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The Maricopa Police Department would like to remind residents it is illegal and dangerous to discharge firearms into the air or out into the open.

In the past, some residents have been known to shoot a few rounds to greet the New Year.

The negligent discharge of firearms is a state felony and the Maricopa Police Department said it will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Shannon’s Law was passed in 1999 after a stray bullet killed 14-year-old Shannon Smith while she was talking on her cell phone in the backyard of her central Phoenix home.

Residents who hear gunshots are encouraged to report the incident by calling 911.

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Of the 170 readers who answered this week’s poll question asking what their New Year’s resolution will be, 40 percent said they don’t make resolutions.

Thirty-six percent of respondents, however, said their resolution would involve health. Money was the next most popular choice, garnering 9 percent and a resolution involving the respondent’s relationship followed with 6 percent.

Resolutions about family earned 4 percent of the votes, followed by career resolutions, which earned 2 percent.

The “other” category also earned 2 percent.

For a list of international New Year’s traditions, click here

To read celebrity New Year’s Eve quotes, click here

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A home in the Glennwilde subdivision featuring a colony of penguins and Santa Claus visiting their island won the Best on Parade title in Maricopa’s eighth annual Holiday Homes and Businesses on Parade contest.

The winning home at 42564 W. Cheyenne Drive in the Glennwilde subdivision won a $500 gift card from Ace Hardware. Other winners were:

  • Most Creative: 45481 W Miramar Road – Acacia Crossings
  • Best Theme: 21794-21838 N. Scott Court – Rancho El Dorado
  • Best Light Show: 42033 W. Venture Road – Rancho El Dorado
  • Best Use of Color: 40794 W. Coltin Way – Homestead
  • Resident’s Choice: 43619 W. Colby Drive – Rancho El Dorado
  • Hall of Fame: 43536 W. Sunland Drive – Rancho El Dorado

The Residents’ Choice award winners were selected by the 243 votes cast at City Hall or online. 

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A 6-year-old Maricopa boy was found underwater in his bathtub at approximately 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Maricopa Police Department.

The child was feeling sick and went to go take a bath. When his family checked on him about seven minutes later, he was in the water and unresponsive.

He was transported to Cardon’s Children Hospital in Mesa from his home in Smith Farms, where he died shortly after 7 p.m.

Police said there are no suspicious circumstances at this time.

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Sixty-three percent of the 231 readers who answered the question “Do you fear Syria’s arsenal of nerve gas?” said they don’t. However, 37 percent do.

Syria’s military has loaded the precursor chemicals for the deadly sarin nerve gas into aerial bombs to use against its own people, according to reports from NBC News

The U.S. has warned Syria not to unleash the gas against rebels fighting to gain control of the country. 

This week, the U.S. and Germany announced intentions to send Patriot missiles and troops to Turkey’s border to deal with threats coming out of Syria. The U.S. is sending 400 troops to operate two Patriot missile batteries.

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Thirty-six homes and four businesses have opted to deck their halls in hopes of winning the eighth annual Holiday Homes and Businesses on Parade contest.

Residents can let the city know who their pick for the best-decorated home or business is in Maricopa by casting ballot online this year. 

However, the traditional voting methods, stopping in to City Hall or emailing Brenda Campbell, city administrative assistant, are still available.

Judging by city officials and other volunteers began this week and will continue 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 20.

The city generally receives about 300 to 400 votes, but always welcomes more, said LaTricia Woods, the city’s public information officer.

Entrants will be graded on categories including most creative, best theme, best light show, best use of color and best on parade. 

The home deemed Best on Parade will get a $500 gift card from Maricopa Ace Hardware.

The business winner will receive a fee waiver for a banner permit from January to June 2013. 

To download a map of the homes and businesses, a voting form, or cast a ballot, click here

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Trains going through Maricopa will continue to blow their horns, at least for a while, because the quiet zone implementation by the city has been delayed, according to information from the city.

Trains are required by federal regulation to blow their horn with two long blasts, one short blast and then one long blast at crossings to warn motorists and pedestrians they are coming.

Maricopa, like many train stops across the country, has been working to implement a quiet zone.

However, the proposed zone did not meet final inspection.

The city is working to address each of the issues cited by the Federal Railroad Association and the Union Pacific Railroad.

The Federal Railroad Association said crossing inventories need to be updated, but the city said it has submitted these and is waiting on the association to finalize them.

The city also was asked for proof of delegation from the Arizona Department of Transportation, which according to ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel, is necessary when a public grade crossing is under the authority of multiple agencies.

In this case, the formal letter from ADOT says the agency agrees with the city that a quiet zone is necessary. The city said it has a letter to that effect.

Additional signage at Cowtown Road that is needed already has been ordered by the public works department.

Finally, the medians at State Route 347 could be too short.

The city is working with all of the interested agencies to get the quiet zone implemented but does not know when that date will be, according to a press release.

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Sixty-four percent of 370 respondents to’s poll on tax breaks voted to just say ‘No’ to tax breaks for the rich.

About a third, or 33 percent, said the wealthy should get a break on taxes and 3 percent said they were unsure.

The question of tax breaks for the wealthy has become the lightning rod issue in the Congressional search for compromise to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, which mandates automatic cuts in the 2013 budget.

The cuts would be split equally between the domestic programs and defense spending, and some economists warn they could plunge the country into another recession.

The defense cuts could have an especially detrimental impact on the greater Phoenix area as the aerospace and engineering firms provide thousands of jobs to Valley residents. 

At the heart of the issue is the need to pay for $1.2 trillion in long-term budget cuts needed to balance the budget and partisan disagreement as to where in the federal budget those cuts should come from.

Democrats, led by President Obama, advocate a higher tax rate for the wealthy and Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, are pressing for spending cuts on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.  

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A new tip line on which residents can report a crime or leave information anonymously will be explained at this month’s Coffee with the Chief at 8 a.m. Saturday at Seven Cups Coffee.

“It’s one more way for people to communicate with us,” said Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl.

Stahl said people can call the line 24 hours a day and, although it won’t be manned 24 hours, a return call can be expected quickly.

The tip line is important, Stahl said, because “there’s always been a lot of questions of, ‘What can I do if I don’t want an officer to come to the house?’”

Saturday’s talk with the chief also will focus on “educating people what they need to say when they call dispatch to get animal control as opposed to an officer.”

Pinal County Animal Care and Control Director Kaye Dickson will be on hand to answer questions.

Stahl said people don’t always know the best way to report an animal issue and, since Animal Control serves the whole county, there aren’t always animal control officers readily available.

Coffee with the Chief takes place the second Saturday of the month and is an opportunity for residents to speak casually with Stahl. Topics often are selected by attendees.

The chief chats run 8 to 9:30 a.m..

More information is available by calling 520-316-6868.

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There were 23 building permits issued for single-family homes in November, up 53 percent from October’s 15 permits, according to city records.

The city has issued 109 permits since the start of its fiscal year in July, more than double the 49 sold during the same period last year.

So far in 2012, 277 new-home permits have been issued, compared to 120 in all of 2011.

by - readers agreed with the Maricopa City Council which resoundingly chose civic activist Peggy Chapados on Nov. 19 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Alan Marchione.

She garnered 49 percent of the poll vote. Readers were asked to vote from the top eight candidates that councilmembers had whittled down from a field of 16.

The next top choice was Shawn Schlegel, at 26 percent of the vote.

Here’s how the voting shook out from the 144 readers responding to the poll:

Scott Blevins: 11 votes, 8 percent
Peggy Chapados: 68 votes, 49 percent
Lee Feiles: two votes, 1 percent
Rachel Laffall: two votes, 1 percent
Rosalinda O’Hare: 15 votes, 11 percent
Marlene Pearce: four votes, 3 percent
Shawn Schlegel: 36 votes, 26 percent
Phyllis Von Fleckinger: six votes, 4 percent

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Silent Witness is offering a $1,000 reward for any information about the person who shot Orlando Requena, 26, of Casa Grande early Tuesday morning.

Requena’s killer is believed to be between 5-feet 8-inches and 6-feet tall and was wearing a dark ski mask when he shot Requena, a train worker for Arizona Grain, Inc.

Requena was shot at approximately 2:30 a.m. in an area to the north of the Arizona Grain, Inc. building where trains are offloaded while working.

The Maricopa Police Department also is looking for information about any vehicle parked near Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway between White & Parker and Hartman roads between 2:30 a.m. and 2:45 a.m.

Silent Witness allows people to leave anonymous tips by calling 480-948-6377, or toll free at 1-800-343-TIPS.

Anonymous tips can also be left on the Silent Witness website at

Anyone giving information remains completely anonymous and may receive a cash reward if the information leads to the arrest and/or indictment.

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Maricopa police officers found a man dead from what appeared to be gunshot wounds early Tuesday at Arizona Grain, 38501 Cowtown Road near the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

The man, who police said was a 26-year-old employee of the company, was found after a 911 call at 2:44 a.m. reporting the shooting.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification to the victim’s family.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, although there currently is no suspect or person of interest, said Jenny Alsidez, MPD public information officer.

It isn’t known how many other employees were at the business at the time of the shooting, she said. No argument was heard prior to the incident.
“We are addressing the possibility of a robbery or anything like that,” Alsidez said.

Alsidez also said, “The investigation is leaning to the fact that it’s not a random victim.”

The Maricopa Police Department is working with Union Pacific Railroad and the Arizona Department of Public Safety on the investigation.

Anyone with any information should call 520-316-6880.

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About 225 volunteers and diners shared a Thanksgiving feast Thursday in a community event sponsored by For Our City Maricopa, a local coalition of private citizens, public officials, churches, businesses, educators and others working on a variety of projects in Maricopa.

The community dinner was held at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.

Church member and photographer Dan Miller called the dinner “a great community event.”

“So many groups do so much by themselves throughout the year, but this time all those great groups did something incredible together for Thanksgiving Day.”

For Our City Maricopa is an “umbrella organization to service” operating under the vision of the mayor. It’s affiliated with CARE Inc. and is one of 10 For Our City groups in the state including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Cottonwood, Nogales, Page, Sahuarita and Sedona.

For Our City Maricopa can be found on Facebook.

by - readers are just about split on whether the government should take climate change more seriously.

Fifty percent of 263 respondents to the website’s weekly poll want to see more government action compared to the 46 percent who say “no” to government taking climate change more seriously. Four percent, or 11 people, answered: “I don’t know.”

The subject increasingly has been in the news since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Northeast in October.

On Tuesday, a coalition of investors from around the world called on governments to take action on climate change. Click here to read the story from Reuters on the subject.

For more on the debate whether climate change prompted Superstorm Sandy, click here for a story from DiscoveryNews.

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The Maricopa City Council will discuss two potential grants during tonight’s meeting and invites public comment.

The first grant is a community development block grant, a set amount of money allocated to cities based on the Central Arizona Association of Government regional council’s distribution method.

That grant generally does not exceed $300,000.

The second is a state special projects grant targeting low- to moderate-income citizens and is for up to a maximum of $300,000.

The funding supports redevelopment areas or addresses an urgent need, such as the rebuilding of a disaster area.

Eligible projects include public works projects, community facilities, housing and economic-development activities.

Previously, the funds have been used to help build a domestic violence shelter and for streets improvements including Justin Drive.

Future projects could include paving Lexington and Roosevelt roads and improving Steen Road and acquiring property in the Heritage District for redevelopment, among others.

Other city business includes:

• Possibly re-appointing Scott Sulley as city magistrate for a term beginning Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2014.

• A contract with IntegriSource, LLC for up to $125,000 for information technology services.

• Approving spending $25,000 or more on equipment from Deer and Company, M & S Equipment and Turf Equipment.

• A consulting contract with Dyett & Bhatia Urban and Regional Planners of San Francisco to help rewrite the zoning code for no more than $330,750.

• The city possibly leasing property to Tyee Southwest for five years for $189.60 per month.

• Possibly rescheduling the Jan. 2 work session and regular meeting.

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Of the 209 readers who responded to the most recent poll asking where they were with their holiday shopping, 26 percent said they are waiting until Black Friday to shop but nearly the same amount – 24 percent – clicked “Bah Humbug, I don’t shop.”

Ten percent admitted they are waiting until Christmas Eve to buy their presents, and 7 percent said they were done shopping.

Thirty-three percent chose the “Other” option.

For holiday shopping tips on protecting your finances and minimizing your risk of identity theft, click here.

For holiday shopping safety tips from the National Crime Prevention Council, click here

For holiday shopping tips for children and seniors with special needs, click here. 

If you just need some gift ideas to get you started, try here.

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For Our City Maricopa has extended the deadline to Sunday to make reservations for its first community Thanksgiving Day Dinner next Thursday.

“This is a community dinner everyone is welcome to; that is why we are asking for RSVPs so we have enough food to feed everyone,” said the group’s Executive Director Eric Lacz.

The group is reaching out to Maricopa residents of all ages and economic backgrounds to join in the holiday celebration. Lacz said For Our City was expecting 200-300 people.

The public is asked to make reservations by calling 520-568-9573 until 5 p.m. today and Friday  or calling 520-568-7471 after hours and the weekend by asking for Eric or Kim. Interested people can also email

The dinner will be at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.

For Our City Maricopa is a group of volunteers lead by Mayor Christian Price and affiliated with CARE Inc. It is one of 10 For Our City groups in the state including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Cottonwood, Nogales, Page, Sahuarita and Sedona.

“The idea behind the Thanksgiving dinner is for a sense of community,” Price told members of the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce last week. The purpose is two-fold: To meet people and to help those in need.

In conjunction with the dinner, Maricopa’s Youth Council is hosting a Turkey Bowl flag-football game 9-11 a.m. at Maricopa Meadows Park Thanksgiving day. All ages are invited.

For Our City Maricopa can be found on Facebook

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The Maricopa City Council vacancy created by the resignation of Alan Marchione will be filled tonight during a special meeting of the council open to the public.

The session will be 6 p.m. in the Maricopa Unified School District administrative offices.

Councilmembers have pared down the original list of 17 applicants by each mailing up to three of their top candidates to Mayor Christian Price.

Those whose names have come up more than once will attend tonight’s meeting for public interviews.

Each candidate will be asked the same questions.

To avoid human resources violations, City Attorney Denis Fitzgibbons also helped in creating a question template.

The council hopefuls will be isolated before being called in to the meeting room for their interview.

Once they have answered the questions, they will be allowed to remain and watch the other applicants go through their interview.

The order the candidates will be questioned in will be determined by numbers randomly drawn from a hat.

The new city councilmember will be selected and sworn into office after the interviews.

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All amenities of the Ak-Chin UltraStar Multi-tainment center but the amphitheater will open noon Thursday.

Visitors can bowl at Ten Pins Down, the bowling alley, or battle each other in the Urban Arena Laser Tag, a two-story arena. Kids can work at earning prizes at the Play ‘n Win arcade.

Once all that has worked up an appetite, dining options include the 347 Grill, a casual restaurant, and the Cones Café, an ice cream and coffee shop.

Those excited about going to see a movie will have plenty of options for entertainment.

In addition to 12 digital screens and D-Box seats that rumble with the action, moviegoers who are 21 and older can enjoy the movie from VIP balconies featuring full bar service and in-seat ordering for food.

To start things off the theater will show a “Twilight” marathon, starting at noon and culminating with the 10 p.m. premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.”

On Friday besides “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” the theater will screen “Lincoln,” “Skyfall,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Flight,” “The Man with the Iron Fists,” “Cloud Atlas,” “Here Comes the Broom,” “Argo,” “Taken 2,” and “Hotel Transylvania.” For times and 3D offerings, click here.

The cost of Thursday's Twilight” marathon and premiere is $20.

The Luxe Lounge, for adults 21 and older, will open later in the evening.

The amphitheater is not yet finished.

The entertainment center is next to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, south of Maricopa off State Route 347.

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The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has issued notifications for high- and medium-risk registered sex offenders living just outside incorporated Maricopa.

Michael Burton, also known as Tom Jackson, is a level three sex offender, meaning he has been determined to be a high risk for recidivism based on the results of a 19-criteria risk-assessment profile.

He moved to 47266 Javelina Road.

Burton spend 34 years in prison after raping and attempting to kill a woman by stabbing her in the neck, cutting her throat and wrists and attempting to strangle her Nov. 30, 1974.

Burton is 59, weighs 165 pounds and has brown eyes and hair. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and has scars on his right forearm, right knee and abdomen. 

William Justiniano has moved to 556 N. Garnet Road. He is a level two sex offender, meaning he is a medium risk for recidivism. He was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 2004 and failure to register as a sex offender earlier this year.

Justiniano, 50, has brown hair, brown eyes and weighs 170 pounds. He is 5 feet 8 inches and has a quarter moon with clouds tattooed on his right shoulder.  

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The number of building permits for single-family residences in October dropped to 15 from 27 last month, according to information from the city.

Despite that decrease, 2012 has been a much better year for the housing market than 2011.

Comparing the two years month-by-month, every month but January this year saw substantially more permits issued than the same month in 2011. 

In April 2011, for instance, only four permits were issued but 40 permits were issued in April of this year. 

Even October’s decrease reflects the improving economic climate. In 2011, only three permits were issued.

This year the city is averaging 25.4 permits per month. In 2011, the city averaged 10 permits per month. 

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Today is Election Day and here are some key links on polling places, frequently asked questions and how to follow results.

To find your polling place, click here.

For answers to other commonly asked questions, click here.

To follow voting results, click here.

Five Maricopa residents are running in county and state races. Locally, two big issues are on the ballot – a Maricopa Unified School District budget override and who will fill three open seats on the school board.

Local voters will chose their first District 4 Pinal County Superintendent and both candidates live in Maricopa.

Republican former mayor Anthony Smith is running against Democrat Henry Wade, former Planning and Zoning Commission chairman, for the newly-created seat.

Voters also will decide whether appointed Maricopa Unified School District School Board members Torri Anderson and Leslie Carlyle-Burnett will keep their seats or be replaced by candidates Veronica Gay, Leon Potter or Tim White.

Since three school board seats are up for grabs, there will be at least one new person joining School Board President Scott Bartle and Secretary Patti Coutre.

Further down the ballot, residents will vote on whether the school district should receive a two-year, five percent budget override.

The contentious race for Pinal County Attorney will also be decided Tuesday, with residents marking either incumbent Democrat James P. Walsh or Maricopa resident Lando Voyles, a Republican.

On a state level, Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, is hoping to win one of two seats for the state House of Representatives District 11. Republican Adam Kwasman is running, as is Democrat Dave Joseph.

by - polled Maricopa’s city council members on how they are voting on four vital election questions:

* Who is your pick for president?
* Do you support the MUSD override?
* Proposition 121: Do you support the open election/open government measure replacing the two-party system?
* Proposition 204: Do you support making the 1-cent sales tax permanent?

Mayor Christian Price and Vice Mayor Edward Farrell did not want to publicly state their preferences. The rest of the council was unanimous in their support of the Maricopa Unified School District budget override proposal and in their opposition to Proposition 121.

Click here to read their answers.

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President Barak Obama, a Democrat, beat GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, in’s weekly poll.

Of the 770 respondents to the question who would get their vote for president, 54 percent chose incumbent Obama.

Forty-six percent voted for Romney.

This particularly contentious election cycle has failed to produce a clear front runner.

For months now both candidates have been polling with scant leads, usually within the margins of error of the polls.

And even though Election Day hasn’t arrived, already lawyers for both candidates are preparing for recounts or other legal action stemming from challenges to absentee ballots.

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Torri Anderson earned 34 percent of the 191 votes readers cast in response to’s poll question on who their No. 1 choice is for the Maricopa County Unified School District School Board.

Anderson was appointed to the board in 2010 when Lori Glen resigned.

She is a board member of Against Abuse, Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports women who are victims of domestic violence by providing shelter and other needs.

Leslie Carlyle-Burnett was readers’ second choice, garnering 20 percent of vote.

Carlyle-Burnett was also appointed to the board. She filled the vacancy created by Geoff Goddard in November.

Carlyle-Burnett is a senior planner with the Ak-Chin Indian Community and a former tribal council member.

Veronica Gay followed with 19 percent of the vote. Gay, who has withdrawn her child from the school district because she did not feel the curriculum was challenging enough, advocates the school board collaborating with other districts to be successful.

Maricopa City Councilman Leon Potter earned 17 percent of the vote. Potter has his own tax firm. 

Ten percent of poll respondents supported Tim White, a former school board member.

Three seats are open on the school board. The election is Nov. 6.

To learn more about the candidates, click here.

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An informal poll shows former Maricopa Mayor Anthony Smith, the Republican candidate for Pinal County Supervisor for the newly-created District 4, receiving more votes than Democrat Henry Wade.

Of 260 respondents to a question asking readers who they were voting for, 70 percent – 182 people – said they were casting a ballot for Smith.

The remaining 78 readers said they planned to vote for Wade.

Both candidates support the continued development of Maricopa, particularly infrastructure projects such as the grade separation project at State Route 347 and the proposed Interstate 11 but differ on how to fund those projects. (See related story)

Wade is former chairman of the Maricopa Planning and Zoning Commission and Smith was mayor of Maricopa from 2008-12.

You can see the two candidates debate their respective positions at a forum co-hosted by by clicking here

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Owner : Gerardo “Jere” Avila. Arizona Backyard Creations and Design Landscaping.

Education: Master’s degree in business administration, University of Phoenix.

You started your business last October; how’s it going? “We are busy every week since we first started. I have been in the landscaping and construction business for about 10 years, but some of my employees have been doing this for 20 or 30 years.”

What advice did your father give you? “My dad always used to tell me, ‘You better go to college or you’ll end up working construction with a pick and shovel,’ and here I am, working with picks and shovels, and I love it. It was a blessing.”

Who is the Maricopa customer? “Maricopa is more suburbia, filled with working-class residents who want something nice but on a budget, and we can do that.”

What about landscaping captivates you? “The beauty of making something out of nothing, and creating someone’s paradise.”

What do you do when you’re not working? “My favorite way to pass the time is to ride my Harley … It’s my quiet time to gather my thoughts, and it’s my quiet time with God.” Avila has been playing bass guitar for 15 years and likes to fill in at his church.

What advice to do have for a small business owner? “If you don’t have a passion for what you do, or if you are there just to make money, it won’t happen for you … But if you have a true passion to create, then anything is possible.”

What does your fiancée have to say about you? “He really listens and cares, and that is a rarity these days,” Sally Lugo said. “He will do anything for anyone. If it’s within his means, he will do it.”

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Incumbent Pinal County Treasurer Dolores “Dodie” Doolittle is running against GOP candidate Steven Boyd. Both were asked the same questions; their answers follow.

Republican candidate for Pinal County Treasurer

Name: Steven L. Boyd

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired

Residence: San Tan Valley

Family: Four children, eight grandchildren

Education: Freshman in college

Hobbies: Gardening

Favorite quote: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” – The Golden Rule

Heart’s desire: It would be wonderful if individuals running for public office would always consider themselves to be “servants to the people and not masters of the people.”

Political experience: 30 years confronting politicians. Unsuccessful run in 1990 for county commissioner in Utah.

What is your biggest election challenge?

Since I am running for the office of treasurer, I’m in hopes that I will be able to convince people of the need of conservative fiscal management of taxpayer money.

Why should Maricopans vote for you?

I consider myself to be an honest person. I have high ethical standards and my parents embedded strong moral principles in my young mind as a child: Principles I maintain today.

What is the most pressing issue facing Maricopa? What would you do about it?

The mayor of Maricopa has been rated by a national association known as Americans for Prosperity; the founder being Tom Kenny, a No. 1 favorite of big government and big spending,

What is the main role of the county treasurer?

To collect taxes from varying taxing districts. To notify and collect property taxes, also reviews and approves or disapproves the Pinal County school superintendent’s annual budget.

I believe the treasurer also plays a key role in judging the viability of board of supervisors expenditures.

The treasurer has the responsibility to invest in safe and appropriate investment avenues. The excess monies collected along with any accrued interest into time tested and highly accredited institutions with a reasonable yield.

What is the most pressing issue facing Maricopa and Pinal County? What would you do about it?

Fiscal responsibility, proper and appropriate use of the people’s money.

There is no such thing as government money, there is only taxpayer money. I believe it is the responsibility of elected officials to protect the public from the officials themselves, it is not uncommon that some people develop ever-increasing hat sizes that tend to increase when they receive a little authority.

To avoid this, one must maintain uncompromising moral standards and principles of ethical behavior and honesty. To act in any other way is to lose one’s self respect, also the respect of their spouse and children. Not to mention the respect of the community the individual swore by oath to uphold.

Democratic candidate for Pinal County Assessor

Name: Dolores “Dodie” Doolittle

Age: 54 

Occupation: Pinal County Treasurer

Residence: Gold Canyon

Family: Married to Terry for 18 years; five children, seven grandchildren. 

Education: Bachelor of Science in business administration from Arizona State University, certificate in public policy and management from University of Arizona, and a chancellor’s certificate in public administration in government finance from University of Missouri.

Hobbies: Sudoku puzzles, reading mystery novels, travel and making salsa for family and friends.

Favorite quote: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan …” – Abraham Lincoln

Heart’s desire: For my grandchildren to have the opportunity for a quality education, be prosperous and give back to the communities they grow up in.

Political experience: Serving as Pinal County Treasurer since 2004; president of the Arizona Association of Counties.

What is your biggest election challenge?

I want to provide information to voters that will help them understand the duties of the treasurer. As treasurer, I am the only candidate with the education, experience and proven dedication to perform the administrative, financial and statutory duties.

The treasurer is a fiscal officer who protects and invests taxpayer dollars. In November the voters have an opportunity to invest in the future of Pinal County by electing a treasurer who is knowledgeable, conservative and willing to make hard decisions in the best interest of the citizens who have chosen to live here and raise their families.