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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.

Candidates for Pinal County Sheriff: (from left) Kaye Dickson, Kevin Taylor, Steve Henry and Mark Lamb.
DEMOCRAT
Kaye Dickson
Age: 52
Years in Pinal County: 33
Education: Master’s degree in Public Administration, bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Certified Public  Manager, Certified Arizona Police Officer, Federal Bureau of Investigations Certified Hostage Negotiator, International Association Chief of Police leadership in Police Organizations.
Family: Married with two children and three grandchildren.
Professional background: 30 years in law enforcement as commander, sergeant, investigator, deputy, police officer, detention officer, dispatcher and administrator. Specialty assignments included service on the SWAT team as a hostage negotiator and the SCAT-team as a special investigator. Meritorious service award as a commander, Business Person of the year from CAVIT, Investigator and Deputy of the Year.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have the right combination of skill, education and experience for the office of sheriff. I am a visionary, and I have a passion for service to the people of Pinal County, doing so for over 30 years. In addition to my 30-year law enforcement career, I am an investor in Pinal County. I own a successful business and I have directly invested in our youth, serving as a therapeutic foster parent and court-appointed special advocate. My vast experience, knowledge and training involving crimes against animals will ensure these crimes do not go unnoticed. I will not be intimidated by corruption or soil my integrity by looking the other way. I have a proven track record of taking dysfunctional organizations and turning them into positive resources for the community.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what would be your approach to it?
It goes without saying that in order to serve the community we must have good, qualified employees. Vacancies within the office have reached record numbers within recent years. As we face unprecedented demographic, economic and competitive challenges, developing an effective talent acquisition strategy will be difficult but possible. Recruitment and retention are equally important, stay interviews, promoting from within when possible, employee development, open communication, leadership involvement and mentoring programs are proven to be effective for retention.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
The passage of recreational marijuana use will greatly impact law enforcement. Additional on-going training with regard to culture, arrest, exposure, search and seizure, and product testing for illegal additives, will impact cost both direct and indirect. Statistical information proves fatal road crashes involving marijuana double after state legalization, [so] more resources for traffic accidents involving impairment would be necessary.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO ACT) can only be used to support investigations or operations that may result in further seizures, law enforcement training in asset forfeiture, equipment and operations targeting crimes covered under the RICO guideline or drug awareness and education programs. A portion of RICO funds should be set aside to benefit community programs designed to promote drug awareness and education. The process for distribution of funds will be fair and transparent, with an annual application, review and approval process. An annual account of all RICO spending and funding will be placed online for community members to view.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
Pinal county law enforcement agencies working together dedicated to proactively serving the people and business within the community is recognized as a vital part of economic development. Collaboration between law enforcement agencies at every level including city, county, state, tribal and federal is at unprecedented levels. A proactive law enforcement approach can be taken to disrupt and dismantle criminal activity in our scenic deserts. I would welcome and encourage the addition of business to the area, ensuring a working relationship and proactive approach that will thwart criminal activity. Open communications, transparency, and acknowledgment from law enforcement that a prosperous business makes a flourishing community. I will assure business leaders that I have no intention of allowing criminal activity to take over our county or intimidate our community members. I will not release or provide misleading or exaggerated statistical information, and I will be honest and transparent.

DEMOCRAT
Kevin Taylor
Age: 57
Years in Pinal County: 11 years
Education: Law enforcement certification through Ohio State University in 1978-1980. Enhanced education in police training from the Northern Ohio Private Policy Academy and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council.  Specialized training in police defense tactics from Defense Systems in Ohio.
Family: Four adult children and four grandchildren
Professional Background: 36 years of experience in the law enforcement, starting with Erie County Sheriff’s Department, Sundusky, Ohio, in 1980, and private security fields.  Founded Taylor Made Security in Arizona in 1999.

What makes you the best candidate for the Job?  
My extensive career experience in law enforcement, my concern for my community and its people, my desire to see and work toward our sheriff department becoming the most effective in the country makes me the best candidate for the job.  I also believe in a transparent operation and I am concerned about staff and having an open door policy to hear the concerns of staff without reprisals.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what will be your approach to it?
I feel the biggest challenge is getting the people of Pinal County to trust the sheriff’s department and having assurance that they can count on the department to respond to complaints promptly, reduce crime, and apprehend criminals. I intend to approach these problems by first assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the department with a department wide assessment program. Secondly I will review the budget to determine if there is any waste or shortages. Third, I will develop a closer working relationship with the Board of Supervisors and share the findings of the assessments with them to investigate the possibility of budget increases if necessary.  Fourth, establish open communication with my staff and with the community.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
Legalizing marijuana would have a huge impact on PCSO. The burden of petty possession cases would all but disappear. Much of the low level criminality would change as well. With marijuana legally available we will probably see a reduction in interest in other drugs as well. This will allow us to shift our resources to other crimes. The community will be also likely to improve their relationship with PCSO. Marijuana users won’t have to worry about interacting with law enforcement.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
Currently, the approach PCSO is using to distribute RICO funds is not equitable for all county organizations. RICO funds should never be a slush fund for elected officials and their subordinates. Clearly it is important how the money is spent but checks and balances will be put in place to ensure that the funds are used appropriately and accounted for. As sheriff I will ensure that the community will be the leaders in distributing RICO funds through a fair peer review. All grant submissions and award grant information will be available on line for the community to inspect. I pledge not to use RICO funds for my own gain nor for the personal gain of those within the PCSO department.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
First I would build a stronger relationship with border patrol, local police departments, tribal police and other law enforcement agencies to coordinate and consolidate our drug fighting efforts to make them more effective.  I would also add more focused patrols by using volunteer posse personnel.  These efforts combined with the additional efforts of the PCSO will reduce drug crime in those areas. This in itself would be an incentive to bring businesses to the area.

REPUBLICAN
Steve Henry
Age: 55
Years in Pinal County:  17
Education: B.A. Arizona State University, M.Ed. Northern Arizona University, FBI National Academy, Harvard JFK School of Government
Family: Wife and three children
Professional background: U.S. Army veteran, enlisted member and officer, 23 years of continuous law enforcement service

Why are you running?
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office needs a strong, successful and experienced leader to continue the great work already accomplished over the last eight years. As chief deputy, I have overseen and managed the day-to-day operations over these last eight years. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is well respected and highly professional. Going forward, the fruit of all that labor will depend on the continuity of leadership and experience that I have brought to the table during my tenure as the chief deputy. Our citizens do not deserve, nor can they afford, a new sheriff who is ill-equipped with little to no law enforcement leadership experience or, for that matter, devoid of a solid record of accomplishment pertaining to consensus building and intergovernmental relationships fostered and grown over a two decade plus law enforcement career. I currently bring all of those skills and accomplishments to the table and more.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I am a highly-decorated, well-educated 24-year law enforcement professional leader that has been the operations leader in our Sheriff’s Office for the last eight years. In this position I am responsible for the overall mission effectiveness for the Sheriff’s Office and implementing the vision as it concerns the sheriff’s vision and mission priorities. This included office reorganization in the jail, patrol, criminal investigations, property and evidence, communications, SWAT and community services. The end result is the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office that serves you today – a highly successful, professional and well-respected law enforcement agency. Previous to that I served in a command position in a well-respected accredited police department for 16 years. My experience includes patrol, training, field training, gang enforcement, recruiting, narcotics enforcement, SWAT, Internal Affairs, sergeant supervising victim services, neighborhood services, SWAT, patrol, K9’s, Bicycle Squad, patrol and lieutenant serving as district commander, watch commander, lieutenant over field training, patrol, K9s and Traffic Unit commander.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what will be your approach to it?
There are two equal challenges in Pinal County. The first is to deliver prompt, professional and competent law enforcement services in a county that has a population that continues to grow every year. This has been [done] successfully over the last eight years despite an ever-shrinking operations budget and the loss of key employees to law enforcement agencies that pay far more than PCSO. The second challenge is directly tied into the first and that is the ability to continue locating, interdicting and arresting drug cartel members and other national security concerns in our county before they prey upon our citizens through the associated follow on crimes such as kidnapping, threats and intimidation, murder, rape, high speed pursuits, smuggling and sex trafficking. I will continue to prioritize these efforts utilizing the success I have already demonstrated by relying on my 24 years of experience in law enforcement.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
If recreational marijuana is legalized in Arizona this issue will impact PCSO in many ways. The most profound will be the increased incidents of impaired driving and the time and cost associated with investigating those crimes. Alcohol impairment is far easier and less time consuming to investigate compared to drug impairment. Drug investigations require a drug-recognition expert and a blood test to complete [and] will be very time consuming and expensive. The other concerns are the manufacture of associated forms of marijuana produced in homes, hotels and other private/public areas and often result in fires and explosions that endanger the unsuspecting public at large. Other crimes associated with drug use and abuse will also spike and they include child neglect, child abuse, overdose, vehicular and machinery accidents and a host of others. This will only add responsibility to an already overburdened system.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
I will assess and prioritize RICO funding requests as they relate to the public safety mission in our ongoing effort to provide law enforcement services to our ever-growing county.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
This has long been an issue in the Maricopa area and that is exactly why it is a mission priority for the PCSO. We successfully locate, interdict and arrest smuggling entities in the Maricopa area every day. I will continue this mission platform under my administration. The enforcement priorities for the PCSO are first and foremost the health and safety of our citizens. My desire is to create an environment where the people of our county can live, work and recreate in relative safety and security. I will not deviate from the very plan I created six years ago in concert with the AZDPS, Border Patrol and ICE to vigorously pursue and arrest cartel smugglers in our county (Western Desert Task Force and the Ajo Initiative). These continued priority enforcement efforts will help ensure future businesses that the Maricopa area is safe and appropriate for future growth and development.

REPUBLICAN
Mark Lamb
Age: 43
Years in Pinal County: 8
Education: College, FBI Crime Scene Training, SWAT Team
Family: Married with five children (19, 18, 16, 14, 13)
Professional background: Business owner, law enforcement for Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (Rookie of the Year, Officer of the Year, Detective of the Year, Award of Excellence) and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office

Why are you running?
Our country needs people in elected positions whose goal it is to serve its citizens, with pure motives and high ideals. I can use my talents in business and law enforcement to honorably serve my country and defend the Constitution in the position of sheriff.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Our country needs people in elected positions whose goal it is to serve its citizens, with pure motives and high ideals. I can use my talents in business and law enforcement to honorably serve my country and defend the Constitution in the position of sheriff.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what will be your approach to it?
The biggest law-enforcement challenge is eliminating the drug cartels and human trafficking in our county. I will take an aggressive approach, utilizing the fine men, women and specialty units while fostering good relationships with outside agencies to get the job done. We need to be unpredictable for the cartels without broadcasting our tactics for political gain.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
Our job at PCSO is to uphold and enforce the law. We will have the deputies follow what the legislators and voters decide.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
I would ensure RICO funds were being used in accordance to state statutes, and I would ensure transparency to the people of Pinal County.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
First, I would crush the crime. That’s exactly what I did in law enforcement. Secondly, I come from a business background, so I understand making it a business friendly area. I would work with Maricopa to ensure that we stop crime. I would foster a safe living environment that attracts people to move into the area.


This story appeared in the July issue of InMaricopa.