Maricopa: I travel SR347 almost every day. I’m so excited that if the voters approve Pinal County’s Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) that SR 347 will go from four lanes to six lanes.
Describe the current state of Maricopa in three words: City of changes
Favorite leisure-time activity in Maricopa: Attending community events and just being out in the community
Favorite sports team: Chicago Cubs
Favorite quote: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali

Why are you running for city council?
I am running for city council to continue the mission of bringing a fiscal conservative approach for our wonderful community with services at the lowest cost to residents. I enjoy meeting with residents over their concerns regarding issues in our city and helping them resolve these issues.

What two concerns does Maricopa face that could have a stronger approach, and how will you address them?   Global Water continues to be my biggest concern. I believe the city needs to own and operate our water/wastewater company. As promised in my previous campaign I have kept this issue alive by discussing it every time city council is budgeting and strategically planning. We have made progress! This project is now stated clearly in the Vision 2040 document and is part of the 2016/2017 Work Plan. The second concern is continuing to strengthen our Economic Development strategy. I will work to ensure we are providing our ED department with the tools, strategies and direction needed to succeed.

Explain your approach to government spending.
My approach is to provide great services at the least cost. Finding ways to lower our property tax rate will help residents and encourage new businesses to move to Maricopa. I was rated as “Hero of the Taxpayer” by Americans for Prosperity for voting conservatively on budget issues.

On what issues do you think you can be a voice of leadership on the council?
I will continue being a leader regarding Global Water buy-out, Transportation (SR347), Heritage District, Age-Friendly Senior Citizens and fiscal responsibility.


This story appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

It was standing-room-only in council chambers at City Hall for a primary election debate among seven candidates, including Joshua Babb (pictured). Photo by Tyler Loveall

Traffic on State Route 347, economic development, utility rates, the override at Maricopa Unified School District, the library and the flood plain were all topics of discussion at Monday’s debate forum among seven candidates for three seats on the Maricopa City Council.

Most of the candidates brought up SR 347 as a major issue to tackle.

The terms of Vice Mayor Marvin Brown and councilmembers Bridger Kimball and Nancy Smith are coming to an end this year, and all are running for re-election. Challengers are former councilmembers Dan Frank, Julia Gusse and Leon Potter and newcomer Joshua Babb.

Smith did not attend the debate but was allowed to participate by phone.

The forum was moderated by Sara Troyer, executive director of the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce.

When asked what change or conflict they would like to be involved in resolving:

Potter: Economic development on the east side of Maricopa

Brown: The change is already happening

Frank: SR 347

Babb: SR 347

Kimball: 1-percent tax cap

Gusse: Veterans services

Smith: SR 347 and 1-percent tax cap

Mayor Christian Price is running unopposed but did address the audience briefly. Photo by Tyler Loveall
Mayor Christian Price is running unopposed but did address the audience briefly. Photo by Tyler Loveall

With several mentions of the looming impact of the state’s 1-percent tax cap, Mayor Christian Price gave a “Reader’s Digest” overview of the issue at the end of the debate. Price is running unopposed for re-election. He said no state legislators understand the issue or how a government entity like the city of Maricopa is penalized for the actions of other jurisdictions.

The candidates mulled ways to tackle utility rates from Global Water. The idea of using bonds to purchase the water/sewer utility was floated by Potter. Gusse said the council must put forth a unified front in dealing with Global Water. Brown, reminding the audience of a committee formed to negotiate with the company, said buying a utility would be “very costly.”

Frank, who was chairman of the 2040 Vision committee that collected information for future planning, said “we heard over and over how the utility rates are negatively impacting” residents. But, he added, it might not be the right time for a feasibility study on purchasing the water utility.

Kimball said buying the utility is no guarantee the rates will go down.

When asked if they are supporting the MUSD override: See related editorial

Potter: Yes – “Class sizes were the reason I put my kids in a charter.”

Brown: Yes – “I was in favor of all the previous overrides.”

Frank: Did not answer – “Everyone has to vote their own conscience.”

Babb: Undecided – “Education is important to me … but you can’t throw money at a problem to fix it.”

Kimball: Yes – “I absolutely support the override.”

Gusse: Yes – “Our teachers are overworked, underpaid and not appreciated.”

Smith: Undecided – “The use of funds is clearly stated… All my criteria have been met… It’s the best organized override campaign… I have not made up my mind.”

Maricopa Public Library is a relatively new building but is considered too small for the community. While all candidates spoke highly of the library and noted its importance, there was reluctance to allocating money for a new library anytime soon.

Kimball said the reins were tight on all city departments in the current budget, and the library received about half of the money it needed. Frank said, with the city’s tight budget, it is not a good time to be taking on more debt.

Babb suggested creating a mobile library to further reach the community. Smith and Gusse used examples from other communities of libraries sharing space with schools or other government buildings.

Fielding personal questions about their candidacy after their previous controversial terms on council, Potter said he stands by his reasons for resigning, and Gusse there is a double-standard for women who speak their mind. Potter resigned from council to run for mayor after trying to recall Kimball. Gusse received an official warning from council after a violation of an ethics code she helped write.

“What made me run again was my love for Maricopa,” Potter said. “Trust is something that has to be earned.”

Gusse said she has been standing by her convictions and inferred she would have been treated differently had she been a man in the same circumstances.

Frank also previously served on council as an appointed member to fill out a term. He is now chairman of the Maricopa Flood Control District Board. He said serving on the board and the city council would not be a conflict of interest. Frank said he is concerned about the high insurance rates paid by homeowners in the floodplain, calling it “unacceptable.”

Candidates who survive the Aug. 30 primary and are not elected outright will be asked to participate in a general election debate in the fall.

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Chris Sarappo was campaigning on a platform of legalizing recreational marijuana and using it to help fund schools.

By Ethan McSweeney

“The city has always had those rules in place,“but it’s rare that it actually comes up.” — Mayor Christian Price

Chris Sarappo, a personal trainer at Copper Sky Recreation Center, is ending his independent, write-in campaign for the Arizona House of Representatives after the city of Maricopa informed him he is barred from seeking political office as a city employee.

The decision comes a day after InMaricopa published an article about his campaign. Sarappo, who was running on a pro-marijuana legalization platform, said he decided to stop his campaign in Legislative District 11 rather than lose his job at Copper Sky Recreation Center, which is operated by the city of Maricopa.

According to the city’s Personnel Policies and Procedures, a city employee cannot run for political office. If an employee wanted to run for office, that person could either resign his or her position or request a leave of absence from the city, said Maricopa City Manager Gregory Rose.

After the article was published on Tuesday, the human resources department at the city of Maricopa contacted the city manager’s office regarding Sarappo’s campaign and the city’s policy, Rose said.

After researching the city policy, Rose said the policy was clear. Sarappo was then informed Wednesday of the city’s policies and told that he would have to resign his job at Copper Sky in order to continue running.

Rose said these policies preventing city employees from running for office are common and that he’s pleased Maricopa has this on the books.

“The concern is that the city always wants to remain above reproach when it comes to use of public funds,” Rose said.

Sarappo said it wouldn’t be financially feasible for his family for him to leave his job to run. “It’s not really a choice,” he said.

“I never tried to use the city for anything. I’m a part-time employee with no benefits,” Sarappo said. “But a rule is a rule, so I get it.”

He added he was self-funding his campaign and recently purchased campaign signs.

No one at Copper Sky or the city brought up the policy or sought to enforce it before the article was published, Sarappo said, even though many knew he was running for office. He formally registered as a write-in candidate on May 13. Sarappo added he spoke with Mayor Christian Price about for the legislative post several months ago.

Price said after Sarappo reached out to him about running for office, he told Sarappo that he would have to go to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office in order to file paperwork. Price, as an elected official, is not a city employee or part of the city administration.

“The city has always had those rules in place,” Price said about the policy preventing city employees from running, “but it’s rare that it actually comes up.”

This is the first time Rose said he has seen a Maricopa employee seek political office.

Rose said once the policy came to his attention, the city needed to enforce the policy, and this allows Maricopa to be consistent.

Despite dropping his campaign for the state House of Representatives, Sarappo said he will continue to be an advocate for marijuana legalization.

“This issue is big to me,” Sarappo said. “People have to realize the health benefits and the funding benefits.”

Sarappo said the city sent him a link to a voluntary withdrawal form he needed to sign to formally exit the race.

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Chris Sarappo, a personal trainer in Maricopa, has launched a write-in campaign for the state Legislature. He says legalizing marijuana will bring much-needed money to schools. Photo by Ethan McSweeney

By Ethan McSweeney

Chris Sarappo doesn’t expect to win his race for state representative in Legislative District 11 – he just wants to give voters another option on the ballot.

The Maricopa resident and personal trainer at Copper Sky Recreation Center is mounting an independent, write-in campaign primarily on one issue: marijuana legalization.

“You can legalize, take it out of the drug dealers’ hands, control it like alcohol and create a huge tax base for the Arizona schools,” Sarappo said.

Sarappo, a former behavioral technician in the Maricopa Unified School District, said he knows how little money schools have at their disposal in the state. Taxing marijuana would allow the state to better invest in its schools, he said.

“I look at it as you’re either for the drug dealers or you’re for the schools,” Sarappo said.

A marijuana legalization measure may be on the ballot in Arizona this fall, as organizers for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol say they have gathered enough signatures to qualify.

Sarappo hails from outside Philadelphia, and he lived in North Carolina for several years. He said the high cost of living in North Carolina led him to search for another place to live.

He saw the prices in Maricopa and “couldn’t pass it up,” he said. He moved to the city six years ago.

In addition to personal training and his previous job at MUSD, Sarappo has worked as a day trader, a computer programmer and a baseball coach, has written a children’s book and received a real estate license.

Sarappo doesn’t have a background in politics, but he said he’s always followed politics closely.

He said he now sees a change coming in the political landscape of the country.

“I think that people are tired of the status quo, people are tired of the blatant corruption,” Sarappo said. “They’re seeing that there are two sets of laws in America, now: one for you and me, and there’s a separate one for those who have money or are connected.”

This change he sees has motivated him to make the jump into politics, electing to join the race for Legislative District 11, which spans from Maricopa down through Arizona City to the northern suburbs of Tucson.

Sarappo said he doesn’t know who he’s running against for the post and he doesn’t care.

“I’m not trying to beat these guys,” he said. “I want to speak, reach people and change minds with logic, common sense and facts. I think we’ve gotten away from that in America.”

For the record, incumbent state Reps. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, and Vince Leach, R-Saddlebrooke, are running again for their seats in the district against Democrats Corin Hammond and Barry McCain. Voters elect two representatives for each legislative district.

On the issues, Sarappo is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. “I’m for doing what you please as long as it’s not affecting others and costing them money,” he said.

The main issue he wants to focus his campaign on is legalizing marijuana to raise extra funding for the state’s schools.

Sarappo said many of Arizona’s teachers are being driven away to other states or other professions because of how little money is available for them. From his experience at MUSD, he said he knows that the lack of money is burden on school employees.

“There comes to a point with the money that you have to survive,” he said. “You love what you’re doing, you love helping people, but you have to feed yourself.”

Besides marijuana legalization, Sarappo said his other major cause is the “fair tax,” which would replace current federal taxes with a national consumption tax.

When it comes to the presidential election, Sarappo said he would support the Libertarian Party candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. If he had to choose between real estate mogul Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, though, he would choose Trump.

The presidential election, though, is part of the reason he’s running, Sarappo said, because it shows that the country has run out of options.

His distaste for that current two-party system made his choice to run as an independent obvious. Having a write-in campaign means Sarappo doesn’t need to reach a threshold of signatures to qualify on the ballot, and it also adds the physical act of writing a name, which he said is exactly what he wants.

“I would rather have someone write my name in, even if it’s just two people, because it means something, rather than going into a booth and just pushing a lever,” Sarappo said.

Rich Vitiello

By Rich Vitiello

Rather than couch things in political happy talk, I speak plainly – without glossing things over and dishing out words from both sides of my mouth. I speak from the heart. That’s not trying to be divisive – just honest.

If I don’t know about a subject, I have always found it best to sit, listen and learn from people who have an interest or expertise in the matter. I’ve been listening to residents, farmers and other business people, as well as government employees, officials and management. Once elected, that is what I will continue to do.

The county’s budget is large and complicated, but it is something that must be examined every step of the way. It’s taxpayer money – and elected officials must be held accountable for spending it. I plan to sit down with department heads to listen and learn – and to find what their needs and wants are. In government, just as in business, there’s always a need accompanied by a want. Part of my mandate will be to have county management separate their needs from their wants so budgets can be evaluated and projects put forth that yield results. That’s part of being a responsible government leader and advocate. That’s also part of being a guardian of the taxpayers’ money.

I’ve told people that I am in favor of streamlining the county’s government – in other words, reducing the burden to the taxpayer and improving government service, but not at the expense of the safety, health and welfare of the public that depends on fundamental county services. Streamlining and reducing the burden to the taxpayer may come from a combination of things, but one thing is sure, I won’t be so reckless as to support cutting department budgets straight across the board, nor will I seek cuts without attempting to understand their impact.

I believe protecting our citizens and establishing a bond of trust and accountability is key to making Pinal County a safer place to live and do business. That is what will bring security, peace of mind and success. I am an advocate of public safety, not just law enforcement, but all that concerns the public. I have publicly spoken against marijuana and in support of the needs of residents. People need results, not talk.

I have called the incumbent on the carpet for attempting to mislead the voters. In that regard, I hope to clear things up for the incumbent: The county sheriff doesn’t have a fleet of patrol cars that were transferred to that office by the federal government after seizure. If we did, those cars and the deputies riding in them might be paid for by using RICO funds. But we don’t. Our deputies, who are already understaffed and underpaid compared to other law enforcement agencies, are working 12-hour shifts due to eight years of shrinking budgets. The incumbent wants them to work additional hours per shift.

In consulting with sheriff’s office officials, RICO expenditures already carry PCSO in many different areas that the purposefully insufficient budget does not cover things such as training, weapons, vehicle maintenance, aviation fuel and equipment, technology, software licensing, etc. So, Mr. Smith, please stop trying to sway the voters on a hypothetical argument under false pretense. It’s unbecoming.

Recently, a resident in the Hidden Valley area south of Maricopa wrote about her experience with the incumbent. Until recently, the incumbent staunchly supported the proposed Palo Verde Park. He flip-flopped in the face of very vocal and virulent opposition, and now states he will “listen to” opposing residents and make a vote consistent with constituents. I believe the incumbent should have been doing that since he was elected three plus years ago. That would have been representation — not the experience people have had to endure.

As to flood control, I am concerned about all of Pinal County, not just the area that the incumbent is focused on. Public safety and solving our flood control issues are keys to bringing economic development to the county. I’ve had conversations with Dan Frank, a civil engineer and president of the Maricopa Flood Control District. He’s also a candidate for Maricopa City Council and has substantial experience in flood control matters.

Frank has expressed some frustration in working with Pinal County Flood Control for review and approvals of certain documents for the MFCD. The incumbent sits on the board of the Pinal County Flood Control District. In June, it appropriated $1.5 million for a flood control study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at local taxpayer expense. “This is not the first time this watershed was studied by the Corps,” Frank said. “I hope this is not a repeat of 1994, when the Lower Santa Cruz River was studied and the results were to do nothing.” The conclusion of that study was that “No implementable plan was developed with available funds… the study was terminated with joint concurrence of the (U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers and Pinal County flood control.”

The definition of insanity can be described as doing the same things over and over again, hoping for a different result. The definition of government insanity can be summed up as spending the taxpayer money over and over again to study the same thing that should have been solved long ago. Something needs to be done – allowing a problem to fester for over 20 years does nobody any good.
The incumbent criticizes me for speaking with people in and outside of the district. Getting information, including diverse opinions and listening to the concerns of residents is part of being an advocate and representative of Pinal County. Understanding and relating to the needs of residents and business people is one of the most important things one can do in local government. But it is apparent that the incumbent doesn’t feel the same way. It’s time for a change.


Rich Vitiello is a Maricopa resident and candidate for Pinal County supervisor in District 4 in the Republican primary against incumbent Anthony Smith.