City bids farewell to long-time, instrumental planner

Kazi Haque

“It’s been a pleasure. It’s been a long journey. As I walk into the sunset, I know you’re in good hands.” KAZI HAQUE

After 15 years of helping to plan Maricopa, Kazi Haque announced his retirement in July. Arriving shortly after incorporation, he guided the city through the dramatic rise and fall and rise again of development. He wore several hats during his tenure at City Hall, include zoning specialist, manager and then director of Development Services, finishing as deputy city manager. Longtime colleagues and residents paid tribute.

“I had the pleasure of working with Kazi for the entire time he was with the City. He loved the city of Maricopa! Although we never worked in the same department, I witnessed his dedication and work ethic. He was instrumental in starting the Planning Department from the ground up. His contributions have been tremendous and all for the betterment of the city. He will be truly missed.” VANESSA BUERAS, City Clerk

From left: Daranne Thacker and Isela Hernandez of Development Permits, La Quinta owners Andy Bhakta and Ravikumar Balenalli, Kazi Haque, Bill Lahr of Building Safety and Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez. Submitted photo

“I first met Kazi and came to know him as an employee and colleague of the city as we incorporated in 2003. Kazi is a good human being who ‘quickly identified our circumstances, how others perceive us, our behaviors, or our positions in life’ (Matthew James, Ph.D., Focus on Forgiveness). Kazi has the right development and functions of emotion to allow him to live well and be happy. Although Kazi is easy to show facial expression of flushing and embarrassment, you’ll never find Kazi in a burst of anger. Working with Kazi was an honor; never to forget the fun times. Kazi has the vision of leadership to set out to achieve it. Kazi sees the potential for how the world should exist and then takes steps to get there. Kazi listens to what people are saying, to accept advice. Kazi knew his ideas were different with significant risk but acquired responsibility for his actions. We are not always lucky to find a good friend among colleagues. May our friendship remain even after a change of path. Wishing you all the best in the new challenges ahead of you. May God bless you with success.” EDDIE RODRIGUEZ, Fire Marshal

“I was appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission back in 2006-ish and became chair of P&Z in 2007. I honestly had no idea what I was really doing as far as Robert’s Rules of Order, and Kazi was the most patient man and would quietly remind me that I would need to call for a motion or ask for a second. He was also such a great advocate for businesses in Maricopa. If the P&Z board didn’t like something, he worked so hard on behalf of the business to come up with solutions to help that business get their zoning. He will be greatly missed and has been such a great asset to the City of Maricopa!” COURTNY TYLER, State Farm Insurance

“I had the pleasure of working under Kazi for the past 13 years. I was fortunate to witness the love and dedication he has for the City of Maricopa and his level of commitment to better the city. Kazi has left behind a legacy of achievements and work ethic that will always be part of this city and those who worked around him. His experience, knowledge, dedication, and presence will be missed.” RODOLFO LOPEZ, Deputy Director, Economic & Community Development

“Over 10 years ago, when I began representing Maricopa Flood Control District, there were people at the City who seemed to think the District was irrelevant and a waste of their time. However, there were some notable exceptions, Kazi being one. He learned my name immediately and always offered a warm greeting when we met. When I needed information or guidance, Kazi was a great resource. He was always respectful and willing to help first-hand or point me in the right direction. Today, the District and the City have come to see each other as assets, I think, each with important contributions to make to our mutual constituents. Kazi seemed to understand the potential of that cooperation from Day One. He is a class act and has represented Maricopa well.” DAVID ALLEY, District Manager, Maricopa Flood Control District

Linda Huggins spars with Development Services Director Kazi Haque.

“Kazi, as commissioners on the Planning & Zoning Commission, we need to lean on staff to help guide us through all the different nuances of each project. You have done this with class and patience. As volunteers we do not always know all the details and legal requirements as we work our way through understanding each project, but you always remained understanding of this and guided us through.  I know I can speak not only on behalf of myself but the entire Planning & Zoning Commission members through your tenure, we wish you nothing but the best in retirement as it is something you deserve. Godspeed to you, sir.” LINDA HUGGINS, Chair, Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission

Kazi Haque, center, with former mayor Kelly Anderson and Mayor Christian Price at ribboncutting for overpass. Submitted photo

“It would be cliché to say the city is losing a leader in Kazi, but then again, it would be short-sighted of me to say such a thing. I know Kazi has roots here in Maricopa that will keep him engaged and a force for good in the community. It has been a pleasure to have worked for and with Kazi the last six years, as he has shared many stories that will live on in City Hall as a part of the institutional memory. He also has some funny mixed idioms that will live on as well, such as, ‘It’s like a pig with lipstick.’ Farewell, Kazi!” RYAN WOZNIAK, Senior Planner, Economic & Community Development

“In January of 2018 Kazi Haque was forming the Housing Needs Assessment Committee. The committee members were a diverse group having interests in how Maricopa was to move forward. At the initial meeting, the committee members were asked what was needed and what they wanted to see in Maricopa. My interests were primarily what the senior citizens of Maricopa would need and how to attain those resources. To get a better understanding of what the seniors needed, Kazi attended several meetings of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Committee. He made a very detailed presentation of the goals and vision of the Housing Needs Assessment Committee. He listened, very patiently, to our suggestions. Answered our questions. And came back several times with updates. Many of the suggestions given at those meetings can be found in the Housing Plan. I am very grateful to Kazi Haque. He not only listened, he did something. Most importantly he was always available to answer questions and offer help with any project I might be working on. Thank you, Kazi.” JOAN KOCZOR, Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee

“When I first got here, what people told me about Kazi proved to be true. He’s a man of integrity. He keeps his word. He’s hard-working. And he’s very responsive to anyone who calls, even it means responding on a weekend or evening or anything else. He has left his mark on this community. No one can take that away.” RICK HORST, City Manager

Kazi Haque, dressed in gear, during CERT training. Submitted photo

This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa magazine.