Looking back on 2019, I am struck by the myriad ways in which government, business, and community partners worked hand-in-hand to improve quality of life for residents in Maricopa County.
In many communities, cities and towns don’t talk to one another; in others, public and private sectors openly clash. That has not been my experience in Maricopa County. We all seem to understand that our potential impact is greater when we collaborate.
I wanted to highlight a few collaborations that mattered to me in 2019. I believe all of these will improve quality of life for residents.
For the first time in more than half a century, we have a partnership that provides bipartisan oversight to Maricopa County elections.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Recorder’s Office reached an agreement this fall about how to work together to ensure people can vote when and how they want.
Riggs Road/Bridge over
Queen Creek Wash.
The Riggs Road extension is complete and includes new travel and turn lanes and traffic signals between Ellsworth Road and Meridian Road. Costs were split between MCDOT and Queen Creek. This widened and improved roadway now provides an additional route from I-10 to Combs Road in Pinal County and is an important east-west connection through the southeast valley in Maricopa County.
In February 2020, construction will begin on a new bridge for Rittenhouse Road over the Queen Creek Wash.
Public safety training facility in Gilbert.
In 2019, the Town of Gilbert started construction on a much-needed training facility for police and fire personnel.
I believe a training space where first responders can simulate real-life emergency scenarios is overdue for a town that had some 200,000 service calls over a recent one-year span.
Maricopa County helped facilitate this project by providing land within the Rittenhouse Basin for the driving track. Having it in the flood control basin should help reduce the noise.
The Flood Control District of Maricopa County also agreed to let Gilbert use part of Rittenhouse Basin for the construction of Desert Sky Park. In both cases, the district is working with the Town to ensure continued flood protection.
Smart Region Consortium. All of this partnering culminated a few weeks ago with the official launch of a Smart Region Consortium.
This is a public-private partnership that connects participating governments with technology-based innovations. The Consortium includes Maricopa County; 22 cities and towns; Arizona State University; Arizona Commerce Authority; Maricopa Association of Governments; Greater Phoenix Economic Council; and industry partners including Cox, Dell, Sprint, and SRP.
I believe it is a great model for improving service at the municipal and county levels of government.
I am hopeful 2020 will be a year of continued collaboration on behalf of our residents. Thank you for your support over the past year and I look forward to serving you as we enter this new decade.
Jack Sellers is a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors whose district covers the East Valley.