With proper foresight and clear priorities, Marana Mayor Ed Honea said the Town has maintained a structurally balanced budget and encouraged sustainable economic growth.
Honea spoke to hundreds during the annual State of the Town luncheon on April 13. The luncheon was hosted by the Marana Chamber of Commerce.
During the keynote address, Honea touted the need to continue regional efforts to improve Southern Arizona.
“A rising tide raises all boats. If we do well, Oro Valley, Sahaurita and Tucson will do well,” he said. “If these parts are not allowed to thrive and prosper, the region will be hurt.”As Marana continues to become a strong independent leader in Pima County, Honea said the Town became incorporated in order to protect water resources. By taking control of the Town’s wastewater, Honea said Marana is now in control of its own destiny.
“We have survived and prospered because Marana has been blessed with the spirit of community,” he said.
The continued success surrounded five key categories in Marana. Those categories for success include commerce, community, progress and innovation, heritage and recreation.
Honea said the Marana Town Council adopted a second strategic plan last month, and the community will continue to focus on infrastructure, roads, utilities and annexing available land.
Honea stressed that in order for Marana to continue down the path of success they will need to work on having “sensible, business-friendly policies.” Part of that is supporting economic prospects that could support the region. Honea said for those reasons they are in support of Rosemont Copper opening the controversial mine in the Santa Rita Mountains, and supporting the new rail yard being planned in Pinal County.
The Town has also set its sights on annexing the Pinal Air Park, Honea said.
At the community level, Marana is proving to be a business-friendly entity by opening the Business Development Center (BDC) in the last year. The BDC streamlines the permitting process for new businesses and developments.
“The BDC is proof that Marana means business,” he said.
In the area of innovation, Honea was happy to unveil the Town’s new Smart Phone app, which would allow local residents to immediately report problems, graffiti and news.
To end his address, Mayor Honea received a standing ovation when he thanked the community for the support his family received over the last few months, following the passing of his wife Jan Lawson Honea, who lost a battle with cancer. With technology advancements, business developments and the promise to continue working together with neighbors, Honea said he feels the Northwest would continue being a special place.