At the end of this week, I will formally become the interim town manager for the Town of Marana. Thank you, Marana Town Council, for entrusting me with this responsibility. I look forward to serving this great community with the zeal and conviction we have all grown accustomed to from our town leader, Gilbert Davidson.
Gilbert took the reins as Town Manager during the dark days of the economic recession. Today, he leaves behind a community that is not only financially stable but is sought after by businesses and families who want to call Marana home. Some of us know him all too well and believe that his passion and energy to turn things around will do wonders with the state. We wish him well as he assumes the role of Arizona’s chief operating officer.
We have a great town staff and it’s an honor being a part of this team. Driven by our cultural values—dedicated service, teamwork, respect, and engaged innovation—every day is an opportunity to make Marana the choice place to live, work, and play.
These are exciting times in Marana. People of all ages are moving into our town. With two months left in the year, we have already exceeded our projections for construction of new single-family residential homes. Our challenge is to meet that demand, but also ensure that essential municipal services and quality of life remains a high priority.
Businesses too are coming to Marana. Over the past few months we have met with executives from large corporations who want to locate thousands of new jobs in Marana. I attribute their interest in us because we’ve earned that reputation of being responsive, providing great customer service and ensuring their investments are sustainable in our community.
The holidays are upon us and that is always a fun time in Marana. Last weekend’s Turkey Trot is the start of the holiday season for many Marana residents and we are just a few weeks away from the Marana Holiday Festival and Christmas Tree Lighting. I have seen a sneak peak of this year’s light show and like all of our signature events, it promises to be our biggest yet. Without giving away too much, we have a great slate of food trucks and vendors on tap, more snow in the snow globe and talented local performers providing the entertainment. Like all of our signature events, the Holiday Festival on Dec. 2 is a free event, making it the perfect outing for Marana families.
This is a busy week in the Town. On Thursday we formally unveiled the deer sculptures on Tangerine Road. This is a striking public art project that not only celebrates the great wildlife in the area, it also provided Marana high school welding students an opportunity to assist the artist in putting together these magnificent metal sculptures. The statues not only add beauty to the improvements being made on Tangerine Road, but are also a terrific neighbor to Tangerine Sky Park, which is being built adjacent to the statues.
This weekend, Marana hosts our own 28-mile segment of the El Tour de Tucson. We are proud to again partner with El Tour and are excited to show off Marana to the riders who race through the town, as well as those who are using our Marana Heritage River Park as their starting point. Whether you are a cyclist, or just want to have a good time watching the race, we encourage you to come out to the park and participate in the festivities.
I am excited about where the town is going. Since coming on board in March of 2014, I have seen so much growth, but we’ve also succeeded in maintaining that small-town neighborly feel. I came to Marana from the Phoenix area, where I last served as Glendale’s interim assistant city manager. Having worked in local government in a variety of roles since 1988, I find Marana different in many ways. It’s at the edge of this region but the center of attention for commerce and employment. It’s a young town growing quickly but always mindful of its deep-rooted heritage and the great outdoors that surrounds us.
There is so much going on in Marana, which is a good thing. People want to live here, companies want to do business here and Marana Town Hall will bring it all together successfully.
Jamsheed Mehta is Marana’s interim town manager.