Vote will choose four of six running for Marana council

2013-02-17T00:00:00Z Vote will choose four of six running for Marana councilArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Meet the six candidates seeking to fill four open seats on the Marana Town Council. Primary ballots are arriving in mailboxes now for the nonpartisan, all-mail election. Voters may select four candidates. A candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, which ends March 12, wins a seat and won't have to run in the general election, which ends May 21.

How would you use your position to help businesses create jobs?

I have operated my own business for 16 years. I will use this experience to set policies that will make it easy for businesses to come to Marana and get the help they need. We should work closer with Marana Unified School District to raise the level of education our children receive, making sure we are educating them in areas of focus that fill the needs of manufacturers and businesses.

What is your strategy for smart growth?

The town has an economic road map with nine activity centers within its limits. This should be revisited and adjusted as economic conditions change. Marana needs to be the best place in Pima County to open business, build homes and enjoy life's activities.

What is the most important issue facing your town?

Wastewater. We need to be in charge of all the aspects of growth that businesses and homeowners face. I am in favor of the town owning and operating its own wastewater treatment plants. This will ensure the town's ability to grow at a managed pace and stay fiscally sound. I will work hard to ensure the town gets past this issue and strengthens our relationship with Pima County.

How would you use your position to help business create jobs?

I have been involved with the Marana Chamber for many years. It's important to listen to the needs of the business community to assist in ways to help them become successful. By requiring town staff to continue to be business-friendly, we will continue to attract successful business growth.

What is your strategy for smart growth?

As a council we adopted an economic road map that needs to be continually evaluated and updated. Planning for the future and allowing input from the community will help to foster a feeling of ownership by all. When people feel they are a part of something, there is a natural excitement that flows out and attracts others.

What is the most important issue facing your town?

Wastewater. This is so important to future growth. This will be a benefit to everyone doing business in the town. Owning and operating our own wastewater facility will allow us to continue to find and attract avenues for growth, where we can do so in a business-friendly environment from start to finish and be in charge of our own destiny. Successful communities come from well-planned growth where the environment is welcoming and secure.

How would you use your position to help businesses create jobs? That's important to me, and economic development is very important to the town. The problem we have is, we have to have infrastructure that is ready for new businesses. We need to find dollars to get this infrastructure in place, whether it's public dollars or investor dollars. For small businesses, we need to keep streamlining permitting processes.

What is your strategy for smart growth?

I support growth that's good for the environment and good for residents.

What is the most important issue facing your town?

Water resources. Being in farming, I've developed numerous contacts in the water world. Securing a water supply, like Central Arizona Project water, which is already over-allocated and already spoken for, is important. We need to do a better job when they reallocate this water. Marana needs to be there, making it known we need more renewable water. There's renewable water being already allocated by the Arizona Department of Water Resources, and they're looking for cities who want that water and trying to rank them. Marana has to be first at that table.

How would you use your position to help businesses create jobs?

We have hired an economic development director. We encouraged, through various programs, Sargent Controls to stay in Marana. They built a 70,000- square-foot addition to their facility and expect to hire an additional 300 people. We will use the same technique for smaller businesses to come or to expand here.

What is your strategy for smart growth? Our smart growth strategy has been developed through both our Strategic Plan and our Economic Roadmap plan. Our conservative fiscal planning has enabled us to get through the downturn in the economy with a sound budget. We reorganized our development department to more of a one-stop shopping, and the potential developers are very pleased with doing business in Marana.

What is the most important issue facing your town?

The most important issue before us is the right to own the Luckett Road Sewer Plant. Marana needs to be in charge of its own growth, and a vote of yes on both sewer questions on the ballot would allow us to do that. That will allow us to bring in jobs, business, retail and neighborhoods.

How would you use your position to help businesses create jobs?

By ending lawsuits with Pima County, giving back the Luckett Sewer Treatment Plant to Pima County and ending the hegemony Pima County exerts over the town. The fighting must stop!

Interstate 10 is a gold mine for Marana. The town needs to develop a Business Loop. This will give the town additional sales- tax monies, which can be used to recruit new business to Marana. There is no magic wand for creating jobs by government; the private sector creates jobs.

What is your strategy for smart growth?

Involving citizens, investing in the environment wisely and identifying and expanding available capital. We need to follow the 1988 General Plan because it has smart growth written all over it.

What is the most important issue facing your town?

Micro-management, wasteful spending of taxpayer money on frivolous lawsuits, and lack of transparency by the current Town Council. It doesn't make sense for the town to claim the Luckett Wastewater Treatment Plant. We need to have a "metro government," a concept I am afraid this current council does not understand.

How would you use your position to help businesses create jobs?

As a council member and a local business owner, I understand the difficulty navigating business regulations and permitting processes. I would continue to streamline the permitting process for businesses wanting to open and expand in Marana. I would continue to stress the importance of recreation opportunity and availability of services to new locating businesses.

What is your strategy for smart growth?

We cannot underestimate the importance of new development. Due to the economic downturn in the housing market, there will be a need to identify new funding mechanisms for infrastructure to support growth without putting the financial burden on current residents.

What is the most important issue facing your town?

The acquisition of renewable water resources and a balanced budget. The town has been trying to find water resources for many years to support expected growth. The wastewater issue on the ballot will go a long way in helping solve this problem if approved by the voters. Balancing the budget without reducing important core services and raising taxes is an ongoing issue.

• Name: Kent Crotts

• Age: 44.

• Employer: Owner of Napa Auto Parts Marana.

• Education: Two years at Eastern Arizona College and Pima Community College.

• Political experience: None.

• Name: Patti Comerford

• Age: 53.

• Employer: Full-time council member.

• Education: No answer.

• Political experience: 12 years on the Town Council.

• Name: Herb Kai

• Age: 65.

• Employer: Owner of Herb Kai Farms.

• Education: Bachelor's degree in agronomy from the University of Arizona.

• Political experience: Town Council member since 1993.

• Name: Carol McGorray

• Age: No answer.

• Employer: Retired from the Marana Unified School District.

• Education: Graduate of Chandler Business School.

• Political experience: 12 years on Town Council.

.• Name: David Morales

• Age: 61

• Employer: Retired copper miner.

• Education: Bachelor's degree in public management and policy from the University of Arizona.

• Political experience: Town Council member 1987-1991.

• Name: Jon Post

• Age: 43.

• Employer: Owner of Post Farms, Post Feed & Supply, Marana Pumpkin Patch.

• Education: No answer.

• Political experience: Town Council member, five years on the Marana Planning and Zoning Commission.

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