In what will be a first for Maricopa, a State of the County Address is scheduled for May 17, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
IF YOU GO
What: State of the County
When: May 17, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Elements Event Center at Ak-Chin Circle
Who: Supervisor Anthony Smith
How much: Individuals $35; table of eight $280
District 4 Supervisor Anthony Smith of Maricopa will talk about what’s happened in the past year and what’s ahead for Pinal County. Smith said outgoing chamber executive Terri Crain approached him about providing the update as a chamber fundraiser.
Though Maricopa is the second-largest municipality in Pinal County, Smith acknowledged many of its residents know more about what is happening in Maricopa County.
“We’re going to identify what kind of services we bring here, where the county offices are at the library/health department/HUD,” Smith said. There is a fair county presence in Maricopa, but we’ll eventually need more. It’s just a matter of growth.”
Smith is bringing with him several elected and appointed county officials, from County Manager Greg Stanley to Sheriff Mark Lamb. In fact, he’s set aside two tables for county personnel.
“I’m going to emphasize teamwork between the county and the city,” Smith said.
Atop that list is the successful campaign for the regional transportation authority. Though it is still in court on a lawsuit from the Goldwater Institute (and probably will be for the summer, Smith predicted), it saw a variety of Maricopa entities and individuals come together in support.
The teamwork of the county and local flood control districts and the Army Corps of Engineers, he said, will be crucial to Maricopa’s ability to grow.
He will also talk about the growing job market, predicting Maricopa will provide 25 percent of the labor for new projects in the county. Maricopa, he said, has a well-educated work force, “and that’s an advantage when recruiting for jobs.”
Smith said Pinal was the first county to manage its way out of the recession and continues the highest rate of growth (14.5 percent compared to Maricopa County’s 12.5 percent).
In his forays into District 4, Smith also fields concerns and complaints the county needs to address. Those include emergency-response time in rural areas, illegal dumping and code compliance.
Overall, however, he thinks Pinal County is on strong footing.
“Our finances are very solid,” Smith said. “We have a decent reserve. We balance our budgets.”
This story appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.