Michael “Mike” Cruz is running for Pinal County assessor this year, challenging incumbent Douglas Wolf in the Republican primary.
Residence: Casa Grande
Years in Pinal County: 5
Family: Married to my beautiful wife Felicia of five years and we have one dog.
Education: Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Business & Education), Arizona State University;
Master of Business Administration, Everest University
Employment background: I have seven years of tax and accounting experience as a tax adviser with a large national tax firm. In addition, I have four years of experience in technology training & sales. My most recent experience includes four years as a public school teacher and public information officer.
Government background: All of my experience has been in the private sector. Working for a public school system in my current capacity has provided me valuable experience in terms of government relations and management.
Why are you the best person for the job of county assessor?
I am an Arizona native who is committed to this state and this county. Given my background in taxation and public relations, I am the only candidate with this skill set, which uniquely qualifies me to lead this office and to represent the true voice of Pinal County. As a public relations professional, I intend to use that experience to reach the people of Pinal County and to provide the best in class service to our taxpayers.
What are the biggest issues at stake in the campaign?
Property Owner Voice – This office needs a leader that is willing to work with everyone and be actively engaged in all the communities in this county. A higher level of communication and transparency is needed to ensure taxpayers have access to the information they need and can do business as they want.
County Growth – Pinal County is growing at a rapid rate. We need a leader that will work with everyone to ensure all land and property is prepared to meet tomorrow’s demands in a sustainable manner.
Land classification – Due to a myriad of issues specific to Pinal County, such as limited water supply and land development, the assessor’s office is critical to ensure long-term prosperity for businesses and property owners in this county which is essential for jobs and the economy.
How do you earn the trust of the residents of Pinal County?
I earn the trust of residents by listening to the people of this county and building relationships with communities. I have participated in many events to meet voters and engage them at a personal level. From the Pacana Park Pumpkin Walk to the annual Maricopa Salsa Festival, I have been present and accessible to ensure the voice of Maricopa is represented.
This item appears, in part, in the June issue of InMaricopa.