"Together we can accomplish a lot!"
The Town of Oro Valley exists to provide services to our residents. Giving back to my community by serving our residents is something I enjoy. It is my belief that good ideas and vision require action and follow through. If you will elect me to the Oro Valley Town Council, I will work to preserve the Town’s balanced budget, our safe community, and thoughtful growth.
What do I support?
I support providing the resources necessary to insure the high quality of life our residents enjoy through effective and efficient government operations. I believe the key issues for residents are:
How do I make decisions?
I do my research and formulate decisions based upon facts and feedback from the community. I weigh these with the Town’s voter-approved General Plan, the Council’s unanimously approved Strategic Plan, and Town’s budget.
I want you to know specifically where I stand on these issues:
SOUND FISCAL MANAGEMENT.
I am proud to say that Oro Valley is living within its means. Over the past four years, I have joined with a majority of the Town’s Council and successfully guided Oro Valley through the worst economic recession since its incorporation in 1974. Faced a $2.6 million budget deficit for FY 2011, this same Council rolled up its sleeves exploring all potential savings opportunities. By year end 2013, the Town reported a $1.7 million surplus. In addition, General Fund reserves are 10% over the Council mandated 25% margin and our residents retained most town services. Today, the Town of Oro Valley is able to deliver the high quality services our residents have come to expect and the Town is uniquely positioned to move forward with momentum. In the past four years, Council majority has voted to reinvest a portion of the excess reserves to substantially diminish the backlog of capital projects created as a result of the economic crisis, and invest in Town assets such as the Aquatic Center, and Naranja Park athletic fields, infrastructure and dog parks.
Public safety is the number one issue for Oro Valley residents. When asked, "What do you like most about living in Oro Valley?" public safety was overwhelmingly rated #1 by our residents participating in the 2013 Community Survey.
Our world is changing and becoming a less secure place. Living in a community where people feel safe and can thrive is the result of an effective Community Policing Program. Oro Valley has recently being named the "8th Safest Suburb in the United States".
I believe the foundation of sustainability is rooted in public safety. We cannot attract businesses, employees, families or customers to an area this is not perceived as safe. For instance, Sun City residents remark that they feel free to socialize in the early mornings and evenings because they feel safe in their neighborhoods. Our residents report they can enjoy walking out of the movie theater at Oro Valley Marketplace at 11:30 pm and not worry much about their personal safety. I am committed to keep our police department fully staffed, trained and equipped to maintain our reputation as one of the safest communities in the state.
Qualifications: I’m proud to tell you that I have the enthusiastic endorsement of both the North Tucson Firefighters Local #3832 and the Oro Valley Fraternal Order of Police Lodge # 53. In 2008, then Governor Napolitano recognized my ability to turn vision into action and appointed me to serve on the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority Board. I was reappointed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2012 and I am currently serving my second term. In 2006, I was honored as the "Citizen of the Year" by the Oro Valley Police Department as a result of my work as the founder of Project Graduation at Ironwood Ridge High School; an alcohol and drug free celebration on graduation night event that has protected over 10,000 graduates over the past ten years and served as a model for a number of high schools in our region. Lastly, I come from a law enforcement family; my husband is a retired FBI agent of 27 years. He recently served in Iraq as a Law Enforcement Professional training U.S. Military forces and Iraqi officials in evidence collection and crime scene investigation.
PLANNED STRATEGIC GROWTH - ATTRACTING JOBS.
Oro Valley is experiencing continued growth. We need to manage this growth in a thoughtful and strategic manner. I am committed to the careful assessment of short- and long-term fiscal recommendations while adhering to our General Plan to insure adequate natural resources and the protection of our environment.
We need to attract high-paying, 21st Century jobs to Oro Valley and stabilize our existing businesses. The Town of Oro Valley must provide a business friendly environment and be a leader in developing and sustaining long-term partnerships. Innovation Park has been a priority of the Council and provides great potential to attract high paying, green and bio-technology jobs. I supported the passage of the Economic Expansion Zoning (EEZ) for Innovation Park, allowing for a streamlined approval process for development, shortening construction schedules by months. I have fostered strong partnerships between our local businesses and our nationally renowned schools to offer career pathways for our students. This is helping to attract high-paying jobs, which helps to secure Oro Valley’s revenue base and property values. At the same time, it is providing our children with unique exposures to jobs of the future. As the Town Council liaison to Amphitheater schools, Basis-Oro Valley and Pusch Ridge Christian Academy I will continue to recognize and value the importance of balancing our social, business, and public safety needs when developing policies.
Qualifications: I have over a decade of experience working with both the education and business communities in Oro Valley. I enjoy the opportunity to work with our schools through the Amphitheater Education Foundation, where I currently serve as a Board Member and immediate past Vice-President. I currently serve on the Board of the Oro Valley Community Foundation – an organization whose mission it is to seek and provide resources that contribute to improving and sustaining the quality of life in Oro Valley. In addition, I serve as a Board Member of United Way of Southern Arizona supporting work in the area of Early Childhood Literacy. In 2007, I received the "Legacy Award" from the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce (now Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce) honoring my community leadership in establishing Project Graduation. In 2012, I established the first ever Youth Advisory Council to Mayor and Council comprised of high school students from Basis – Oro Valley, Canyon del Oro and Ironwood Ridge High Schools and Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. Their mission is to be the voice of youth in our community and their goal is to foster relationships within the community to address the needs of their peers. In 2013, I instituted "Spotlight on Youth", a monthly recognition by Mayor and Council to honor youth of all ages and their unique contributions to our community.
WATER AND SOLAR.
The Southwestern United States is in a period of extreme drought and expected to experience drier and drier seasons in the future. We need to secure our most valuable natural resource – water. To illustrate the importance of building and maintaining strong regional partnerships, the Town Council reached an agreement with the City of Tucson last year allowing the delivery of a portion of our CAP (Central Arizona Project) water to Oro Valley residents thereby saving millions of dollars in infrastructure costs. As your Councilmember, I will continue to protect our water resources. As the nation looks for alternative energy solutions, Arizona has an abundant resource to offer – long periods of sunlight. Solar power will undoubtedly be a major component of U.S. energy reform. In 2011, I supported the Town’s investment in solar infrastructure, which is now powering the vast majority of the Town Hall campus, which it is saving taxpayer money by significantly reducing costs. More of our local businesses are following suit as they see this as a long-term cost containment measure. I will continue to seek ways to capitalize on these investments.
You only have to drive outside of Oro Valley to recognize our high quality roadways. During the 2011 budget discussions, I supported the mandate of a providing a minimum of $1 million annually to maintain the proper care of our roads. I resisted the path of other municipalities who cut their road budgets in tough economic times and now must face substantially greater costs to recover quality roads. This on-going commitment is crucial to the long-term financial stability of the Town, and I made sure that not only our 2015-16 budget was adequately funded, but our balanced five-year forecast as well.
ARTS, RECREATION AND PRESERVING OUR HISTORY.
In my previous campaign, I stated that "a well-planned recreational facility will enhance the quality of life for all our residents, improve property values and be an attraction to those wanting to relocate here." In December 2014, Council was presented with a unique opportunity to purchase 324 acres of land in the heart of Oro Valley complete with a 50,000 sq. ft. private country club, 45 holes of golf, 31 tennis courts and a fitness gym for $1 million cash. This former country club is being renovated into a long awaited community and recreation center for residents' recreational and social enjoyment.
Taking over ownership in early May, 2015, the 50,000 sq. ft. building is being renovated even as residents enjoy the benefits of our Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center. 1500 summer camp spots were made available for school aged children and all were filled, leaving a waiting list. And we have just begun.
A half-cent sales tax was instituted to fund the renovations and cover the operating and capital expenditures for our new municipal center.
In 2010, I said "Someday, I would like to see the Naranja Park site developed!" Today, our new dog park and two multi-purpose fields for soccer, La Crosse, football, and other field sports are being enjoyed by residents using cash reserves, avoiding residents taking on debt. In addition at Naranja Town Park, the community is enjoying a world class archery facility and the Sonoran Desert Flyers host hundreds of model plane enthusiasts.
Steam Pump Ranch is enjoying a new spotlight of attention from our residents. Town Council is allocating additional resources to fulfill the preservation and restoration for this beautiful historic property.
Even with these enhancements, Oro Valley remains far behind other communities in adequate recreational amenities for all ages. This past year, I voted to approve the Parks and Recreation Master Plan which will be the Town’s guide to a solution.