June 29, 2005 - Sixteen residents who've applied for the vacancy on Marana's town council will each get "two minutes of fame" next month to say why they should be chosen for the position, town officials announced last week.

At last week's council meeting, council members unanimously approved holding a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. July 12, during which each candidate will be given two minutes to speak before the council. From there, the council will go into an executive session to discuss a possible appointment or narrow down the candidate pool for purposes of conducting interviews, said Town Attorney Frank Cassidy.

"Sixteen applicants. That's a considerable amount," Cassidy said, noting that in the past very few people have competed for a spot on the council, and not in the past six years has there been a contested election in Marana. "It would make the selection process a more manageable process" to limit each candidate to two minutes, he said.

Since the EXPLORER last reported that nine were vying for the council vacancy, seven more candidates applied before the June 20 deadline. Following are brief descriptions about those seven candidates based on information given in their applications.

€ Jane Cannon moved to the Tucson area in 2001 after working at a Philadelphia law firm for more than 25 years. Now the special events coordinator for the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce, Cannon said she hopes to follow on the same track of former Mayor Bobby Sutton Jr. and wants to help decide Marana's future.

€ John Kmiec, a supervisor with Tucson Water, said his knowledge of local water issues would be a valuable asset to Marana. A citizen of Marana since 2002, Kmiec said Marana should maintain the roots of its rural past while practicing responsible growth.

€ John Lavin, a manager for a production missile program at Raytheon Missile Systems, is in the process of retiring after a 30-year career in the aerospace industry. Lavin, who has a bachelor's degree in business administration, said he has lived in the Tucson area since 1972 and has watched the area grow. Using his communication skills, Lavin said he'd form alliances to resolve complex issues.

€ Robert McCrea, who served on the council from 1984 to 1991, the last two of those years as vice mayor, helped create the town's general plan and said he's ready to get back to work for the town he's lived in for 24 years. McCrea has umpired Little League baseball games in Marana, was the coordinator for Marana's Founders' Day festivities for many years and served on Marana's volunteer fire department in the 1980s. He currently works as a supervisor for Corrections Corporation of America's Eloy Detention Center.

€ Larry Steckler, a former magazine publisher and editor, said he has no government experience but he has been chairman of a large international organization, the International Society of Certified Electronic Technicians. Having lived in many parts of the United States, including Long Island and Las Vegas, Steckler said he's seen other governments handle growth and is impressed with Marana's efforts to preserve its rural background.

€ Steve Wacker, a retired energy executive with some extra time on his hands, said he wants to give back to the town he's lived in since 2000. President of the Dove Mountain Civic Group and a member of the Dove Mountain Citizen Patrol, Wacker said he also has experience with water issues after being active in groups that dealt with storage issues regarding the Missouri River and the Colorado River basin.

€ Terri Winger, who owns Continental Ranch Insurance in Marana, said she helped reactivate the Moosic Chamber of Commerce while living in Moosic, Penn. Now involved with the Marana Chamber of Commerce, which Winger said mirrors the Moosic Chamber in many ways, she said wants to help Marana flourish.

Also competing for the council vacancy are former council members David Morales and Roxanne Ziegler; former Town Manager Hurvie Davis; Marana residents Dororthy Taylor, Eloise Brown, Edward Trejo and John Dailey; Planning and Zoning Commissioner Bob Allen; and Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman David Parker.

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