Oro Valley will play host to this year’s League of Arizona Cities and Towns meeting, the largest annual gathering of city and town officials in the State of Arizona.
The league is a voluntary membership organization of the incorporated municipalities in the state, and aims to provide an opportunity for city and town officials to attend an educational session covering a variety of topics, such as budgeting, leadership development, innovation, technology, and best practices to promote local self-government and better serve citizens.
The hosting town or city rotates between Phoenix and Tucson, according to Matt Lore, the league’s communication and education director. This is the sixth time Oro Valley has hosted the event since 1984.
Officials and staff from Oro Valley are happy to see it return.
“Council and staff are pleased at the opportunity to showcase the town of Oro Valley and welcome new guests and visitors from around the state of Arizona,” said Oro Valley Town Manager Greg Caton. “As the host community, we are excited to provide attendees with a wealth of information about the town, and we’re hopeful they will want to return.”
The meeting is designed primarily to benefit elected officials such as mayors and council members, as well as upper-level staff.
Many statewide officials, including legislators and other statewide elected officials also attend. The public is also invited to attend for a fee.
“The conference provides an opportunity to network with other officials and share ideas and suggestions,” said Lore.
There are a total of 91 incorporated cities and towns in Arizona. Lore says usually 80 to 85 of those are represented at the annual meeting, with a total attendance of about 1,000 participants.
“Our expectation is that the mayor and town council will interact with their peers from across the state, increase their understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Arizona municipalities, share best practices, and apply that experience to the town’s unique situation,” said Caton.
The event runs from Aug. 27 through August 30.
Lore estimates there will be between 26 and 30 sessions during that time, which include discussions on youth programs, grant applications, best practices, service awards, and more.
The town is offering mobile workshops to conference participants, which will highlight Oro Valley’s strengths in bioscience with a tour of Ventana Medical Systems.
The town’s sports tourism will be an additional focus area, and the Oro Valley Aquatic Center will be toured as well.
Lore expects the exchange of information to help officials overcome various obstacles.
“The most positive impact, from what I have seen, is the ability for elected officials to meet and discuss issues that they are grappling with and sharing ideas on how to best approach these issues,” he said. “This can happen through informal discussions or during one of the educational sessions.”
Also, Lore adds, because the meeting is the largest gathering of local elected officials in the state, many state and federal officials use the conference as an opportunity to meet and engage with the audience.
Early registration for the conference ended on July 19, but city and town officials or members of the public can still register.
Conference rates run $310 for a city or town elected official or employee and $390 for all other attendees.
A full meeting agenda can be found at www.leagueaz.org/e/13ac/agenda.html.