Issues

Pima County is a beautiful place to live but currently lacking a strategic vision and the leadership  necessary for a successful and vibrant economy. We need to preserve our outstanding quality of life while implementing strategies for responsible business growth. We need to reduce regulatory burdens that restrict businesses from opening, growing, and flourishing in Pima County.

I will serve the taxpayers responsibly to ensure fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency.

 

Cut Wasteful Spending & Stop Raising our Taxes!

Pima County should anticipate future spending cuts at both the federal and state level because they are coming. We need to prepare by cutting the waste now to minimize the impact on taxpayers. We must examine the budget, prioritize essential services and be prepared to cut the non-essential expenditures.    We must stop the fingerpointing and placing the  burden on the backs of taxpayers.  The board majority has continued nonessential  spending during one of the most prolonged economic crises in history.  Property taxes increased a shocking 61 cents for FY 14/15.  This budget was sold to taxpayers as a “maintenance of operations” budget, yet  on the very first day of the fiscal year the board majority approved the purchase of  $16 million worth of land we didn’t need.   This type of spending is irresponsible and hurting our citizens who are barely getting by.  I believe every line item on the budget should be justified and cuts made as necessary to get us through the tough days ahead.

 

Business Opportunities/Jobs

Pima County invests alot of money in economic development yet we aren’t realizing the returns on the investment we are making.  Infrastructure has been allowed to decay for more than 20 years making the recruitment of business to our community much more difficult.  It is time for the board to  form a task force of stakeholders specifically targeting new business development.  Current practices have continued to fail.  Benchmarking practices of successful communities and understanding our failures is critical to future growth.
We must support and engage the public and private sector to promote job growth. The University of Arizona is a huge jobs incubator for high paying jobs yet we watch year after year as our graduates move on to other cities and states. Again, Pima County loses.  Smart business development will provide sustainable jobs.

Short term bursts of stimulus via adding more debt on the backs of taxpayers merely increases our tax bill and is not the way to a vibrant and sustainable economy. It is critical to have  a vision for the future which incorporates implementing a sustainable job development program.

 

Leadership

Leadership is key to the future of Pima County

The current Pima County “leaders” have created an environment of hostility and intimidation for new businesses willing to invest in our county. The continued lawsuits against municipalities within the county, business owners and developers has earned Pima County the well-deserved reputation of being challenging and unfriendly to business.

Whether we like it or not this “brand” is the perception and perception is reality. Pima County has lost Spring Training, new business development ventures, and there is ongoing worry we may lose the Tucson Gem Show which pumps close to $76 million dollars in the local economy annually.

 

It is time to Re-Brand Pima County

Partnering with towns and cities within the county coupled with strong representation from the business community is the path to success. Leadership is inviting all stakeholders to the table, benchmarking to best practices and leveraging off identified successes.

Marana has a world class economic development program that illustrates how Pima County could revamp business expansion. “Buy Local” programs and incentives for business development are the keys to growth.

We should also be partnering with the Metropolitan Visitors Bureau to promote tourism, starting with gem show attendees. Studies show nearly 50% of buyers took time off for tourist related activities. Are we identifying their needs and providing ample opportunities for these tourists?

 

Public Safety

Our citizens deserve to live in a safe environment. It is crucial we support our local law enforcement officers and sheriffs deputies by providing adequate funding, training and the tools necessary to do the job right. Investing monies in our officers who work to keep our communities safe is crucial .